Archive for the ‘Mary’s Musings’ Category

September 3rd, 2017 No comments

 During the presidential campaign DT said he had been to the best schools and he had the best words. For a person who speaks in unsupported superlatives we would expect nothing less.

this came to my mind when I was enjoying the new game that I have found on iPad. It is a word game.  As a teacher I used to put a big word on the board, maybe a seasonal word such as Thanksgiving and ask the kids to find as many words in that big word as they could find. Well,  this game gives you the blanks to fill in for the words you may get out of a selection of five or six letters. It is quite challenging  but not so much that I can’t feel a sense of success as I do rather well on it. 

 You may have your own game that gives you an escape from the realities of this world. For a few minutes you might not have to think of our fragile earth being in the hands of fragile man.  For a few minutes you can feel that you have some control over something, mainly that you can find solutions, with Solitaire, crossword puzzles,etc.

 I became rather obsessed playing backgammon, and one other game that I really enjoyed but became too involved in and had to stop. Well I didn’t have to stop but I chose to stop because I could tell it was making me anxious instead of relaxed.

and now I’m getting ready to go to church this Sunday morning and I will hear lots of words, in my mind they are the best words, words of hope of comfort of a God who loves me.  Allow me to use these words as I close, may God bless you and keep you and draw you closer to him as we travel this journey called life.


Pray for Houston

August 27th, 2017 No comments

 We can survive without food longer than we can survive without water. We need water in our bodies, and our food source, and for transportation over the rivers lakes  and oceans. We need just enough, not too much.

most of us know how it is to become dehydrated from lack of water even when we have plenty of it, sometimes we just don’t drink enough.  Sometimes people drink too much water and  as a friend of mine experienced, she had an inbalance with her potassium that was life-threatening. 

 For six years Southern California was in a drought desperately needing more water. Our reservoirs were low and the snow pack in the Sierra Nevadas was low. Serious strain on the Colorado River to  supply water for us as well as other states. 

 This weekend we have seen what too much water can do and is doing, right now in Texas. Water can be very destructive when it is unleashed and on its own rises to levels that threaten our homes and our lives.

 Please join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in Texas and in other areas on the gulf coast where nature takes over and the people  have little recourse but to wait it out. Emergency personnel put their lives in danger rescuing others. 

 Bill Taylor’s grandfather was a sheriff in Bakersfield. During the flood he lost his life trying to rescue someone in need.    I pray no one will lose their life as he did many years ago. 

Elvis, 1970

August 18th, 2017 Comments off

 In 1970 Elvis gave a few concerts in Las Vegas. I’ve been watching them on Turner classic movies. Film clips from six different performances make up the two hour long program.  

He was nice and thin, handsome as ever and his voice sounded  good.  By this time he had incorporated a lot of his karate moves into his performance and sometimes I thought he overdid it going on and on and on with repetitive  moves. When he was young we were shocked by him just shaking his leg and wiggling around.   Scandalous!

During the six performances he wore six different but similar jumpsuits, with collars up to his ears, and of course, buttons, straps, and flared bellbottoms

 I guess my favorite part was watching him rehearse with his band members, he was relaxed most of the time and you could hear the sense of humor,  and that he really was working to get everything right.  

The opening night you could tell that he was nervous, saying some silly things because of his nervousness. He was just a man, just a poor boy who had talent and drive and came into our awareness at just the right time to make it big.   I’m sorry that he could not have lived a long life and enjoyed his daughter and grandchildren.  It would’ve been wonderful to see what his music would have become had he matured and lived a normal healthy life. 

 Just seven years from when he made the recordings that I watched he had gained probably 60 or more pounds, was addicted to drugs, had multiple health problems and  died much too soon. He was one-of-a-kind. He is missed.




89 Years Ago, hate disguised, today open for all to see! Have we learned nothing in 89 Years?

August 16th, 2017 Comments off

In 1928 there was a massive march in Washington D.C. made up of men in white sheets and hoods.  KKK

In 2017, they feel so empowered by the man in the white house that they don’t even bother covering their faces.  They march and shout slogans of hate.

It is about hatred for anyone different from their narrow vision of the world.   They are not ‘fine’ people.  Hatred is not from God.  We know its source, and we should be praying that God will intervene and rescue us from our current situation.



This is not who we are. Really?

August 15th, 2017 Comments off

We have been led to believe that we, as Americans, are better than most of the world.  Aren’t we generous, ready to help out anyone who needs us and we are there, even at our own peril?  We have demonstrated it time and again as we got involved in conflicts far from our golden shores.

What about on our golden shores?  How are we doing?  How about in our neighborhoods, in our schools, churches, and in our homes?  When we hear the number of hate groups that have risen in this country , we have to ask where did they get their start?  Did it start in American homes, schools, where? Where does hate get nurtured?

Something is wrong when hate groups flourish, when they feel empowered by the man in the White House, who must be forced for political gain, to condemn their actions. Something is wrong in the first place, when people elect a person who makes it clear that he is about division, not unity, about crudeness, not civility, a man who disrespects the disabled, the weak, anyone who is different from him.  Something is wrong when we put party before country and support such an individual.  Something is wrong when we deny the truth out of our own pride.

Is this who we are?  Are we really just like him? I pray to God, that we are not.


Friendship not regret

July 30th, 2017 Comments off

Because I am a writer, I write.  Thank you for reading.

I dreamed  about Jamie last night.  He looked the way he did in high school, dressed sharply, just as I’ve seen him in pictures.  (As dreams can do, I was as I am now.)

He asked why I had come back home. I  answered, “I was worried about you.” Then I went to him and embraced him warmly for a long time.

The surprising part of the dream is that our heights were reversed – I was the tall one.

Our relationship over the years had been superficial until the last four years. Then I became more like a big sister to him, cautioning him about working too hard in the yard, nagging at him to drink more water, to be more careful, etc.  it was wonderful to have the freedom to be sisterly to him as I had never been before.

After nagging I would apologize and he would say, “I know, I know, you’re right! I’ll go get some water right now.”

We talked every few days,  and ever so often I would say, “we haven’t  prayed together for a while, why don’t we pray?” And we would.  That was a new level of intimacy, sharing our concerns together in prayer

I am grateful we had those four years,  but I deeply regret all the years when we were little more than strangers, misunderstanding each other making assumptions that were untrue.

Hopefully you are close to your siblings and that you  recognize what a gift they are to you. I encourage you to break through superficiality and  to become true friends.

Regret is a tough old girl to live with.


July 17th, 2017 Comments off

 Thank you for coming back to this blog even though I haven’t been adding anything to it for the last few weeks. My brother was on the last of his journey on this earth and my mind was preoccupied with him and his struggle.

 I’m grateful I was able to go to Arkansas and honor him with the tribute that I wrote. It was a mixture of  emotions, but I look at it with the resounding thought “no more pain!” Jamie is free of the excruciating pain he had endured for too long.

I’m grateful to God that in the last four years Jamie and I became close as brother and sister and as friends.  I am not left with regret that I didn’t call him, that I didn’t tell him I loved him,  that I didn’t try to help him as much as I could. 

I will miss calling him, miss knowing he is in the home where mama and daddy lived their last years, and the memory of all of those years that were so very good with all the family could get together and have laugh filled time together.

for now, I’m trying to rest up from the trip, I don’t travel as well as when I was young, then I don’t do many things as well as when I was young,  do you?  

Thanks again for dropping by, my best to you!

Tribute to My Brother Jamie, With Love

July 5th, 2017 Comments off


My Tribute to Jamie, With Love


When Jamie was born in Black Rock, it is said that the whole town came to see him, not because he was so cute, which of course he was, but because after having 4 baby girls, Doyle Ward finally had a son!

I’m sure he would have loved having a brother but he got me. I apologized to him a couple of years ago for not being a boy. He was surprised and said he hadn’t thought about that.

But when Linda came along she was more fun for him, athletic, energetic and competitive.  They shared many good times growing up, and their relationship remained strong.

When he was about 3 years old he decided to take off all his clothes and go outside before Mama could catch him.  Just at that time, as it would happen, one of the more easily shocked church ladies came walking by with her 2 year-old little girl. Here comes Jamie running down Burrow Street naked as a JAYbird.

She was mortified, convinced her child would be traumatized for life having seen 3 yr. old Jamie au natural.   She said she grabbed up her daughter, ran home, and showed her a religious  picture hanging on the wall.

When it was time for his first grade picture to be taken. Mama dressed Jamie in a pretty little suit with a tie.  When he came home he proclaimed he was never going to wear a suit again.

Why not? Mama asked, ” Cause the kids called me preacher boy.”

Well the little preacher boy grew up to love good clothes.  He took excellent care of them and always looked perfectly groomed before he left the house.

When he was around seven years old Mama asked Jamie to pat the bed so baby Linda could go to sleep, and so he did.   Mama said she looked around and he was bouncing the bed so hard that his feet were coming up off the floor. Baby Linda was probably loving it.

One day he didn’t want to go to school, so he began limping around, hamming it up for Mama, but she was on to him. Go on to school Jamie Doyle, there’s nothing wrong with you.

But just to make sure, she watched him thru the kitchen window.   He limped dramatically, until he thought she couldn’t see him any more and then he took off full speed, running up the hill.

Apparently running was good for him. Years later he would set track records at University of Central Arkansas that would last for decades, he would go to college on a football scholarship, and in his senior year he would be honored as the most outstanding athlete in the entire athletic department at UCA.

But back to childhood: The news at recess was that a boy got hurt and was bleeding.  So my friend and I peaked in the doorway and saw a boy lying on the floor. Oh no! It was Jamie! I was so scared.  

A boy had pulled a chair out from under him. When he fell he got a cut on his head that bled profusely. The nurse bandaged him up and fortunately he was OK, but I’ll never forget how scared I was for my brother.

Now, Jamie could do no wrong in Mama’s eyes. She explained that she felt sorry for him because he was outnumbered by sisters, and that when he was young, kids had picked on him.

It was true, he was outnumbered, and he was bullied, which caused oldest sister Martha to rush to his rescue!  She retained that big sister protective attitude toward Jamie for the rest of her days. They had a special bond.

He was always on the move, playing hard, and enjoying life. Nearest to his age Norma Sue wouldn’t fall for his obvious ploys, nor would younger sister Linda, but I fell for them every time.

For instance:

Seven-year-old Jamie would say to four year-old me,   “Crackers sure would be good.  Marietta, go get crackers and I’ll give you some.”

“Huh? Go get us some crackers.”  

His sudden hunger for saltines just happened to coincide with the fact that I was sitting on the sofa where he wanted to sit.

“Will you get my place?”  What? No. You sure? Yeah.  OK but don’t get my place. 

And just like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, as soon as I got up he lunged for the sofa. Oh he could make me mad, but I remained in awe of him.  Another example:

At about that same age 7 and 4, he suggested that we hold onto the bumper of the car that had come to visit us.  He said to let go when the car started up.

I said Okay.

Apparently, no one standing around, talking, waving goodbye to the folks in the car, took notice of Jamie and me, on our knees, hanging on to the back bumper.  The car started up, and as planned, Jamie let go. But I froze.

Everyone started screaming stop, stop, stop, as I was being dragged down the street.  When Jamie got to me he said with great brotherly compassion, why didn’t you let go, stupid?

I said I couldn’t. Thank God my knees were not permanently damaged and I didn’t fall for his big ideas as much after that.

Daddy was about 5’7 so everyone assumed that Jamie was just going to be built like daddy, and he was, until one summer when he went from being one of the smallest kids on the block to one of the tallest!  Martha didn’t have to fight his battles for him anymore she was 5’2 and by college age he was 6’4 with a gorgeous physique and a handsome face.

After graduating from college he followed his love of sports into coaching at West Memphis, but in time left that to become an award winning sales rep for Procter & Gamble.

He got married and like 50% of marriages including my own, it didn’t last forever, but from it came his daughter Emily and her two beautiful daughters, Abby and Katie, who live in Louisiana.

Emily spent several summers in Pocahontas with Mama and Daddy they always had a wonderful time together.  She was smart, creative and independent. But divorce complicates life so very much, and he didn’t get to see Emily nearly as much as he wanted. She was never far from his mind and he loved her with all his heart.

Mama saw Daddy failing more every day with Alzheimer’s.  Jamie, living in Little Rock, answered her desperate cry for help. He left the home he loved, his friends, his work, and moved into their guest room.  With assistance by family, Daddy remained at home until the last 15 months of his life. 

In 1995, when Mama and Jamie came for their daily visit, they recognized the end was near, but he was lingering. He needed permission to go.

With both of them holding his hands, Jamie told Daddy, “Don’t worry Daddy, I’ll take good care of Mama. We love you, but you can go.”  

Mama said that a big tear rolled down daddy’s cheek and he peacefully went to be with the Lord.

But Jamie still couldn’t return to his former life.  He had promised to take care of Mama and he was a man of his word. By this time he was well established in sales at the local radio station. Not only was he a natural born athlete but he was a natural salesman, too.

Friendly, extroverted, with Mama’s gift of gab and sense of humor, he could tell a whopper of a story with the best of them.

She cooked the meals and he took care of the big yard.  They watched TV together every night until 9 o’clock. Then he would go home next door.

He said the hardest thing he ever had to do was to take Daddy to the nursing home and then years later in her late 90’s, take Mama.

He visited her every day, many times while in pain.  We sisters Martha, Audrey, Norma Sue, Linda and I, could never thank Jamie enough for the sacrifice he made for our parents. Without him I’m sure Mama would never have lived to be almost 102.

Jamie didn’t have much of a social life until he became reacquainted with Louise Riddle.  What a joy to find a wonderful woman who was loving to Mama, knowledgeable about sports, watched the games on TV as much as he did, who enjoyed going to PHS football games on Friday nights, liked going out to dinner, having fun, and just spending time together. A woman who could help him find his way back to church and a rededication of his life to Christ.

Louise helped him through all kinds of critical situations as his health deteriorated.

He said many times I wouldn’t be alive without Louise. He knew she got him to the hospital in the nick of time more than once. She made innumerable trips to Jonesboro taking him to the doctor, for chemo and radiation treatments, and various appointments.  I’m sure many times it was a sacrifice of time, energy and her own health, but her devotion was immense to the very end.

It was Louise’s hand he was holding July 2nd when he was released from the bondage of this painful life and entered into the awesome presence of Almighty God.

Thank you Louise, for loving our brother and being so good to him.  May God bless you always.





May 30th, 2017 Comments off

 I live in Los Angeles and most of the time the weather is really nice. It is not too hot or too cold but just about right for Pleasant existence. I think we are spoiled to having the sun Shining down on us almost every day, so that when it is May gray or June gloom we don’t like it very much.   During those periods it is easier for some people to get depressed, discouraged or pessimistic.   I know there is a lamp treatment to give people artificial  sunshine that is recommended  for people who are especially sensitive to the the darker days of winter.

 I don’t have too many problems with it unless it goes on for several days and then I get a bit antsy. I do like seeing the rain  and giving us a change in the weather, as long as it doesn’t create havoc on our freeways and mountain areas.  Unfortunately it seems we have either too much or too little of the wet stuff. After six years of drought we had more rain then we’ve had in years but all in a short amount of time. 

 Oh well, when you don’t have anything else to talk about you talk about the weather. Hope you’re having a great day no matter what it is like where you live.

We need the sunshine to come from within us and carry it with us wherever we go to brighten up not only our lives but those of the people we come in contact with. Have a good one. Be a shing light


Hanging in There?

May 17th, 2017 Comments off

I think most of us have a low level, if not a high level, of anxiety as related to our new administration.

It seems every day the news from the White House makes us wonder what next may put our country in jeopardy. 

How long can we continue this way?  I don’t know. I do know I am not alone in my feelings of serious concern. 

Since you may have supported DT, as you had a right to, I can’t help but wonder if you too are concerned that your vote, however sincere,  has placed us in this position. At this time it is not a time to stand staunch just for the sake of saving face.  We are now about saving our country.

I suggest we pray, frequently and fervently. God works in mysterious ways and I am trusting Him to take charge.  God is not a member of any party.  We must trust Him to make the ultimate decision of where we go next.


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