Merry Christmas ~ 2012

Wishing you the wide-eyed wonder of Christmas…

“We Were Country…”

Written by a Nashville girl, born & raised.
This has absolutely nothing to do with weddings
but it’s a mother’s right to brag…

“We Were Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”
by Sarah Stanton Smith

 

~ Betty & Betty ~

Back in the day, I admired two Bettys - feminist Betty Friedan & imaginary housewife Betty Crocker.
The polar opposite in women.
The yin & yang of the feminine world.
My tug of war began with that cookbook that was shelved away neatly between the cookie jar & the canister of Lily White flour.
I would flip through the pages & pictures of the Betty Crocker cookbook &
wonder which I would make for my family when I became a wife & mother.
I wanted nothing but to stay in the kitchen for the rest of my life, bake bread, invent casseroles & keep my kitchen spotless.
Then later during my pre-teen years, I watched girls on tv marching in the streets holding ERA signs &
burning their bras. I was envious of their dedication & liberation. I wanted to be one of those girls. And Betty Friedan was the voice of the movement telling us that there was life outside of washing my future husband’s clothes & taking my future children to school. Sounded good.
After all, why should I spend years studying in school if any knowledge I aquire will be wasted under the roof of a ranch-style in the surburbs?
But then there would always be Betty Crocker tempting me with her sweet cookbook & whispering in my ear to learn how to keep house. 
For better or for worse, such are the influences that shaped my personality.
Later when I met my future husband, I wondered which Betty I would introduce to him first. Would it be the bra-burning, equal-pay Betty or
would it be the meal-making, in the kitchen Betty? Fortunately for me I met a man who really didn’t care & trusted that I had enough sense to
figure it out for myself. And that’s the way we raised our girls - to make their own decisions & know that it was ok to be friends with both Bettys.

At the time I got engaged there were very few girls keeping their last name. Although never really serious, I did briefly entertain the idea. 
But why did I have to drop my name & add another? Why not both?
The feminist side of me had already decided to make a few changes in the ceremony - under no circumstances will there be ‘obey’ in the vows or
‘man and wife’ instead of ‘husband and wife’ & better not announce us as Mr. & Mrs. Husband’s First Name & Last Name!
Holy Cow! My head just might spin around right there in church!
So I made the decision to add my husband’s name & make my maiden name my legal middle name. 
A fair compromise, I think.
One that might even make both Bettys happy!

If you have a wedding on the horizon & want info on changing your name, these are great website resources…
http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2011/04/5-easy-tips-for-changing-your-name.html

&
http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-budget/articles/name-change-101.aspx?MsdVisit=1
&
And blogs with different views …
http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/09/changing-your-name-to-your-partners-last-name-as-a-feminist-choice/
&
http://www.couplescompany.com/Features/ChangeName.htm

 

~ A Priceless Friendship ~

Two months ago, almost one week before my daughter’s wedding in July, our long time friend died unexpectedly.
I debated about posting this blog but decided I needed to write about her.

Lisa was my best friend for decades. We met when her daughters were 2 & 6 & mine were 3 & 6.
I became aquainted with her at the mothers-day-out that our youngest daughters attended. That September during open-house night at school for our daughters entering 1st grade, she & I chatted, we introduced our husbands & the rest was history. We began a friendship that weekend at their house talking over drinks & appetizers as our four daughters played. After that, we met at each others houses several times a month.
We made Rotel dip & played Trivia Pursuit until the wee hours.

Lisa was a North Carolina girl – born & raised close to the coast. She met John at the University of North Carolina & they were married when
she was 20. I thought she talked like a Canadian. And she threatend to not let her girls play with mine because she
said my girls spoke with too many syllables from their many visits to my hometown in Mississippi. 
She was tall, regal, lovely. She wore cloaks & colorful wool hats in the winter.
She was the only girl I ever remember seeing that I thought looked damn cool smoking a cigarette.
Lisa had a laugh that was loud & intoxicating. Did I mention loud?  The kind of laugh that couldn’t be tamed even if she tried.
She had dark hair that she kept on top of her head. She could sew like no one else I knew. She made clothes, curtains, anything.
We went on weekend trips together, all eight of us to cabins by lakes & in the Tennessee hills. We rented boats in the summer
where we spent all day on & in the water. In the fall we drank cold beer on the cabin deck in the sun while the kids ran unattended.
It was tranquil & wonderful.
A life of car pooling, ballet, movies, cook-outs, birthday parties or sleep-overs for the girls nearly every weekend.
We didn’t dare make plans without checking with the other. In the days before cell phones we could only leave voice messages -
“Are you still on vacation? Don’t ever be gone this long again! Call as soon as you get home!”
“The girls are driving me us crazy asking when your girls get back from Christmas break!”
  It was a busy time for our two families & then our day to day life turned into busy years. We had other interests & the girls grew up.
They went to high school & college & we didn’t see each other as often as we did in the early years. That was ok because sometimes life just
gets in the way like that. But we knew where to find each other & we knew that we would drop everything to be there for any reason. 
When we did see each other it was as if months & months had not passed.
And we would never ask why it had been forever since the last phone call or visit. There was no need.

Our two ‘little girls’ as Lisa & I called them, were married & we went to the weddings & talked
& laughed as if we had just spent last weekend together. Our friendship was that special. We had history together.
I have the rsvp to my daughter’s wedding that Lisa sent back three months ago. Early in planning the table seating, we had places already set aside for them in the main room with our families, right beside our table. I think she was there with us. And I think she was proud of her family for going.

The week before the wedding was hell. For days I cried without warning & still do occasionally.
I suppose one could say Lisa represented my years as a young mother during a wonderful time in my life.
And one could go on to say that having a daughter marry that week made her passing twice as difficult. 
Maybe, but I think it’s just the simple fact that I know I’ll miss my friend in the years to come & the thought of not being able to talk to her
& hear her laugh for the rest of my life leaves me with a sadness that at times hangs over me like a cloud.
Then I imagine her laughing & saying “stop crying & get on with your life.”
And that always makes me smile.

I’ve read that in Heaven there is no time. In fact, because Heaven is eternal, the concept of time is completely incomprehensible. I like that because
when we see her again it will feel just like yesterday. We’ll pull out the worn box of  Triva Prusuit & try again to win against our husbands.
And we’ll have cheese dip & catch up on what’s been going on with everyone & brag about our girls & grandchildren.
A long & lasting friendship is priceless.  I’m a better person having known Lisa.

Sweet Flower Girls ~ Rosey’s Wedding

I love these pictures of Rosemary’s flowers girls – her niece Eden & Chris’ niece Rayne.
They were both cute as a button.
Rayne, in her little dress & Mary Jane shoes &
Eden, barefoot & wearing an original – inspired by her Aunt Rosey’s dress & made out of the same material.
When the girls reached the front, their dads were waiting on them to take them out. Rayne seemed to be ok with that but not Eden.
No, not my grandchild! After she saw her mommie {my daughter Sarah} we didn’t know what to expect from that little ball of fire!
Notice the flash of terror & desperation on my son-in-law’s face! 
She was not ready to leave her mommie but her dad was able to destract her by having her
 wave to the guests & say bye as they walked out. So crisis averted!
Two little flower girls doing exactly what they where meant to – look like little dolls & charm the guests!
{Wendy Cunningham Photography}