Category Archives: 31 Days of Writing 2017

Sealed with a Kiss!

We recently purchased a new car and it came with six months of XM Sirius.  I told the dealer that I was not really interested in that at all.  Well, as things happen, I realized within a week that I was quite interested in XM!  First of all, you can pick exactly what you want to listen to while in the car and deal with no commercials.  Having hundreds (?)  of stations might be excessive but I am enjoying the ride a lot.  A whole lot! Of course I am a fan of the music of my youth as well as country which was NOT a music of my youth.  I think I didn’t discover country music until later in life.  I also like that I can listen to old radio programs such as Dragnet or the Whistler.  Pretty cool!

Today my husband and I were in the car together and playing was a song from the 1960’s called “Sealed with a Kiss.”  It’s about writing every day to your true love and sealing the letter with a kiss.  Sounds rather romantic to me!  And I actually have participated in that activity as an adult.  You see when I was a child, we wrote letters.  If you had a boyfriend who was away,  you would write letters to him everyday.  When you licked the envelope, and then sealed the letter, you would do one of several “sealing” procedures.  You could, of course, put X0X0X0 across where the envelope was sealed.  That was a less sophisticated way to “seal your letter with a kiss.”  If I had actually had a boyfriend when I was in elementary school and then he went to visit his grandmother, I could write him a letter.  If I thought NO other ADULT might see the back of the letter, I would have put the X0X0X0 on it.  Chances are good that I would not have done the XO thing.  Girls that I went to school and church with did not have boyfriends.  And we didn’t talk about boys either.  We had never held hands with a boy.  Or danced with one. Elementary schools had NO dances and parents didn’t have dancing at their houses either.  We lived in a “Leave it to Beaver” kind of time warp and that was fine!

The more advanced sealed with a kiss would be for upper high school or college age girls.  After sealing the envelope, you would put on red lipstick and actually kiss the back of the letter! Gutsy, I know! So when your “boyfriend” received your letter, he could tell you had actually kissed the envelope.  Sweet!  And he could touch his lips to the kiss, too! Actually that is rather gross.  Just think where that letter had been laying around!

The final and most advanced “sealing” method was a combination of two activities.  First the young lady would write the letter.  Then she would carefully spray the letter with her favorite perfume and allow it to dry.  Next she would carefully fold it up and seal it in the envelope.  And then, of course, apply the red lipstick and kiss the back of the envelope.  When the boyfriend received the letter, he could have that whiff of perfume from opening the letter and the red lip kiss.

I was a married woman before I actually did the “sealed with a kiss” thing.  My husband was in the army and we spent more time apart the first year than together.  So we did a lot of writing.  And yes, his letters were sealed with a kiss!  And scented!

Ahhhh-romance in the 1960’s


You might be having a personal summer if…

Women are SO lucky!  We are blessed with the ability to grow a new person inside our tummy.  Our body is set up to make milk to feed this new person and provide a good start to a new life.  As women age, their  bodies are also able to create what is sometimes called “a personal summer”.  When I began having my own personal summers, I talked to my doctor about them.  I asked, “SO…. how long do women generally have these personal summers?”  He replied, “Most women generally are only inconvenienced by them for maybe two years.”

I will now say to the world……..He was liar, liar:  pants on fire! I am currently working on 18 plus years!

Ok. Let’s get down to the nitty, gritty.  Personal summers are HOT flashes.  By HOT, I mean you could spontaneously combust in  probably 12 seconds,  Maybe less than 10 seconds! Maybe even 5 seconds.  Men have NO idea.

So why don’t we run through some of the common actions that women might have to do in order to deal with Hot Flashes…….I have 18 plus years of experience—remember?

**You store some of your bras in the refrigerator.  Nothing like a “cool” one to bring the temperature down! Better yet, store at least one in the ice maker!

**You pull off your shirt and stand in front of the open refrigerator door (or window fan or freezer or walk-in freezer at work)

**You can fan with a toothpick

**You step out of the shower and go stand naked on the porch, knowing that all water will have evaporated from your body by the time you get to the porch

**Your bedroom has air conditioning on the lowest setting available, a ceiling fan on high and a tower fan that faces your side of the bed

**You sit up in bed at night and pull off your pajamas or gown and throw the wet garment as far away from you as possible

Do any of these sound familiar?  Then baby, you have entered the Hot Flash Zone! B-E-W-A-R-E!!!!!!!



Mr. Jack-The Bee Man

Not long after we moved to Rome, we meet Mr. Jack.  He was a lifelong resident of Floyd County and lived in the Cave Spring Community. He had spent his early years being a dairy farmer.  He raised milk cows  and initially sold his own milk. He was also a farmer.  But to many folks in this area,  he was THE bee man.

Mr. Jack knew everything about bees.  EVERYTHING.  He had many hives all over his farm.  He sold the finest honey I have ever tasted. He taught others about beekeeping.  He also loved to educate young and old about bees.  The first time he took my kids to the hives was a perfect example of how he loved to educate others.  First he would pull the brood chamber off and pull out the wax so you could see where the Queen was laying eggs.  He would show how he had painted a white spot on the Queen and show her to you.  It was important to him that you would not fear bees.  Meanwhile, during his initial instruction, there were lots of bees zooming all around you.

Next he would catch a worker bee. That group would build the honeycomb, gather honey and protect the hive.  He would have the worker bee sting his son, who was also there.  This was so he could show you the stinger moving around on his son’s arm. And Mr. Jack could then show you how to remove the stinger.

The drones are the last group of bees.  Their purpose is to fertilize the queen and then they are done.  Drones do not sting and Mr. Jack would show you that.

Last in the lesson was to get a chunk of honey-filled cone to chew. Yum-Yum!!  And that was Mr. Jack’s Bee Knowledge 101!

The big thing that my children loved about Mr. Jack was that he had his own soft serve ice cream maker.  He had a dairy once upon a time so he installed his own ice cream maker.  If you went to his house in the spring, summer or fall, you would get to eat all the soft serve ice cream you wanted.  There was only one catch—-you had to use the same cone!  So you would slurp up the ice cream from the cone without damaging the cone.  We found that generally a careful ice cream eater, could use one four or five times before it fell apart!

One little known fact of ice cream making is that Mr. Jack made two kinds.  If children were present, the ice cream was kid friendly.  If only adults were present, Mr. Jack would add a little additional flavoring—say a little amaretto!

And yes, we would use the same cone over and over again! But we did not have five of them!


The Miracle in a Sugar Cube

There is a lot of debate today about vaccinations.  You find parents in the pro group and parents in the con group.  Parents have the right to deny vaccinations to their children.  When I was growing up, no one even thought about not taking your vaccinations.  It was a given.

In the 1950’s, children had mumps, chicken pox and measles.  There were no shots to prevent them.  I had all three in first grade, one right after the other.  Since I was a big reader, I just read all day long.  Some days were not as pleasant and I slept. No big deal.  I had all the regular vaccinations-smallpox, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough also known as pertussis. My parents remember how dangerous those diseases were and had friends or relatives who had died from these serious illnesses. They never considered refusing vaccinations for me or my younger sister.

We also had another disease in the 50’s that was pretty scary.  It was infantile paralysis or polio.  It was the “most” feared disease because nothing could be done.  Once someone contracted polio, doctors could only treat the symptoms.   In 1952 over 60,000 children had polio. More than 3000 died. Scary. Really scary. There was believed to be a link to public pools. Late summer was even called polio season.  Public pools were drained and closed.  It was a terrible time.

I had a friend who had polio.  She was lucky.  She spent time in the hospital in an iron lung.  It would breathe for her.  She laid in it all day for several weeks.  She also spent time at Warm Springs in rehab.  Franklin Roosevelt had also been there.  She gradually learned to walk again with braces on her legs and crutches to support her.  She was one of the happiest people I knew.  She had survived.  The fact that she would never run and play again was not important to her.  She was alive!

Then a miracle happened. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio.  It was tested and found to be effective.  People everywhere wanted this vaccine for their children.  In our town, the first people vaccinated were the children.  And since there were so many, the city decided to set up a public vaccination center in a local high school.  It was a grey rainy day.  I remember it exactly.  We found a place to park and walked a few blocks to the high school and in the double front doors. Both my parents were with me.  We stood in line for a while. I am sure there was a form to sign but I don’t remember anything about that.  We inched closer to the nurses who were distributing the vaccine.  They were dressed in white dresses, white hose, white shoes and white nursing hats. Finally it was my turn.  The nurse handed me a little white cup with a sugar cube in it.  The vaccine was dropped on the cube.  I put it in my mouth and it melted and tasted just like sugar.  And just like that, polio left my present and my future.  It was a miracle on a sugar cube!