The first post of the year

DSC01304I like to spend the beginning of the new year reflecting on accomplishments of the past year, and setting goals for the new year…  I’m not quite ready to share any of that yet, however, I will share my “new” journal with you. It was a gift from my Uncle Johnny who passed away just before Christmas. He was my great uncle, my grandmother’s sister…  the youngest of the five siblings and the last one.  He was a brick layer and he lived on the farm he grew up on in Sedley Virginia– if you look close enough at the picture on the right you’ll see his hat says, “Been there Done that– Sedley” which is pretty funny considering Sedley, Virginia has a population of probably less than 2000 near as I can tell. It’s not even a town, more of a community in South Hampton County.

Note:  Sedley is home to Hubs Peanuts, the best peanuts in the world.

His wife, my aunt Lucille passed away a few years back, she had diabetes (Type 1 I believe).  Their son Curtis also passed away a couple of years ago (he was also a diabetic).  Uncle Johnny did have a grandson and a newly born great grandson.  He also had an adopted daughter who lived across the road, Anita. She called him Pop and looked out for him.  Uncle Johnny had a long life, he was 90, but he will be missed none-the-less.

CIMG1676So back to the journal.  I haven’t been journaling, and I’m not sure why… it’s a good way for me to process what’s going on in my head, to create starts to stories and to work out problems with pieces in progress.  And so, one of my goals for 2009 is to start it up again.  I pulled off the shelf this lovely journal that Uncle Johnny sent as a thank you gift after he visited my sister and I in San Diego two years ago. We had a fantastic time, touring him and Anita around.  He went back and told the whole town what great tour guides we were–  which resulted in more folks (I mean distant relatives) from Sedley visting and looking us up, but that’s another story.

CIMG1677So thank you Uncle Johnny.

I’m sure you received a warm welcome in heavan from your sister Ruby (my grandma),  Lucille and Curtis, your sisters Virginia and Shirley, your brother Tommy, George (my Dad) and many more.

Maybe they even had a big ole plate of fried chicken for you…  rumor had it that you could eat an entire chicken on your own.

PS:  I almost forgot to mention, that the best package ever received in the mail came from Uncle Johnny in 2006.  I mean seriously, you can’t go wrong with a hundred Audrey Hepburn stamps, can you?

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filled with Hubs peanuts

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The Power of Words

“My favorite poem, my — my favorite poet was Aeschylus,” Robert Kennedy said, “and he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.

“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”

You can read the full text of the speech here.

Or listen to the story from Morning Edition, today, forty years after Martin Luther King Jr was shot.