Thursday, July 12, 2018

Life's Too Short Not to Attend a Funeral



Life’s too short not to attend a funeral and praise
A life from birth to the grave.
Life’s too short not to listen to a witness
Speak of charity, perseverance and delightful wishes.
Life’s too short not to relish
Stories of adventures and experiences to cherish.
Life’s too short not to convey
Respect and gratitude with a few hours of your day.
Life’s too short not to notice a family finding solace
In compassion when a treasured life is lost.
Life’s too short not to wait and see
What another life might challenge you to be.
Life’s too short not to pause and remember
Moments of sadness but years of laughter.




                                                           


                                                   


Saturday, June 23, 2018

In Memorial: My Granddaddy, James Troy Brown


Written by a close camping friend, this tribute hung on the wall of my parents' bedroom from 1973 until 2012, when they moved from my childhood home. I probably read it five or six times when I lived there.  I read it differently now, though.  It speaks of a happy people person, a fellow coffee and nature lover, and a man who I see now as not simply a granddaddy, but as a true friend who left this earth too soon. 
I asked my sister, Susi, about a few details of his death, she said...It's not a big deal, she wrote about his life and influence. 
James Troy Brown, Sr. June 15, 1915- June 24, 1973

He was always ready to go camping when or before the Puddle Ducks were, most often he “got up” the campouts.  Camping was his main interest.  He retired not only because of his health, but also so that he could go camping more. Talking was a favorite of his – mainly about camping – to others – getting non-campers interested in camping.

Talking on the CB Radio was a highlight in his life – known to all around for years as “Cherokee” – he wanted non-CBers to get a two-way radio so they too could enjoy what he enjoyed.

He was a coffee drinker – not a home drinker – but one who would drive sometimes 10 miles for a cup of coffee in a public place where there would be people to talk to and fellowship with – Waffle Houses all over the South were favorite places of his.  In his younger years, he loved to ride trains – even go to New York on one – just for the ride – and his tales of such rides were fascinating.

He was interested in his friends and what they were doing – even called friends up in the middle of the night to bid farewell if leaving early on a trip – or he would go see someone off any time of day or night.  Yes, to him life was interesting and exciting, and he tried to make it interesting and exciting for others.  We all have our faults as we pass through this world – but somehow in the end only the good stands out in the minds of others.

Yes, Troy Brown lived a good life, and he’ll be missed by all who knew him.  He had a heart attack while camping near Asheville and brought the camper and Sue home before going to the hospital on Friday and died early Sunday morning, June 24, 1973. 

Troy, you’ll be missed by the Puddle Ducks at our get togethers- but we’ll continue to have them because you enjoyed them so much.  You taught us all so very much about a lot of things. 


See you in that happy camping ground!!!

Louise Sanders, Puddle Ducks of Anderson


Blog posts about my Granddaddy, Troy Brown 
My People - June 11, 2014
Campfire Television January 25, 2017




Seasons of an Electric City




Seasons of an Electric City
by Katy Brown Glymph

Your air turns cold as expected,
Yet we fret over fickle weather predicted,
Then laugh at ourselves for doubting your snowy surprise,
Oh, how you jest.
Some groan. Some dance,
At your attempt to make us rest.

Your temperatures warm and please,
And we delight in the early aroma, knowing you tease,
Then marvel at the pink, yellow, purple, and white blooms.
Oh, how you renew.
Some drive. Some walk,
On your streets lined with the softest hue.

Your heat takes our breath away,
But we gather, splash, sweat and play,
Then smack the mosquitoes and search for relief indoors.
Oh, how you ignite.
Some travel. Some stay,
As your landscape bursts at daylight.

Your trees amaze with their display,
For we lengthen our sleeves and watch our teams play,
Then carve and decorate, speak of blessings, and feast.
Oh, how you submit.
Some retire. Some pray,
In your early evenings, cool and moonlit.    
  
Your seasons electrify our community,
So we make a home, build friendships, find opportunity,
Then open our hearts and minds, and smile content.
Oh, how you grace.
Some ridicule. Some cherish,
Within your city of familiar face.

  
     




Thursday, May 3, 2018

Homesick for Anderson



I got homesick. It could be that I’m old. Or, in Orlando in January, it was cold and rainy. It could be that instead of spending three days hanging out with my daughter, Hope, during her last week of interning at Walt Disney World, I spent three days in bed with a headache if my head hit the pillow or nausea when I stood up, accompanied by vertigo returning from a three-year hiatus.

I got homesick. I had big reading and writing plans when Hope was working. I had mother/daughter shopping plans when Hope wasn’t working.  My only interruption was to be football. 
Instead, I watched only the second half of the Outback Bowl. Luckily for me, it was the right half, the one in which the Gamecocks decided to win.  I drove eight miles to Wal-Greens and bought over-the-counter medication, crackers and Ginger Ale. On the way home, I stopped at a Chick-fil-a drive-thru for soup, shivering when I rolled the window down. This took an hour and a half.  I stayed awake for the first half of the Sugar Bowl, then tossed and turned all night, waking every two hours with a headache, wondering the outcome but too miserable to check my phone. 
I got homesick before the virus, though, which is rare for me.  I’ve always enjoyed traveling, and we’ve been to Walt Disney World many times. But I got homesick in that city that week.  
Maybe it was all the lights on all the buildings or all the people in all the lines or all the noise on all the attractions or all the hours spent writing at a tiny desk in a tiny hotel room while all my family took naps or all the cars on all the crowded roads or all the minutes (three was the average) at all the traffic lights or all the frost on all the windows in the parking lots. 

Whatever it was, I couldn’t wait to be back in Anderson, South Carolina.  I drove myself, Hope, and the contents of her apartment to Anderson/HOME on a cold January Thursday, stopping once in the nine-hour trip.
Humor me while I tell you the rest of this fascinating story. 
Arriving home at 4:30PM, I went straight to bed.  I stayed in bed all day on Friday.  Saturday, I went to primary care, where I blacked out twice in the waiting room.  I had lost three pounds in one week, and the nurse thought she had misread my blood pressure. It was 80/60. I was severely dehydrated, which explained the return of vertigo.  
I welcomed a steroid shot. There was a shortage of fluid, so I was sent home with Gatorade instructions.  I felt better for two days, then returned to the doctor again for another shot and more hydration instructions. 
When you’re sick, you have time to think. What else can you do when you’re curled up under blankets drinking all that water and Gatorade not feeling well enough to read?
This is what I came up with. I learned something about myself in Florida. I’m a South Carolina snob. No, I’m an Upstate South Carolina snob because I’m also a four seasons snob.  
What else did I learn?  I’m a small-town snob and most definitely an Anderson snob.When I go to bed at night, my street and my home are dark and quiet. My drive to work is twelve minutes. It could be shorter, but I don’t drive over the speed limit anymore. Speeding tickets, I tell myself, are for the young and impatient; plus, I’m determined to keep my safe-driver discount. The longest red light in my day is the one-minute light next to Westside High School. I used to roll my eyes when caught there.  Used to.  
When I got homesick, I made a decision.  I will NEVER (I’m old enough to say never) live in a town bigger than Anderson, S.C., unless Anderson gets bigger than Anderson.  You know what I mean?  
I like to go. I like to travel. In fact, I have a long bucket list of destinations, but I know that Anderson, Home, the Electric City with four seasons, will be waiting for me.


Seasons of an Electric City

Your air turns cold as expected,
Yet we fret over fickle weather predicted,
Then laugh at ourselves for doubting your snowy surprise,
Oh, how you jest.
Some groan. Some dance,
At your attempt to make us rest.







Your temperatures warm and please,
And we delight in the early aroma, knowing you tease,
Then marvel at the pink, yellow, purple, and white blooms.
Oh, how you renew.
Some drive. Some walk,
On your streets lined with the softest hue.

Your heat takes our breath away,
But we gather, splash, sweat and play,
Then smack the mosquitoes and search for relief indoors.
Oh, how you ignite.
Some travel. Some stay,
As your landscape bursts at daylight.







Your trees amaze with their display,
For we lengthen our sleeves and watch our teams play,
Then carve and decorate, speak of blessings, and feast.
Oh, how you submit.
Some retire. Some pray,
In your early evenings, cool and moonlit.    
  
Your seasons electrify our community,
So we make a home, build friendships, find opportunity,
Then open our hearts and minds, and smile content.
Oh, how you grace.
Some ridicule. Some cherish,
Within your city of familiar face.








Friday, April 27, 2018

Did You Know? The History of Coffee

Pious Ethiopian monks centuries ago,
Did you know
The berries you ate, after which you stayed awake 
With vigor and spark
Would pour into my cup, so rich and dark?

Devout Arabians, the potent alcoholic drink your foe,  
Did you know
The beans you roasted, ground, and boiled
And called Kahweh 
Would heat a ceramic cup, bring warmth to me?

Eager Venetian trader, traveling a northern road,
Did you know
The magic drink you introduced to Europe’s 
Rebirthed minds, old and young
Would touch my lips, please my tongue?

Clever Dutch adventurer, whose soul stooped low,
Did you know
The tree you stole, the plantation that started
On a Pacific shore, away from frost
Would open my eyes, awaken my thoughts?

Greedy French naval officer, a fruitful crop to sow,
Did you know
The tree you took to the Caribbean, closer to the dimly lit shop
Warm and comfortable, where I spend my day,
Would stir up memories, help me know what to say?

Crafty military aide, to Brazil you did go,
Did you know
The branch you snuck, the industry that grew
Around the world, the powerful aroma for my readers to smell,
Would seize their senses, strengthen the stories I tell?




Friday, March 30, 2018

ROY G. BIVing Living



Several years ago, when I reentered the retail world, I had to relearn an elementary school science lesson: ROY G. BIV, the acronym for the colors that make up the rainbow - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. It sounded simple enough, but what about the other colors?  I learned that Pink is light red, peach is light orange, teal comes before blue, black goes after violet, and grey is light black.  Why was this important in retail?  Like an elementary school classroom, our store took science seriously and arranged apparel in an orderly ROY G. BIV fashion, perfectly lined up against the wall or at a wooden table. 

Arranging solid shirts according to ROY G. BIV was easy enough, but I soon learned that prints didn't have to follow ROY G. BIV as strictly as the solids. Perhaps they were the teacher’s pets.  A red, orange and yellow multicolored shirt could sit wherever he pleased as long as he didn't sit next to another print. ROY had an important color story to tell, and a print sitting next to a print was a visual interruption.  And if the pampered print shirts weren't annoying enough, I learned that G. BIV considered himself to be a cool color and didn't want to hang out with warm ROY.

I spent nine years watching apparel tell their color stories: the little black dress revealing her sophistication, elegance, and style, and the white dress indicating her purity or simplicity.
I haven’t forgotten ROY G. BIV. It reminds me that we, too, have a story to tell. We can do a little ROY G BIVing, too.

Symbolizing excitement, energy, and speed, a red sweater might be a wise choice when we drag in on Monday, but it also symbolizes aggression; in fact, some car insurance companies charge more for red cars.  December in retail was a nightmare.  Sometimes I wondered what would happen if we changed our store’s d├ęcor to pink (caring) and beige (pleasantness)? Or what would happen if I change my busyness to caring?

Orange demands attention and symbolizes enthusiasm.  When Clinique promoted their fragrance, Happy, we enthusiastically participated by sporting our different shades of orange.  At work or play, enthusiasm is a worthwhile addition.


Yellow, which happens to be my favorite color, symbolizes imagination, friendship, summertime, and hope.  After the cold winter, spring is a season of anticipation. We run to our windows praising the warm sunny days, knowing vacations and gatherings with family and friends draw closer. 

Green is not only associated with envy but also luck.  What color is our money? What a coincidence. 

Blue, another favorite of mine, has been known to have a calming effect and lower blood pressure.  If a cold, dreary week is followed by a blue sky, let it remind you of God’s calming hand and of his faithfulness.

Purple, or violet, is a popular color for Easter because it symbolizes royalty. It’s also believed to relieve migraines.  I once considered sending a note to corporate: paint the shoe department purple during the Easter season.  Purple is also a mysterious color.  Wow, what if the fresh coat of paint brought back all the missing "other" shoes?

Easter. There isn't a better season to talk about a color story.  Retail stores want their products to be as appealing as a basket of dyed eggs.  The Greek word baptizo was often used to describe the procedure in which a piece of cloth was dipped into dye, resulting in an entirely new color.  

I've never dyed cloth but have baptized many Easter eggs with my kids.  We never ROY G. BIVed them, though. The eggs that always stood out to me were the purple or green.  Green is not only luck and envy but also renewal.  Purple is not only royalty and mystery but also transformation.  We have a chance to renew and transform our living with strength, balance, joy, generosity, truth, sincerity, and wisdom.  Easter is a time to find new life, to be baptized by a Savior who transforms our living.  
Happy Easter,
Katy






      



Monday, December 18, 2017

There is Hope




An event in 1974 led to a major decision twenty-one years later. It wasn't Watergate or the disbanding of the Beatles.  It was a television event, and I fell in love with a name, Hope. 



I grew up in a world where teenagers watched soap operas, so a few hours before The Brady Bunch, I watched Days of Our Lives.  Here's a little Days, that's what we called the show, history.


Addie Horton discovered that she was pregnant but also ill with Leukemia. Instead of harming the baby with treatments, she let the cancer take its course.  Addie and Doug named their first and only child Hope. Soon afterwards, as Addie was walking with Hope, a car spun out towards them, and Addie (realizing she wouldn't live long) pushed Hope's stroller to safety and let the car hit her instead, killing her instantly.



This was an emotional event for a Days loving adolescent girl, and I remember thinking, "what a beautiful name, so positive," and because I dreamed of prince charming, a house, and perfect children, Hope was placed in the back of my head for a future baby name.



Each time I read a verse with the word hope, especially Hebrews 11:1  "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see," I feel in love with the name again, for I was a daydreamer with many hopes.



My Grandmother King, a gracious, sociable lady, suffered with an immune deficiency for many years.  Seeing her ill so often, I once said to her, "I know you're tired of always being sick."  She replied, "Honey, where there is life, there is hope."  I remembered those words when I was pregnant, and although I often heard, "That's an old name, isn't it?" and "There are so many popular names to choose from, what about....,” I didn't waver. On December 18, 1995, one week before Christmas, baby Susannah Hope was born.




Hope cried night and day for two months and went through the terrible twos at the age of one, but other than that, she was, and still is, a delight. Teachers described her as “the sweetest.” Friends and family describe her as sweet, funny, beautiful, and caring.  



Hope wasn't the most popular name for a baby then nor is it now, but I look at her with a mother's heart and believe she genuinely lives up to her name.  Even though Hope shares my love of sarcasm, she lights up every room she enters. 

The name stayed with me because it was positive, and so is my daughter. She offers so much to her world: patience, kindness, laughter, and compassion. I cannot imagine a world without my Hope.  As a sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, and cousin, Hope brings life to our gatherings.  She shows us the Holy Spirit.  


"And his name will be the hope of all the world." Matthew 12:21



I also cannot imagine life without the hope of all the world, Jesus.  

  

....what we hope for.  Of course, I hope for material and selfish things. I hope for good health for myself, my family, and my friends.  I hope for the best in life even though I often don't know what that looks like, which is where faith enters the picture.  I hope for peace and salvation for family, friends, and people I meet.



There are many reasons to feel hopeless: poor health, poverty, relationship problems, depression, loss, and uncertainties. But there is hope.



In Taylor Caldwell's short story, "My Christmas Miracle," packages from a stranger arrive unexpectedly on Christmas Eve to a single mother with a hungry daughter and no job.  And she writes, "and a sweet peace flooded me like a benediction. I had some hope again."  Even in the darkest times, there is hope.




It's the season to offer hope to all the world through Angel Trees with names of strangers, gifts to co-workers and neighbors in need, encouragement to friends with life-changing uncertainties, visits to families who feel forgotten.  With every dollar given, present unwrapped, meal cooked, hospital corridor walked, or encouragement offered, we give a promise.  There is hope. 

 
Happy 22nd Birthday to my Hope, who has makes our world more positive, our home more joyful, and our hearts more grateful.



We Love You,



Dad, Mom, Luke, and James






I hope each of you experience Christ, the Hope of the World,



Katy






Anderson Area Charity in Need: New Foundations Children and Youth Services in Anderson, South Carolina. http://newfoundationschildren.com/



A story of hope and good Christmas read, written by a dear friend and author, Laura Hodges Poole: "A Christmas Chance." https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23487371-a-christmas-chance





Two short stories about the hope we can bring to others during this season:



My Christmas Miracle by Taylor Caldwell



A Gift of the Heart by Norman Vincent Peale







During my "research," on Wikipedia, I found an interesting fact about the actress who played Addie Horton on Days of Our Lives. Patricia Barry played Addie from April 19, 1971 to June 28, 1974. Barry reprised her role as Addie for one episode on December 18, 1974.