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Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved trucks, and he loved animals too. So one day his mama found a book called The Happy Dump Truck Man.  The man owned a truck and stopped to let some of his animal friends ride.

The little boy loved the book so much that his mama read it to him ‘most every day. She read it so much that she read it to pieces, and they had to buy another copy.

The little boy grew up and had little girls of his own. His mama still loved him very much, and now she had his sweet girls to love too.  One day while his mama was looking through some boxes, she found the copy of the book, so she took it to his house so he could see. Now he can read it to his little girls, who also love animals!


As I’ve said before, books are a treasure- make sure you invest in your kids’ and grandkids’ lives by finding great books to share and build memories around…

What books are you sharing?

Author: Beth R - Categories: books and movies,family and friends,nostalgia

Hurricane Lilies



Some of my favorite memories involved spider lilies, as I called them as a child. A few years ago I found out they’re also called hurricane lilies, because they bloom in hurricane season. Another name is naked ladies- imagine a lady in olden days, standing in her petticoats, waiting to put on her dress and you can see where they get that name.

My mother’s mom had rows of spider lilies beside the little walk from her house to driveway. Then as a young mother, the yard of our house was filled with them every fall. I have a picture of my older son as a toddler standing among them.

Several years ago, I have a row of them to come up in my yard, out of the blue! I have no idea where they came from, but I moved them into flower beds. For a couple of years after that, a few more would show up in that original spot and I’d move them too.  Then I had a friend give me some from his yard, and they continue multiplying. Sometimes some will just pop up in the grass, and of course they get moved too. Randy counted what he could the other day and was over 200 when he quit, and that was just in two spots.

I like to think that somehow, seeds from those in my grandmother’s yard have made their way to me; and I’m doing my part by sharing mine with other people.

Such simplicity, and still so beautiful!

I’m off to dig up some that have come up behind the fence and under the fig tree so they can live on in someone else’s yards….




One of my favorite places, out around the loop. It always makes me think of a song by John Denver, called Cool and Green and Shady. Here are the lyrics:

Saturday’s, holidays, easy afternoon
Lazy days, summer days, nothing much to do
Rainy days are better days, for hanging out inside
Rainy days and city ways make me want to hide
Someplace cool and green and shady.

Find yourself a piece of grassy ground
Lay down, close your eyes
Find yourself and maybe lose yourself
While your free spirit flies
(musical interlude)

August skies, lullabys, promises to keep
Dandelions and twisting vines, Clover at your feet
memories of Aspen leaves, trembling on the wind
Honeybees and fantasies
Where to start again
Someplace cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady

Words and music by John Denver and Joe Henry

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,nostalgia

My friend Chessie has a great post on train clubs, trains and motorcycles; it reminds me of how much I love trains (and of course motorcycles) as well.
How many of you remember hearing the train whistle when the train came through town? We always wanted to be in a spot to see it when it came by. It was even better when it crossed the street to the school- you had an automatic excuse for being late!
My dad and brothers had a train set when we were young; as much as I enjoyed watching them play with it, I never got to run it as much as I’d like-after all, I was a girl!
One of my favorite places to visit is Chattanooga – besides Rock City and Ruby Falls, they’ve got a great train museum downtown, complete with a miniature version of Chattanooga and the trains that run through her. You can also have lunch in a train car, or buy gifts in the gift shop.
And that brings me back around to motorcycles- as much as I loved trains as a girl, I loved motorcycles more. My older cousins always had bikes, and if I begged my mom enough, I could ride behind them.
I love to see kids’ faces when I’m riding my bike. They almost always want to wave and smile (unless they’re afraid of the noise) and of course, I wave back. The parents aren’t always so friendly, but the kids are! One little boy in a Wal-Mart parking lot just kept yelling “hey motorcycle!” as I rode past.
Last year, when several of us were on a ride together, we stopped at a small gas station for a break before heading home. There were about ten of us, all in one corner, standing by our bikes, drinking water. A very small boy, about 3 or so, and his Nana, came out of the store, and started walking across the parking lot towards their van. All the way across, he kept yelling “Wild Hogs, Nana, Wild Hogs!” I walked over to them and asked if he’d like to come see our bikes a little closer, and he did. He wouldn’t get too close (guess there were too many of us) but he did seem to enjoy looking at them.
I wonder what it is about our chemical makeup that makes us so drawn to bikes and trains? Do you think that maybe, even at that young age, we recognize that those things are outside “normal” for most folks? Or is it the sense of wonder and adventure we all have as children – when we see things that are different, we’re drawn to it.
As we become teenagers and adults, most of us fight to fit in- we want to be just like everyone else, so folks don’t think we’re weird.
But for those few of us who want to be different… ah, the freedom to be who we want to be, no matter what anyone else thinks. Ride on!

Author: Beth R - Categories: bikes and bikers,family and friends,nostalgia

I got up with some riding buddies of mine and we headed out over to the Pioneer Museum in Troy, Alabama. They were having their second annual “Butter Churnin, Syrup Soppin’ Saturday” today and I knew we’d have fun.
They were finishing up the butter churning when we got there so we sat and listened to some old-fashioned music and checked out the displays in the main building. We saw some awesome quilts including one which was older than the US– it’s been certified to have been quilted the country was formed. The pattern is a “Princess Feather” if I understood the lady at the museum.
We finally made it back down to the cabins where the food was being served- delicious homemade biscuits (by ladies in bonnets and aprons!), hand-churned butter, Carson Anne syrup, and smoked sausage – mmm, delicious!
Afterwards, we visited the other cabins and stores, including a military memorabilia place.
When we finally got ready to come home, it was a beautiful ride- enough wind to stay cool and sun and clouds made a beautiful picture to watch coming home.
And then…when I got home, the excitement really started. You see, I’d forgotten to take my house keys with me.
I tried the back storm door- it was hooked. I knew the front door was locked, but I knew if I could get on my backporch I had a way in the house (secret key and all that). But I couldn’t get the door open. I decided to try to yank the door open using a large pair of pliers; I got very enthusiastic about it, but never got the back door opened.
Of course, Cookie’s in the house barking- he heard the bike drive up and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t come on in.
I finally pried the screen off a window and climbed in using a ladder – Cookie barking all the time. Of course he never did anything brave like run up and lick me in the face, but he did bark from under the table.
I finally got in, and laid on the sofa to cool off a bit; then I went back out to put the screen back on and get the rest of my gear inside.
Nice to know my house is fairly secure and that my dog will at least bark when someone tries to get in.
I’m headed out in a bit to get another key made.

Author: Beth R - Categories: bikes and bikers,nostalgia

Home for a Bunny


When my older daughter was a little girl, she had several books that she really loved. One of those books was Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. We had it in the Big Golden Book version, and we read it until the spine turned loose and the pages fell out.
I loved reading to her as much as she loved hearing it- after a while we had it memorized: “Down the road and down the road he went. He was going to find a home of his own. A home for a bunny, a home of his own…”
Now my own sweet little girl is a grown-up girl and has a sweet little boy of her very own. He loves books as much as his mommy did.
I’ve been looking for another copy of that book for several months now, but none of the bookstores carried the Golden Books anymore. I finally decided to go online and of course I immediately found it on the Books-a-Million site, along with another book my daughter had loved: The Golden Egg Book which features another bunny and a pretty egg.
I also found a book called Seven Little Postmen – a sweet little story originally written in the 1950s, about a little boy who sends a special letter to his granny.
I ordered copies of each book, including an extra copy of the Postmen book for my house. They came in today’s mail and I can hardly wait until I can take Reid and his Mommy their new books.

Author: Beth R - Categories: books and movies,family and friends,nostalgia

On Christmas Day we had supper at my folks’ house, with the rest of the family- it’s always so much fun to spend time with kids, especially on holidays. They’ve got so much to say, and I just love listening to them say it.
For example Reid, who just turned two, is crazy about anything John Deere – his dad is a farmer and drives a John Deere tractor, so he has every reason to think they’re great. When I asked him what he got for Christmas, he said, ‘a trike-cycle’. When I asked him if it was red, he just looked at me and said, “no, it was gween”. What better color for a trike-cycle?

Do you remember the Cosby show episode where Rudy asked Cliff what a bunch of letters spelled? he told her ‘zrbrt’ and then proceeded to give her a razzberry on her cheek. Ever since, I’ve given my grandkids and other beloved children ‘zrbrts’ on their cheek or neck; they’ve learned that if they hold their chin up, it gives me more room under there, and then watch out! the noise is great, and the look on their face is even better. Thank you, Bill Cosby, for helping me make good memories with these wonderful kids.

Why is it that we feel so much younger than we thought our parents were at the same age?

Of all the things I regret, one of the things I wish I could change would be to go back in time, and find out more about my grandparents’ lives. I remember vividly so many things about my mother’s mother, like watching her stand by the sink washing dishes, singing ‘hey, good lookin’ by Hank Williams. Or that she always loved to drink Dr. Pepper – I wish I could find a bottle that looks like the ones from my childhood.

Author: Beth R - Categories: family and friends,nostalgia

What I learned


I’ll hit the half-century mark in just a few days – boy, that sounds old! I don’t feel that old, but apparently I am, because my kids say so… they think some of my views on life are wacky and outdated, but I know why I feel that way.
Some of my favorite memories of childhood involve what’s now called classic TV. I grew up when ‘Leave it To Beaver’, ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘Dick Van Dyke’ and ‘Andy Griffith’ were seen on television. I look at the world today through eyes that grew up on those shows, and I learned the truths of life watching them.
Uncle Jed was always as meek as a lamb, but wise as a serpent. He saw the best in folks, always tried to help out the less fortunate, but he didn’t let folks take advantage of him, and he stood up for what was right. He didn’t let all that money change him from the good man he was.
Laura Petrey always met Rob at the door, glad to see him, and she was sexy in her capri pants.
Lucy’s hairbrained schemes rarely worked, but she always had good sense of humor when she messed up.
Ward wanted his boys to behave their best, and sometimes went too far in his expectations, but he also was man enough to admit when he’d messed up, and would ask their forgiveness when he did.
Pa Cartwirght expected his sons to work hard and play fair. He used the power his money and land brought him to help those around him, and make the whole community a better place.

My kids and I watched a movie called “Pleasantville” when it first came on television, and their response to the black and white section was ‘that is so boring’… as a parent in today’s society, I think sometimes boring might be a good thing. School shootings, teen pregnancy, drugs, and a general sense from most folks that there’s no such thing as the sanctity of human life – those things might be exciting, but I don’t think that makes them very good.

Author: Beth R - Categories: faith and values,nostalgia