Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What If I could?

What if I could?

What if I could do some of the things I use to do? I see the TV ad for climbing a rock wall. I use to climb rocks all over the state park. Later my boyfriend was hired to put footprints in the rocks to help people climb easier. Rock climbing lost something.

I never learned to skate backwards or do a cartwheel. I can live without them and lots of other things. Instead of thinking about what I can’t do, I want to think about what I can do.

What do I want now? Maybe a little more joy in my life. Just a slight change in attitude can bring me that. If I felt more uplifted it could do the trick.

Do more of the things that bring you joy; whether it is sitting on the porch drinking coffee or taking an art class. Add more color to brighten the day, a bright yellow glass for juice, a bright red square to hold pens on your desk and an orange coffee mug. Don’t forget smells like fresh baked bread. When it rains, my umbrella has a happy face. James 1:2

May God send you showers of joy,

Dorris Jean

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Learn Somethng New

Out on the beach I spotted a ‘Dude,’ that’s what it said on his T-shirt, standing with a
skim board just waiting. A skim board is about half the size of a surf board and is used to skim
across the waves as they hit the shore much like an elongated boogie board. The weather was
nice and the waves rolled in gently. That seemed to be the problem. With no wind or tide rushing
in the waves did not offer an opportunity to jump on the skim board and dash across the waves.
Was he enjoying the moment or upset that the one day he had picked to come to the beach turned
out to be a bust?
I used it as a moment to do some research and approached a young man in a wet suit who
was leaned against the railing watching the gentle waves roll up to shore. He seemed to be in no
hurry and with a smile on his face he answered my few questions. Do I fret and complain when
things don’t work out like I planned? Could I use the time to my advantage and enjoy the
moment if all I got out of it was the scenery and the warm sun on my back, I still considered that
my day had not been wasted when a lot of people were dealing with snow storms that pelted
areas with ice.
Life can’t be too bad if you can find enjoyment where you are. Open your eyes and see
the things around you that can lend themselves to uplift you or be an example of a character in                
a story. Better yet, stretch yourself and learn to do something new and exciting like skimming.
May God bless you,    Doris Jean

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

J P Remembers Thankgiving

                                                Remembering Thanksgiving

What I remember most about Thanksgiving is the drive. I remember my mom getting up early to pack to the car and make egg sandwiches. I remember leaving our house in the pale, cold morning light with air cold enough I could see my breath. I remember the chill of the vinyl bench seat of our station wagon and how difficult it was to get comfortable in that old car. I remember first fighting with my brother for the privilege of sitting in the front seat, then, as we got older, fighting with him for complete control of the backseat.

From our home in Leesville to my grandparents’ house in Arkansas, we were in for a least an eight-hour haul, and that’s if we didn’t stop to visit my father or his siblings along the way. The drive included a mandatory bathroom stop at the McDonald’s in Mansfield, a stop for gas in Hope, Arkansas, and a couple of other pee breaks along the way. We always filled up with gas before getting off the interstate onto the rural highway to Memaw and Poppy’s house. I remember wishing we could stop in and see Mr. Cryer at his little convenience store/gas station in Springfield as we passed through, but it was always too late at night for that. But I knew I could always con my grandfather into taking me down there to say hi and that Mr. Cryer (or “Chicken” as everyone called him) would always remember me. What I remember most of the drive is how long it used to take us to get to our destination and how the return trip seemed to go so much faster.

I don’t have any memories of a Norman Rockwell family gathering at Thanksgiving.                    Often, it was a small gathering with little pomp and no circumstance. My grandmother didn’t cook very well, and my aunt and uncles were always off doing something else in another state or country. At the time I never understood why they didn’t come home more often, but as I’ve grown and had opportunity to see my family through adult eyes, I now understand. There was a sadness in the homecoming. My grandmother began to wither away slowly with each successive stroke so that it became hard to want to make the trip just to witness her deterioration. Then finally, she was no longer there to bake biscuits and make chocolate gravy on the cold November mornings. That’s when the thankfulness in my family seemed to die.

            For years, I lamented the solemnity of my family’s Thanksgivings. When I got to college, I just avoided it altogether and refused to come home. In fact I just began avoiding my family. It was hard to go home when all the old hurts and haunts were still there. I couldn’t pretend things were like they used to be. It wasn’t the same. Others in my family felt it, too. No one wanted to drive in to spend a couple of days of wallowing in depression.

Then a funny thing happened when I was living on my own in San Antonio a few years ago. I figured out I couldn’t bring the dead back. I thought about it and concluded it didn’t really matter whether or not I had a big, shiny turkey I baked in the middle of a table surrounded by twenty guests. I also finally decided my ever-shrinking family would never be in the same place at the same time. So with only my mother and step-father willing or able to travel to celebrate with me, I made reservations for three at the Westin La Cantera Hotel and Resort on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. We feasted like kings on baked and fried turkey, prime rib, glazed ham, 30 different types of dressings and other side dishes, and an entire banquet table full of pumpkin, cherry, and other kinds of pie. I remember there were even pilgrims and Indians walking around. Everyone wore their smiles along with their “Sunday best.” I remember all of us chatting with the strangers around us then walking outside to the veranda to take in the view.

But I remember the drive home most of all. I remember counting my blessings and thanking God for the family I had left. I remember thanking Him for the cold after such a hot south Texas summer. I remember giving thanks for what I had and not grieving over what I did not. But mostly, I remember how much longer the trip to the hotel took than the trip home.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Unfinished Projects

Unfinished Projects

My grandmother made a shirt for my cousin who was in fourth grade. The shirt had
the buttons sewn on and the button holes made. This was back when women actually
sewed at home and did things by hand. The one thing missing was the collar, which
was together complete with lining but had not been attached to the shirt.         
My cousin was a bit older than
When my younger brother was in fourth grade, Grannie gave the shirt to my mother
still minus the collar. As my son approached fourth grade, Mom passed the             
shirt to me. I sewed on the collar and my son wore the shirt.                                                     
In the space of 25 years or more, the unfinished shirt had been passed down three
times before it was finished. It got me to thinking about all the projects I start and do
not see to fruition.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017



            When I enter a new state, I stop at the welcome center.

Sometimes I am greeted by offers of coffee or fruit juice

but always with helpful information.

            At a new town, I stop by tourist information.

A lot of the places are located in what was once the rail depot.

All share the nuances of their particular local.

I have found the best meat pies in the South only to discover

a similar claim in the north.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Been going through the closet, drawers, shelves and getting rid of things I no longer use, need can wear or have worn out. I didn’t realize it would be such a task. Why can’t I let go of an old T-shirt that has holes in it? Is the sentiment attached to it holding me back? Am I afraid if I let go of the memory, it will never surface again? Knick Knacks clutter the shelves; each one has a memory attached. I hate to dust the shelf. I have to take things down, dust wipe them off and put them back. When it has lost its joy, it is time to let go.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Homeless conjures up images of what?

Most would think someone smelly, living on the street, digging through

trash cans.

Think again; look at it backwards less a home.

Home is where you lay your head at night but what if

you don’t have that luxury. Homeless happens for a variety of reasons:

mental illness, alcoholism, job loss, etc.

I have heard stories but I have my own.

               My first memory of being homeless was spending two weeks in a

car parked under a shade tree. It was summer in the South. Dad

had a job but places to rent were few and those available would not rent

to families with kids. There was a park and big oak trees. A station at the

edge of the park allowed us to use the restroom where we could wash up each day.

Dad walked to work for two weeks. At the end of that time, Dad moved us

to his mother’s for a week until he could find us a place of our own.

                Another time, my husband left me. I slept on my mother’s couch; I had no

Job. Are you technically homeless? The next time I had no home,                                                                      

I stayed a while with my brother. No place to call your own is hard but having                                                     

Someone to help makes it bearable.

                I balked or more like I froze trying to explain what it feels like.    

As a child, you accept things as they come. Everything is new and exciting.

We played in the park all day, slept in the car at night but we were together.

                As an adult, it is different. You go to bed when the last person does and get

up with the first one. There is no privacy. I long for a good night’s sleep.

I keep my clothes in the car at the ready. I had responsibility. I had two young children.

I asked for help to find a job. I was told that since I had a college degree and

could teach school, there was no help. OK granted but remember this was June

and not a time for employment. I made it but I had a bad taste in my mouth.

I had help from my family. What do those who have no family to help do?

                Don’t judge to harshly until you know the facts. What is the saying,                                          

”There but for the grace of God go I.”