They Gave So Much For Me To Vote–I Have An Obligation To Let My Light Shine

Women were not always able to vote, and even when they were given the right to vote it was only for white women.  Native American women were the next group of women given the right to vote.  Some 32 years after women were given the right to vote Asian women were allowed to cast their ballot.  It took 44 years for African American women to be given the opportunity to do the same.

As an African American woman of a certain age, I owe all of these women for giving me the right to vote.  There are many men who I also must remember, but on this day I remember Fannie Lou Hamer who was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.  She made it possible for my grandmothers, mother, and aunts to have the opportunity to cast their ballot, and they did.  I owe it to all of the women who fought, lost homes, husbands, children and even their lives for me to cast my ballot every time there is an election.

Take a moment to listen to Fannie Lou Hamer as she speaks before the Democratic National Convention in 1964.  The full written transcript is below. I owe so much to Mrs. Hamer and her peers.  She was put out of her home and beaten all for trying to register to vote. Through all of this, she continued to always sing her favorite song “This Little Light of Mine”. The debt can never be repayed.

Mr. Chairman, and to the Credentials Committee, my name is Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, and I live at 626 East Lafayette Street, Ruleville, Mississippi, Sunflower County, the home of Senator James O. Eastland, and Senator Stennis.

It was the 31st of August in 1962 that eighteen of us traveled twenty-six miles to the county courthouse in Indianola to try to register to become first-class citizens. We was met in Indianola by policemen, Highway Patrolmen, and they only allowed two of us in to take the literacy test at the time. After we had taken this test and started back to Ruleville, we was held up by the City Police and the State Highway Patrolmen and carried back to Indianola where the bus driver was charged that day with driving a bus the wrong color.

After we paid the fine among us, we continued on to Ruleville, and Reverend Jeff Sunny carried me four miles in the rural area where I had worked as a timekeeper and sharecropper for eighteen years. I was met there by my children, who told me the plantation owner was angry because I had gone down — tried to register.

After they told me, my husband came, and said the plantation owner was raising Cain because I had tried to register. And before he quit talking the plantation owner came and said, “Fannie Lou, do you know — did Pap tell you what I said?”

And I said, “Yes, sir.”

He said, “Well I mean that.”

Said, “If you don’t go down and withdraw your registration, you will have to leave.”

Said, “Then if you go down and withdraw.”

Said, “You still might have to go because we’re not ready for that in Mississippi.”

And I addressed him and told him and said, “I didn’t try to register for you. I tried to register for myself.”

I had to leave that same night.

On the 10th of September 1962, sixteen bullets was fired into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tucker for me. That same night two girls were shot in Ruleville, Mississippi. Also, Mr. Joe McDonald’s house was shot in.

And June the 9th, 1963, I had attended a voter registration workshop; was returning back to Mississippi. Ten of us was traveling by the Continental Trailway bus. When we got to Winona, Mississippi, which is Montgomery County, four of the people got off to use the washroom, and two of the people — to use the restaurant — two of the people wanted to use the washroom.

The four people that had gone in to use the restaurant was ordered out. During this time I was on the bus. But when I looked through the window and saw they had rushed out I got off of the bus to see what had happened. And one of the ladies said, “It was a State Highway Patrolman and a Chief of Police ordered us out.”

I got back on the bus and one of the persons had used the washroom got back on the bus, too.

As soon as I was seated on the bus, I saw when they began to get the five people in a highway patrolman’s car. I stepped off of the bus to see what was happening and somebody screamed from the car that the five workers was in and said, “Get that one there.” And when I went to get in the car, when the man told me I was under arrest, he kicked me.

I was carried to the county jail and put in the booking room. They left some of the people in the booking room and began to place us in cells. I was placed in a cell with a young woman called Miss Ivesta Simpson. After I was placed in the cell I began to hear sounds of licks and screams. I could hear the sounds of licks and horrible screams. And I could hear somebody say, “Can you say, ‘yes, sir,’ nigger? Can you say ‘yes, sir’?”

And they would say other horrible names.

She would say, “Yes, I can say ‘yes, sir.'”

“So, well, say it.”

She said, “I don’t know you well enough.”

They beat her, I don’t know how long. And after a while she began to pray, and asked God to have mercy on those people.

And it wasn’t too long before three white men came to my cell. One of these men was a State Highway Patrolman and he asked me where I was from. And I told him Ruleville. He said, “We are going to check this.” And they left my cell and it wasn’t too long before they came back. He said, “You are from Ruleville all right,” and he used a curse word. And he said, “We’re going to make you wish you was dead.”

I was carried out of that cell into another cell where they had two Negro prisoners. The State Highway Patrolmen ordered the first Negro to take the blackjack. The first Negro prisoner ordered me, by orders from the State Highway Patrolman, for me to lay down on a bunk bed on my face. And I laid on my face, the first Negro began to beat me.

And I was beat by the first Negro until he was exhausted. I was holding my hands behind me at that time on my left side, because I suffered from polio when I was six years old.

After the first Negro had beat until he was exhausted, the State Highway Patrolman ordered the second Negro to take the blackjack.

The second Negro began to beat and I began to work my feet, and the State Highway Patrolman ordered the first Negro who had beat to sit on my feet — to keep me from working my feet. I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat me in my head and tell me to hush.

One white man — my dress had worked up high — he walked over and pulled my dress — I pulled my dress down and he pulled my dress back up.

I was in jail when Medgar Evers was murdered.

All of this is on account of we want to register, to become first-class citizens. And if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?

Thank you.

There are so many others to thank, to them I can say

I voted 1

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”  you have a privilege that many before you didn’t. Honor them by casting your ballot, and letting your light shine.

Why Sit When You Can Stand?

It is amusing that people try to dictate when people should revert to rocking in the good old rocking chair.  Don’t get me wrong, I love rocking chairs.  There is something about rocking in a chair that reminds me of the comfort of home.  But saying that I was recently asked by someone who I considered to be a good friend when I was gonna sit down.

I didn’t answer, but it was a question for thought.  She said that it seemed that I was always on the go, always doing something, and even when I was just at home, it seemed that I was busy even if I was doing basically nothing.

Then it hit me, this person was one who loved to talk about age.  You know the person that loves to tell you how old they are, and the things they can’t do anymore.  Why is it that we are constantly telling others and most importantly ourselves what we can’t do anymore?  Most children think they can do just about anything, it is only as we age that we embrace what we can’t do.  My grandson recently attempted a gymnastics routine as I call it where you slide down the slide, propel yourself up and catch the monkey bars.  He did catch the monkey bars, but as the broken arm will attest he let go.

Even with the broken arm, he has decided that he is not to young/old to attempt this feat.  He goes go school, tutoring, plays sports, participates in worship at church, has play dates, studies, and so much more.  He knows exactly what has to be done, and those that he and his parents consider to be of less importance.

I say all of this just to say when he gets tired, and believe it or not he does get tired–he sits down for a rest.  But guess what, when he regains his strength, he is on the go again.  I know, I know you will probably say that he is all of nine years of age. But it should be the same for any age.

For once I am taking Honey’s Baby’s lead  (that’s my name for him).  When I get tired, I’ll sit down and rest for a while then get up again. My mother always told me that one day I might not be able to do the things I want to do so go for it.  I am also taking her advice.  So when I can’t any more, I will have great memories to bore my grandchildren with.  They will see that Honey had a ball even when she sat down and rocked.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You will know when it is time to sit down and rest.

rocking chair 1

 

Walking The Walk

I am sure there are others, but Mrs. Doreetha Daniels at the age of 99 is one of my inspirations.  After taking decades off she decided to give college a try. This lady has had a successful career, successful marriage, raised a family and has great-grandchildren. Getting a degree was something that she always wanted to, but as it is with a lot of us life just got in the way.

Her story is one that many people have endured. Some of things that she endured are listed below.

  • Unable to meet state residency requirements
  • Got married
  • Raised a family
  • Death in the family
  • Illness
  • Too old
  • Transportation problems
  • Unable to use technology
  • And on and on…..

None of these things deterred Doreetha Daniels from doing what she sat out to do.  She received her Associate’s Degree just before her 100th birthday and has not decided what she will do next–maybe a Bachelor’s Degree.  Sounds kind of like the average college graduate.

Take a look at Doreetha.  Let her be an example for all of us. She is a woman of a certain age who sat a goal and accomplished it.

What’s stopping you from accomplishing your goal of a new career, starting a business, traveling, writing, becoming a chef or anything else?

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You can do it. Read more about Doreetha’s journey here.

 

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

As we grow up, things that happen to us can make us go hmmm and scratch our heads at these new symptoms. Some call it the aging process, others say it’s just Father Time catching up, and most of us just say it’s life.

There are ailments that pop up with symptoms that we have never had before.  What are some of these you might ask?  Well here are just a few.

  • The nerve in your tooth dies–seriously.  Warm liquids seem to make your tooth radiate, but not hurt.  This means that you need a root canal to stop this awful feeling.
  • You have sharp abdominal pain after eating.  You are now diagnosed as being lactose intolerant.  No more cheese, cream based entrees or ice cream.  In other words no milk based products for you.
  • Bloating from eating bread has started.  Not really all bread, but most.
  • Eye floaters start to bother you.  It’s kind of like you are swatting gnats.  They are harmless, but they are very annoying.
  • Heart palpitations which are scary.  Causes could be sugar, caffeine or alcohol.  You think to yourself which one do I have to give up?  I have become a decaf (yuck) coffee drinker, giving up most sugar except on birthdays and weddings (I love wedding cake).  There is no more chocolate for me since it is a double whammy with sugar and caffeine.  But there is a silver lining–wine is okay.

There are many other things that happen to us as we go through life, but I have a sorority sister who always finds the silver lining in things. The one silver lining I see from being lactose intolerant (and I hardly ever ate ice cream anyway), cutting out most sugar, most breads and caffeine is that I am able to control my weight and I can still have wine.

It’s my new normal, and it’s not so bad. We do what we have to do.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and cheers!

Does anyone know of a good decaf brand of coffee?

A Love Like No Other–Being Grandparents

Who would have thought that becoming a grandparent could be so enjoyable?  From the time that little bundle of joy is put in your arms you find yourself on cloud nine. The love you feel for this tiny person swells up more each time you see them.

Grandparenting has always been special to those that were fortunate enough to know and love their grandparents.  My paternal grandparents lived less than 15 minutes from our house, and my material grandparents lived about an hour away so grandparents were always present.

The ones that lived closer took us to piano lessons on Saturday, picked us up for Sunday School, and had homemade delicious snacks after school.  You know things like hamburgers, french fries, cake, pie–do I need to go on. Those were special times that even now bring a smile to my heart.  The love I had for my grandparents only came in second to my parents.

So when I heard that we would become grandparents 9 years ago I was excited.  I could just image combing the little girls hair, putting in pretty bows, buying cute little dresses, dolls and more.  Then they told us they were going to give us a grandson.  I told them to give him back because we didn’t do boys–just girls. We now do boys.

Who would know that Joseph Foster II better known as Joey to us, and JoJo to his parents and aunt would steal our hearts. I can remember when he was not even walking, and the Dallas Cowboys had an open practice at the stadium–my sister and I picked him up from the sitter and took him to the practice.  We were so excited telling his parents about our outing. Even to this day I know that he enjoyed looking at the big screen.

His aunt and I taught him how to fly a kite when he was about three. Somehow he seemed to always find the one power line, but it was fun.  We decided to make a cake and decorate for his moms birthday.  He used this mixer, decorated the cake and the table.

Even when he was younger and just starting to walk we took him home to Longview to visit our neighbors.  We stopped to have our favorite burger, and he threw so many fries on the floor that we asked the manager for the broom to clean up.  He got a way with things that his mom and aunt could never have done.

No I don’t see him every day, but when I see him, I try to always make it special for both of us. This summer I ask him to write me a letter each week telling me about his week. I love my updates.

Does he like seeing his grandparents all of the time–of course not, but hopefully the memories that we make will mean just as much to him as they do to me.  He knows that his Paw Paw and Honey love him unconditionally.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You can love your grandchildren, give them love and send them home to be with their parents.  Grandparents need rest after visits. Enjoy your day.

HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!

Go to our facebook page and post a picture of your grandchildren. Share the joy and love!

It’s Never Too Late–Just Ask Me

It was a great evening being interviewed by Matt Blake and Casey Sanders of the show “Inspired to Greatness”. The discussion was about the subject It’s Never too Late.  As a woman of a certain age, it was an easy conversation for me to have.

Hope you will enjoy the conversation

 

To hear more conversations with Matt and Casey go to Inspired to Greatness.  Enjoy the conversations, and remember it’s never too late because “thisisyourbestyear”.

If It Works For You

Most people have read or heard all of the information on what makes a successful marriage. How to keep a husband/wife happy, the 5 or 10 or 15 steps to a happy marriage. How to fight fair. Men are from wherever and women are from some other place.

On August 4 I celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary. People asked if it felt like 40 years, did the time just fly by and other such nonsense. They also wanted to know how we made it work, was the relationship 50/50, how did having children change the dynamics of the marriage, who was the one with the last word?

There is no magic in having a successful, most of the time happy marriage. I love those people who say that every day it was almost perfect because they married their perfect mate. I personally don’t know who they married because I don’t know two perfect people.

First of all we were parented by different people. That plays a big part in the marriage. Whether we want to admit it or not, we learned from our parents–good or bad, and our parents learned from their parents and so on.

So I thought I would give you some of the myth busters that I have encountered.

  1. Never go to bed mad. Stop it! You still have to go to work because there are bills that must be paid. So go to sleep, sleep on the problem, and for the most part it may solve itself with a nights sleep. In all honesty sometimes when you sleep on something you see the other persons position.
  2. Hide some of “your” money, you never know when you might need it, and make sure you don’t let the spouse know. They know. Put it in an account with your name on it and move on.
  3. Always put your money in a joint account. You can if you want to. You know what has to be paid, and when it should be paid. Some people are not good with money. I have found that a lot of couples have separate accounts and everything works out for them.
  4. Marriage is 50/50–of what? I will leave this one alone.
  5. Marry your best friend. If I married my best friend then who am I going to have to vent my frustrations about him with? My best friend has known me since second grade.
  6. Happy couples never disagree. Who wants to be with someone who thinks exactly like they do?
  7. You should share the same interest and do everything together. We don’t even like the same movies. I’m a happy movie fan, and he’s a kill 15 people in the first five minutes fan. We compromise, well at least I compromise and go with him. He suggest that I go with my best friend to see my type of movies.
  8. You complete each other. If it takes another person to complete you, then you will never be complete. You are your own person. That’s what drew them to you in the first place.
  9. Never sleep in separate beds/bedrooms. My paternal grandparents never slept in the same room, and they were married over 60 years–they seemed very happy. They could see each other from their rooms.  I know some people who sleep in separate rooms because one snores and keeps the other one up. One suggestion is to purchase an adjustable bed–it helps if snoring is a concern.

What makes a successful marriage? I wish I knew. I can tell you that it is always a work in progress. The one thing that is a constant with us is that no matter what, prayers are said before we close our eyes and when we open them in the morning. We truly believe that prayer helps everything. He will never be a cat person, and dogs are growing on me.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. If it works for you…….

It Gets Easier With Age

Remember when you tried to please everyone? Remember how hard it was to say no to people especially those that you really cared about or a group you wanted to be a part of? Remember how you didn’t want to hurt their feelings when they asked a question they probably already knew the answer to?

Well guess what? As we age, it gets easier to say what is on your mind, but most importantly we now have permission to say no and not give a reason why. We can tell the reason for the no answer, but it is not a requirement, it is an option.

This goes for everyone in the family. I know what most of you are thinking–you’re thinking about the grandchildren and babysitting. Although sometimes you do have plans or you just don’t feel like it–it happens no matter how sweet and cute they are. You just want to put your feet up, watch a movie, take a nap in other words you don’t feel like it. So the answer is no.

It could be with your hubby or significant other when they say let’s go to dinner. Do they want to go to (name their favorite place), and you don’t want to eat there, just say no. When he asks where you want to go, give him suggestions that you like.

Since we are of a certain age, most of us learned to type. So at committee meetings especially if we are one of the few females in attendance they always  ask if we can take the notes for this meeting. We grudgingly do, and then we have to type them up, and now we have become the recording secretary. Next time they ask you, tell them no you can’t unless of course you like that position. I seem to remember guys in my typing class so why not let them take and type the minutes?

The first few times you say the word no to something you’ve always wanted to say no to will feel a little weird, and it will shock those that you say it to.

Sometimes the word yes can be used to your benefit. How many of us have had this question--“do you mind if I switch the channel”, and we say no. Next time say yes if you are watching something that you like.

When we finally figure out that it’s okay to say no I don’t, or yes I do mind because that’s how we feel then we must do one other thing. We must stop apologizing. It’s just how we feel, no I don’t want to do something and/or yes I do mind.

Think of yourself as a toddler. When you ask them a question, and they say no there is no explanation, no apology just on to the next question. Don’t feel bad, you will again keep the grandchildren, eat at his favorite place and probably take notes at a committee meeting, but you now know that you can stop trying to please everyone.

Start pleasing yourself and learning the art of saying “no” and “yes I do mind”–remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

You’re Invited To A Party

Here at “thisisyourbestyear” we pride ourselves on keeping our readers informed.  We know that you want to know about the important things and dates, the things that matter to you, your family, the world as a whole.  Each time we write an article we have your well-being in mind.  This important time slipped up on us, but we remembered just in time.  A celebration is in the works and you are invited.

All of us are about to do the happy dance.  On July 11, 2018 we are all invited to celebrate a birthday.  No gifts will be expected, all that is required is your attendance.  Yes, 7 Eleven is celebrating its birthday by giving away free “small” slurpees.  I wait all year for this event.  It’s the only time I have a slurpee.  My only dilemma is trying to decide what flavor I want this year.

7 Eleven is giving away more things, but I only want the slurpee.  Here is a list of the other items and dates of the giveaways To get the other free items, you must sign up for their rewards app.

  • July 12: Free 7-Select Pure water with purchase of a Bodyarmor sports drink
  • July 13: Free Big Gulp fountain drink with purchase of a share-size Snickers candy bar
  • July 14: Free 7-Select popcorn with purchase of a 20-ounce Smartwater
  • July 15: Free single-size Reese’s candy with purchase of a share-size bag of 7-Select Gummies
  • July 16: Free 20-ounce Coca-Cola with purchase of any flavor Cheez-It baked snack crackers
  • July 17: Free single-serve bag of 7-Select chips with purchase of any fresh sandwich
  • July 18: Free single-serve 7-Select tortilla chips with purchase of any 7-Select nuts

The weird thing is that I only want one, it’s kind of like me and the corny dog thing.  One is just enough until next year.

Enjoy the birthday party and your free slurpee. Let us know what flavor you get.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I have finally decided to stop worrying about most things.  You know I will continue to worry about my children and family.  That’s a no brainer, but everything else, I will not worry about and that includes my job.

I will let go, and let God.  I will do as the song says, “Don’t worry be happy”. I will do what needs to be done, and let it go at that. I will be like the millennials, and the whatever else the younger generation is called.  I will stop worrying.

It started a couple of years ago–I can remember it well.  Up until that time I would be a nervous wreck when something went wrong in my house.  I would talk out loud wondering how did this happen, why poor me, every time I got a nickel I had to spend a dime.  You get the picture.

Well about 7 years ago our youngest fresh out of the Coast Guard was on her way to work when she informed me there was water in the kitchen on the floor. I immediately thought my loving husband had spilled a little something.  Before I made it into the kitchen I walked in a river of water that had engulfed part of the den and office.  The river was running wild in the sunroom, dining room, kitchen and laundry area–probably in the garage (but I didn’t care about the garage).  I finally woke my husband out of a deep sleep, started to push water out, called the insurance company and waited on those that could help us dry out. Our house had taken on flood water, but being the worrier that I was, yes I had taken out flood insurance a couple of years before. While my husband continued to push out water, I got dressed and went to work.  Now back in my younger days I would have had a crying, pity party, but I had matured–nature had run its course, and I had tried to be prepared for it. I did worry that the insurance would not pay off, but it did.

When they started to repair our house they told us we had a leaking pipe behind the washer because the paint would not dry.  So me being the worrier had purchased a home warranty plan from a well-known company that I will not name (horrible company).  Inbox me and I will give you their name.  They sent plumbers who came out 3 times, and each time they informed me they had fixed the problem–paint still wouldn’t dry. So I decided to call a plumber I had used before the home warranty plan.  The man came out looked at the wall, then at my newly laid kitchen floor and informed me I had a slab leak, and he would be back the next morning to let me know where it was located.  Yes, it was under my newly laid floor, but again the contractor and I had planned, we had purchased more flooring than we needed.  As the plumber jackhammered my floor on a Saturday which meant that we would have this gigantic hole in the floor over the weekend–I didn’t worry. If you came to my house doing that time, you would just have to walk around the hole in the floor.

Big White my 2003 Dodge Durango and I had a loving relationship.  She had not been much trouble, a little bit here and there, but for the most part she ran good.  Then one day in 2016 all kind of lights came on in her and would not go away.  The mechanic informed me of the problem, and the cost–I cried when I had to let her go, but it was time.  So instead of worrying about what kind of car I was gonna get, I just knew it had to fit in my garage.  I didn’t worry about should I or shouldn’t I–it was time. I didn’t worry about it.  Car note here I come.

Both my girls have left their jobs because they were not happy, and all I could think of was you have a car note, house note and other bills.  They replied, don’t worry–be happy.  Well they didn’t really say that, but that was their attitude.  I was running around getting all worked up, and they were out having a good time.  Yes, they were seeking employment, and yes they found what they were looking for. So why was I worrying?  Because I am a woman of a certain age, but their father is a man of a certain age, and he doesn’t worry.  Go figure.

And now my refrigerator all of 7 years old is on the blink. I can remember the one my grandmother had.  I don’t ever remember it getting repaired, and I don’t remember her buying a new one. I could worry about the food that will spoil in the hot refrigerator and freezer, but I will do the best I can to save what I can. Then I will fill out the lost food form and hope for the best.

I say all of this to say I don’t have high blood pressure, and I will not get high blood pressure behind things that I cannot control. My husband gets upset at sporting events, I theorize that no one wants to lose, but somebody will. He theorizes that they can’t play, bad coaching, etc.

I will not worry, I will be happy–I will fix, replace or resolve what I can, and let go of the rest because some things are just out of my control.  It’s call life.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Don’t worry, be happy.