Happy Birthday to The Perkins Twins


Dearest Readers:

As I strive to push some energy into my body on the first day of packing to move, I must acknowledge The Perkins Twins. Yesterday was the 105th birthday of Walter W. and Lewis Eugene Perkins, aka “The Perkins Twins.” I thought of their birthday all day, never finding a free moment to share with my readers. Now, as I await the moving truck, I want to wish my beloved father and his identical twin brother a belated birthday in Heaven.

I lost my father on July 6, 1999. Twenty years ago. He lost his identical twin brother at the young age of 26. I wasn’t born then. Not even a thought or wish of my father, at the time of Uncle Lewis’s death.

While I do not wish to focus on the dreadful family life our family lived when my mother and father were married, I do want to contemplate The Perkins Twins on their birthday.

My father taught me not to focus on the negative hatred our family lived in. He always said, and I quote: “Don’t look back on life. Move forward. Be thankful for who you are, and what you achieve in life.”

Our family kept secrets inside the walls of the many houses we lived in. We had a history of moving about every three months. Never able to place roots anywhere. Today, our roots will change. We are moving to Ravenel, SC. A place with a pond and five acres. I’ll find peace. Quiet. I’ll see wildlife and nature. Stay tuned later after I’m able to move everything in and make it presentable for many pictures of our new home.

Yes, we’re leaving the only home where I was able to establish HOME, roots and life, after living within this home I am moving from today.

I’m apprehensive, but hopeful our new home will bring us much happiness. Today I step into a new adventure. Moving.

We will spend our first night in our new home on December 23, 2019. Merry Christmas everyone. Please remember the reason for the season. The birth of Christ. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Much Too Busy at Christmas


Dearest Readers:

Today is Tuesday, December 16, 2019. Christmas is only nine days away. For our home this year, there isn’t the traditional Christmas tree decorated. All I have is a Norfolk Island Pine my husband surprised me with about a week ago when I mentioned I missed our traditional Christmas tree.

This year, everything is different. Why don’t I have Christmas spirit you ask? I do. Always! I believe in the spirit of Christmas, not Christmas magic. I believe in miracles at Christmas, especially this year while praying God would help us to sell this home and find another. Happy to report, God, along with an amazing realtor, are the reasons we are moving on! The reason things are different this year at Christmas time is we are selling our home where we’ve lived for over 42 years and we are moving to a new home in Ravenel, SC.

Our Christmas gift to each other is a new home! A home built on five acres of land and a pond. I’ve always said I wanted to live on waterfront property. I definitely consider this pond waterfront. As we walked around the property last week we noticed the marsh lands too. So, I am excited.

Do I have reservations about moving from the only home I’ve ever built roots on? Of course I do. Our son was only six years old when we moved here. I watched him play T-ball and baseball in our neighborhood. We walked to school together. When I raked the yard, he and his neighborhood friends jumped into the pile, making leaf angels. Laughing so hard I decided kids playing in the stack of leaves was funnier than my challenge to rake and clean the lawn. I took photographs of the children while they played. Last week, I found some of those photographs while packing.

Memories. I have footprints, hand prints and memories here in this house. Just how many times have we remodeled? Let’s just say, I’ve lost count! At least three times for the kitchen. Now, it shines with granite counter tops and custom built cabinets from the ceiling to the floor. My husband designed the tile floor in a diamond shape. Yes, I’ll miss my kitchen; however, the new home has a nice kitchen I’m certain I will enjoy. The only caution I have is cooking on a gas stove.

Looking around the house now while typing, I see boxes. Small. Medium. Wardrobe. Boxes. BOXES. BOXES – EVERYWHERE.

i’ve given several black construction bags filled with clothing I either forgot I had or no longer wanted to several charities. I hope the women who get them will appreciate them. Some of them still have price tags on them.

Here it is Christmas, 2019 and I keep thinking about packing stuff. How much stuff? LOTS! I’ve discarded old finger nail polish I forgot I had. Magazines. Books. Women reading this can only imagine how much STUFF I’ve trashed and donated.

I suppose I should get another cup of coffee and get this day started. After all, like Santa Claus and his elves, I have too much to do. I must pack. Sort. Discard. Donate. Tis the season, only this season I’m donating home items, clothing, children’s toys I found tucked away in a closet, and much more.

This morning is a gray day. No wind blowing. Just quiet until now. In the distance, along the Charleston Harbor, I hear fog horns. Oh. How. I. Will. Miss. The. Relaxing hummmmmm-mm of fog horns. Then, I remember, I’ll be able to sit on a porch with a fresh pot of coffee while watching birds, deer and other wildlife. I’ll be able to fish in my pond. I confess, I’ll use a cane pole!

My precious dogs are sleeping while I look at things I still need to pack. Next year at Christmas we plan to get a tall tree since we have cathedral ceilings in the new home. While I don’t want to wish the years away, I’m looking forward to Christmas at our new home. Boxes will be everywhere this year. Furniture will probably be moved lots. While imagining all I will need to do to decorate the new home I feel a bit overwhelmed. Pinching myself I say This too shall pass!

I’m moving to a new home. A new journey. A new adventure. I’m so ready for the adventures of wildlife and serenity!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve


Dearest Readers:

Monday, December 24, 2018 — Christmas Eve. This year, after fighting another dreadful battle with bronchial asthma, I am able to give thanks for life, health and loved ones.

My wish for all of you is to keep Christ in Christmas. Never leave Christ out of Christmas when writing it. I’ve seen people writing Xmas. The only time I write this is to share with others how I keep Christ in Christmas. After all, if it wasn’t for the birth of Christ, we would not celebrate Christmas!

This year, I miss my dad terribly at Christmas. After Phil and I moved to Charleston, my father came to visit us every Christmas. We shared Christmas dinner and other festivities together.

During Christmas, 1997, my father was in the hospital, fighting for his life as esophageal cancer threatened to take him away. Our last Christmas together was the Christmas of 1998. I watched his body becoming so frail he needed a walker for strength. He detested that walker! Somehow I knew, this would be his last Christmas on earth. Now, he celebrates a joyous Christmas in heaven with his heavenly father, his parents, identical twin brother, sisters and another brother. Oh, how I miss him.

For reasons unknown, I have cried many times this Christmas season. Missing him, wishing I could reach out once more and hear his bellowing laughter. His Christmas prayer. His love. Christmas isn’t the same without him.

Tomorrow, I will celebrate Christmas dinner with my husband Phil and our Bratty Boys, our four-legged family members. We will dine on prime rib, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, croissant rolls and sour cream pound cake. Missing will be my Dad, Walter W. Perkins, along with our son and his family. Never do they visit at Christmas. It’s their choice, not ours. Also missing, our sweet, precious Little Mr. Hanks, the Tank. We lost him the day before Thanksgiving.

Merry Christmas, Everyone. Please keep CHRIST in Christmas. After all, He is the reason for the season – not Santa Claus!

Today I Met Mama Grinch…


Dearest Readers:

People are so interesting, especially during the holiday season. About 30 minutes ago, I was standing in the overcrowded line at Dollar Tree. I noticed a woman slowly pushing her cart into the line. She was an elderly woman with gray hair. Her face was wrinkled, reminding me of a crinkled road map. She had an angry smirk on her mouth. Maybe Santa Claus brought her a bunch of coal this year. She hugged the cart, probably for support. I could easily imagine this woman using this cart to keep her balance.  Of course, being the shy person that I am NOT, I spoke to her to let her know the end of the line was several people behind me.

She glared at me and spat: “I know where the end of the line is. You don’t have to tell me that.”

“Well excuse me, Ma’am. Happy New Year.”

When the second cashier opened a register, I kept my eyes on it. If that woman even attempted to break into the line to get service quicker, I was ready for her. Even with my boots on I knew I could move quicker than Mama Grinch. I was prepared to tell the cashier other people have been in the line longer than she. That woman is not the ‘next person in line.’

Was I wrong? NO. Was I rude? NO. I was prepared to speak up.

I was raised to respect my elders, but today – I think I’ve lost a little respect. My message to this slump shouldered, stout, grouchy Mama Grinch is simple: “Just because you are old doesn’t mean you need to be ugly!”

Think I’ll pray for Mama Grinch today, adding her to a growing list I pray for every night. Another little tidbit of advice taught to me by my maternal grandmother. As an elderly woman I never heard her be rude to anyone. As for Mama Grinch, maybe she needs to stand in a corner and change her rude, angry attitude.

Isn’t it sad to see so many elderly people so angry with themselves? Maybe Mama Grinch was all alone on Christmas Day.  So sad.

Yes, I’ll pray for all the angry elderly woman, hopeful she will find peace and happiness.

Happy New Year!

 

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Merry Christmas, 2017


Dearest Readers:

Today, December 24, 2017 is Christmas Eve. Today is also the anniversary of two of our dearest Friends, Joan and Jim Adams. May your anniversary be as special to them as they are to us.

If you are out and about in the middle of the insane Christmas rush, please DO NOT TAILGATE. I had too many careless drivers almost attached to the bumper of my car this week. So close, I could not see their headlights. Of course, if I had to stop suddenly all of you know what would happen. I simply do not understand drivers who love to drive that close.

Please, if you are driving, do not text and drive. Do not mess with your phone if you are driving. One never knows what can happen in the blink of an eye, or taking your eyes off of your driving.

May all of you have a safe and happy Christmas season. Yes, I say Christmas because Christmas is the holiday. The birth of the Christ child.  The ONLY reason for the season.

Enjoy your time with family and friends and please make every day special. We never know how long we will be here, so please do not take careless and foolish chances with your life or someone else’s life. Life is too short to rush it away.

May all of you have a wonderful Happy Christmas. I am hopeful 2018 will be a calmer, happier year for this household. Less drama. The years of 2015, 2016, and 2017 have been so stressful to me I have to remind myself to INHALE…EXHALE…BREATHE. INHALE…HOLD FOR EIGHT SECONDS…EXHALE…HOLD FOR EIGHT SECONDS…BREATHE.

At times, practicing the art of relaxation works. Other times, I want to scream. I simply must learn to relax again. After all, life is too short.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and Happy 2018. Another year is quickly ticking away.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday, Walter Perkins – My Dad


Dearest Readers:

On December 19, 1914, two identical twins were born in Michigan. Lewis Eugene and Walter W. Perkins. Never did I have the honor to know Uncle Lewis. He died at 26-years-of-age from Bright’s Disease. I believe it is an inflammation of the kidneys. After his death, my father reportedly changed to a sad, miserable man. He and his identical twin were inseparable until Uncle Lewis died.

I lost my dad to esophageal cancer on July 6, 1999. I confess, a part of my heart died on that day. My dad and I were bonded. During his terminal illness, I visited him daily at the convalescent center and hospital, unless I was sick with my episodes of bronchial asthma.

Today, I would like to wish my dad and Uncle Lewis an early happy birthday in Heaven. No doubt, tomorrow will be a sad day for me; nevertheless, I will focus on the memories we made. Singing together. Teaching me to harmonize. Sharing my poems and other stories with him, and hearing him say on WCSC Channel 5 during an interview, “No. I’m not the writer. My daughter, Barbara, now she’s the writer!” My heart melted when I heard him say that. Finally, he was proud of me!

Our life together during my childhood wasn’t a good one. From the age of five-years-old, until I was 15, I served as the referee between my mother and my dad. Their marriage was a volatile marriage, filled with “I hate you…How I wish you were dead…I wish to God I’d never married you… You’re nothing but a bastard!” From both parties the hatred poured from their lips like steaming hot volcano ashes rolling vibrantly onto the grounds. Poisons. Poisons from lips without love or any form of happiness. During my childhood, I believe their angers, hatreds and tumultuous physical battles were protected within our home. I do not believe my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends of the family knew about the dreadful, dangerous domestic battles my parents fought. Secrets. Protected, never to be shared, until now. I knew not to say anything. If I did, my mother would come after me, slapping, knocking and pulling my hair out. If I wanted to live, my lips must remain closed.

Finally, at fifteen, I stood between them for the last time, telling them one of you needs to leave this marriage and this house. You’ve always hated each other… The next day, my father packed up and left. My mother spat at me telling me she hoped I was happy now. Their marriage was over and it was all my fault.

I rushed into my room. Never confronting her. Never calling my dad. I pondered my heartache inside while praying I would see my dad once again, and I would sing with him again. He visited us after the divorce. He rushed to hug me, something he never did until the bitter divorce. Gone were the shouting and fighting matches. My father had finally found out he was a ‘better man,’ as for my mother — her poisonous tongue spilled hatred to me every time she could. Shouting matches. Slapping my face. Pulling my hair until clumps of my hair fell into her hands. Never did I share these shattered, horrifying days with anyone.  I was taught to be seen, but not heard. How I detested whenever we visited family members. I was told to “say hello. Give a hug and keep your damned mouth shut.”

And so, I did!

To escape the misery of my teenage years, I married at 17. After moving to Charleston, Dad and I became much closer. When he was 68, in 1982, we moved him to Charleston to be closer to a family member. I delighted in caring for him and visiting him in his apartment until 1988 when I had to find a job to save my home and family. My job was demanding, working 40 hours plus, including weekends.

In 1997, during the holidays, Dad became ill. In December, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He chose to battle the debilitating cancer until his death in July, 1999. During that time, we made wonderful memories. I changed jobs, so I could spend more time with Dad. I watched the wonderful, happy man he became and I loved him even more than he, or anyone, could imagine.

The week before his death, he sat in his room at the nursing home, reading his Bible, praying for God to ‘take me home.’ He was spiteful with me. Almost cruel, according to his roommate, Mr. Dudley. Dad would move his hands, telling me to leave his room. Although it hurt, I swallowed my pride and listened to him doing his best to detach from me. He did not want me around when he died.

On July 6, 1999, as I walked towards his room, I met a nurse, pushing an oxygen tank. “Oh no,” I managed to say, “that isn’t a good sign.” She nodded and when she and I placed our hands on the door of Dad’s room, I knew the moment of his passing had arrived.

I screamed. Cried. Hysterically, I sat in a chair, across from Dad’s room and I listened. The nurse wanted to know if I wanted them to ‘bring him back.’ I said No. He’s a DNR. Please do not resuscitate him. Let him go. He was praying to die soon.

Nineteen years ago, according to birthdays, my father celebrated his birthday now as an identical twin. No doubt, he and Uncle Lewis have caught up and replenished their lost years. I can picture them singing in the Heavenly choirs, inseparable and happy together.

Today, I would like to celebrate Walter and Lewis Perkins, better known as the Perkins Twins a wonderful Happy Birthday. Now, 103 years-of-age December 19 will be a joyous celebration in Heaven. I can hear my dad singing harmony with Uncle Lewis, probably singing Amazing Grace together while celebrating their reunion and Christmas.

As for me, I will be busy wrapping Christmas packages and maybe going out to get more Christmas goodies for our pups and for Phil. I always keep myself extra busy on December 19. While I am happy for my father to be reunited with Uncle Lewis and with God, I miss him.

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Angel Oak Tree, a gorgeous tree embracing Johns Island, SC

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to the Perkins Twins. Oh, Dad — how I miss you!

In memory of:

THE PERKINS TWINS

Lewis and Walter – Identical Twins

Separated by death at age 26;

Reunited with God’s love at 84.

Holding the gates to Heaven’s Door.

 Missing and Loving you both —

Walter’s Daughter – Barbara

 

 

Merry Christmas 2016


Dearest Readers:

This will probably be the shortest blog post I’ve written in a long time. Today is Christmas Eve, 2016. This day has gone wrong from the beginning. Anything and everything that could happen, I do believe has. Phil was dizzy this morning. Fortunately, he rested and got better. As for the rest of the day, let’s just say — it hasn’t been a nice, calm Christmas Eve.

For all of you, my reading public, for you in the military — away from your families and loved ones, I would like to wish all of you a wonderful Merry Christmas. I pray for the safety of our military daily and at night. I still remember what it was like for me, a young newlywed, with a husband in a dreadful, frightening war zone. I did not have a support group while my husband fought a war. All I had was my faith in God, and I prayed constantly that he would return home safely. Silly me, I even prayed for him to return home as a normal  person.

After his return, I realized I would never know or see the one I kissed at the airport on that sad day when he left me for Fort Dix, and Viet Nam. Let’s just say, I knew he had PTSD before he was willing to admit it after his return. Yes, there are trying times when the slightest reaction will trigger another PTSD attack. Today, I’m proud of him. We were shouting at each other. This time, he walked away, so — as he stated, “We would not fight.”

Perhaps my prayers and his therapy are helping both of usimg_0165. Gone is the reaction and the trigger now, and I’m proud of him. PTSD can be a monster at times. Today, it is better. Thank you, God.

And so now, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, peaceful Merry Christmas. To those in the military, I pray for your safe return. How can I pray for you when I don’t know you? I pray for our soldiers…our military…our officers in Blue…and I pray for our nation.

Tomorrow as you enjoy Christmas dinners and social events, please remember the reason for the season. Once in Bethlehem, a baby was born and he became the savior of our entire world. Let us all take a moment to give thanks as we unwrap packages, share drinks and social events, and let us all remember the true reason for the season. It isn’t Santa Claus. After all, Santa Claus has been around for every generation and he has never died. So, let us all give thanks and gratitude to Christmas, Jesus Christ, and all of our lives, religions, beliefs, and our freedoms. Without our military, the USA would not be a nation where freedom reigns.

May all of us enjoy a wonderful, happy Merry Christmas, and when you say your prayer at the dinner table, please include our military, our first responders, our Blue Bloods, and everyone who keeps us alive and well. Merry Christmas to everyone!