Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas 2011

ISAIAH 43:19-21  
Anyone else ever feel a little blue around Christmas. It's not that I am overcome with sadness. It's just things are changing...and I am not comfortable yet with the shift. Transition, change always brings about mixed emotions and it seems like the last 15 yrs have been nothing less than a roller coaster. This is our first Christmas where my husband and I actually feel like empty nesters. I had a hard time even getting in the mood to decorate. Our home is oddly quiet. It's the first year that we did not have a child to help us pick out a real tree (our granddaughter has gone with us since about 2yrs-3yrs old she is now 8yrs) and it's the second time in our married life (35 yrs of marriage) that we have had an artificial tree. I am missing the sound of children...I am missing the 'family' feel. We are no longer the focal point. I think about big families...and how it was when I was growing up...aunts, uncles, cousins, moms, dads, babies, children...the sounds, the food and the fun. I miss my granddaughter, and barely know my other granddaughter...and I have two step grandchildren...soon. I miss my son in the Navy. You should have heard me cry and grieve when our son went to the Navy about three years ago. With change often comes grief, and learning to do new things and learning to let go, learning to forgive, learning to cope with health issues and life issues, learning that I can't control everything that happens to me or my children or loved ones, but I can learn to let go and let God mold me, shape me, and keep my heart from becoming bitter and old and hard. So, even at this time when I'm feelin' a bit blue...I'm also feeling an expectation and a hope. This I know from experience: I CAN trust God my future is secure in Him. He's never failed me even in my weakest moment or lowest point. So, I am pressing on and pressing forward...accepting change and learning to embrace life to the fullest, looking forward to what God has for me in the future, letting go of the past, it's disappointments, it's sorrows and pains and unmet expectations...and like this song's a new season, it's a new day...a fresh anointing is flowing my way, it's a season of power and prosperity, it's a new season coming to me. I've been tried by the 'fire' and I'm coming out...I have just begun..the best is yet to come!

Isahiah 43:19-21
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Someone Tore My Little Outhouse Down

Aunt Pluma dedicates the Outhouse song to me, and my daddy playing the Mandolin. Don't forget to see the pictures below...a little bit of history and some fun pictures of me as a little girl and some history behind my experience with the outhouse as a little girl. Hope you enjoy, and leave a comment...:)

I went home last year (August of 2010) to visit my parents in Arkansas. I hadn't seen my mama and daddy and ALL my siblings together in about 7yrs (way too long). My siblings and I (two girls, I'm the oldest, and two boys) all grew up in California but I remember about every 4 or 5 years we all would pile into the car and make our way to Arkansas. Daddy liked to drive straight through and I remember many a time us kids pleading for him to stop the car so we could go to the bathroom. Of course, many times there was no bathroom in sight, just a giant dust bowl or a handy ditch or bush, with mama standing guard. Anybody relate to this? Or was it just OUR DAD that never wanted to stop on a long trip? This is no big deal  for someone of the male persuasion out on a long desert road but for two girls it wasn't always an easy or desirable thing to do...but we managed, and I am still here to tell about it. (chuckle) There just never seemed to be a bathroom near by when the urge hit, ya know? Now I think about it, using some of those gas station bathrooms was actually 'less desirable' than going 'p' out in the boonies. Half the time there was no toilet paper and you wondered when the last time it had been cleaned or if it was meant to scare away the customers? Ugh.So, it was a toss up which was the more desirable scenario ...worry about some varmint biting me in the derriere (bottom), or sitting on a dirty toilet and not being able to wipe?Which leads me, in a somewhat random way to my featured video: Someone Tore My Little OutHouse Down. This is a song that my aunt has been singing for so long (and she is 80+ at the time of this recording) one knows exactly HOW long, but it's become a tradition in our family (pappy's side). ;) My Aunt Pluma dedicated this song to me and totally took me by surprise when I heard the words. You can hear me laughing...

Let me explain a little more why this song is so special to me. It ALL started when I was a little girl back in Arkansas. I did NOT grow up in Arkansas, having lived there for only a short time after I was born (I was actually born in California), we,  my daddy, mama and younger sister and I moved back to California when I was around four years old. Whilst we lived in Arkansas (I love that word whilst, my daddy uses it a lot), our little family of four lived in a two room shack/ house down the hill from my paternal Grandpa and Grandma (the Atwell's). Before we moved into the little house, it was used by my Grandpa to store potatoes. Out back of where we lived was a little 'outhouse.' (My daddy informed me it was outback of Grandpa and Grandma's and I will now post the corrections down below straight from my daddy's FB page, lol) Outhouses, from what I have heard were great places for snakes or other creatures to hide, so going to the bathroom back in the day was probably not always as easy as our modern day conveniences. When was the last time you had to worry about 'what' might be lurking in your bathroom? :) One of the places I wanted to go see when I went back to Arkansas on my visit, was my grandparents old house, and the place where I had lived as a child for a couple of years.Of course, everything had changed, and it had grown over so much, it was pretty impossible to check out the site, but I did get to see a huge tree my Grandma had planted so many years ago.I hope to write more of my memories(and have my daddy help correct them if need be, ;)..and pictures of my wonderful Atwell side of the family, as well as the Ramey side (my mama's family). Life is short and sometimes our memories are too...sometimes there are things we 'need to forget but there are many things that we need to bring to remembrance and family is a treasure to me and I love them and miss them very much. God bless. Karen :)


Ye olde country school house traditionally had two small outhouses, one for girls, one for gents located out back a distance apart, only when I started school the Boys little shanty was already deconstructed likely at the hand of older male honchos who had previously passed through the schools (Hopewell) halls of higher learning. When the boys needed to "go" they ambled down past where it had once stood and just kept walking 'till they were out of sight over the break of hill. The County was too poor to offer sanitary items so the locals donated outdated Montgomery Wards and Sears & Roebuck catalogs to the girls convenience, and for the boys, planted a field of corn adjacent to the school..Thats where the old expression "rough as a cob" originated..This may be more information than you wanted to know...

 Daddy (the mandolin player :), me sitting in his lap (Karen), and mama with Vonda, my little sister sitting in her lap.

 My sister and I sitting in front of the little shack we called home. We used to play out front  when it was warm and every night our mama would have to check us for ticks and chiggers. I'm the one on the left and my sister is on the right, scowling (haha, she's gonna kill me). I still have a scar on my chin from the day mama cleaned the porch and it was slick cement, and I came running outside and fell on my chin. (I originally thought the outhouse was behind this little house, but it was behind Grandpa's house).

Vander Atwell
Its late but one correction: There was no outhouse behind the little house. The one you recall was at grandma's and grandpa's. There was one when I was a kid but it had long rotted away, after that a chicken house you could "go" behind but it burned down, after that a bunch of peach trees that offered a bit of privacy..Out back there was only a hand-dug well from whence we fetched water..Lord I hope you kids didn't use it for a toilet...

This is my Grandpa Roland Atwell, and my Grandma, Minnie Atwell. My Aunt Pluma, who sings the Outhouse song, looks a lot like my Grandma, I think, and my other aunt looks more like my Grandpa. Grandpa was a Baptist minister, well loved and liked in the community. He had the best laugh I've ever heard...

The Atwell Clan THEN:  Grandpa Roland Atwell  and Grandma Minnie Atwell front and center. Their kids, from left to right.  Billie Atwell (the baby) , Oleta second born, Pluma,1st born, and Vander (my daddy) 3rd born. Lived on a hill in Mountainburg, Arkansas.

 Roland and Minnie's kids NOW:          

Aunt Pluma, Aunt Oleta, Vander (daddy), and Uncle Billie :)


♥♥♥ AUGUST♥♥♥



                                                      ♥ LOVE TO LAUGH ♥

Friday, June 17, 2011

Heart2Heart Father's Day Meltdown Bloopers

Well, Ever have one of those times where your brain is just mush? That's the way it was when I recorded this video last Father's Day. It was 3am before I decided I wasn't going very far, and I finally gave up, told my husband the next day, it's full of bloopers, do with it what you will.

I may come back and write a blog along with this...but for now, Happy Father's Day. For those of you who may not have a Father or lost your Father along the way...on this special occasion, write a letter, send a card or give out a hug, take someone out who needs to be honored. Maybe someone in a nursing facility or a next door neighbor, or your son or son in law. Pay it forward. Love and blessings, ~Karen~