The Lying Doll

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Always tell the truth.

Liars Cannot be trusted

The Boy that Cried Wolf

Pinocchio

Sayings or fables~~~only to name a few. I was raised to tell the truth. I was often reminded of fables where the outcome of lying was always bad, sometimes real bad! I mean, the thought of being eaten by wolves or having your body turned into firewood? I always knew there were bad consequences to lying. I usually tried to tell the truth, even when I was in trouble, however, reluctantly.

My Daddy was really big on telling the truth. We could get away with some things, but…lying was never one of them. It was kind of worthless anyway to try it, he knew everyone and it was seldom that we ever pulled the wool over his eyes. I can’t tell you how that put things into perspective, but I know that it worked. It was a reverent fear that we had and for the most part? it worked out pretty good for our parents.

My thoughts go back to the 7-year-old little girl who had good friends in the second grade. I loved it when someone had a school birthday party. It was usually a snack of some kind and often at least one of your friends would bring a present! The party seemed to last the entire day. During that particular era, there were no such thing as room moms, assigned party planners, etc. We had classmates and our teacher. Most of the time it was the teacher that provided the snack! We had parties throughout the school year, which was great! unless…… you were born in the summer.

Yep, that’s right. I was born in July! I would never enjoy the class party that lasted the entire day in my honor. I felt cheated. I was wronged! This was such an injustice for  a seven-year old. So, I decided that I would intervene on my own behalf. I did the thing I was forbidden to do.

I lied.

“Next week is my birthday” I said. Now, either my teacher really liked to have parties? or she totally trusted seven-year olds to be truthful about their birthday? Regardless, she never called me out on it. It was a tense week waiting to see if she would figure out that I was a summer birthday kid. Nope, party is on. My secret is safe.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what great snack we had that day, or who was there, or how apprehensive I was in living my lie. I can, however, tell you that one of my particular friends gave me a present, a small Raggedy Ann. She was beautiful and just for me.

Lying Doll2

Yes, this is her. I still have the doll after almost 40 years. Sadly, there is a reason I still have her to this day.

I had attentive parents. I don’t know how or when they found out about my fake birthday party? but they did. Luckily, I didn’t have to return the doll. It was a gift. Oh, I had to confess to my friend (I think she thought it was a pretty clever idea) but I was allowed to keep it.  The doll was like today’s Elf on the Shelf, only this one hung around all year-long!

My mother fondly renamed her. She was no longer known as the beloved Raggedy Ann, she was referred to as “My Lyin’ Doll”. Oddly enough, I got over the shame of it all, but I never got over the lesson of lying. Sometimes I even wonder if my teacher knew all along that I was born in July? Probably. I like to think that she just didn’t have the heart to call me out. She could have been a summer birthday kid too!

Lying Doll

So here today, she sits in my widow sill, posed for a picture for my blog. I can’t help but think that she still looks sad. I chuckle about her sometimes, especially when I remember cleaning out some of my stuff before leaving home. The doll appeared out of one of my boxes of stuff and my mother smiled and said.  Oh, Here! – “Don’t forget your lyin’ doll” and…. always tell the truth (wink).  Thanks, Momma for the reminder.

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Winterized

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January skies

The month is January. The temperatures are in the mid 60’s. It is supposed to be Winter but it feels more like late Spring. I am still trying to determine how safe it is to push the sweaters back to the end of my closet.  I feel a little guilty in complaining. There have been some very beautiful days in the last few months, but my internal self says, it’s still January – it’s supposed to be cold, it’s supposed to be winter with the hope of snow in the back of my mind – at least until February.

I grew up where you had to “prepare” for Winter. It sometimes came earlier than you expected. My mother called it “winterizing” and usually took some planning and a few trips to the local store. It was one of those times you were again glad to be the girl in the house, leaving the dreaded chores of wrapping plumbing pipes, adding extra insulation and such to the males of the house. I imagine the chore of “holding the light” underneath the house for Dad brings back some literal “chilling” memories for my brother. I can tell you how much of a headache it was if you did not winterize before it snowed. Although I dodged the manual labor part of it, I assure you that having your water frozen for days was gruesome. Packing water to heat up for washing dishes and getting a bath was even more gruesome. I don’t miss these parts of mountain winters for sure.

The most worthwhile feeling was knowing that you remembered to “leave the water dripping” in the early morning. Our water may have been rusty, but we sure missed it when it was all frozen up and you were trying to get ready for school. You were also pretty appreciative that your Mother had made sure to take the chill off the bathroom with the space heater. It was waking up to a warm house, realizing that yes! your little brother DID remember to bank the fire before he went to bed. It was hearing Dad crank the car and being thankful that he remembered the anti-freeze. It was the little things in winter that were colossal in keeping you warm.

When the seasons seem to be a little off.. I think it makes me out of sync. I anticipate the changing of the seasons, only to be fooled by a 70 degree day. It’s just weird. I so much wanted to wrap up in a blanket every evening in January and just be “cozy” – since I am hot natured? Please! just give me my space.

It’s still too cold to be sitting on a NC beach somewhere, but not too cold to still see the classic sweat shirt and shorts here that I have come to understand. It’s not uncomfortable outside like our 110 heat index during summer, but it still doesn’t feel right. Several weeks ago, we had an actual cold front. Arctic air, I could finally smell my January. I anticipated my blanket wrapped evenings and fuzzy socks that have never been worn. I was ready to show off my “winterization” skills. I was ready to venture to the parts of my closet that actually contained winter coats. Within three days, we were back to 70 degrees and flip-flops.

I am still looking for January. I hope it doesn’t pass without at least a few chilly days, maybe even a snowflake or two..okay- maybe a few inches? I am dreaming big here for the South. Maybe we wish for seasons to change as usual, only because they are how we mark our time? our memories? The habit of being winterized is a hard one to break….Yes, I’m ready. Bring on January, as brief as it may be.

The New Year

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last sunset in 2012

As I took this photo of the last sunset in 2012, I couldn’t help but wonder what would the New Year would bring. Honestly? I also wondered if I even “wanted” to know. Giving thanks for the previous year of lessons learned and blessing embraced, gave way to an anxious anticipation of what would be next. Life continues to roll on, and time reluctantly refuses to stand still for any of us.

Resolutions were made by many on the first day of the year. I, for one, chose not to make any this year. I even toyed with the idea of creating a “bucket list” for 2013, I chickened out, since I feared looking at an incomplete list at the end of the twelve months might be discouraging. There is nothing worse than setting yourself up for a list that can be down right unreasonable.  Instead, I have chosen to set some personal goals for myself. You will not find them listed here. They are inward goals, things that will mostly remain invisible to any list, but I have an anticipation that they will manifest themselves outwardly in due time. Anonymous gifts, Imperfect Progress.

A new year to reinvent oneself. Reflections of the past year to improve and sharpen our iron. Although I am hopeful, I am well aware that I am incapable of doing anything in my own strength. It is my hope that this will be the year of turning inward, in order to cast your gifts outward. Unsuspecting, paying it forward.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ  who strengthens me.

1 Peter 5:7:  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you

Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding

Here’s to 2013!