A great pain in my right leg woke me up tonight. They say if you don’t use it, you lose it. Apparently I haven’t used my legs, because I tried to yesterday and now I’m limping like an old gimp. Ken and I worked on our neighbor’s yard, to get it ready for sale. This was after I had vacuumed and cleaned inside all day. I haven’t been to the gym in months but decided to double up, all in a 24-hour period. Silly girl.

I was about eight or nine years old when my Daddy started teaching me to work with him on the lawn. I didn’t learn to cook until after I got married, but I could cut down a tree. I sensed that Ken wasn’t planning on cooking or cleaning inside, but was a whiz at yard work. So I put down my hedge trimmers and broke out the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I received it as a shower gift, some 40 years ago, and it’s still the best reference for simple meals I’ve ever found. Mine is greasy and falling apart, but there’s not a week that goes by that I don’t use it. I didn’t know how to boil water, so those directions for mashing potatoes came in real handy. We seem to eat out more than we eat in these days (thank you, Trading Post, Cowboys and that wonderful Waffle House by the Villa Rica Walmart). We raised four jumbo-sized chillun to adulthood, by hook or by crook and with the help of those big, flat carts at Sam’s Club. I look back and wonder what planet we were on and how we got here. Time just flies like the wind, and you can’t grasp it as it slips through your fingers.

We had our annual trek to the Varsity on New Year’s Day. Except for a couple of years, for the last 29 years our family meets up there for greasy burgers and onion rings. Yummmmeee! I’ve been behaving for nigh on two years, so I ate my healthy meal before I got there and didn’t even feel sorry for myself. Well, maybe a little, when they brought out the fried peach pies. I want to know what the phenomenon is called, when there’s a gathering and those last few minutes are usually the ones that mean the most. As we walked out to our cars, hugging this and that grandchild and saying our goodbyes, the sweetest things were said. It’s like squeezing just that last little bit of juice out of the orange...the goody part. We all know that life is short, that we shouldn’t take our loved ones for granted. In those last parting moments, there’s always a bit of that knowing, even if we see each other often...that we need to hold each other a little tighter, and say the love things that we feel. Go ahead and do it. We aren’t promised tomorrow. Today’s the day.

Rosemarie Norton is an artist and Realtor who lives on Magnolia Street in Villa Rica. Catch up with her at magnoliastreetrose.blogspot.com or rosemariesembellishments.com

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