I’m hoping this is an appropriate place to boast a bit about my accomplishments. Because some things are just hard to work into a normal conversation. The opportunity to say “That reminds me of the time I won a first place at the Arkansas Writers’ Conference,” just doesn’t come around that often.
So, I’ll say it here. RIP , Emma Lou Briggs, one-act play by Dorothy Hatfield, won a first place at the Arkansas Writers’ Conference last weekend! The contest was sponsored by the Association of Senior Arts Programs. One requirement was it must deal with seniors’ issues.
An essay, When Shared, A Challenge Can be Fun, placed third in the Grand Conference Award contest. The requirements were to write an essay that “elaborates on a theme of a photo or drawing directly or indirectly … defend it’s legitimacy … make it stylishly entertaining, as though it were in a top-notch magazine.” With those criteria, do you wonder that I regard that third place certificate much like I would a Pulitzer? The picture, by the way, was from 1951, a group of family and friends installing a television antenna on top of our house in Denison, Texas.
But, more about that later. Stay tuned.
This morning I worshiped at two of the small United Methodist Churches that dot the Arkansas countryside. Griffithsville, Dogwood and Ellis Chapel are what is known in Methodism as a three-point charge – three small congragations that share a pastor. The dedicated, enthusiastic, energetic, recently-called preacher at these churches holds three services each Sunday, at 8:30, 9:30 and 11:00. This week he is in Pastor’s School at Mount Eagle and asked me to conduct services at two of the churches, presumably hesitating to ask me to do what he does every single week of the year.
Dogwood had a larger than usualy crowd for its 9:30 service. This was homecoming, when former members came to gather at the church they grew up in, greet old friends and to walk through the cemetery. The kitchen counter was filled with food for the pot luck at noon. After the 11:00 service at Griffithsville, I drove the five miles back to Dogwood for lunch because I could never pass up a Methodist potluck dinner. The celebration continued most of the afternoon with singing and fellowship.
It is said that the United Methodist connectional system insures a church for every pastor and a pastor for every church. This is true, though some churches have more than one pastor and many pastors have more than one church. God bless our local pastors.
For Christmas I received an Audrey Hepburn collection that included Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I hadn’t seen this movie all the way through since the first time on the big screen and all I remembered about it was that in 1961 I thought George Peppard was about the cutest thing I had ever seen.
It’s a fairy tale about Holly Golightly, a free spirit determined to marry a millionaire and Paul, a struggling writer. There’s a happily ever after ending, which is necessary for make believe, though the telling of the story is dated in many ways. Paul declares his love for the flighty Holly, saying, “You belong to me.” To which she responds, “No one belongs to anyone.” They were a couple of decades apart in their thinking.
Mickey Rooney’s comedic protrayal as Holly’s Asian neighbor is way too politically incorrect for today’s climate. In fact, the movie’s director, Blake Edwards, apologizes for this inappropriate casting during the special features interviews.
This is a movie to just sit back and enjoy … the beautiful scenery in Manhattan and beautiful Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Don’t analyze the story too much. That’s the best way to enjoy a fairy tale.
I lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 13 years and during that time, that city’s crime rate rose to among the top twenty in the nation and I was a victim three times.
One day while I was inside my son’s school, someone broke the window of my car and stole my cell phone. That was number one. Insurance took care of everything and I was never in any physical danger.
Next, my purse was stolen in a grocery store parking lot. I was loading my purchases into the trunk of my car when another car pulled dangerously close, a hand reached out and grabbed the purse from the baby seat of the grocery cart. Again, no physical harm – nothing injured save my dignity and feeling of being secure in my environment.
The third incident happened as I was driving to work down Ellington Parkway. As I neared an overpass/walking bridge to drive under, I noticed a young man standing in the middle of the bridge holding a large object. With perfect timing, he dropped it and I slammed on my brakes. The boulder struck my front bumper, leaving a huge gouge in the paint. I swerved and recovered as he ran across the bridge and disappeared. Now this was scary. If I had not hit the brakes, the chunk of concrete would have hit the hood of the car, or perhaps crashed through the windshield.
These things happened during the last few years I lived in Tennessee. No wonder that when I retired I moved to small-town Arkansas, where many people leave their houses and cars unlocked. But not me.
I acquired my first cell phone in 1994. My job required me to commute across Nashville, Tennessee and my husband thought I needed a phone. It weighed about two pounds, seldom operated outside the city and the monthly fee for service was $30.00.
I am now on my fourth phone of the same brand, having moved to a pre-paid version a few years ago so I could still have cell phone service for approximately $30 a month. I might say here that my phone is very unsophistocated – no text or voice mail. The silence mode requires travel through so many menus, I never bother. When the announcement is made to “silence cell phones” I turn it off. Then it is silent.
Now, if I can’t buy air time, my phone may become obsolete. I’ll have to update my cell phone capabilities. One thing is sure, though, I’ll never own a Blue Tooth. I saw a woman my age with one of those and it looked for all the world like she was talking to herself.
When you’re a senior, you need to be careful about that. It can get you put in a home.