Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Our firstborn daughter was recounting a recent teen mission trip by way of her daily video. Each morning she visits with Facebook Nation and gives a little insight into everyday life. This time she quoted something I say that went with her talk on critical words and thoughts.

“It’s one thing to let those birds fly over your head. Just don’t let them make a nest in your hair.”

Though the adage is not original with me, I was happy to be associated with it. It made me wonder what other “wise sayings” I will be remembered for. Probably something motherly and nurturing like, “If you shrug your shoulders at me again I will jerk your arm off and beat you with it.”

Since the recent loss of my mother-in-law Nina, we often find ourselves quoting her. She loved to say things like, “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!” “Lipstick fixes everything.” “You can learn a lot from T.V.” And her favorite “One monkey don’t stop the show.”

She also said something so funny that I laughed much louder than I meant to at her own mother’s funeral. Nina being a woman of many words advised that when she died, we’d have to “cut her tongue out and beat it to death.” Later on in a church service we sang the old hymn There is a Fountain Filled with Blood that includes the words, “When this poor lisping stammering tongue lies silent in the grave…”

Suddenly I thought of Nina.  Laughter came and tears ran down my face from trying to hold it in. I wanted to bring my thoughts back to holy things but it was a lost cause. Those birds set up shop in my curly red hair and had their way. I didn’t hear another thing the preacher said.

Last month as we stood in line greeting all the wonderful folks who came to pay their respects to Nina, I noticed that her daughters had placed a tube of lipstick in her hand. The woman never went anywhere without it. No need to start now.

Right on cue my sister whispered, “Did y’all have to cut her tongue out and beat it to death?” Even in our sorrow, we smiled at each other tearfully remembering Nina’s great humor. Once again she made us laugh.

As I’ve talked about the loss of her with our preschool grandchildren, Able said he is happy she is in Heaven, probably eating Pringles. Jesse announced after our lunch time blessing one day that we didn’t have to pray for “Nanny” anymore. I asked him why and he confidently stated the obvious. “She is all better now!” I asked him and his sister Marie what they thought she was doing. Jesse decided she was listening to Jesus music like they have at church. Marie laughed and added, “She might be dancing!”

Like her great-grandchildren I picture her there too; eating Pringles and reapplying lipstick often. As her sisters and friends gather round, she is likely talking a mile a minute, catching them up on the latest news. If they happen to ask about her family she will probably add with a rose colored smile, “Oh they’ll be fine! What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!” With a twinkle in her eye I’m sure she’ll add, “Besides, one monkey don’t stop the show!”

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I love my little town. Salisbury, NC has so much going for it. Sure, that includes some crazy but don’t you think every family has a touch of crazy? It keeps things interesting. Sometimes folks refer to us as “Smallsbury” in a derogatory fashion. That’s okay. I think small is a good thing. In fact, someday when I write my book I might just title it that. Smallsbury, USA.

Many neighborhoods still exist here where we look out for one another. The other day I was standing at the kitchen window when I noticed a cop car slowing down. It proceeded to pull into my mom-in-law’s driveway. My heart just stopped. I alerted David so we both moved to the front window and peered through the curtains like Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched. What is going on across the road?!!

We checked our cell phones to make sure we hadn’t missed a call. As we watched to see what was afoot, David grabbed his shoes so he could run interference between the police and his eighty-nine year old mother. Not that we needed to warn her in case she was smoking pot or something. We just wanted to be there if she was going to be arrested while “Bad Boys, Bad Boys” played in the background.

However, before David could get his shoes on all fear was gone. The policeman turned out to be our nephew. Since he was in town for court, he decided to stop by his grandmother’s house to check on her. Then every cop’s worst nightmare happened. His grandmother sent him across the street to our house with a box of doughnuts. Talk about stereotypes. Bless his heart. Jay w KK

This would not be Nina’s first brush with the law. She was driving home from serving Meals on Wheels one night years ago, when she made a right turn beside a vehicle which was stopped for a light. Since there was no turning lane, the police pulled her over. When asked for her license she realized her purse was locked in the trunk. Exiting the vehicle into a night filled with flashing blue lights, there she was, guilty before God and everybody. As she opened the trunk she was sure that all who passed thought she’d been busted for drugs. Nervously she retrieved her purse. Suddenly matters got even worse. Dropping her pocketbook, as we say in the South, she watched as the contents spilled across the pavement. No telling how many tubes of lipstick rolled into the gutter that night. As she stood there mortified, two nice policemen chased down the contents. Her lifetime motto has always been, “Lipstick makes everything better.” That night might have been the one exception.

As you know, things aren’t always as they seem. The policeman knocking on her door was not there to interrogate. The cop carrying doughnuts across the road was just doing his grandmother a favor. And the lady in the blue light was not being busted for drugs. In Salisbury though, we already knew that. Word travels fast here because we’re all standing at our windows, peering out checking on our neighbors. I especially love that small town living includes policemen who love their grandmothers, deliver doughnuts, and chase lipstick for nervous women.

God bless Smallsbury!

*Special thanks to my beloved nephew Jason who allowed me to take his picture while in uniform holding a box of Krispy Kreme. What a man!

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Stop the presses! I did it! NO WAIT! Don’t stop the presses. Keep rolling because ALL my books are now in print! Check them out on Amazon. Search books by Lynna Clark. I am NOT that other Lynna with the big bosomed women on the covers… obviously. So be sure to look for the Blue Meadow Farm series of five. And if you like them, please spread the word for me. I do not have a marketing guru so I’m counting on you. Thank you my friends!

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

To view the series click here. Blue Meadow Farm Series

The series starts and ends with a dogwood tree.

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I have earth shattering, ground breaking news! Sadly there is no font quite adequate for this announcement. But y’all, BOOK TWO of the Blue Meadow Farm series is ready for pre-order. I just finished sending it to Amazon and it will be released SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH.

It’s called Autumn on Blue Meadow Farm, A Season of Change.

Again, it’s only available for your Kindle, but you can download their free app and read it on your phone or computer. So hop on over to Amazon and buy my second book for only $4.99! Thank you so much for your kind support and wonderful encouragement! Much love from Clarkville!

I can always count on Daddy to be happy for me!

I can always count on Daddy’s support! 

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My contact at the Salisbury Post dropped me a line to inform that she needed a different picture to go with my articles. It seems the one they’re currently using goes pixelated upon print. For those of us who remember the good ol’ days before pixels, that’s hipster talk for a bunch of little squares. She likened my image to a “perp on cops.” I looked at my very cropped headshot and sighed. As usual, my friend was correct. Though I helpfully suggested she use a picture of another writer since she is much more attractive, she responded as if I were joking.

So I set about finding a suitable image. The problem is that I’m not into selfies. In fact I do everything I can to stay out of the way of a camera. As family photos will attest, that’s me there behind my husband, peeking through his armpit. I figure if you can see my eyeballs I’m officially part of the obligatory group lineup.

I found one that’s not too terrible… if you can get past the death stare I was giving my beloved. Apparently my disdain for being photographed had bled over to include my favorite family member who happened to be wielding the camera.

Another picture was not quite as menacing. But the roses which climbed the trellis behind my head formed a funky garland that appeared as horns when printed. Hmmm… the old belief that taking one’s picture steals the soul may indeed be correct. Or perhaps more accurately it reveals the soul.

Still looking for something less psychotic I found one of me with our three beautiful daughters. But the grown child next to me has long dark silky hair like her father. A large strand of it fell across my shoulder as apparently I was leaning in close in an effort to hide. I cropped my lovely head from the group and was disappointed to see that her hair looked like a snake crawling over my shoulder; probably another indication of my sin sick soul.

A short while later I found one where I’m sandwiched between my younger twin sisters on a red sofa. The two of them look like skinny bookends so of course I cropped them out. It was a little disconcerting to see the leftovers. I had to wonder where all those chins came from. Apparently in an effort to hide the discomfort of being photographed with my pretty young siblings I scrunched my head downward rolling up all the extra neck skin.

Suddenly the wisdom of Barbara Bush made sense when she revealed that she always wore a three strand pearl necklace to hide the wrinkles.

The last available option was my senior picture from high school. Unfortunately if the shag haircut didn’t give away the date of the photo surely the purple tie-dyed top would.

So here’s what we’re going to do. Until I can get a selfie stick… a very, very long selfie stick, we’re going to use our imaginations. Forget about the pixelated perp, the snake and my sin sick soul. Wipe the image of multiple chins from your thinking. Instead picture someone lovely like perhaps… Nicole Kidman for example.

That’s exactly what I look like… except with horns… and a three strand pearl necklace.

Best picture ever!

Best picture ever!

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So what’s the deal with all the humidity? Nobody dreams of a damp Christmas… or a sticky New Year. We actually broke down and turned on the air conditioner lest the heat wafting off the relatives cause tempers to flare. Some of us of a certain age cannot be overheated without dangerous consequences. Men take note: when a woman picks up a magazine or a church bulletin or a dishtowel to fan herself, it’s time to turn on the air. Never mind that it’s winter; there’s nothing jolly and bright about a sweltering woman in room full of guests.

Nobody dared light candles or God forbid build a fire in the fireplace. Ambience was no longer the goal and festive lighting dropped waaayyy down on the list. Keeping mama cool was the number one concern, at least for any man who considers himself wise. Take my husband for instance. Christmas is over and the ceiling fans are still spinning at warp speed. THANK YOU DARLIN’!

Our grown kids made footprints of the three youngest grands at some point in yesteryear. Fashioned from salt dough they are always on display. However lately they’re more like sponges. The indentations of their tiny feet began to drift slightly. So into the oven they went. The peanuts in the fruit bowl became a little wiggly as well and had to be toasted again too. Therefore the oven was set to 200 degrees for an hour. They were still a little chewy when we checked them; [the peanuts, not the footprints.] It was sort of like biting into a raisin when you’re expecting something crunchy. T’was a little disconcerting. So we roasted them another hour while I made our traditional holiday salmon stew.

I called to my beloved from the kitchen.  “Turn the air down another notch honey. I’m still hot.”

“Yes baby you are,” he replied. I fanned with a dishtowel and gave him the look. It wasn’t pretty, but it WAS hot.

The salmon stew was perfect except for the heat of it. We fanned and slurped it down like we had good sense. Why ditch tradition just because El Nino is passing through. Certain things must always be done after the holidays; like washing Christmas socks, and discovering that last snowman on top of the refrigerator, and apparently consuming salmon stew.

“Lord have mercy! I’m dying!” I exclaimed as we finished our late supper. A window was flung open which allowed a warm breeze to enter the kitchen… a very warm breeze. I walked outside in my pajamas no longer caring what the neighbors thought… bless their hearts. Immediately my hair multiplied like fluffy bunnies forming a lovely cotton candy look around my glowing face.

Again, not pretty… but it WAS hot.

Last of the Christmas cheer going down the drain.

Last of the Christmas cheer going down the drain.

My beloved joined me and we took that opportunity to haul Frosty and his miserable companions to the building out back til next year. Water ran through the yard as it had reached its limit. I understood. Mud marred up past the black line on my favorite Converses. But a little breeze stirred the balmy night air delivering a moment of reflection.

“At least our heating bill won’t be as high as last year.” One of us spoke hopefully.

The other one of us wisely observed. “Yeah… but we’ll make up for it by running the air conditioner full blast.”

We walked back to the house through the nature induced sauna. A piney wreath laden with fake snow smiled at me from yet another door. I decided I like it there… at least til spring. That’s probably when we’ll get a record breaking snowfall.

Maybe then I will finally cool off.

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She sang her little heart out holding each note longer than necessary. I wasn’t sure what she was singing but it sounded familiar. Our three year old grands Jesse and Marie came to ‘help’ decorate for Christmas. Large plastic bins were stacked on the porch. I unpacked the treasures there while the kids took each item inside and placed them where they deemed best. When finally I dared to look it took my breath away. Words cannot describe the loveliness they arranged. Much like Marie’s song it was familiar but not quite right.

Apparently there was not enough chaos so the plastic playhouse complete with ringing doorbell and flushing toilet [their dad is a plumber] had been pulled to the middle of the floor. The big toy basket had been emptied as well in case we needed more to step around. My dancing raisins which usually march on a windowsill in the kitchen had made their way to the playhouse. No longer did they sing ‘I heard it through the grapevine.’ A new song was given them by sweetie Marie. She helped them hold out the notes long and loud. I still couldn’t figure it out.

Her brother stacked Christmas blocks as high as they would go instead of lining them up side by side in a message of good will. Every year we get those blocks out and every year we stare at them trying to remember what they spell. It was even harder this time as they teetered vertically thanks to Jesse.

My prior vision of hosting two grandchildren to decorate was shot to pieces. Instead of sipping hot chocolate and baking sugar cookies I lobbed clementines their way. We peeled fruit and tried to make sense of the clutter. “Where should we put the manger scene?”

“Oba heah Grammy!” Jesse grabbed the largest piece and ran.

Smack dab in the middle of the dining room table he placed the shelter. He and Marie climbed onto chairs and arranged all the pieces to face the manger. Marie had a hard time letting go of baby Jesus but finally placed him in the ceramic hay. Jesse had a hard time letting go of the camel as he was fascinated with who could ride such a thing.

“The wise man rode it honey.” I tried to coax him to place it with the others.

“Where’d he sit?” He eyed the two humps and tried to make Mary fit there. She was tired. I understood.

Their other grandmother Karen had hosted them for similar festivities a few weeks earlier. Unlike me she has a better handle on things. I imagined Christmas music playing, a fire in the fireplace, a quiet reading of the Christmas story complete with Scripture. Beautiful treats were surely served from pretty dishes. She probably even made an Advent wreath or something noble.

My house looked like a dadgum bomb went off.

But Marie still sang. Jesse asked for another clementine. I popped popcorn and plunked the kids down in front of Curious George where we learned about siphoning algae water from a swimming pool. Like Mary I was too pooped to party.

Their mom arrived a bit later and I was ashamed of the chaos. She laughed and said, “Nana Karen’s house looked the same way when I picked them up.”

I sighed with relief that I wasn’t the worst grandmother in the world. Marie sang loud and her mom said, “That’s right! Hold those notes out!” I laughed and asked, “WHAT is she singing?”

Hannah smiled. “Peace on earth. She’s practicing for the church program.”

I nodded knowingly as the man in the yellow hat commended George as well. We searched through the clutter for socks and shoes. Bedlam left with their mother who was happy just to have shopped for groceries alone. Jesse yelled through open truck windows. “Bye Grammy. Love you love you!”

Marie sang as they drove out of sight. “Peeeeeeace on Eaaaarrrrffff.”

I picked up the blocks and placed them side by side trying to remember the joyful message they were intended to spell. I studied the letters as I tossed toys into the basket and vacuumed up popcorn.

Consoling myself with the fact that at least Mary was placed safely in the stable instead of balancing precariously on the two humped camel, I laughed when it dawned on me. The message of the blocks was the same one Marie had sung all morning. It’s the one the angels proclaimed as well. While everything around me screamed Christmas chaos the Lord as usual whispered a better way.

Hopefully my beloved husband will appreciate this deep spiritual truth too because right now I can’t locate the remote control.


It’s a message worth remembering.

photo (88)

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