Category: JoAnn – Current Year
When I was a little girl, my mama would tell me to either play outside or sit quietly, while she watched her “stories” on TV. Those stories were, of course, daytime soap operas. Mama only watched the CBS soaps. To my best recollection they were: As the World Turns, Guiding Light, The Edge of Night, and Search for Tomorrow. I know, very dramatic titles, right? They usually ran 30 minutes each.
Mama was a very early riser and worked hard as a stay-at-home mother and wife. So, by mid-day, when the soap operas came on, she needed a pleasant break. She would sit in her favorite chair, often with her lunch and a cold drink, and enjoy her stories. It didn’t take long for me to realize these stories, as she called them, were pretty interesting. I took after my mama and learned to appreciate the entertainment soap operas offered.
By the time I was a teenager in the early 70s, I added a new soap opera to the CBS lineup: The Young & The Restless. They took a more modern approach to their characters and storylines. I was hooked! So was my mama and my older sister, Jeanie. We all three watched the new soap whenever we had the chance. If my sister and I had to miss it, our mama would fill us in later. Jeannie even bought the soap opera magazines that were published just for the people who couldn’t watch the episodes daily but wanted to keep up.
Later on, when my sister and I were both married and raising families, we would talk on the phone often to each other and our mother. It never failed that the topic of our favorite soap opera would come up somewhere in the conversation; what character was doing what with whom, and where and why! I was even a pen pal to my favorite aunt who also loved the soap, and we would often write about the latest goings on in our letters! We were all loyal fans. Heck, I still am.
We may sound a little crazy, or rather misguided with our love for Y&R, as fans refer to it, but the statistics don’t lie. Young & Restless has been successful for over 53 years! It has held the spot as the #1 watched daytime soap opera for many of those years.
I’m not sure if my sister Jeanie still watches Y&R, as it has been a very long time since the topic came up in one of our conversations. She works full time still, and I doubt she is home to watch, but with the wonderful technology we have today, if you miss an episode of any television show when it’s broadcast, you can be sure to catch it online. I often catch up with my favorite characters of Y&R just that way.
The show’s original theme song “Nadia’s Theme” still plays at the end of every episode, and with every note I am reminded of the enjoyment I shared all those years ago with my mother, sister, and aunt. Lots of times we would be busy somewhere in the house and hear that theme song start to play. We would drop what we were doing and run to the television set before we missed something important. There was no rewinding a scene or recording an episode as televisions can do today.
My mother has been gone for 20 years, and my aunt for ten. I truly miss the little things with both of them, even something as silly as watching a “story”. I’m happy Y&R is still on after all these years. It’s a sweet reminder of two women I love.
Spring has sprung and I could not be happier. Today I took a drive through my rural community and soaked in, not only the warmth of the sun, but the beauty of the farms that surround my little corner of the world. I passed field after field, dotted with Spring wildflowers, blooming trees and shrubs, and birds enjoying their busy day. But my favorite vision of all had to be the fields that held the newest births of Spring: the baby calves. Nothing makes me happier than to see a newborn animal of any kind. But there is something about a newborn calf that really pulls at my heartstrings.
I passed one field that was a bounty of rolling green acres. The grass was thick and lush. The long fence line was bordered with hundreds of bright yellow Daffodils. It was the perfect picture post card for Spring. I slowed down to take a closer look. Inside that fence, there must have been thirty Mama cows. Each one with their new offspring.
Today I saw a calf for every color known to cows. Lots of rusty red ones, solid black, brown, brown and white, even a pure white one. But my favorite of all was a little guy that I nicknamed Dalmatian. It was a beautiful snow white with black spots all over. I would have loved to have gotten a closer look at that one.
I enjoy guessing the age of the new calf. It’s pretty obvious the ones that are under 48 hours old. They cling closely to their mother, and I often catch them nursing. The ones that are a week or two old still stay close by their mama but are more alert and will turn to look at my car as I slow down. I see older calves playing together away from their mamas and often they will come to the fence line to see what’s going on. Their big dark brown eyes and long eyelashes are adorable. Some of the sweetest faces of nature. This always puts a big smile on my face. They are SO cute!
You would think with my enthusiasm over cows and their offspring, that I was a farm girl. But I am not. My love of baby farm animals is a love from afar. I have never been a part of the type of farming that surrounds my home. My neighbors are farmers through and through. I have the utmost respect for their way of living and their careers. When they have a successful year of farming, I am happy for them. And when they have a poor year, I pray for them and the families for which they provide. It is a hardworking life, and I for one appreciate them.
I hope that wherever you live; you can enjoy all the wonderful new things that come with Spring. Just taking a few moments to stop and listen to the bird’s sing can relieve stress and help brighten and lighten your day. If you are as blessed as I am and live near a rural area, take a drive, and notice the pastures and all the new birth and blooms they hold.
For as long as I can remember, I have not made friends easily. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m an introvert by nature. But the few friends that I made in my lifetime have been good ones. I consider myself blessed to remain friends with girls whom I went to elementary school. There were five of us and we all met in first grade. Memories of our little gang huddled up at recess, gossiping about the cutest boy in class, or comparing our newest outfits, remain cherished in my heart. To this day, I stay in touch with each of them through social media. If there is one good thing that has come from Facebook, it is finding old friends to reminisce about the good old days.
Many people will walk through our lives. Few will make a lasting impression, even fewer will become a loyal friend. But even more rare is someone who will be the friend that changes your life forever. I believe most of us never find someone so unique. I can proudly say that I did, and her name was Kathy Sue.
An older cousin of mine introduced me to his friend Kathy when I was around 15, and she was 19. We instantly hit it off as friends. She was intrigued about my life in another state, and I was in awe of her for many reasons. Kathy stood a mere 4’10” and was pretty as a doll with crystal blue eyes and long brown hair. Every guy would turn his head when she entered a room. She had a dazzling smile and the personality to match. She was also very intelligent, attended college, and had a good job. She was everything that I hoped to be someday. The maturity difference between us seemed invisible. We got along great and had a lot of fun together.
As I got older, we became closer. Our maturity levels eventually matched up and we were the best of friends. I lived in Virginia, and she in Tennessee. I visited TN several times a year, as that was where I spent my childhood. Kathy would drop everything, take vacation days from work, and spend every moment with me when I visited. She would make me feel like I was having a red carpet rolled out for me. Everything we did, she would let it be my choice because I was her guest. I never had a family member treat me so well, much less a friend. She was the definition of a true friend.
Years went by and I got married and had children. Kathy had bad luck in relationships and remained single. But no matter when I visited Tennessee, she would be there, rolling out that red carpet, now for me and my kids. She never wavered in her friendship, showing love and support to me and my family no matter how different our life paths had become. We still had so much fun when we were together.
Over the years, I nicknamed Kathy Sue “my little angel”. No matter where my life took me, she was always waiting in the wings with a smile and positive attitude, always there to listen, and offer loving words of advice. She had the patience of a saint and a heart of pure gold. She is the only person I have ever known in my 58 years, that never made me feel a negative emotion. Not once!
Mother’s Day 1999, I took a trip to TN and spent most of my long weekend with Kathy. We celebrated my upcoming birthday and had a wonderful time. We laughed, had long talks catching up on each other’s lives, stayed out till way past our bedtimes, and soaked in as much friendship as we could. The last night we visited, I remember Kathy saying to me she didn’t want to say goodbye. That she didn’t want me to leave, and that it would be too long before she could see me again. I too felt sad and wished that I could take my precious friend back to Virginia with me. We promised to write each other letters, as we had been doing for over 20 years. Little did I realize, that would be the last time I would see my angelic friend.
Two weeks later, after running errands all day, I returned home and found my oldest daughter Robin waiting for me. She had a strange look on her face and I immediately knew something was wrong. She told me to call her dad, that it was very important. She also said, don’t listen to the answering machine. What in the world was going on? She wouldn’t tell me, just kept saying “call dad”. When I called my husband at work, he told me to sit down. He began explaining that someone had left a message on our home answering machine and my friend Kathy was killed that morning in a head on collision on her way to work (the same route she had taken every morning for over 10 years).
It couldn’t be true. I kept asking him, are you sure it’s “My Kathy”? Unfortunately, there was no mistake.
I will always be grateful for that last trip to visit my dear Kathy. I remember her often with great fondness and gratitude. When I think of Kathy Sue, I can’t help but think of how special it was that God picked me to be her friend. She was a priceless gem, and it was an honor to have known her.
It’s been 21 years since my friend Kathy left this earth. I still think of her often, as she was a once in a lifetime kind of friend. I know I will never find another friend like her. They are much too rare. I believe the two of us will be reunited some day and the thought of that makes me smile.
If you happen to have a friend as special to you as my Kathy was to me, my hopes are you appreciate them and never take them for granted. Let them know often how important they are to you. It really is true that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. . . . JoAnn