Tag: choices

Life Moments… by Larry Fields

June 7, 1960, was the date of our Grundy High School graduation. We were nearly 200 in that class…

It was a misty, rainy night as I drove Dad’s 1949 Packard from Harman to Grundy with Dad, Mom, my Grandmother Annie, and Trudy and David all aboard. The car was packed, and so was the Auditorium.
When we arrived back home to Harman, none of us were prepared for what confronted us when we opened the door to the house. As soon as somebody turned the lights on, Giant Waterbugs(at least three times the size of a roach) went scurrying everywhere: floor, couches, cabinets, etc… We lived next to a creek, but we had never seen anything like the invasion that took place that night.
All of us began killing as many as we could get by stomping them or swatting them & then sweeping them up. Finally, with no more Waterbugs, we went to bed, hoping and praying that all of our invaders had hidden in the walls or returned to Bull Creek, just across the road from our house. Sleep was hard to come by as we all tried to forget a shared nightmare.

Myself, I was doubly burdened with what I was going to do with my life. I was considering joining the service, but Mom & Dad didn’t want that. I could just continue to work at the Harman Mining Company Store. I sure enjoyed that!
Alas, about two weeks later, I received a letter from my good friend, Willard Owens, asking me to come join him at Hiwassee Junior College in Madisonville, Tennessee. Willard had graduated from Grundy in 1959 and then attended the college’s summer session after spending a year working for the FBI in the fingerprint division but deciding he needed a college education.
His letter asked me to enroll for the 2nd Summer Session…” You can be my roommate,” he said. (I had never had one of those.)
Truth to tell, it seemed like a great idea, but only because my Mom & Dad wanted me to do this & a few weeks later, they took me to Claypool Hill on a Sunday morning to catch a bus for an 8-hour trip to Madisonville, Tennessee…
It was expensive even then to attend college & I did apply and receive a National Defense Loan, which entailed that I would only have to pay half of it back if I taught school for ten years. Paid it back & taught school for 36 years…LOL
I was upset when I got off the bus & had to walk about two miles on a dusty road to the college campus, dragging a trunk behind me. Did manage to catch a ride for part of the journey though…LOL
But when I finally found Willard, I wanted to kill him. He locked me in the room and made me promise to stay at least one night. Really though, it was a no-brainer, for I was exhausted & a long way from my bed at home…
Fortunately, I said I would stay one night.
Could you imagine me walking back down that dusty road dragging a trunk, trying to thumb a ride to Harman? Me neither!
And it did turn out to be a most enjoyable two years…And Willard became my roommate for four years of college—the last two at ETSU.
Eight years after that graduation on June 7, 1960, I married the beautiful Sandra Kennedy Fields at MMS Chapel on June 7, 1968.

Hope yall enjoyed…

Signs… by JoAnn

Ever had something happen to you and thought it might be a sign? Maybe a sign to choose a different path in life or a sign that danger is ahead. Personally, I have always believed in signs such as these. To me, they are our instincts sending up a red flag.

The first time I took notice of such a sign, I was 22 years old and a mother to my oldest daughter. She was about 18 months at the time. I had planned a day out for the two of us. We lived in a rural area, about an hour’s drive from the closest large city. I had planned to drive us to my favorite restaurant, where we would enjoy a nice lunch. The drive would be a treat on such a beautiful Fall day. About halfway to our destination, I had a bad feeling come over me, and I felt like I should turn around and go back home. At first, I thought it was just anxiety about driving alone in the car with my baby—something I didn’t do very often. The feeling kept haunting me, though, and it wouldn’t go away. I thought surely there was nothing wrong; it was just me and my nerves again. When we got to the restaurant, the waitress who seated us suddenly began to cough. It bothered me that she may be coming down with something, and now here I am with my baby in her presence. We ended up having a nice lunch and made it home safely. Within 24 hours, my baby girl was running a fever and coughing. She had the flu. My mind raced back to when that waitress had coughed. I realized I should have listened to my instincts and returned home that day. Avoiding the waitress, and hence avoiding my little girl being sick. From that day forward, I have always listened to my inner voice and taken notice of signs. I tried to raise each of my daughters to do the same.

I have read many stories of people receiving signs from loved ones who have passed away. Signs that their loved one is near them and saying a friendly hello, or an I love you. When my own dad passed away, for months after, I would find nickels around my home. I’d walk from one room to the next, and there on the floor, as if it fell from the sky, would be a nickel. I wrote a missive about it titled “Daddy’s Nickle” on this website if you want to read it. You see, nickels were something that my daddy would give me as a little girl. Then he would take me to his favorite little corner store and let me pick out penny candies. It was something that only he and I shared, and there was no doubt I was finding the nickels because of him. If not, it was God’s way of easing my grief.

This past week was my daddy’s Birthday, which made me miss him badly. He would have been 98. I decided to try and take my mind off of my sadness and do a little house cleaning. I ran across a box that I had been meaning to go through. It was sealed, and I had no idea what was inside. I opened it and realized it was full of old photographs. I immediately found a black and white 8×10 photo of my dad back in the 1960s. I had not laid eyes on that photo in many years. I was so happy to see my dad’s face on his Birthday! I continued with my cleaning and decided to look through a plastic tote I had been meaning to clear out. Inside was a little velvet box containing my mama and daddy’s wedding rings along with my daddy’s keys. He had left them at my house the last time he visited me. I also wrote a missive about those keys and their significance if you would care to read it. It is titled “Daddy’s Keys.” Again, a gift was given to me on my dad’s Birthday, precisely when I needed it. I was beginning to realize that perhaps my daddy was trying to provide me with comfort that day. He was trying to tell me that he was still very near me. I placed the photo & wedding rings in a safe place, with plans to frame the photo later. I hung the keys in a place where I can see them every day.

A couple of hours later, I decided to go out. When I opened my front door, there was the biggest, most beautiful black and blue butterfly I had ever seen. It was like it had been waiting for me to open the door. It fluttered before me, then was quickly gone. But I knew. I knew it was a sign from someone I love dearly and miss so much.

I’m very thankful for the blessing of signs that protect me and help heal a broken heart. I wonder if people can become so busy in their lives that they miss the signs given to them. What a shame that would be.

Happy Birthday in heaven, Daddy!

My Basketball Journey… by Taylor

My journey with basketball has been a great one. I have played it since around 3rd grade. I love it and it will always be something I love and have a place in my heart.

When I was younger, I started off playing at a church. I had a lot of fun. As soon as I started playing, I knew it was my thing. It was my main sport, and I thought it would always be.

My dad was my coach when I was younger. He loved coaching and watching me play. He used to play it when he was younger. He still coaches me till this day. I was not super good when I was younger, but I was pretty average. I remember one game I was the only kid who didn’t score. My dad set up a play so that after one kid shot a free throw, they could chunk the ball across the court to me. I was wide open but still nervous. I made it, though.

After Upward basketball, at the church, I started AAU travel ball when I was in elementary school. I had a coach named Heather. She was absolutely amazing! I love her and always will. She is like a close friend. Actually, she is one. She has taught me a lot. She prepared me for my future with basketball.

Once I got in Junior High, things got harder, but I got better. I was always nervous before games, though. I would also get nervous in practices. I would be too hard on myself, and I still am. I stuck with it, though. I knew I was doing well, but still focused on what I messed up on. However, I love the sport, so I didn’t want to let it go. Later on, I started to think about whether or not I still wanted to play. I started thinking like this around 7th and 8th grade. I never officially settled on quitting.

I decided to keep playing. I did not hate playing or anything like that. It just started to become something I did not always have fun doing. I will say that those moments when I made a great shot or game changing move felt amazing! One time, we were playing against a team at their gym. I was in 7th grade at the time. We were tied 30-30 at the last 10 seconds. I got fouled and had a chance to put us ahead of them. If I made at least one free-throw then we would be up by one point. I made both! We were then up by 2 points with about 10 seconds left. I felt so good, yet nervous, at that very moment. We tried our best to guard them, but one girl got the ball and dribbled down the court to their goal. I could not let her win the game. I was determined. I ran as fast as I could and tipped the ball right from her hand. She still managed to get it back before it went out of bounds, but she did not have enough time to get off a good shot off. She just threw it up and completely missed. I was so happy! I made the winning shots and defensive play to win the game! That was one of my happiest moments while playing basketball.

Now, I am in high school. I decided to keep playing basketball. I was extremely nervous and anxious. When we started practicing, coach did not cut anyone off the team. If you wanted off, then you would just quit. I didn’t want to quit exactly at the time. The head coach, Wilkins, was starting to really like me, and coach heather, the assistant coach, already loved me. It felt good that they loved me and how I played. I am a really great shooter. That’s what I love to do. I was not that good at handling the ball, but I sure could shoot it. Later on, I started to think different though. After about halfway through the season I was not having fun playing. It started feeling like a job rather than a fun sport or hobby. After the season was over, I broke. I started to really think about how unhappy I was playing every day. We never got a break. We played all year round. I finally decided to quit.

Now, I feel free. I feel like I can do what I really want to do. I want to help animals when I’m older. I am going to take classes that will help me learn more about them. I still love basketball but just as something I do on my own for fun. I do not want to do it all the time and at my school. I am much happier now and glad that I made that important decision in my life.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

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