Monday, October 27, 2014

I {heart} Halloweeeeeeen!

I love Halloween.  I love the colors.  I love the costumes.  I love the candy.

Alan's mom, Mary, and his sister, Stacy, are aficionados of vintage Halloween decor.  Their collections of witches, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns are spectacular.  The few vintage Halloween treasures I own were given to me by Alan's mom or his siblings (out of the 4 siblings, Alan is the ONLY one who does not love antiques - go figure).

My friend, Shanna's, home magically transforms into an amazing display of Halloween grandeur at 12:01 on the 1st of October each year.  From mice running up the broad staircase to the life-sized "Lurch" at the top of the stairs, her home is a treat for the eyes.

And, then, there's me.  I'm still in the "collect and design" phase of decorating my home for Halloween.  Below are some pictures of a few of my favorite things.  

The very last 2 pictures are a couple of my all time favorite Halloween pictures!  
Then, there's a little treat for you to enjoy!

Meems and Leonard at a Raider Ranch Halloween Party.
This is Meems' Second Place costume.
She's worn it for the past 2 Halloween parties at Raider Ranch.
She won Second Place for Best Costume both times.
She's gunning for a 3rd - Second Place this year.
Keep your fingers crossed!

Happy Halloween, Dear Friends!  Enjoy each of the trick-or-treaters that come to your door!  Years ago, one of those trick-or-treaters was YOU.

I leave you with a poem.  Meems read this to us every October when we were children.  Bill Kerr's rendition sounds much like Meems' did.  I think that she used it as a cautionary tale to tide us over until she could start telling us that Santa was watching us.

PS.  It is almost as good as my performance of the poem in George Stoke's speech class way back in the '70's at Baylor...

 An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
      Ef you

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Golden Greens

On Saturday, November 1, 2014, in Waco, Texas in the cool morning air, crowds will flock to Austin Avenue.  Sprinklings of families will begin curb-sitting at the corner of Austin Avenue and 17th Street.  Small children dressed in Baylor green and gold will be craning their freshly-scrubbed necks to see if the time is drawing nigh.  The crowd will wax and wane up Austin Ave until the turn at 4th Street.  Rounding the corner onto 4th Street the river of humanity will thicken and thin like the Brazos River.  At the corner of 4th Street and I-35, the pitch of the crowd will begin to heighten just before the route hooks a Louey onto 5th Street for the triumphal entry onto the Baylor campus where the sidewalks will be jam-packed 5-deep with devotees clad in all sort of green and gold fashions.  The  curb spots in front of the Student Union Building and the Hankamer Business School will have been claimed since 8AM.  This is serious business in Bear Country.  It is the Homecoming Parade.

(from Wikipedia)
I know.  I know.  I'm wearing Texas Tech colors.
But, it was such a cute outfit.  I will choose cute over team spirit every time.
Strolling along 5th Street on the sidewalk behind the wall of parade watchers, you will always see proud young parents debuting their young.  This a time-honored tradition.  A sort of Lion King moment amongst humans.  "I.  HAVE.  BROUGHT.  FORTH.  OFFSPRING. AND.  THEY.  WEAR.  THE.  GREEN.  AND.  GOLD."

Alan and I have returned to Waco for many, many Baylor Homecomings over the years.  The Dallas days were easy.  When we moved to Lubbock the long drive to Central Texas coupled with the fact that our boys played YFL football meant that our pilgrimages to 5th Street became fewer and farther between.

We will not be curb-sitting along the parade route this year.  I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH I REGRET MISSING THIS PARTICULAR HOMECOMING.  I'm going to miss one of the most important parade entries ever.  I'm going to miss cheering for the 
Golden Greens.
If you don't watch carefully, you may miss this auspicious parade entry.  Most people will  give a polite glance in the general direction of the couple waving from the back seat of the convertible and perhaps smile absently before looking down the block to see which float is coming next.  To the untrained eye, this little couple will be about as interesting as a Fire Marshall riding down the parade route in the back of a pickup.  No offense to Fire Marshalls, but the little couple in the back of the convertible are accomplished promise-keepers.  They commit.  They follow through.  They are loyal to the bone.

Bettye and Harold Green
(from Baylor Proud)
Dear Friend, I beg you to stand up out of respect and take notice when the Golden Greens float past your curb campsite.  For before you will pass a couple that represents the very best of Baylor and all that is good and great about West Texas.

This precious and outstanding couple has attended EVERY SINGLE Baylor Homecoming since they graduated in the 40's.

I kid you not.  Every year.  

They have attended 68 
CONSECUTIVE  Baylor Homecomings.

Come rain or snow or sleet or hail, the Greens have driven from Tahoka, Texas, to Waco for Homecoming (and most all of the games because they are season ticket holders).  Through raising children and being active in the community, they have driven to Waco for Homecoming.  Even more intriguing is that they have been happily married for 68 years.  They come from solid West Texas, Greatest Generation stock.  The best of the best.

So, on Saturday, November 1st, if you attend the Homecoming Parade, would you do me a kindness?  Please pay deep respect, stand, and cheer for the...
Golden Greens.

And, please, oh please, take a picture of them for me!

I will proudly post the picture you send me ( on Finding the Funny!

Here's a shout-out to my dear friend, Bettye Green:  Love you, Bettye!  Practice your Beauty Queen wave!  Throw candy to the curb sitters!!!

You can read more about Bettye and Harold in this fine article:
Baylor Proud article

Monday, October 6, 2014

Who Dat Rigor

Update/Confession:  I just stepped out of the shower.  All of a sudden out of nowhere (AKA my brain), a chilling realization nailed me to the wall.   Yesterday, I once again called "Kim D___" by the wrong name!!!!  It's "KIM S___!"  Whoa, Nellie!  Rigor-ing out right now!!!  My apologies to my precious brunette, sweet smiling friend, Kim S___!!  Jesus, come and get me now!!!

About 4 times a week, I experience the sudden feeling of being frozen in place, my palms sweat copiously, and my cheeks flame with embarrassment.  It's my arch enemy come to visit - The Who Dat Rigor.

    a sudden feeling of cold with shivering accompanied by a rise in temperature, often with copious sweating, especially at the onset or height of a fever.

It rarely happens to me when I'm cloistered in the security of my home-sweet-home.  That's one of the few places on the planet where I feel safe from those sudden sick feelings of panic.  I have a front door with a lock.  And, I know how to use it.  If I can't see people, they can't mortify me.

It happens to me in the strangest places at the most unpredictable, inconvenient times like when I'm standing over the avocados in the produce section trying to remember the trick to choosing an unbruised speciman; or casually opening the door to the post office for a random stranger; or pensively leafing through a rack of blouses at Steinmart.  As sudden and unexpected as the jab of rattlesnake fangs in tall weeds, the rigor tears into my brain.  


Floods of embarrassment pour from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.  I march into panic mode.  The fight-or-flight response commands my toes to tap-dance on the pavement.  

I go into a full-blown technicolor WHO DAT RIGOR.

It usually goes down like this:

(source unknown)
Someone from behind me in the produce department sings out, "Well, hello, Carolyn!"  With fear and dread, I turn slowly towards the voice like a crazed woman in a horror movie and reach out to steady myself on the closest stable object.  While the voice continues to speak - "Long time - no see!  What have you been up to since I last saw you?!" - the Who Dat Rigor kicks in evaporating all mental capacity within my skull.  All I can think is...  

Who Dat talkin' to me is?!!

As I sputter simple responses - "Oh, not much!"  "How 'bout yourself?"  "Well, how in the world are YOU?!" - my mind goes W-I-L-D trying to figure out who the heck is standing before me.  I'm talking cat-in-a-tub-o'-water W-I-L-D.

Taking slow deep breaths as I buy time with idle prattle, I begin looking for context clues.  Is there a slightest-ish family resemblance indicating the presence of a kinsman?  [Being born into the same clan as me  does not enter your name into some sort of data hard drive in my brain.  All bets are off when it comes to my memory data hard drive.  There are NO familial back ups.]  Does the person resemble any of my boys' friends possibly making her the MOM of said friend?  [Wait, wait, wait!  She looks like that kid named Cody!!  Cody...uh...Jones!!!  Something baseball-y!  That would make her...oh, Jesus, have mercy upon me...Ann Jones!  Ding-ding-ding!]  Breathing a sigh of relief, I actually include her name in my next question, "Well, Ann, are you surviving the empty nest?!"

This past weekend, I went into the MOTHER-OF-ALL-WHO-DAT-RIGORS.  I was out of town  - a situation that creates a vacuous place called "out of context."  I was in a cute little store being lulled into a dreamy shopping reverie by a rack of brightly colored 1.75 reading glasses.  Then, without warning, "Hey, girl!"  Innocently, I turned towards the voice. My heart filled with the sweet familiarity that a friend's face brings.  I quickly said, "Hey, Lori!!"  Her eyebrows wrinkled.  Little beads of sweat began to dance a polka on my palms which I pressed on either side of her face.  I dug my pit deeper.  "LORI SPEARMAN?!" I said thinking that she was giving me the Which-Lori-Quiz.  Her confused countenance rounded the corner into that look of concern given to an elderly person who is trying to remember whether or not it's Tuesday.  Softly she replied, "No, I'm Kim."  "Kim?!" I replied in disbelief.  "Yes, I'm Kim D__."  Falling short of asking her if she was SURE she was Kim D__, my hands fell to my sides and, my body almost fell to the floor into a puddle of I-needs-me-a-keeper confusimentation.

I KNOW this woman.  I've KNOWN her for YEARS.  She goes to my church.  We recently worked together on planning a bridal shower.  I KNOW her.  I know her husband.  I know her sons.  I KNOW her.  And, she only mildly resembles Lori Spearman.  They are both brunettes with sweet smiles.

I'm shuddering as I tell you this story.  I'm 57 years old.  I'm reezunably intellergant.  I still drive a car.  I have sharp knives in my kitchen.  No one even blinks at the thought of me wandering the streets of Lubbock, TX on my own.  And, yet, sometimes people I know and love escape my short term memory by camouflaging themselves with unfamiliar faces and fleeting memories.

God gifted me with a HUGE propensity for loving people.  With his boundless sense of humor, he left off my ability to remember names.  Oh, He teases me often and well.  I can still remember the name of the girl that sat behind me in study hall my senior year:   Sharanda Reed.  Haven't seen her since May of 1975.  But, if I saw her picking over avocados in a produce department, I would be all, "Hey, Sharanda!"  Conversely, I have only a handful of cousins that I wouldn't be able to introduce to my next door neighbor, what's-her-name, if gun was held to my head.

Now you know.  I, Carolyn E. Lackey, suffer from acute Who Dat Rigor.  Would you please do me a kindness?  The next time you see me out and about, would you please say, "Hey, Carolyn!  It's me!  We have known each other since kindergarten.  My name is Alice."  If I reply, "Oh, Alice, I sure as heckfire remember you!!! Bing!" I'm probably lying.  Bless my heart.  Just give me 10 clues and 30 minutes of think time.  Your name will come to me eventually.  Or, it won't.



Meems had a very special visitor this weekend.  Our friend, Laura Ard, flew down from DC to spend time with her.  Laura lived next door t...