Steve & Betty

Sharing the Good News of Jesus!

Archive for the category “Just Stuff”


My mother passed away this year.  As my sister and I have rummaged  through her “stuff”,  memories have flooded our thoughts like a brook overflowing a beaver dam. Many hundreds of old sepia and black and white pictures have surfaced flooding us with thoughts of times that we had forgotten and some that we had never known. Some pictures brought smiles and others tears, but all brought precious memories of family.

Searching through each box we also found stories that my mother had written and even one of mine that Mama had saved. Enjoy my memory of Sundays, a little girl, Granddaddy Horton and the porch rocker.


“As the sun filtered though the stained-glass window and played on the pew in front of me, I grew more and more fidgety. My mother’s hand, resting gently on my leg, reminded me to be still, but my thoughts still wandered. After all, the best part of Sunday to this 5-year-old girl had yet to come.

Each Sunday, my maternal grandparents would go home with us after church. I always loved being with Granny and Granddaddy Horton and hearing the stories of the “Old Florida” that they had grown up in…..stories of huge blood thirsty mosquitoes, rattlesnakes hiding in the orange groves, shaking their rattles in warning and panthers screaming in the night.  Nothing since has fired up my imagination quite the same.  My grandparent’s anecdotes were so colorful that I felt like I had lived through their experiences, rather than just hearing of them.

In those days, we called the noon meal “dinner”–not lunch as we do today. Sunday dinner was always wonderful. Just thinking of those tantalizing flavors causes me to salivate even now: crispy fried chicken, real mashed potatoes, creamy gravy, fresh green beans, sliced vine-ripened tomatoes, crackling corn bread with melting butter, rich chocolate cake and hand-churned vanilla ice cream, were on the menu most Sundays. But this was not what caused me to fidget each Sunday, as the Preacher’s voice droned on and on while my thoughts escaped the walls of the church.

My Granddaddy Horton was a tall, thin man with beautiful snow, white hair. I learned from my mother that his black hair had turned white in his early 30’s. This always made him appear older than he was. To me, he seemed like a kindly patriarch, such as Moses, who I learned about in Sunday School– when I wasn’t fidgeting. I was the first grandchild, so I held a privileged position.  And I never failed to let anyone know it when they challenged me for my throne–Granddaddy’s lap.

As soon as Sunday dinner was over and I was excused, I’d place my small hand in Granddaddy’s large calloused one and lead him to the porch rocker. This is where my thoughts had been leading me all day. On Sundays, our front porch became a magical place. On his cozy lap, Granddaddy would take me to marvelously exotic places with the help of the Sunday “funny papers”. As the afternoon wore on, we would explore all the places that came alive to both of us as he read of, “Little Orphan Annie”, “Alley Oop”, “Mutt and Jeff”, “Brenda Starr” and of all our other Sunday Friends. Through Granddaddy’s voice, I learned what it was like to be adopted by Daddy Warbucks, to be a comedic cave man, to live the life of a glamorous red-headed reporter, and to experience so many other exciting adventures .

I will never know if it was the love in Granddaddy’s voice, the gentle motion of the rocker or the balmy breeze that always seemed to find its way to our front porch; perhaps it was a combination of all three, but once I learned to read on my own, I was never able to recreate the spell that was cast on Sundays with Granddaddy, in a porch rocker with this little 5-year-old girl.”









“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

I wrote last week of two friends who were lost to this world, but whose memory will always be alive with love in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know them. Their passing has caused me to be more reflective than usual.

On Thursday of last week another childhood acquaintance, David Gore, died. He was a year behind me in school……..he died by lethal injection. He will be remembered to.

What causes someone whom I’m sure was a much loved son, turn into someone  capable of  the heinous murders he committed?  What happened to create such a twisted mind? ………….And how did someone who grew up along side me in Vero Beach, Florida end up finding pleasure in causing such pain and agony in so many lives and destroying the peace and tranquility of our “paradise” .

I remember David Gore well…..I saw him often as we passed in the halls of Vero Beach High School.  He appeared to be shy, lonely and withdrawn. There was something about him that made him seem younger than the rest of us; more fragile.  He wasn’t in the group of friends that I hung around with. To be honest he wouldn’t have fit in……..and I don’t think we would have welcomed him anyway……I saw him daily, but I didn’t see “him”.

As I said, I have been very reflective this past week and in my reflection I have had this question tumbling through my thoughts. What part did I possibly play in creating the monster that the young David Gore became?

We hear a lot more about bullying today than we ever did when I was growing up, but I can assure you that bullying has always been around.  I just don’t think we had a name for it or because of the lack of media involvement, awareness of it. There have always been a group of kids who were the underdogs and another group who seemed to enjoy seeing those misfits be abused both physically, mentally and emotionally.

David Gore was a misfit and I abused him. What was my abuse? I totally ignored him. It was as though he were a ghost walking the halls of our school. I looked right through him. What might he have become if he had felt more acceptance from me and others like me?  Maybe nothing would have changed for him. Maybe the die was already cast. But I will never know that if I had reached out to this sad and lonely classmate and helped him wade through the tough times of being a teenager in a clique-filled high school would he have found peace for his tormented and twisted soul……. I will never know.

It’s too late for me to reach out to David Gore, but I hope that each time I see someone who appears to be out of place, sitting by themselves, head hung low, that I will remember my classmate who started life as a precious baby and ended up taking the lives of other precious babies and subsequently died by lethal injection on August 12, 2012.

I hope that I never forget that, “yes, I am my brother’s keeper”.


How Will I Be Remembered?

Yesterday two people in my life died……one was only 38 and the other was 60…..I don’t know the particulars.

As a child, Zak, the 38 year old, and his family were close friends, but as time passed, as often happens,  they all moved out of our lives.  However, I still remember him and his family fondly. My heart is hurting for them today.

Nicky, the 60 year old, and I met in first grade. We had classes together all through school and then finally  graduated together. I moved away when I got married and we lost touch. She was one of those sweet people who was liked by everyone……..Again my heart hurts.

I am reminded today of how fleeting life is and how we are promised only the second we are living in right now……With that in mind I have to ask myself how would I be remembered if suddenly my life were to end.  I’m not just talking about my family and friends who I know love me and would miss me, but what about that lady in the supermarket that I almost ran over with my cart, because I was in such a hurry. Or the man on the motorcycle that I nearly  cut off, because I was late for work.  And what about the young man who knocked on my door while I was vacuuming to share his “faith” with me.  I was so curt with him………How would they remember me?


I’m Back……………….

I’m back! After 39 days, 2 antibiotics, nasal spray, inhaler, vaporizer and much, much prayer, I feel human again. Or perhaps I should say super human, since sickness is certainly a part of being human. I am blessed with good health. In fact so blessed that I take it for granted.  And that is not a good thing. God has granted me the gift of health and I will try to never take that gift for granted again.

I often see people in wheelchairs, or with canes, some even  attached to oxygen tanks, as they look wistfully at those of us who aren’t dependent upon those things to get around. I said I see them, but in fact until the last 39 days I didn’t really SEE them. Now I find myself really looking at them and saying a prayer that they will recover and be able to live a more active life.

You see I am 60 years old and a grandmother, but I am a grandmother who still climbs trees and slides and dances crazy dances with my granddaughters.  I want to continue being able to do those things and more. So with God’s help I will take better care  of myself when I feel a sore throat coming on. I will be more “obedient” when Steve says I need to rest.  And I will pray for those who suffer from chronic disabilities.





Out of Touch

We will be out of touch for a few days. We are visiting our son and granddaughter in Juno Beach and tonight we will be attending Betty’s 60th Birthday Bash with her high school graduating class. Get back on track soon.


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