When I was growing up in a small town of Arkansas, I spent many cool summer evenings racing around the yard carrying a fruit jar in my hands. If you have to ask why, then you have missed out on a tradition of catching lightning bugs or called by many fireflies. The world turns into an enchanted evening as if tiny stars had fallen from the sky twinkling in the darken night.
The fireflies seem magical and even though there is a scientific answer (a chemical reaction occurs to make their spectacular light) I’d rather believe they are small fairies living in their own glittering world.
Happy Father’s Day
I was very fortunate to have a kind, gentle man, my granddad, Creath, in my life for 10 years, a man who built buildings, courthouses, dams, and bridges all around the south.
He had patience with a little girl who liked to talk and had way too much energy. He gave me the best gift you can give a child, time.
On warm summer days, we would take long, slow walks around our yard. He would stop under the apple tree and pick an apple, wipe it off and using his pocketknife he would peel it. Then, we would continue our walk and he would hand me slices of the apple. He allowed me to talk about anything that I wanted.
He was a strong willed man, known around town that his word was his bond. But he was also a caring man, a man who would take time to watch animals and birds play, teaching me to slow down and enjoy life.
I miss Granddad and those days we spent together, but I will always cherish the memories.
Happy Father's Day!
Today is Mother's Day, a day of remembering your mom or someone that made a difference in your life. I was very lucky since I had a mother who gave me life and a grandmother who taught me about life.
Mother's Day is a time to think about your love ones, the ones who are still with you and the ones that are in heaven. When I was a child my granddad would sit outside on our front porch and talk to the cardinals. The magnificent birds in the coats of red would fly down onto limbs in the old oak tree, only a few feet from him, and stay for the longest time. Yes, he would have a conversation with them and they would sing their beautiful songs. He would tell me to be quiet and listen. I did as he asked and sat quietly, which was difficult for me then & now, and listen. I have learned over the years that a cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has died. When I think back to those days so long ago sitting with my granddad on our front porch remembering the cardinal singing in the old oaks I have to believe that this folklore must be true.
So when you see a beautiful red bird, I believe it means a loved one is visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they'll appear. Then take the time to remember your family & friends that aren't with you anymore.
I had two cardinals singing outside of my office this morning. I sat and listened quietly to the calming music from Mother Nature.
Cardinals and the Number 12
The number 12 is considered a lucky number by many Native Americans. The number 12 also is associated with the cardinal. Cardinals are seen during all 12 months of the year. A cardinal's eggs will hatch in 12 days. Native American lore holds that if you have encountered a cardinal, expect good luck to follow, possibly in 12 hours, 12 days, or at noon or midnight.
Happy Mother's day!
Merry Christmas Eve
I have a little Santa Claus and every Christmas Eve
he watches over my house.
And during the night, he doesn’t make a sound; he’s quiet as a mouse.
Little Santa as he is called isn’t very tall and actually, he is very small.
Little Santa began his watch so long ago, sitting in a window with his round body all aglow.
My little Santa Claus is very special to me,
And he is a memory I will always treasure from all my Christmas Eves.
I wish for you a wonderful memory from your Christmases of the past,
And I hope your memories of Christmas will grow and forever last.
So from Little Santa and me, I wish for you a very Merry Christmas Eve.
Today, Thanksgiving is a day of memories.
Every Thanksgiving I would travel home to a small green (that’s another story) concrete stucco home in Nashville, AR and visit with my grandmother, who I called Mamow, (another story). My Mamow died in 1994.
This warm and inviting home was filled with memories of a young girl growing up in a small town where all the neighbors knew your name and welcomed you into their homes.
Each Thanksgiving we would arrive and my Mamow would have that little green home flowing with delicious smells of ham, chicken & dressing (she loved to cook with a hen, not a turkey) pumpkin & pecan pies, her special Patty's cake and fresh baked cornbread.
First my Mamow and I would take a tour around the home and yard just to talk, no matter what the weather was outside. The tour included her flower and vegetable gardens and she would tell me what was new in her life. I would immediately feel like I was a young girl, safe, loved, and no worries. Those visits home were more wonderful than any expensive vacation that I could have dreamed about.
I now have even more memories to add. They are memories of my son Rick who died May 20, 2014. He loved to go to Mamow’s. When he was sixteen and broke his leg, wearing a full leg cast, he was determined we were still going to Nashville, AR. He spent time sitting on the front porch with Mamow listening to her tell her stories about her life. Her life was a simple life full of many tragedies, but also full of love. She lost her right hand in a factory accident, but that never stopped her. She cooked, learned to write with her left hand, worked a garden, made quilts, and even made my clothes.
Family, friends, and neighbors would stop by for a visit and more stories would flow. I wished I’d listened a little more carefully to those stories. You see, time moves on faster than you might think and our lives seem to swish by like watching out the window of a train that is zooming down the track.
This Thanksgiving please take time to give your family and friends the gift of listening. You never know what tomorrow will bring and memories are worth more than any gift you can buy.
I wish for everyone a safe, happy, and peaceful Thanksgiving.
Many years ago 500 feet changed my life.
November 20 began as a peaceful Sunday in the small town of Hope, Arkansas.
My father William was a crop duster and loved to fly. This cool fall day a group of men had a meeting out in a field near the Hope, AR airport. One of the men was interested in a new red biplane.
The group of men, my mother, (who was eight months pregnant with me), & my brother stood out in the field watching as my father volunteered to test the plane. All was going well until the plane rose into the sky into an inverted roll that brought the beautiful plane to the ground.
I have been told that if my father had had an extra 500 feet the maneuver would have worked, but because of the low-ceiling that day he misjudged the distance.
That November day change many lives including mine. At the age of twenty-five my father died that Sunday and I was born a month later on December 18th in the small southern town of Nashville, Arkansas. Therefore, I was never able to meet my father.
Stories told to me through the years is the only way I know about my father, a kind and generous man who died way too young.
Life has a way of interrupting our secure and safe lives, but how we adjust is what matters. My father wouldn't have wanted his family and friends to have stopped living just because he was gone. He lived his life with gusto wanting to be a pilot from an early age.
Now many years later on quiet Sunday afternoons when I hear a small plane flying over my house I remember the story my grandmother used to tell. My father would fly over her house and dip his wings to say hello and that everything was all right. I believe my father is still flying in the calm blue skies and dipping his wings to say everything is fine.
This was me, back in 2000, when I lived in Bonita Springs, FL, a tired and happy grandmother.
As you can see I had my hands full. I was holding my first grandchildren that happened to be two months apart. My little brown hair, dark brown eyed little boy and my blonde and blue eyed little girl.
••• Keep reading click read more below
Diann Shaddox author will be at Follypalooza Cancer Benefit in the memory of her son Rick who died of brain cancer May 20, 2014 on October 18, 2014
I will be at Follypalooza Cancer Benefit at Folly Beach, SC in the memory of my son Rick, who died of brain cancer May 20, 2014.
I will be signing copies of “A Faded Cottage” a SC love story & “Whispering Fog” a time travel romance, at the Follypalooza Cancer Benefit & Street Festival on Saturday, Oct. 18 on Center Street Folly Beach, SC.
This is a fundraising/Book signing to also benefit the Diann Shaddox Foundation, but I will be there in memory of my son, Rick, who died of brain cancer May 20, 2014. Rick also had Essential Tremor.
If you’re in the area please stop by and visit, I’d love to talk with you.
Legacy & Family
This is my grandmother, who I called Mamow, the strongest and most caring woman I’ve ever known. The woman who taught me I could do anything that I wanted to do in life and to never give up.
She lost two husbands, two children, including my father, and lost her right hand in a factory accident at the age of 50, (you can see her missing right hand in this photo) working to put my father through college. She taught herself, after her accident, to sew, pen a cloth diaper on a baby by using her mouth, write with her left hand, (she was right handed) raise a garden, and was even able to can vegetables using just one hand, and never received a penny from disability. After my father and mother’s death, she took in my brother and me to care for, I was three years old at the time.
She never owned a dishwasher or clothes dryer and always stayed busy mowing and working in her yard.
Mamow you will always be missed and you will remain in my heart forever.
#diannshaddox #southerndreams #afadedcottage #diannshaddoxfoundation #whisperingfog
Why is such a tiny word with only three letters, but one of the most powerful words in the world. As an adverb, it is used for what, for what reason, cause, or purpose. Why is a question concerning the cause or reason for which something is done, or achieved.
My husband’s grandmother, Maw Maw, a woman about 4’9” that weighed almost 200 lbs., would sit in her rocking chair in her apartment and say why, why, why. Why did she have to leave her home and move into an elderly care apartment, why do you have to get old, why doesn’t more family visit, why is it that the great tasting foods that you love to eat are the ones your doctor tells you not to eat? The list goes on and on and Maw Maw never stopped her questions of why.
She even wanted the word WHY to be put on her tombstone. Then when people would walk past they would ask the question - why is the word WHY on that tombstone and the questions of why would continue on.
I’m sure you can think of many of your own whys. I sure can. Why can’t ••• Keep reading click read more Why
A tribute to my son, Rick. May 20, 2014
I want to say an immense thank you to all my family and friends. The outpouring of support, prayers and love my family has received during this difficult time has been a blessing. My son’s life was ended way to quick and the question of why will never be answered. I learned when I was very young that trying to find the answer of why a tragedy happens is a waste of precious time. I taught my son to live his life to the fullest and he lived more in his short life than many people live in a lifetime. I believe we all have a purpose in life. My son touched so many people lives giving them smiles from his laughter, a strong shoulder to lean on, and he left them with joy and a drive to continue and never give up no matter what life throws at you. My son won’t ever be gone since his memory will live in my heart forever. Being a writer I will keep his stories alive to tell his children and anyone who will listen. Stories that will make you laugh, cry, and bring out the love deep inside of you. There is a simple message I want to leave with everyone, smile more often, let the little things in life that bother you disappear, live each day of your life to the fullest, and tell your loved ones how much you love them. I don’t have the magic button to take the sorrow and pain away, but my life will continue on, whether it is for one more day, month, or many, many years, and I will always remember my sweet baby boy.
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Hi I'm Diann welcome and join me on my adventure. I'm the author of "A Faded Cottage" & "Whispering Fog" and Founder of Diann Shaddox Foundation. I'm a member of the Wyandotte Nation & I have Essential Tremor (ET). I love to travel, cook, which leads to eating and I love wines. Chardonnay is my favorite unless I'm eating steak then I'll take a glass of Cabernet.
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