Published in the Rains County Leader on October 17, 2017:
Celebrating Life, the title of this article, is an accurate description of how I spent this past weekend. In a period of forty-eight hours, I attended a gender reveal, a tenth birthday party, a wedding shower, and a memorial service. Each celebration was very different, but each one marked the importance of an event that most of us experience during our time on this earth.
The gender reveal was my first. I’ve seen pictures of them on Facebook had never attended one until Saturday. When I had my son, the gender reveal came in the delivery room when the doctor declared, “It’s a boy!” Medical advances have allowed earlier announcements, and the process has evolved.
This recent reveal was done at a family fish fry. During lunch, young cousins of some designation made the rounds, taking an opinion poll of the gender of the cousin-in-utero and applying Team Pink or Team Blue stickers as appropriate. I was on Team Pink, and David was on Team Blue in the gender reveal game, but in the game of life, we’re both on Team Brendle! (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 12, 2017:
David and I recently went to a church pot luck at my brother Jim’s church in Conway, AR. As siblings tend to do, especially older siblings, our conversation turned to memories of our shared childhoods. I can’t remember the thread that led to the subject of nicknames, but at some point I mentioned that, if Jim had been in charge, my name would have been Judy instead of Linda.
Jim was four years old when Mom was pregnant with me. Wanting to make him feel a part of the process, she and Dad asked him what he thought my name should be. He doesn’t remember where he had heard the name – maybe a cute little girl in his Sunday School class or someone he met at the park – but he immediately suggested that I be named Judy. I think they had already made their choice, but they played along anyway, asking what he thought my middle name should be. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 5, 2017:
Mom was born on September 3, so she’s always on my mind during this season. Every year I post a picture of her on Facebook that was taken six years ago on her 90th birthday, her last one on earth, and then I spend most of the day thinking about her. Last Sunday, probably because I was also thinking about what to write in my column, I remembered what a city girl she was in spite of the fact that she spent her first nineteen years on various farms in west Texas. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 30, 2016:
I don’t do change very well. I don’t know if that’s a result of nature or nurture – in other words, I don’t know if I was simply born with a natural aversion to change or if I have developed that aversion because very little changed in my world when I was growing up.
Not that my childhood was boring, but it didn’t involve a lot of variation. When Mom placed furniture in a room, that’s where it stayed. Dinner meant one of a few familiar menus, and family vacations usually included a week in a cabin on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. That kind of lifestyle gives a solid sense of stability and security, but it doesn’t offer much opportunity to learn to deal with change. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 2, 2016:
For you youngsters, this is Rosie the Riveter who represented the women who worked in the factories during WWII while the men went to war.
This past week, we have seen and heard a lot about strong women. Mothers have posted about how thrilled they are that, with Hillary Clinton having been nominated for the office of President of the United States by the Democratic Party, they now have a role model of a strong woman to hold up before their daughters. While we now have the opportunity to tell our girls as well as our boys that, if you are willing to work for it, the possibilities of what you can do with your life are virtually unlimited, we should make sure that our efforts to expand their horizons are not actually having the opposite effect. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 26, 2016:
I first wrote this as a blog four years ago, but I edited and updated it for my City Girl column this week and thought I’d share it with you.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with make-up most of my life. The only time Dad ever spanked me was because of lipstick. I was five, and like most little girls, I was fascinated by all the neat stuff Mom put on her face. One day I asked permission to put on some lipstick, but for some adult reason, she said no. Forbidden fruit is always the most tempting, so when she wasn’t looking, I did the one thing I had been told not to do. I’m not sure how I expected to get away with my crime with the evidence smeared all over my face, and I didn’t. Not an auspicious beginning. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 28, 2016:
Last Sunday afternoon, David and I were invited to a late lunch with friends in honor of Father’s Day. As often happens at this kind of event, the men gathered in the living room in front of a televised sports event, and the women gathered in the kitchen.
The hostess related a story about a friend who wasn’t present. It seems that he made a deal with his children. If they would address their elders as “Sir” and “Ma’am” for an entire month, they would receive a reward of some kind. He was delighted to pay up when they were successful. (more…)