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Thanksgiving Blessings

November 15, 2012

As I was walking down the hall at work one recent November morning an associate inquired as to how I was doing. I submitted my usual reply, “Okay so far, how ‘bout you?” In turn, she responded with her usual reply, “Every day above ground is a good day,” she said adding a thumbs up gesture for emphasis.

I returned to my office and sat quietly for a few minutes thinking about this routine exchange. In this season of thanksgiving I am truly grateful for people who send out positive messages amongst the angst of today’s world.

Some days it may be hard to remember things simply go better if we move forward with a positive attitude and a grateful heart. Certainly I’ve had my full share of dark days this year suffering with Fibromyalgia flare ups. More than a few days I’ve been confined to the bed, unable to do anything but burn the entire day away by sleeping. During these spells I feel cheated, especially on warm sunny days. Negativity has a bad way of rearing its ugly head, inciting me to feel sorry for myself.

When I consider the abundance of love and bountiful blessings I’ve been graced with I sincerely feel the best cure for what ails me on bad days may just be a good swift kick in the butt. There are folks with ailments far worse than mine who are not nearly as fortunate as I am. I have a loving household, two groovy dogs, good food to eat, warm bed to sleep in, roof over my head, good friends, and a family full of diverse and unusual personalities.

A little voice in the back of my head tells me, “Keep moving. You are here for a reason.” Actually, I’m thinking it’s the voice of a higher power that urges me to get up, get dressed and perform in society.

So, right about now you may be thinking, “What is the point of this column exactly?” The gist of my collective thoughts is simply that we should all remember each and every one of us was put on this earth to fulfill a purpose. We should remember that, in the blink of an eye, everything we have in the world can be ripped away from us. Hurricane Sandy is a timely reminder of that.

I was moved by an image of a mound of destruction left by that horrendous storm upon which someone had left a sign that read “Believe.” Every minute of every day takes faith - faith in yourself and others.

Let’s be grateful for all we have as Thanksgiving approaches. Let’s give what we can to those in need. Sometimes that may be as elementary as a smile or a pat on the back. Look around you. Move forward with kindness and gratitude and know that every day above ground is a blessing that has been given to you not to be abused or taken for granted.

Remember Thanksgiving isn’t about the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie. It’s not about the football games and putting up the Christmas tree way too early either. It’s about the blessing of life.

I’m not going to be walking around with a sign on my back that says, “Kick me.” But if you see me walking down the street with a big boot print on my fanny you’ll know happened.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, be of good cheer, and know that all of life’s blessings are ever so near.


Halloween Rules!

October 25, 2012

My favorite time of the year is approaching. Yep, Halloween. It’s the one day of the year you can dress in disguise without anyone thinking you’re a spy or a mental patient gone AWOL.

Let me first say that I will endeavor to write this editorial about All Hallows Eve without offending anyone. That happened a couple of years ago, so it I don’t want to do that again or it’s into a bubbling hot cauldron stew I’ll go. Heh, heh . . . hmmm.

Anyway, as usual, the hubby and I jointly fetched our collection of Halloween decorations from the basement and we’re all set to go with twinkling skeleton lights draped across the fence and skeletons hanging from the trees and bushes leading to the door.

Of course, I always break the “Halloween rule,” which is not to buy candy too far in advance—especially anything chocolate!

That bag of Snickers I purchased the first week of October to give out to creatures of the night is long since gone. I certainly can’t lie and say it wasn’t me who ate those tasty bite-size candy bars because my face breaks out if I eat too much chocolate and I’ve got two aggravating zits on my chin to prove it.

Yes, this is really me! The fish is a prop.

I love to get decked out for Halloween. Even though I’m a card-totin’ member of AARP, the little kid in me still busts out big time! Most years I dress up as a witch although that doesn’t vary much from my every day costume. This year I’m trying something different, I’m switching genders. Yeah, I’ll be walking like a woman and talking like a man! No one will recognize me, right? Well, there might be a couple of clues; nonetheless I’m practicing my baritone voice.

And, what would the last night of October be without a jack-o-lantern or two? It’s always a challenge to deviate from the usual triangle-eyed, snaggle-tooth jack-o-lantern. Shoot, by the time I hack off the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the gooey seeds and slop, my burning desire for creativity gets snuffed and I wind up carving a traditional jack-o-lantern anyway.

I know a lot of folks like roasted pumpkin seeds and carving a pumpkin provides an excellent opportunity to harvest some. They are great for snacking while watching this season’s football games and they are an excellent source of vitamins B and E. I have an excellent recipe for recycling fresh pumpkin seeds; it’s my Halloween treat to you:

Kicked-Up Seeds


1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds

2 teaspoons melted butter (olive oil or vegetable oil also work well)


garlic powder

cayenne pepper

seasoning salt

cajun seasoning


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

It’s okay to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor), but clean off any big chunks

Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings (sprinkle the seasonings to your taste, however little or much you prefer)

Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet

Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown

Serve them up with a good pumpkin ale or soft drink of your choice and enjoy.

And speaking of treats, this year I’m hoping everyone who shows up at my door for treats is legit, lest they be tricked! Remember, Halloween rules! Pranksters will get broccoli in their bags.

Happy haunting!

Facing Off On Facebook

August 30, 2012

When you have a Facebook page, you get all kinds of stuff that comes across on it.

Friends who are politically inclined (and it seems most of them are Democrats) forward their political opinions which are trumped only by the truck load of political ads that show up whether you want them on your page or not. You know, this kind of tee-tees me off. Look, I know who I’m going to vote for in the next presidential election. Stop trying to sway me one way or another. By the way, I’ve never known a politician yet that didn’t have his or her own private agenda. Yeah, I’m grumbling. I can’t wait until November has come and gone.

God help you if you have people show up on your page who are religious above and beyond the call of duty because you’ll get lovely little inspirational messages and prayers sent your way. As with politics, I keep my thoughts on religion to myself. I appreciate that folks want to inspire me with religious messages and prayers, truly I do, but I prefer their messages and prayers be silent ones.

Here’s a message that came across my page today that I happen to agree with: “Should welfare recipients be randomly drug tested to continue to receive benefit checks? Answer yes or no.” That’s what I call a civic-minded question that bears food for thought.

Then there’s the situation where Facebook sends forth “pages you may like.” These tend to be advertisements for businesses. Here’s the thing, when you go on the internet you’re bombarded with clever advertising that slides across your computer screen. You always have to “X” out of the dang ad to see the topic you were surfing for in the first place. Now, if you’re having a slow day like I frequently have myself, chances are good that you accidentally miss clicking the X when you go to the little corner that allows you to bypass the advertisement and you wind up having to look at the stupid thing anyway. So, yeah, now advertisers are hitting on you on Facebook, too.

Beware if you like a page for stores, products, organizations or even the National Guard. These “likes” will translate to your friends’ pages as well.

Okay, to be fair, I “liked” the National Guard. I believe in the Guard. My husband was a sergeant in the Guard when we were first married. So, I know firsthand the sacrifices these men and women willingly and gladly make. Now, however, I’m getting photos and information from the National Guard in other states as well as our own. Here’s the latest message: “The 189th Multirole Bridge Company assembled a 120 meter-long bridge made of 13 interior bays and 2 ramp bays last month.” Along with it came a good photo of this procedure in progress. I couldn’t begin to tell you what an “interior bay” or “ramp bay” is. I need an interpreter for some of this stuff. I’m really glad to see the Guard is doing and excellent job as usual. Of note, however, the day after I “liked” the Guard I got no less than 11 similar blurbs on my Facebook page.

And what about those “trending” articles you receive on Facebook? Sheesh. I got one from Yahoo telling me that Justin Bieber is facing 6 months of jail time. Like I care. I’m thinking a little jail time would be good for the Biebs, though. Let’s get him out of public view for a while, puhhhhhlease!

The hubby likes to fish and duck hunt. He’s also a Facebook friend of mine so I’m getting information on the things that he has “liked,” such as Sage rods and reels, and Ducks Unlimited. Here’s what I’ve got to say about that: Quack! Quack!

I get photos and information from local Humane Societies also. I love my dogs and I wouldn’t take anything for them. I wish I could take home all the pitiful dogs faces I’ve seen in the photos the Humane Society has sent me. Sometimes the photos make me cry. (Yes, really.) So it is with regret that I endure the information sent to me by the Society. Hey, ya’ll cut it out. It makes me sad. I know the plight and the lack of funding Humane Societies must bear and I promise I’ll include at least one of them in my will. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll be seeing more heartbreaking animal stories yet to come.

Following are some things my Facebook friends have “liked” that have become shared information: Smirnoff Vodka, Target, Wal-Mart, and last, but now least, Buckyballs. What the heck are Buckyballs? Yikes, it almost sounds pornographic.

I guess the most amusing item I’ve seen on my page lately was a comment a Facebook a friend of mine made on someone else’s status. This comment is brought to you courtesy of the status of my friend’s Facebook friend: “Holy hell. . . I’ve been Timelined! Damn you, Zuckerberg . . .”

Heh, heh. Ah, technology, you can’t live with it and you can’t live without it. To all my Facebook friends, remember I loves ya or you wouldn’t be my friends. And to all my FOCUS readers, I loves ya, too!

I am now hitting “like” and share!


P.S. You may also find me on my blog, Wind Castles —

The Bucket (Seat) List

July 19, 2012

Take all your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all your so-called problems,
Better put ‘em in quotations.
Say what you need to say.

First lyric of “Say” by John Mayer from “The Bucket List”

The words of John Mayer’s song from the film “The Bucket List” were going through my head as I drove toward Virginia International Speedway (VIR), located close to Danville, VA, on a particularly hot weekend the last two days of June and first day of July.

A “bucket list” is a list of things to do before you die, from the term “kicked the bucket.”

I’ve been fortunate because things on my personal bucket list have, more times than not, fallen into my lap like a gift from the heavens. I never thought of them as being on my bucket list until I’d experienced them and checked them off in past tense though.

When an old friend of mine, an instructor at the recent Tarheel Chapter BMW Club of America’s High Performance Driving School, asked if I’d like to visit VIR and take a spin around the track in a provocative 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 I said, “Okay, I could use a little vacation from what I’m doing right now.”

That’s where my bucket list turned into a “bucket seat list,” in a manner of speaking. So what if the temperatures were well into the double digits? I was going to endure the heat to the best of my ability and hope VIR staff wouldn’t have to dial 911 to collect my carcass from the paddock.

Getting into the dark gray beauty took some real doing for me because I’ve got a couple of body parts that, when strapped into a 5-point seat harness, was enough to make me wince just a little bit. I got over it.

2004 Porsche GT3 ‘not a car for wimps’ Photo by Sara Mawyer


After all, this is a car that, according to Car and Driver magazine, will go from 0 to 130 m.p.h. in 14.8 seconds. And, that it did. To quote the magazine “it is not a car for wimps.” This model Porsche has a suspension designed more for the dynamics of race track driving than on-road comfort and it certainly could be felt as I contentedly listened to the deep guttural roar of the engine propelling us forward through the straight away and a couple of dicey curves of VIR’s 2.25-mile north road course.

Seeing the many cars and their owners who participated in this event was also interesting. It wasn’t just BMWs, it was also Corvettes, Porsches, Miatas, and one really hot little number, a bright yellow Cobra kit car, to name a few. (I use the word “hot” to describe the Cobra kit car because I actually saw flames coming from the engine while it was in the paddock on the first day of the event.) The objective, of course, was high performance driving and seeing this medley of powerful, sexy automobiles going around the track at serious speeds was a real treat.

Aside from the blistering heat and a wicked storm that knocked out power to the facility during the first night and all the next day, I’m going to say this trip is currently among those at the top in personal “faves” on the list. Among others I’ve checked off are:

I met the renowned king of the Parrot Heads, Jimmy Buffett, and Rodney Crowell (the popular country musician who was once married to Roseanne Cash) in person and have shaken their hands.
I got a free ticket to see Ray Charles in a very small venue with excellent acoustics. More than once he tested the law of gravity as he tipped his piano stool back so far I thought he was bound to hit the floor during the performance. Man, what a night!

I got to go white water rafting during the height of rafting season on the Nolichucky River in Tennessee, where my fellow rafters and I were guided through numerous Class 5 rapids. WAHOO! (Coincidentally, that was also the name of the rafting company).

I went snorkeling in the warm waters off the coast of Key West.

I won a free cruise to the Bahamas and experienced a horrendous late autumn storm during the night as the cruise ship traveled through the Bermuda Triangle to get there. (Trust me, if you’ve ever been on the ocean during a violent storm – especially in the dark – you probably won’t want to do that again!) Still, it was a life experience I’ve remembered and recounted many times since.

I’ve seen the wonderful photographs of Ansel Adams.

I’ve been to Montana to see Yellowstone National Park, specifically to witness Old Faithful spewing forth from the bowels of the earth like clockwork. I was awestruck by the raw beauty of the land.

I was allowed to catch a ride with a glider plane pilot who took me through some significant mid-air loops and acrobatics, thus introducing me to my friend, the g-force. I can say, without a doubt, the “force” was definitely with me that day and, thankfully, I managed not to blow chow while suspended upside down in mid-air.

That’s about it for now . . . I’m truly hoping items on my future bucket list will land in my lap with the same sense of awe, wonder and surprise as all the rest. One thing is for sure, when and if they do, they’ll be strapped in tight with my now imaginary 5-point seat harness!

Hey! Get yer motor runnin’ and head out on the highway because life is too dang short not to have a bucket (seat) list!


Farewell, Neighbor

May 31, 2012

I was browsing through the newspaper obituaries recently when I unexpectedly came across that of my own next door neighbor, Wilma Dawson.

That’s perhaps the worst part of reaching the pinnacle of middle age, you know that point where you’re teetering toward senior adulthood. You’ll be looking for one obit in the paper and inevitably you’ll come across one or maybe two more folks you either know or used to know. Most likely they’ll be younger, older or in the same age group as yourself.

I was so sad to discover I had come across my friend’s obit two days too late to have attended her funeral. She and her family had been original homeowners in our neighborhood and we are probably the third or fourth family she had seen move into the funny-looking house with the mansard roof sitting on the hill next door. That was 16 years ago. She made friends with us from the first week we were there, making sure to point out that those balsam fir trees planted along the property line had been planted by she and her husband, Jack, many years ago. Not that we would have assumed them to be our own, of course, but they do provide a very nice privacy hedge.

This dear lady was a widow. Her husband had passed away some time before we moved into the neighborhood. She and her sister lived together in the house next door for years but, unfortunately a couple of years ago or so, they left to reside in a nursing care facility down the road a piece.

Our dog kennel is located at the back of our property in close proximity to Wilma’s house and she was always keen on making friends with our four-legged critters. While our hound, Astro, was alive he had a habit of sneaking off for an hour or so at a time and we were pretty sure he’d gone into the house next door for a hearty nosh and loving visit with the ladies. My husband and I even began to notice Astro was putting on a few pounds over the years and we knew we weren’t feeding him enough food to have that kind of effect on him.

Wilma really favored our little dog, Duke, who was far less gregarious than his compadre and I’m told when the dogs both came round her door she would hold back special tidbits for Duke and wait until Astro was gone to give him his treats because Astro was such a pig. I got a hoot out of that because we did occasionally refer to Astro as “Pork Chop.” Both those fine fellas have passed on to the great beyond. I hope they’ll cross Wilma’s path somewhere along the way. I know it would be a very happy dog day in heaven.

Wilma used to pop through the hedge of fir trees sometimes when I was at the kennel with the dogs. I remember her excited conversation one day over the fact her son and daughter-in-law had just had a daughter and her name was Sara, too. However, her new grand-daughter’s name was spelled with an “h” on the end. Later, the second grand-daughter, Sophia, came along and my dear neighbor and her sister were doubly excited over this event. I was happy for these ladies to have an extended nucleus family.

Wilma was a discreetly proud woman. She welcomed me into her living room each holiday season and, without fail, she would point to the portrait of her late husband, Jack, which was hung in a place of honor on the wall. He served with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C. “That’s my husband,” she’d say. My response was always the same, “He’s a very handsome man.” She would light up like he was sitting right there on the sofa right beside her.

Wilma herself was the former secretary to U.S. Senator James T. Broyhill.

The other special light of her heart was her only child, a son, Sgt. Derek Dawson, N.C. Hwy. Patrol. I will never forget her telling me the story of how she and her husband had taken a cruise to England. She was age 40 at the time and was of the belief that she might never have children. She told me of an engaging young child she’d met on the boat. His name was Derek. She said she told the chap if she ever had a little boy she was going to name him Derek, because she liked the name. And so it came to pass, not terribly long thereafter, Wilma gave birth to a little boy named Derek, making her and her husband two of the happiest people on earth, I’m sure.

Once while I was visiting next door, Wilma was giving me a tour of her home. She opened one of the bedroom doors and said, “This is Derek’s room.” It had been kept exactly as it was when he had been living there, complete with the iconic poster of Farrah Fawcett wearing that little red swimsuit hanging on the wall. I thought how sweet it was and guessed she kept it that way to remind her of the young boy she had raised.

I used to see Wilma and her sister driving down their long driveway in Wilma’s old white car headed off to church or the grocery store. She had a new Toyota Camry in her garage but she didn’t like to drive it because she liked to keep it “looking pretty.” I think she just liked to stick with what she knew best.

Whenever snowstorms came up my husband would call down to the house next door to make sure the ladies were okay and let them know they could count on us in case the power went off. We kept a watch over the house most of the time anyway because they lived by themselves on a deeply wooded lot some distance away from the street.

The day I found the obituary for Wilma I immediately called my husband to let him know. He told me to try not to be “bummed” about it, but he was sad to hear the news, also. I’d be a big ol’ liar if I said I didn’t cry over it because I surely did. I’ve missed both Wilma and her sister the past few years.

Fortunately there’s a good steward living in her home now and I’m glad of that. I’m pretty sure Wilma would be, too.

Although I couldn’t make it to the church for her funeral, I am told her son gave a very moving and profound eulogy for his mother. When I told my husband some of the details of what I’d heard about it, he became somber and said, “I wish I could have heard it.” I replied, “I do, too. I do, too.” Good neighbors are...priceless.

It’s so hard to say, “So long, see you later,” to those who leave a mark on our lives. Wilma had a way about her that just made you happy to be near her. For me, there was never anything about her not to like.

So, it’s here I’ll raise my glass to Wilma and say fare thee well to a dear woman who was on earth as she is in heaven, one of God’s precious angels.


Out Of The Closet

May 3, 2012

Hey everybody! How have ya’ll been doin’????

I know I haven’t been read by you lately. I’m like a Cheshire cat, appearing and disappearing at will. Matter of fact, sometimes you may see nothing of me at all but for my wide grin, just like the kitty in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

The fact is I have been buried in what seems like a ton of stuff since somewhere around the first of March. And, since I’ve been buried, my tombstone should read: Here lies Sara Mawyer - One minute she was here and the next she was gone. She leaves behind an exceptionally wide grin and a whole lot of what-nots.

I decided to take on the project of cleaning out the closet in an upstairs bedroom which I have utilized as my home office for the past 16 years. BBBBrrruuuuthhherr! I did not anticipate it to be such a monumental task! Does anyone have a front-end loader I can borrow?

I Googled tips for cleaning out a closet and the very first on the list stated the obvious: First you must empty the entire closet. And that my friends is where I truly got mired up...or down...or up and down!

My method of organizing a closet is akin to mayhem, as in I don’t have a method at all. Life for me is comprised of multiple fine layers, like a big Vidalia onion, the evidence of which has been packed, bagged and tossed into this closet since moving into my current home. Lord, most of it hasn’t seen the light of day since. I’m so short (5’2”) that anything and everything that lands on the top shelf of the closet is the result of me making a free-throw jump to get it up there.

The rest of the stuff just got shoved in there willy-nilly, my premise being that I would put it in the proper place some day. We all know about some day, right??? It never comes.

Okay, now I have to be perfectly frank. Although I started this process in the early days of March, I still have not gotten quite beyond tip # 1 of the closet cleaning tips. I did succeed in getting most of it out in the floor. Then, I started going through all my junk and trinkets, viewing each item, holding it, remembering it and referring to each thing in much the same way the notorious Gollum character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” referred to the “one ring.” I sequester myself in my little upstairs room with my closet goodies reciting, “Ahhh…my precioussss,” over and over.

Sara’s closet - before or after?

Among the items I discovered:

A brand new house key, but to whose house?? I dunno.

Multiple travel brochures from vacations taken so long ago I can barely remember them.

Two director’s chairs, one of which I’ll use to sit on my covered porch where I’ll “direct” my thoughts this spring and summer.

An old Electrolux canister vacuum cleaner that was gifted to me by my mom. It’s a dinosaur and weighs as much as a VW Beetle. Shoot, I was vacuuming floors with that thing when I was the tender age of 15. That was light years ago. Back then I had the muscles and energy to wield that thing all over the house. Now, though the old champ hurts me as much as it does the corners of the walls and furniture I bang into while using it.

A gold-tone rotary dial telephone which I used to keep hot as a teenager in our family home. I’m just glad that thang can’t talk!

A photo of me on a trip to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in 1983. Hmm...I’d like to have that body back! Where’s the magic genie when you want one?

A wedding invitation dated Sept. 1, 1979, to a marriage ceremony between me and some dude I knew in another life. That lasted less than two years. What the devil was I thinking?

The marriage certificate of my grandparents, Granville Mawyer of Charlottesville, Va., and Gertrude Darnell of Rio, Va., dated June 2, 1925.

A Boom Box and a box of cassette tapes that belonged to my brother John, who passed away in 1992. That tells you how long those have been in there.

A collection of various witch hats worn on Halloween (and, occasionally at other times during the year).

Four old N.C. Driver’s licenses reflecting me at various stages (and hairstyles) in my life.

A couple of dumb bells (slightly used).

A Louisville Slugger baseball bat a co-worker at the Lenoir News-Topic gave me as a going away present when I left the paper in 1995. Our motto was: “Sometimes you’re the baseball, sometimes you’re the bat.” It’s a good motivational reminder for me to strive to always be “the bat.”

A favorite pair of old “cat eye” sunglasses I’ve been missing for the last 10 years.

And last (well, for now anyway) but certainly not least, two Voodoo dolls from New Orleans. (I’d like to give a special shout out to my Cajun friend, Steve, for these. Next time you go can you snag me some gagglewart and verminroot? I need them for a potion I’m . . . uh, never mind.)

As you can see, although I did send six boxes of stuff to Goodwill, I’ve succumbed to the tsunami of stuff I can’t seem to part with. Getting it sorted and in proper order is and probably always will be a work in progress. To quote a man after my own heart: “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” Mark Twain.

Until I resurface again, Peace to you and yours.

What Is Love?

February 9, 2012

What is love? Many people have various ideas about what love is. Maybe it’s a gift of diamond earrings, hmmm??? Love often is equated with the materials things one is given in life. Of course love is something money can’t buy – never could, never would, never will.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I’m sure there’ll be quantum amounts of yummy chocolates packaged in lovely heart-shaped boxes, perfume, jewels and flowers purchased for lady loves. And, the lingerie stores will experience a peak in sales as women purchase those itsy bitsy little snatches of fabric to don for their special Romeos.

I’ve been thinking about what love really is. I’ve come to realize love does not come in the form of jewels, chocolates, perfumes, fancy cars, lavish vacations and what not. Love is an altogether more elusive creature. It’s something intangible and often unexpected.

Love is that overall warm feeling that envelopes you when you see something or hear a particular song that reminds you of someone who has passed on. It’s the soft glow of the burning ember in your heart that makes you feel that person is right there with you.

Love is when you stop to assist the poor soul in the car that just got T-boned by the guy in the BMW in front of you who just blazed through a red light. Love is sticking it out, checking on the injured party and waiting until the police arrive to say, “I saw the whole thing happen.”

Love is when you hand the old woman in front of you at the cash register in the Goodwill store the extra few pennies it’s going to cost her to buy that used pair of shoes you saw her trying on while sitting in a old rocking chair in the back of the store. Love is when she looks at you with gratitude and says, “Thank you kindly for helping me out.”

The look of love

Love is when you’re very sad and all alone in the house with just your loyal dog for company. You’ve plunked yourself down in your favorite leather chair and the tears quietly begin to run down your cheeks like water from a faucet. You try to get a grip, but are struggling. The dog gets up in your lap, stands on his hind legs, wraps his front paws around your neck and begins to lick the tears away. When he’s done, he lays his little head on your shoulder in an embrace so full of love and warmth you think surely this must be a furry little angel sent from above. Love is having a little four-legged guy named Gus give you the strength you need to get your fanny up and off the chair and get on with the day.

Love is when your friend saves you a seat when you’re running late to an event. As you arrive at the entrance of the crowded room full of already seated people the pal who invited you stands right up in the middle of that room and waves you over then pats you on the shoulder when you get to your seat and says, “I’m so glad you made it!”

Love is when your best friend from high school names her daughter after you. And, to your amazement, a couple of other chums from your youth do the same. Love is the fond feeling you get when you realize these precious folks will love someone with the same name as you for a very long time. Love is when that special honor nestles deep in your heart because, over the years, you’ve had no children of your own.

Love is that special someone who is willing to stand by with a cold damp wash cloth while you’re hanging you head over the toilet calling “R-A-L-P-HHHHH!”

Love is when your hubby knows you are having a bad day at work and sends a communication to ask, “Are there any dead bodies on the floor yet?” Love is when someone knows your twisted sense of humor well enough to make you laugh even on the most hellish of days.

Love is when you look into the beautiful blue eyes, brown eyes and green eyes of all the people and four-legged critters who mean the most to you in the world and you see the love they have for you looking right back at ya.

Love is when you realize you’ve been given a second chance to do anything you messed up on the first time in life.

As the Good Book says, “Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Big hugs to you this Valentine’s Day readers and here’s a special kiss as well - MUUUUWAAAH! Always remember: It’s the thought that counts.




Sara Mawyer 2012

Sara Mawyer 2011

Sara Mawyer 2010

Sara Mawyer 2005-2009




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