A little compassion

My morning prayers are getting longer and longer these days. So many people are dealing with so many things, and my heart aches for them.

Please keep in mind, as you go about your day, that behind those eyes that you pass on the street, or see in the store, or meet with at work, there is often untold pain.

I know people right now who are dealing with a heavy load –
• A middle-aged man needs surgery which prevents him from working, and he’s facing eviction and homelessness again.
• A woman is coming up on a year anniversary of the loss of their loved one, and her heart is still trying to heal. And she’s dealing with a sick furry friend, who in a short period of time has become so important to her family.
• Another woman just celebrated 27 years of marriage, then a few days later her husband died in his sleep, and now she faces a new reality without him. She’s already lost a sister, and recently her mother passed away.
• Someone who has already been through heart surgeries has just come through breast cancer surgery.
• Someone’s nephew recently died by suicide.
• A man my age is dealing with a life-threatening heart condition, which has completely changed the way he lives, and thinks, and feels, and he’s learning how to ask for help.
• Several friends struggle daily with the chronic aftermath of a major illness.
• A single dad juggles his job and child care, still missing his wife who died several years ago.
• Someone is struggling with a tragic accident that happened just yesterday, that her young son witnessed, and they both held onto each other and cried.
• Someone else is dealing with the loss of two siblings in less than six months.
• Someone’s heart was recently shattered by a betrayal, and they’re trying to learn how to live each new day, not sure any more of what’s true and what isn’t.
• A young man and his family is dealing with their dad’s mental decline, and they’re learning how best to help him live with dementia.
• A young couple is trying to do the right thing with the right meds for their special needs child.
• A divorced dad just got to spend a few days with his daughter in another state, but then had to leave her again to go back home, and deal with the painful divorce that took her away.
• A woman is dealing with all the emotions that go with selling a house she’s lived in for decades, to start a new life in a new house.
• A young man who deals daily with diabetes is in charge of his mother’s nursing home care, and he deals with the constant load of paperwork and bureaucracy.
• And a young woman continues to deal with PTSD, from a shooting in broad daylight last year.
• Several caregivers are dealing with changes in their loved ones, which signal that major decisions need to be made to change their living situation, or that the end may be closer than they think…

Many people face some sort of discrimination every day. And so many people that I know struggle to pay the bills every single month.

I pray for these people every day, and people like them who are hurting, under the weight of a heavy burden, and I carry them in my heart.

People from all walks of life, from cities and small towns from coast to coast, are hurting. Let’s remember to have a little compassion for everyone we meet. We never know what’s going on with them, and we all deserve a little kindness…

To quote Miller Williams –
“Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it.
What seems conceit, bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.”


Throwback Thursday – An adventure with Grandmother

This old photograph makes me smile, and sometimes makes me laugh right out loud!

I remember the day so vividly, when my grandmother and I took a trip to Silver Dollar City, an amusement park of sorts in Branson, Missouri.

I don’t recall the year, but it was in the fall, and Granddad had died a few years earlier. Grandmother had been fighting cancer, and had lost a lot of her hair, so she was wearing a turban. She just wanted to get away for a long weekend, and I was so thrilled that she asked me to go with her.

She wanted me to drive her car, and I’ve always been a two-footed driver, using my right foot for the gas and my left foot for the brake. I never had the need to drivec standard transmission cars, so with my Virgo linear brain, it just makes sense to use one foot per pedal.

As we drove along, I felt Grandmother’s eyes on my feet, as I rested my left foot on my heel, near the brake. She kept asking me not to press on the brake while I was driving, and I kept telling her that my foot was near, but not touching, the brake, until it was necessary. I knew it made her nervous, but that’s just the way I’ve always driven, and it’s prevented several accidents through the years. She was a bit stressed, not convinced that I wasn’t wearing out her brakes. But once we’d been on the road for a while, she did her best to ignore my feet…

We arrived at Silver Dollar City early in the day, and for a while we just strolled through the walkways, taking in the crisp, cool air, and all the sights and sounds. With every step we both felt the stress falling away, and we were excited to have this time together.

According to their website, SDC is “an internationally awarded 1880s-style theme park that features over 40 thrilling rides & attractions, live shows & concerts, 100 resident craftsmen demonstrating America’s heritage crafts…” There were antiques, which I’ve always loved, (I’ve always felt like I was born 100 years too late), and there were craftsmen and women working as their ancestors did in days gone by. There were blacksmiths, wood workers, people making things from sheep‘s wool, and some were churning butter. It really was like stepping back in time…

It was all quite fascinating, and we enjoyed taking our time, strolling through the park and soaking everything up. Several hours into our adventure, we both were wanting a snack. Grandmother has always loved sweets, and the smell of funnel cakes hung thick in the air, like a warm blanket.

We got our funnel cakes, then found a bench to sit on, so we could watch the people passing by. You can probably imagine what happened, with Grandmother in her navy blue overcoat…

Yes, a lot of that white powdered sugar ended up in her lap, and on the front of her coat. When she finished eating and stood up, she looked down at her coat and laughed right out loud! Her laughter was contagious, so then I couldn’t control myself. We laughed ourselves silly for a minute or two, then pulled ourselves together. We found a restroom and got her all cleaned up, then we carried on with our day. We had the best time, and the look on her face when she saw all that sugar, and her laughter, are several of my favorite memories.

This photograph still makes me laugh out loud sometimes.

And it reminds me that it’s okay to make a mess sometimes, and to laugh about it.

Life is messy. And life is short. We should laugh when we can, and cry when we need to…










Isn’t it time for a little kindness?

With all the bad news these days, isn’t it time to be reminded why we’re here?

Isn’t it time for a little kindness?

A few days ago, I did that thing that some people have talked about – I paid for the meal for the customer behind me in line at the fast food place.

It’s funny how things play out sometimes. I was scheduled to work with a client that afternoon, and in my office, my mind was on a million different things. But I finally came to a stopping point, gathered up my things, and headed across town. Just as I pulled up at my client’s office, I realized that I’d forgotten to eat lunch. So I got back in the car and ran over to Taco Bell.

I pulled into the drive-thru, ordered my favorite – just two crunchy beef tacos, no drink – and pulled up and paid. As the somewhat timid cashier was waiting for my order to be filled, she was talking on her headset to the guy behind me. I overheard her telling him the total for his order, and it was the same price as mine. I asked if he’d ordered two crunchy beef tacos and she confirmed that he had. I told her I wanted to pay for his, and she looked surprised, but took my money anyway. I was happy that the amount of his order got my attention, so that I could do something nice. After I paid, she stood with her back to me, with the window open, waiting for my order…

A few minutes later, she handed me my bag, and as always, I looked inside and saw two wrapped items, so I closed the bag and headed back to the office.

When I opened the bag, the items were not what I had ordered. Since I’m gluten free, I didn’t want to eat anything wrapped in tortillas, so I put them back in the bag and headed back to the restaurant. I probably could’ve eaten the contents of the tortilla, but I really had my mind set on my crunchy tacos. (For those wondering, I have asked, and their crunchy taco shells are made only from corn.)

Thinking it would be better to go inside to address the issue, as I pulled into a parking spot, I saw what I thought might be the big black boxy van that was behind me when I initially ordered my food. I wondered if the guy whose meal I paid for had an issue with his meal as well, and was coming back to correct it…

When I walked up to the counter, an older man was running the cash register. I showed him my receipt, then the contents of my bag, and simply explained that my order was wrong. Immediately he rolled his eyes, his shoulders sagged, and he said “EVERY order today has been wrong.” By now it was around 2:00, and I could imagine what his day had been like, so I really felt for him.

It seemed he was the manager, and clearly he felt defeated. He took my order back to the kitchen, came back and said they’d fix it for me. I asked “Bad day?” Without hesitation he said “Bad second. Second to second to second. Nothing has been right today. And I’m five weeks from retirement. Five weeks! If I can make it that long…”

My heart went out to this guy, who was completely exasperated.

When my tacos were laid in front of me, he said “Let me get you something else!” It didn’t feel like that was a company mandate, to keep a customer happy. It felt more like he just wanted to do the right thing and offer me something else for my trouble.

I told him I didn’t need anything else, that I was happy with getting my tacos. Then I reached across the counter, made sure he was looking at me, shook his hand, and simply said “Thank you. I have everything I need.”

As I walked away he had a smile on his face.

That may have been a fleeting moment of comfort for him, and I’m glad I could be the one to give it to him.

Sometimes things happen for a reason – like me forgetting to eat lunch before I left home, then the order getting mixed up, and having to go inside to talk to him.

We never know what people are going through, and we can take a moment to be kind.

To help remind me that we all have a purpose here, and that we all have the capacity for compassion, I’ve started collecting stories of kindness, and posting them here on my site.

Take a look. I hope they make you smile, too…






“A Wrinkle in Time”

I had carved out some time today to take my friend, Patricia, to lunch and a movie, in honor of her birthday. The movie previews I’d seen had really piqued my interest, not necessarily because of the name actors, but more so because of the stunning visuals. I’d planned to experience the movie with Patricia, but I didn’t expect to be moved quite so deeply…

I’d never heard of the book “A Wrinkle in Time,” so I had no preconceived notions about the characters, or the story line. And as the story unfolded, playing out in vivid colors across the screen, I was transported across the universe.

The central character, Meg, reminds me so much of my friend Jade, a strong young woman who is remarkably mature for her age, wiser than her years, and who has helped restore my faith in young people. And the character of Meg’s little brother represents all the children I’ve known, who if not loved enough, could easily fall prey to evil, and end up on the dark side.

I won’t spoil it for any of you who may not have seen the movie yet, but this is another story about good and evil. And in today’s climate, we need constant reminders that good can win.

And if you believe that love and light can send ripples across time and space, this is a movie you’ll want to see.

Along with “Somewhere in Time” and “What Dreams May Come,” “A Wrinkle in Time” has now landed on my top 5 favorite movies of all time.


“Don’t give up…”

“Don’t give up…”

I’ve been away from the news, and from social media, quite a bit lately. But I wanted to post this today, and ask for your prayers for continued healing for my friend.

Ten days ago my dear friend, EG Kight, was attacked by 3 dogs, while walking down the country road by her house, a road she’s walked for over 40 years…

I drove down the next day to help her in any way I could. Seeing the wounds, and hearing her recount the events, I’m amazed that she did all the right things to protect herself from further harm, and possible death, and how she seemed to have an invisible circle of protection around her. It is an absolute miracle that she’s alive…


As horrific as it’s been for her, she’s been overwhelmed, and often moved to tears, at the outpouring of love she’s received. She’s trying to keep up with the thousands of facebook comments, private messages, text messages, emails, and phone calls. And the cards and letters, and flowers and other gifts are still coming in…

In the midst of all this, I’m reminded of the power of faith, hope, and perseverance.

And I’m reminded of a song she wrote several years ago, whose lyrics hit so close to home right now.

©EG Kight / Georgia Songbird Music (BMI)

I know it’s looking dark on your side of the road
And you need someone to help lighten your load
Don’t give up, help is on the way
It’s right around the corner, have faith, don’t be afraid

You may be feeling lower than a rattlesnake
You’re crawling in the mud, can’t seem to find your way
Don’t give up, help is right around the bend
It won’t be long till you’re back on your feet again

Just give it to the Good Lord, He knows what to do
To lift your heavy burden, and take care of you
No matter where you are, or where you’ve been
Just take Him by the hand and let Him be your friend
Don’t give up, let the Good Lord do His thing
Before you know it, your spirit will be soaring again

You can lose patience when you’re tired of the fight
nd you don’t see no relief in sight
He knows that you’re hurtin’ and so confused
Just give it all to the Lord and turn it loose
Don’t give up, just let Him do His thing
Soon your spirit will be soaring again

Don’t give up, Don’t give up
Just let the Good Lord do His thing
Don’t give up, Don’t give up
Soon your spirit will be soaring again

EG loves to entertain, and inspire her audiences. Who knew that one day her own lyrics would lift her up, and remind her to not give up, and that “soon her spirit will be soaring again.”

Click below to hear her sing it.



WOW! My first book signing! Chicken Soup for the Soul!

I’ve always written.
As long as I can remember, I’ve put pen to paper.
And now it’s keyboard to computer screen…

I’ve not submitted many of my stories through the years, as I didn’t feel they were ready yet. But a couple of years ago that little voice told me to submit a story, about my dad sending me a message long after he had died, for one of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. And it was accepted, and it’s in the September book – “Dreams and the Unexplainable.”

There are two other women in the Nashville area who also had stories in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, and I wanted to bring us all together for an event.

So yesterday was the culmination of years of writing, and honing my craft.
I did my first book signing, with Karen Elley and Deb Zemke, at Words of Wisdom Bookstore. Seeing our poster hanging on the door was a welcome sight!

Karen’s story is about a message she received, and how that stranger’s message would become her spiritual mantra.
Deb wrote about how she found her dog, August, during a turbulent time in her life.

We appreciate everyone who came out to join us, to celebrate with us, and to buy some books!

Thank you, Keith Pruitt and Rebekka Pruitt, for taking a chance on us, and letting us get our feet wet at WOW.
Your generosity is priceless, and who knows?
This could be the springboard for other stories, other books, and maybe even getting my own book out there.
The possibilities are endless!.



“Chicken Soup for the Soul” – it’ll make ya feel better!

I’ve been going through boxes of old stuff, purging my house to clear out some space, and look what I found in a box!

I’ve been a fan of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series for many years, and it was a pleasant surprise to see these books in the top of the first box that I opened.
Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul was published in 1999 and Chicken Soup for the Soul of America Stories to Heal the Heart of Our Nation came out in 2002.

I never imagined that, after all these years, I’d be counting the days till the next book is out, with MY story in it!

It’s called Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable. My story, “Reaching Out” is a true story about receiving a message from my dad, long after he’d passed away. Not only did he send me a message, but he also sent the identical message through a friend, to relay to me. It was shocking, and comforting, and completely mind-boggling. And that story is included in this edition. I am simply overjoyed.

The book is available September 26th, and you can order your copy today.


Order it, read it, and let me know what you think!!

Humbly yours,

I’ll be doing a joint book signing at the Words of Wisdom book store in Hermitage, TN on Sunday, December 10th.
Get all the details at http://www.BlueSouthTalent.com/special-events.





Eclipse perspective

Like millions of people around the world, I was prepared to see the eclipse.
My friend, Patricia, had given me a pair of the special glasses that would allow us to see the eclipse, but not go blind.
I used them for a split second, but the trees blocked the view.
I was more interested in the light and shadows dancing around on Randy and Fab’s deck.
Randy was out working on a shoot, and I was alone in the house, working in the office.
And when I stepped outside, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The universal shift was eerie, almost like the calm before an Oklahoma tornado.
As darkness covered the land, the critters started making their night noises.
And I heard a collective “Wow!” from the crowd who had gathered at a nearby park.
The air felt heavy, as if the humidity had increased to 150%, and I was wearing it like a blanket.
Less than a minute after it started, the sun was shining brightly through the trees again.
And as it was all happening, I was shooting pictures of the mosaic art on the deck.
What a fascinating experience!


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

I’ve worked my whole life in service to others. I’ve been in support roles in banks, in a worldwide distribution center, and in a mental health center. And I work with private clients in various capacities, helping them with child care, elder care, home organization, and office management, among other things.

I thrive on helping individuals, organizations, and companies succeed, find their purpose, and realize their dreams.

All the while, my own dreams have had to sit on the back burner for a while.

My dream has been to have my words matter, to have my writings help and encourage people. I’ve written as long as I can remember being in this world, and if something I wrote brings joy to someone, or validates them, takes their breath away, or makes them feel something so deep that they’re moved to tears, it would mean so much to me.

A few years ago, in an effort to try to push ahead with my dream, I submitted a story to a publishing company. And after a while, I had totally forgotten about it.

But this Tuesday, August 1st, I was reminded about that submission. I got an email that changed everything:

“Congratulations! Your story “Reaching Out” has been selected to appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable. The book is now on its way to the printer! Thank you for helping us share happiness, inspiration, and wellness in this book by allowing us to publish your story.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable is scheduled to be available in bookstores September 26, 2017.”

That’s a pretty good way to start the day, isn’t it?!?

And I’m especially honored that, out of thousands of submissions, my story about my dad made it into the finals. I lost my dad in 1991. And this is an amazing, sweet story about how my dad reached out to me from the other side, guiding me…

It’s a new day. I’m a published author. And life is good!



Don’t be afraid to speak about what you know

Those who know me well know that I’m fairly shy, and I’m comfortable in the background, going quietly about my life. I keep a low profile, and don’t get vocal about too many things.

But recently I was compelled to respond to a facebook post by Melanie Layden, WSMV‘s traffic reporter, about Nashville’s traffic. She wrote that they’d be airing an “exclusive sit-down interview with Mayor Megan Barry as we talk about what the future of Nashville’s transit system looks like… and what that will mean for our traffic as the city continues to grow.”
I responded with “Please ask her what’s being done to alleviate the already existing traffic congestion in Green Hills, and what the plan is to handle the influx of a minimum of 300 additional cars when the new apartments at Hillsboro and Richard Jones opens in December. If two people live in each apartment, that’s 600 more cars trying to navigate an already gridlocked Hillsboro Pike. I live on Hillsboro, a few blocks from that new building, and lately it takes ten minutes to go 1 mile to the post office – even if I cut through the back neighborhoods. I can’t imagine what it will be like with all those new people, AND all the cars full of people who will come to shop and eat at the new restaurants on that same corner. What a nightmare!!”

A week or so later, she wrote back “Yes, you are so right about Hillsboro Pike!! You’ve inspired me to make my next story on this. Do you live around the area in Green Hills? Would you be willing to talk to me on camera about how terrible the traffic is for you? (I’m also going to be talking with city leaders to see what’s going to be done to fix it.)”

When she asked if I’d talk with her on camera about it, I immediately wanted to. But I didn’t know if I’d be comfortable doing it.


I flashed back to several years ago, when I was in Austin, Texas. I was at the Midwest Arts Conference with two of my artists, EG Kight and Lisa Biales, (together known as the “Peach Pickin’ Mamas“) and they were getting ready to take the stage for their showcase. The announcer wasn’t doing a very good job, and talked so quietly that the audience could barely hear him. So Lisa grabbed me by the arm, pointed me toward the stage, and said “You need to introduce us!”

I didn’t have time to think about it, or to panic.

So I walked up to the front of the room, and without even using a mic, I projected my voice loud enough for all to hear, told the audience how glad we were to see them, gave a one-minute introduction for both Lisa and EG, then introduced them as the Peach Pickin’ Mamas. And it was SO easy!

Here are EG and Lisa performing, after the introduction.

The next day, at the conference, I got up in front of a different crowd and told a little bit about the PPM’s, and invited everyone to come visit us at our booth.

And THAT was easy, too!

Lisa changed my life in that one moment, when she didn’t ask, but TOLD me to get up and speak…
It gave me confidence, and nothing has been the same since.


So when Melanie, the WSMV news reporter asked if I’d talk on camera with her, I remembered Austin. And I remembered that when you know a lot about a subject, it’s easy to talk about it. I gave it serious consideration. Over time, Melanie was encouraging without being pushy. So I finally agreed to do it. And it felt good.

Here are photos I took in one afternoon in Green Hills a few months ago, in the middle of the day, NOT during rush hour. Here’s a look at traffic in front of me, and traffic behind me.

And here’s what the typical congestion is like on Hillsboro Pike, within just a few minutes, while waiting at a one red light.

With that in mind, here are two links to the stories that aired on WSMV.


It was interesting to hear Melanie say that “Metro Public Works tells Channel 4 that it’s often a misconception that mixed use developments bring in more traffic. They say that Hillsboro Road has the capability to handle the extra traffic that will be thrown at it, and then some.”

What world do the folks at Metro Public Works live in?!?

And I find it interesting that in the second story, the CEO of the development group states “I don’t think people will get in a car at our building and drive to Trader Joe’s. They’ll walk there.” And he states that Southern Land’s “sidewalks will be big and wide.”


That doesn’t help ease traffic congestion when all 300 (possibly 600) residents have to get in their cars to go to work every morning, and drive back home every evening.

The Green Hills traffic nightmare continues