#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 1 – What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

orchid in vase

This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.


Days before her death, my fellow church member and neighbor, Sister Prather, squeezed my hand and said, “God doesn’t make mistakes, and I’m grateful for my sons, but Felicia, I dearly wish I’d had a daughter like you.”

Her words can still bring tears to my eyes. Sister Prather was one of the two people I’d known in my life I’d considered perfect.

Of course, no one is, but Thelma Prather (and my maternal grandmother) were as close as one can get in my mind.

I’d never heard her gossip or say a mean word about anyone. I’d never seen her in a bad mood or even cranky. She not only always had a shy smile on her face, but she also appeared to always be filled with joy.

And I couldn’t understand it.

Married to a man of considerable means, Sister Prather lived as a pauper. Her husband could afford to buy her almost any house in the city and furnish it well. However, entering their home, it was like time stopped in the 1940s. Always neat and tidy, the dated threadbare rugs and furniture were impossible to miss.

A hard, verbally abusive man who was wheelchair-bound, the veteran and former local businessman refused to do anything to make his wife’s life easier. Not even buy her a washer and dryer. It wasn’t until a few weeks before her last hospitalization and the pain from bone cancer became too great, that she’d even allow my children to sneak to her back door for her laundry and return it after I’d completed it.

Two days after our last conversation, Sister Prather’s conditioned worsened. She could no longer sit up or respond verbally, but she was quite aware. When staff would try to spoon-feed her, she’d press her lips together and no amount of pleading or cajoling could get her to eat. My mom was present and witnessed the single shake of her head when her doctor said they’d have to tube-feed her.

She died quietly in her sleep two days later, on her own terms.

Weeks later, still prone to tears over the loss of my dear friend, it was Mom who gave me clarity.

“Thelma Prather was one of those rare people who didn’t judge others by their words or actions because she could see through to their heart. She knew her husband loved her, but losing the use of his legs made him bitter and he took it out on the world. He wanted everyone to suffer as he felt he was. She also didn’t fault her family for losing touch because they all feared him. But she didn’t.”

That made me grin, thinking of the woman who didn’t reach five feet in height and weighed one hundred pounds on a good day not fearing her six-foot-five husband, wheelchair or not.

“She knew you didn’t fear him either and she loved it. She told me you were always respectful, but you were going to do what you wanted for her, whether he liked it or not. That tickled her to no end.”

In the twenty years since her passing, I’ve learned the wisdom in Sister Prather’s example of living. A woman of faith, she refused to allow hate to take up any space in her heart… to steal her joy. She “did unto to others as she would have them do unto her” and was unbothered if they didn’t reciprocate.

I’m no Thelma Prather and will always fall short of her example, but I’m forever humbled by this amazing woman who saw something in me I don’t see in myself.


Image by Maja Cvetojević from Pixabay


Some History of African Americans Serving in The United States Coast Guard By Elizabeth Morey

We have, over the years, talked about some of the history of African Americans in our military. We have covered all of our Armed Services from the beginning of our history as a country to the present, but we have not done much to reveal that history within the United States Coast Guard. This short, informative video will rectify that a bit.

The Coast Guard has been in existence since August 4, 1790. Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. The Coast Guard has been given many more missions over its history, and, though it does not come under the Department of Defense, it is considered a military service, and its military service has been important in the nation’s defense. Its record of service is full of courage, skill, and a supreme dedication to save lives and property on all of our coasts, rivers, and lakes.

US coast guard seal

Continue reading this awe-inspiring, detailed post, complete with historical photos on

The Veteran’s Site

part of the Greater Good Network.


My Answers for #FibbingFriday! 9/18/20

It’s time once again for Fibbing Friday! It’s the one time where lying is not only permitted, it’s required! For the complete rules and to join in, start here!

  • What exactly is Yorkshire pudding?

Pudding that can only be eaten on days ending in Y.

  • What is treacle, and why do people make tarts out of it?

A potato-like fruit from Peru grown only for tarts.

  • What is the key ingredient of haggis?

A Sea Hag

  • How is toffee made?

It isn’t made, it’s hunted and toffee season is near – to the hunt!

  • How did pound cake get its name?

By beating up all the other cakes.

  • Why is candy corn so named?

Parents call regular corn that to get their children to eat it.

  • What is marzipan?

A special pan for making Marzi.

  • Why is a baker’s dozen so named?

Because they’re only for bakers.

  • What is meant by the idiom, “Too many cooks spoil the pot”?

It’s a reminder to clean the pot after each use!

  • What is meant by the idiom, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”?

Goose and Gander have to share the same chicken nugget sauce.

Smiling flower

Holding On, Letting go

The running marriage joke is men never remember wedding anniversaries.

In our case, I was the one who’d remember at the last minute.

In his techie, geeky way, Den configured the date we were married, September 17, 1983, in some base language or mathematical equation he used daily… for something.

He’s not here to remind me anymore… which is why I’ll never forget it… or stop counting.

Today would have been our 37th anniversary, but instead, it’s my second without him.

The photo is from the last anniversary we “celebrated” – our 34th, with a surprise dinner from our three children. We should have known something was up as David, Drew, and Lindsey were rarely in Tucson at the same time. 😀

Den and Fle

Ironically, the next two times we would all be together were for Den’s mom’s funeral… and then his.

The last seventeen months feel like an eternity and yesterday at the same time.

Platitudes like time heals all wounds or it will get better in time are false, useless and should never be spoken again.

The only one that is true is life goes on… and we have to go with it.

Happy Anniversary, My Love.

My Answers for #FibbingFriday!

It’s time once again for Fibbing Friday! It’s the one time where lying is not only permitted, it’s required! For the complete rules and to join in, start here!

  • ‘She had the biggest aspidistra in the world.’ But what is an aspidistra?

A facial mole

  • What is the main ingredient in Beef Wellington?

Salmon from Wellington, Maine

  • Who was Tufty?

Last year’s WWE champion

  • What is a Port Folio?

A bland, sweet wine

  • What is a bootee?

The boots Hootie and the Blowfish wear

  • What is meant by ‘You have been tangoed’?

Kicked out of dance class

  • What is a blue bottle?

The bottle that contains the potion to make you small

  • How do you make shortbread?

Make long bread and cut it in half

  • What colour is cotton candy?

Cotton is white, sooo…

  • What are cowslips and snap dragons?

Two of the Harry Potter Houses

Smiling flower