Visit Teri's Website at

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Counting Our Blessings

It’s that time of the year. Thanksgiving. A time we remember our family traditions and count our blessings. Personally, my life has been blessed in so many ways. I love my family and they love me. I have two adorable puppies I can never seem to get enough of. I have great friends. I’m healthy. I love my job as a writer. I have a nice warm house to go home to. The list goes on and on. Keep reading.
Thanksgiving is the day of the year we not only stuff the turkey, but we get to stuff our faces—and do it without feeling an ounce of guilt! What a blessing. How many Thanksgiving dinners have you gobbled down until you had to unsnap the top button on your pants to make room for one last piece of pumpkin pie? I figured out years ago I was better off wearing stretch pants on Turkey Day. Stretch pants, another blessing.

Who knew leaving the dinner table after eating until you turned green and were on the verge of hurling, could be so dangerous? I can’t count the number of near-missed concussions and bruises I’ve suffered from dropping to the floor and rolling to the nearest available couch or bed. Lord knows I couldn’t walk upright. Maybe this year I’ll try surrounding the table with couches or mattresses. No more drop and roll. Yep. Add always thinking of ways to better your situation to the list of blessings.

Seriously, the real blessings in my life have always been my family. As a child, my family always started Thanksgiving Day off by watching the parades. My dad was a big fan of waking us kids up at the butt-crack of dawn to insure we had plenty of time to eat breakfast before the Macy’s Parade started. After watching decorated floats and oversized balloons until we were cross-eyed and blind, Momma usually had the turkey feast on the table and we’d begin to engorge our little tummies. Turkey and stuffing, home-made egg noodles, mashed potatoes, five cup salad, green bean casserole, and best of all Momma’s pumpkin pie. It was a lot of food and sadly, I know I’m leaving out a few dishes!

Like any all-American family, we were back in front of the television and cheering on Dad’s favorite football teams. In reality Momma would rather have caught up on her soap operas and my siblings and I would’ve preferred cartoons. But, my dad was all about sports, so God help the person who tried to turn the channel. The man could be snoring so loud the windows rattled, but if anyone touched the dial, or later on the remote, he was upright and asking you if risking your life was really worth it. We all thanked the electronic wizards the day they invented the DVR, another blessing.
After an afternoon of dozing on and off over football, it was time to dig in to the left-overs. Then we were off for more football. How many teams can possibly play on one given day? Still, my family had spent the whole day together, many years never changing out of our pajamas.
The funny thing is, as an adult, I find I want to spend my holidays pretty much the same way my parents spent theirs. When my kids were little, we watched the same parades I watched with my dad. I’ve even picked a few football teams to root for over the years. I still cook Momma’s famous egg noodles and pumpkin pie. Of course they are never as good as hers, but the kids complain if I don’t’ make them! Although they’ve been gone several years, it’s like my parents are with me when I practice the Thanksgiving traditions they taught me. Memories=more blessings.
I’m hoping when the time comes my husband and I are no longer on this Earth, my children, and possibly their children, will continue to spend the special day in a similar way. I know they’ll add a few of their own tweaks here and there, but as long as they keep a little bit of me in their celebrations, I’ll always be with them. What a blessing to be remembered! 
And at the end of day, who could ask for more?

In the comments below, please share any Thanksgiving traditions you practice. And share some of your blessings with us.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My First Hero

Seven years ago today my very first, real-life hero passed away. My father.

As a child I always knew I would be safe as long as my dad was around. He was big and strong, and could do all kinds of things mere mortals couldn’t. Yep. I knew bad people and boogeymen didn’t mess with me or my daddy would take them down. He was my protector.

Like all good dads, mine had no fear. He served in the US Navy, and when he returned to civilian life, he signed on with our city’s fire department. He could check beneath a dark bed for monsters, or stomp creepy, crawly bugs without hesitation. Ah yes, a fearless man of action!

My father never gave up hope. The day Daddy’s doctor came into his hospital room and told him to get his affairs in order, my father shook the man’s hand, went home, and got busy looking for a way to beat the odds. He did. His six month expiration date turned into sixteen years. I’d say he beat the hell out of the inoperable lung cancer that dared to threaten him.

He was a man of faith. Dad began his fight against cancer by reading the Bible from the beginning to the end. He rarely missed church and drew so much strength from his religious beliefs. Maybe it was his back-up plan in case things didn’t work out.

My father loved his family. He made my momma a happy woman. There was lots of laughter in our house. He took care of her when she became ill and always said God let him survive his illness so he’d be there for Momma. Later after she died, he remarried and I got to watch him work his magic on my step mom. I wasn’t around when he and Momma were courting. I found it fascinating to see him fall in love again.

My father had a big heart. Big hearts are easily broken. Men from his era didn’t cry, but I saw Daddy cry three times during my life. At my grandpa’s funeral, when my momma died, and at my wedding.

I was the first of three daughters he made the trip down the aisle with before handing us over to another man’s keeping. My husband had big shoes to fill and he has…but that’s another story. My father loved his children and grandchildren more than life itself. We loved him right back. My kids were very close to him and still tell Grandpa D stories.

I want the heroes in my stories to bigger than life like my dad was. I want them to be strong and protective. I want them to be fearless. I want them to have faith. And I want them to love with all their hearts. My poor heroes have a hard image to live up to. I believe all little girls who are lucky enough to have a father like mine, will like the heroes I create.

I miss you, Daddy.