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Kathy’s Column for Dec. 13, 2012

SoVaNow.com / December 13, 2012
SWAN SONG … according to my book of clichés, is a farewell; one’s last appearance. The swan in fact does not sing, but ancient legend has it that the dying swan does manage at last to give voice to something like a song. The first time these words appeared was in 1374. Okay, now let me explain, today’s writing is my second to the last attempt at a column since I am retiring at the end of this year. I have simply loved being able to write for the last 13 years in this wonderful space and can hardly think of what it will be like to be silenced in future issues of the News and Record. I am quite sure my voice won’t sound like a song either but rather a voice clogged with tears, as I will miss you all terribly. I figure I would say my good -bys at this time, so that my last “meanderings” will instead end on a more positive note. (there I go again, referring to that swan song.) THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU from the depths of my being for allowing me to bring all 676 musings to you. (I missed one week, if I remember correctly as I was traveling and my column didn’t reach the paper in time or at all.) Here I go crying and trying to regale you with some wisdom I love to pretend I have. It truly has been a lovely journey for me and I thank everyone at this wonderful paper for giving me the opportunity to share part of my life. I don’t dare name names as we all know someone would be forgotten, but I will mention one, Tucker, Jr., you came up with this idea when you read Eddie’s column in the Danville paper and figured ours could have something similar, and for that I’m grateful. You brought the idea to others who in turn brought it to life. Gosh I’m crying so much right now I will have to take a break, and everyone knows if they have read “Kathy’s corner”, that it will most likely entail a pot of coffee or one of tea.

NOW ONE MORE DILEMMA HAS ME IN A CASE OF BEFUDDLEMENT … and that is what in the world will I do with my two dozen literal piles of cut out, torn out, underlined, obsolete magazines and newspapers from which I glean ideas each week. I’ve always thought I had about 14 piles but when I counted them today I realized that dozens was more the truth. I can also honestly say I have never used the internet to get ideas as I realize you all can do that for yourselves, but can anyone find the things I do without having access to my “treasures” throughout my home, my cars, my handbag, and even my mind, which is never without the thought maybe next week I can write about this or that…I have paper and pencil or pen at the ready everywhere I am and most likely will continue for a while at least to keep jotting down ideas. Finally I’ve quit my copious amount of crying and can think beyond my blurry eyes to the fact that I will no longer have to meet a deadline, yeah for upcoming Mondays and Tuesdays. (oh no the waterworks are beginning again.) One of my co-workers recently suggested that I send in a column entitled “ Kathy at Large or was it Large Kathy”, at various times to keep you all abreast as to where I am and what I am doing, might be something to ponder? Our plans for now are to live half the year In Wisconsin, with six of the world’s best grandchildren and the other half in South Carolina with three of the other world’s best. In between my husband and I dream of working with the Salvation Army and their programs to help those who have been inundated with a natural disaster. Obviously that would be somewhere up East helping hurricane Sandy victims at this time. My daughter-in-law just returned from helping out in New Jersey and Statin Island and said it was the most rewarding experience she has had, so we very much look forward to doing the same. My class motto from High School, 50 years ago said, “I do not believe today everything I believed yesterday. I wonder will I believe tomorrow everything I believe today.” I intend to remind myself of this and won’t stop reading and studying everything and anything so that I can keep on learning why I believe what I do and if perhaps I need to change my outdated beliefs, always of course measuring my thoughts against the greatest book on earth, the Bible. One more thing, over the years I have had numerous pictures at the top of this column, and boy have I changed or shall I say aged and what was I thinking pertaining to some of my hairdos? I suppose I should change my photo one more time so when we see one another out and about you will recognize me with my short now gray head. I’ve had hundreds of comments over the years about my hair because I do tend to change color and length frequently but for now this is where I feel comfortable. (I am thinking of shorter and spiky in the near future, however to my readers you will never know unless we run into one another.)

THE REST OF THIS WEEK’S COLUMN … won’t make a lot of sense perhaps but I am going to fill it with odds and ends that I want to share. First one, entitled “Beautiful Heaven”- from a grandparents magazine, “My 8-year-old granddaughter, Allison, and I were looking at the starlit sky. She said, “If heaven looks this pretty on the bottom, just think how beautiful it must be on the other side!” (great words for an elderly person who is retiring to ponder wouldn’t you agree?) My second choice is a quote of George Washington Carver, “How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and of the strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” (Wow, and so true) Oh no, more splotches of tears on my paper… It was Mark Twain who said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” (something we can never afford to forget) Another favorite, this from Henry Van Dyke, “There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world, it is to stoop down and lift those around us up a little higher.”(Just like someone has done for us a time or two during our lives.) Written on a wall in a concentration camp come the following words, “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even when I feel it not. I believe in God even when He is silent.”(no need to comment is there?)

TIME FOR TWO QUICK GRANDCHILDREN STORIES … from this past weekend. Our youngest, Spencer played the part of the littlest shepherd in an outdoor Live Nativity Play and we were told he played it to the hilt bowing in awe to the “baby doll” in the manger. Yes it is almost Christmas and let’s not forget, like Spencer what is important this season. The second story is about our oldest grandson, Alexander who was only a year old when we moved here. He is now 18 and reviewing college acceptances, his latest a $48,000 scholarship to The Milwaukee School of Engineering,for his Freshman year. As you can see we will have children of all ages to mentor and to learn from as we travel this next part of our journey. I pray we won’t lose our wonder or our memories of Halifax County, as we have never lived anywhere as long as we’ve been here. 
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU ALL SAFE AND WELL. (one to go, oh no, more tears)



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