Happy Thanksgiving!

Musings coverIt’s Thanksgiving Day, the family’s all here. A time to give thanks for all things we hold dear.

The turkey’s been stuffed and put in to bake. Mama has made a chocolate pound cake.

There’s dressing, potatoes and a pot of green beans. This is the prettiest table that I’ve ever seen.

There’s cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie. There’s a squash casserole I can’t wait to try.

A pecan pie and a potato soufflé, I’ll just forget about my diet today.

There’s a jar of pickles, some macaroni and cheese. And someone has brought a big pot of peas.

Some sourdough rolls, hot with butter. “Is it time to eat?” I heard someone mutter.

Let Papa ask the blessing, make it short and sweet. I’m thankful for everything and I’m ready to eat!

By Myra McElhaney

(From my poetry book, Musings on Major and Minor Matters that May or May Not Matter, Published in2011. Available on Amazon.com)

  • What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?
  • Any favorite dishes?
  • Favorite Thanksgiving memories?

As always, I love your comments!


Coopetition Among Whales

Whales bubble-net feeding in Alaska
Whales bubble-net feeding in Alaska

I recently went on a whale-watching expedition while on an Alaskan cruise. We had seen one or two whales in the distance, blowing water high into the air, arching their backs just above water then diving with their tails flipping up as if to wave. Continue reading

Laughter as the “Yellow Canary”

In the old days miners carried a yellow canary into the mines with them as a primitive early warning system.

Dangerous gases could form easily in the mine if something upset the balance of the underground air. The little birds had sensitive respiratory systems so if just a small amount of the colorless, odorless, tasteless but deadly gas was in the air a canary would stop singing, began to sway and fall off its perch and drop to the bottom of its cage. It was said that, “If the canary hits the deck, the miners hit the exits.” Continue reading

#ThankAWoman #WomensHistoryMonth Marilynn Mobley

Myra and Marilynn

Myra and Marilynn

Today I honor the memory of my dear friend, mentor and confidant, Marilynn Mobley who passed away in September.

The first time I met Marilynn Mobley was at the local chapter of the National Speaker’s Association. Back in those days we called it GSA. Then we would pass around a microphone and everyone in attendance would introduce themselves briefly. We somehow managed it. Continue reading

Woman #2 Women’s History Month: Teresa Carey Miller

In honor of ‪#‎WomensHistoryMonth I’m posting about women who inspired me.

Teresa and me. Way back in the day!

Teresa and me. Way back in the day!

Teresa Miller (then Teresa Carey) was a student working part time when a conversation with her changed the trajectory of my life.

I’d graduated high school a couple years earlier and was working at the Chestatee Regional Library; happy to have an ‘office job’ rather than continuing to work at the cotton mill where I’d worked the summer after graduation. Teresa was a couple years younger and a student working part time.

“Why don’t you go to the junior college?” she asked. Continue reading

Five Fives for 55

It’s been a year of new beginnings. In January of 2012 I moved from the ‘burbs to a high-rise condo in Buckhead. I released the big happy home I’d shared with my late husband to start life anew. On my own. My condo is so much smaller and just right for me. It’s in a great location and each room has a fabulous view. I decorated with a mix of old and new; borrowed and blue. (Actually ‘swapped’ and ‘red’ but that doesn’t alliterate!) I specifically wanted a walkable area to create a sense of community. I walk to the grocery store, drug store, UPS store, two malls and several restaurants. A couple churches are within walking distance. I can even walk to the gas station but that sort of misses the point. Walking to places and seeing neighbors along the way feels like community.

My first year in my new home was also my 55th year. (I know! I look so much younger! Thank you for feigning shock as I announce my age to the world!) Now back to me. For my 55th year I decided to celebrate with 5 Fives for 55!

My goals were:

  1. Visit 5 new restaurants
  2. Make 5 new friends
  3. Take 5 weekend getaways
  4. Take 5 classes
  5. Go on a date with 5 different guys

For Buckhead Restaurant Week in February I was in a new restaurant every day. (I’m highly ambitious like that! Some people aim for wealth and success; I set restaurant goals.) First goal achieved! Easy!

Neighbors Josh, Mari, Jim, Susan and Chris invited me to Happy Hour, wine on the rooftop, wine on the patio, wine at the bar across the street and wine in the courtyard. Soon we’ll need a group rate at Betty Ford but, hey! I have five new friends! I also met Mary Ann, Marjorie, Cynthia, Wendy, Nikki and Donna. Many people over-achieve in some category. I’ll take “friends.”

For the getaway goal I visited Susan in Jacksonville, Cindy in Asheville, Rhonda in New York, went to Myrtle Beach with Brenda then wrapped it up in Chicago where Mike and Vikki guided sixteen fun folks on a mission of merriment in the eat/drink/shop tour.

I took classes in cooking, fiction writing, memoir writing, blogging and motorcycle riding. Yes, motorcycle riding. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of woman who rides her own Harley. I’m not.

Now for the five dates. Through the generosity of friends and the ease of modern technology. I managed to scrounge up a date with five different men. Number 1 was a pleasant/plump/passive guy. I decided we would be friends. #2-The nice businessman. He decided we would be friends. #3-The ‘blond Sheldon’(as in Big Bang Theory) was a 45 year old nerd living with his mother. We’re not friends. #4-The accomplished gentleman widow who is still grieving. Sadly, with that in common, we’ll be friends. Number 5 was the good-on-paper, age-appropriate, nice-looking, perfectly-polite, friend-of-a-friend. We are already friends but since he invited me to dinner and I needed one more ‘date’ to meet my goal I’m counting it! Whew! For a curvy, middle-aged widow in a town where women in my demographic reportedly exceed men eight-to-one; getting a date ain’t easy!

Five Fives for 55! A year of new beginnings. It’s been good. It’s been fun. It’s been a busy one! Now I’m looking out across Buckhead to the horizon; thinking about what joy and adventure I can create for 2013.