Thursday, October 19, 2017

An Unexpected Journey

by Debra DuPree Williams                                                                           @DDuPreeWilliams

Back in 2011, when my husband and I lived with our eldest son and his family for a few months, I spent a great deal of time with our then, fourteen-month-old granddaughter. She was a delight, as was her seven-year-old sister. Their needs were very different. Jim chauffeured P to all of her camps and activities while I remained at home with E.

E and I spent many happy hours devouring every little board book and every picture book in their home. She had her favorites. One of those was about a band. Since she comes from a long line of musicians, including her dad who plays guitar and drums, and her mother who was a drummer in a rock band back in her school days, I think it was just a genetic thing for her to be drawn to that little book.

But one of her books made me cringe every time I read it. The rhythm of the words was off. I had a hard time reading that book, but E loved it, so I read it anyway and tried not to make too many faces.

One night I thought, I can do this. I’ve written poetry all my life. I think I could write a children’s book. So, I set about giving it a go. I wrote a book about music, of course (I have two degrees in music). It wasn’t a grand book, but it was a start. It featured an adorable little conductor whom I called Maestro Musik. It taught some basic music lessons, too.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

From Generation to Generation

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Our Great-Nephew Brit and His Beautiful wife, Kelly
I did something for the first time ever this past Friday. Actually, my husband and I did this together. We attended a baby reveal party. Now, when we were having our kids, there was no such thing as a baby reveal party. If you wanted to know the sex of your unborn child, they would tell you during a routine ultrasound, but only if you wanted to know. And no one had heard of a baby-reveal party.

We didn’t want to know. We decided that we wanted to be surprised because we knew we were going to be thrilled no matter the baby’s gender. So, three times we waited. Three times we were blessed with little boys. Precious little boys.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Now We See in a Mirror Darkly

                                              by Debra DuPreeWilliams @DDuPreeWilliams

I recently had cataracts surgery. I cannot begin to tell you how much I dreaded that particular procedure. Even though my husband and several family members have been through it and they all assured me that it was “a piece of cake” I just couldn’t imagine being awake, though highly sedated, for such. I’m the proverbial chicken when it comes to things like this. At one time, I was even needle phobic and would pass out during a simple blood draw. Heart issues cured me of that, big time.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday when I had my left eye done. My husband had told me, “You won’t even remember it. All you’ll see is bright lights and a psychedelic show.” I’m not much for light shows. They give me migraines, every single time. Just the thought of being aware of what was happening to me was enough to have me running for the hills.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Helping One Another in the Midst of Life's Storms

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

One thing we Americans do well is to look out for one another. While some factions seek only to tear us apart, I just don’t see that as a part of our future. When the going gets tough, we come to one another’s aid in dramatic ways.

Take hurricane Harvey. Who could have predicted the amount of flooding the poor people of Texas would have to endure? It just wasn’t on the radar, pun intended. At least, not to the extent that was seen. 

But people were hurting, and others heard their cries and came running. Even when they didn’t have to. Even when they put themselves in harm’s way. Even to the extent of sacrificing their lives in order to help their fellow man. The Bible tells us in John 15:13, Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mayhaws, Mimi, Mel, and Mayhem - Brought to You by a Nasty Gal Named Irma

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

What a couple of weeks we’ve had. Virtually every square inch of Florida has been impacted in one way or another by hurricane, Irma. We didn’t just get to watch as most of our country did, from a safe distance and the air-conditioned luxury of our living room. No, we had to watch in order to make the decision if we should stay or go. Many of Florida’s citizens had no choice as they were in mandatory evacuation zones. Where we live was right on the edge of one of those zones. So, we prepared by putting up our storm shutters, bringing in supplies of food and water, talking our two middle sons into coming to our home, gassing up our car, and praying.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sacred Harp Singing

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams
Last week I told you about learning that my grandfather, Wilburn Bass, was a leader in the Sacred Harp singing community in south Alabama. I’m still trying to deal with that surprise. I cannot believe that no one ever told us this about Grandpa. It could be that our mother didn’t even know as her father passed when she was just seven years old. Since I recall attending Sacred Harp sings with his widow, my Granny, I have to wonder why we never knew this information.

I’m sure some of you know what I mean when I say Sacred Harp singing, but many more of you likely do not. While I’m no expert on the subject, I do know a bit about it. If you saw the movie Cold Mountain, you may recall the scene in the church where they were singing and raising and lowering their arms in the rhythm of the music. That was Sacred Harp.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Social Media and Genealogy Connections

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Facebook has been around for quite a while now. But many people are just becoming aware of how effective it can be for finding and connecting with long-lost family members. It seems that the advent of DNA testing for ordinary folks has increased the awareness of social media for such.

In my own family, once I did the DNA testing available through Ancestry, I was able to connect with family members I had never known before. And through those connections, I was able to join a couple of closed, or private, DNA pages on Facebook and reach even more extended family members.