Thursday, December 28, 2017

A New Year A New You

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliaims

I think we’ve all made that New Year’s resolution. You know the one I’m talking about. Where we put away all those things we don’t like about ourselves and work at becoming the person we truly wish we were. The most popular of these has to be to lose that extra weight we gained during the past year.

Believe me, I’m in that boat with you, sailing down (or is it up?) that river of fat. Not a pretty picture at all is it? Not from where I’m sitting. And I will admit, that is definitely one of the things on my new me list for this next new year. I was pretty successful last year. I began on New Year’s Day and by May, I had lost about twenty to thirty pounds, depending on the day of the week and how cantankerous my scales wished to be on any given day.

Somehow, at least half of those lost pounds managed to become found within the past few months. All that hard work, for nothing. Not quite, but almost right back to my starting place.

This year, I hope to do things differently. My family is joining me in this venture and I think that with support for one another, we may all succeed. All prayers for success are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Magnificat--Mary's Song of Praise

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is called The Magnificat. In sung Latin, this is pronounced mahn-yee-fee-kaht, emphasis on the second syllable. The words are found in Luke 1:46-55. These are the recorded words of Mary at learning that she is to be the mother of the Son of God.

I cannot imagine being the very young Mary and hearing that she has been chosen from among all the women on the face of the earth to carry within her, God’s only Son, the Savior of the world, the long-awaited Messiah. Her words are so beautiful, I am in awe of her ability to express so eloquently what she felt at the time.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Seeing Jesus With the Eyes of My Heart

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Many of you know that I recently underwent cataract surgery. While I can see things that are close-up, things more than four or five feet away are blurry. Forget seeing those things that are in the far distance. Many return visits to the doctor’s office confirm that I was left with a not-so-unusual problem, but one that doesn’t normally occur this soon after surgery. Most people who develop this do not do so until one to five years post-surgery. Leave it to me to have it right after. Par for the course, if you knew me.

One of the major issues accompanying this problem─blurriness on the new lenses─is that lights halo and starburst so much that I cannot see at night. My vision is just the pits once the sun goes down and car lights, street lights, and this season, Christmas lights, go on. They all spread to the point of distortion, causing discomfort in my eyes. I even have difficulty reading on my Kindle and working on my computer screen. Not good for a writer.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Missing in the Manger

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Williams home. We’re in Florida for Christmas this year. After more than thirty years down here, it doesn’t seem odd any more to see Christmas lights on palm trees. As a matter of fact, it can be quite beautiful. But this year, I’ve noticed a flamboyance of flamingos wearing little Santa hats. I have to say, that’s not my style, but my best friend, no doubt, has one.

We live in a little villa, perfect for those of us who are of a certain age. The kids are grown, and if you’re lucky, out on their own. One of ours is living with us, and while we are delighted to be able to give him temporary housing, it does make things a bit more cramped than we had anticipated. Especially in a small space.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

To Go or Not to Go? One Tough Decision

by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams

That question comes up a lot during the busy holiday season. Do we pack up the kids, put the dog and cat in the kennel at no small expense? Do we drag out suitcases and clothes to last a week or two, or even a long weekend, for the entire family? Will the relatives have a washer? Does it still work? Is there room for all of us? What about when that relative comes for Christmas dinner? I don’t need to tell you who it is. We all have at least one.

I’m going to give you my thoughts on this. And remember, these belong to me. Formulate your own thoughts and opinions.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

We Gather Together

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

We Gather Together 
Many will be singing We Gather Together today, either in church or gathered around your Thanksgiving table. I wanted to tell you a bit about its origins.

When this lovely hymn was written by Adrianus Valerius in 1597, the Dutch were involved in a war for their national liberation against the Catholic King Phillip II of Spain. It was written in celebration of the Dutch victory over the Spanish forces at the Battle of Turnhout. It became well-known and much-loved by the Dutch because they had been forbidden to gather and worship as Protestants.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I Get By With A Little Help - From a Blog

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Do you look with envy at all those Instagram and FaceBook posts where people’s homes are decorated to the nines? You know the ones I’m talking about. Your sister who has every cutesy-pie little decorative piece here and there and everywhere and she posts photos of Every. Single. Thing. she owns. You do realize that you are not the abnormal one in this picture, don’t you? So many of us are in the last-minute-club that looking at those photos just sends us into the Guilt Zone─much scarier than the Twilight Zone.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fall-The Glory of God's Creation

by Debra DuPree Williams@DDuPreeWilliams

Almost everyone I know says fall is their favorite season. It happens to be my favorite, too. I love watching the leaves change from their summer green into the yellows, oranges, reds, and even browns of fall. It’s their way of bidding us goodbye for a season, with a promise to return in the spring.

All the leaf-hoppers in those parts of this great country of ours must agree with us. In the Asheville area, where I live for a portion of the year, the hotels and parkways, scenic-vista-pullovers and area restaurants, are filled with those coming to view God in all of His glory. When we were recently up that way, we took two lovely drives to view the leaves. I guess that makes my hubby and me a part of the very group about which I just spoke.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Greatest of the Great, A Golden Reunion

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Two weeks ago, I attended my fiftieth high school reunion. Like everyone else there, I wondered where on earth the years had gone. It had been fifty years since I had seen some of my classmates. Others, I’ve seen fairly recently. Facebook and Instagram have proven valuable instruments in keeping us connected to one another.

The festivities began on Thursday and concluded with a breakfast on Sunday morning at the Andalusia Country Club. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend all of the events, but I did make it for the Saturday evening gathering at Springdale, an old estate in Andalusia, purchased by the city, and now used for purposes such as our class reunion.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's That Time of Year . . . Have You Done This?

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Here it is, already past the mid-point mark of October and I am just now thinking about October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With the stories I know of family and friends who have walked this dark road, you would think I’d remember. But, life took over, I got busy . . . and I simply forgot.

My sister Bobbie was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2015. My husband and I were sitting in the Fatz restaurant in Candler, North Carolina, when I got the call from her. I had to leave the restaurant, I was crying so hard.

Cancer is the one word that most of us dread hearing. It invades our bodies and our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, unlike anything else on the face of the earth. It’s an ugly word.

But, since our family members are followers of Christ, we all began to pray for my sister. I put her on every prayer chain I could find. In fact, many of you prayed for her. I cannot begin to tell you how very thankful we are for every single utterance of her name.

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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Wish I"d Asked That - Family Questionnaire Part 3

@DDuPreeWilliamsby Debra DuPree Williams 
This week we finish with our questions for family members. This is a great tool for those who don’t want to take the time to write a memoir. Your family will thank you one day if they haven’t already done so. I know that there are many questions my sister and I wish we had asked of our parents and grandparents, and even of our aunts and uncles. So many family stories lost to time. I hope you have found this helpful and that you have added your own questions to the ones in my list.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I Wish I'd Asked That - Family Questionnaire Part II

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Last week I asked if you had begun a memoir and I gave you a list of questions to ask family members in case you aren’t into writing a memoir. 

I hope that you enjoyed reading through those and that you may have gotten to interview a relative or two. 

This week, we continue with part two of the questions regarding your adulthood.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Wish I'd Asked That . . . Family Questionnaire Part I

by Debra DuPree Williams @ DDuPreeWilliams

DuPree Siblings with Spouses and Two Nieces 1980s
I’m of the generation that is likely next for Glory. My parents went home to be with the Lord in 1996 and 2012. While my sister and I did encourage them to tell us many of their life stories, there are still things we wish we had asked. Before it was too late.

The Past has Passed
There are things about our grandparents we wish we knew. We were too young to care when they were still alive. My Granddaddy DuPree, my last grandparent, died when I was only thirteen. I can tell you that at that age, I didn’t care about much besides getting to spend at least a couple of weeks with my cousins in the summer time. How I wish we had gathered around family members and asked all the things we would love to know now.

If you haven’t begun a memoir or if you don’t care about writing such, how about just answering some questions with a sentence or two? I think most people could and would do that. Perhaps you could get one of your children or even a grandchild to write down your answers.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

An Old Country Church

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

If you grew up in the south as I did, you likely attended worship services in an old country church. The one I frequented was Taylor Methodist Church, now called Taylor United Methodist.

This was the church my mother’s family attended when she was a child. It is rich with history, and is still an active, though small, congregation. My cousin, Florence, is a member, making this the place of continual worship within my family for over a hundred years.

 Precious Memories

I have fond memories of visiting this precious place for worship services and revivals. My family and I were members of the big Methodist church downtown.

When my sister and my cousin, mentioned above, were teens, a young preacher by the name of Johnny Couey came to preach one night. I remember, even as a child, thinking how handsome he was. My sister and my cousin just about flipped over him. I’ve just learned from Florence that Johnny is still alive and still preaching. How wonderful.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Y’all already know that I am an amateur genealogist. I’ve been doing family searches for quite a few years and I’ve learned a great many things in that time, but I am, by no means, an expert. I still have to call on my sister Bobbie, or a cousin or two for help from time to time.
Genealogy is a lot of fun. I enjoy learning about my ancestors, where they came from and how they lived their lives. But the research can be grueling when you can’t find that one piece of the puzzle that will open a door. We call these situations, brick walls. I’ve run into more than one in my research. It’s disheartening when you know you know and yet you cannot find the piece of paper to prove what you know to be true. No lineage society will allow you to enter on your word alone. You must have that paper trail.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Procrastinators - Don't Wait Until Tomorrow To Read This

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

I admit it. I am a procrastinator of the highest order. I don’t mean to be. I just am.

A prime example of my skill at procrastinating is this blog post. Here is it Tuesday, just prior to noon, and I am just now writing this. It is due Thursday. Normally, I would have about four weeks of blogs written and ready to go, but life got in the way─a writers conference in May, a trip to North Carolina in June.

Those are only excuses. My way of explaining to myself why I didn’t do this earlier. Why things got so bogged down that I am now playing catch-up.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Have All I Need

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Papa, Bob DuPree, Surrounded by His Family On his 90th Birthday
This past week was my Papa’s birthday. He would have been ninety-seven years old. It’s hard to believe that the man I loved so much is no longer on this earth. I know, without a doubt, he is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior and I am sure he is walking around telling everyone, “God loves you, and so do I.”

That was one of Papa’s favorite sayings. It didn’t matter who you were or where you may have run into him. He didn’t care if he knew you or not. To him, everyone he met was his brother or sister in Christ. When he left, the last words he would say to you would be, “God loves you, and so do I”.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mothers of Boys - You've Got This

by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams

December 2012, Indian Rocks Beach, FL
If you’ve read my bio, you know that I am the mother of four boys. Well, they’re all grown men now, thanks be to God. And I don’t say that lightly.

My nephew and his wife have five sons and two daughters. I have a lot of friends who are the mothers of boys. It seems as if we gravitate to one another like one of those earth magnets that has super-strong pull. Maybe there’s something within us that silently calls to one another, “You can do this!”  Or maybe just a simple, “Help!” seems to be written across our foreheads. I’m here to tell you, you will survive and, God willing, so will they.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Food For Thought - Get Those Family Recipes

Family Reunion about 1921, Burdeshaw Side of Dad's Family
by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

So here it is, summer once again, that time of year when families can finally carve out some time to be together. If you are fortunate, you have scheduled the get-together when all or most of your family can be there, and that is a blessing.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Who Do You Think You Are?

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

This has become not only the name of a popular television show in recent years, but a question asked on social media as well. As more and more of us delve into the tech-world and engage more and more people in the latest-greatest inventions like Instagram and Twitter, just to name a couple, we are finding groups of people who tell us, “Hey, we’re related.”

I admit it. I was hooked from the beginning on the television show, but I was also mesmerized by my family Facebook groups.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Learning New Tricks: A Writer's Lifelong Journey

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

I’ve been writing seriously for about four years. In that time, I’ve learned many new things. I’m not as good at some as I hope to be, but I’m still learning. I’ve learned Twitter and Instagram. I’ve learned how to blog and how to make memes and I have learned many other things I never knew.

As I told you in my last blog post, I’m now a grandmother. I have been for thirteen-plus years, so you do the math. Let’s just say, I’m not a spring chicken. But I’m learning new tricks every day.

Some of the techie things the twenty-or-thirty-something-year-old writers do with ease don’t come that readily to some of us of a certain age. But I haven’t let that stop me. I’m learning new things all the time. As fast as technology is changing, we have to change with it or we'll get lost along the way.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's Never Too Late For Your Dreams

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

It’s been a few weeks since I returned home from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. The conference gets better with each passing year. This was my fourth one.

The fact that I even went to that first conference back in 2014 was a miracle. At that time, I didn’t even know there were such things. And why on earth would I think I should attend one? Me, a writer? No way. I was a singer. That’s what I had done all my life. God was supposed to use me and my voice to reach people. Period. And then I got older and my hearing began to fail me. But God was already working in the shadows to give me a second voice.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Proverbs 31 Woman

One Of the Many Suits Mama Made
by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams

I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about my mother. I told you I’d say a bit more about her. She wouldn’t like that I’m sharing at least one of the photos posted here, but they say so much about who she was.

Mama was a woman of many talents. As discussed earlier, unless it was party food, you really didn’t want her to cook. That one doesn’t go on my list of her talents. But sewing and crafting belong at the top.

When we were little girls, Granny, my mother’s mother, made most of our clothes. I guess that's because Mama always worked and Granny stayed home with us. I suppose I should say with me as my sister, who is seven years older, was already in school. Well, Granny loved all things shiny and noisy. Yes, I said noisy. Those are the only two reasons I can come up with for why every dress she made was made from taffeta and made that swish-swish noise with every movement. Granny passed away when I was eight, and from that point forward, Mama made all of our clothes.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Music Is a Fair and Glorious Gift of God

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

This has been a week in which my life was enriched by a musical experience. That isn’t unusual since I am a musician, but I had the privilege of hearing the Tampa Bay Symphony play their last concert of the year. They were joined by Jeffrey Multer, Concert Master of the Florida Orchestra. He played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35. I wish you had been there, as it was a superb performance by Mr. Multer and the symphony members. That performance brought to mind the quote that is the title of this post. In doing a search for its origins, I found these quotes, all by Martin Luther. The title of this post is also attributed to him.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Name Game

by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams

I am a member of a private DNA-study page. On that page, a cousin posted about using names in a not-so-obvious way to find one’s relatives. In one of my lines, I have three Andrews in a row, my great-great-great-grandfather, my great-great-grandfather, and my great-grandfather. It was difficult to distinguish between all of them. And, in my opinion, a middle name has been assigned to one that wasn’t truly his. But he did give that middle name to his son, my great-grandfather, Andrew Jackson, plus the family name. And that great-grandfather gave his name to one of his sons, thus creating a senior and a junior. Thank goodness, that wasn’t my grandfather. I think I would have been thoroughly confused by that point. Then consider that I gave the name Andrew to my second son as his middle name, long before I knew that any of my family members bore that name, let alone that I had three greats in a row and a great-uncle with that same name. Just way too many Andrews!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

My Second Mother: I Call Her Sissy

My Sister and Me, Easter about 1952
By Debra DuPree Williams

Mother’s Day has just passed. I wish that I had thought to write this prior to that Sunday. I can only trust that God’s timing is always right, even when it comes to what and when we write our blog posts.

You’ve read a couple of blogs about my mother lately. She was an amazing woman with so many talents and gifts. She left us far too soon. She was only seventy-three. But I have another woman in my life, a second mother, if you will. I call her Sissy.

My big sister Bobbie has been like a second mother to me all of my life. Our mother worked outside of our home, but Sissy was always there with me. She kept me out of trouble and made sure that I knew I was loved.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

It's Not a Coincidence, It's a God-Incidence

Indian Rocks Beach, Path from our Home There
  by Debra DuPree Williams

I quote Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 3:6, to my children all the time. If they remember nothing else of their mother, I know they’ll remember these two verses. Both of these scriptures speak of putting your faith and trust in God and following the paths He has set forth for your life.

Childhood Dreams
I never dreamed of the places I’ve been or the relationships I’ve formed over the past four years. I’m talking about in the writing world. When I was in the seventh grade in Andalusia, Alabama, I began writing a novel. Every night before I turned off my lights, time was spent putting another chapter into my idea of The Great American Novel. Let me tell you, it was pitiful. But a friend waited daily to read what I had written the previous night. Thank you, Anne Evers Mount Brown. I don’t know what happened to that great achievement.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where There's a Will, There's a Way: Accessing Your Digital Assets

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

My husband and I just moved to Florida. We had to revise our wills to be in compliance with Florida laws. One of the things that came up was this question, “In the event of my death, or if I should become incapacitated, what happens to all the things I have written that are on my computer, thumb drives, external hard drive, etc.?” I had no idea and frankly, hadn’t given it a lot of thought. I had read an article in my SCBWI newsletter back in the summer of 2015, but I had long since all but forgotten about it. This article is a great one for writers. It covers everything from agreements, royalty payments, to the good old IRS.

It’s one of those things we don’t like to think about, but eventually, we are all going to die. It’s just a matter of when. None of us is promised today, let alone tomorrow. What have you done to prepare for that day?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Martha By Any Other Name

by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams

I’ve written a couple of blog posts that featured my daddy. But, obviously, I also had a mother. Now you may say that your mother is or was one-of-a-kind, but my mother, Dot, wasn’t. She had an identical twin, my Aunt Doris. But even though she had someone on earth who looked exactly like her, Mama was definitely her own person.

Mama was one of those people who just naturally excelled at anything she did. Except cooking. She hated to cook. But she loved to entertain and make party foods.

I don’t remember her ever putting a roast in the oven for a week night or Sunday dinner. But could she ever make party food. We had more parties at our home in one year than most of my friends’ moms had in ten years. Mama just loved entertaining, getting out her good dishes, and putting on the dog, as we say in the south.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The DNA of Jesus

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliam

If you read my blog regularly, you have figured out that I am deeply involved in doing my family’s genealogy. I’ve been researching any and all sides of my family for decades. With the addition of DNA testing, I have connected with more cousins than I would have thought possible. Just this week I heard from two “new” cousins whose DNA was a match to mine. Turns out, one of the ladies and I are closely related. My great grandparents are her great-great grands. We will be getting in touch sometime this week.

That brings me to a show we recorded last week, the week of Easter. There are many such shows on at that time of the year, as if it is the only time we become interested in learning about Jesus. This particular show was a bit different. It was on the History channel and was called The Jesus Strand: A Search for DNA.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

You Come First

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Now before you get all in a dither, let me explain. I’m not talking about first as in “it’s all about me.” I see things from a Christian world view, so to me, God is always first.  I’m speaking from a genealogical point of view, and in that case, you do come first.

When I first began searching my family roots back in 1999 or so, I had no clue where to begin. I just knew that I was born a DuPree, Mama’s maiden name, and who my  grandparents were.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Finish What You Start--The True Glory

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Sunset at Indian Rocks Beach, Florida,  2011
My sister Bobbie and I are the queens of unfinished projects. I cannot begin to tell you how many times one or the other of us has begun a project of one kind or another and abandoned it for yet another project, promising to get back to it later. You know how that goes. Later never comes. There is always something else out there that seems to be more fun or appealing on any given day.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Lasting Legacy: Be a Doer of The Word

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Hands Clasped, Debbie and her Daddy
My Daddy, Bob DuPree, was an avid gardener. Gardening was one of his many hobbies, but was the one he loved most and the one he was able to do up to the day he died. He passed away five years ago, leaving a legacy of hard work, patience, compassion, love, but most of all, what it means to be a doer of the Word.

Papa, as I always call him, was a simple man. He didn’t require a lot to be happy. When my sister and I were wee ones, Papa’s sport was hunting. One day he came home with his prizes, a squirrel or two, maybe a bird as well. When my sister and I cried over the poor little animals,he put away his hunting rifle and never went hunting again. He was willing to sacrifice a sport he truly loved for the sake of the hearts of his two girls.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Digging Up Dirt and Other Joys of Being a Genealogist

by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams
My family considers my sister Bobbie and me to be the family genealogists. Neither of us is a professional, but we have learned a thing or two in our ventures into the world of family trees, graveyards, and lineage societies.

Genealogy Adventures
I should actually call these adventures as we have had quite the time in our search for the truth. One of our cousins shared her research saying, “Be sure to wear long pants, jeans preferred, and long socks. Tuck the bottoms of your jeans into your socks. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and get some good bug repellent and spray generously.” My sister and I wondered what we had gotten ourselves into, but we were outfitted thusly the morning we met her on the side of the road in a teeny-tiny little town, far off the beaten paths, in south Alabama.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Have You Considered Attending a Writers Conference?

By Debra DuPree Williams @ddupreewilliams

I never thought I’d attend a writers conference—especially at my age. These are some of the doubts that plagued me:
  • What could I possibly have to say that anyone would want to read?
  • Am I even a writer? 
  • What if I go and embarrass myself?
  • What am I supposed to wear?
  • What should I bring?
  • What am I even doing here?
If you’re feeling doubts about your own calling, you’re not alone. When I first attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2014, I knew nothing and no one. I sat in the back row. Even worship was different for me as I come from a tradition of hymns and a rather high-church service. I felt like a fish out of water, or a Presbyterian in a pool of Baptists. Now I  raise my hands with everyone else, and it feels like I should have been doing this all of my life.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Following a Dream Using My Second Voice

by Debra DuPree

I grew up surrounded by music. I began singing in our church with my big sister Bobbie when I was three and she was ten. She taught me the words and melody and she sang harmony. We soon began singing in other churches, nursing homes, and civic organizations. We went just about anywhere we were invited to sing.

Once my sister went away to college, our duo became my solo act. I continued our tradition of singing in church but I also joined my high school choral department where I sang in many groups from the Acapella choir to a Gospel trio.