A Woman's Voice


MEMORY LANE ~ Spit It Out ~ November 16, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE

 

I’ve already told you in a previous post that my husband is a pretty silent man. 

Just the other day, I had the sneaking suspicion that I said something to offend him. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure because we were just heading off to bed after a late night with friends, but come morning there was no doubt about it. 

By now you are probably asking yourself “how does a silent man tell you that you have offended him?”  Body language, that’s how! 

When “Silent Sam” woke up at his usual time, I had been up and at it for about three hours. He got his usual cup of coffee and sat in his rocking chair across from me.  That’s not out of the ordinary.  He gets up, gets his coffee, sits in silence and waits for me to say something to start our day.  

Something was subtlety different this morning and a less experienced eye would have missed it.  He did all the above mentioned things but in addition to these, he crossed his arms and then I knew for sure that I had offended him. 

 

I knew he had “a burr in his saddle” and I suggested he “spit it out” so that we could get on with our day. That’s exactly what he did after a little prodding from me. We, then, discussed what was bothering him and he got it off his chest. It’s best to not let things fester. It’s far better to “spit it out” and then get on with life. Life’s much too short to harbor resentment. It’s much better to clear the air and move on, don’t you think?

Hey Fred….can you hear me now?

It’s hard to believe we met when I was “Sweet 16” and now I’m “Silly 61”. You always knew I had a sense of humor but little did you know that I would be so “loud “about it.

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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“A true friend is one who is concerned about what we are becoming, who sees beyond the present relationship, and who cares deeply about us as a whole person.   (Gloria Gaither)

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FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE ~ Early Bird ~ September 8, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE by doloresayotte on September 8, 2011
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FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE 

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”  (Maya Angelou)

Is it true?  Does the early bird really catch the worm?  Every morning, it’s the very same thing.  No matter what time I go to bed at night, my internal clock wakes me up at about 5:00 am.  In a sense, I should be annoyed and grumpy because a part of me would like to sleep in like other non morning people.  The other part of me loves this alone time.

I cannot tell you how productive I am the first thing in the morning.  I have anywhere between three to four hours before my husband saunters into the den with his morning cup of coffee.  I kind of feel sorry for him because after several hours of quiet, albeit productive time, I am ready to talk to someone.

He’s the only someone around and I’m sure he would like to press my “off” button this early in the morning.  Trust me, it is already late from my angle and I am eager to get started on the rest of my day.

I must admit that I have to “back off” just a little so my husband can have a few moments of relaxation to enjoy his cup of coffee and newspaper first thing in the morning just like I do even if it is over three hours later than me.  Hey, different personalities…it’s what keeps us challenged as we learn to respect each other’s differences.

Yup, early birds can get on some people’s nerves now and then.  I’m sure I rub my husband the wrong way once in a while and get on his “only nerve” with my morning chatter, but what the heck! We’re two older birds in this empty nest of ours and we can enjoy life the way we see fit.  We know how to work it out.

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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows. “  (Ben Stein)

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SNAPPING BEANS IN THE SUMMER — July 17, 2010 by Diane Dean White

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on July 17, 2010
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MEMORY LANE
The old apple trees were overgrown but still bared the delicious fruit they always had. The house where I spent so many warm summer days was flanked on both sides by the beauty of that orchard. I was surprised that the house was never sold and still belonged to a family member. Maybe they just couldn’t part with it.  

Each summer had been exciting as a teenager, because I could plan to stay a week in the countryside where so much activity took place. Driving on the long road that led back to the old farmhouse, I wished I could go back in time to once again sit and chat with Aunt Edna. 

The birds outside chirped a welcome as I looked around the old home. White sheets kept the overstuffed chairs and sofas clean — a lavender scent permeated my nostrils as I walked in the front door. 

I immediately pictured my aunt coming through the dining room door to greet me. But there was no one here. Once inside the kitchen with gingham curtains, Aunt Edna’s apron could be seen hanging on a peg against the wall.  

I saw the old colander hanging with the other utensils and I could almost hear her say, “Lands sake we’d best get to snapping these beans, and have a tall drink of lemonade so we can keep chattering away.” We’d go out the back door from the kitchen onto the screen porch that was always so large and accommodating for every need possible.

Aunt Edna and Uncle Henry kept some rockers and a small wooden table with straight chairs, and a red and white checkered table cloth with an oil lamp so we could eat our afternoon or evening meal on the porch. There was an old hook rug that made it cozy and always a fresh coat of paint that made it feel so clean. 

Sometimes Uncle Henry would bring his guitar out and play a few cords. Aunt Edna and I would join in singing “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” or something else. I learned a lot of the older songs while visiting them. 

The rockers were still in place as I walked around the back porch. The fragrant flowers that bloomed so beautifully outside the screen filled my head and I sat down. Some old galvanized pans were stacked near the table and I remembered all those Blue Lake green beans that we snapped as we talked about the things that were happening everywhere. We must have covered every family event, historic moments and how Aunt Edna’s own grandmother had taught her to sew a perfect stitch. 

Aunt Edna didn’t do a lot of freezing. She canned most of the produce out of their garden, and beans were no exception. She liked them canned and so we’d get out the old Mason jars and put up a number of beans, along with zucchini, tomatoes, squash, pickles and chili sauce and applesauce, apple butter and so many good recipes. I was happy to plan my two week summer stay with my great aunt and uncle, as it was always special for a city gal in the country.

“Take something as a memory of Edna and Henry’s,” the current farm owner and my distant relative said when I picked up the key.
“There’s nobody left and they’d want you to have something.”

Years ago Aunt Edna had given me an old collection of china slippers that she knew I loved so. Over the years, I had added to her collection, and now they were part of my home decor, kept in an old antique china cabinet.

I lingered just a few minutes longer, thinking back to the sound of the voices and laughter from the old place that had come to mean so much to me. We had made a special skirt on the back porch, sewing the hem and gathering the waist band one summer afternoon. There was a church social that we’d been invited to, and at 13, it was exciting to have a new skirt and be going to a fun activity in anticipation of meeting others my age. I wasn’t disappointed, as there were a lot of kids and I became friends with several. I wondered now whatever happened to them.

I picked up the old galvanized pans that we’d used to snap those beans and walked back out into the orchard. I picked a few apples and took them to the car with me. Nothing would ever bring back the memories more than what I could embrace in my own heart about my summer visits with Aunt Edna and Uncle Henry. But I could hang the pans on my porch and someday share my memories with my own family.

I walked back to the car looking at farmland as far as my eyes could see. I heard the noon whistle blow and I could almost hear Aunt Edna remark, “We’d best get the table set and ready, Henry will soon be here for his dinner.”

In the distance, I could hear Uncle Henry coming back from the barn singing, “It was from Aunt Dinah’s quilting party I was seeing Nellie home.”

I smiled — so thankful for the summer memories with two special people.
© Diane Dean White 2010
 

Thank you very much Diane for sharing such a fond memory with us!    

Diane is a former newspaper reporter and author of two books. She contributes to various publications and shares heartwarming stories with readers. She and her husband Stephen, reside in Florida.You may read more of her stories by going to www.DianeDeanWhite.com

 

A Request, a Sigh, or Frustration? June 28, 2010 by Peter Black

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE,WORDS OF WISDOM ~ A MAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on June 28, 2010
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A Wo-Man’s Voice

 “I’m completely bogged down with so much to do I hardly know where to begin!” Such statements are often intoned with frustration or a sigh.  

                        Perhaps you can usually tell the difference.

When my wife, May, tells me that I got bogged down and spent way too long on my first point in a sermon, she’s usually right; but to my ear it sounds like frustration.

Recently she took a deep breath and said, “We’ve only got a few weeks left before we move, and we’ve got so much to do between now and then!” Her frustration over my slowness to reduce the size of my library and an abundance of tools before moving into a downsized home, while present, was over-ridden by a momentary sense of helplessness, expressed in a sigh. Ah yes, a woman’s voice, along with her actions, can tell us men so much about what matters to her.

Wise are the husbands and fathers who learn to hear and heed the voices of the womenfolk in their lives. Their intonation can tell us so much.

I’m having to work at honouring May through thoughtful sensitivity; that means much more to her than sentimentality. After more than 43 years of marriage, I’m still not there. My capacity for active listening’s coming, but way too slow! Fact is, I need to pick up on the voiced request or mild sigh – long before the emotional dynamic leads to extreme frustration.

May doesn’t ask for much, but she does want me to actually hear her heart, and be aware of how she feels about what she says and requests. This is expected of men who follow Christ (1 Peter 3:7 abbrev.): Husbands … be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect … so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Fellas, just think: Our significant other’s request may be something ever so insignificant to a man, but may mean a great deal to her. What do expensive dark chocolates and crimson roses mean to the woman whose guy won’t pick up his dirty socks, or fix the leaky faucet, eh? 😉

Thank you so much Peter for writing this post when you have been so busy moving. 

Peter is a recently retired pastor living in Southwestern Ontario. He came to Canada from Scotland with his wife, May, and family in 1974. They have three grown sons and six grandchildren. He writes a weekly inspirational column in The Watford Guide-Advocate, and is a regular contributor to The Word Guild’s blogspot. Peter’s first book, “Parables from the Pond” was a finalist in Word Alive Press’s 2007 contest, and is being read in a variety of settings and by all ages.

MOTIVATION — June 20, 2010

Posted in INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES by doloresayotte on June 20, 2010
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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“Any person who recognizes this greatest power…the power to choose…Begins to realize that he is the one that is doing the choosing and that friends, although they mean well, cannot do his choosing for him, nor can his relatives. Consequently, he develops real self-confidence based upon his own ability, upon his own actions, and upon his own initiative.”  (J. Martin Kohe)


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