Honeysuckle Air: Dedication, Epilogue and End Page

-DEDICATION

  • to my two sons and their wonderful families–where I have found love and support across the years.
  • to my late brother, Orman Earl and my late sister Marjory Carol, who gave me a sense of family with our little trio of blue-eyed siblings.
  • to Bob Danzig, a world-class writer and speaker who served as CEO of Hearst Enterprises, and provided inspiration and encouragement in this project and in this phase of my long and lovely life…

 

 

EPILOGUE (needs to have a bucket drawn around this to indicate Bucket List)

My Do List for My Next 75 Years is to finish and publish these ongoing book projects:

_____ Honeysuckle Air: My First 75 Years

______Just Get Me Through the Year (a psychoeducational book for parents and teachers)

______ My Roller Coaster of Caregiving

______ inFamous Sayings Of These My Children (nostalgic humor straight from the mouths of children)

______ Blood and Sunshine: A Grief Tearbook with sprinkles of hope

______ Holiday Sparkles

______ Meditations, Presentations, Sermons and Songs

______ Treeland School: Videos of chats, songs and stories, mostly by me and some by others

______ I Used to Cookbook: written originally for my 2 sons, and added to as life went on

 

Guess I’d better get busy!

 

END PAGE

Stay Tuned

In life one lesson we all need to remember is Stay Tuned.

When things are bad, stay tuned.

When things are good, stay tuned.

——–

Stir up something interesting while you stay tuned.

——–

If you start to get the big head, stay tuned.

If you are discouraged and see no hope, stay tuned.

——–

Let Staying Tuned be the background music of your life. Always stay open to what’s next.

Hold on to your life and just Stay Tuned:-)

WAIT — THERE’S MORE!

My full measure of devotion is not used up yet! Tomorrow I will . . .

Copyright by Hildra Tague. Obtain author’s permission for use online or in print.

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Of These My Children: Divine Revolution

My life as a teacher has been blessed with my students over many years. They show me kindness, healing and nurturing and sometimes even some new words.

Mondays bring reports of their family’s weekend activities. One gal said, “Our church believes in Diving Revolution. My mom told me.”  It’s like getting inspired from God. A boy added, “Guess it’s like the Revolutionary War. They were inspired to start our country.”  Dear Lord, I need some of that Divine Revelation to handle this vocabulary emergency. And you thought teaching was easy, eh?

The class was enjoying our reading unit where they were learning about history, places, and unusual words. One little scholar read aloud, “in 1870 Butterball was an important meat on the plains.” Thank goodness I had a piece of buffalo hide to show them as I changed the conversation to “where the buffalo roam.” Must be time to learn Home on the Range!

Another reading assignment was about dinosaurs and was, in the words of my student, “in the Prehistoric Period called the Ass Age.”  My students had always claimed I was “rated G” so I blocked my ears and quickly cooled things off with explanation of the word Ice. 

In History class the children were fascinated by Stone Age, the place where there were statues which helped them study the sun. When I declared it was actually Stonehenge, a couple of them argued with me since they were certain they had heard of the Stone Age. What a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to teach!

Something we read reminded a guy of a movie he and his uncle saw recently. He declared it was “something about poultry.”  When I inquired further he said, “Poultry Geist, or maybe it was Poultry heist.” That took more than a few minutes to sort that out, ending in my having to explain poltergeist.

At lunch I was told by a little scholar, “My dad and mom were talking. He asked her if she wanted to see his female!” I thought that sounded inappropriate. I didn’t know what to do! The next few moments were filled with a discussion of words that sound alike. When the kiddoes went home I sent the mom an email so she’d know what her loving child was thinking.

Children sometimes attend meetings with their parents which are aimed at adults. One boy explained that he went with his parents and at the end someone stood up and said, “Thanks for preventing this event.” This fine young man said it just didn’t make any sense. He was so relieved when I explained it meant presenting this event!

That day’s lunch was topped off with a gal telling us all about her neighbor: “She’s a persecuting attorney so she can really be tough.  It broke my heart to tell her all about prosecuting but at least she went home feeling a little safer, since the lawyer only persecuted bad guys!

Afternoons can seem long even though they are short by the clock. One gal was just wearing out when she told me, “I’m getting infused.” I didn’t see any drug or medical apparatus around, so I decided it was time to break a bit early for recess before anyone else got confused!

Math class lends itself to finding answers, but that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Our classroom math whiz opened his mouth even before his hand shot up with, “Do we get to start with that Metal Math Warmup again today?” I took a glance around and only saw wooden desks so I told him when we warm up with numbers flying around in our brains, that was called Mental Math. I’m not sure he noticed but we went mental anyway.

Then we began a geometry lesson on symmetry.  I clarified the hanging from Japan on our wall didn’t have symmetry since onside wasn’t like the other.  A girl was dripping with concern as she bemoaned, “But where do their dead people sleep?!!!”  Suddenly it felt like time for Art and we made pictures showing symmetry. The students drew faces, trees, and even some letters of the alphabet. They had fun discovering our bodies are symmetrical!  Then I wrote cemetery on the board and everyone made a cemetery picture. We decided one was enough and we’d do more of that at Halloween, or Day of the Dead.

Thank goodness the bell rang and we could put this day to an end.  As I told the students bye for the day I sat down with a snack pining for some of that Divine Revolution!

 

Copyright 2019 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use in print or online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Presentation: Cliff Notes on The Mueller Report

Cliff Notes on the Mueller Report

Hello, I’m Hildra Tague. I grew up in the midwest and raised my family in the South. I was always taught to be honest but also to be polite.

I can say it doesn’t come easy for me to stand in my truth, but The Mueller Report forced me to realize the official pervasiveness of the deception of many of our leadership.

And, of course, like Dr. Phil says, “You can’t fix what you do’t recognize.” I am only one, but I must speak out. Having taught many decades, been a mother and grandmother, I can’t sit and cry for my country without speaking out.

I’m ODing on news, and feel so very betrayed by my government, so this song leaked out with my tears. (To the tune of Frankie and Johnny:)

Trump and his minions are liars.

They just love political fires.

If their lips are moving
They’re telling a lie.

It’s enough to make me cry.

Oh they lie, don’tcha see how they lie~

 

Fake News is really their specialty

Insulting reporters especially.

They lie about stuff that doesn’t even matter, 

Cause they just can’t tell the truth!

Oh, that he told 10,000 lies comes as no surprise!

 

CARE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY, AND VOTE!

————————————-

Copyright 2019 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print. Sing it!

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Of These My Children: Expecting Danger

Teaching has been my great honor in life–especially in this small private school which emphasized green living, the basics, and kindness before it was fashionable.

In Social Studies the students learn about history and their world. The guys especially love macho stories. We were reading about a fortress. One goy read excitedly that townspeople went into a fortress “to expect danger.”  I had to slow him down a bit to “escape danger” right then and there!

On Mondays we share current events. Over the weekend we were captivated watching TV news of a terrible tsunami. The story mentioned a tidal wave.  An eager young lady asked, “What title do you put on these waves? Like a title of a story?”  Ahem, and you thought teaching was easy!

I have the students tell about a news story they saw or read about to clear up misunderstandings. Several heard of the plane crash that “injured two pirates.”  I quickly rescue the conversation, returning it to the pilots!  We could discuss pirates another day.

Soon it was time for Math in the Morning. I reminded the children how important math would be in their lives, as they would especially need it for money. A gal was agreeing, “Yeah, in bouncing your checkbooks. My mom did that last night!” I decided to get a balance scale out of the Science closet to include in tomorrow’s lesson , but for now I just wiped the smile off my face:-)

As the kids learn about their community I try to let them be in control when possible. One young scholar loved to be in charge so that day I handed him the Teacher’s Edition to hold so he could tell others if their answers were correct. It was going real well until we had a discussion question. When a gal gave her answer he emphatically quipped “No.” I intervened and he showed me, “The book said Answers may vary.”   All I could think was “Is is time for lunch yet?”

Lunch under the sweet gum tree outside brings stories of weekends, summer vacations and other trips, etc. One child yelled, “I rode a roller coaster at Dizzy World!” For a moment I felt dizzy, but I managed to clear it all up a moment later.

Once the kids knew the topic was Disney World, another guy said, “I even saw Library Square.”  It took me a minute before I began to talk about Liberty Square.

A sweet gal mentioned her parents had gone to a funeral. She became frustrated when her mom said the deceased was in a better place. “I don’t get it! Who would WANT to go to heaven? It’s mostly full of old people and sick people. The only old person I like is my grandma.” 

Music is my favorite time of day. I didn’t really expect to be gently shocked into a giggle when one boy belted out, “Where the deer and the cantaloupe play…” I’ve read about the secret life of plants, but quickly decided to start our animals unit with antelope pictures. Maybe we could even sort plants and animals including both antelopes and cantaloupes.

That afternoon was the day for Free Reading. A new student asked me how much it would cost on other days?!!!

It must be time for recess cause my brain can’t take much more. In between running around, one guy dropped his jawbreaker and went in to use soap and wash it off. Then he was shocked as he hollered, “It tastes funny now.” Guess he didn’t rinse the soap off.

As I watched the kiddoes leave, I mused that I’d better head home to get infused with supper before this day gets me any more confused!

Copyright 2019 by Hildra Tague.  Obtain permission for use in print or online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Honeysuckle Air Meditation: Beans for College

My mother hadn’t made it home yet on the bus from the Woolworth store across town where she worked, so I started laying out some things to help with supper. I was about 16 years old and looking toward the end of my high school years.

In the evening stillness I began to wonder how I could possibly go to college since it would cost lots of money. I knew my parents barely made it hand to mouth as it was, so there was to be no help from them.

I had worked now and then but had not been a serious saver, using the proceeds for school or choir expenses. Soon thereafter I got a job and began to put back money but it was indeed a steep climb!

In the twilight I suddenly had a bright idea! I noticed a sack of beans only cost 19 cents so I sat down and began to figure. (Those were the days long before calculators.)

Did I mention I was a rampant idealist? I held strong goals and beliefs and was willing to put muscle behind them to make them happen.

College as a path had never even been thought of at home. However, the librarian and several teachers spoke to me of it often.

The school counselor even came by the nurse’s office once when my arm was hurt (my family didn’t go to doctors unless the world was ending!)  The two ladies talked in the doorway–as if I wasn’t even there with my ears pricked–and discussed how bright I was and my elevated test scores.

They seemed surprised to find that trait in a “country girl” like me. Guess they thought that country hicks were behind the door when the brains were passed out. (That was a favorite expression of my mother’s.)

My arm wasn’t much better afterwards although the ice helped some. But while my arm was on ice, my future was being declared. These women seemed to be in cohorts with the librarian as to my being “college material.” I wasn’t much of a seamstress, so I wasn’t clearly clued in to their exact connotation, ha. But I knew right then I had support for my crazy idea of going to a university.

Back to those beans: After some careful math I decided I could buy one bag a week and have enough food to survive on. I could walk to work and save everything I made for my bean budget. That was the end of my weekly cherry coke and Reeses peanut butter cup habit.

Later in the year I was called to the office. I was scared since that had never happened before. There was a huddle of other students standing around when I got there. We were told to dress nice on Friday for the Awards Ceremony. That night I laid out my “store bought” wool skirt with matching knit sweater, but I still didn’t know what was happening.

Friday finally came and I was granted a scholarship for part of the costs of the college I had chosen in another town. It also paid for cafeteria food so the “bean money” could go toward books and other expenses. The local Tulsa University gave me a much better award, but due to what was then called “a private family matter” (now referred to as abuse) I chose to get out of town. To clarify, private meant no one wanted to hear about it and no one would help you.

I worked three jobs, and was able to give myself a Reeses peanut butter cu every week or so. Heck, when we girls were feeling wild we hit the Student Union at closing time after 10 .m. and had a hot Dr. Pepper as a reward for an evening of studying. Once we all wore raincoats since we were too tired to put proper clothes on!

College worked well for me, although I probably overworked a bit to survive. I learned to study hard for 50 minutes, then use 10 minutes for a drink, a short walk, and a mini-nap. By doing this, I was able to avoid “all nighters” since I could never quite accept something that stole a good night’s sleep.

I still have beans–several kinds–in my kitchen. But I fix them every month or so, not every week! And they cost a bit more than 19 cents.

However, the lesson for me is that if you want something bad enough, keep your eyes on the beans, er the prize, till something better than beans comes up.

Yet if nothing better had surfaced I truly believe I would have journeyed on with my original plan. One thing for sure: I wouldn’t have been interrupted by too much social contact since I’d have an aromatic odor to protect me.

Later, I used the same type of thinking to spend a summer between semesters in New York City, working and saving by eating Ramen noodles. But that’s another story:-)

 

 

 

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Honeysuckle Air: Preface

This book is kinda like my life. It goes in fits and spurts–connected only by the cytoplasm of my experiences and passion. I share them as vignettes, moments here and there, which go together to paint a picture of my long and lovely life.

I have inherited who I am now from all the events of my path. In good times and bad the Honeysuckle Air was always around–somewhere–in all its beauty and aroma, teaming up with the rest of nature to delight and encourage me.

I consider myself a lucky person to be a Honeysuckle Heir!


Being the first in my family to graduate from college, I felt I was exploring a bold new world. In fact, neither of my parents even graduated from high school, although my mother–who spent part of her childhood living in a tent on the banks of a river–went back to finish her GED in her retirement years.

She always urged me and my older brother and sister to get out education because “no one can ever take that away from you.”

From the dirt floor in the bottom land where my grandparents on my dad’s side lived, to the rats who liked the taste of biting me while I slept, my life has been a series of adventures.

My parenting years were a high spot in my life. My sons and family decorated my life through the years, more than I could have expected. Teaching taught and inspired me more than I could ever imagine. Then retirement brought both the gift of time and the challenges of caregiving.

Yet I’ve found meaning, sparkles of happiness, and humor, even sprinkled among deep sadness at times. I hereby share with you bits of what I hope has jelled to become wisdom at unexpected moments.

No matter what life has offered on any particular day there was always the Honeysuckle Air, with its breezy scent of air and hope, inviting me to another day of my journey.

Coyright 2019 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use in print or online.

(maybe use Kindle Create?)

(cover of book or ch. 1 – use picture of me pulling Ray, Ronnie, and Sissy.)

 

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Honeysuckle Air: The Pickle Money

It was time to move, to retire, to simplify my life in order to be a full-time 24/7 caregiver for my hubby.

My house was on the market and I had found a fine condo in Florida, close to a son and his partner as well as medical care. Next we had to agree on a purchase price. Real estate prices were still running on the low side, lucky for me. So I scraped up all my remaining retirement savings which were left after raiding it for cancer copays, blood transfusions, and the odd and sundry expenses of chronic illness.

The agreed-on price kept edging up till I had to put my foot down. I had already stopped trips to the grocery store–what else could they want?!! Even then, I was several thousand short. So I began to sell off stuff with a vengeance. I had multiple garage sales and burned up the web with my offerings. Great friends helped by taking photos and helping me connect with buyers.

I was getting close, working 3, even at times 4 jobs to keep us afloat during the transition. I subbed in the daytime, tutored in the afternoons, and wrote were articles in evenings or during the night. Then I delivered flowers on weekends and other available hours. I knew in my heart I had to keep nourishing my soul, so I continued singing in two choirs and going to a support group. And sometimes I slept, arggh!

Looking back, I am amazed that I somehow made it through while caring for a sick husband and weaving my way through a seemingly impossible undertaking.

But it wasn’t enough. Every bit of extra cash went in a jar since I had no time to make bank trips.

The day finally came and closing was imminent! I went to the bank with my big jar of cash. I had gotten used to it, so I didn’t realize what a furor it would cause when they opened the pickle jar! The lady yelled and other employees rushed to see the drama. It seems the fragrance of pickles had infused itself into each and every bit of the cash!

I sheepishly explained that was the only jar available to use, rocking between embarrassment and hilarity. The tellers were kind and understanding but they couldn’t avoid wrinkling their noses at the many pickle flavored bills. As they patiently counted the money, it was obvious they were trying to hold their breath!

We all had a fun time, albeit a bit unusual, and the closing progressed as planned, to the penny! Saving money in a pickle jar made me quite pleasantly infamous that day. I can assure you each of the folks at the bank had a story to tell at the supper table that night!

And, oh, to be a fly on the wall as people opened their billfolds to a pungent pickle smell. Must have created quite a rush to spend those bills so someone else could deal with the twinge of pickle in the nose!

Since I’ve always felt life has much to teach us each day, I would have to say the lesson of that day was in my funny bone. Perhaps the best medicine for hard times and impossible tasks in life is found in humor. So smile, giggle, laugh, chuckle, or even cackle as my midget grandma used to do. But that’s another story:-)

 

 

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