The reality of fake.

“They’re a fake. ”

I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. But I feel it again today.

I was 7 years old. My family and I had a farm in rural Theodore, Alabama. We’d sell watermelons out of the back of our truck to the local Farmer’s Market, but leave a few melons for a road side setup that I’d later learn from getting my MBA that there was a higher ‘profit margin.’

All I knew is that is was hot as Hades under that oak tree in rural Alabama…praying someone would need 15 watermelons so we could go home.

One afternoon, a guy stopped and said he didn’t have any cash, but would give my brother and me a couple of tickets to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Bama Drive-In Theater off Halls Mill Road. (Anyone remember that old theater?)

Bama Drive-In, Mobile, AL.

Bama Drive-In, Mobile, AL.

We were ecstatic! What a deal!

Come to find out– the movie had left the theater the week before and we were stuck with old, useless tickets. We’d been scammed. The tickets were fakes.

But.. But.. But.. But, nothing.

Throughout life, I’ve really never forgotten that experience or forgiven that man. Who scams a couple of kids out of a watermelon? (Go get ’em Jesus :))

But I wish I could say that’s the only time in life I’ve held fools gold. All hat and no cattle. All sizzle no steak. All smoke, no fire. All crust, no toppings.

The reality is that we’re fools at 7.. and 17.. and 27.. and 107. And it never stops hurting.

I recently watched the film, The Hunger Games. The president says the reason for the games is because hope is the only thing stronger than fear.

I think WE WANT to believe in something or someone because it gives us hope? I’m kinda banking on the new puppy carpet cleaner that promises stains will disappear.. but it’s not gonna happen, despite my $39.99. I want the latest Captain Wonderful to step up, but he’s not. Low calorie ice cream really WILL taste as good as Blue Bell. I want to believe the best in people, but sometimes disappointment happens. And it’s real. You don’t have to deny it. Poo Poo on it. Cuss it. Scream it. Hit it. Kick it.

Fake is sometimes a reality.

This weekend, in my quiet time, I read and re-read Psalm 43:3. Send forth your light and your truth and let them guide me. 

I began to define what “Light” means to me. Synonyms like purifier, Glow maker and Path Finder.

I defined what “Truth…” Mystery solver. Absolute. Foundational. Trust Recipe.

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Light and Truth. What I need everyday to filter this world’s mixed messages where there aren’t always happy endings and those jeans really won’t look that good on me. Where you are given a fake ticket and you learn a valuable lesson.

Anybody wanna buy a watermelon? Cash only.

 

 

 

 

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The ME in Team…

Ok. I know the saying is, “There’s no I in team.” But there is a ME in there.

One of the things I love most about the Olympics is watching the Opening Ceremony’s Parade of Countries. I had some major USA pride as our team of athletes strutted their stuff on the world’s stage!

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But from that collective, best dressed group on Friday night– the athletes take their marks, get ready and compete in their respective sports over the next couple of weeks.

Phelps in the pool. Biles on the beam. Jennings in the sand. Hughes (my total heart crush!!) in his sailboat.  And the list goes on and on. Each athlete. Each country. Working independently. Working together. Wanting gold.

I imagine early morning training, late night muscle soaks, countless hours in coaching sessions– watching the milliseconds on the clock they’ll need to inch out their competitors. I honor how hard they’ve worked. The dedication to their sport. The pride in their flag.

From the faith perspective, 1 Corinthians says we’re all part of the body of Christ– each representing a different function and part of God’s plan for His church. That we have gifts and talents needed in a hurting world. In other words– we’re a team.

I guess that’s true of even me. No, I am NOT an athlete. I do have a few talents– but if it requires coordination, speed and agility, you betta count me out. But I do have gifts to give. I will never earn an Olympic medal, but I have my own finish lines, personal records and solid landings to make in my heart and mind each day.

Today– where ever you are on this great big, blue-green, 1000 mph spinning Earth– just finish strong. See the opportunities gifted to you with a new day. Add your unique, God given talents into the mix of your team to help them vault higher, run farther and row faster. In Rio– or in your office, classroom, church or community– you’re right where you are for a reason.

And if David Hughes’ sailboat happens to land on Hilton Head Island, even better. Just sayin.

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The Heritage Season… (South Carolina’s 5th Season :)

Some call this spring, but we simply call it “Heritage” around here. We shed jackets and scarves and find ourselves reaching into our closets for sundresses and sandals. It really has nothing to do with the temperature– us southern girls will shiver our little timbers just so we can wear our sleeveless, halter, wrap, cropped and cinched “Heritage” outfit. It’s a bit of crazy we’re born with…

I can’t say for sure…

I’m sure people in Boston or Minneapolis have fashion seasons, too? Boots? Hats? Gloves?

We don’t just talk about them, but we obsess over our Heritage outfits. A few friends went shopping on Friday night after our group text. Three pairs of shoes, a maxi dress, new bra and a Kate Spade purse later–we are almost there. Even her 5 year old daughter was snapped trying on her Heritage outfit. We start out young ’round here.

We want stripes. chevron. solids. monograms. hats. sunglasses. And of course, plaid. It’s the Heritage logo. Did you know the signature Heritage plaid is registered? Yep! I even bought a wreath for my door off Etsy in plaid burlap. Bless you, oh precious Mastercard.  (said like Lord of the Rings…)

This year, there are changes to the handbag policy and my facebook page is a little busy with the discussion. (Thus, this blog entry is born…) Security– which I am SO thankful for! Really! Security will allow a clear-see-through handbag– which is quite possibly the most disgusting fashion accessory ever. It’s like not painting your toenails. It’s just not pretty. Functional, but not pretty.

Image result for clear handbags

On the other hand, we can bring in a 6×6 wristlet or small handbag. That will hold:

* 1 lipstick

* IPhone/Droid without the otter box

* a $20 bill for the taxi/Uber from the Quarterdeck, Triangle or Poseidon (the blessing of a 12mile island)

* Your drivers license

* Your precious Mastercard

* A sharpie for the ever so slight chance you run into the beautiful Adam Scott (the golfer, not the actor!) and he’ll autograph your receipt from the Grey Goose Lounge on the 18th green where you’ve spent $100 on said precious Mastercard in vodka/sodas.

So, while it’s not ideal, it’s functional. A little bag will allow you to Travel Light.. Be with Friends. Laugh Hard. Smile Big. Be Cute. Love Life. Enjoy Heritage.  It’s only once a year.

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And the new Miss Universe is…

I’m not ashamed to admit it.

…. I was following the cheers and jeers during the Miss Universe pageant last night.

Besides loving pageant-shows like Miss America and Miss USA– I’m usually inspired and diet-ready after only five minutes. (I didn’t look like that at 20…)

What’s not to love?!!! The dresses? The hair-do’s? The talent? The 20-something’s who are determined, fit and ambitious?

Ever since my darling friend, Olivia Olvera, competed as Miss North Carolina (USA) last year, I’ve had a special place for what these young women do to prepare their bodies, minds and wardrobe for the national spotlight.

Olivia

(You rocked it Olivia! We love you so much!) After all, would YOU wear a bathing suit on national television. #MajorProps!

I especially love Miss Universe because it shows how beautiful and exotic women are from different parts of the world. India, China, Jamaica– they are stunning!

My pick of the night was not in the top 5.. But I thought Miss Germany’s grace and poise were unmatched. When I read her story and background, I liked her even more..

Imagine the beauty and gifts of his special young woman, Josefin Donat..

On stage.. She’s a knockout. (And I LOVE her blonde bob! Remember this cut, Kate and Keri!)

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But during the day, she’s a nurse, friend and just as beautiful.. (Nurses are so amazing! #BestJobEver)

Germany

So let’s have a few cheers for all the ladies around the world. Whatever stage you’re on today, rock your runway!

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Conversation vs. Confrontation

I’m so tired of mean people.

There.

I said it. (And I feel mean for just blurting that out.)

What the heck is happening with basic social skills? Civility? Kindness? Respect? Neighborly love?

I work in politics. I adopted a dog 13 years ago. I drive a BMW. I like the beach. I use the right lane when possible and use my turn signal. Im employed by a non-profit. I have a masters degree. I am a divorced woman in her (early!) 40’s. I prefer organic.

But.. I’m not confrontational.

It seems the past several weeks, I’ve experienced people with a more than natural disposition to be confrontational.

First, it was in a meeting. Then all of the mean, yucky political rants after the SOTU. Then, after the SOTS. Then, the woman at the bar last night.

Silly me. I just think people can respectfully disagree about foreign policy… development… tax reform… education… energy… infrastructure… healthcare…

Nod. Smile. Say “that’s an interesting perspective.” “I hear ya.” “I respect your position on that.”

Can’t we discuss things and learn different sides and opinions without the confrontation? You’ll get your message across so much more effectively. You’ll collaborate and create new understanding. You’ll educate and inform. You’ll grow others through your perspective and gain respect and admiration. Just sayin.

I guess things were probably a whole lot worse for our forefathers as they sought to form “a more perfect union.”  Talk about differing opinions…

I just know that as Americans and South Carolinans and Hilton Headians (is that a word?),  we live in plenty. In blessed. In happy. And in the midst of change.

Let’s have a conversation about it. Let’s change it for good.

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Got Resolutions?

Happy New Year! I for one am excited that 2015 is here for a chance at fresh new ideas and motivation for my work, home and life! Are you?

New-Years-Resolutions-2015-3Most often than not, a new year begins with a list of things to “stop…” Stop eating sugar, stop drinking caffeine, stop smoking, stop being late for work… You know the list!!

I am challenging myself this new year to instead develop a list of things to “start.” Besides it being a little more positive and empowering in the wording— surely there are more good habits waiting for you to adopt than bad ones to drop?

If you care, my new year’s resolutions are simple this year…

Start using my re-usable shopping bags at the grocery store.

Start making plans with my girlfriends more often. (We are wayyy to busy🙂

Start calling my mother. (I know. I know. I’m a slacker daughter sometimes!)

Start bringing my lunch to work.

And.. there are more, but won’t bore ya… So join me in picking up new and healthy challenges in 2015 without being so dang hard on yourself with a “don’t-do-list.” Sure I want to get healthy and get back into my navy blue Granger Owings suit🙂 But in the end, I refuse to measure my success in pounds lost, salads eaten or miles ran. My happiness and success is knowing I’ve worked hard.. taken care of myself and those I love.. and have made my little corner of the world a little better.

Cheers to the “start” of 2015!

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#IVoted… Did you?

There wasn’t a traffic jam.. There wasn’t a line.. St Luke’s Parish Center was empty except for a few dedicated volunteers taking ID’s and handling the sign-in. 

It was quite a change from that now-infamous Richland County debacle.. I waited in line for a few hours to cast my ballot that afternoon. Didn’t mind, given the sacrifice made through the generations for the right to vote. Least I could do was wind through Olympia School’s gym and wait my turn. 

Granted that was a big election, and most people turn out for those– especially in a presidential year. 

But folks.. Really…

We need *desperately* to understand– as a democratic society– we MUST cast ballots as an informed citizenry in every election. Yes, every election…

I recently explained my role as a Public Policy director to a friend of mine. I told her from the moment she woke up to having electricity, to clean water to make coffee, running water to brush her teeth, a road to take a morning jog, uncontaminated food to have for breakfast (and so on…)– Public Policy and government decisions affect just about every little minute detail of your existence. Protecting that for our citizens and business community is a JOY! 

Is this the time that I say, tsk tsk to my neighbors in Beaufort County for our 12.4% voter turnout? Eeek. Not cool. 

Voting will never be mandatory like paying your taxes… But what a sheer privilege. Even a SMALL primary is a BIG deal! Our political leaders make SO many decisions on policy for you and your family. Love that those who won’t vote will be the first to complain and belly ache about our political system.

If you won’t take it from me… Perhaps the veteran taking my voter registration card yesterday at the precinct could encourage you to cast that ballot next time you have the chance? I looked at him, proud to be a free American.. A voter. 

See at the polls for the run-offs :) 

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