I Bet You Won’t Wear Shorts To The Movie Theater Again!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Bet You Won’t Wear Shorts To The Movie Theater Again!

I Bet You Won’t Wear Shorts To The Movie Theater Again!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee…. Summer of 2013………………………………………………………..

You wear shorts to the movie theater… you have some open places on your skin … maybe you skinned your knee; got scratched on the leg… you know, that sort of thing.  I wanted to share some things with you… that I really never thought about.

Chances are… you never thought of them… either.  I bet you’ll never look at a movie theater seat the same again… after you read what I tell you… I have learned.

Oh… you’ll think of your little children… and want to protect them from the dangers, also.  Who would have thought?

I’m not an expert on what I’m going to tell you.  So, if you want, you can research this online.  You could Google about 20/20, and about what’s ‘really on your seat’ at the theater.  I saw this on 20/20 last night.  I thought about how we don’t think of these things… when we really need to.

Samples were taken from numerous theater seats by swabbing them… to see what germs lurked on them.  You’d be shocked to know what they found!  I have to say I was ‘glued’ to the tv until I found out.  I knew it would be ‘bad’….

Your seat, and armrest and other places in the theater are contaminated with germs … before you came.

They found that bacteria commonly found in human feces, and in yeast… bacteria that was usually in cattle and soil.

Not only that… some people have… sex … in the theater while the movie is going on.  The owner of the movie theater said he’d throw someone out texting … and not throw people out if they were having sex.  Why?  Because when one texts… he said it was like someone holding a flashlight in someone’s face.  This would disturb people more than… people having sex.

So, you know … there could be… more ‘stuff’ on the seats… or on the… floor.  Not only that… you know how some people sit, pick … their nose?  I won’t say anymore… my stomach feels queasy.  Think about your little children touching the seats, armrests…

They said there weren’t any laws to govern how often the theater seats have to be cleaned.  Who ever thought about these things… when you go to the movie… your mind is on the movie.

I thought this interesting… the movie theater owner said he ‘piped in the popcorn smell directly from an exhaust pipe leading to the popcorn machine!  Now, you know ‘why’ you smell popcorn all the way to the auditorium you are sitting in!

So, when eating popcorn… don’t let that hand touch anything in the theater… use the other hand if you touch ‘bad’ things.  Keep your eating hand for only the ‘good’ things to keep from getting germs in your mouth.  They recommended holding the ‘good hand’… up.

I wanted to share this with my readers… because I was thinking you might have been like me… not aware of something so … important that we all need to know.

Oh….. my friend, &katLnhat on Bubblews reminded of something I completely forgot to add here… one can catch bedbugs off the seats… off other people!

I bet you won’t wear shorts to the movie theater again!


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Scars Are Tattoos, Too… Both Tell Stories If You Can Read Them

Scars Are Tattoos, Too… Both Tell Stories If You Can Read Them

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee… Happy Colors… Just think about it… doing all scars in happy colors!  Scars are permanent ‘tattoos’…..




A long line travels along my left shoulder on my back in a backwards ‘C’.  Not only does my left shoulder have a backwards ‘C’, there’s a backwards ‘C’ on my right shoulder… on my back.


I look on my neck… I see two separate little ’round’ scars.  Below them are two more much bigger scars… both of them on the right side of my chest.


On my sides, I have scars… two.  All of these scars go together… from two major surgeries… both done one year apart.  The same type of surgeries… thoracotomy.  I had a mass resting on the outside of my left lung, heart the first time.  The second time, inside my right lung….


Oh, my God… the pain I’ve had in my body since; I will have it the rest of my life… severed nerves, a rib removed on each side.  A little portion of my right lung removed.


I think today, thoracotomies are done differently… maybe not cause all the pain I suffered recovering for months… the pain lasting until the day I die.  Since then… I’ve known pain everyday… minute.  I have ‘bad’ days when it’s worse than others… so be it… I’m living. I want to live… I love life.


I have learned to welcome this pain, no matter how bad it can be.  It’s the ‘extra’ pain from injuries… and such… that can get me.  It’s like pouring more water into a glass that is already full… too much.


The scars I mentioned… are from surgeries, chemotherapy to save my life.  I had non-Hodgkins lymphoma… I’m in remission now.


The point is … I’ve been thinking about tattoos lately. I told you these things to lead up to my thoughts… today.


All my followers know that I want only one little tattoo… a small dragonfly in memory of Tommy.  In memory… of the time my son lived, was a real person.  When someone sees, reads… they can see another ‘story’ about me.  They will see it… Tommy won’t be forgotten.  I wrote ‘I Cry For Tommy’… so, he wouldn’t be forgotten.


This led me to think about permanent tattoos… it came to me… I already have ‘permanent tattoos’… they are there to tell a story.  A story about events in my life.  If one knows how to read them… they can go scar to scar, tell exactly what happened at this time in my life… that time.


The only difference … these scars aren’t in ‘picture form’.  You see the scars… they are lines in shapes, but… not in a picture to tell you what you are looking at.  They don’t have happy colors on them to make you feel good looking at them.  My scars would make you think things such as …. oh my God, you hurt… you suffered greatly.


I was thinking that if I had colors put on these scars… make them beautiful… one would see them differently.  One wouldn’t ‘see’ the pain beneath each… wouldn’t cringe thinking I went through something so terrible.


I have more scars… there’s one on my knee where I ran as a little girl, chasing my brother through the house.  I was constantly re-injuring my knee in the same place… no matter how I tried… my knee would hit the toolbox in the hall.


On the back of my right leg is a long scar shaped sort of like a ‘L’.  My cousin pushed me in a wagon… backwards into a ditch.  In the ditch was a broken gallon jar with jagged edges… it cut me as I was thrown out of the wagon.


Strange enough, all these years later… I learned from another cousin that she was the one who told him to push me into the ditch…. we were very young.  I think I was maybe … six years old.


I remember being at the hospital… a big cast put on my leg.  My step-father carried me when we went places.  I remember having to rest in a room with the shades pulled… it was a nasty injury.


I have more scars from other surgeries… there’s one on my left shoulder… a line scar several inches long.  I had a torn rotator cuff, had it repaired.  I think today… one can have it done leaving little evidence of a bigger surgery.


I was thinking… suppose I had each scar done in happy colors… suppose I had a picture done on each to show what happened.  Like maybe a broken gallon glass jar with jagged edges done with the ‘L’ shaped scar to tell that story.


I could have pictures done on each scar to show what happened.  The only people who can ‘read’ these scars are people who work in the medical field.  If I had pictures tattooed with each one… then, the average person could ‘read’ them.


Skip has a long scar on the back of his leg.  Not long ago, a man told him he’d had the ‘same operation’.  Skip asked him what operation.


The man told him; the operation where they took a vein from the back of his leg.  Skip told him… that a little dog had scratched the back of his leg, jumping up on him.  ‘See’ how we ‘read scars’?


When Skip was in the tractor-trailer wreck in Moriarty, New Mexico… he had injuries that left scars.  Our Pup back then, scratched his knee in such a way, it looked like one of his injuries.  People assumed it was also, from the truck wreck.  They ‘mis-read’ his scar just as the man did, reading the scar on the back of his leg.


He could have a tattoo of a big truck on one of his scars; tattoo of a puppy (the puppy was Camie/Camo when she used to visit here;  now, she is living here… she is part of our family, now)…. on the back of his leg.


I was thinking ‘just suppose’ I had a tattoo done on each ‘C’ scar on my shoulders… like beautiful lacey curtains ‘pulled back’ in the ‘C’ on each side…. then, a beautiful picture to show my heart… a big, loving heart.


In that heart, the names of all the people I loved with it…..  Color the lacey curtains soft lavender… color the heart a soft pink (not bright red)… each name in a soft color ‘floating’ around in the heart.  Maybe do a hint of window panes …. because we’d be looking through them… have beautiful flowers, and roses … all with various shades of green… swaying softly in the breeze…..


I’ll stop now.  I’m getting silly… I’m sleep-deprived at the moment; this is my only excuse.  :)))


But, think about it… suppose I just had this scar done just as it is, in a beautiful color… that scar in another beautiful color.  Have every scar done in more different colors… no pictures.  It would be like ‘confetti’ floating around!


Suppose, each scar was a ‘string’… and a picture of a balloon was on each… each balloon in a pretty color.  Have you ever thought of such things?


Scars are tattoos, too.  Both tell stories if you can read them.




The Dragonfly Tattoo That Wasn’t Meant To Be…


This is the dragonfly picture that ‘found me’… I wrote about it.  It hangs in my bathroom.


The Dragonfly Tattoo That Wasn’t Meant To Be…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Well… today will be the day I go to get my … dragonfly tattoo.  The only way I won’t get it will be because I can’t get there… the shop closes unexpectedly… or the shop/tools aren’t what I expect it to be; or ‘something like that’.  :)))


Two weeks ago … we talked to Jason, the tattoo artist.  He is just opening a new shop.  He said he wanted his shop to be ‘high-end’… and told us about it.


My tattoo won’t look like the one above… I want something more delicate… soft ‘happy-colored’.  If I can’t see ‘just the right picture’… that will be another reason ‘why’ I wouldn’t get it today.  Jason suggested I draw/design my own dragonfly… it isn’t something I ‘felt inside’ I should do…. so, I haven’t.  I don’t draw a lot lately… anyway.


I want to mention a ‘strange’ thing that’s been happening since we first talked to Jason, the tattoo artist.  My right shoulder has begun itching… it never itched before… but, has ever since.


I’ve been careful not to scratch, or break the skin… so, I rub it.  It’s strange… ‘why has it been itching since I’m close to having my tattoo done’?


I want the delicate little dragonfly that I keep imagining …. to be placed on my right shoulder.  I want it to look like it ‘just stopped there for a moment’.


Then… underneath it will be….. ‘In Memory Of My Son, Tommy’.  A delicate, little ‘happy-colored’ dragonfly in memory of my only child who died May 29, 2010….






We went to the tattoo shop … to get the tattoo.  The guy named Jason took people in front of me; put a stack of new books in my hands, told me to pick out a dragonfly.

Skip and I felt bad, when he did that to me.  It was like he’d forgotten I was there; we had already talked to him a week before.


I stood there with the books… as I looked, I ‘knew’ I could never let him put the special tattoo of the dragonfly on me.  Hard feelings… I felt hard feelings toward him.


It was wrong of him to take the two women who arrived after I did… we sat 30 minutes waiting for his shop to open.  The reason he did that was because one of the women was about his age, cute.  I could hear them talking as I stood there with the books; he was just broken up with someone…. that said it all.  They were flirting with each other, laughing and talking.


I walked over, handed him the books, told him I was leaving.  He asked did I want a consultation…. I looked at him, told him I didn’t want him to do the tattoo.  We left.  He had forgotten we already talked to him.


I left thinking about all the new books of tattoos; I didn’t see a book of tattoos he’d done… I had looked forward to seeing his work.  If he does other people like he did me… his business will fail before it starts.  We liked him… now, we are very disappointed in him.


‘Just In Case’… ‘Oh, That’s What That’s For!’

‘Just In Case’…  ‘Oh, That’s What That’s For!’

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


I used to buy things in a box, only to get home, have to put it together.  Things bigger, longer… than me!  I always prided myself on being ‘mechanically inclined’… in fact, so much that I would ‘lord it over’ … Skip.  :)))


I would sit and handle longer things than me, hurt myself… pinch myself, sometimes… I would cry out of frustration… but, I’d hide it from Skip… because he ‘thought I was so much!’


Oh… don’t forget, I have a lot of pride!  Even if ‘I don’t know what I’m doing… I have to appear that … I do!’  You know how it is, don’t say… you don’t!  :)))


I couldn’t help myself…. I would say to him… ‘don’t be hating… when you got it, you got it!’  :)))  I would laugh, and go to work with such confidence!  I thought I was so clever!  Even when… I was ‘figuring out what to do next!’


I would take all out, put like-things in neatly stacked piles all around me, piles of screws, washers, nuts.  Some things would have the letters ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ on them…. supposedly easy to just put with each other… and make something!


I made Skip admire me, for my wonderful ability to ‘put things together’… he would ask me, “don’t you need the instructions?”  I would reply by saying, “Who me?  Oh no, I never need something to tell me what to do… I ‘just know’!  That’s ‘why’ I’m ‘mechanically inclined’… I ‘just know what to do… naturally!”


I would grin at him, so proud I could do something he couldn’t, or didn’t really want to do.   Now, I ‘know why’……………… ‘at this late day, and time’.  Oh yeah, that Skip was the ‘smart one’…. he was slick… he’d brag on my ‘mechanical ability’ to ‘get me to do it’!


Yes, that Skip… ‘knew what he was doing’…. we all know that when someone brags on us… it’s like putting ‘that spotlight on us, putting us on a stage… to perform to our best ability!’  Perform… I did!!!


Always with anything we bought in a box… I would always see a booklet, or sheet of paper.  My mind would register that one should read what’s on them, but, I never ‘had time to’…..


I would push the booklet, paper back into the box… ‘just in case’ I needed ‘to read’ them.  At least, they would be safe inside the box… I ‘knew I wouldn’t need them’… but, at least … they were safe.  The booklet, or paper always had one word at the top… it said:  Instructions…


I would go get my trusty electric screwdriver, and my old, cheap Dollar Treereading glasses‘ (yes, the ones that are so big on my face… ‘the bigger to see you with, my dear!’) … sit down on the floor in ‘the middle of everything’…. look around me to decide ‘where’ to begin…..


(See… ‘now’ I could get off this story and have fun writing about those ‘big, old reading glasses!  And… tell you how sweet, precious, gentle…. my two closest friends in this world, are … Ms Nancy, and Mezza… tried to tell me that ‘maybe they were a little ‘big for my face’!  Tell you how much fun! it was to tell them ‘it’s all right… I really don’t wear glasses!’  Ha!  Fun, reading how they both wanted to tell me me, so… ‘if I really wore glasses, I would get something becoming!’  They were just so ‘gentle’, so as not to hurt my feelings!  Real friends do that… especially when they are women…. I loved them all the more for that!).


Let’s get back to my story at hand!  Follow me!  I am mechanically inclined, so… ‘that means I can do anything that requires mechanical ability’!  Right?


Visualizing how I wanted somthing to look, be put together… I would choose the pile to start from.  I’d pick up a piece to see what kind of screw I would need… the next thing you know… I had put all together to make either a bookcase, or a cabinet together… not only that… I would have lots of ‘good stuff’ … left!  I could put them up for later…. ‘in case I needed them’.  Good deal!


Only ‘later in time’… I would discover ‘the purpose of each of those pieces’…. my mind would think… ‘oh, that’s what that was for’!


My mind would go back to what I safely stored inside the box… the booklet or piece of paper… I would go look inside, pull the paper out, go sit down… read.  You know… ‘after the fact’, and ‘just for the heck of it’… no sense in not knowing what that paper was for, too.


Oh-hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. mmmm-mmm…. okay, I ‘see now’… that’s ‘what I should have done!’… Oh-hhhh, okay…. ‘that’s what this paper is for!’


Then… I’d read the title at the top… ‘Instructions’…. I’d think to myself as I looked, actually read the instructions…. ‘but, I knew that… common sense tells me’…..


My eyes would stop, stare at something to do with ‘all the extra pieces I’d have left over’… oh my!  ‘Oh, that’s what that is for!’


Then, I would think… if I’d read this ‘first’, I would have known what those pieces were for… instead, I had shoved the paper back into the box with this thought… I’m putting it back in the box to be safe, to come back to… just in case!


Big Secret:  I’m going to have to say this… :)))  Everything I ever put together… stayed together, all sturdy… and sound!  :))) Just saying………………………………………………………………….


She’s All I Got To Represent ‘Me’ In This Whole World Now…

She’s All I Got To Represent ‘Me’ In This Whole World Now…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee… the ‘Older Woman In The Mirror’….


I was thinking… as I looked at the photos of myself… there’s something missing in my …face.  It seems like I should have darker eyebrows, and a lot of make-up on.


I decided to ask all of you… what do you suggest?  I don’t want to wear a ‘whole lot’ of make-up… I don’t want to look like a happy-colored clown, though …I do like them!  :)))


I don’t want to look like the scary movie actress.. who was even more scarier with her makeup… I think it was a movie about a salesman going to this house… and the farmer’s daughter wanted a man….


I don’t know how to handle the ‘red eyes’ from the allergies I suffer so much with at present… today, was especially rough.  When outside, it’s hard to keep my eyes open … pollen, bright sunshine.  I love the sunshine!   I have been accused of ‘smoking something’… oh no!  I may look the part, but… I don’t, ha!  I don’t drink, smoke, nor do drugs… but, I do like good foods… and am prone to gaining weight.


Oh… can you see my big amethyst birthstone ring?  That’s the ring I ‘earned’ by going to truck driving school!!!  Skip got it for me, I was so happy!  I was so happy to drive a big rig, too!


I can’t tell you how happy I was to see ‘me’ yesterday… to see a twinkle in my eyes, and a smile that even I … recognized.  I can’t seem to get quite used to the ‘older woman’ in the mirror that I greet every morning when I get up.


Truthfully, the ‘older woman in the mirror’ who happens to be ‘me’… is a ‘miracle’… it’s a wonder she’s here at all.  So, I’m thankful for her… she’s all I got to ‘represent me’ in this whole world now.  :)))


To Get A Glimpse Of The Real… Me


I never saw a mirror I didn’t love… I had love affairs with every mirror I ever met… see the joy in my face :)))


I never saw a mirror who didn’t love me … ‘now’… it’s always an ‘iffy’ situation when I meet one… :)))




(I look for ‘myself’ everywhere I go… somehow, when Tommy died… I went missing… I can only catch a glimpse of ‘myself’ once in a great while … I have to hurry to see ‘me’, I try to photograph ‘me’, I have to be quick… because ‘I get gone’… again.)





To Get A Glimpse Of The Real… Me

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




I saw myself today in the mirror, I smiled

Hello! How are you? I’ve been searching all over for you

I told myself… now, here you are

How wonderful to see someone from the past


I only smiled bigger, watching how pretty my face became

I looked into my hazel green eyes, thought how kind they are

From my case, I took my cellphone out to use the camera

Captured ‘myself’ in several photos, looked at each


I saw an old friend as my fingers pulled each photo to look at

My old friend was myself whom I search for always because

You see… I have become an ‘older’ woman since Tommy died

I didn’t know when I became one as I was living in a dark world, the world of grief


I can’t describe how wonderful it is to see such a familiar face

In the mirror… one I know so well, see only rarely now

When I do, I stand, smile at myself, feel joy in my heart

As I try hard to not let me go away … again


I want to stay young always, pretty forever… somehow the real me

Disappears… an older woman takes my place, when she smiles

It’s a smile of sadness because she knows she’s not the one I want to see in my mirror

Smiles with her pain-etched face, her grief-tired eyes… my heart goes out to myself…


I do like you, older woman, though I’ll always try to look past you

Hopefully to regain my youth whenever I can from the mirrors who

Used to be my best friend in life, the only one I ever had love affairs with

I would smile at every mirror I saw… flirt, walk and dance, twirl in front of every one, all over the country


The mirrors loved me back… shining with a light within each

Shining out at me, on me as I made my world a stage where I reflected

Such joy, such happiness at being the ‘prettiest girl in the world’

The young girl I’m always searching for … to get a glimpse of the real… me

Poor Little Lion Cub…

Poor Little Lion Cub…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



Sitting here with tears in my eyes, feeling emotional… I’ve been watching the Lion King movie.  I’ve always heard it was a wonderful movie… it is.


I knew it was supposed to be sad… but, I’d never heard ‘in what way it was sad’.  I know … now.  I know…………… now.  I want to cry my heart out.  It’s happy, it’s sad… now, it’s happy again.


I never liked to watch ‘cartoon’ movies… I was curious about this movie.  Poor little lion cub… I think of my little grandson.


The lion who was king, loved his little lion cub… Simba.  His little cub loved him.  The lion king had a brother who was jealous of him, hated him, and the little lion cub.


It was the brother lion who caused the death of the lion king… the little lion cub ran to his daddy… who was lying on the ground … dead.  The little lion cub crawled under his daddy’s paw and snuggled up to him… in grief.  His daddy had died…


I made it this far through the holiday without crying… tonight, I cry for my little grandson who doesn’t have a daddy any longer… who loved his daddy just as this little lion cub loved his daddy.


I never knew the movie was going to affect me like this… I wouldn’t have watched it at this particular time.


When the little lion cub cried for his daddy, crawled under his daddy’s paw… it made me think of when Tommy lay on the sand where he collapsed at Myrtle Beach… it made me think of little Taban laying on the ground pointing up to the sky, saying… ‘my daddy died, my daddy’s up there.’


My heart breaks… tears pour down my cheeks, I can hardly breathe… I miss my son.  Little Taban misses his daddy… poor little … lion cub.



I Wish…

I Wish…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

This morning I woke up to quietness in the house… I could hear the clock ticking.  I never wake up hearing the clock tick.  Tick… tick… tick…

I laid there looking at the clock, I have it set for 6:00 am this morning.  I saw the hands on … 4:00 am.

Should I get up, go to my computer for a little while… should I stay here in bed, try to go back to sleep.  Now… you all know the decision I made!  I’m here!

I haven’t decided on what I’ll write about today… since I’m here, I would like to tell all my readers ‘good morning‘… and I would like to say I appreciate so much all of you who come here to write the words I write.  It’s such an honor… it really means the world to me.

I love writing.  I want to write some short stories in the future, you know …’to try my hand at it’.  In my whole life, my imagination has always created ideas for me to do in everyday life.

I remember my stepfather telling me many years ago…. ‘Faye-Faye, you always have a way of making something out of nothing’.  He used to think I had a ‘green thumb’, also.

As for the green thumb… I never knew anything about plants, but… I would try to ‘sense, feel’ what they needed.  :)))  When I did that, it seemed to work!  I created an ‘oasis’ once for both my mom, and stepfather.

You wouldn’t believe what I did where there was only sand…  This was twenty-some years ago, I was so much stronger and my body hadn’t been through all the ‘battles’ I’ve fought since then.

I made trees grow there, many plants and rocks… there were little paths to follow as one walked ‘within’… there was a place to sit down, to enjoy the beauty.  I did it so, my mama could walk out onto their deck to sit … enjoy.  She was sick, and had been through major surgery at that time.

When I didn’t have the money to buy things to create with… I always managed to come up with a creative way to make all work.  One day, ‘if’ I can find a photo of what I did… I will put it here for you all to see.

One day I will take the time to put more photos here… I know when we can ‘see things’… it makes all more ‘real’… more special.  I’m a visual person, I love to see things as well as to touch them.

I noticed that one of my cousin’s daughters does the same thing.  She loves flowers, gardens and such.  I believe we got that love for flowers, gardens from our Grandmother Alma.  When I was a little girl, she always wanted me to plant flowers outside her window for her to see.

Looking back, I didn’t understand ‘then’…. ‘why’.  Looking back I can ‘see in my mind’….. her walking, moving around…. then, I see her sitting in that upholstered recliner that she sat in for twenty-some years… she’d become paralyzed.

I have a mental block as to ‘when’ she had a stroke outside the house, working in her flowers.  She worked at a place called Burlington Mills, came home to work in the heat… in the heat of the day.  This is the impression I’ve carried all these years.

In my little girl mind, I remember seeing her walking, smiling…. then, she was laying…….in ‘that’…. room the blue-ball lightening would roll out of toward me whenever…. there was a thunderstorm……. my youngest aunt’s bedroom….. there was all of a sudden a hospital bed there, and all was white in there… I remember tiptoeing in there to look up on the bed.

I would look at my Grandma Alma laying there… her eyes stayed closed.  She was in a coma… though as a little girl, I never knew what that meant.  I do remember excitement when months later… when my uncle was in her room helping to care for her.

I remember everyone saying he was there with his back to her doing something… and how it scared him when ‘out of the blue’… she spoke to him.  After that… Grandma Alma ‘came back to life’ in my mind.

I didn’t know what I would write about this morning when I first sat down here.  It seems my fingers began typing, and I’ve written something…. I’ve written ‘memories’.  I guess you all know by now, that my Grandma Alma was most special to me, that I loved her next to my mama… as a little girl.  Also, George was most special to me.  She was paralyzed, he was blind.

You wouldn’t believe the things they did, how they became caretakers of lots of little unwanted children thrown on them, how they tried to give them a home…. when they didn’t have anything to give.  All they had was… love.

Grandma Alma couldn’t walk, though when she tried… one of her legs dragged, one of her arms hung useless.  I remember seeing her with her one good hand, one good leg… pushing that walker.  She would have a twinkle in her eyes, smile on her face.  I see that even now… I can cry over her.  She was ‘my mama’, too.

George was blind… I heard all kinds of stories as ‘to how’ he became blinded.  I can’t honestly say, I don’t know.  The impression I have is that someone fought with him in the kitchen, somehow his face went into a towel rack mounted on the back of the door… the kind where there are several ‘wire arms’ sticking out for towels to be hung on.

Looking back at them, what they lived in, how they had to live… one can only hold admiration in their eyes for them.  They should have been in the book of Guinness… they were some of the most amazing people I ever knew… in my entire life.  A paralyzed woman, a blind man.  Oh, how I loved them with my very heart.

I feel guilt even today … I wish I could have been big enough to have made such a real difference in their life.  I wish I could have taken good things to them to eat, to drink.  I wish I could have made their home much better.  I wish I could have given them money, I wish… I wish… I wish.

The strange thing is … it took many of my young years just to learn things that were already taught by parents to their children.  I had to learn to ‘open my eyes and see’ through hard lessons of life.  I look back and ‘see there was no way for me to know so much’ … that makes me say ‘I wish’….. ‘now’.

I didn’t have parents to teach me anything.  All of my ‘role models’ were going through ‘hell’, themselves.  I lived in ‘daily wars’… I tried to ‘dodge’ battles happening around me.  I look back… I can ‘see’ that I tried to read, to watch, to learn ‘everything’… trying to better myself.

My eyes were opened as a little girl when some of my classmates took it upon themselves to give me a bar of soap, tolietries one day.  I’ll never forget the names of those girls as they stood around me, their eyes looking gently at me… feeling sorry for me….. Mary Pat, Kathy, Hope, Betty Ann were some of them.

They opened my ‘little girl’ eyes up to … make me aware that I needed to begin taking care of my body… I must have smelled so bad.  Grandma Alma and George tried… there wasn’t anyone there to take care of ‘them’, nor their house.

When some of the family would ‘sail through, stay for a time’… the house would  begin to sparkle… when they left…. the sparkle went with them.  Darkness… came back…. roaches, kiddiddle hoppers, rats.. spiders… scary things that terrified a … little girl.

When thunderstorms occurred… blue -ball lightening would roll out of ‘that’ room… when she’d have to go out on that back porch at nighttime to the bathroom… things would try to jump on her… something was always trying to ‘get her’… even people around her… who smiled with their fake smiles to fool everyone… but, she … wasn’t fooled.  They made her nervous, afraid.

This morning it is 15 til 6… the alarm clocks are set to go off at 6:00 am… my cellphone is set to go off at 6:00 am.  ‘Look how far I have traveled in a short time’…. back into my memory.  I have begun to feel shaky inside, tense.  I was only going to ‘write something’ this morning as it came to my mind ‘until the alarm clocks went off’…….

I’m thinking this very moment …. I’ll put my mind in ‘forward’.  I was beginning to feel ‘bad’ feelings from ‘then’.

Before I begin feeding our Kissy Fairchild, Sweet Chadwick… I will say I’m glad I have you all to come to …. talk to.  I appreciate, treasure each of you who take your time to stop here to read.  You all… really mean the world to me.  Love, Granny Gee/Gloria Faye Brown Bates  :)))

PS… I wish I could go back, make life special for every person I loved with my heart… who were good to me, who made a difference in my miserable life as a child… who even spoke a kind word to me, or even smiled at me… to make me feel like a person as a child.

I also, would make life special for every cousin who went through the same as I did… we all carry scars even today.  I love you all.  I wish………………….

I Just Never Knew The Difference…

I Just Never Knew The Difference…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee

I loved her as a little girl.  When I fell she would pick me up, and wipe my tears, say everything is going to be alright.  I thought she was just ‘Josephine‘… my thoughts as that little girl were.. I love you, Josephine.

I would sit on the shiny hardwood floor with my toys, my nurse doll playing.  I would look up… in my young mind I saw how nice my home was where I lived.  All was sparkling clean, shiny.  I remember seeing Josephine working to keep our home nice.

Josephine would stand at the ironing board to iron our clothes.  My dresses were always beautifully starched, ironed.  These were the dresses my Grandmother Lola would buy for me from Peaches N Cream.  I got to buy my granddaughter one beautiful dress from Peaches N Cream when she was about five or six years old.

Josephine would work in the bright, shiny kitchen making meals for us, my mother and stepfather whom I knew as ‘daddy’, and my little brother, Wm Ernest.  I remember her letting me stand on the chair to make sausage patties… I think mine were very small sausage patties.

I would sit and listen to her talk to us, tell us stories.  My little brother and I heard her talk about ‘the end of the world’… this made us afraid.  Josephine wasn’t a scary person though, she was loved by all of us.

I never knew Josephine as a black lady as a little girl.  As a little girl I loved Josephine just like my mother… I didn’t know ‘color’.  I never heard mention of … color… never.

Only when I was older and began to learn the difference between one skin tone color from the other… did I learn Josephine was a beautiful, black woman.

Today when I walked in Target, I saw a mixed family walking together.  There were some white children, some black children and…….. some mixed children.  I noticed they were like I was as a little girl… they weren’t seeing color.  They were seeing ‘the real person’ that stood there before them.  It instantly reminded me of someone I loved dearly as a little girl… Josephine.

As an adult, I tried to find Josephine.  She lived in a small town in North Carolina…. Franklinton, NC.  She lived behind the Sterling Cotton Mill.  She had a daughter named Maxine… I think her nickname when she was younger was ‘Orange Blossom’, or a similiar name.

I wanted to find Josephine to hug her, let her know how much she meant to me as a child.  She was part of my world where ‘all was alright’, from when as a child I had ‘my own home’… she made my home nice.  Josephine was… love with a smile in my little girl mind.

I know by now, she may have passed away.  I feel sadness thinking that … I wish I could have met her as an adult.  If anyone reads this and knows her daughter, Maxine… I hope they’ll let me know.  I loved her, too.  She was a teenager then… she was good to me, also.  Another smile of …love.

Do you ever ‘out of the blue’ think of things like this now, as an adult?  I do, today I thought of Josephine and Maxine.  I loved them very much.

I, also, thought about I never knew color then, we were a part of each other in my young life.  I never knew the difference… I just knew love, caring from these two special people.  They made an impression on my young mind… I just never knew the difference.

Remembering Lena… Systervans



Remembering Lena

Remembering Lena…  Systervans

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee

Yesterday I began thinking about Lena.  As Skip and I talked about many things, I began to talk about Lena.

My systervan, Lena Gunnarsson, who lived in Sweden.  For twelve years she was in my life everyday… by computer many times a day, by mail when we would send each other letters, gifts, photos.

We never got to meet, yet… we were very close, we knew what each other wished for, wanted, what was most important in life to each other.  We knew each other’s sons, Tommy and Johan… husbands, Skip and Hakan.

Lena and I even knew each other’s families…. our families ‘knew’ Lena, and they ‘knew’ Gloria.  Everyday from April 17, 1999 until she died months after Tommy… we meant so much to each other.  Through emails, mail we experienced and ‘felt’ all we each went through in our lives.

We laughed together when things were funny, cried when things weren’t good for the other, hurt when one of us was hurt, cared when each other was sick.  We were like sisters… therefore we  called each other ‘systervan’… sister-friend.

Yesterday I was missing Lena very much.  I told Skip that it hurts me very much when I think of her… she was a part of my world just as Tommy, Skip and our Pups were/are.

Every morning I’d wake up to go to my computer to find her emails… all through the day I would check my computer to find her emails.  She did the same there in Sweden.

If we didn’t hear from each other when we were a little later writing than usual… both of us would feel ‘sick inside with butterflies, and all’… until we heard something.  Then, our worlds would be right again.

For twelve years I wrote to Lena… for twelve years I’ve been writing and didn’t realize it.  Every day of my life I wrote to Lena during those years, just as every day of my life ‘now’… I write to you, my readers… friends… family.  I’ve been writing all along never realizing it.

Since November I’ve printed out all of my stories here… it’s quite a big ‘book’ already!  Can you imagine writing long emails everyday …several times a day… for twelve years?  The ‘book’ would be huge!  I used to print all of her emails, you wouldn’t believe!  They burned in the fire that destroyed all of our things.  I do still have my ‘Lena Scrapbook’ that survived the fire.  How it did, I don’t know.

Lena, I miss you with my heart.  You were the sister I always wished for… you were ‘there’ when I was so ill, you were always there.

I miss you talking excitedly about going to Willy’s, hunting for Portabella mushrooms in the forest, Lisa The Beautiful Pig, and ………. I have to stop now, it hurts me so much.  You were as much a part of my world as breathing, just as Tommy was… just as Skip and our Pups are.  You were my family, too.  So was Johan, Sara… and Hakan and Per, Eva and Elin, Eric, Hjordis, Tomas, Emma, Harry and Berit, Roger and Anna-Lena.

I’m always honored when even now, one of Lena’s family emails me.  I’m honored when they send photos now.  It means the world to me.

I felt sad thinking about Lena getting sick so quickly, dying… not long after that, Hakan died. I feel my heart squeeze up with that painful, familiar tug… grief.

Lena… I can’t ever forget you my systervan.  I can see you smiling now, happy that I wrote about you, not forgetting you.  You and Tommy are ‘why’ I began writing here.  I’m not ever forgetting you either, Lena.

When I began writing November 02, 2011 on my blog… I began with little silly things never thinking I would go on to write here.  All of my years writing to Lena just as I write here, I found I couldn’t stop…….. all of a sudden ‘I took off’ writing.  I want to write forever.

Thank-you, Lena, for always being there for me at my sickest, happiest, good or bad moments.  It meant the world to me.

This is to … remember Lena, my systervan.  I loved you as my sister.