Missing my parents and reflections (8 weeks/6 days)

The IUS Banquet I attended this evening was simply amazing.  The production was over the top and it was a grand way to celebrate 70 years.  I’m glad my mother was able to be a part of over 30 years in the IUS nursing department.  I loved being there to represent her, but missed her at the same time.  I started to reflect on raising my kid(s) without my parents and know how much they would have loved/spoiled Baby Turner.

I also started thinking about the different my parents made in the community and now am doing some self reflection on what I want to do to leave my own personal mark!

You Might Be A Louisvillian If

You Might Be a Louisvillian If……

Oct09-5*You grew up thinking that Derby Friday was a national holiday since you didn’t go to school
*You still take off work every Derby Friday
*You think the rest of the world cares about Derby weekend
*You pull out your high school yearbook and see that many males (and females) have gold teeth
*You still say “Showcase Cinemas on Bardstown Rd” when giving directions
*You were bused to school based on the first letter of your last name
*Hearing that simple beat of ‘Gangsta Walk’ makes you stroll around the room regardless of where you are
*Caddy’s (just hearing that word brings a smile to your face)
*You can name several US Presidents, but can only name one of your city’s mayors.
*You think Louisville really is the only city in the state of KY
*You still talk about the UL basketball championships of ’80 and ’86 as if they happened just yesterday

*You only go out once a year but still end up seeing all of the same people

Part II next week…..

M.Y. October 2009

Back Then

“Back Then”

Apr09-4I was a teacher for over seven years and mostly taught first grade.  My first year of teaching was in 1998.  That group of first graders is now juniors in high school.  It’s amazing to see their changes over the past 11 years.  Braea Tilford was, and still is, one of my most favorite students.  She was smart, friendly and was eager to learn during my first years of teaching.

I recently ran in Braea at the HBCU Conference.  No longer little, we looked at each other eye to eye.  Most people looking at the two of us together would have never believed that I taught her so long ago.  Seeing her made me think about high school then and now – and my how things have changed.

I graduated high school in 1994. Back then, when you wanted to give somebody some information, you wrote on a piece of paper and tried to sneak the other person a note either in class or the hallway.  Sometimes it said something as simple as “do you like me? __yes  __no”  You’d try to fold the piece of paper as small as possible and would sometimes decorate the outside.  Now, these kids send text messages and use instant messenger.  You can send a note to one person, or 100 people with just the click of a button.

Back in the day, you found out all the juicy information about a person by receiving your yearbook at the end of the year.  You laughed at the pictures you’d forgotten had been taken and loved reading the messages your friends would leave you.  (if creative enough, you’d put hearts around your crushes and blacken the eyes of your enemies) Now, everybody has a Myspace, Facebook and a Twitter page.  You can know what somebody is doing every five minutes if they decided to tell you.  There’s no long anticipation, all you have to do is click the refresh button on your computer.

Back then, when you knew you weren’t supposed to be talking to a boy, you would drag the phone (attached to the phone cord) to the nearest closet and whisper as quietly as possible.  You’d sometimes have a code word for the person so nobody else around would be in your business.  You thought you were big time when you called someone on three-way without the other person knowing.  Now, everybody has a cell phone so you canhave a phone conversation any and everywhere your heart desires.  Instead of whispering, most people talk as loud as possible and everyone around can tell you what is being said.

Back in the day, you’d pull out that camera to take pics of all your friends.  Once you had transportation, you’d go to a Walgreens to drop off the photos and come back a week later to see them.  Half of them may have not even turned out, but you took the time to place the photos in the pages of the plastic photos albums they would give you.  Now, as soon as you click a picture in your digital camera or with you camera phone, you can see it, emailed it, print it or post it on the web – instantly!

Back in the day, when you had a favorite tune, you’d sit by the radio all day waiting for it to come on.  As soon as you heard it you’d press “record” so that you could have it on your mix cassette tape.

Back then, you could go to school without worrying about being shot. Back then, Grippos and a Big Red were the ultimate snack. Back in the day, the dollar movie really only cost a dollar.

Back them we thought the smallest things meant the end of the world.  Who would have known that those were the easy days?!

M.Y. April 2009

I’m Not Complaining/I’m Just Saying

I’m Not Complaining/I’m Just Saying!

Jan09-5* I lost all of my Insight services on Wednesday morning (no cable, internet or phone).  However, I still had power.  When I called Insight to see how long it may be out, I was told that their priority was to first go to the people that didn’t have power.  My question – what can someone without power do with cable?
*Everyone called into work last week saying they couldn’t make it in because of the bad weather – so why was the UL basketball game a packed house?  Really!?

I’m Not Complaining/I’m Just Saying!
*Everyone talked about rushing to the grocery store to get bread and milk.  Why are these two items such necessities?  If you didn’t use bread on a regular, what purpose does it serve in the snow?  Same things with milk – wouldn’t water serve you better in a potential power outage?
*My neck was killing me from shoveling snow and moving furniture.  However, I was unable to get a chiro appointment right away.  I needed some temporary relief so I used a battery operated device to massage it. (Imagine that visual!)

I’m Not Complaining/I’m Just Saying!
*Without cable, I watched DVDs.  In the movie ‘Coming to America’ Arsenio Hall plays a pastor that hosts Black Awareness Week.  Why does he praise the Lord and then get hot and bothered by the swimsuit pageant contestants all in the same breathe?  Then after a little more worshipping, he introduces the band ‘Sexual Chocolate’.  Something just isn’t right!
*I woke up in the middle of the night and noticed I had a missed call at 11:20pm.  I looked at the clock and it said it was 12:00.  I went on and called him back.  He answered sounding half sleep and asked if I were okay.  I said I was just returning his call.  He said he called earlier when he left work.   Still unsure of why he sounded odd, I rolled over and looked at another clock.  This clock said 2:30am.  (I originally looked at the clock on the Insight DVR box that had read 12:00 for the past three days).  I quickly apologized and said I’d call him back at a more reasonable hour!

I’m Not Complaining/I’m Just Saying!
*When it’s 2:30am, you’re hungry and you’re in training with limited options for food, egg whites are a good option.  However, DON’T crack the entire egg on your stovetop instead of in the skillet.  It causes a horrible smell!
*Also in ‘Coming To America’, Soul Glo is a sponsor of the Black Awareness Week.  Why didn’t pastor Arsenio take a couple of free sprays from one of the sample bottles?  His curl was screaming out ‘FEED ME!’

M.Y. February 2009

Make 2009 Your Best Year Yet

“Make 2009 Your Best Year Yet!”

Jan09-1I started 2008 with the feeling that it was going to be a great year. Several goals were set and I sought out to achieve them.  The main one was the figure/fitness competitions.  I did not first start training until the end of January last year.  I dedicated my time, stayed focused and now have a mantle full of trophies from seven different competitions.  It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t ventured to try something new.

Although I didn’t travel as much as I’d prefer internationally, I was able to go to Washington DC, Cleveland, Charleston, Fayetteville, San Diego, Chapel Hill, Myrtle Beach and Baltimore.  I took my first hot air balloon ride here in Louisville.  It was an amazing, yet at times scary ride.   Both Louisville and Southern IN both look extremely different when you are floating across.  My vote was cast for the first Black president.  Barack the Ville, baby!

It was a blessing to see two of my closest friends give birth to adorable baby boys.  OnyxLouisville grew by leaps and bounds.  I received several honors for my dedication for the community and continued to keep the vision from my parents alive. New friends were made like Alexis Mack who showed me how two people can look to each other for strength in different ways.  Although she may see strength in me, I see so much more strength in her as I watch her raise her children while setting a remarkable example.

I experienced passion and pain, laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed.  I received flowers just because.  Gentlemen showed me that you can still be courted and I was able to realize that often times it is best to “just be friends”. There was the discovery for my love of taking photographs. Comedy shows, performances, sporting events and parties were all places where I could be found.  I even walked the cat walk twice in fashion shows and graced the pages of several local publications.

Somewhere between all of those things I enjoyed sleeping, watching Grey’s Anatomy, dancing to my favorite music in my living room, pigging out right after a competition, googling any and everything, catching up with lost friends while saying goodbye at the funeral of others, expanding my dress closet, and taking time to pray at the end of each day for all the blessings that occurred.

If 2008 was a struggle for you, make this your year of change.  Think about the things you’d like to accomplish and don’t let anyone hold you back.  Make 09 your time to shine!

My jingle for the year will be – ”This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (in 09).  This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (in 09).  This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! In 09, let it shine, in 09!!

M.Y.  January 2009

Happy New Year 2008

Happy New Year!!  I wish you all the blessings for 2008!

Jan08-1The year 2007 started out horribly for me.  My desktop computer crashed.  I attended the funeral of my grandmother in Fayetteville, NC.  I then traveled back to Louisville to attend a second funeral for her (family drama).  While watching the news I saw that there was a car accident where a man running from the cops crashed into a car ejecting seven kids.  Two of these kids were my former students.  I went to the hospital to see one of their precious souls on life support.  That sight went straight to my heart.  Then the heat in my house went out and I had to purchase a new heater.  Then my laptop crashed.  My boyfriend and I broke up. Oh, and did I mention that all of this occurred before January 20, 2007?

I prayed daily that this would not be how all of 2007 existed.  Luckily, my bad luck ended there.  On January 26, I went out on an outing that would change the rest of my life.  Renee Murphy, Shannon Maxey and Tioka Ivory entered my life.  I was never one to be a part of a girl group or a ‘chic clique’ but these women have become my best friends.  It is simply amazing how God puts people into your life.  I didn’t ask for them to be placed there, but he knew it was what I needed in my life.  These women have been there for me through thick and thin and I am truly blessed for their existence.

The rest of my year went pretty well.  I was able to travel to North Carolina, Cleveland for the Women’s Final Four, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Arizona, Virginia, Detroit and who can forget Puerto Vallarta.  I expanded OnyxLouisville and have met many wonderful people in the Louisville community.  I was able to join several Boards and also became a volunteer ‘Big”.  I was fortunate to see a plethora of top notch plays, concerts and performances here in the Ville.

December 31, 2007 ended with an odd twist, but I do believe everything happens for a reason.  I’m still waiting for genuine, true love to enter in my life.  I know it will happen when the time is right.  It’s going to be great in 2008 and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

M.Y.  January 2008