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Who’s In Charge of This Girl About Town?

May 12, 2013

This is me. I’ve spent my whole life “about town” (not to imply that the whole 50 years has been spent involved in evil-doin’), but I have spent a good deal of it in pursuit of my own tail. (TALE — for the story-teller in me)
In this “hot pursuit of experience,” my life has been blessed by many good women .. . some were teachers, coaches or just neighbors. All were influential leaders in some respect. Many were “mothers of others” who found time to invest in the life of a straggler … (that’s me).
As I ponder upon this Mother’s Day, I thought I might just mention a few (and when I am not able to thank them personally for “whatever reason” — I feel due credit is also necessary for their children who “loaned” their moms to others.
My first network of invested mothers came from family … AUNTS who supported my own mother, while also taking care of their children. Sometimes, “an aunt” is better than a mom … because she can be one step removed from the “stress” of a situation. She CAN be a friend when a mom HAS TO BE A MOM, if you know what I mean. Thanks to my aunts Donnie and Tubby for making sure we were fed, not locked out of the house in a storm, and kept out of the traffic on 411 Hwy. You guys were fun to be around … and provided “haven” when needed.
I wanted to be a Brownie so badly when I was young. Scout Troops require “Troop Moms” to invest time/energy/emotion in to all the children … not just one. Troop Moms are “loaned moms” from friends who provide memories that last a lifetime (but in that life time they may never be properly thanked). I greatly appreciate Mary Frances Healan, and Mary Etta Dotson for the time they invested in leading the Brownie and Girl Scout Troops in Benton.
Some teachers are more “motherly” than others … but definitely all teachers take on hundreds of children to raise. Most of these have children of their own and I’m sure the stress of their days in the classroom wreaked over to the home-life too many times. Some that stand out the most on this Mother’s Day are … Reba Hutcheson, Phyllis Guy and Mary Alice Henry. Each had their own way of “influencing” the children in their care, and each exemplified great teacher (and mother) traits.
My “about-town-ness” really took off when I became involved in 4-H. This civic organization is dependent upon volunteers whose sole purpose is to invest in the lives of children. It was through the local 4-H club that I learned the most about everything from making biscuits to sewing on buttons to civic engagement to developing good communication skills. “Mothers” who invested in my “rearing” through this organization include Virgie Quintrell, Lora Creasman, Cora Lou Tilson, and Bernice Newman. And while she had no children of her own, Louise Haney, was like one of those “aunts” that are fun to be around, keep you out of traffic and teach you to crochet all at the same time.
My worklife has produced a few incredible influences that helped shape me, my work ethic and polish some of those rough-edges , develop the skills I employ and/or support me through other “learning” experiences whether they be professional or personal. I thank God for the late Ruth Allen and Phyllis Smith, Marian Presswood (though she may not realize it), Susan Trewhitt Carter, Ingrid Buehler and Ann Boyd.
Throughout my spiritual journey, God has provided me with several “spiritual mothers,” or mentors such as my mother-in-law, the late Pearl Poteet, and friends, Joyce Evans and Lucille Lofty. These are “mighty” women of God who speak (or spoke) truth and grace and genuine love regardless of where you are or what you’ve done to get there. I’ll be forever grateful for these beautiful, wonderful women.
AND I would be completely remiss if I did not mention my network of “mothering friends, cousins, neighbors and others” who provide a cushion, a rail or a tow-truck to keep me on track and out of the ditch.
For those of you who “loaned” me your mother for practical and impractical purposes — I thank you. I hope it did not cause too much dysfunction in your household. I’m a more enriched and whole person because of their influence.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!

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