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I was just thinking...

I am originally from the low country of SC and we do have some marvelous scenery. Live oaks draped with Spanish moss… azaleas heavy with dew laden blooms… the whisper of salt air and melodies of yellow jasmine… 

A picture may be worth a 1000 words, but words can paint one powerful picture. Yes?

A Coke and A Memory #MondayBlogs

Saturday I drank a glass bottle coke. As I tipped the bottle back, the glass against my lips, the sun on my face, the taste of the sugar laden soda slammed me into the past – what seems like a simpler time, a bygone era…

Riding in the back of my uncle’s pick-up, sitting astride crated glass bottles, I felt like the king of the world. – and in a small way, I was just that.

During the summers of my preteen adolescence, in a time before plastic bottles or aluminum cans, soft drinks – or soda as ‘dem Yankees called it – was sold in 12 oz., glass, returnable bottles. Packaged in wooden crates and trucked to various vending machine locations up and down the Grand Strand – these bottles of effervescent liquid could be bought for 20 cents and kept tourists refreshed and coins in the pockets of motel owners. We were the latter. 

My family owned and operated two motels and a half-dozen vending machines. Empty bottles were in abundance throughout the strand and the empty crates racked next to the machines would fill rapidly with not only the bottles from coke brands that we sold, but other brands, as well. It was one of my jobs, as a lad of 11 or so, to sort through the crates of empties and separate the non-coke brand bottles from the rest. That meant things like RC Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Fresca, Mt Dew and 7-Up (to mention a few) needed to be gathered together and crated. The goal, which made me an eager and willing worker, was to transport these to the local market, Chapin Company, and claim the reward of about 2 cents per bottle.

Sorting these bottles into crates and loading them into the back of my Uncle’s 1969 Chevy El-Camino was the work. The fun began when I climbed into the back, found my seat on top of the crates and rode happily, summer’s hot breeze blowing my face, through Ocean Boulevard traffic into town. My uncle always split the money from the returns with me and bought me a Coke and pack of Lance’s salted peanuts for the ride home, peanuts that were always poured into the neck of the bottle and consumed with the coke.

So much of that moment in my childhood is gone, lost to progress, safety precautions and the churning wheels of capitalism. Returnable glass bottles gave way to aluminum cans and then to plastic bottles. 12 oz. drinks that were once a treat for us, have been replaced by our daily consumption of bottomless Big-Gulps and 2 Liter bottles. Traffic laws now prevent the transport of people (much less children) in open pick-up beds and 15 cents won’t buy you water.

Still, the memory I cherish is more about the life I had – sun and fun, a supportive family, the experience of moving and being in the world, and working hard for a reward - than it is about prices or regulations. My nostalgia for the past doesn't cause me to long for a return to it, but begs the question…Where do my kids and grand-kids find these grounding, memory making moments in their lives? Ahhh…that’s refreshing.

NOTE: If you want to read more about the bottle industry history and learn why we occasionally found cigarette butts in the bottom of those recycled bottles (yes. gross), read a comprehensive history of the bottling industry here.


Speaking of Snow...US Postal Service Motto...or not?!

What is the United States Postal Service motto? You might be surprised...

Are you thinking something to do with rain, snow, sleet...?

Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Postal Service has no "official motto."

The familiar sentence you are thinking of is this:

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

This is commonly misidentified as the creed of our mail carriers, but actually it is just the inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street.

Here's how the official Web site of the U.S. Postal Service describes the origin of the inscription.

This inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the New York General Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B.C. The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done. Professor George H. Palmer of Harvard University supplied the translation, which he considered the most poetical of about seven translations from the Greek.

9-11 #Poetry - Eagles Weep

Eagles weep the dust of fury
            Glory hangs in a breeze filled sky
Trumpets howl forth silence
            Empty eyes gaze on debris and cry

Paradox rains upon sweltering souls
            Discordant melodies find no harmonic tone
Sleeping giants fail to wake
           Dreams of horror in daylight come

Restrained talons seek to rip
            Flesh and bone. Retribution wails
Bridled shouts from viper lips           
             Broken tongues speechless, still

Such foreign chaos, grief born questions
            Here rests doubt, fear rooting
Anger to pain beget rage
            Tearing fabric, destroying the shoot

A blast through heart’s cage
            Cries, screams and eternal rage
Why! Demands our soul
            Why? Defiant voices entreat

Into this realm of despair
            Touching sinew of exposed hope
Lifting corpse-like remains
            Our Hope stands, lifted hands

In a speechless voice the whisper comes
            Gentle words rock our perilous stance
Words carefully spoken, deeply heard
            Faith, Hope, Love the memory calls

Again, glorious birds will find their songs
            Heavy banners will lift in a gentle breeze
Clarion call of brass sounds, proclaims
            Life has come and still remains

-Kim E Williams
September 12, 2001

#Resolution2014 Don't Give Up Anything! #MondayBlogs

Have you made your New Year's resolution? What are you vowing to give up? I'm giving up nothing! I'm about to start some new things! I'm taking on 2014 and invite you join me.

I'm told that our brains have trouble handling negative statements. When I tell myself "I'm not eating cake," my brain only hears "eat cake!." However, if I tell you, "I'm eating fruit and vegetables tonight," I"m more likely to do just that. Deciding to DO something positive rather than stop something negative is a wiser route. So, here's my list of DOs for 2014...


  1. Drink more water. A 12 oz glass before two of my three meals each day.
  2. Spend creative time writing daily. 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week, first thing in the morning.
  3. Laugh everyday. Hard enough for it to be felt in my belly!
  4. Spend 5 hours every week disconnected from the digital world. "No phone no lights no motor cars not a single luxury..." Ok. not really THAT, but I couldn't resist the Gilligan's Island reference.
  5. Walk daily. It doesn't have to be a hard walk, or even a long walk, but a walk for the sake of walking.
  6. Publish a book of poetry.
  7. Whatever else I want to add. There will be something else that I need to embrace this year, so I'm keeping this open slot for that thing.

What about you? What's on your TO DO list for 2014?

Apple and @Hootsuite on #BeSocial #MondayBlogs

Apparently, I'm not the only one who is longing to create life space and human intimacy in the digital space. 


Apple and Hootsuite have launched messages to address the need to balance digital activities with human intimacy. Here are their videos! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

So, are they speaking to you?

Compassion In Winston Salem via @CompassionateWS

While you are thinking Christmas, consider the charity of your city. Do you know about Compassionate Winston-Salem? These quiet and often unsung heroes of our community are busy about the work of encouragement and caring – right here, right now. 

Some of their activities for the month of December include:

Handing out blankets to the homeless
Stand outside the downtown library (or bus station) handing out bottles of water and protein bars.  
Handing out small bags of food to that person with the sign at the stop light.
Being mentors for Youth mentoring programs.

Drop over to the Compassionate Winston-Salem website to learn more. This city is made up of wonderful people!

HO to the Third! #photo

Clever. Yes?

Happy #Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. Want to make it an even better day? Take a moment and make a list of 5 things you're thankful for. Go ahead...I'll wait.


  1. family (that's all of you so don't go feeling left out)
  2. 3 wonderful dogs
  3. a safe home
  4. a rewarding vocation
  5. the endless, glorious challenge of learning to love


Is gratitude unexpressed really gratitude at all? :)


Ok. NOW on to Christmas!!!

The Woman Behind Thanksgiving via @allthingsfadra

Here's a Thanksgiving blog post worth reading. Do you know the woman behind Thanksgiving??

On the day before Thanksgiving, I thought it was only appropriate to give thanks to Sarah Hale.


Exactly. I thought that would be your reaction which is why I thought I’d tell you a little bit about Sarah and how she saved Thanksgiving.
— fadra

So click on over to All Things Fadra and get some brain development about Thanksgiving.