SIMPLY, SALLY.

Mar. 5, 2021

 

"Fame....if you win it...comes and goes in a minute. Where's the real stuff in life to cling to? "

Birthdays come and they go….while the numbers keep growing bigger.  I hear people say—due to my growing numbers---I should be all-knowing by now.  No one seems to understand that…deep-inside…I'm still a little girl who's never stopped looking-- Over The Rainbow-- and wondering "If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the Rainbow Why---Oh Why--Can't I?"

I've lived life in step with the music.....every kind of music…including church music, dancing music, singing music, classical music, and memorable music that connects me with ALL the good times-- the sad times-- and—so many wonderful times.

Everything meaningful in my life-- reminds me of a song, or a melody-- or the lyrics to a song.  I know that someday…. everything around me will end and… the music will be---suddenly-silent.  Yet… the music will continue to play and sing in my heart and down-deep in my soul….forever...and ever.

"Oh, Life's not all easy, but the music keeps spinning and won't let the world get me down."

 

Simply, Sally

Mar. 4, 2021

ARTERY---------THE STUDY OF PAINTINGS 

BACTERIA-----------------THE BACK DOOR OF A CAFETERIA

BARIUM--------------------WHAT DOCTORS  DO WHEN PATIENTS DIE

BOWEL---------------------A LETTER LIKE a, e, i, o, or u

CAESAREAN SECTION----A NEIGHBORHOOD IN ROME

CAT SCAN-----------------SEARCHING FOR KITTY

CAUTERIZE-----------------MADE EYE CONTACT WITH HER

COLIC-----------------------A SHEEP DOG

D & C-----------------------WHERE WASHINGTON IS 

DILATE----------------------TO LIVE LONG 

ENEMA----------------------NOT A FRIEND 

GENITAL--------------------NOT A JEW

G. I. SERIES----------------SOLDIER BALL GAME

HANGNAIL------------------COAT HOOK

IMPOTENT------------------DISTINGUISHED, WELL KNOWN

LABOR PAIN----------------GETTING HURT AT WORK

MEDICAL STAFF------------A DOCTOR'S CANE

MORBID---------------------A HIGHER OFFER 

NITRATES-------------------CHEAPER THAN DAY RATES

NODE------------------------WAS AWARE OF

OUTPATIENT----------------A PERSON WHO FAINTED

PAP SMEAR------------------A FATHERHOOD TEST

PELVIS-----------------------A COUSIN TO ELVIS

POST-OPERATIVE----------A LETTER CARRIER 

RECTUM---------------------DANG-NEAR KILLED 'UM

SEIZURE---------------------ROMAN EMPEROR

TABLET----------------------SMALL TABLE

TERMINAL ILLNESS---------GETTING SICK AT THE AIRPORT

TUMOR-----------------------MORE THAN ONE

URINE------------------------OPPOSITION OF "YOUR OUT" 

VARICOSE--------------------NEARBY

VEIN--------------------------CONCEITED

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??????????????????!!!

 

 

Mar. 3, 2021

WHEN I MOVED TO HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE--a gated community--I assumed it would--- more-than-likely-be----my final adventure.  But, who among us knows what’s final, especially when adventure is concerned.

 I can’t seem to lock the door on Forever OR write the last and final chapter because my life keeps finding just one—more—possibility—then—another—and--- so it goes.

I’ve never lived as close to nature as I do now.  It’s what I want…peaceful quiet, with endless trees, rocks, water, natural foliage…and birds, everywhere.  Of course I feed the birds but I also care for the squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, and everyone else who seems hungry and thirsty.

Several weeks ago, just when nighttime made its appearance, I switched on the outside light to see if I needed to add more sunflower seeds to the feeder. I was touched to see a small Possum on the railing, searching the bowl  for one-more-bite.

Frightened by the sound of the door opening, my little Possum-friend quickly limped away.  In that brief moment, I realized that one of his front paws was uselessly dangling from his leg.  I wanted to find him, hug him, tend to his affliction and keep him safe but, since moving to my new environment…I’ve had to accept life and its limitations. 

 So, to make my little crippled friend feel loved and wanted….I created a convenient feeding area especially for him and any/all of his friends and family. I stay well-stoked on discounted breads, cereals, hot dogs, and many other treats and every evening…when darkness comes… my night visitors have plenty to eat and fresh water to drink.  My disabled Possum is now a regular visitor and he’s never alone.  

A few nights ago, when it was barely light, I was shocked to see a herd of deer in my backyard!  I guess word travels fast when everyone is hungry.

Looks like I may have to set more places at the dinner table. Sure, I’m going to need a part-time job to help pay the grocery bill but when it comes to our four-legged visitors and many-feathered friends…..there should always be room for one more. The longer I live, the more I appreciate nature and its classic residents.....

"ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL…ALL THINGS WISE AND WONDERFUL, THE LORD-GOD MADE THEM ALL.” 

Simply, Sally

 

Mar. 1, 2021

I saw her for the first time in 1994…a tiny doll-like woman walking quite regally in my direction. I recall how she looked at me and smiled so sweetly-- as if—at that moment—we were old friends.

A bond developed between us immediately and, after that, when we met, we communicated through clasped hands and shared smiles. Sometimes she accompanied me as I walked down the narrow alley to begin my morning exercise.

People always stared, probably wondering what a diminutive Chinese woman--- who spoke no English--- could possibly share with a tall American female--- who spoke no Chinese.  Once, I was surprised to find her blocks away from the Alley-- in a small market-- buying vegetables. Alone, always alone, she walked everywhere, as she had apparently done for years.

When several weeks passed without seeing my little friend, I needed to know why.  I asked my Hotel’s translator to join me as I began knocking on doors in the small Alley neighborhood.  I quickly learned from one neighbor that my little friend was 93 years old and her name was Li Shumen.  The neighbor volunteered to take me to my friend’s house.

My interpreter and I followed the neighbor down a winding path, past several empty buildings, then around a make-shift shed and…there she was…sitting on a small stool, washing lettuce. Surprised to see us but always the perfect hostess, Li Shuwen invited us inside her one room-- but orderly-- home. 

After pulling out folding chairs for each of us, she sat nearby…looking as if she was posing for a portrait…with her tiny hands folded ever-so-neatly in her lap, her back perfectly-straight, and her incredibly-small feet crossed at the ankles.

She eagerly-responded to my questions as they passed through the interpreter.  I was touched by the many hardships, painful experiences, and years of loneliness she had endured.  Her answers were offered with a simple openness that touched my heart.

Born in Human Province in 1905, Li Shuwen remembered her feet being bound when she was three years old and, at the age of four, how she learned to sew clothes.  By the time she turned five, all her spare hours were spent with her father, helping to care for their farm.  She never learned to read and write and, even today, is unable to write her name. In response to my question about her favorite childhood memories…she said: “I only remember working.”

A pre-arranged marriage united Li Shuwen with a stranger. She gave birth to two children at home, without ever having seen a doctor, visited a hospital, or taken medicine of any kind.  She seemed shocked when I asked if love had provided strength through the difficulties of her life.  “No one ever said “I love you” to me and I never spoke those words to anyone, not even to my children.”

I apologized for forgetting about the differences in our cultures but—silently-- I knew that-- for me—it was so important to say and hear those words—as well as feel their meaning.

When questioned about the secret to having lived so long, my little friend seemed suddenly shy and a little modest…saying there was no secret.  She mentioned raising a grandson from birth and teaching him that life required much and must be lived by a strict moral code: You must work hard; be kind to others; and always be honest.

So…my dear little friend had not been born into a rich, famous, or even educated lifestyle.  She had never traveled, enjoyed modern conveniences, or even tasted ice cream.

But, as I stared at this incredibly-resilient yet simple woman…her secret was clear.  My friend, Li Shuwen possessed a quality so rare---many of the most powerful figures in the world would sell their souls to possess it---and that is: Peace of Mind.

As we said our good-byes, I reached out to hug this amazing treasure and whisper the words no one had ever said to her: “I love you, my friend.”

Feb. 28, 2021

A 51-year-old beauty queen from Arkansas realized a lifelong dream recently when she completed a 4,200-mile jog of the Great Wall of China. Along the way, Sally Miller Perdue received threats. She was jailed. She got pneumonia. But she made it. Earlier this month, she flew back to the United States and stated:  "After a little rest, I would happily go back and do it again." After all, Chinese officials have just claimed the discovery of an additional 600-mile section of the wall in northern China. "I guess that's my next challenge," Perdue said. "Maybe, if I run that section I will finally lose my “always-a-beauty-queen-image."

Tell that to Playboy magazine, who, in 1989, offered Perdue, a finalist in the 1958 Miss America pageant, $35,000 to pose nude atop the Wall. She refused.

The above article appeared in both national and international newspapers. I enjoy sharing Playboy’s offer because it’s an interesting story.  It was 1989---and I was living, working, and training in Houston, Texas, in preparation for my first-ever journey of the Great Wall of China. One afternoon, I received a phone call from a woman in Chicago who introduced herself as Playboy’s public relations director. Having read publicity regarding my first-ever attempt to journey ALL THE WALL…. She said Playboy would pay 35,000 dollars for provocative photos, taken of me, during my Great Wall Adventure 

Without hesitating, I declined.  The Playboy director continued to argue with me, refusing to take no for an answer. Several days later, she called me back…offering to increase Playboy’s monetary sum to 50,000 dollars.

Once again, I refused her offer.  I stood my ground saying “The Great Wall is China’s national monument. I would never cheapen my journey--or myself-- by committing such an affront to the Chinese people.” 

Integrity can’t be negotiated at any price.