Monday, 21 February 2011

Grandma Polly - Inspiration Monday guest post

Since I started blogging I came across some wonderful women who inspired me in one way or another... And because I want to share some pieces of this inspiration with all of you I've decided to ask those interesting and special women if they could write something about inspiration for my blog.

One of those incredible persons is Barbara whose blog, Notes from the second half, is really worth reading. She's a very sweet and nice person and so is her blog. I always enjoy reading every carefully chosen word, every line, short or long and every perfectly set paragraph she writes. Her stories are always full of inspiration, hope and love. 

When I told her that I'm planning to do a series of guest posts on my blog and asked her if she would give me the honour and be one of my guests she agreed right away. 
The only thing I told her was that the theme of the guest posts is inspiration and after just a day she sent me this wonderful piece. 

I'm very honoured to have her as the first guest on my blog and without further ado, I give you Barbara:

I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a Christian, a southerner by birth, a friend, a blogger, a steel magnolia. And when asked from time to time who do you take after most in your family I answer, my Grandma Polly. 

Grandma was among other things, a storyteller. Meaning that she was a person who instead of just telling you the bare facts that you need to know, would tell you the story of the facts. And then will tie the facts together with background information. A storyteller wants you to know the who, what, when, where and how of things, not just cold facts.  I am also a storyteller. I was first called this by an English teacher in 10th grade. Since then the term has been used to describe me often.  It is meant as a compliment. 

I was thinking one day that I wish I could remember all of the stories my Grandma told me about her Mother. Her name was Adalonia and they called her Loni. Grandma would start every story about her Mom with that sentence. I didn't know my great grandmother, but I sure know of her. The way I understand it, Loni was a rebel in her own way. A soft spoken rebel. A strong woman. A steel magnolia as it were. Well liked by most everyone according to her daughter, who is my Grandma. One thing I remember is how my Grandmother's face would light up when she spoke of her Mom. You could tell she had loved her so and still missed her. 

My Grandma; Pauline, aka Polly, died several years ago. She was in her 80's and died from complications of Alzhiemer's. It was a particularly cruel way for such a smart woman to die. A communicator who had trouble communicating.  A storyteller who more and more often found she couldn't remember the stories. 

As I thought of Grandma Polly, I wanted to find a way to make sure she wasn't  forgotten. It seemed vital to share the stories of my Grandmother and  my Mother. These are the women who helped me to become who I am. They nurtured, they taught, they loved. This led me to a beginning of writing down stories. The reasoning being that one day; hopefully in the far distant future, when I am gone the stories will live on. I have a grandson and want him to know about the women who came before him. His Dad, my younger son, suggested I blog. 

Okay, I will talk your ear off, I am a storyteller, I love to write, but a blog? Me? He told me to go for it and see. And I did. 

The inspiration for an actual blog, Notes From the Second Half, came from something my Grandma Polly said to me. I asked her why old people talk about the past so much. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, my grandma was a little younger than I am now when this conversation took place. But, I was little, she seemed old to me. Her answer was because you spend the first half of your life making memories and the second half remembering it all.

Apparently, according to her theory, there is a transition period between these two halves. This would be when you start talking about the past a lot and telling the stories more and more often. But, would still be before you actually become one of those old people who tell the same stories at every wedding, funeral and family dinner. When I asked her, how do you know when you are in the second half, she told me, “Why honey, when you spend more time remembering it all.” 

I want to remember things and have them safely written down. We never know what the future holds. Many things happen to people. You can, as one acquaintance of ours is fond of saying, walk out that door and get hit by bus. A little dramatic, but true. Things sometimes happen. And if we live to be a ripe old age, we aren't promised that our memories will hold up. And if we live to a ripe old age, and our memories do hold up, we may just be too busy making more memories to write about the old ones. 

The inspiration to blog came from my youngest son. The inspiration as to what in the world will the blog be about came from my Grandma Polly. And the courage to sit down and do it? Well, I like to think that was passed down in the gene pool from Adalonia, who they called Loni. 


  1. Such a beautiful many memories, so nostalgic....very nice.

  2. I do think this is a lovely idea and a really interesting post to start the series off. Grandma Polly in particular sounds fascinating. I enjoyed reading a post by a blogger who I am fairly new too as well. x

  3. @Starlight, thank you so much for asking me to guest post. I am honored.

  4. Thanks for sharing Barb with us Starlight, she's awesome...

  5. @Starlight, thanks for directing Sandy my way!

  6. Beautiful write up, I really enjoyed this story.

  7. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading your post and read the comments. Really a nice post here!

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  8. Thanks for very nice details shared in the post .Great idea for guest and really very nice write up .

  9. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing it and to Starlight for coming up with such an amazing way to share inspiration with others. I look forward to seeing what other gems you share with us.

  10. Just wonderful. I found it facinating to hear your story - and you tell it so well. I loved hearing about those who inspired you, and why. Thank you for sharing them with us. x

  11. It was such a compliment to be asked by Starlight to guest post. I consider her to be a very talented writer.

  12. I was just thinking the other day about people with a story to tell. Ive yet to get there in life,Im hoping it happens. Thanks for sharing Barb with us and Im off to check her out as well. :)

  13. This line absolutely captivated me:

    "you spend the first half of your life making memories and the second half remembering it all."

    Beautifully put.

  14. This was so beautiful to read, thanks for sharing!

  15. I would like to apologise for not replying to your comments - I've been very busy with my studies (a new semester is here...) and I had some medical problems. Again, I'm sorry.
    Thank you all for your lovely comments though this time comments are more for Barbara who wrote this wonderful piece than for me.

    @Caterpillar - It is a wonderful story, isn't it? I cried when I first read it.

    @Happy frog and I - Grandma Polly was very fascinating woman; Barbara already wrote about her on her blog and I always enjoy reading about her.

    @Sandy - Barbara is awesome, isn't she? A very talented writer and very nice person!

    @Shopgirl - Start following Barbara, her stores are always very interesting!

    @Jazzie Casas - Thank you for stopping by and commenting. You're welcome to follow me and also Barbara.

    @Romantic Dinner - Thanks to you too for reading my blog, you're also welcome to follow me and Barbara.

    @Cinderita - Thanks!

    @Bth - It seems that we all enjoyed reading Barbara's story.

    @Doria - I saw you've become Barabara's follower, I guarantee that you won't be disappointed!

    @Sally-Sal - It is beautiful, not just that particular line but the whole story is just amazing.

    @Rebecca Louise - Thanks for commenting.

    @Barbara - Thank you again for sharing this wonderful story with us on my blog, I'm really honoured!

  16. Note to everyone, thank you so much for the comments and feedback.
    What @Starlight doesn't know ***shh, it's a secret*** is that when she is feeling better I am going to ask her to guest post on my blog!