Monday, August 24, 2015

Boot Scootin' in Heaven Now . . .

My favorite uncle passed away last week: Clarence Simpson of Amarillo, TX. He was 93. We shared a birthday month (November) and a love of red cars (he had a red Firebird once and I drive a red Toyota now!)
One of his daughters read a beautiful chronicle of his life at the service. The Chaplain said he asked the family for some stories to share and that most of them said that the best stories about Clarence wouldn’t be appropriate for the service!
So true! He was a bigger than life cowboy who lived each day to the fullest. He was telling stories and dancing until the day he died. He won many dance contests, in fact, and you can see a video of him dancing on YouTube:

That’s the Boot Scootin’ Boogie and there’s another one with “Waltz Across Texas” if you want to check it out.

Here are some of my favorite stories about Clarence Thomas Simpson.
1. First of all, his name wasn’t really Clarence Thomas Simpson, although many people called him “CT” for most of his life. (I knew him as CT) When he went to join the Army, they asked him for his name and he told them, “My name is Clarence Simpson.” The recruiter asked for his middle name and he told the guy he didn’t have one. (My mother doesn’t have a middle name. Her mother didn’t have a middle name. Don’t know the whole story on this!)
So, the guy kept pressing my uncle until he just blurted out: OK, My name is Clarence Thomas Simpson. They wrote that down and it stuck for the rest of his 93 years. He also had the nickname “Pinkie,” although I don’t know the origin of that. I’ll have to ask my Mom.
2. He was played football and was valedictorian of his class at O’Donnell High School in O’Donnell, Texas. He won a full scholarship to Texas A & M. However, the summer after graduation, he had appendicitis and had to be hospitalized. By the time he recovered, he had missed the start of the school year and lost his scholarship and chance to go to A & M. Instead, he joined the Army.
3. He wasn’t really 93. When he went to join the Army, he lied and said his birthday was November 10, 1921. He was really born in 1922. He lied so that the Army would enlist him.
4. He had two TVs at his house and during Football Season, he would turn on both, each one turned to a different game. One was on one end of the living room and one was on the other. His chair was in the middle of the room. This way, he could monitor two different games at holidays.
5. My sisters and I spent a week at his farm several summers when we were little. I have fond memories of riding Jim Jump and Queenie, two of the horses he kept at his place on River Road. We also played in the water at a neighbor’s house. She had a Water Wiggle. You know, one of those water toys that have been deemed unsafe for today’s kids. We had a blast with it! One of my favorite pictures of me is in a chair at CT’s house, holding a huge stuffed animal that belonged to my Cousin Judy.
6. He raised cattle and would sell cows to individuals for food. My Mom bought a cow or half of a cow many times over the years. Once or twice I bought the other half for my family. It would be butchered, packed, quick-frozen and we would drive to get it. Once, my Ex-husband and I went to get our beef and drove out to the ranch to see him sell cows on a Saturday. Some Asian families were there and they bought the cow and butchered it right there on the spot! Really! It was incredible to watch. Interesting and unsettling at the same time. Not nearly as much fun as seeing my Ex-husband eating “calf fries” later at my Uncle’s kitchen table! Poor guy was from California and had no idea of the origin of such a delicacy! Hey, they were battered and chicken-fried and my Aunt made great country gravy!
7. CT had a heart as big as Texas. He gave money, cows, packages of beef and sausage (he traded out with a guy who raised pigs) to families and single parents who needed help. He and his wife took in 3 or more young girls who didn’t have families and raised them as their own.
8. He took the place of our Grandfather when ours passed away in 1968. He was Granddad, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy all rolled into one and he always looked out for my Mom for quite a few years. Then, when he moved into the VA Home, my mom began to check on him and look out for him.
9. He gave one last gift. After the service and the graveside festivities (Bugle playing "Taps", Gun Salute, Folding of the Flag and Presentation of a Flag to each of his three children) we went to a local diner for lunch. CT had eaten at this diner at least once a week in his hey day and daily after the death of his wife Barbara in 2000. After he moved into the VA Nursing Home, he would treat visitors to meals at the diner, whenever people came into town to see him. It’s called Youngblood’s and is a café inside the Stockyards in Amarillo. After we enjoyed chicken fried steak and yeast rolls the size of Rhode Island, we got up to pay and were told it was taken care of. I thought that the café took care of it because of what a loyal customer my Uncle was. But, I learned later that HE paid for it. He left notes in his will for his son that he wanted to take everyone who came to his service to lunch! So, even after his death, CT Simpson was a most generous man! Can you imagine: thinking ahead, making this decision and the plans to do such a kind and generous gesture?

That’s the kind of man CT Simpson was, is! He IS a most generous Soul!

Yes, CT was a colorful, generous man, who lived a long and full life. I’m sure he’s already joined a dance contest in Heaven and is charming the ladies!

I love you, CT! So glad to know you and call you my Uncle! May you rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Angel Messages . . .

Here are the angel messages from our group last night:

1. Revisit some of the music you grew up with to heal childhood hurts.
2. As the weather gets cooler, walk barefoot in the grass and enjoy nature.
3. Put your passion together with your skills and talents and claim your life’s work.
4. You will also benefit from getting away to the beach or camping at the lake. The water is good for you.
5. You need some R & R! Take some time away to recharge and you’ll come back ready to rock & roll!
6. Someone from your past may be a key to future career success. Be open to the signs or new opportunities.
7. Slow down and smell the roses. What’s your hurry?

I always love it when the angel message that I hear and record compliments something that Steve shares in his live, “shoot from the hip” messages from friends and loved ones on The Other Side. Last night, I was recording what my angels whispered to me about a young man (See #3 above) and then Steve began to say, “You’re involved in music, aren’t you? Not just making music, but producing and recording.” Then I could instantly ”see” how his passion and his skills and talents were going to come together. The smile on his face said it all! Have you ever noticed how someone glows when he talks about his passion?

As always, I share these bits of guidance in the knowledge that someone else can benefit from a tidbit that resonates. So, name it and claim it!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Over the weekend, I was thinking about families and the term “dysfunctional family” came into my mind. “What is the opposite of dysfunctional?” was my next thought. Well, “functional,” of course.

However, do we want “functional” families? Doesn’t that sound very clinical or utilitarian? And so I began thinking about what adjectives I wanted to consider for MY family.


When I thought of the word “harmonious,” I looked it up in a thesaurus and also saw “symphony” or “symphonious,” which means:

an interweaving of themes, or harmonious arrangement

Isn't that amazing? An orchestra is various pieces.

Many different kinds of instruments. You don’t often hear of a band of all clarinets or an orchestra made up of only violins or only tubas. Yet, how often do families want each member to fit into a mold and be just like each other!

Yes, in an orchestra, there is a variety of instruments and each is encouraged to be unique and make its own special contribution to the group. You don’t play a clarinet the same way you play a tuba or a piano or a violin. The sound that comes from each instrument is different, as well. Yet, when each is played, the sounds blend together to create beautiful melodies.

So, today I pray for healing and harmony for my family and families everywhere!