The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Brain Types

By Marie Craig

I vaguely remember taking a psychology class somewhere, but as we know, experiences and observations give us the most insight about human behavior.

     I have surmised that people possess different inherent ways of thinking and doing.  One definite way of categorizing folks is whether they’re auditory learners or visual learners.  Example: we were helping our son and his wife move about ninety miles to their new home.  When we were finally all packed up, I asked for specific directions.  (This was before smartphones, GPS, and online maps.)  As my daughter-in-law gave me verbal directions for each turn, I drew a map on a piece of paper.  To double-check, I showed her what I’d drawn.  She said, “Eeek, I don’t do maps!”  I realized that she is a verbal person, and I am a visual person.  As years went by, she could take their six children into a fast food restaurant and ask each one individually about food choices and then order correctly without writing anything down.  I wouldn’t have remembered one of them.

Teachers need to be aware of this difference in functioning.  If the teacher just calls out the homework assignment, there could be a child who could not relate to this and follow directions.   

Another difference in thinking is the ability to multitask. Most mothers are experts at this.  Focus on this image: a mother is standing at the range stirring the pot of food while talking on the phone while gesturing to her child to get his dirty shoes off the dining room table while pushing the dog away from the cat’s feeding bowl.  However, there are people who cannot do this.  There are those who can do only one thing at a time.  Some wives say their husbands are like this.  If he is focusing on the ballgame on TV, it’s fruitless to tell him that company is coming for supper.  He will deny that you ever said that.

     It seems to me that these strong traits cannot be changed, and that they must be accepted.  Many an argument or fight would be avoided if people realized that other folks are pretty much doing as well as they can.

Makes Me Smile

By Gaye Hoots

Waking up to a beautiful day with 5 of my family members under the same roof

Hearing happy voices

My country ham and tomato biscuit from Bojangles

Smiling faces and friendly voices at the bank

Seeing Cleo Carter at the bank, beautifully dressed, makeup perfect, on her first day without a cane after a recent hip replacement

Seeing a young woman wearing a Spiderman or Spiderwoman costume in line behind me at the bank

Catching a yellow light that turned red before I cleared it without seeing a blue light

The free library outside Maddie Cakes where I exchange books

Dinner tonight to celebrate Tiffany, my granddaughter’s birthday. All my family except my grandsons were there and each one is a blessing.

Eating watermelon that came from Sonny Stroud with Faye and Nick

Talking to friends on the phone

That was all before lunch today.

Things in general are:

Beautiful sunrises and sunsets

Water views

Farm animals and pets

Happy children

Happy adults

Recently I went to an ice cream shop with my youngest grandchildren, where they rode a miniature Merry-Go-Round. When they finished a couple approached with 3 hulking boys who looked like football players with a height of at least 6 feet and a minimum of 200 pounds weight. They spoke of riding as children and the mother asked them to pose while pretending to ride the ponies. She snapped several pictures and they walked away. A few minutes later I heard the music from the ride and went to see the children enjoying the ride. The older couple were gone, and those 3 young men were riding unashamedly with their long legs stretched in front of them, their full weight on the tiny ponies, while they licked ice cones with a happy smile on their faces.

We took cake by Bob and Betty Potts, but the children and I remained in the car feeling this might be too much for Bob who is 92 years old. I looked up and saw Bob using his walker, and Betty walking out to see the girls.

I also took cake to Sam and Judy Howard. Gail Frye made the cake, and she recently celebrated a birthday as did Mona Jo, who is still picking and grinning.

I visited a friend in Hickory who is 90 years old, and he wanted to go shopping. This was his 1st shopping trip since COVID. He made a round of the men’s department at Penney’s and stated that would be enough shopping at malls for the rest of his life.

My 2 oldest grandchildren have announced wedding plans for this year, and I am so happy for them.

Opening of the restaurant Goose’s in Advance and lunch there with Jane Carter and seeing Jeff Allen and his mother Brenda there.

Talking to Lorene Markland who began planning a wedding shower for Tiffany when she heard of her plans to wed.

Making plans to attend Tiffany’s wedding here and Vann’s wedding in Florida.

A good meal with Faye and Nick tonight and quiet time to write my article.

Friends who tell me they read my articles.

The Enterprise for all the local news.

The new minister at Advance United Methodist Church and the life he is bringing to the church.

The Sunflowers

By Julie Terry Cartner

Everyone loved Mr. and Mrs. Meyers, better known as Miss Emma and Mr. Walter. They were the grandparents that many children didn’t have, the neighbors that everyone wanted, and ta support system for frazzled parents.  At any church activity, undoubtedly, Emma and Walter would be there, donating their time and energy wherever needed. When young mothers went to choir practice, Emma would babysit their babies. When scouts needed a mentor, Walter was their man. At Christmas, Walter was always Santa, and Emma his elfin helper. Although childless themselves, Walter and Emma had countless surrogate grandchildren.

So, when Miss Emma became sick, and subsequently died, the church community grieved, but nobody grieved more than Walter. Emma had been his wife, his friend, and the love of his life. Nobody knew how he would survive the loss. Unbeknownst to the adults, however, the children gathered, mourned the loss of their Miss Emma, and made a plan. They couldn’t bring her back, but they wanted to give Mr. Walter his joy back.

Once the plan was made, they recruited their parents to help. Walter always had a beautiful yard, full of lovely gardens. Since Miss Emma became sick in the early spring, Mr. Walter hadn’t had the time or energy to plant, but everyone knew how much he loved his flowers. On one Friday in late spring, several of the dads took Mr. Walter to a baseball game. This would require an overnight stay in Atlanta, which would give the children time to carry out their plan.

Early Saturday morning, the children, along with their parents, went to Walter’s house armed with garden tools and seeds. After studying mythology in school, especially the story of Clytie and Helios, the children had decided that Mr. Walter needed sunflowers to surround his house. “Mr. Walter loves Miss Emma the way Clytie loved Helios,” they said. And so, the group spent the day tilling and planting Walter’s yard with a variety of sunflowers.

When Mr. Walter returned from the ball game, he was grateful for the yard work that the families had done, but he had no idea about what had been planted. As spring turned into summer, he watched the sunflowers grow, then almost overnight, they bloomed. Large, yellow faces turned towards the sun and followed its path across the sky. Smaller red and gold flowers, almost like sunsets, filled the gardens with more beauty. Soon the centers became seeds, and then the goldfinches arrived, darting between the flowers, waltzing with monarchs, a myriad of swallowtails, and cabbage whites. Hummingbirds flitted to and fro between flowers, and songbirds warbled amongst the leaves.

Each morning, when Walter awakened, he was greeted by the glory of the sunflowers and their guests: the birds and butterflies. One would have to have a hard heart to resist the beckoning beauty, and, little by little, he let the children’s gift fill his heart with joy. Though he still mourned Miss Emma, he knew she wouldn’t want him to shut himself away. So, when the flowers were at their peak, he invited the children and their parents to his house for a thank you picnic. Good food, great music, and the laughing shrieks of children playing in the yard filled the air. When everyone had eaten, Mr. Walter stood up and said a simple thank you. “Miss Emma would have loved these gardens. I believe I can see her in the smiling faces of the sunflowers, in the grace of the butterflies, and in the harmonies of the birds. Thank you, dear children and parents, for giving Miss Emma back to me. I love you all.”

*Sunflowers have a remarkable ability to absorb toxins, including toxic metals and radiation. Following nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, scientists planted millions of sunflowers to help the land recover Similarly, they’ve also been planted in areas with high concentrations of lead. In scientific terms, they’re ‘hyperaccumulators’ which means they can absorb much more of these contaminants than other plants. It’s believed plants develop this ability partly to make them less tempting as a snack for herbivores. [“Eight Facts You Didn’t Know About Sunflowers.” Appleyard London 2022]