Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I was reading Debbie's blog this morning. she was explaining some of her quirks. Most of them, she could explain in a general way by simply saying she was 'southern'. Here in the south, we tend to do things differently (like saying 'Be careful" to a panel of judges that just booted us out of an audition with 4 'nos'.) We tend to be overly nice until it is time not to be nice at all.

It got me thinking about influences in my life. It made me think about the things I do and why I do them.

I am one of six children. My oldest sister is 5 years older than me and my youngest sister is 5 years younger than me. I also have one other older sister, one other younger sister, and a younger brother. Dad worked a good job and was a non-payed pastor of a small church while I was growing up. He worked, payed the bills, saved money, bought land, invested, and took care of his family. We never had an abundance, but we always had. Dad had painting and writing skills. I am a lot like him in many ways.

One of the things he ingrained in me as I grew, was about humility and credit. He always said 'we' instead of 'I'. He was very slow to take credit, but very quick to take blame. He taught me that, if it was my fault, fess up. If it is not my fault, never let someone pin it on me. However, there are times when you apologize even when you have done nothing wrong.

He taught me to see my talents as just what they are, gifts from God. These gifts are to be shared. I freely share my words. I freely share my drawings. I freely share my singing. TJ fusses at me, not for sharing my talents, but for not accepting praise for them. I have trouble with that. Debbie says it is a southern thing to deflect praise. It might be. I can remember Dad and Mom doing it many times. I know dad is a southern man, born and raised in Kentucky. Mom was born and raised in Germany. It might have been in the southern part of Germany, I don't know for sure. She was about 20 miles from Munich.

Dad was afraid no one would remember him. He was an only child, raised by his aunt and uncle. He feared being forgettable. He died almost 2 years ago. Thousands came to his visitation and funeral. I was in Wal-mart in Winchester KY yesterday, and someone asked me about dad. He was quite literally unforgettable.

I share dad's fear. The odd thing is that I was surrounded by siblings. I was raised by parents that loved me and I never doubted that love. Everywhere I go, I meet people that know me. When we were talking to 'Sparky' yesterday, a kid walked past that was a former student. We spoke briefly. He is in the army now. Then Sparky and I continued our catching up. TJ said about me to Sparky, "He knows everyone." He agreed.

TJ says I am crazy. She says there is no way anyone could forget me. Seems Dad's influence reaches far.

Lest anyone think I am neglecting the influence of a stubborn, little German woman, think again. I have a lot of her in me as well. TJ says I have her bullheadedness, stubbornness, and her generosity. Dad was generous, but practical. Mom is generous to a fault. It is a good fault, though.

Mom sings like an angel. Dad could not carry a tune in a pickup truck.

I think we are all influenced by things around us, whether that be location or heredity. I know we can rise above bad influences. I know we can overcome good influences as well. We must embrace the positive influences in our lives and fight the good fight agaisnts the bad influences.

Still ... there are influences.


Chrissie, Christine, Chris, Mommy, Mama, Maaaaa... said...

I LOVE it!! :) Thank you so much!! I am going to post it on the blog and link it back to you if that's ok!! :)

Venom said...

You crack me up!
Dear old deck!

Debbie said...

Here's the kicker - many of my ancestors were from Germany. My husband's too. So, maybe the German influence went along with the southern thing about the humbleness and the praise. My dad is another prime example of that.
Thanks for taking my idea and expanding on it. I really enjoyed reading this post!

Debbie said...

And mostly I was thanking you for expanding on my post because my post was so bad. I probably should just delete it:)

Octamom said...

I'm a Southerner myself and when M and I were dating, he asked me what my life goal was--and I said, "To be memorable"--hmmmm, wonder if it's in the genetics!


miruspeg said...

What a wonderful post Ron.
You share so much about are very articulate AND memorable!

In this lifetime I am striving to be a good example and teacher of all the knowledge that comes my way.

I have finally posted your drawings on my blog....pop on over when you have a minute.


Fly Girl said...

Ron, I can't imagine you being forgetable for an instant. Your warmth comes across in your writing, and your drawings are amazing! I had just commented on Peggy's site that you are a gifted artist and writer. A visit here is proof!

Take care,
(a southerner, too)