Beat it!

I must admit that when I crawl out of bed and look in the mirror I do not see the face I wish to see.  Sometimes there are tracks on my face from one of the many pillows I have to prop up my bad arm.  My face finds one and I am left with an imprint.  But where did those bags come from?  Could they be from the water I did not drink during the day?  My eyes look like a “Before” picture.  I have an early morning appointment, so I have no choice.  I have to beat my faceWhat?!!

For those of you not familiar with the vernacular, beating one’s face means to apply a copious amount of makeup. Ha!  See, stars have artists that apply their makeup, and they may wear plenty but have a natural look.  Me?   I  watched YouTube videos; they show you how to apply concealer to hide circles and the dreaded bags under eyes.  They got about 15,000 products they apply.  I’m like, “I got this concealer crayon and a sponge that will do the trick.”  Done.  Why do I look like a zombie from Thriller?  A little powder will cover my flaws.  Done. And now, I would like the casting number for Night of the Living Dead.

See, my problem is I have this green undertone, so no matter what kind of foundation I use, it just doesn’t work.  While in the house, I’m fine.  But let the sun hit my face, I transform into a shade unknown to the color spectrum.  It’s not easy being green.  However, one thing you can always count on from me is my signature blush, as though a dark-skinned sister could turn red.  But I don’t care!  Ever since I saw this cool girl with a big brush applying blush, I knew it was for me.  Now, the powder may not work for the track marks, but I’m gon’ blush for y’all.  It enhances my smile.  What?!!

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Photo by Dazzle Jam on Pexels.com

Makeup is nothing new to our culture.  We have always beaten our faces with skill and mastery, even when there was no makeup for us.  I can remember when I went to Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago to see a makeup artist apply Flori Roberts products to a Black woman’s face.  The audience of Black women stood in awe and wonder.  We were no longer relegated to our one shade, “Pancake.”  We had a myriad of colors to choose from.  Today, there are a number of brands that stand on the history of our cosmetic pioneers and also on the shoulders of African sisters who historically adorned their faces with significant paint.

So now we got these glam squads in every gender with makeup so thick till you can’t imagine what’s underneath the paint. Sometimes the paint is needed to cover conditions and scars unintended by nature.  It is important to note that all women are beautiful, makeup or not, wrinkles and all,  but when the morning light hits this woman’s face, the beating begins. Oh.  And I always apply lipstick. (See it on my teeth)?

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Joy Juice

We are brilliant in our hues of beauty.  Period.

“It’s all good/God/love” – Victorine

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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

 

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Victorine

 

 

 

Blues

Oh yeah, I got ’em. I got “Stop and frisk” blues; “You only been a mayor and don’t know Black folks, much less, reparations” blues; “I did my job, but prosecuted a Black teenager” blues; “My foot stays in my Old School mouth” blues; “I’m calling for an overhaul of the government that may cause #45 to retain his office because folks don’t know what socialism is” blues, and “I’m a great candidate, I’m barely hanging on, but I got plans, and I support reparations,” blues. What?!!

All I know is that I am a conscious Senior looking to live in a society that is inclusive and tolerant; one that reforms the criminal justice system.  Them assault weapons gotta go and gun purchase requirements have to grow. I want my Medicare, Social Security, healthcare for all and a way for immigrants to enter this melting pot and stay without an arduous course to citizenship. We need them! Help folks with food and housing, but don’t keep them tethered – promote independence with education, jobs, and reparations – if not in cash then in scholarship, and loan forgiveness. (‘Couldn’t get no loans for the longest. )  Raise that minimum wage so folks can live on an 8 hour day.  Everybody gotta pay taxes and folks can pray or not pray in their own tradition, but not in public schools.  I want judges that can be non-partisan, fair, and judicial and freedom for a woman to have the right to choose what is best for her life. 

I want utopia, damn it!  We built this country and died for freedom still unattained. We got a right to a voice and, I feel, an obligation to vote what we want.  And while I am still woefully perplexed about what/who to do for the Primary, one thing I know is that for this election that holds this country in its balance my blood runs blue.

#voteblue. #Blacklivesmatter #reparations #nofacism #freedomofchoice  #healthcareforall #youngfolkvote

Joy Juice

It ain’t been long, but we now have the right to vote.  We consult Spirit and Ancestors and we cast our ballots.  Ashe’

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Victorine

 

 

Oprah!

OK.  My campaign is starting. I gotta meet Oprah.

When Oprah Winfrey hit the airwaves,  I was not living in Chicago; I was in Cleveland.  I went home for a visit, and all my friends were telling me, “There’s this woman on TV that reminds us of you; her name is Oprah Winfrey.”  I got the chance to view her and thought, “Hmmm, we do somewhat resemble, but mainly, we talk, laugh, and engage alike.”  Then, she hit it big, and I was always in her shadow.  She met her Stedman Graham, and this you won’t believe. In stature, he resembled my deceased husband, Bob. Bob, and I would enter a comedy club and sit way in the back.  Let me show you why:

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Us, at the start of our business with our partner, Curtis English and baby daughter, Camille.
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Bob and I. I’m more “Mutt” to Bob’s “Jeff” than Oprah’s to Stedman’s.

We were Oprah and Stedman!  The comedians would have had a field day with us. Why is it that when I moved to St. Maarten, all of my tourist customers from the States would call me Oprah? What?!!

I was a hater for a minute.  After all, I was here before Oprah, and just because I did not pursue my intended career in broadcasting, and she worked fervently to build hers didn’t mean she should have all the glory.  “Hummph…lookin’ like me.”  This is the absurdity of an unenlightened spirit.

Absurd?  Bob and I went to Maui, HA and visited Huna, this tiny Mecca of waterfalls, peace, and tranquility.  We landed at the only hotel restaurant, and there was an art gallery in the hotel.  You already know I was all up in there.  They had jewelry, which I perused. No one waited on me.  Finally, the owner came to me and said, “Please excuse usOprah Winfrey and her friends will be here on Huna tomorrow for 10 days, and we have to get ready.  Please feel free to browse.”  Y’all!  I looked at Bob and had the nerve to be like, “She’s staying for 10 days!”  I was jealous that Oprah Winfrey was flying in to spend time in Huna!  Bob, who had won this wonderful trip, looked at me like I was the ungrateful fool I was acting. I could see myself in his eyes, and I recoiled in shame and apologized.

Shortly after that trip, it was Oprah who was like,” Girl, you need Eckhart Tolle; your ego is way out of line.” Because of that trip, I discovered A New Earth and began to move me out of my way. Can you believe Oprah went from tabloid talk to consciousness-raising?  By this time, I was also a New Thought minister, teaching much of what she was teaching through her shows and workshops.  I have been hanging tough with Oprah ever since.  We sometimes fuss about show content, elitism, and colorism, but she’s my girl.  My friend from Amsterdam gets upset whenever we say something negative about Oprah.  We defend ourselves, “Oprah is ours; we can criticize her and still love her!”

I am pursuing Oprah with this divinely inspired blog. Of all the publishers to choose from, I want Oprah. (I guess Eckhart is wearing off).  We have several venues we can choose from – O Magazine, OWN, or maybe I can sneak in through the Book Club.   I am within her demographic, and I know she would at least chuckle at my content.  I’m going for it...now…this moment...and maybe at least once a month until it happens.  Do you think I need to have been blogging for more than a week?  Wait…I can be an O discovery, one of her Favorite Things!

Joy Juice

At this time, some folks are angry with Oprah for exposing sexual abuse among Black men.  Yes, Harvey could take the hot seat too, but for every man, Oprah has taken to task, she has given much more to Black men in hope and resources.  She produced When They See Us, the bio-doc on the Central Park 5. Don’t play.  Oprah is an iconic philanthropist, and we follow her footsteps in the consciousness of giving.

“It’s all good/God/Love” – Victorine

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved


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Victorine

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.


Scarves

So, all of a sudden I can’t leave the house without a scarf. About 20 years ago, when I visited Europe, scarves were the rage. I just can’t let them go! It doesn’t matter what the time of year, I gotta have me something around my neck, my head, or my body.  I told Mr. K. he gotta start wearing scarves too so we can be chic together – 20 years-after-they-were-the-trend, chic. I do see Senior guys I think are GQ with scarves, but I got another reason for wearing mine.  Yes, some of my scarves are pretty, from all over the world, but this season of my life, they cover something else – just a hint of what appears to be w r i n k l e s.  What?!!

I remember when my mother would look in the mirror and say, “I can’t believe my neck.” I would be like, “Amon, you look great.  I don’t see anything.”  Today, I’m hugging the mirror with eyes scrunching.  Oh yeah, they are there, those gentle folds calling for an iron. Scarves to the rescue! 

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Me and my grands with THE purple scarf.

I know a woman that travels to India, and I have bought some beautiful scarves from her.  The only thing is that some of them are sari lengths.  You think that bothers me?  Humph, I ‘ll keep wrapping them babies around my neck till they do what I need them to do. Sorry, sari. I even took one of my Indian scarves off the chest in my hall ’cause it matched my outfit. You have seen my favorites on so many pictures, I was like, “I just can’t wear this in a picture again.”  Then, I’m like, “No picture today.”  I’m not giving up my scarf.

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Scarf on chest WILL go on my neck!

African headwraps are also on point for those days when my fro is frothed.  The key is to know how to wrap.  This is where I’m challenged.  In one dance performance, I had my headwrap tied in a bow.  The girls were like, “Vic…no.  This does not represent head wrapping.”  Well, at least it was better than when I had fabric around my waist as a skirt, and it came off during a performance…at a church!!  What?!!

Truth is, African fabric has the powerful energy of wrapping heads that need adornment and the healing of ancestors. Due to illnesses, it wraps some heads that no longer have hair.  Beautifully. Majestically.  When I get it right, I feel like a queen, and this fabric can claim my head, body, my heart.  

When I was in Memphis this past weekend, a woman who collects scarves from Israel stopped to compliment one of my faves and noted that her scarves remind her of every country they represent.  Being a global gal, I feel the same way, but I also know what they do for me.  ‘Wrap up wrinkles; it’s not the time for you yet.’


 

Joy Juice

We do what we can to look attractive, but hopefully with clothes that make us exude what we feel inside.  We are beautiful, wrinkles and all. Even Cecily Tyson has a few. (So what if she’s in her 90s).

“It’s all good/God/Love” – Victorine

 

Featured image:  I had to add a little bling with Michael Eric Dyson and my scarf. Bam!

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

 

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Victorine

 

 

 

Devices?

If left to my own, I would have a secretary…no, an assistant…no, a digital genie.  He would wield my phone and computer during working hours and my TV remotes at night.  He would remember User ID’s and passwords, navigate troubleshooting, dictate my every creative thought to page with perfect form, and at night, make my Firestick stream.  What?!!

I love writing, but ham mercy, as soon as I decided to do this blog, my computer put its dukes up and was like, “You got some dues to pay first. Delete your History, Cookies, and Cache, refresh my browser…No, Girl, you need a new charger.  You know how Apple chargers are.  Wait now, why do I have an Error Code?  Call Firefox and ask them…No? Then ask WordPress...OK, now we can get started. ” In the meantime, WordPress was on the other side of the ring. “Uh, I got a new writing tool for you, – Block Editor,  an “upgrade.”  Y’all, I was 3 hours trying to stack those blocks. I failed the grade.  I had to leave the ring and go back to the Classic Editor. “Genie!” Now my phone…

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My Son-in-love, Taurus Bennett.

My wonderful Son-in-love talked me into moving away from iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy.  “Don’t be held hostage to Apple,” he said.  “You will love all the apps,” he said.  He was right.  I was in another galaxy.  I found out why they called them Smartphones; you have to be smart to operate them.  I been fooling with this phone for almost two years, and still don’t know what I’m doing.  My Sister-in-law had to give me a tutorial. Then she was in another galaxy fooling with me.   What?!!

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Partner in the Galaxy, Cassie Mebane

It’s Saturday night in Memphis, where I am visiting.  The family and I are settled in for some TV, and so are a bazillion other viewers that want to watch the same new movies we are choosing.  That Firestick was streaming like a river gone wild.  We had to go back and watch The Little Rascals“Genie!”

My .genie is a wish, but my willingness to navigate devices is real and something I’m proud of.  Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing, but I am willing to take the time to learn; I have plenty of itI hope.

Joy Juice

Can you imagine that some of us are embarking upon new undertakings?  Yes.  Every day is a new unfolding of our being.  We do whatever our hearts need to be fulfilled, to thrive, to stay ‘live.  This, our blessed/morning time.

“It’s all good/God/Love” – Victorine

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Victorine

 

TV

Why does my daughter call me “TVicki?”  (Being the Taurus I am, I call her “Phonarama.”)  So I watch a little too much TV.  Mr. K. was like, ” Uhh..I think you watch a little more TV than I do.”  I’m like, “What else is there to do? ” Surely not read, or go out for a walk, or go volunteer, or actually go out to an actual theater to see a movie, I might miss something – one of “my shows.”  Mr. K does all those things; and, believe me, he ain’t missing a thing.  Y’all know I get out, but when I’m home, starting about 10AM during the week and 8:00AM during the weekend the TV is my backdrop.  I gotta keep up with er’thing: news, Views, styles, Mahers, Hall, balls What?!!

I get this earnestly.  We were one of the first TV families.  Years later, my folks had a TV in every room.  You didn’t have to worry about what you might miss in the kitchen.  You could cook to the TV.  I inherited TVness.  When the kids or Mr. K are not here, I am at home alone, but the TV is a window to the world, and it talks.

The truth is, as much as I talk about being Present, I will turn that video box on and do anything but watch it. It’s on right now!  I must say, sometimes it’s pretty sad.  I will watch “Project Runway.”  Let them kick the ‘wrong’ designer off the show.  I gotta call my friend who also watches the show and rant.  And now, we can go beyond the mundane contributions of regular viewing to Netflix, Prime, and Hulu.

I have seen that Abbey, them Handmaids, My Idris…I mean, Luther; I even been to the Ozarks. However, I do claim Oprah’s status by not having a TV in my bedroom. Why do I have my iPad, which has all premium networks? My grandsons figured that one out right away. They were like,  “Grammy, you watch TV on your iPad, don’t you?”  I had to admit,  “I do,” Yes, I’m doing the walk of shame – married to the TV.

Joy Juice

There’s nothing wrong with entertainment resources, but before engaging, we take a little time to talk and listen to the Higher Self.  The only commercial station is the mind chatter, but we can turn it off at and get back to our vital programming. Any day, any time, our real Source is waiting.

“It’s all good/God/Love.” – Victorine

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Victorine

Danger Zone

Just wrap me up with yellow tape and stand clear. I didn’t mean to do it! I just went out to my tiny garden to pick some rosemary and smelled my lavender, which deserved a close of the eyes for a “breathe and know” moment. The lavender began to smell like smoke. I run into the kitchen. Here’s my new wrought iron skillet on the stove burning with smoke everywhere. “Where’s my extinguisher…flour?”  No water! The side door is close enough. I grab a potholder, and out the door goes the pan. I was so heroic! Then, I totally freaked out.

Billy and Lois Crabtree

I called my sistah friend, Lois. She told her husband, Billy, and he came over to make sure I had not burned my house down. There was smoke everywhere, but not enough to call my insurance company to get some new stuff like at my other house years ago. (Shut up, y’all). We opened every window and door, and before long, I was back in action. The next week, Billy sent over two extinguishers. Hmmm, ‘wonder where they are… I’m just kidding. I do know where one is. More importantly, why didn’t the smoke alarm go off? Could it be because I/you get so sick of it going off all the time till you move it to where it can’t beep when you light a candle? What?!!

So one Christmas night, the kids and I were standing in the kitchen talking and waiting for the food to finish cooking in the oven. All of a sudden, the front fiberglass on the front of the stove explodes. Thank goodness, it didn’t hit us. What happened was the guy who worked for me tightened the screws in my oven door, and the torque was too tight. She exploded. I bet you think we didn’t eat that food. Think again. What!!

I don’t mean to make light of this. (Lord, don’t mention light). I set timers every time I cook. I also take cues from my mom about looking down when I walk. At a family reunion, I had to rush to get into a photo. But there was a deck…and I had to hurry. There I was in front of all my deceased husband’s family, and Mr. K. sprawled, hands and face down on the deck. When everyone was worried, I pushed up with my hands and yelled, “Safe!” They tried not to laugh, but it didn’t work.  I was laughing too until that night. (I Hurt!)


Sometimes you gotta laugh, but not before you do all you can to stay safe. Set them alarms; signal your cooking; when ironing, don’t get distracted and end up with a big iron mark on your top. Who did that? Yellow tape, please.

Joy Juice

During this season, there are things beyond our control, but there are also everyday workings during which we can be aware and present. Our safety is worth more than a multi-task. We are worth our care; we are miraculous.

“All is good/God/Love” -Victorine

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Victorine

 

 

 

 

 

I'm Hot….No, Cold

Do I even have to tell you about ’em? But my question is how long do we have to have ’em. I am no longer menopausal. I am in the post-stage. So, why am I posting? Because I still have hot flashes that send me to Hades! I know I’m not alone. When I’m at a church program, all of a sudden I see a sea of programs fanning the heat, mine among them.

I am in the mirror readying for an event. Makeup perfect, I reach for my top, which is stylishly complicated. I’m pulling the cord that goes behind my back to come through the front to tie neatly so my waist looks it looks like I have a waist. I’m just a little flustered, not enough to worry about it. Then, before I can “Whew! “at managing my top, this surge sneaks up on me. I run to the bathroom and blot to outrun the “blot, blot, blot,” but too late; the fire is burning. and I gotta do an emergency redo. What?!!

TV watching is like…sweater on, sweater off, sweater on, sweater off. “Pass me a throw...Oh, I forgot, throws put me to sleep.” Why am I so chilly? I get so hot till my normal temperature feels like I engulfed ten freeze pops. And one more thing: Bed!

I make a great bed, on a platform foam cooling mattress, with alternative down comforter covered with a duvet, and high-count sheets. I snuggle in. Then, the heat starts. to rise…from the sheets (dirty minds…y’all ain’t that old, huh?). I wave a comforter off like a matador challenges a bull, “Ole!” Then, the chill hits and back under I go. This, for the last 25 years. What?!!

Remedies? I’ve tried them all: No caffeine, Black Cohosh, some kind of herbal yam, all to no avail. But I do like fans. They work. When I attended my nephew, Mannie’s wedding, his sister, Sophia gave me a fan to use ’cause it matched my hot pink silk caftan top. As the reception ended, she asked for the fan. As she reached for it, I almost chopped her hand off!

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Mannie, My New Niece, Dara, and Moi with my fan!

I must say my hot flashes are sporadic; they will stop for a while, but they always come back. Maybe they are with me to keep me alert. Some of y’all never had them, but I hope you understand when I take your napkin or whatever I can find and start fanning. I’m just sayin’.

 

 

 

 

Joy Juice

There are some things in our biological/genetic makeup that we cannot control. We do what we can to sustain our ‘magic,’ and we relax in the knowing that we are designed perfectly to be what we are, splendid creatures of God.

“Love has the final word”  – Rickie Byars

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Victorine with fan

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Vibrancy

I thought if I told the truth about this entry, y’all wouldn’t read it. The truth? I’m so tired!! Today, I went to an early morning performance for Black History Month. ( BHM) I am part of The CORE Drummers, and I also had to do a bit of dancing. Y’all! You would’ve thought I danced the whole day. I came home, into my chair I went, and I was out for about an hour. What?!!

I must say that BHM keeps me pretty busy. I have two speaking engagements this week and more performances coming up. You would think folks gotta cram our history into just one month!!! Really?!! Our rich history needs to be a part of every American History textbook . You can’t tell it or celebrate it in a month. Besides, I’m tired!

Everyone who knows me understands that if they sit me down with a throw to cover me, I‘m gone. If folks visit me, they know what to expect; my eyes will close. Mr. K was like…”Do you ever finish a movie…” I’m like, (trying to pretend this is not my normal behavior), “I had to wake up really early today. I didn’t get much sleep.” NOT! I gotta get my rest. He’s used to it now. Also, I will happily nap in your home, at your video, and even at your party. Yes, I’m guilty. But let’s talk about my vibrancy.

I am known to lead a Soul Train line. There. That says it all. Seriously, I’m a culture vulture and will travel for dance, jazz, and art. I will comb an art exhibit like eating a chicken wing to the bone. I don’t play. I will travel for spirituality too, ceremonies and such, festivals too. Ooh, it’s fun exploring who we are through festivals that teach us about our origins and where we are going. Generally, I’m good for one, maybe two events a day, but as soon as the day is done, I’m out! I mean, I’m in for comfort and relaxation. Oh! One more cute story.

My “niece,” Dayna Latrice, threw a 70th Birthday party for her mom,, Pat Kline, and we had a ball. We came to Chicago from everywhere to honor Pat, even from Amsterdam. The party was scheduled to end at 10PM. Why was it that the same folks who used to leave home for parties at 10PM, left Pat’s party by 8:30PM?! What?!!

That’s OK. We may party earlier and take naps, but we are on the scene. Some more than others, but isn’t it grand to tell the world, “This is how we do it!” and be vibrant in our own way,

There are about 20 young people in my house constructing Vision Boards. Me? Teeing up for passing out.

Joy Juice

Rest is a part of staying healthy. It is just as important to get enough rest as it is to affirm your zest through staying active. Find the time to replenish yourself. ‘Need a throw?

“Love has the final word” – Rickie Byars

Victorine

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Let’s Go…

“Not so fast…As a young Chicago sister, you didn’t want to travel anywhere. Your friends would be like, “I’m going to (wherever), don’t you want to go?” And you would be like, “No. I’m fine.” You’d be thinking…” Hmmph, ‘nothing like Chicago; I don’t have to travel anywhere.” Now, ya’ll know that was me filled with fear. Then at 21, I went down South to college in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Yes, there was a culture shock of a Yankee moving to the South, and soon, they called me, “Slick Vick the Chicago Chick.” My roots were showing, but I was ready to be picked. All you had to say was, “Let’s go” and I was gone to Mississippi, Birmingham, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, all over the South.

Once I got out of my way, I traveled and lived in many places. I have been fortunate enough to experience how folks live outside of 2nd City. I traveled quite a bit when Bob was living, but now, my girls and I stay on the move. (D.C. or bust, this year!) The kids and I try to get away once a year, and now that Mr. K. is on the scene, we travel too. Let me give ya’ll one scoop. When you travel abroad or even if you have a layover in a major local airport, ask for a wheelchair. It’s the only thing you gon’ get for free from the airline. So take advantage of it.

Last year, I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand. I got wheelchair service. When I hit ATL’s airport, I said a prayer of thanks. This couple about my age was standing on the shuttle train, and they looked at me, laughed, and said, “You know you are cheating“. I laughed too, as I was leaning back to get more comfortable in my chair. When I hit Seoul, Korea, the airport was fabulous, and we really had to travel to get to the terminal. When we made it there, I was in shock. There was a sea of wheelchair passengers, young and old!! It looked like a go-cart track! We were the majority of the flight! Folks had all kinds of fruit and foods at their ‘chairs.’ I was like…What?!!

Wheelchair view of the Seoul, Korea airport

With students in park. Smiles wherever I went.

Joy Juice

Getting away doesn’t mean traveling far. Just a neighboring city, town, or a trip to the country can do. Just get out of ‘your own backyard‘ from time-to-time. Eat a new cuisine. Give your senses some exercise. We are so blessed to have this time in our lives to be present. While/if we can, let’s take our souls on the road.

“Love has the final word”Rickie Byars

© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved

Victorine on the streets of Thailand
Image; My sweet niece, Garnet Basley