A Senior Moment
Dear Windsor, Cornwall, and Cambridge HRH families,
I have applied on your website for the position of Senior Royal now that the Duke of Sussex and his wife have decided to step down from their official duties to the crown. I became a Senior when I turned 65, therefore, I have one year experience, although some days I feel like I have more experience than others.
Even though I live “across the pond”, I am one of the best Anglophiles. Here are my credentials:
- I know my English royal history well. I know who did what to whom and when, where, and why it happened, especially during your family’s Tudor reign. I live in a Tudor Revival home, therefore surrounded with reminders every day of the Tudor architecture and influences.
- My Ancestry.com profile has placed my relations very close to royal blood since the 1600s. When I say close, my people probably hung with yours as their minions.
- I am a card-carrying Oxfordian. There are people in your country that probably don’t know what that is, yet, here I am, an American and I am familiar with it. I mention this because I read that the Prince of Wales sympathizes with this theory as I am hoping for some brownie points of the authorship of Shakespeare.
- I’ve subscribed to “Majesty Magazine” for well over twenty years and have saved every issue because I am a pack-rat Because of this if there is something I am supposed to know but don’t remember reading (doubtful), I can refer to my back issues.
- My mother, a history teacher, told this story many times: when she was due to give birth to me, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was to be televised. She worried she might miss coronation day. She was able to see it. I came along five days later. Therefore, I feel I have a special relationship with the Queen since our families had celebrations in June, 1953.
- I awoke in the early morning of July 29, 1981 to see the Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding ceremony live on television. Mother and I were in London when Prince William was born on June 21, 1982 and again I awoke early for William and Catherine’s wedding. I’m respectful by writing Catherine and not Kate even spelling it correctly.
- When William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey was a topic many were interested in, I decided to have a little fun with this. A month before the wedding, I wrote on my Facebook page that I was “invited to the ceremony. My invitation and ticket to enter the cathedral came in the mail today.” As Royals, y’all know this wasn’t ludicrous because Will and Catherine did extend a few invitations to commoners for their upcoming nuptials. As a modern couple wishing to modernize the monarchy by having all kinds of people represented there, who better to invite than this Anglophile-know-it-all? It was un
Having been to Westminster Abbey, I remembered the layout. I wrote on Facebook that my ticket said I would be sitting in alcove “E”, row 17, and seat number 32. I remarked that I was “totally surprised to be one of the ‘regular/commoner’ guests who applied to be invited to the wedding.”
My friends knew how gaga I was over all y’all but still most knew it was a hoax. One social media friend was fooled. Excited, she wrote profusely on Facebook to make sure I memorized every detail of the wedding so that I could relay it to her when I came home.
See? I even have that impish streak, should you miss that comic relief in your family without Harry. Unlike Harry, I have respect for long lasting institutions and also as a Senior I have begun not to care what other people think.
I’d be honored if y’all chose me to be the newest Senior royal.
I know how to curtsy correctly but not sure I can give up saying “y’all”,
Lee St. John
Home For Sale!
For the Fayette News
January 20, 2019
I am a retired teacher. But from 1988 – 1993, I took a break, studied for my real estate license, and became an agent in Georgia. I was hired by John Wieland Homes to open Brentwood, their newest subdivision at the time.
I learned a few things selling real estate for John Wieland. Never heard of him? 1994 Professional Builder magazine’s Builder of the Year; 2005 Builder magazine’s America’s Best Builder; and 2007-2009 J.D. Power and Associates award for Highest Ranked Quality Among New Home Builders in Atlanta.
He was a one-stop-shop real estate company. They offered financing through their own in-house-lender. They had their own building and supply to help cut costs for your next home. They offered add-ons to their house plans and made it simple just like buying a car – here’s your standard model and if you want more we can do that, all it takes is money. They offered interior and exterior design services. Did I leave out something? Forgive me; it’s been twenty-five years.
And his neighborhoods are pretty, too. Their amenities fulfill every homeowner’s dream: some are on golf courses, many surround lakes, there are Olympic size pools and kiddie pools, there are waterslides, clubhouses, kiddie parks and recreation, nature trails, and more! You get the picture? It’s all about lifestyle.
I now live in a neighborhood that resembles this scenario. And I’ve learned a thing or two about image from him. We are downsizing. I think our Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor ads, to name a few, need to know this. I am adding them here.
Our listing should read: This neighborhood boasts of an expansive gated play park for neighborhood children. State-of-the-art swings, slides, sand box, and play area will make the children squeal with delight. Another added attraction is the possibly rabid red-tail female fox who made her home here, too, and keeps watch over her pups. Such a delight to see!
This gorgeous neighborhood also brags about concrete sidewalks meandering through the canopied woods where one can walk their dogs for enjoyable strolls. While doing so, the neighborhood has added extra excitement with their very own possession, a wild bobcat and the beautiful sounds they screech at sunset! Dogs will squeal with delight over encountering this community pet!
If you choose to step off the sidewalks into the deep woods, you are most welcome. The paths have (at one time) been cleared by volunteer homeowners to make them more desirable to you, and recently, that black bear that was seen walking through them and onto the paved sidewalks in broad daylight. What an experience! You will be squealing with delight over having seen a bear up close without having to pay the ZOO prices, which is another treat offered by this neighborhood.
Looking for more excitement? There is rumored that a cougar has been lurking in the water drain system throughout the neighborhood. Should you find out, please me know so I may add to my House For Sale description.
The newest addition to the neighborhood menagerie of wildlife is the alligator found in a pond. No, my eyes did not deceive me and yours won’t either. Those wood ducks and white ducks beside the pond didn’t have a chance. You and your dog will both squeal with delight as you see the gator’s (gators?) head part the waters and eye you for lunch.
Your children will learn economic lessons living here, too, by having mace stands instead of lemonade stands. Future entrepreneurs!
This neighborhood has more wildlife than the regular birds, chipmunks, and squirrels you’ll see elsewhere. That’s boring. Come view my house in this astonishing neighborhood! Your children are going to love it here until your cat goes missing.
excerpt from She’s A Keeper! Cockamamie Memoirs from a Hot Southern Mess
It’s 2019. I started being nostalgic. So I pulled out my old high school yearbook and realized those are some of the most dim-witted times of our lives. The comments that people wrote in my 1971 high school album were in-keeping with our inexperienced youth.
I went to elementary, middle, and high school with Mack Neal. He lived in town next door to one of my favorite girlfriends. There were lots of kids on their street. This girlfriend and I were attached at the hip. She was either at my house or I was at hers as we swapped off sleepovers on Friday nights from elementary through high school. I liked her house better because her street had more kids to hang out with including her two-years-older sister and all her own friends. And the boys were cuter, too. We all met under the street lights until we were called in and in the summer, that was way after dark.
This decade, the 1960s, was a more innocent time and we all could be trusted, except for Dwayne, who was a hottie because he was really a year older but was held back a year in school so he was not only more physically built in 5th grade, he was knowledgeable, too, since he had much-older brothers and sisters. His reputation preceded him. But that’s another story.
One day in middle school, which we called Junior High then, our teacher was absent and a male adult substituted for her. That was unusual. We mostly had female substitutes. We were respectful. There was not any misbehavior like trying to trick the sub. He called the roll to see who was in attendance and when he rounded the alphabet at the M/N’s he called out Mack’s name.
Mack answered, “Present.” (Present? Really? That’s archaic. We used to say stuff like that.)
The man said, “And what is your first name?”
Mack answered, “Mack.”
The substituted responded, “What did you say? What is your first name?”
“My name is Mack Neal.”
“No, son, I have your last name. What is your first name?” the man asked.
And so it went a while longer until the old man got it straight.
Now this Mack Neal and I attended school together for 12 years, played as children under that lamp post in middle school, were in the same high school classes and clubs, and were forever entwined in our small town. When he signed my favorite and precious school yearbook for the last time, I thought he would be writing something so profound about all our years together. I thought he would bring up memories that I might have forgotten about in all our adventures. I thought he respected me so much that he would write a challenge for me to make something of myself in the years to come or how he expected me to excel in this or that in my future. That’s what I remember writing in his yearbook for the final time – words of wisdom, advice, some achievement in our youth that would prove that we would go far in life and make each other and our community proud.
I looked forward to seeing those sentimental and heartfelt words written only for each other in our last year of high school. It was going to be special just like we wrote to every other person in our graduating class like, “Good Luck!”, “Can’t wait to get out of this place!” , “Our math teacher can go to H***!” See? Unique verbiage.
And Mack’s message to me was memorable. While reading it, I saw all the effort and thought he put into those last words that he’d never pen to me again which read, “It’s been real. Mack.”
NOT YOUR AVERAGE REINDEER GAMES
Excerpt from SHE’S A KEEPER! Cockamamie Memoirs from a Hot Southern Mess
I’m counting down the days until Christmas. I had always gone that extra mile to make it special for my children when they were little, like I feel sure you did, too.
As I set up my Christmas story, let me tell you a bit about my line of thought. You might remember, I am an only child who entertained herself a lot. So when my boys finally arrived in my immediate family, I loved to play with them. My oldest, now thirty-three and who we called The Heir, loved to dress up as superheroes and such. Between the ages of three and five, you might see Popeye, Superman, Batman, or others around town. Yes, I let him go out in public in these get-ups. People would say “hello” to the character de jour.
Once, while dressed as Dick Tracy, I took him to the city police station. I walked in and asked the receptionist, “Is Dick Tracy here?” all the while nodding my head in the negative.
“I beg your pardon?” she asked?
Nodding ‘no’, I reiterated, “Is Dick Tracy here?”
“Why, no, he isn’t.”
I continued, “But he has an office here, right?” This time nodding up and down to indicate ‘yes’.
She caught on. “Yes, his office is here.”
“May I just show my son his office, please?”
“Certainly,” she said. I love small towns.
“Look, honey,” I said to The Heir. “Dick Tracy is busy out catching criminals but here is his messy desk with all his important papers.” He loved it.
And what’s with Trick or Treating at Halloween? I mean, no one is tricking except mostly in prepared chicanery like having to pay for tours of Haunted Houses. Very rarely are there other ruses. Many times kids ring the doorbell with no trick in sight. I decided to do something about that. Let other people serve treats. I am going for the deception. Turning off all my house lights, I rolled crime scene tape across my entire front yard to shoo away prospective candy begging goblins. I sure hope they were tricked. But who knows? With all the movie sets around town displaying cinematic scenes, it may just seem like another movie production company planted itself in my yard. Well, at least I chuckled at my machination.
Those are examples of my tom-foolery thought process. My husband says I easily amuse myself. That’s true.
So, one Christmas when The Heir was five, I decided to make Christmas really special. I wasn’t going to just make cookies for Santa or produce a carrot for Rudolph. I went all out: I used my husband’s L.L.Bean boots and several large baking soda boxes and put my plan to work. When our son was fast asleep, I laid down a boot on the rug, poured baking soda around the perimeter, lifted the boot, placed the matching boot a step ahead, and again poured the baking soda. After several steps, it looked as if Santa had sloughed off snow on the rug from the fireplace to the Christmas tree where he laid out our presents.
When morning arrived and he saw Santa’s footsteps, he was overjoyed. As friends popped by that day, and days after, he continued to brag and show them when St. Nick had been.
When our second son, The Spare, turned five, I remembered how our first child received such pleasure from my creativity that I decided to pull this same trick. We duplicated the same scene. This second child was not the dreamer like his brother. Wise from being the second in the sibling lineup he looked at the situation and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Why hasn’t it melted?”
Didn’t think he’d catch that.