Sunday, July 18, 2010



judy harper

I look at the pictures I've posted above and wonder if sixty is the beginning.  I can't say I was excited about turning sixty, because I wasn't.  It made me start thinking about where I've been and how much time I have left, what will I do with th3 remaining time. I mean, I'm still trying to decide what I want to be! Though it seems I've spent most of my life trying to make that decision, being pulled in one direction, then seeing something else I wanted to do and switching to that path.  Looking back, I think I wasted a lot of time waffling, rather than sticking to what I dreamed about when I was twelve and on into my teens. There were two dreams I had, that of being a writer and wanting to be a heart surgeon. Later in life, I think being a heart surgeon was something to please everyone else.  Supposedly I was smart and could "do anything". Unfortunately, in 1966, that wasn't really for women, as schools weren't geared to help women find scholarships and schools or becoming a professional.  Especially, rural high schools. I did manage, on my own, to be accepted at Auburn, Alabama college of pre-med program, I even received a small grant. 

As a child, what personality did you have? Where you a Sanguine, happy, center of attention, always seeing the positive in life? Or were you a Choleric-bossy, the leader who gets things done or comes up with great ideas of things to do, know it all, thinking "hey, it's not my problem if they can't see what's right? Or maybe a Phlegmatic-easy to get along with unless someone pushed you to do something you didn't want to do, or at least right then; stubborn could be another description, can be a leader if needed, but usually waits for others to start, good with others (later on as an adult, with kids)? Or a Melancholic-the quiet one at times, shy, unsure; loved to draw, paint, write, but never aware of how good you are, always questioning your talent?

Me, I'm the Melancholic, mixed in with Phlegmatic.  I loved to read and pretend I traveled to the places I read about.  When I was between ten and twelve I wrote a story that someone said was really good and when I was in the tenth grade Literature class, my teacher, Miss Blansit, continually praised my writing.  Our final project in the class was studying Macbeth and our final grade depended on doing something relating to the story.  I wrote a suicide letter from Lady Macbeth.  Miss Blansit asked if she could keep it, because she had never had anyone do that before and it was good.  She wanted to use it in future classes. Talk about being on top of the world! I kept a journal and was faithful up until 1997, then my journals became sporadic writing. I never really focused on being an author.  I let life interfere.

I didn't go to college, the grant I received only paid for books, not for room and board.  My mom had a car accident and any funds from my family were impossible.  So I joined the Air Force, because, at that time, getting married, having children and living on Sand Mountain wasn't something I wanted to do, even though I let myself become engaged to a really nice guy.  Every time he wanted to discuss a date or where, I became antsy, I felt trapped.  Years later, I envied those who did fall in love, bought a home and had a stable life.  I wondered if what I did was worth it.  Joining the Air Force was exciting and strange as it may seem, my mom was for it, though my dad wasn't.  I was only seventeen when I graduated in May 1966 and you had to be eighteen to join.  So I had to wait until November 1966 to officially join.  I remember my luggage and trunk packed with clothes, an iron, bed sheets and towels.  We had to bring all things needed for hygiene and beds.   My family drove me to the bus station at Huntsville, Alabama where I then headed to Nashville, Tennessee to be sworn in and fly to Lackland A.F.B., San Antonio, Texas! I actually flew on a plane! I remember standing with the other men and women who had joined, being sworn in to "protect home and country".  It was awesome, even choking me up and bringing tears to my eyes! I was finally needed for what I felt was an important duty. Plus it was exciting! Not knowing what was ahead, I now had started my life and maybe I could do "anything" I wanted.  It was the feeling among the group of young people I was with, it was during the Vietnam war.  We were going to make a difference!

I'm going to have to continue this story tomorrow. So y'all have a good day, enjoy the summer Sunday.  Actually, I'm not able to walk today, that's the reason I'm at home rather than at church.  I have an appointment with my orthopedic doctor tomorrow.  It seems my right leg, especially the knee and hip, is giving me a problem, I'm having trouble sitting and getting up, kinda painful! So y'all have a good one!


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Glad you've begun blogging again. And I hope you're up and around soon. (But does that mean you'd quit blogging again?)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Judy Harper said...

No Stephen, I don't think I would stop blogging. Hopefully, I have stuff under control now. I started blogging to help with dealing with stress and worry, to write and communicate with those who enjoy writing as well, whether we're ever famous or not, just love to write and talk with each other. Learn the interesting facts about people. Unfortunately, I allowed stress and worry to build up, which dampens the creating process, gets me in a rut. So hopefully, I've learned. Because I do so love to blog and read others blogs/writings.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Yeah, you disappeared for so long that I mistakenly thought you had permanently quit blogging and so I stopped "Following". But then when I saw from Arlee's blog that you suddenly posted something again, I rejoined as a "Follower".

Glad yer back.
Don't let the stress and worry get you down. Just take two martinis and call me in the morning. :o)

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

Agnes said...

Sorry to hear about your knee Judy.
But I am so glad you're "back"...

Agnes said...

Sorry to hear about your knee Judy.
But I am so glad you're "back"...

Tired Mom Tésa said...

I can't wait to hear more of your story. It sounds so fascinating and courageous of you!

And 60 can be the beginning if you want it too. As they say it's never to late to start!