Friends are an important part of our daily lives. They can help decide the paths that we take and the choices me make. I love listening to old stories about families members and how they interacted with their friends. Some stories still baffle me. Uncle Denny was sharing with me yesterday about how Papaw Kell used to own a second hand shoe shop in Grundy, Virginia back during the Depression. I still don’t know why the family ever moved to Grundy. Denny will ask Tom and get back to me on that. I was trying to track down any link to any of the early Adkins in Grundy to our line. So far, the only connection I’ve found is to the family Surname of “Morgan(s).” I thinking it must have had to do with a friendship of some sort. Secondhand shoes was a good business to be in, back in the day, since you couldn’t buy a pair of new shoes. Tom was the only child to stay in Grundy, when the family moved onto Ohio. A man named Walter Benders gave my uncle Tom (nee Alfred Roscoe Adkins – he named himself Tom) a job at the local Drive-In running the projectors. He loved it then moved to another theater, I think before he took a job as the local Building Inspector. Friends in High-Places( wink-wink… a lighthearted joke)!

Papaw Kell also would haul coal from Grundy to Waverly, Ohio, for Ishmael Montgomery. I wish that I had asked about his truck, I can only imagine what it must have looked like. I hope it was a Ford. Anyway, both he and Ishmael were raised in Magoffin County, Kentucky. I’m assuming that’s how they met. I guess we could consider that Networking(insert chuckle here). Ishmael was the son of Ollie and Dennie Montgomery nee Montgomery. He married Zula Montgomery, the daughter of Greenville and Mary Elizabeth (nee Howard) Montgomery. Ishmael and Zula, together had a daughter named Flora aka Flory; their only child. Flory married and divorced my late Uncle Lee. His full name was Charles Lee Adkins, but like most people he went by his middle name. I also found that odd since most people claim to hate their middle names, but anyway, I digress. Zula died a just few short weeks after my Aunt Flory was born from Septicemia following childbirth – delivery by midwife. That was common back then. A lot of women died of what my Grandma Dorothy “Child-Bed Fever.”

Ishmael then married my late Uncle Ben Adkins’s daughter Ethel Mae Adkins aka Mae Adkins Montgomery Williams. Mae married Rodney Williams after Ishmael passed away. Mae never had any children of her own either. Uncle Ben was Papaw Kell’s older brother. Mae was from Ben’s second marriage, also brief, to Cora Howard. Cora passed away and Ben married Ethel Montgomery daughter of Bruce Montgomery and Lula Blanton. [side-note: I love the story from Mary Alice about her two Grandpa’s – Brucepa & Flempa. Her Grandma Lula had married Flem Nickell after a questionable divorce from Bruce.] They had a lot of children so my late Uncle John Lewis Adkins (Kell & Ben’s oldest brother) and his wife Loula (don’t know her maiden name) Adkins raised Mae and Mae’s brother Robert, since they had no kids of their own. It sounds a little complicated, but times were hard back then and people did what they thought was best for their kids and for family. Well, most people anyway. But had they not had that network those people may have otherwise, never met.

When you’re journaling today, don’t forget to jot down the names of your friends, old and new. Describe each one very briefly and note when and where each was a friend.

If you had a childhood boyfriend or girlfriend, note his or her name, when you were friends, and briefly, what the relationship was like.

If you ever had an imaginary friend, describe this “friend” and when, where and how they were a part of your life.

Name the people besides family and friends who were important in your life. Note their relationship with you and what made this person memorable.

Name other people or social groups you tend to hang out with.

Think of your best friend(s), where or how did you meet? What drew you together? What did you typically do together, after school, on weekends, and or during vacations?

What are your fondest memories with your friends? Did you have any secrets or secret places that you’d go? Did you ever have a fight? Did you compete? Did something happen to end the your friendship(s)?

Who else was important to you? What did they look like? How did they act? Where did you meet? What happened between you? What made them stand out? What events or occasions happened that involved them?

Were there any “hangouts” places that you tended to go be with others your age? What was it like? What type of people were generally there? What would happen?

I had a friend named Bucket Woods in elementary school. No, I’m not joking. She lived on the main drag in Trenton, Ohio at the time and we lived on the corner of Madison Ave. She lived in light green two story house. Her older sister Tina and my oldest sister Shirley were very good friends at the time. That’s about all I can remember, but I still talk about her today, so it must have meant a lot to me at the time. That’s usually how most friendship’s and marriages for that matter, start. A common bond or relationship. Sometimes, it’s easier to track somebody down through their friends than it is to call a family member. The stories are usually better too.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

This week I’ve been talking about Thanksgiving traditions and was missing a friend.  I was wishing that I could talk to her.  For me, cooking seems to evoke memories of loved ones, both past and present.

And, I do love cranberry sauce. I can’t wait to try this recipe this week. The mother of my daughter’s friend, since elementary school, makes it and I’m sure its going to be excellent. I only wish that she would have included where or from who that she got it, or some little ditty from her past that made this her favorite.  Personalize the dish. Sh…It could just be the high butter content (kidding). I’m thinking of spreading it on a toasted English muffin for breakfast. YUM!


This holiday take the time to share some of your wisdom and homemade goodies with friends and family, its not a huge gesture, but it can enrich your life and teach a child a lot more about you.

My mom would share memories of her mom, and her childhood, as she prepared many a holiday meal. I not only learned how to cook, but the different ways that her mom prepared foods, different than she and me, all those little quips, that I still laugh at today.

Many is the time that I’ve shared the memory of living at home; Thanksgiving dinner:  our table broke in half as a result of too much food. Narrowly missing my sisters sister-in-laws two year old little girl, sitting underneath.

Mom always overcooked at  the Holiday’s. I think it’s what I remember the most and try and mimic with my own children and grandchildren. It may not be the politically correct approach, in today’s health conscious world, but on a few special occasions, it can nurture a positive sense of family.

Its that what a celebration is all about?


3/4 cup butter, (NO SUBSTITUTES!)
1 tsp grated orange peel
dash to 1/8 tsp almond extract
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

In a small mixing bowl. cream butter, orange peel, and extract. Beat in the cranberry sauce until blended. Store in the refrigerator.

Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. ~ Sarah Bernhardt

Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

My mom’s best friend was Mrs. Baker and no, I never used her first name ever. I do know it but out of respect for her, I only use her married surname.  I know it’s a sign of my age, but I think it’s a time honored tradition and I for one, respect it.

Mrs. Baker was the mother of my friend and neighbor. They talked everyday, I have no idea about what, for I left the room.  But they had been very good friends for a very long time. She had several other friends that she shared things with, but I’d say that she was her best.

My Grandma Phebie had a best friend named Gloria, she was a great friend to my grandma and all of her children. I’m sure it took many years for some of the grand-kids to figure out that she wasn’t really related.

Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment. ~ Bill Walsh

allow a friend to grieve alone.

I try to attend the funeral of all my friends and loved ones and/or their loved ones. It brings about finality, whenever you do.  If we don’t, it seems like we’re always looking for that particular someone around every corner, or expecting them to call, or maybe even stop by or some other kind of happenstance upon which we will run into that person. Even though we know in the back of our minds they’re deceased. This will bring about closure.  Being there for those we care about or share a kinship with, are just an added bonus. It lets them know that you care about them. Caring is the most important part of friendship we can offer.

If you can’t make the funeral, call and/or send flowers as an emotional gesture, until you can be there in person to put your arms around them and give them a hug.

Friendship improves happiness and misery by doubling our joy and dividing our grief. ~ JOSEPH ADDISON

and hospitality are needed just a little more at this time of year. Take a minute to call a friend and tell them that you love them.

I expect to pass through this world but once. Therefore, if I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again. ~ WILLIAM PENN

that we are ultimately judged by what we give, not by what we get.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. ~ Acts 20:35