Happy Thanksgiving! As we gather around the table and think about the things and people we are thankful for, I am thankful for you. Thank you for spending some of your time with me and listeneing to real people tell thier beautiful, messy, human stories. I am also infinitely thankful for my mom Myrna Sue, for her influence, instruction, care, love, and so much more. I've invited her to come on the show to talk about her life and Thanksgivings past, the trials of single motherhood, and lessons learned along the way. I hope you enjoy. Much love.
COOKIES & CREAM RECIPE
1-2 packages of store brand chocolate chip cookies
1-2 tubs of cool whip
1 cup of milk
Pour milk in a bowl. Submerge individual cookies in milk for 3 seconds then layer in a 9x13 pan. Repeat until bottom is covered. spread a layer of cool whip ovr cookies to cover. Repeat layering with dipping cookies and spreading cool whip until pan is full, finish with a layer of cool whip and then crumble 2-3 NON dipped cookies on to as garnish. Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the milk to soften cookies and the whole thing to set. Scoop out some awesome and enjoy!
Note: the crunchy store brand cookies really do work better in this dish.
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The only thing I need would be a glass eye and a wooden leg right now.
Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I am your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for tuning in, downloading the episode. I certainly do appreciate that. Thank you for the likes and follows on Instagram and Facebook, you folks that are new to the show. Thanks to the Thanksgiving giveaway. I appreciate you being here. Today is going to be a very special episode for me because I have in the studio with me right now, my mom, Myrna Sue.
Welcome to the show. Thank you. I appreciate you agreeing to be here. I know I pull you into some of the weirdest things, don't I? Yes, you do. It was a few years ago, I actually had you on a Thanksgiving episode when I was working at the radio station and you agreed to come on and be on the radio with me. And I thought, you know what? Let's do it for the podcast as well. So thank you so much for being here. Thank you for asking me. You're always so accommodating with the kind of crazy ideas and things that I come up with. So...
but you've been like that for me all my life. But I think it's inherited. I've done some weird things in my day. And maybe we'll get into that in just a few minutes as well. For folks that do not know this, again, this is my mom, Myrna Sue. You were born and raised right here in Augusta, right? Right.
Grew up in the Harrisburg area, around the mills and stuff, right? Yes, right on Broad Street. What used to be, across from what is now the U-Haul, it used to be Clausen's Bakery. Now, what was that like growing up down in Harrisburg around that time? Well- I mean, things have changed just a little bit since that you were a kid. Oh, quite a lot since I was a kid.
Everybody in the neighborhood knew everybody, the families. We all went to school together. We walked to school together because the school was just up, what amount to about two blocks from where we lived. And then all the people who, there were two areas. We lived on Broad Street and there were more people in the neighborhood, what they call Hottown, and that was the employees of the mills over there. And we all.
came and went to school together. And so in growing up in the area at that time, and of course this is Thanksgiving day that this episode is airing, and we think about some of those family traditions and things like that that go on. Was there something just that the community kind of rallied around during the holidays? I know we have like, you know, turkey giveaways and things like that here in town now.
or was that more of a personal kind of family, you know, get together family time? It was get together family time usually. Now, most of the families would be at home for like the Thanksgiving dinner, which we call, we don't call it a bunch, we call it dinner, and the night meal was supper. So we'd do dinner and then go visit relatives on, or they come visit.
you know, where you are. But to big gatherings type of thing, I can't recall doing that. Yeah, it was time for family to gather together. Yes, yes. Did you have a big family? No, I had one sister. And she was just a year younger than I. And we all around the table. And I can't, early on we...
had a baked chicken instead of turkey. I think it was, I don't know, I think it was called, that's just what we preferred to have. My mom, we did the baked chicken and the usual macaroni and cheese and what they call stiffin, we call dressin. My dad made all the dressin that was ever made. But during the day, my mom would do the cornbread and...
light bread and that's white bread to folks who don't know what light bread is and Make the toast chop up and the stuff that was going in it and then when my dad got off from work He would make the dressing And she would have the broth and the stuff everything ready and they had a big Tub you could wash your feet in that they made dressing in And then you would put it they would put it in several pans
and freeze part of it so we'd have dressing all year long. And the gravy, now, my sister and I did not eat Ghibli gravy, we didn't make the stuff. So my mom would make separate gravy for she and I to have over our dressing and stuff. And eat till you pop wild open just about, and with the cakes and the pies and that sort of stuff, the desserts.
Your dad, my papa, he was a butcher, right? Yes. Now was he a butcher all your life? All my life. He was right at the corner of Broad and Eve was Mr. Gay's grocery. And he worked there until I went off, let's see, then he went over to Carpenters that was over there on right off Walton Way, behind where
where Mee Wallows used to be on Baker Avenue. And when I went off to school, he was working there. And that's all he did that I can ever remember, was cut knee. I mean, even when I remember him, he was working at Gurley's out on Olive Road as a butcher out there. Right. And he'd go down to 4th Street. I'd forgotten whose market that was down there, but anyway, yeah. Yeah.
That was all he did. And what did mama do? My mother had been a, she sold insurance for a while. She didn't work until my sister and I started school. Okay. And then she did insurance. Then she was a police woman at the crosswalk up on Broad Street where Martha left school is. And that's where we went to school.
And then she was a city park supervisor. She was Evelyn Cook and she was down on Walker Street for a while, I can't remember the name of the park. And then she was at Central Park on Merritt Street until she retired. Yeah, yeah. They had a kindergarten at one time at the Merritt Street and she talked kindergarten and stuff. So she was out among the,
public. My mother and dad were people people. Yeah. You got to get that honest then. So I think I do too. So yeah, they never met a stranger. Right. So, and it makes life interesting. But you know, my mom was the disciplinarian in our family. My dad, you know, you can kind of get by him. What have you, but not my mother.
Yeah, even as my grandmother, there wasn't much that got past Evelyn Cook's gaze, for sure. Right. And your sister, we called her Boo. Her name was, and she hated the name, Flory. That's the name, LaBurn. And when she was born, I couldn't say LaBurn, so I called her Burn. And when she started school,
They enrolled her as Bernie Cook. But I always called her Burn, B-U-R-N. And she went through her life being called Bernie. And when it got time to graduate from high school, and they had a diploma down there for Florey Laverne Cook, they didn't know who that child was. And they finally, you know.
they deduced that that was Boo. That's funny. So where did Boo come from then? Tommy, your brother, I owe this child. I guess he couldn't say Byrne, and I guess when he was about two, he named her Boo. And one of, well she went out, as she graduated high school, she went to nursing school in Savannah, and after that she worked here.
And at UC Berkeley in the psychiatric unit, and then she came up to the OR at St. Joseph, and then she went off to nurse anesthesia school in Norfolk, Virginia. And when she came back working here, one of the anesthesiologists called her boo as well. So she just kinda took it as a badge of honor. Exactly, exactly. That's great.
And so you both were nurses, you went to school. In Atlanta, at St. Joseph Infirmary in Atlanta. And had to go out on affiliations to Baltimore and to New Orleans. Went to New Orleans for pediatrics and Baltimore for psychiatry. And stayed three months in each place. And it was an experience, you know?
And Boo went on affiliation. She went, like I said, St. Joseph in Savannah. And she went to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, one of those places. And I forgot, I think she went to New Orleans as well for pediatrics. So we got to see part, you know, from the South and we went on trains. Oh, my first train ride, it was when I went to New Orleans. Yeah? Yeah.
for any length of time. Right, right. I mean, you gotta figure that was a time when, cars were a luxury. Exactly. Not everybody and their kids had cars then. So, and- And if you had one, you didn't have air conditioning. Right. And then also just talking about the road system, what necessarily the highways and quick paths that we have now, everything was back roads and country roads. Yeah.
This regular, nothing in a state any longer. So the trains were the masks, the mass transit basically of the timeline. Yeah. And so you became a OR nurse. That's where you spent most of your time in nursing, right? When I first got out of school, I worked out with the patients for a year. And then I went to St. Joseph Hospital when it was St. Joseph Hospital.
in 1960 and went to the OR in 1961. I stayed there until 1965 and went up to the Forest Hills VA, worked there for a year, met your dad, got married. I went to Bangkok, Thailand for 18 months, came back.
and went back to work at St. Joseph in the OR. So that's where I spent my, that was my only job. And I had never had a job until I went to work at St. Joseph, even growing up. Now Boo had worked at H.R. Green's when it was downtown back down in the pharmacy part. But no.
That was my mother said that when I went to look for a job, I'd say you're not hiring anybody instead of asking if you are hiring. So anyway. So you were determined to get the job that you wanted. Exactly. Instead of taking something that you might not necessarily like. I had that same kind of deal with myself when I started getting jobs. Yes. I always said that I wasn't gonna work a job that I didn't wanna do.
And so, my first job was working in radio and I just loved working in radio. And then. Well, even then, as a teenager, and you went to Young Life up there and got involved in that and got involved with, and I can't, Tim, I can't remember the name. Tim Mitchell.
MCG that would take you down there and you do that and video work. Yep. And, uh, when you were 16 on some weekends, you drive to Greenville to be, do a radio and that was all volunteer for you. Well, now, now that was actually, so the job in Greenville, uh, it was a Saturday morning from 6 AM to noon.
was my shift and it was paid. And I think it paid me enough money to pay for the gas to get up there and to get back. Yeah, well see, I thought you went. No, that was- It was a tight job. It was paid, but like I said, it was just barely enough money to get me up there and get back. Yeah. Because there were several times, I mean, again, Greenville being two and a half hours away from here, I'd leave it.
four in the morning, three in the morning, drive up just to go be on the radio. And I remember several times sleeping in the production and well, either in the car or in the production booth, you know, after my shift to get a few hours sleep to drive the two and a half hours back home. Cause I just, I just loved it. But yeah, that was a deal I had with myself is, you know, that I didn't want to do a job that I didn't love. Well, that was me. Yeah. For sure.
And in that time, I'm sure you have, you know, lots and lots of stories, uh, as several that we probably cannot tell just because I don't want to incriminate yourself or anything. Oh, and I'm not do that. They're exactly right. There are many things I could tell. However, there's no way you could describe some of the folks that they would not be.
recognized. We've often said could write a book, but we'd wind up in jail. Exactly. Exactly. So we look again at Thanksgiving and traditions and you talk about the food and gathering around the table. Is there a particular like thing that you looked forward to most for those Thanksgiving meals? What was the favorite thing that you liked? I always loved the dessert and the dressing and gravy. Yeah.
Yeah. So it was, um, scrumptious. And as we grew older, um, we on Thanksgiving day, we'd go to the football game between Richmond and boys Catholic high. That was a tradition. That was every.
Thanksgiving is, but as time went on and you know, you got older and you got up that, but that was it, you'd have Thanksgiving dinner and then go to the football game and it was always be a crowd and, but that was the two rivals at that time. So Richmond Academy and what was the other school? Boys Catholic high, which is now, um, what's the school up there across from the airport? Uh-huh. Oh, okay.
That was, they built that and both, it was right next door to the Bell Auditorium. Oh wow. And that's where Boy's Catholic was. So now it's moved up, like I said, up there across. And it's been up across from there for, you know. For a long while. Yes. Well, I'm sure that was some, again, getting together with family and then feeling that, I mean, we're in the South, so it's,
it's a toss up in November, whether it's gonna be a cold day or a warm day. I mean, you could end up in shorts at a football game in November or you could have to be bundled up. So, but still going with the family and then. I don't remember wearing shorts or football. Well, yeah. But it could have. It could have, yes. Like getting together with the family and going and enjoying that. Yes. Again, just an outlet, a time together to, for that common.
common goal of cheering on the team. And you went to Richmond Academy, right? Right. Well, at the time, Richmond and I believe Hephzibah High School and Boykott Sky School, and see, they would bust some of the kids that lived in the county into Richmond. But we didn't have the busting system as it is today. Gotcha.
There was some rivals with, I mean, like I said, there wasn't that many high schools. You know? Yeah, I mean, it wasn't the number of high schools kind of like that we have now. Right. And I think you have such a great perspective just on time. I mean, I know, you know, in having just turned 49 myself, you know, to see, you know, how things have changed since I've come along. But, you know, you've seen changes that
that are meteoric changes in people and culture and just the availability of things and the access to information and things like that. I think it's amazing and I'm so thankful that you're still here to experience even more things. Do you have any favorite
things that have changed that you're much more grateful for now than you were when you were growing up? Well, health. Health. Health is a big thing, because let's face it, I'll be 83 next year. And you know, as you're young and you do things and your parents will say, you ought not to be doing that. You'll be sorry later in life. Well, you know, we think we're- Invincible, for sure. Yeah.
So, and you just kind of slough it off. Well, then you come to be aware that, oh gosh, my parents were right. They kind of, kind of kills you a little inside. When you have to get back to it. It kind of takes you down, your ego down a little. Yeah, for sure. Well, I'm glad your health is much better now. I know we've gone through some, some rough years here recently and, you know,
I tell folks, you're almost a brand new woman now. You know, the fact that we've gotten your cataracts fixing new hearing aids and, uh, you know, and looking at getting some new teeth for you because you got your, uh, your gastric bypass, you know, we got that coming up next week to get fixed. Um, you know, and that, you know,
The only thing I need would be a glass eye and a wooden leg right now. I'd be the bionic woman. Well, you're stronger than a bionic woman to me for sure. But, um, you know, that talk about the gastric bypass thing that you had 41 years ago, I was, you know, around seven, eight years old. You were nine and five.
Tell me it was nine, you were five. Okay, so yeah, it's probably been more than 41 years ago. Yes. You know, it's one of those things I don't remember a whole lot, but you tell me that, you know, it didn't go the way necessarily that you had planned for it to go when you went in that day. No. You wanna talk about that a little bit? Well, after I had it. Well, the reason you had it, first of all, was? I weighed 340 pounds. And,
blood pressure, you know, all those things. So, I finally came to the conclusion that I need to do something with my health, so I had it. And while there, I was a pitiful piece of humanity at that time. But I went to heart failure and respiratory failure. And...
whatever the kind of failure, kidney failure, and was unconscious for about a week up on intensive care. And they had told my family that I was not gonna live. Well, that's been 41 years ago. And it's been up and down, but the good Lord was not ready for me then.
He has seen me through many, many trials and tribulations, many obstacles that I had to live with and go through, but I'm thankful he was there. He's always been there. Sometimes we don't realize that. We think, oh, why me? But then why not? Look what he did for us. And I'm glad he's
put doctors and people on this earth and giving them the knowledge and the know-how how to take care of all of us. All of us, if we will go to them. You know, now, sure, there's some folks out there that don't do as well as some others, but then they are not the only ones that don't do as well as some others. And the choices we make. So,
We just have to hang in there and not really be afraid. But you see years ago, I would have not felt this way because I've done some crazy things. Like when they built the Gordon highway, just speeding as fast as a car would go down Gordon highway and the brakes give out. Oh no. So, you know, I can truly stand up and say,
The good Lord has taken care of me all these years and continues to do that. And I know he's gonna look after you next week. Yeah, I know he is too. See, he gave Tommy and you to me, okay? For you to take now. Sorrowfully, Tommy died some years ago. He had some health issues.
And he gave you to me to take care of me. He knew that what we would be going through down the road. And that's your, I'm glad he gave me to me. Well, as I often say, you know, you're, you're, you're better than any mother I could ever have hoped for and you know, you're, you're, you're all mother and all father as well, because, you know,
There were things that went on early on that I remember. And, you know, I didn't have a relationship with my father because he was an alcoholic and he, you know, attempted to cause, you know, you physical harm, cause mental distress. It's bad that the few glimpses of memories that I have of him are not.
not really great memories. You know, I remember, you know, crying in bed because you being a OR nurse, you would take calls. You would work extra hours again to provide, to do what the family needed. I mean, because he was a handyman. He was kind of a jack of all trades, but it wasn't.
steady work always. He'd come out of the military and didn't find steady work. He could repair just about anything. Yes, he could. But again, didn't find steady work and then he had that monkey on his back of alcoholism and it poisoned that relationship that he had. But I remember crying in bed.
looking for you, having had a nightmare or something, and him telling me that you were gone and you weren't coming home. And see, isn't that something for a dad to tell a child?
But see, it all worked out. Oh, I know, I know. But it still hurts, okay? Oh yeah, I mean I can't imagine saying something like that to my boys. Right. And had I known it at the time, see I didn't know that until a long time, see, when we divorced. And you didn't give me that piece of information until.
Several years ago. Well, and I mean, you know, it's just, it's one of those things. You know, at the time it was, it was not, again, I was a, I was a child of five or six. No, you were younger than that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, uh, and so, I mean, it wasn't something necessarily at that time, truthfully, that I would know how to, to do, to tell, to say about, or, and, and also, you know, I, you know, being,
you know, born in 72, you know, in those seventies, that was not a, you know, people's feelings and emotions and mental health and abuses and things like that were not things that were talked about. No, you kind of swept that under the blanket. You didn't want anybody to know. And until people came to realize, just like if you have high blood pressure, you go to a doctor for high blood pressure. You go to a doctor for...
big chomps or whatever, but you still have to go to a doctor for your mental health as well. And that shouldn't be a black mark against anybody. No, no, and I think that's one of the things that's great about now when you talk about changes and you talk about health changes, that there's some of that stigma that is now being erased and people coming forward with these traumas and these hurts and being able to address that because it could.
you know, affect other relationships that they have. And it could just stunt their personal growth into whatever they're meant to become. And one thing, even if you had, now I don't think I would have been, even if you tell your other parent or another adult for whatever's happened, sometimes they don't believe you. Right, right. And that's another slap in the face to you. Well, if you know.
You're my mother, dad, whomever you talk to. And this has happened to me. You don't believe that I'm telling it. Well, you know, as I know, my personality, that, um, there would been a confrontation. I mean, I didn't go into the other memory that I have of my father is I remember him having done something.
coming home drunk or whatever, and you straddling him as your 340 pound person, pinning him to the floor and kicking him out the house. Yes, well, and see, I did that. That's not something I brag about. And I'm not saying it's something to brag about. Oh no, but it happened. Right, because again, the person that you are, you weren't gonna take any.
thing like that. And I was raised in that environment. Now, I'm not saying my mother and dad didn't have arguments. We were all yellers, okay? But it was gone after, you know? And no, I don't hold any grudges with anybody, I think. And I would tell y'all, as children after the divorce,
that your dad loves you, but in a different way than I do. But he would call and say, I'm sleeping under the bridge, or I'm doing this, or I'm doing, I said, I'm very sorry. You had a home. We can't, I can't, my children cannot be raised. And I was not raised in this situation. I won't allow my children to be raised in this situation. And you know, it used to be,
a black mark against people that were divorced. That's getting better. Just like with the mental thing, that's getting better. It has a long way to go, but it's changing, slow by slowly, but thank God for that. And again, to your credit, I never missed a meal. Obviously, if you look at me, I never missed a meal.
I was able to do whatever it was that I wanted to pour myself into in school, in, uh, you know, extracurricular activities, whether it be with the band or the chorus or the drama group or whatever, uh, with young life, things you always provided, I was never without. I know for a fact, there were times that you probably personally went without so that I could have, and I understand that now as a father.
that that happens. You know? But you had, I also had good support from a mother and a daddy and a sister. My mother and daddy and my sister were part of my strength. And to do things that, you know, that had to be done. And we just kind of took it one step at a time and
knew there was a better day, but sometimes we couldn't see it. Well, that better day was, but there always was.
All right, mom, this is the second segment of the show. We kind of touched on some of this a little bit in the first segment, but this one, I wanna dive more into you and your personal journey with mental health as a single mom, going through the stuff that we talked about previously, and especially thinking as this is Thanksgiving Day, sometimes family is a hot topic for people.
Because all families are not the same and there's some people that you just don't want to see you don't want to associate with you Know and those are things that we have to work through and we have to come to a good spot with that type of stuff Internally, you know, it's one of those things where you got to love yourself before you can love others But the question I always ask is like, you know, how do you stay positive and how do you keep the dark at bay? well, I Couldn't always keep the dark at bay
short-lastest invoice and I would take extra call, extra days, whatever to do to maintain. And on several occasions I would have some businesses call me to say that I owe them an extra amount of money. I said, I'm sorry, I've got where your dad had gone out and bills and that kind of thing.
But I also knew what my rights were, okay? And I wanted to also tell those companies, I am no longer a marriage to this gentleman. I am not responsible for anything he does. However, and one time, one of the places told me, said, well, I'm sure you're getting alimony and child support and what. I said, sir, don't make me have to
come to your business and beat the out of you, I said, now, you call me again, I will call my lawyer, and I will own your business. Now please do not call me again. Never heard from him again. And see that's, with some folks, if you don't know what your rights are, and it puts you in, I mean, you just.
Big tizzy to begin with. Right. But if you don't know what your rights are, it really puts you in a tizzy. And there were times when I would think, gosh, when the bills were getting such that I thought, oh, where am I gonna come from? Now, I did get help from the hospital. There was a place, in our hospital, we had called Helping Hands. And when you were having trouble, you could go down and they would pay you like bills.
And here I am a nurse working every day taking each call and I'm still falling short, okay? There was at our church, Crawford Avenue Baptist, they would help the deacons, what have you. So I had help from the church as well as from my job, as well as working. I even called Red Cross one time.
because I had been taught to call there. And the lady I talked to told me I learned, and see, we were not given, at that time, we were not being paid for maternity leave. And I explained. That lady told me to learn to live on my income.
Well, I said some very ugly words to that lady. I even went down to welfare to try to get boot stamps during this time. They told me I made too much money. So here we are, but we survived, okay? Because I had a good support system in my job, in my church, in my family. But there were times I used to think, gosh.
My kids would be better off if I were dead and get my insurance money and stuff. And then I think, no, that would be a stigma for them to carry the rest of their life. I will not put that stigma on my children. So I prayed, Lord, you know me, you know where I am. And
I know you promised to never leave me, and you will see me through thick and thin. And I learned those things over a period of doing and to knowing. You know, he always told us to lay our burdens at his feet. Well, I'd lay mine and then pick them back up.
But when you lay them, you're supposed to leave them. And I learned that over a period. And since I retired, I did work with the Christian Learning Center with kids where they come to a school that backs up to a church. Now, John Middle is backed up to our church, and the church has no input to the thing, but you bring the kids over in the fourth and fifth grade.
And for an hour, and it's like bringing them son to school, and they learn Bible verses, we do dramas and what have you. And I loved it. And then I began being more active in the church. I help with the young people, and we do all kinds of things. And when we put on dramas, you know, I was drug all over the church one year for the Easter.
play and stoned. So, and sang in the choir, sang with the men. And one of the ladies asked me, said, Bernard, why you singing with the men? I said, well, one thing they asked me, and secondly, I'm a smoker, and my voice is changing, and I can sing bass or baritone. And then one of the gentlemen in the quartet,
the men's quartet became ill and could not be with the quartet. Well, don't you know the one, the men that kind of hid the thing up came and asked me if I'd sing with the quartet. I sang with the quartet, but I don't know how many years. Got involved with one, they had a group that did signing called eternally his. Well, got involved with them.
I learned how to do some signing to music and what have you. We put on programs. And then I went on a retreat with them one summer up to Asheville. We went out in the community and loved it. I loved everything. Then I was volunteered for the food pantry. My cousin volunteered me for that.
Love that when I did everything that I ever did. Oh, and they called me one time and asked me if I'd serve on the pastor search committee. I laughed. I said, the girl that called me was in my Sunday school class. I said, what do you mean? Do you know who you're calling? She said, yeah. She laughed. I said, okay, I'll do it. She said, well, you can pray about it. I said, no, I'm gonna tell you yes, now. And
I would do my best. If I'm not, the good Lord will show me. So the first time I went to one of the meetings with that, I said, now I'll tell y'all something. If I'm not doing right, I don't want you to get in the corner and talk what Myrna's not doing. I said, you tell me then. I'll be glad to quit and you can find somebody else. I said, you know, it won't hurt my feelings. I've never done this. So stayed with them and we chose the proofs I had.
help with vacation Bible school and would dance and help with the nurseries on Sundays. And I take my children, we'd walk up, pick wild flowers and look at the dogs and talk to the people all up and down the street. Loved it. Loved everything I got involved with. And my job I loved. Now, every day's wasn't picture and frame. Every day was sometimes
We'd have had Bashington, you know. But I loved it. I loved it. And so my job kept my outlook. So I had good support, okay? And whenever I'd feel kinda down, I'd say, Lord, can you let me have one of these pity days, and I'll be better tomorrow. So.
whatever your core values are. And you have to remember there is a God. I don't know who's a Christian, who's not. I'm not gonna judge you. And if you've never heard anybody who's never told you about God, then find somebody you can talk to. But no, I've had a good life. I have had a very good life, both with my family and my children. It sounds like
you know, part of what you're saying, how you keep the dark at bay is being able to put yourself out there to be involved in things, things to take focus off of that. But also it sounds like giving yourself kindnesses in that, you know, when you have that day that you say you need to cry, you just ask, you know, ask for permission to have that day with the intention of it's just today, tomorrow is different and I'll move on.
Exactly. Exactly. But I live in a senior community now and it's a non-assisted and I have some great neighbors. I have one neighbor that calls me every morning before she goes. She calls me every night. We say good night to each other. And on both sides of my apartment is wonderful neighbors.
We look after each other and it's great. I mean, you know, if you don't see one over a period of time, you call in and check it in to see how they are or what's going on with them if they're in the hospital or whatever. But I have no complaints with my life. My physical wellbeing and not getting around as I used to,
But who does at 82? Can't be a deterrent. Some days are worse than others. But I know sometimes when people like doctors and folks are taking an interview and they say, do you ever get depressed? Well, I don't know that I'd call it depressed, but there are days you need to cry. And those tears wash away.
whatever's going on and you pick up and start again. So, no, it could be much worse. I could be much worse. There are many, many people out there that have many more problems than I do. So, just kind of press on.
All right, mom, this is the third segment of the show. This is fast five, fast five. It's the fast five. Blulululu, fast five. So there you go. Okay. You look thoroughly, thoroughly thrilled with the fast five theme song. This is a segment that is powered by Poddex. It's an app created by a friend of mine, Travis Brown. It's built for podcasters, but it's like interview questions, thought starters. So.
Even if you're just talking to somebody, you got some folks over and you want to break the ice, they're gonna ice break your questions as well. If you go to chewingthefatbr.com slash pod decks, you can use promo code chew and get 10% off your own pod decks. All right, so I'm gonna hit the randomizer here. And again, no wrong answers. Just first answer that comes to the top of your head, okay? Okay. Question number one.
do you sing in the shower? Sometimes. Sometimes? You have a greatest hit song that you go to when you sing it, just something that's... No, it's usually a hymn of some sort. Now, I love Elvis Presley. My mother was one of his biggest fans. We even went to Nashville and to Memphis and to see all those things.
in my head that I, you know how you get a song in your head and it just goes over and over and over all day long and you don't, and then I do have some CDs that I listen to on occasion. It's, I love Stevie Wonder. I love all types of music. You know, hymns, old gospel.
All those kind of things and Dean Martin, all those kind of things. I'm also a shower singer as well. So again, I get a lot of that stuff, stuff honest from you. So good answer there. All right, question number two.
What is the best thing you have ever had to eat? Gosh, I don't know. Oh, I know, I just had this sweet potato pancakes. Sweet potato pancakes? Yes. Really, the best thing ever, huh? Yeah, at this time. I mean, you got a lot of years to try and remember every meal you've had. Right. So yeah, sweet potato pancakes, those are pretty good. Oh, oh yes.
I'd have to, you know, it's hard for me to say what the best thing I've ever had. Cause again, my tastes change and I eat just about everything. But you know, there's, I love like some, and people are gonna think this is gross, but I love like some crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and like a little maple glaze or something on that. I'm just thinking about like, of course it's Thanksgiving. So we're thinking about Thanksgiving food, of course. I always loved your mac and cheese growing up.
That was always one of my favorites. And then I say like the cookies and cream dessert that you make, which that's, I'll have to see if I can put the recipe on the show notes for y'all to figure out cookies and cream. It's real simple, but it's so good. It's so good. That's like a go-to potluck dish for me is the cookies and cream. Cause it's simple, cheap and delicious. Kind of like me. All right, question number three.
Back in high school, what was the strangest thing someone could find in your locker? I don't know. All I ever had was books. Just books? Yeah. Okay, so no you didn't have any, didn't put up any pictures of anybody in your locker or nothing like that? No, no, never did. Okay, okay, so just books in the locker. I, being in like the band and chorus
I mean, you could have found a prop skull in my locker. You could have found rocks. You could have found, you know, trumpet mouthpieces or what, you know, there was odd things going on in my locker back in the day. All right, number four.
What's invisible, but you wish people could see?
I guess the kindness of the people. So whether they have a kindness about them or... Look past their whatever's making you angry or upsetting you or whatever. You can look past that, because you see at one time or another, we all do that. We're not, it's not just one individual. At one time or another, everybody
will show some anger, say something that will hurt somebody's feelings. And if we could just look past that, just look past that. But see, I wouldn't have known that or said that 20 years ago or 30 years ago because I would have had an answer to it, like I said.
I was raised in a family where people yelled at each other, okay? And got over it. And don't hold any grudges. Don't try to retaliate. So, I would say that. I don't think we have enough kindness with each other.
And I think that's part of things like this is people having conversations to understand that we all kind of come from the same spot. We've all gone through the same things, but people want to look at somebody on the outside or put these walls up of defense that keep them from seeing the commonalities between people who've all had hard times. You never know what somebody's going through at the moment. It might be causing them to be angry about whatever because
you know, they may have got some terrible news earlier in the day, but we don't have that kind of compassion to, to be open. Right. Well, and see, I used to, when I'd go to work and we had a, the conference meeting before we started our day with the, uh, head nurse supervisor. And I used to tell them, if I say something ugly to you today, I'll cut you short. I've been up fussing and fighting all night long.
It is not you, it's me. So look over that. And see if you're, tell people what's bothering you. But see, we want people to think that everything's rosy when it's not. You hide behind a facade, you put on a smile, but in your head it's just running away with you and in your gut.
So, but I think kindness. Yep, that's a good one. All right, and our final question here.
Where's one place you hope to visit before you die? Well, let me see. Now, we just took a trip. I know. To a place you'd never been before. We went to Helen, Georgia. I had never been to Helen. And it was wonderful. Now, I had to use one of those Rolator Walker things. And we walked up and down those hills. I never had to sit once. I loved it. And...
It just loved the whole atmosphere, being up in the mountains and what have you. So I wanted to go to Hawaii. I always wanted to go to Hawaii, but circumstances and finances, I never went. But then when you and your family got a chance to go and I got pictures from that,
That satisfied that, uh, want, um, and I could take that off my bucket list. Now I can't think of another, I can't think of a place, um, that I really want to go. Maybe back down to a beach. Maybe back down to the beach. And I love Savannah and I could learn to live there. However.
when they set a storm or tornado, they would not have to tell me to get out. You're not gonna be the one of the ones that board up and sit it out and watch it come in. No, no. My mama did not raise no idiots. That's for sure, she did not. Well, that's it, that's our Fast Five, and that's the end of the show. Thank you so much for coming on and agreeing to do this. I know it's, you know,
kind of out of the ordinary. It's a little bit self-serving to me because I wanted to have you here because I do love talking to you. I love having you near and I so treasure our conversations and I treasure you still being here. It's not to be morose, but like, I also understand that time as I get older is fleeting. And so the most I can make out of every moment is so meaningful to me.
Well, you know, when my mother and my sister and my dad got sick, my sister was diagnosed with leukemia. And the next month, my mother had a heart attack and they found she had cancer of the lung. So I took care of both of them. And then they died within six months of each other.
My dad, I don't think, I finally had to move in with my dad to take care of him. You were 16, and you literally had to mature and take care of some things and be responsible for things that a 16 year old should never have to do. But I tell you what, you did it marvelously. And when I would get up to go to work, you would come and take care.
Papa until I got off from work. And I would go out, now you're talking about your mental health. Sometimes I go out in the backyard at Papa's and I just yelled and screamed. And then go back in for another, you know, to do what I needed to do. And some nights we'd be up all night long.
and I get up and go to work the next day. So you do what you have to do. I could have very well gone to bed and pulled a sheet over my head, but I'll tell you this, I wouldn't take a minute of that time away and I can put my head on the pillow at night and I don't think I've ever once said, I wish I'd said this, or wish I had done this.
for them. Never have I ever had to say that. And I would take a penny for it. Well, I feel the same way about you. And you know, as much time as having to go to doctors and it gets frustrating trying to figure out schedule between work and all that stuff, you know, I wouldn't trade a moment of it.
to be able to care for you because of all the times that you cared for me. So it's just the payback time and it's not out of duty, it's out of love. And I appreciate it and I'm so glad I had you.
And I enjoyed being here. You know, I had a gentleman at church one time and tell me, he said, Myrna, you talk more than any woman I've ever talked to. I said, well, I've talked to a signpost. It don't tell my, it does not hurt my feelings if you tell me I got to go. I got to finish this conversation. But then.
That comes from work. It also comes from my parents. Well again, I appreciate you being here and being open about things in your life and for just giving me this opportunity to have you here, to share you with the world. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
If you would like to support this podcast, I would appreciate if you check out chewingthefatbr.com and buy me a coffee. I'd certainly appreciate that. Or if you listen on wherever you're listening, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher. If you have a moment to give me a five star review and a rating, I love seeing those come in the email. So I would really appreciate that. And I look forward to the next time when we could sit a spell and chew the fat.
Mom / Nurse / Firecracker
Myrna had a long and fulfilling career as an Operating Room nurse at the former Saint Joseph’s Hospital (now University Hospital Summerville). She loved volunteering to work with the kids (and many other groups) at her home church of Crawford Ave Baptist when she was able. She touts one of her greatest accomplishments as having raised Robb.
Here are some great episodes to start with.