Just Like Fernando – A Birthday Revelation

So, there I am in my front yard. Walking around with a bottle of ant bait and it hits me like the acorns that squirrels throw when you get too close to their stash in your garden. . .I look like my father right now.

One of the most vivid memories of my dad from when I was growing up was seeing him walk around our property with white powder ant bait and spreading it. He did this nearly every evening or at least it felt as if it was every evening.  He would simply walk, inspect, and spread the bait. That image is permanently in my memories. It’s the moments that seem to be the most minute that stick with you, huh?

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Their Hands

IMG_1522I tried to make fresh tortillas earlier this week.  Tried.  As I was kneading my dough, I drifted back to memories of watching two amazing women knead dough in either a stainless steal bowl or a large mint green plastic bowl.  They would knead. . .knead. . .knead.  In between their movements, they would speak to us. . .me.

Put the plates on the table.

Stir *whatever is in the pot* before it sticks to the bottom.

Wipe down the counter.

How was your day?

So, let me finish telling you the story. . .

Thinking back on those dozens, hundreds, thousands of times I watched them make fresh tortillas for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or for all three in one day), I never realized I would stare at their hands.  Now that I practice my skills for my future family, I can close my eyes and picture it all.

Whether in the kitchen with linoleum flooring at 606 A East Bay Street in Wauchula.

Or the one person wide kitchen at 238 SW 1st Street in Florida City.

Or the country apple kitchen overlooking our back acre with our small church as our backdrop at 1040 US HWY 98 W in Frostproof.

These women kneaded not only the dough for that day’s meal, but gently – and not always so gently – used those same hands to make me into who I am today.  Those same hands picked fruits and vegetables for a living.  Those same hands braided my hair for my long days at school.  Those same hands grabbed my wrists when I tried to jerk away from their scolding. Those same hands embraced me when I needed it most.

Words & Fastballs


I was sipping on my water and leaning back in my insanely oversized leather office chair reading over MLB.com on my break when a memory made a line drive from my heart to my head.

I was an impressionable sophomore at Florida Southern College, my dear alma mater, sitting in my advisor’s office talking about my next semester’s classes. I was contemplating switching from English to Communications in order to pursue my dream career a bit more directly.


“So, Ashley, tell me what you want to do?”

“I want to work in sports, baseball actually.”

“Oh is that so? Who is your favorite team?”

After a few exchanged lines of favorite sluggers and winning percentages the following words were hurled from his lips:

“I’ve always thought that women shouldn’t be heard during baseball, but that’s neither here nor there.”

I sat there.  Smiling. Nodding. Imagining throwing my business writing book straight at his forehead, but I knew that would probably come off as a bit rude.

We moved on to my class schedule right after that. We never spoke about it again and that might have been because the next day I was in the Communications department asking if they would have me. Fortunately they did.

The rest is history.

I became sports editor and I earned a position with the Detroit Tigers for two years. It was the dream. Since then my path has taken a different turn from the sports realm, but I still yearn to make the diamond my office again. But. . .

Moral of my story?

Words are powerful, yet there are still individuals who let words escape their lips like fastballs.

This summer. . .

“You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.” Psalm 74:17

Oh, where has this summer gone?  I know we have just over a month left on the calendar, but let’s be realistic, yes?  Once the yellow submarines begin cruising through neighborhoods and fall wreaths hit the shelves, our summer is gone.  As summer begins to say goodbye, it is now time to reflect on how absolutely marvelous this summer has been.  It’s been full of adventure and blessings and one that I am excited to relive. . .

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