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Living A Beautiful Life

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Photograph by Kaye Fairweather

Sunny Wilson

aka Effie Cobb Meroney Fairweather

 

Our beloved Sunny Wilson is now in hospice care. Please pray for her and her family. There will be no more blog postings for the next three to four weeks since the blog writer, aka Twinkletoes, will be other wise involved. Updates will be posted occasionally for those who know Sunny.

If you would like a brief overview of Sunny’s life, below is a list of the recent postings about her on One Eye and Half Sense. Sunny is the daughter of  Effie Ann Cobb Meroney, the originator of the term that serves as the Blog title.

Copy the url, then paste it into the search bar to go directly to the selected site.

This Is A Beautiful Woman: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1877

This Is A Beautiful Woman, II: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1882

This Is A Beautiful Woman, III: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1893

This Is A Beautiful Woman, IV: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1907

This Is A Beautiful Woman, V: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2025

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VI: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2039

This Is A Beautiful Woman,  VII: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2046

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VIII: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2090

This Is A Beautiful Woman, IX: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2146

 

 

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VII

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 Kaye’s personally selected “father,” Mr. Wilson, sits in the middle; next to him is Sunny. I do not know the occasion or the other people in the photograph, but this is the club where they ate lunch that first day.

Searching for A Father

Sunny’s daughter, Kaye, had a secret plan to find herself a father. Somewhere around the fifth grade, she began working on it, but kept everything entirely to herself for for fear that she’d be laughed at and no one would really understand. 

After she began to realize that, generally speaking, the quality of bachelors the same age as her mother was not particularly good, she contented herself with analyzing her friends’ dads and mentally choosing which qualities they exhibited that especially appealed to her.

One friend’s dad was a great hunter who regularly provided the family with fresh venison and quail. Another father worked long, hard hours in the nearby oil fields, yet came home everyday in such good spirits that he seemed to honestly enjoy working and providing for his family. Then there was the dad who always managed to “need” an ice cream cone for himself and the girls on the way to take Kaye home.  Another father she especially liked  frequently brought the painfully shy girl into supper-table conversations by asking questions as if her opinion were really important. The only problem was finding all those qualities in one man who not only was the right age, but, who would also want  Sunny for a wife.

Quite unexpectedly, she met him when she was a junior in college. Up until that time, she had managed to pay her education expenses through scholarships, working on campus or during school breaks, and with a little help from Sunny. However, toward the end of 1958, the Vice President of Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Belton – where she was an English Literature major – persuaded a businessman in nearby Temple, Texas to sponsor three girls enrolled there who needed financial help because of the loss of a parent.

Kaye was astounded when she received the letter explaining that she was one of them.  The man would pay all three girls’ tuition, books, fees, room, and board. Plus, he would send each one a monthly check of $25  for incidental expenses.  The only requirement was that they keep up their grades and work at one of the campus jobs available, usually about 15 to 20 hours a week. The scholarship would then be renewed each semester until graduation. 

She immediately called the  plant that he owned and made an appointment to thank the man in person. This was just much too wonderful for a mere thank-you letter. The money for incidentals would more than pay for the cab ride to Temple and back.

When she walked into his office, she met a charming man with white hair who appeared to be surprised at her gratitude since the other two girls had merely responded with formal thank-you letters. As they chatted in his office and later, at lunch together, she was surprised at how well he fit the criteria she had spent the last decade compiling.  

  • He liked to hunt. He even leased land in South Texas so he could take friends for long hunting and fishing weekends. 

  • He really enjoyed working – and often went back to his plant to check on the second and third shift workers. He knew them all by name and often knew their children’s names.

  • He was generous: took her out to lunch unexpectedly and spent time just getting to know her; offered her not only a scholarship, but spending money as well; and asked one of his assistants to drive her back to Belton, to save her paying the cab fare.  

  • He was so interested in her that she felt safe enough to freely express her own ideas and was completely at ease with a comparative stranger.

  • And finally – he was not married. His wife had died. His second marriage, to a woman he had hoped would love and care for his three children, was a failure and had ended in divorce. 

Back at school, Kaye immediately began plotting to get her mother to meet Mr. Wilson. If she could just get her to drive down from Dallas during the week, Kaye believed she could arrange for her mother to take him out to lunch to thank him for his kindness and repay the social obligation. The rest would be up to her mother and Mr. Wilson.

The trouble is, Mr. Wilson often traveled on business, and she had no idea when he would be in town. Or, when her mother would be available to visit the area. But the respective guardian angels must have adjusted the respective schedules because within a few weeks, Sunny decided to come visit Kaye on a Monday before traveling on to Austin for a business meeting. Furthermore, Mr. Wilson, was in town that same week and, although surprised by Kaye’s invitation, accepted the lunch date. 

The rest of the story could have been written by any Hollywood script writer or even by a school girl thrilled by the idea of love and romance. After visiting in his office a few minutes, they left for lunch. Only he insisted that they all travel together in his shiny new car since he knew the town better than they did. Then he took them to the local country club to avoid any possibility that they pay the bill. 

And the two subjects of this subversive plot really seemed to like each other, as their conversation easily ranged from politics to baroque art to business deals. The young match-maker barely managed to keep from smiling too broadly, for fear they would ask her to explain her “joke” to them.

 

And now, Dear Readers, I’ve shown you the many daunting, cliff hanging type problems this beautiful woman faced and over-came. Next week, we’ll wrap it up with the years of a new lifestyle.

Copyright by Kaye Fairweather 2018 

 

This Is A Beautiful Woman: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1877

This Is A Beautiful Woman, II: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1882

This Is A Beautiful Woman, III: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1893

This Is A Beautiful Woman, IV: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1907

This Is A Beautiful Woman, V: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2025

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VI: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2039

This Is A Beautiful Woman,  VII: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2046

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VIII: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2090

This Is A Beautiful Woman, IX: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2146

 

Beauty Liberates

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Photo by Pixabay

“Genuine beauty liberates us in many ways from the force of gravity, drawing us out of the dull capacity of daily life. At the sight of the truly beautiful we are freed from the tension that urges us on toward some immediate practical goal. We become contemplative, and this is immensely valuable. We expand, and even our soul itself becomes more beautiful when beauty come to meet us, takes hold of us, and fires us with enthusiasm. It lifts us up above all that is base and common.”

— DIETRICH VON HILDEBRAND

Is Silence Beautiful?

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When I taught at a university, discovering that most of my students never experienced any periods of silence during their normal day appalled me. How could they function physically, much less think, with noise surrounding them all day long?  Did it affect their level of energy? Their ability to learn?

But they gladly shared their schedules with me and bragged of waking to the radio that had been on the entire night long, then watching television as they dressed and got ready for classes. And they learned to chat with friends with a background of music or broadcast programing going on all the time. Of course, once in class, they listened to the lecture, but traveling there always included the car radio or music from their smart phones through the wonder of earbuds.

Earbuds came to their rescue even in places that were supposed to be quiet, like the library. They never wanted to miss a chance to hear their current favorite music or radio chatter even when trying to understand some difficult material.

Silence in their daily lives could only be counted in minutes, not hours.

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On the other hand, one of my favorite memories of my college years involved time spent silently looking out of my dorm room’s large windows, frequently around  the twilight hour. My heart and my mind exultantly raced with the many possibilities that lay before me, just waiting for my selection. The experience was both calming and exhilarating whether I sat alone, engrossed in my own thoughts, or my roommate joined me in idle chatter.

The view was of a small park just across the drive from the dormitory. I treasured quietly watching the change of seasons in the foliage and flowers during the two and half years that I lived there.

The only time in my life that remotely mirrored that of my students was a particular period of heartbreak when I was left betrayed and desolate, after losing companionship, social status, and financial support. For about a year I needed the constant distraction of other voices in my ears because silence allowed me to mull over the myriad personal problems that kept me from sleeping.

But for me, that was an aberration, not a way of life. I learned to turn corners,  win new battles, and seek different rewards. I found a different abundant life.

However, I still worry about my former students. While I hope their noise/music/chatter is no longer constant, I fear their lifestyle is even more widespread today and includes additional age and  socio-economic groups.

Copyright 2018 by Kaye Fairweather

 

 

 

This Is A Beautiful Woman

This is a picture of a beautiful woman that everyone calls Sunny, because that describes her perfectly. She celebrated her one hundredth birthday this week on  Christmas Day. No matter how feeble she’s become in the last two years, those who know her best still see only the smiling, gracious woman we’ve known all these years.  Although time has certainly taken its toll on her face and body after 100 years of living on this often unpleasant planet, her personality still shines though with the cheerful sweater and stole she chooses to wear. No little old lady looks for her!

Life Lessons from The Llano Estacado

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Sunny at Christmas/Birthday party in the Nineteen-nineties.

Growing up on a sheep ranch on the Llano Estacado, sometimes called the Staked Plain area of Texas and New Mexico, taught her that softies do not win in this life. Winning, or sometimes maybe just surviving, is only for those who work hard for what they want and need.

Being the oldest of three girls, she always did the “boy’s” chores while growing up. After she married her high school sweetheart and moved into town, she had to learn the “girl’s” chores like housekeeping and cooking. But she approached the new challenges with such determination and  aplomb that she soon conquered  unusual delicacies like  home-made doughnuts.

Her blissful life of keeping house and mothering her three children  came crashing down around her about two weeks after they had celebrated the baby’s first birthday. Her beloved husband was killed in a plane crash, leaving her without insurance, but with debt from starting a new small business. At that time, she had never even written a check, much less balanced a check book. There was no time to grieve; she had to learn to provide sustenance immediately.

After an intense eight weeks of tutoring in typing and shorthand by a kindly Catholic neighbor (in an area so Protestant that there was only one Catholic church in the whole county), this twenty-eight year old began her new career. She became the secretary of one of the more successful businessmen in the area. Determined to make the best of every situation she faced, she absorbed the nuances and information of the new world of deals and legal transactions like a dry sponge placed under a running faucet.

But after a few years, she began to feel the need for a formal education and started searching her options.  Her acceptance at a small college in Central Texas became the omen that the world agreed with her plan. With her usual grit and determination, she moved with her three children  just in time to unpack before classes started.

Never one to tip toe in unobtrusively, she jumped into the college life in the Fall of 1949 with all of the fervor of a small terrier that just found himself in possession of a meaty bone. On registration day, she eagerly signed up for 24 credit hours of work (8 classes) because she wanted to be sure to get her money’s worth out of school and she’d only saved up enough for one year.

After the white-haired Registrar recovered from her fainting spell, she did manage to talk this former sheepherder into dropping one class. Still concerned about the 21 hour load for someone who had been out of school for fourteen years, she secretly contacted all the professors to look out for this crazy woman with three kids who expected college to be easy. The only problem with that tactic for the jaded professors was that each one of them was absolutely entranced by any student who was truly eager to learn, as opposed to just getting a diploma. And learning is easy when you’re excited about it. It was so easy for this beautiful woman that she graduated within four years with both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major and double minor. And at the same time, she provided for and reared her three children.

Stay tuned for the rest of “This Is A Beautiful Woman;” we have 64 more years to go.

Copyright 2017 by Kaye Fairweather

 

This Is A Beautiful Woman: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1877

This Is A Beautiful Woman, II: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1882

This Is A Beautiful Woman, III: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1893

This Is A Beautiful Woman, IV: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/1907

This Is A Beautiful Woman, V: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2025

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VI: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2039

This Is A Beautiful Woman,  VII: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2046

This Is A Beautiful Woman, VIII: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2090

This Is A Beautiful Woman, IX: https://wordpress.com/post/oneeyehalfsense.com/2146