She’ll always be my baby

Saturday, my baby girl turns 28 and it’s hard to believe. We’ve been through so much in her life but I am so proud of the young woman she has become through it all. I am sure her father, if he had lived to see her grown, would be proud as well.
In a few weeks she will also celebrate her first wedding anniversary. Last year, we could say was quite a milestone year for her. A new house, wedding, moving out, becoming the store manager where she works, losing a beloved pet and also having to deal with lyme disease.
She has taken all of this in stride and never complains. My hat is off to her managing a retail store as I certainly could not handle it with such panache. Dealing with the public can be overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to something they have purchased. Some people can be downright mean and rude and through it all you have to maintain your composure. I do pretty good usually but if it were an everyday occurrence I am not so sure as it seems the older I get the less patience I have with rudeness.
She has always had a great work ethic as she was taught that at an early age. Being the store manager puts a heavy burden on your shoulders. You have to work when people call out or when someone quits and you can’t find someone to hire, you have to pick up the slack. Dealing with employees who don’t want to work these days is certainly not easy. But Cally handles it all with style.
One thing that we try to do each week is to have lunch on Thursdays. Both of us do the best we can on arranging our schedules so we can talk and catch up on what’s going on. Yes, we usually talk during the week but sitting down together for a meal is just better. We are more relaxed and can usually think of more things than a few minutes on the phone during busy days. It’s a priority for the both of us and I am so thankful for those lunches we can enjoy together now. That could all change as life can keep us busy and sends us in different directions at times.
She chose well in a husband as well, but as much as I prayed about it, I knew God would send the right one and he did. They make a great couple.
It’s a privilege to be her mom and to watch her shine. She is so thoughtful, caring, genuine and talented. She has so much compassion for people and she trusts in God.
It is my prayer that she always walk in truth and that she never lets anyone dull her flame or lets the world harden her heart.
It seems like only yesterday when she was born into the world. I remember it vividly. As long as I live, she will always be my baby girl. They say it is an accomplishment to raise a child knowing they can stand on their own. I did the best I could and I made many mistakes but I am confident she can stand on her own. She is my daughter and always will be, but she is also my friend.
She, like my other children, will always make me smile. Happy birthday Cally. Love you.
***
Many are bemoaning the loss of a local grocery store. We, at the paper included because we frequently went there for one thing or another.
We need to contemplate why it closed. Yes, there was more going on than meets the eye and lots more to the story. However, some of it can boil down to support.
Paul Chapman and I have had this conversation before about shopping local and why people don’t. If you live five miles out of town and a grocery store in another town is only two miles away, you would go the shorter distance and save on gas. That’s human nature but we need to look at the bigger picture and reconsider that course of action.
Statistics show that community-based businesses are essential to local charitable organizations. Those owners, managers and employees live and raise their families here. Therefore, they are more likely to invest in the community. They often serve on local boards or support local causes that help other people like recreation ball.
For every $100 you spend in your community, $68 of it stays in the community. Shopping local is an investment in your community and helps the economy. Shopping local helps create jobs for teachers, firemen, police officers and others. Shopping local means more money available to beautify the community. Sales tax dollars are reinvested where they belong — in your community.
When more people shop local, your community is more unique and interesting and it will help attract visitors and guests. While our mindset is that we can find it cheaper online, in the total picture, is that really true? When you take money out of the community, you are hurting it and not investing in its future and it eventually may dry up. It takes an intentional effort to shop local and it takes changing your mindset. First, you must make shopping local a priority and you have to think about it every time you shop. Let it start with each of you.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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