Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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The Graduate . . . Not Just a Movie

The Graduate is . . . HOPE!


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The Class with Class

Ever notice how sometimes, the thing hurts your heart is the thing that fills your heart with joy again?

That happened to me this weekend.

A friend I’ve known since 2nd grade lost her son. Her loss broke my heart. (My boys are around his age and I’ve known the kid since he was a tyke.) It hurts to even imagine what his death did to her.

That’s when the really good part happened. I reached out to as many of our classmates as I could think of (and to more of them as they filtered in to my poor brain) and asked if they’d like to join together to send a remembrance from our class.

The response was overwhelming. And beautiful. And made me oh, so very glad I’m from this Small Town World!

The really funny thing? The people in our class really are just as nice as I remember them. For a while, I’ve wondered if my over-active imagination made them seem nicer and funnier than they were.

(I read on a blog once that if you weren’t bullied in school, you probably were the bully. But that’s not true for our Small Town World. I wasn’t a bully in any way, shape or form, and if there were any bullies, they hid it well.)

But my memories aren’t wrong. My class is made up of a great bunch of people!

I’m lucky to have been part of them.

I’m not sure my friend whose son died will ever know just how deeply these friends grieved for her or how much they love her, but I hope so. One of these days, if I get the chance, I’m gonna tell her. 🙂


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Take Me Back

One of the best things about being Alpha to a crew of six sibs is you have an excuse to go back and enjoy. Yesterday I revisited a couple of things that took me right back to happy days of “yore”. Three, actually. (I love doing that. It keeps me young! Or at least it keeps me thinking young.)

First, I took my niece’s one-year-old adorable son to the store with me. He didn’t act like my kids did when I took them to the store. He was really good!

My kids were good, but were much more active while riding in the cart. And they wanted M & Ms, even when they were his age.

This kiddo was sweet and quiet and didn’t whine for anything. The hard part, though, was getting him into and out of his car seat.

Oh! My! Stars!!!

You need to be a magician to get all those straps and buckles hooked. I need something simple, like a bar that just drops over the baby’s head and clicks into place. Think about the last time you rode a roller coaster. Something easy like that would work for me!

I’m telling you, most of the time I was at the store was spent trying to hitch that baby up.

Second: I went to the middle school pep assembly. Took me back to my first pep assembly. Wow. We were in a different school, it had a different format, we didn’t have nearly as many cheerleaders, and the moves were way different! (No lifts back then.)

But I remember the nerves. The terror of having a bunch of kids watch as you try to remember the words as well as the moves. Hoping you don’t trip and fall on your face while everyone laughs.

In case you’re wondering, falling never happened to me, but I was always afraid it would. LOL.

Third: Middle of the afternoon football. Okay, it wasn’t the middle of the afternoon, but the sun was shining bright in the sky when the middle school games started last night. (I was channeling Grandmommy and went to watch my cheerleader niece/”granddaughter”.)

Just being there reminded me of when I played powder puff football back in the day. I loved it.

So. Much. Fun!

So. Glad. It’s. Past!

This is a picture of the powder puff team I was on. I’m the one with white bobby sox. LOL. I “borrowed” the picture from Shelley Geyer’s Facebook page. (Thanks, Shelley!)

So, what have you done lately to take you back?

Do you remember when you were a kid? Or would you be happier to just forget? 🙂


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Playing Ball

There’s a video you need to watch. It’s on a website call Godvine, and is about opposing high school softball teams.

For a long time, I’ve been a little irritated by high school sports. Too many parents who want to run the show. Too many kids who think they’re going pro at any moment. Too much ego. Too much.

I’d forgotten something else. If done right, sports can teach kids the game of life. How to live like you mean it. How to treat others like you want to be treated. How to allow the Spirit to shine, on the field and off.

I don’t know how to post this video, but in a dog-eat-dog world, it’s really too good to miss. Please, check it out. Click here.  

Watch it and tell me what you think about it. What would you have done if you’d been the girls on the other team?


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You Might be from a Small Town World . . .

 –if you’re related to more than half the town.

 –if your car breaks down outside of town and news of it gets back to town before you do.

–if the local gas station sells live bait.

–if you know cow pies aren’t made of beef.

–if football coaches suggest that you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.

I have a real love for Small Town jokes. Kind of like a blonde who grooves on blonde jokes, I guess. Since they don’t have brunette jokes, I’ve adopted these. 

I posted this one on Facebook yesterday–You might be from a Small Town World if you ever used to “drag main.”— and it brought back so many memories and lots of smiles!

I hardly ever dragged main. Whenever I went anywhere in high school, one or the other of my parents (or both) always said, “Go straight there and come straight home.”

In other words, “No dragging main.”
And no side trips.
And no hanging out.
And no parking on South Hill to make out.

*sigh* My parents didn’t want me to have any fun. 

Funny thing is, I nearly always obeyed. Not just because I lived in a small town and knew my parents would find out anything I did before I got home. (Probably before I was finished doing it.) And not because I was afraid of being punished.

It was because I didn’t want to have my parents disappointed in me. (Yes, I was that big a dork.)

Mom opened a dress shop while I was at Ozark, and I loved it. A few years later I started running it for her.

The schools in C-Town had an open campus at that time, and most kids either had a car or a friend with a car, so at noon the marjority of the kids dragged main.

Every school day there was an almost constant symphony of horn-honks (had to say hi!) for the entire time school was out for lunch, and turning onto Broadway, where our dress shop was located, which was also the most highly dragged street, was nearly impossible.

The kids burned hundreds of gallons of gas as they went back and forth on the drag. It was so much fun! LOL.

You might be from a Small Town World if the whole school went to the same party after graduation.

Okay, I didn’t go to a party after graduation (yup, a dork) but if I had, there probably only would have been one.

How about sharing your favorite joke? And no naughty ones, please. I’m still a dork. 😉