Say Yes to generous offers

The Friday Photo
February 26, 2016


What happens when you say yes to generous offers?
Two friends contributed their talents to make a gift I wanted to send to two poets who inspire creativity in communities across our country.

This is the year I learn to say Yes to generous offers.

The best of Southern traditions

The Friday Photo
July 25, 2014
Joy Pendry

About two years ago a woman newly relocated to Sandersville from New York State readily made friends with a group of women who like to begin their day with a 5:45 aerobics classes.

Just a few months after settling in arthritis problems flared up and she required a second hip replacement. She was determined to cook and freeze food so her family wouldn’t have to care for her and cook.

We told her not to bother but she looked puzzled. Our collective response was, “In the South you don’t cook when there is a serious illness or death in your family. We’ll bring you meals. That’s what we do for each other.”

This Southern tradition continues with my family this week. Within just a few hours of letting people know there is an illness in our family (manageable but disrupting our regular routines) I got a message asking when we needed food, and for how many people.

Last night my father-in-law went home to fresh vegetables and homemade chicken and dumplings for dinner from a much-loved family friend, Joy Pendry. She insisted that all I need to do is raise my hand again if we need help.

Because that is the way we do things here, y’all.

When you are among Friends

If someone says, “I went to UGA” or any large college or university, most people can readily identify something about that school (football, agriculture, technology, etc). When someone asks an alum of a Quaker school where they went to school, sometimes the person asking the question looks kind of lost if they follow-up and ask what type of school that is and the answer is a simple, “Quaker”. (I have on a few occasions extolled about one benefit of being an alum of a Quaker school is the lifetime supply of free oatmeal. I should not prey on the innocent.)

Quakers are not Shakers (but they can and do shake things up sometimes), or Mennonites, or Amish. Quakers are Quakers just like Methodists are Methodists. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and varieties. Flaming Liberals-yep. Middle of the Road-got plenty of those. Conservative- there are some of those too.

If you are wondering who Quakers are and what they do, The Huffington Post ran an article in June, “4 Things We Can All Learn from One of America’s Oldest Religious Communities” which does a good job of explaining some of the ways Quakers work together as a faith community (and as a result in their communities beyond their church).

There is a new family living in Ragsdale House, where the President lives at my Quaker college alma mater, Guilford College. The search to hire our ninth president was unusually transparent when compared to how many schools hire their administrative leaders. When the College announced that Jane K Fernandes had accepted the offer to join the Guilford community, there was a huge outpouring of genuine and heartfelt excitement. Jane said she truly felt called to Guilford, and her passion for the values of Quakers, a Quaker-based education, and Guilford are palpable.

Why am I calling Guilford’s Ninth President “Jane” instead of “Dr Fernandes” or “President Fernandes?” Rule 5 of  22 things only someone who went to a Quaker school would understand, written by a Guilford alum, explains it (slight NSFW language).

Rule 1 about bumper stickers? So true, as a Friday Photo from Rural and Progressive a few years ago demonstrates:

Guilford Alum, Class of 1961, leaves no doubt about her politics
Guilford Alum, Class of 1961, leaves no doubt about her politics