Monday, August 17, 2009


Loyd and I have been having an on-going discussion about his status as a runner. I am very proud of him, and his determination to remain fit and healthy by running most days at the local Grimes Park site. At one time we both walked the trail daily, but after he retired he started running some as a hobby.
Needless to say, his favorite place to run is at Cherry Grove.... and his favorite running buddy is our daughter Marianne. I'm a late riser.... and I am usually still drinking my first cup of coffee when they come back to Fairway Oaks, all hot, sweaty, and exhausted!! Actually I am a envious of their strength and agility.... and the spiritual benefit of running on the beach, absorbing God's boundless beauty.
A few years ago he entered the St. Patty's Day race at Cherry Grove, along with Marianne, and his other favorite running companions.... granddaughter Jenni and her hubs Ben. He got a medal for 2nd place in age 70 and above .... and then in April he entered the Cooper River run, winning 4th place in age group 80 to 84.
After the 2008 Copper River run, Marianne contacted our local newspaper, THE DISPATCH, to
nominate him for the "OUR NEIGHBOR" feature in the Living Section..... well.... a celebrity was born!! Old school friends called him.... church members commented on the article.... the article was posted in our Sunday School class.... our minister dubbed him a celebrity when greeting him.
And the annual Loyd Tysinger/Walk/Run was organized by younger men at Mt. Tabor, impressed with his record and dedication.
Since that time, Loyd has competed in his second Copper River Run and came in 1st in his age group of 80 and above. The annual Loyd Tysinger/Walk/Run has brought in about $5,000.500
over 2 years for different projects at Mt. Tabor UCC. He continues to run most days.... senior citizens walking at Grimes Park tell him almost daily that he is their inspiration.... he runs with friends at the park.... and recently a younger man asked to run a few laps with him.
Loyd is modest, and quibbles about his status as a local celebrity..... he says that he is a rarity....
that few men of his age even care about running.... whether for health, or a hobby, or simply
for companionship.
To me Loyd is both.... he is a rare celebrity.... a person that eschews the spotlight.... but one who simply enjoys the run and the benefits it brings to both himself and others!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This past Saturday we watched the Kentucky Derby on television. No, we don't own a race horse, and we've never attended the Kentucky Derby, but we did go to the Red Mile Race Track near Lexington, Kentucky back in the early 1980s.
That summer, Loyd represented Coble Dairy at the National Dairy Association meeting held in Lexington, Kentucky. We enjoyed staying in an up-scale hotel, over-looking a city park that featured a row of beautiful water fountains that were lit up at night. It also adjoined a shopping mall and the famous Krupp Arena.
Loyd attended meetings during the day, then we ventured out at night to enjoy some of the local sights. Since Kentucky is horse country we visited the Horse Museum one afternoon, and then decided to go to the Red Mile Track to watch the Harness Races. Information on the track was readily available .... harness racing was held every night, and could be watched from either the clubhouse or the grandstand. I called the clubhouse for information on menu, reservations etc. I even poured over pictures of tourists before deciding how we should dress for drinks and dessert in the clubhouse.
Off we went, excited about our evening at the Red Mile!! I wore a white summer suit with a turquoise sweater. Loyd wore a light summer blazer, with open shirt collar and tan pants. We would feel right at home among the clubhouse set!
However, as the old saying goes "the best laid plans do often go astray". Reservations for the clubhouse were not required during the week... all we had to do was to get in line, pay the attendant, then go to the right to enter the clubhouse.Once we went through that gate the crowd behind us pushed us to the left toward the grandstand entrance. We had two choices... either make the best the situation... or go back to the gate and start all over again.
Maybe the grandstand would work out okay. After finding seats down in front, we settled down to watch several harness races. At nightfall the wind started blowing hard and we decided to move up under the roof area for protection. That didn't help much, so we went inside to get hot dogs etc. Once again the people were loud and pushy!! Two really large men, dressed in leather pants and sleeveless vests, were behind us, and watched intently as Loyd opened his wallet to pay for our food.
We watched the races on television awhile before going back to the grandstand seats. By then I was feeling a little anxious about the atmosphere. Young children were running amok, parents were inattentive, egging the races on, cursing and betting against each other.
Looking around, I realized those two men that watched us inside were seated close behind us. We casually went back inside to the restrooms before taking seats in yet another section. Once again these guys took seats close by. Now everybody knows that I am very cautious in public, but by that time, Loyd was beginning to worry also. We decided to remain seated for a couple more races, then leave long before the races were over. Our goal was to get away before these guys realized that we had left.
I went back to the bathroom and concealed most of our cash and my rings in my clothes. I tied my Mother's diamond ring in Loyd's handkerchief and stuffed it in my bra... I stuffed the cash between my pantyhose and my body... then we made a mad dash for the gate, asking for an escort to our car! The attendant was concerned but could only watch us as we rushed to our car.Thank goodness we had parked nearby and left for our hotel safe and sound.
What started out as a new experience taught us to be better prepared while traveling. Now we keep less cash on us and get Travelers Checks for most expenses. Also, we never pay for food publicly with a large bill, and I leave my cherished ring at home now. And if we ever go back to horse country again, then we will only go to the Kentucky Derby!

You can Google The Red Mile Race Track to learn more about it. We didn't tour the famous round barn etc.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Today is the anniversary of my Mother's birthday!! I think of her very often and remain grateful for her love. She taught me about life and inspired me to do my best always.
I love you, Mama! God bless you for all eternity.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today is Veterans Day, and I encourage all who read these words to pause in prayer and gratitude for those brave men and women who have served in our armed forces. This day was once designated as Armistice Day in homage to the more than 100,000 Americans who made the supreme sacrifice in World War I, but was later changed to Veterans Day to honor all our service personal in all wars.
My keen interest, and support, for our military forces has been shaped by the past, and present, involvement of many of my relatives ---- from the Civil War on down to Iraq, and most likely will include Afghanistan before our grandsons come home.
I was named after my great-grandfather Francis Marion Yarbrough, a Civil War veteran. Although he died before I was born, his experiences were well known to us all. The fact that he was mustered out in Virginia and then walked all the way home to SC made a huge impression on me. Grandpa Frank built the old Yarbough Place after the war, and personally carved the date over the front door of the house. My Daddy proudly pointed the inscription out to Loyd on our first trip there after my marriage. Daddy and all of his siblings were born in that home, as well as his own father before him. Later on that house became our refuge during much of World War II.
Loyd's father, Robert Lee Tysinger, served in World War I, mostly in France. We still have his old trunk with his uniform jacket, plus several letters that he wrote during that time. Also my Uncle Mott Yarbrough, teacher, lawyer and historian, served in World War I.
World War II brought sorrow to my Mother's family. Uncle Seth, her youngest brother was lost on Leyte, the Phillipines , leaving a young wife, no children, his grief stricken parents and family. My grandfather, Daddy George Scurry, personally escorted his remains home after the war for proper burial at Butler Methodist Church.
Three of Daddy's brothers, William, Ansel and Capers (Junior) served in World War II, along with three brothers-inlaw. His sister, Annie Rose served in the Army Nurse Corps. However, tragedy struck Daddy's family with the loss of his nephew, Donald Yarbrough, and 98 others when the Submarine USS Scorpion disappeared on May 21, 1968 in the Atlantic Ocean, south of The Azores Islands, and was never found.
Loyd joined the Marines in 1946 for a two year enlistment, and was discharged from active service in May 1947, followed by Sterling's service in the Marine Corp. Reserves. Another grandson, Seth, enlisted in the Army and has been in Iraq since Dec. 2007, and Philip was deployed to Iraq on Oct 18, 2008.
Our military personal come from all walks of life, and today volunteer their services. Even though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not yet over those men and women in uniform are still heroes in every sense of the word. Let us remember them not only on Veterans Day but every day until they all come home again.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Thanksgiving Day will soon be here,and since Marianne and Jenni have advocated expressing thanks with various GRATITUDE LISTS recently, I decided to join in with my thoughts about both the Thanksgiving celebration and "thanks-living".
When I was growing up Thanksgiving was an important day in my family. My Mother's menu included all of the traditional dishes. Her baked chicken and dressing were delicious, along with perfect rice, giblet gravy, green beans, potato salad, candied sweet potatoes, turnip greens, pumpkin pies, and her homemade biscuits! We usually ate around 12:00 noon --- then spent almost as much time doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen as she and my older sisters had spent cooking! Our traditions made a lasting impression on me, and after my marriage I continued this tradition in our own home.
Well, perhaps I should say that I did keep Thanksgiving in the manner that my Mother had also been taught, but I didn't inherit the "cooking gene" !! My husband was always generous with his thanks,but cooking wasn't always easy for me. Loyd was very willing to give me a helping hand, washing up pots and pans before meal time, or taking care of our babies. And in time I did become a better cook, with the exception of cooking perfect rice or baking. We usually remained at home for this special day and enjoyed a family meal with Grandmother Tysinger as our beloved guest. Bless her for providing her delicious pies and cakes ! Who will ever forget her pound cake with chocolate icing or her wonderful coconut or sweet potato pies.
The males in my family usually went hunting on Thanksgiving Day morning if we were living in the country or in Saluda. Daddy and my brothers enjoyed their own tradition in this manner, and at times were quite successful. Like all farm families of that day the squirrels, rabbits, or an occasional wild turkey helped feed large families. And need I even say that my Mama made even the toughest critter tasty good? When Robbie and David were in high school they became interested in hunting --- but--- none of us really enjoyed eating little rabbits or squirrels,so that tradition fell by the wayside.
I am thankful for the memory of my parents, grandparents, other relatives, and my siblings, and for the traditions we shared. I am thankful for the memory of my husband's parents and sister. I am most thankful for my husband, our children, grandchildren and spouses of two generation. And our three great-granddaughters are icing on "the cake of life"!!
If this isn't "thanks-living" then I don't know what is.

Friday, October 31, 2008


I was so elated that my surgery at Duke Medical Center was successful back in January, and equally elated at the success of my eye surgery in June. My summer was enjoyable even though it was necessary for us to stay at home until my ophthalmologist said we could travel to Cherry Grove.We also managed to visit David, Terry and family the 3rd week in August.
All was well with me until about mid September. A good nights sleep eluded me because of nerve pain from peripheral neuropathy. My muscles were all tender, my face and eyes were swollen and painful, and I felt like I was being shocked by electricity. My energy level was zero.
Early in October I couldn't read the eye chart during a routine visit with Dr. Moya. I described this as seeing a dense cloud of smoke between my eye and the chart on the wall. I WAS SCARED!!
The CT Scan he ordered for me was normal, the blood tests for levels for

inflammation in my arteries was normal. But, I didn't feel normal !!
Two weeks later I saw my PCP. He ordered a Doppler Arterial Ultra Sound test to check for circulation problems in my extremities. Thank goodness that test was also normal. Dr. Arnold also took me off of the statin drug that I had been taking for 8 years or so. Now I do feel more normal again !! I am no longer fighting fatigue, my legs are less painful, and the swelling in my face and eyelids has subsided. I even look more normal !! We still don't know what caused my problems, but hey I'll take normal any time. So I am grateful for:

A. Good doctors
B. Improved health
C. My husband
D. Our family, especially our daughter for all that she does for us.
E. For "normal"

Monday, September 29, 2008


September 29, 2008

Mornings in our household are very low-key these days. Unless we have guests , or an early doctor's appointment , or are getting dressed for church services, we follow a more relaxed routine.
My husband, Loyd, is still gets up early, makes coffee, and weather permitting, goes to Grimes Park for his morning walk or run. He then brings the newspaper home and gets an early start working one of the crossword puzzles.
I don't "do mornings " well most days. On a typical day I get up about 9:00 AM, mosey to the kitchen for my fix of coffee, cereal, and crossword puzzles. Sometimes Loyd gets breakfast biscuits, or we have muffins or whole wheat bagels with more coffee. About mid-morning I eat a high protein snack, for energy.
My exercise routine is 30 minutes on a stationary bicycle five or six days a week. I tune the TV to a talk show and pedal as fast as possible, hoping to numb my senses enough to tolerate this boring routine. The mirror over the dresser does reflect the world outside though, and if I concentrate enough, then I can imagine that I am zipping all over the neighborhood!
Our "fix" of coffee, cereal, and crosswords jump start our days, and our exercise routines keep us going. Come to think of it, our more relaxed mornings aren't too bad either!
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