Posts Tagged ‘Momma’

How’s everyone doing?

Good weekend? Ready for the week? This is going to be one of my busiest but I thought I’d take a few minutes and say a big hello to everyone, play catch up a bit.

So my niece and nephew were ill, one had malaria and a tummy bug, and the other one had a cold that stretched at least two weeks, and she still had it after she gave it to me. We spent small time in the hospital, and that’s where the story about blood donation came from (I published that recently).

I’ve also done a bit of local travel, looking forward to when I can take a proper holiday… I owe myself two – one for my birthday and the other because life is short and we should take time off to rest and be quiet when we can. Amen?

God dey.

Work is alright… Moved into a new office in June and we’re getting settled in really nicely. Really thankful to God for that, and the immediate possibilities I see for expansion.

Still on work, got two interesting referrals recently, a stark reminder that clients, no matter how little, matter and an excited client post your custom might make a difference as much as 24 months after. I’m really thankful for the referrals, and now just need God’s help to ensure that we beat the standards we’re being held to. Amen?

On Saturday I was privileged to speak at my church’s business/entrepreneur summit, and I drew my topic/talk from some work I’d done for a client recently. I spoke on minding the gaps and facing the direction of travel. Corny I know but it was a good opportunity to fuse my love for trains with my experiences as a student, an employee, and now an employer. It was interesting for me to talk about some of the lessons I’ve learned, and how each step leads to the next, and the next, and the next. It was also very instructive to talk about the place of God in business, and the mistakes I’ve made simply because I ignored the still small voice telling me no. I had a good time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

What else? I’m happy. Sweet baby Jesus this daughter of God is happy. I am joy-like-a-river, peace-like-a-fountain, love-like-an-ocean brand of happy. Such a beautiful feeling. Everything in my life; experiences, joy, sadness, mistakes, successes; everything that I have seen has prepared me for where I am now, and I am thankful to God for His many blessings and precious gifts. There’s a new mercy every single day! And I’m loving it!

Finally, I need to get back in the gym. Don’t know why I’m typing this instead of renewing my membership but yeah, this child needs to be back in that place where more calories are burnt than piled on. Yep. This week is out of the question sha, and I’m not bothered in the least what you think! *sticks tongue out*

Finally finally, lol. My nephew moves to reception next school session! Whoop! He’s officially a big boy now! Interestingly, he’s slowly outgrowing the millions of hugs and kisses I drown him in, and he’s only four! I thought they didn’t start all of that till much later? Arrrrrghhhh! Bring back my baby! *sad face*

Finally finally finally, I got a birthday gift yesterday… I know o, this is still for the birthday that passed in May. Is the Lord laying it on your heart to send me a pressie? Harden not your heart biko!

How have you been? Are you keeping okay? Are you doing well? Want to share? Please do!

Mwah!

PS: A song in the back of my mind for a few days now has been “we are h-a-p-p-y, we are h-a-p-p-y, we know we are we are sure we are, we are h-a-p-p-y!” (If you went to primary school in Nigeria this should ring a bell… or two… or three… or four… I’ll stop here)!

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About 13 years ago, I was playing with Momma’s luscious locks (my mother has gorgeous hair), and I noticed isolated strands of grey. Guess what? I started crying. Quietly at first, but because all mothers have eyes at the back of their heads, she asked why I was crying. Of course I immediately became louder.

But why was I crying? I didn’t want my mother to get old. *smile*

She comforted me, we cuddled, and then she told me everything I already knew – everyone gets old, white hairs are a sign of increasing grace and wisdom, and all those other nice things. All I could see however was my mother getting old and leaving me. And I was terrified to the heavens!

My mom’s a PhD holder, defended her thesis at the ripe age of 61, and I couldn’t be prouder of this unending miracle God gave to us.

However, this song is not about her. It’s about me, and the white hair I now have!

Hian!

So I looked in the mirror yesterday morning after my shower, admiring the beauty that God took his time to mold, and while I was trying to decide what next I want to do with my hair (been through the #TeamNatural, #TeamLocks, and all the other ‘team’ phases) and there it was. Right in the middle of my head, this long, silver strand. Shock, curiosity, awe, fear; I felt them all at once.

“I have white hair”, I tweeted, like I was trying to confirm that to myself.

Here are some of the responses I got.

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I’m turning 29 in a few short weeks (whoop) so obviously the white hair is waaaaaaaaay before it’s time but I’d be lying if I said seeing it didn’t make me stop and think for a minute, ask myself a few questions I will now share with you.

  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Am I happy?
  • Is God proud of me?
  • Am I on the way to where I want to be?

Yeah, that’s it, didn’t want to overthink one strand of hair biko. I’m happy with the answers to those questions, and there’s a fresh resolve to cater to the ones I wasn’t that happy with.

So, what next? Maybe dye a few more strands white?

*wink

 

 

I haven’t been in my village for a good number of years, save the 24 hours I spent in 2010 for my sister’s traditional wedding (there’s got to be a separate chronicle for that someday)!

Anyway, so my cousin was getting married and I told myself that somehow my trip to see Momma would fall within that period. And it did.

The story about the trip to Asaba from Abuja is here; yep it’s the story about the ‘beggi beggi’ woman.

Cue Friday afternoon, and the 25 minutes drive to my village from Asaba; my father believes he’s from a town though, never says he’s from a village. 🙂

Occurred to us that apart from a 24 hour stint in 2010 when my sister had her traditional wedding – got in from London that morning, road trip to the village, met what I could of the traditional wedding and left the next morning – I’d not been in the village in at least five years so Daddy (Lord bless him) gave a running commentary of pretty much everything that had changed. ‘Changed’ here could mean it’d gotten better or completely gone South by the way.

I ended up tweeting some of the things he said… let’s go grab those off Twitter then.

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Was awesome seeing my uncles and aunts, and super awesome to just take a nice stroll around. People in the villages lead healthier/simpler lives than all of us town folk o, regardless of what privileges we thing we enjoy. For example, I had roasted corn and pear (oka n’ube) and the corn was harvested from a farm near by. Fresh, succulent, and soft!

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Yes Sir!!!

By the way, electricity was also a lot more constant than what we have in Asaba, no jokes. And I hear they are not saddled with bills (fixed or energy charges) that we town folk have to deal with either. Next thing y’all will hear I’ve relocated to my village o!

Before I forget, do you know where bitter kola comes from? So I was strolling with Uncle B (my favorite of all my father’s brothers), and he showed me this tree and told how bitter kola is derived. Plus he has lots of the ‘ugolo’ trees on his land, anyone want to bring us an export proposal?

Screenshot 2014-07-13 21.59.17And you know you’re in the village when your uncle stops a random stranger in the street and introduces you to them because you’re related!!
The evening, the morning, wedding day!

Got up early, did some work and then a bit of reading, and then prepped for my cousin’s wedding. She still didn’t know I was around, he he he.

We got to church and I think the last time I was inside this particular church I was a child. As in child, child. Still looks beautiful though, wonder why we don’t invest in ‘protecting’ all these aged buildings. See potential tourist site o…

Took pictures with my uncles, and a selfie with uncle B!

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Went off to the reception, and things stood out for me so I tweeted (me and Twitter sha)…

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Na wa!

 

Eating, dancing, and gifting over, it was time to head back to Asaba, and I didn’t want to go.

Pertinent note from Daddy as we crossed the Niger Bridge and I wondered why people were risking life and limb to board buses on the bridge going into Asaba.

Apparently, if they board on the bridge, the trip costs N100 because it is classed as ‘local’ (because some people see the bridge as part of Delta) but if they board anywhere in Onitsha (even if it’s just before said bridge), it becomes an out-of-state trip and it goes up to N150, maybe even N200.

And that my darlings, is the story of my trip to the greatest village/town on earth!

 

 

PS – Written on the 11th (and completed on the 11th) of July.

I decided to go visit my folks in Asaba (especially my dear Momma who I haven’t seen in 11 months) and so I packed a bag (or box, since my Royal Majesty doesn’t know how to travel light), and off to the airport I went.

By the way, Abuja folks, there is this new taxi service at the airport called ‘Viko’. If you take them to or from the airport, your next trip is free. All you need to do is text them your desired pick up location, time, and contact details 24 hours before your next flight and someone will come for you. And on time too! I used them so I can tell.

So I got to the airport, and funnily that’s where I met Emem who I’d tried to meet up with the night before. We had a quick discussion/meeting before her flight was called and she pushed off.

I went into the Biobak in the departure lounge and bought a pie and donkwa (Northern snack made of groundnuts and peppery spices). My flight was called, and I went to board. Waiting for my boarding pass to be checked, some lady came and stood before me on the queue. Of course I didn’t stand for it but it made me smile. What was she thinking? I tweeted…

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Then I went to board, and because I have the habit of leaving this particular handbag open the person to do the body scan saw my small bottle of water and said I had to drop it. I tried to explain that I needed my water and wasn’t a law against water on the plane but you know how we Nigerians get when we only have an instruction in our heads; no room for discretion – we just keep repeating the instruction over and over again. By the time she she’d said, “ madam you cannot take the water on board – it is not allowed” the 4th time, I left the water with her. Yes I was fuming. Ok, only maybe just a little bit.

Got to the door of the aircraft and I met two members of the cabin crew and a/the pilot. I turned to the one smiling (a guy) and asked how much water I was allowed, and he said one. I was thinking of the miniature bottles they offer and so I asked if I could get a second one because I’d been asked to drop mine and I’d been feeling pretty dehydrated all day so I was a little upset.

Pilot (who I wasn’t talking to) said, “you are not allowed to take liquids on a plane anywhere in the world”. Fallacy. So many things wrong with that statement (including the fact that I wasn’t speaking to him in the first place) so I said, “it’s not true”. Then he goes, “ don’t teach me my job”. Ticked me off so I very quickly said, “don’t have any plans to teach you your job. More importantly, I wasn’t speaking to you so if you’re not the one who will serve refreshments later please let me conclude this conversation”. Turned back to the guy, confirmed I would get an extra bottle, and then I went to my seat (after warding off some politician who had said hello earlier and now wanted to hold my hand). Why? Cos I’m blind or unable to lead myself to my seat? Arrghh!! Tweeted…

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Of course there had to be someone on my seat (because it doesn’t rain but pour). While I tried to gather my composure enough to say so, another hostess came to say it was free seating. I thanked her, and moved to the next row that had a window seat only for the lady sat on the aisle seat to roll her eyes at me when I asked her to let me get in. Made a big show of standing up for me to get through but I was too exhausted (physically and mentally) to even bother. No energy.

I sat down, took a few deep breaths and smiled. Then I brought out what I’m reading at the moment, “The Social Media President”, brought out my donkwa too. Next few tweets capture what happened next.

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Beggi beggi, after rolling her eyes at me. Took all of me not to chuckle.

Got to Asaba ok, and ran into the loving arms of my Momma (after helping some lady trying to coordinate her infant, handbag, and a small box), and as soon as we started gisting on the drive home, everything else (pilot, beggi beggi, lady at the foot of the aircraft) paled. Felt super to be home!

xx

PS – I got my water. Two bottles.

PSS – Liquids are allowed on planes, depends on airport, quantity, where you got the liquid (naturally Duty Free Area works rather than before you cross security). I wasn’t just channeling drama. At MM2 in Lagos, normally depending on who it is, they’ll ask you to take a sip of it and then it can go through. Lord knows what (all over the world this ‘international pilot’ was referring to).

PSSS – this post was written on the 10th of July. 🙂

PSSSS – Flew from Abuja to Lagos a few days ago. Flight was hella smooth! Let’s not forget the smooth, soothing voice of the pilot *wink* …Slept right through it, and of course, I tweeted… And learned his surname is actually Norton.

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*wink*

Sometime in February, I had a chat with a Pastor friend of mine, and what started out as me doing him a favor turned out to be the fulfillment of the perfect plan of God for him to mentor me. Apparently he had received this word as far back as 2009 but at the time we spoke (2014) the time was right. Don’t you just love God and the way He absolutely plans things?

Anyway, by the end of the evening (and we must have talked for a little under four hours), I was the proud owner of a beautiful Message Bible, and Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. Whoop!

I dug up a book by my Father in the Lord, Pastor Obi Goodheart Ekwueme which just has little pearls of wisdom for each day and so my devotion literally revolves around these two and a devotionals on my phone on the YouVersion App. This particular one is a 40-day Bible reading plan, created by Hillsongs (my home church), whoop!

So! I started on all three, and brethren (testimony mode), it’s been great! Some days I’ve been so excited with the new knowledge I glean that I call my Momma to preach it to her! PS – my Momma has prayed all three of us into loving the Lord, and am I grateful for that or what!

A few days ago, the topic for the day in ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ was all about surrendering to God, worshipping Him in ways that are acceptable to Him, and becoming intimate with Him. Yeah? Now that I think of it, that’s been the theme over the last four days or so.

Anyway, this particular morning the topic revolved around loving God being a process rather than a one-time action. It said it was a marathon (never-ending), not a sprint. The same way friendships and relationships get stronger and grow fonder courtesy constant interaction, the same way our relationships with God will grow only by constant communication. You don’t love your family and then not talk to them in weeks or months ( I can safely say I speak to at least one member of my family). Seven if you add my 23month old Boo Boo! How much more God?

It also talked about offering ourselves up as a ‘living sacrifice’, again alluding to the need for constant fellowship with God. And this is the part that amused me. It said the reason why we need to constantly rededicate ourselves up to God is because a living sacrifice can “crawl away from the altar”. Lol!

When you think of it though, we are alive aren’t we? Think of crawling babies; I know for sure that they never remain where you keep them (my nephew is a living, breathing, testimony to that)

And so everyday is a fresh opportunity to say to the Lord, “I’m willing to be used by you today, talk to me, I love you and want to please you with my day”. It doesn’t mean you should be on your knees for the 24 hours in your day, it just means you shouldn’t sing “Onward Christian soldiers” on a Sunday, and then go AWOL on a Monday! Lol, that’s another thing that amused me from the devotional.

I’m going through a phase in my life right now and these words have helped me stay strong and rooted in God; I hope they bring encouragement and joy to your heart today. Amen!

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So I was in Nigeria at the end of February (don’t even ask why I’m writing about this now), and it was such a blessing to be home! My father surprised me by meeting me at the airport, and my sister waited at home for me so I could take my nephew to school! What a joy, especially since he recognized me!

I love him to pieces!

I love him to pieces!

I spent six days in Abuja, and I promise you I could blog about every single day I spent with my boy! I learned a lot of things from him too, and that’s what this chronicle is about.

  1. Children do exactly what they see adults do, not really what you say. Apart from ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, the constants in my nephew’s mouth are ‘sit down’, ‘no, no, no, no, no’, shut the door’, etc., all with the accompanying hand gestures! Hilarious. First time he wagged his baby fingers while Skyping me, I nearly fell from my chair with laughter.

We’ve got videos of Boo Boo doing squats because his mom and I were doing them, and there’s the time he picked up his belt and started jumping with his arms stretched out in front of him…again because he’d seen his Momma skipping earlier!

Lesson: Be careful – you can give a million pieces of advice, but it is what you do that your children will do.

  1. The award for short attention span – has to go to children. The younger, the shorter. Once you understand this point to the ‘t’, you will live a long and prosperous life! By long and prosperous I mean you won’t burst an artery in anger because it seems like you’re saying the same thing over and over again! Cue me telling Boo Boo not to touch the keyboard on my laptop when we’re watching anything on it. I tell him, he takes his fingers off. Exactly 90 seconds after, you’ll hear, “Boo Boo but I told you not to touch it”… and another 60 seconds later, sigh.
  1. Their little gestures make everything worth it. One of the days on this trip was very difficult, it seemed like everything that could go wrong, went wrong and by the end of the day, I was truly upset with it all.

I got home, and as soon as I walked in the door Boo Boo looked up and shouted ‘Mama’, and ran to hug me. The light in his eyes, the excitement in his voice, and the big cuddle we shared made everything ok. Instantly.

  1. Curiosity killed the cat – what I actually meant to say is that the curiosity of your little one will kill (literally) a few o four possessions. Not because they are inherently destructive, but because their minds are expanding, and it is understanding things around them that causes this expansion. God is a rock star in the sense that often times the things little children are drawn to play a big part in determining what careers they go for later in life.

We set Boo Boo down in the living room to watch reruns of Muppet Show ( I have no faith in the cartoons of today): my sister and I were sorting his clothes in the room.

After a little while we felt like going to check on him (since he had been worryingly quiet), and here’s what we found.

His majesty had separated the remote! What amused me most was the way he didn’t even flinch when we came into the living room, like in his mind, he hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary.

Crossed legs and everything, my baby is a boss!

Crossed legs and everything, my baby is a boss!

Let’s end this with me calling my sister a couple nights ago to ask her to Skype me later so I could chat with Boo Boo (like to do this at least once a week so he doesn’t forget me) and she said she couldn’t.

Why?

His majesty had immersed her iPad in a bucket of water! By the time she found, out, it had soaked, and the prayer became, “Oh God please let it work again, or let me be able to claim on my insurance”!

But we thank God for children everyday because they are a joy, a blessing, an absolute gift from God that give our lives meaning and instill responsibility in us. And today I celebrate my nephew, praising God for the cutest baby on earth, my nephew Boo Boo!

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I just thought to celebrate my canine today. My very first canine. I can’t wait to have my next one (which I won’t have till I have my own home and can ensure that I will never have to leave him to anyone to look after).

I came home from boarding school one holiday and daddy had this mischievous twinkle in his small eyes I couldn’t place. Did we buy a new car? Did they adopt a baby? Was Momma having a baby? I couldn’t place it. And he wouldn’t say anything beyond; “I have a surprise for you”.

That surprise turned out to be Blesso, our first German shepherd. He was about three weeks old, and was such a beauty!

Blesso (short form for Blessing – that’s what he was to us) became a member of the family immediately. I remember my mom making breakfast for my dad in one part of the kitchen, and my dad mashing boiled eggs and pouring milk for Blesso’s breakfast. As I type I can see the picture of both of them ‘working hard’ like it was yesterday.

Blesso was spoiled; truly spoiled. As a baby, if you set his food down and walked away, he would go have a look at the meal, look at you, and walk away. But if you pulled a chair and sat by the food, he’d come and eat. Even better if you fed him, he’d be seconds from purring! Blesso was spoiled, our truly spoiled baby.

I remember when he sprained his foot. Funny story. As a baby Blesso hated night time and going into his kennel, he’d do anything for a few more minutes of play every night. One night when we put him in, I don’t even remember how he was roughing the place up (angry that he was in his mansion) and next thing we heard something between a howl and a shout!

We all came out, and I promise you Blesso had tears coming out his eyes! He’d hurt one of his hind legs. Took him to the vet the next day, and it was bandaged a bit. Blesso milked it to death!! Ahh! He’d be walking normally o, once he saw one of us he’d start limping and whimpering. Just so you’d carry him. Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!

But we loved him. Still do.

We had so many variations to his name, like Sir B, Blesso, at some point I started calling him ‘Jibi’, much to my brother’s annoyance (Lord knows how I thought that up)! Whatever I called him though, Blesso knew my voice, and that was enough.

After Blesso turned two, my fondest memories of returning from boarding school or from a trip would be letting him out of his kennel for my ‘inspection’.

Soon as he heard my voice, he’d bark nonstop till I appeared in front of his mansion. When I let him out, he’d smell my feet, lick it (perhaps tasting for consistency, lol), and then, satisfied it was me, he’d stand on his hind feet and use his fore to thump my chest. Boom!

For me, that was his way of saying, “welcome back boo! Where have you been?” And somehow, I started looking forward to this little ritual.

I came home once and not only was ‘home’ now in a different state of Nigeria (my parents had been transferred), but Blesso and his mansion were gone. Our lodgings didn’t have provision for animals and so my folks had given him out. Broke my heart so bad, I felt like someone died. For me, Blesso was ‘home’.

I’ve had two more canines since Blesso (Izzie and Waffles) but like the throes of passion only novelty induce, Blesso will always be in my heart.

P:S – I was inspired to search myself and write about Blesso after Priscilla from dogvacay.com got in touch to ask if I would write on the theme ‘home away from home’. Bringing up all the memories? Totally worth it!

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I Skyped with my sister earlier today, and one of the first things she said to me was, “you’re wearing my sweater”. Lol! I think she gave me this sweater in 2002 or so, and even then I think Momma gave it to her. So much love, memories and family in this now shapeless cardigan, but it is one of my favorites.

It’s one of my ‘I want to remember my family’ pieces; others include my Daddy’s sweatshirt, gloves, muffler (he gave me o, I didn’t ‘take’ them). Then there’s Momma’s leggings, my aunty Pat’s wrapper, and so many bits and pieces from my sister’s wardrobe. I have my brother’s Abercrombie and Fitch cropped pants (they went from very baggy to fitted, lol), and a fleece I got from an Egypt Air flight because it smelled like my nephew!

Quick story, and you dare not laugh! 2010 I resumed for the Masters in Birmingham and in the first week I was there (and totally not liking it), I went to the library to get some work done. When I was leaving it occurred to me that my dad’s muffler I had wrapped myself with wasn’t on my neck again. I remembered when my neck felt a little too exposed as I ran into the library (it was a really windy day) and when it dawned on me that I might have lost it, I ran out of the library and defying the wind, started retracing my steps.

God had mercy on me, and I saw that someone had picked it up and placed it on a window ledge. The way I cried when I picked it eh, you’d think I had just found my missing child. Sigh. I think I even apologised to the scarf sef. (Rolling my eyes so you don’t have to roll yours 🙂

Still on my dad, he had a funny habit when we were younger. On the occasions we didn’t leave the house together and we met up in church or anywhere else, he would look at us and immediately know who was wearing something belonging to the other sibling. And he wouldn’t just know, he would say!

I can’t count how many times I heard him say, “why are you wearing your sister’s dress?” Na wa. Somehow it always made me laugh, especially since 9 times out of 10, he’d be right! Always made me laugh.

After a while though, everyone grew up, it kind of became a chore knowing who was wearing whose clothes, and after a while he stopped. I miss it o, the twinkle in his eyes whenever he said that.

Still on my dad (and clothes), when I was about 13 I read this scripture, Matthew 6:25“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” And from then on, my answer to whatever I was asked would be “I’m not giving it any thought.”

Now, Saturday nights were spent (amongst other things like Scrabble between my folks or us kids), arranging our clothes for Sunday. This particular Saturday night, I refused to bring out and iron my Sunday dress, because I was, ‘having no thought’. To be honest, I had an outfit planned (in my head) and I figured that when I brought it out the next morning, they would believe I was really ‘living the scripture’.

After asking a couple times, everyone left me (especially when I started singing the scripture). The evening and the morning, Sunday! I woke up, showered, and went to my wardrobe to pull out my planned outfit.

….

……

It was there o, but apparently I’d worn it somewhere quite a while before that day and not only did I have food stains on the front, something was wrong with the zip!

I cried that morning eh! Plenty cry! My folks were gracious that morning, very gracious, it’s my brother and sister who couldn’t stop laughing. SMH. I don’t remember what I ended up wearing, I think it was something Momma had been trying to get me to wear, and that morning I didn’t have a choice.

I love my family – my two big brothers, my sister, Momma and The Patriarch, and my precious, precious nephew – love you guys to the moon and back!

Mwah!

 

 

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People who know me know I love stories, fiction or real. I love listening to folk tales (God bless my Momma for never leaving me starved of them), real life experiences (my father is a rock star with that), and tales derived from my interactions with people.

Don’t get it twisted though, I detest lies and liars  (they are definitely not the same thing). But, I love stories, and I love deriving them from places I’ve visited, people I’ve met, and generally from experiences I feel will benefit the next man.

Professionally, I can create stories from scratch, or from user-generated content. Am I brilliant? Yes (with all the shards of modesty I’ve got left). Heck, one of my most fulfilling roles was working on a radio drama series for the BBC called Story Story! Am I selling myself? You bet! If I don’t, who will? Lol.

Seriously though, storytelling was one of the reasons I started this blog… Go to my About page for the very first story!

Ok, so I was speaking to my Momma on Monday, and she was telling me of a wedding she’d attended with my father over the weekend. Speaking of weddings, this past week their marriage clocked 33. Boom! They’ve been married to each other for 33 years and not once have they ‘taken a break’, ‘separated for a bit’, ‘been apart to evaluate the relationship’, or any of the excuses our generation gives for walking away from vows they’ve made to each other. God help us!!

Back to Momma now, she told me a story the Reverend who joined the couple told in his sermon, all about admonishing the couple to be true and open with each other. Ready for it?  A couple had been  married for quite a bit, and then they moved to a new community. By their house there was a nice spread of chubby mushrooms and the couple didn’t know if they were poisonous or not. One day, this couple decided they would serve their dog the mushrooms and if nothing happened to it, then they would cook for themselves.

On the day appointed, they cooked the mushrooms, and fed the dog the first helping. They were watching it but it seemed fine, playing about. Second helping? Dog seemed better than ever. Third helping? Even better! They figured the mushrooms were fine so they cooked and had a little feast!

Later that even their dog all but crawled into their compound, wincing in pain and making sounds that were clearly not of joy or rejoicing. Then it curled up in one of the corner, and lay still. The couple was shocked! They were going to die!

Quickly, they went inside, and as it were, started putting their house in order to die. All of a sudden, the man said he had something to tell his wife. Teary eyed, she asked what it was. He said that he wanted to confess some stuff to her, and started talking about affairs he’d denied in the past and how they really happened.

When he was just about done talking, she said she had a bit to confess too, and started telling him the real fathers of four out of their five children.

She was on the story of the third child when a neighbour knocked on the door. Frowning at being disturbed, they told the neighbour to go and come back, but this neighbour was insistent on being heard. They let him in and he said he came to see how their dog was doing.

“What’s your business with our dog?”, man and wife were irritated but curious.

Their neighbour replied, “Well, I was working in my garden and a goat was eating the tomatoes I was harvesting so I threw a stone at it. It missed the goat but hit your dog and from the way it screamed, I knew it was hurt. I tried to go near it but it barked at me so I said I would come and tell you people, see how it is doing”.

The end. (of a lot of things obviously)!

Moral of the story? You tell  me! And while you’re at it, say a big thank you to my Momma!

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Don’t know if I prefer Jay Z and Kanye West’s version of the ‘Otis‘ song better than the original – some of the bars are interesting, but there’s something very ‘feel goodish’ about the old school version.

Try a little tenderness‘ is the focus of my chronicle today. It’s easy for us to be nasty when we feel we’re in a higher position than the next man – we act like we are bestowing favors when we manage to be courteous to people who appear to have less favourable circumstances than we do. Why do we think kindness/courteousness/chivalry should be alien to employees, servicemen, and people in general? It’s shameful, and the reason why, respect her work as I do, this article by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani disgusted me to no end.

I’ve spent the last two weeks in the Eastern part of Nigeria, and suffice to say I’ve had a great time with my family (chronicle on that will be ready soon) and I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done that I’m happy with.

Went to the airport with Momma this morning, checked in, and when my flight was announced, kissed Momma and went to board.

Walking towards my seat at the rear and there was this guy trying to fit a large hand luggage piece into the overhead locker. Even a two-year old could tell the box wouldn’t fit so I don’t get why he kept at it.

Now, the plane is a DASH 8 Q400, so it’s one of the much smaller planes, with a capacity for just over a hundred people (if I counted the seats right). Plus, it has the tiniest conveniences ever! I’m five feet six or so and I was almost literally bending over! If you’re taller than I am and you’re flying … to any of the less popular destinations, chances are you’ll have a tiny plane too so do your business before you board. And thank me later.

Back to the guy with the luggage. There was an air hostess beside him (trying to get through to her station), and unknown to him in trying to fit in his luggage he was hitting her head with it.

She told him he wouldn’t be able to fit his stuff in (since his brain didn’t register it) and told him to take the luggage out so it could be tagged and stowed. To my surprise and utter irritation he starting shouting at her! He said stuff like she shouldn’t hurry him, he’s doing her job, etc.

She tried to explain that his hand luggage was his responsibility and it really wasn’t going to fit but he wasn’t having none of it, preferring to raise his voice and talk down at her. When she mentioned she needed to get through and the box was hitting her head, he called her names and continued with the ‘if you had done your job right my luggage would be stowed already’ line.

At this point she turned and walked away, and returned with a supervisor who told the ma to take his luggage out for it to be tagged. Guess what? He did! So what was all the ruckus about earlier? Did he have to raise his voice, or call her names? No.

I would have been totally embarrassed if  I knew this fellow so you can imagine the look on my face when he said hello to me later and asked my name. Shaking my head! This type will easily hit a woman. Baby animal, lol.

To my mind, it’s a lot easier to be nice, to be courteous, and worst case scenario, to be civil. I made a conscious decision immediately to be nicer to everyone I meet; do you think you could do that too?

Hugs, and welcome to a new month!

P:S – written on the 25th of March 2013.