by Charaleen Wright 



When you truly love someone, you should ask yourself each and every day, 'What can I do to make the one I love happy today?' 

Today my husband showed me why I've loved him with all my heart for almost 54 years.  He surprised me.  No, really.   He SURPRISED me.  If you remember, I posted a tongue-in-cheek, although heart-wrenching homage to my desk chair...

Fast forward a few weeks, the day before my birthday.   I went outside to find Lee standing in our driveway.  He said, 'Come here.  I want to show you something?'  He opened the back of our suburban to reveal the most beautiful sight.  He said he couldn't wait to give it to me...he wanted to surprise me right then. That he did.

When my precious chair was down by the curb for the bulk pickup, he secretly picked it up and took it to an upholstery shop in town.  He found a wonderful woman who promised to get it to me for my birthday. God sent this wonderful man to me and I am the most blessed person in the world.  If I look happy, it's all because of him. 

It is with great sadness that I share this picture with you. I had to put my chair down by the street for our bulk pickup today. They'll never be another to take its place. Most of all...I miss the pleather.  I only paid $69 for it at Staples. It would cost a lot to have it reupholstered.  In this chair I performed some of my best work: My fudge company. Sweet Bye and Bye, Swisher Pens and Total Fine Writing's web sites. I also penned Eye Hugs in this very chair. Perhaps I should have donated it to the Smithsonian.   I'm still in mourning. I do have enough black articles of clothing, so I'm all set. The icing on the cake was when Lee went down to fetch the paper this morning, my precious chair was gone. More than likely it was picked up by the curator from the Smithsonian.
After my Daddy's funeral service at the church, he was buried in a cemetery on a cold, rainy day in October. During the interment, my mind wandered back to the time when he was in the hospital. I walked into his room and he was shaking uncontrollably. He told me he was so cold. He had contacted a bacterial infection...probably at the point of his drainage tube. He almost passed away but the doctors placed some pills under his tongue which brought him back to us. They had the paddles ready and waiting. Another time he went to the hospital 'basement' for an x-ray or some sort of procedure. I went down to wait for him and found him lying on the gurney in the hallway without any blanket or sheet to keep him warm. Being cold is the worst...especially when you're alone.
Fast forward that same year to my bedroom. Lee was out of town. I was sleeping soundly. Suddenly I awoke and sat upright. That's when I saw Daddy standing at the foot of our bed. He wore a white gown which I thought was his hospital gown, but now I believe it was his angel attire. I remember a warm, brilliant beam of light coming through the window beside the bed and it was shining directly on Daddy. I felt nothing but pure joy and elation. I stared at him while he was looking directly at me. I knew instantly he came back to reassure me that he was without pain and was no longer cold. I laid back down and went back to sleep in a state of pure peace and euphoria. From that night forward, I never again thought his body was lying in the cold, wet ground. My Daddy was now in Heaven.
It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  I will begin posting my daughter's photos that she's taken for all to enjoy.  She and her husband, Jason,  bought a ranch in Bertram, Texas, and they share it with two lady longhorns (Milkshake & Blue Bell) and five donkeys (Sugar Baby, Sprinkles, Fudge, Whiskey & Champaign).  Each one of these magnificent creatures has it's own personality and I would like to share their lives  with you...
Whenever I purchase a gospel cd, I try to make sure that it includes the song 'Softly and Tenderly'.   That was the song I sang to my Mother when she was spending her last hours in the hospital. It was around 2 o'clock in the morning as she lay in her hospital bed and I whispered to her, "Mother, it's OK.  You can go now.  You can go home to Heaven.   We'll be all right.  Daddy will be waiting for you as well as all the rest of our family."  As I sat by her bed, I began stroking her forehead and started singing 'Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling...'.  She looked into my face and asked, 'Are you a singer?'  I smiled and said "Why Mother?  Did you like that?"   She said yes and then I asked her if she would like me to sing some more.  She nodded her head.  I was all choked up and tried to hold back the tears.   I could hardly carry a tune, let alone remember the words, but I managed to continue the song.  She began to laugh out loud.  I think it was then she realized that I wasn't a singer.   My mother went to Heaven five years ago on March 4th...and it still hurts so badly.    
First of all, let me say this:  I'm very careful about storing food in my cupboards.  I keep everything...pasta, cereal, rice, crackers, etc., in sealed jars.  One can't be too careful keeping rattlesnakes out of food supplies...this is Texas, after all.   That said, I've spent the last hour scrubbing my pie safe and getting rid of moth's and their offspring.  I kept seeing little winged creatures flying about, but contributed that to the seed moths from our birds' food.  I freeze all of their food, so I was perplexed at the amount of pterodactyls flying about.  I put up fly strips, but that didn't seem to help.  So last night I picked up a package of pinto beans which were in the pie safe.  I must confess that I'm a rice and dry bean hoarder.  I hate running out of the staples of life.  Then I examined the other 3 packages of pinto beans, 1 package of navy beans and 2 bags of brown rice.  These hadn't made it to their antique Mason storage jars.  They all were turning to powder and had the remnants of dry wings and moth poop along with their babies.  DISGUSTING!  So tomorrow, I plan to make the trek to Wal-Mart to make a return.  The expiration dates are all April 2016, so I feel justified in taking them back.  I'll be wearing my Hazmat suit.

Well, Santa is asleep, and Mrs. Claus is past ready to go to bed. The presents are wrapped, the cookies have been baked and are waiting for Santa to sample when he comes in the morning. She didn't make her fudge this year, as she's the only who eats it. She did manage to bake batches of mince meat, chocolate chip and Christmas tree sugar cookies. She also threw together a couple of cheese logs, sausage balls, jalapeno/cheese balls and turkey sausage balls for a brunchy type thing and will put the cinnamon rolls in the oven and make a fruit plate in the morning when she awakens. Thank you God for the Blessings that you've given me and my family. We owe everything to you as we celebrate the birth of your son, Jesus. That's what Christmas is all about, after all. 
It doesn't take much to make me happy...even less to make me unhappy. Although I do become a little verklempt when McDonald's advertises they sell breakfast all day...then you pull up to the drive-in around 12 pm asking for a sausage biscuit and they only serve English muffins. That sucks...

I made my Cranberry Salad this morning and was so proud of myself for getting it done early.  This is a dish my mother-in-law, Lila, used to make over 50 years ago.  I learned how to make it from watching her and later on she gave me her recipe.  When I tasted a sample of my completed recipe,  it was sorta sweet and I didn’t even add any extra sugar like I used to do.  I went out to the garage fridge and checked on it a couple of times to make sure it was setting up OK, because I make it with Jello.  It was progressing quite nicely...or so I thought.  So tonight I was fixing dinner and picking out ingredients for a salad in the veggie drawer.  There were the cranberries...still in their package.


Lee and I just got home from a 17-day road trip to be with family in Ohio and Georgia.  We had such a wonderful time and it was so good to be with our loved ones.  I only wish we lived closer so we could get together more often.  Life really is much too short, and I cherish the times we can spend with each other.  It seems like only a fleeting moment when we were all together, laughing and reminiscing...telling stories to the young ones  so they can pass them on to their offspring.

It was a long but fun road trip...almost 3,600 miles!  We drove through 13 different states...Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and then back to our beloved Lone Star State.   I must say...West Virginia was the most beautiful state of them all, especially on the turnpike.  The view was breathtaking as I gazed out of the car window upon the glorious spectrum of God's creation.  All of you who still live in West Virginia, please don't ever take it for granted.  When you're away from there, you'll miss it more than you'll ever know.  We're back home in Texas now, and I'm so happy to be home...but my heart is back in West Virginia and her hills.

GREAT NEWS! MY MAMMO WAS NORMAL! I was so happy and excited to let my husband know that I went into the waiting room in my 'put this on and it opens in the front' gown. Silly me, I didn't think anyone else noticed. After I changed back into my top and we were leaving, a lady said to me, "I really like the top you have on now..much better than the other one" Lee takes everything in stride. Bless his heart, after almost 52 years he's used to me!

Have you had your annual mammogram yet? If not, schedule one now!

I turned 70 on September 1st and I don't feel a day older than 69. Actually I don't feel anything...certainly not any older.   I have been so blessed in my life and birthdays are a plus! I never pay any attention to how old I truly am...just as long as I am. 

Aging is inevitable...along with the obligatory wrinkles and gray hair (which is God's way of softening the aforementioned wrinkles). Now, the 40th was a different matter all together. I remember 30 years ago sitting on the floor in front of the hamper while sorting clothes in a daze, crying and thinking...'Is this all there is to life?" After that pity party was over, I never looked back! 

I want my friends and loved ones to remember that I never whined nor fussed about getting older and that I treasured and seized each and every day! After all is said and done, everyone wants positive, happy people in their lives. That's my goal...my legacy.

MOTHER'S DAY - 10 MAY 2015

 She was so beautiful...even more so than expected. That would be the last time we saw her. Just a couple of days earlier I assured her it was all right to leave us, because we were going to be okay. Such a worrier she was! Never did she fail to ask about us even though the purpose of our call was to check on her. Although we knew that day was coming, it was truly difficult to utter that final goodbye. We will always remember our time with her and she will forever live in our hearts.

I've heard it say that a mother is the one through whom God whispers love to his little children. From her we learned of God's love and for that alone we are eternally grateful. She made many sacrifices so all her children could have a life much better than she ever did. She was always there for us to help and guide us through everything in our lives that came our way. Her generosity was unsurpassed. Whenever she would come for a visit, she would always bring something to share with us. When we would visit her, we never left without her giving us something she thought we might need or want. She always told us that when you give, you get back tenfold. The Law of Tenfold Return was practiced faithfully in our upbringing.

A mother gives life to her children so they can live their life. That speaks volumes of our Mother. She never failed to let us know how proud she was of her four children and all of her grandchildren. A mother's job is to nurture and to discipline. She never lacked in either of those departments. My two younger brothers can attest to this. We all managed to grow up as she projected....happy, caring and responsible adults. No matter where we go or whatever we do, we will always hear her voice...and we will continue to evermore make her proud of us. She is gone now, but her Heavenly journey has just begun.

I will dearly miss the letters.

NOVEMBER 29, 2014

Blue Bell ice cream.  Nuff said.  So creamy...so good! The pungent taste of the black walnuts takes me back to a good place while growing up in West Virginia.  Black walnut ice cream is best when eaten alone at your computer while you play a game of Free Cell.  I have my own personal stash of this heavenly, woodsy, creation.  And, no.  I will not share.  It is all mine, I tell you, all mine! 

NOVEMBER 25, 2014

So, I was at Walmart this evening.  Before heading out, I always remind myself to be a happy shopper and smile at everyone I meet.  I just hope Ted Bundy won’t be shopping at Wally World when I’m there.

When I finished shopping and was standing in the checkout line, I let a lady go in front of me because she was late for an appointment.  No problem…felt like the right thing to do and I had no pressing engagements.  When it was my turn to check out, the cashier was unable to ring up an item.  She wanted me to purchase everything but this one particular article.  She told me that I was holding up the line.  I thought to myself, “HOLDING up the line?!!!“   “Holding UP the line?!!!”   “Holding up THE line?!!!“   “Holding up the LINE?!!!”

 So I obediently ran my card through the machine.  In the meantime, she called for assistance and 7 managers…or perhaps only 3…and a technician came over to fix the problem.  I was unable to cancel, clear, sign my signature or enter my zip code in the credit card machine.  When everything was right with the world and the moon was in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligned with Mars and peace guided the planets and love steered the stars, I made the second transaction for the item with no pricing. 

Before I left, I leaned over to the cashier and whispered politely so no one else could hear, ‘I did not appreciate your telling me that I was holding up the line.’  She said that she was really sorry and shouldn’t have said that to me, but everyone in the line was looking at her.

You know, in another life, she could have been me or my daughter or my mother behind that cash register.  She was probably tired from standing long hours, too.  Am I sorry I let her know how I felt?  Not in the least.  Because the next time she tells someone they’re holding up the line, that person won’t be me. 

NOVEMBER 8, 2014

So yesterday was our FIFTIETH wedding anniversary! This is a long one. So grab your favorite beverage of choice and make yourself comfortable, because I thought I’d share a little bit of our special day with all of you…

It was a cold and rainy day…uh, never mind…that’s for another book.

Lee’s been to Africa and together over the years, we’ve been to Wawa Ontario, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach..., Hawaii (2 or 3 times…I lost count), Haines Alaska (to experience the Gathering of the Eagles), New Orleans, Washington (state and DC), Niagara Falls, California, Georgia, Daniel Boone National Forrest (I guess I'm part owner, since Daniel is my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandpa), Las Vegas, Acapulco, Shaker Village in Kentucky, Jackson Hole, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, Saguaro National Dessert (while listening to Willie’s Red Headed Stranger), Big Bend National Park, Luckenbach (nuff said), Paris and other parts of France, Switzerland, and West Virginia (Tioga and New River) just to name a few. So that pretty much covered our bucket list. We just wanted to relax and enjoy each other, so we decided to get out of Dodge and head on out to the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma…or as I like to call it, the Sinstar Casino.

Whenever we cross a state line, Lee and I always high five each other. When crossing the Red River into Oklahoma from Texas, I break into my rendition of the Broadway version of 'OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain…’ I don’t know the rest of the lyrics, so I belt out this line over and over. Fun times.

We live in Fair Oaks Ranch, right outside of San Antonio, so it takes about 5 hours or so to get to our place in Fort Worth. On our way, we stopped to grab a bite to eat at the Bluebonnet Café in Marble Falls, Texas. If you’ve ever been to Texas in the spring time, you know how it got its name. Fortunately, we hit it just right and didn’t have to stand in line. This restaurant is a national treasure and well worth the wait!

After Atkins bars and protein drinks all week, this was jumping head-first into gastronomic peccadillo. Most people post their pictures of their food on Facebook. Well, I did take pictures, but don’t know how to transfer them off my dumb phone. No really…dumb…not smart. It’s a flip phone.

Therefore, I will attempt to illustrate with descriptive wording, our meal: I ordered Chicken Fried Steak with the gravy on the side (One does not want to get the crispy coating of the fried veneer of this culinary delight soggy.), Red-skinned Mashed Potatoes, fresh Green Beans cooked at least 2 hours with bacon like my mother used to make and a small side salad. And, yes, I had blue cheese dressing. Lee ordered beef something-or-the-other to replicate our dinner of hot Roast Beef Sandwiches at a West Virginia restaurant when we honeymooned at the A-line cabins in Sutton 50 years ago.

And we must not forget the obligatory pie to complete this perfect meal. Lee ordered Lemon with a foot-high Meringue and I had the Pecan. When the sweet little Texas-cowgirl-of-a-waitress, learned we were celebrating our 50th anniversary dinner with them, she put a GINORMOUS helping of soft vanilla ice cream, topped with homemade whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon and extra pecans atop mine. I started to think we’d crashed and burned and I was in heaven. Needless to say, I ate every scrumptious bite. A day later, I can close my eyes and picture that delicious brown sugar filling and perfect, flaky crust with melting 100% pure whipped cream and ice cream. It makes me want to weep. Dear, God…thank you for making pecans ‘In The Beginning’….

A shout out to our Heavenly Father in Heaven: Thank you for the gorgeous moon you so lovingly placed in the sky to commemorate our anniversary on our road tr

We had previously given each other golden wedding bands for our 40th wedding anniversary…so, been there, done that. All I wanted for our 50th anniversary was a note from Lee describing his idea of the secret of a long and happy marriage. I am such a cheap date! I would write a letter to him, also. The note had rules: It was to be written so it would reflect only on what the other partner brought to the marriage to make it last…not about me, me, me. When compiling my list, I stopped at 50 secrets…I honestly could have listed more, but it was 3 am and I needed to get some rest before our road trip. I won’t be posting the lists because it’s a secret. However, if ever asked, I’ll whip it out in a heartbeat. When we get to the hotel, and after a fast and furious day of playing the penny slots, I plan to give him his epistle tomorrow evening while we reminisce over a bottle of Silver Oak. (Thank you, Wendi and Jason!)

Sweet Mother of all that is Holy! Could it get any better than this?!!

Happy Anniversary, my one and only true love.



Eye Hugs is the story of Charaleen Wright who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Follow her as she faces her battle head-on and comes out on top. Her incredible journey is poignantly chronicled with humor and warmth. For those who don’t fully comprehend what a breast cancer patient must endure, this book will most certainly open your eyes.  

Click on the Hearts to Purchase an Autographed Copy of Eye Hugs
PRICE:  $27.99

Eye Hugs is available now from AuthorHouse


Order Eye Hugs through your local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer

978-1-4969-3162-7 (HC ISBN)
978-1-4969-3160-3 (EBOOK ISBN)

E-MAIL:  charaleen@eyehugs.com



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