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  • Writer's pictureHazel Lee


Updated: Jul 25

(from one of my many stories in Sweet Tea & Jesus, I hope you enjoy it)


When growing up, one always wants to live somewhere else, it seems.

Of course, I did too, from the east coast to the west coast and finally back to the good ole South. In the autumn years of my life, I have finally come to terms with the dog days of summer. High humidity levels, heat index numbers in 100s, lightening bugs and mosquitoes coming out right at dusk, only to chase us inside to the cool air conditioning.

I’m reminded when there was no air conditioning, cable, internet, email or, my goodness, cell phones.

Sundays were a day of worship and rest. No grocery stores were open. In fact, NO stores were open. I can assure you we never missed a Sunday dinner.

Why? Because we shopped on Saturday. Saturday afternoon, we prepared our meal for Sunday dinner after church. I remember my best friend’s mama, Mrs. Jones, standing at her kitchen sink, cutting up four or five chickens at a time.

Mrs. Jones had the best homemade biscuits and gravy ever! Chickens were purchased whole, cheaper that way and cut up at home.

She had her own secret recipe of spices that would put Colonel Sanders’ to shame.

No McDonalds in those days, folks. No one ate out that I knew. It was far too expensive for

families. Seems Mrs. Jones would invite a few strays from church every Sunday. She had such a big heart.

Anyone without family, widowed, or alone, were invited. “No one should eat alone on the lord’s day,” she would say. I know God was smiling. God bless her soul! I know where she is today.

How wonderful would it be, if we extended such kindnesses to others we know at church. Let’s take it a step further. How about if we invited others who don’t GO to church! No, no, I can’t do that, I don’t have TIME! Really? I get it! That’s as far I am going to comment on this subject.

We always had plenty of food. Fried chicken and brown gravy, (I didn’t know there was white gravy until I was a teenager), real mashed potatoes, (not the kind in a box), fresh corn from the garden, fresh tomatoes, fried okra, fresh purple hull peas, corn bread (cooked in black iron skillet), homemade ice cream, the best sweet tea ever, finished off with banana pudding, and cold watermelon! There was more.

The best! Gosh, I’m hungry now!

Tomorrow, I plan to work in my vegetable garden; home grown tomatoes are a must

for this southern lady!

Amazing how we reflect on long ago memories.


I wrote this story sometime ago, prior to our pandemic. The changes in our world since I wrote this are unimaginable.

Tomorrow, my granddaughters start school, wearing masks. I will be praying for them, as well as our teachers, our principal, and all students, my list is endless. I urge you to make your own prayer list.

Frankly, prayer is all we can do. Pray without ceasing.

It is completely out of our hands. That sounds scary, but it is true. Wear masks, practice social distancing, be kind and use good manners.

Who would have thought we would EVER be practicing such rules! God knows. Why do we do it? Because it is the right thing to do. Living out these requirements will save lives.

I will repeat it again.

We must be holding our families and loved ones up in prayer, parents of other children, our leaders, teachers, policemen, and policewomen, doctors, nurses and the list goes on. We must pray without ceasing,

and so we do.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for all Of us.

How many times have I read this scripture, today it has a new meaning.

As a child, it seemed life was simpler.

It wasn’t. My granny and family just prayed more. There weren’t as many distractions in their lives as we have today. I was taught the basics of life. Be a good person, always tell the truth, and always always follow in Jesus’ foot steps.

Until then....... ——————————.


Before I was born, my sister, Magaline, 11 years old at the time, had to be rushed to a hospital near Pensacola, Florida. She was diagnosed with polio. Sadly, she remained in the hospital for almost a year, requiring daily therapy. Children were more susceptible than adults to this horrible paralysis, polio.

Fortunately, she was not completely paralyzed. Many were. Her doctor was able to prevent permanent paralysis, because daddy drove her to the hospital in record time.

Ultimately, a vaccine was developed to control this crippling disease. We must remain

in prayer for a vaccine to cure Covid.

On Match 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk, an American medical researcher, announced he had successfully tested a vaccine against polio. Today, we are praying for vaccine to prevent COVID. At the time. In 1952. There were 58,000 new cases for polio. More than 3,000 died from this tragic disease.

THAT WAS THEIR PANDEMIC! Ours in comparison is so much larger!

Her daily treatment was hot steamed blankets. The heat stimulated her legs, making it easier for her to attempt walking.

Years later, I remember mama sharing how the nurses helped her learn to walk again, before leaving the hospital. It took a long time, but she made it.

Maggie went on to recover and is enjoying a wonderful life. Sixchildren, countless grandchildren, and great grandchildren, now at the young age of 85, SHE NEVER STOPS.

She attends church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, “Lord’s willing, Hazel Lee,” she proudly shared. “Then, I get my middle of the week ‘RECHARGE,’ going to Wednesday night church.”

I almost thought she was being a little proud, sharing those comments. I realized I was feeling a little less than, but Maggie knows my heart. I did go on to tell her she was my role model. She has beautiful blue eyes, and a forever smile. She is a living example for the world to see. I love her so.

She has our mother’s bible. She has shared from it many times.

She can’t attend church all the time, but if not having health issues, she goes. “We should never challenge our Lord’s Words, Hazel Lee, you just don’t do it.” “If you mess up, ask him to forgive you, Hazel Lee, don’t keep repeating bad habits,” Maggie lovingly would tell me. The gospel song, “I Surrender All,” is a good example of how she felt we should live.


She lives and breathes these fruits everyday. It is how our Lord wants us to live.

I would never speak unkindly to her. She is our role model, blessed by the love of Jesus!

”Hazel Lee, you were impossible to get to sleep when you were a baby, but you sure were beautiful and SPOILED rotten,” she exclaimed.

She’s the last living relative of my mother’s family. I cherish her.

Growing up, I learned by example. Those manners, yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir, live on in my life today. It is second nature.

Will the circle be unbroken? Yes, it will. Until then, I will call her every chance I can.

They got through it. We will too. Isn’t God good!

My family prayed without ceasing.

It was their PANDEMIC!

Life went on. It will for us too. Lord, hear our prayer.

Perhaps you might want to visit my book section. I would be delighted to hear from you, and any comments you would like to share. Sweet Tea & Jesus will tickle your funny bone, but at the same time, give you an example of how ordinary happenings in our daily lives can have such meaning to our souls.

I look forward to hearing from you.

I plan to write about the gospel hymn, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” along with several other hymnals in the near future. God’s blessings to you and your family, Do stay safe, and pray without ceasing, blessings,




WOULD HAVE LAUGHED AND LAUGHED! I AM BLAMING THIS ON MY SWEET CAROLINE, NOW SIX YEARS OLD, WHO PLANTED ALL OF THE WATERMELON PLANTS, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, IT‘S JUST OK! I SURE DO LOVE HER! She has such a sweet, sweet heart and spirit, and she loves Jesus! It couldn’t be any better ! Gosh, I love her! Oh yes, Tebow is keeping an eye out for anybody! You can see the watermelon by his tail. We will be giving them to neighbors, there are so many! Will need a wagon to take them around.

Making memories here!

I sure miss those Sunday evenings as a child. Today, we try to get our family together for Sunday evenings. I said the prayer this past Sunday dinner. As we held hands, I felt some little hands squeezing mine. It was my sweet Caroline.

I sure hope Jesus felt my hand in His. I really hope so. “Have a little talk with Jesus,“ how many times did I sing that as a child, with my family. I sing it a lot in my garden.

Simple. I love simple. You have a blessed day and do write me about YOUR GARDEN!

Perhaps it will be about your garden of LIFE!

It will make my day!



If you would like to purchase one of my books, go to the shop at my website, and you will

be connected to the link, thank you,

I would love to hear your comments, perhaps you might “like” and follow my posts, Also Would love to hear about your ideas on gardening, thank you!

God bless you and yours. Stay safe everyone!

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