S: Our Atteberry Family Traditions: The Right-Left Story Collection
FC: Our Atteberry Family Traditions: The Right-Left Story Collection Stories written by John D. Atteberry Compiled by Kirstie J. Johnson
1: Our Atteberry Family Tradition | In 2004, our family began a tradition of playing a right-left game. Dad would compile a story that included the words "right" and "left" many times throughout. He and mom would purchase a $5-10 gift card for each person from various stores that we loved and we would pass them around during the story - either to the right or to the left! At the end of the story, whatever card you held, that was your gift. We have loved hearing the stories that he would write as well as the fun of spending this time together.
2: 2004 | Back: Joy Atteberry Keri Thompson, Eric Thompson, and Ella Adams Front: John Atteberry, Jenna Thompson, Courtney Thompson, Kirstie Atteberry
3: 2004 Right Left Game Courtney had just spent the night with Mamaw for a sleepover. She knew that Mamaw had promised that they would go shopping RIGHT after breakfast. They LEFT the dishes in the sink and headed RIGHT out the door for their morning adventure. As soon as they got buckled up in the car, Mamaw realized that she had forgotten something quite important: her coupons! She got RIGHT out of her LEFT door, after deciding it would be impractical to use the RIGHT door, since she had one RIGHT there on her LEFT. She got the coupons, took off down the road and turned RIGHT onto Belmar Drive, LEFT onto Redwood, RIGHT onto Poplar Level Rd, and RIGHT again onto the Watterson Expressway. When Courtney saw that Mamaw was getting onto I-65, which is to the LEFT of the Watterson, which you actually have to' loop to the RIGHT to get onto, she said, "Mamaw, are we going to Meijer's?" "You are so RIGHT Courtney!" Mamaw answered. "But Mamaw, I LEFT my pennies for the pony ride on my dresser at home, next to where I LEFT my two quarters, three dimes and one nickel. You are always treating me, Mamaw, so today, I wanted to use my money that was LEFT from going out with Daddy. Look, Mamaw, there's two pennies on the floor." "Where?" Mamaw asked. "RIGHT there! Courtney exclaimed. Oh, Mamaw, God does provide, doesn't He?" "You're RIGHT about that!" Mamaw said. "Mamaw?" "Yes, Courtney?" "Can I have some of the marshmallow cereal that you LEFT on the seat back here?" I won't spill it on the floor that Pap's just vacuumed and I will zip the bag shut RIGHT after I get enough sugar in me to keep me hyped up while we are shopping. OK, Mamaw?" "Sure, Courtney." "That's why you LEFT them here, RIGHT Mamaw? "Mamaw?" "Yes, Courtney?" "I don't feel good." "Where do you hurt? "RIGHT here", Courtney answered, pointing to her stomach. "I want to go home, RIGHT now!" "Courtney, I could have LEFT you at home with Pap's, but you said you wanted to go shopping, RIGHT?" "I know I did, but ... OW!!!" "What did you do?" "I pinched myself with the seat belt." "Why was the seat belt off, Courtney?" "But Mamaw, I had to take it off to reach the cereal RIGHT over there. I forgot and LEFT it off until you started to change lanes and you jerked the car back to the LEFT to keep from hitting that other car. Then I tried to put the buckle back in the RIGHT hole and it pinched my skin between my thumb and first finger on my RIGHT hand. After getting Courtney all buckled back in, it wasn't but a few minutes LEFT until we pulled into a parking space RIGHT up front by the door. Mamaw sat there for a minute just trying to chill out after all the ordeal they had gone through to get there. Another car pulled into the space on their LEFT, so close that Mamaw couldn't get out of her LEFT door. Exasperated, Mamaw leaned back in her seat and said, "Courtney?" "Yes, Mamaw?" "I don't feel good." "Where do you hurt?" Courtney asked. "RIGHT here", Mamaw answered, pointing to her head. "RIGHT here. I want to go home ... RIGHT now!"
4: 2005 | John & Joy Atteberry, Jenna Thompson, Keri Thompson, Kaia Thompson, Eric Thompson, Courtney Thompson, and Kirstie Atteberry
5: 2005 Right Left Game Running right passed Courtney and Kaia, Jenna heard Mamaw come in the front door after work and turn left to go into the kitchen. Never shy about coming right to the point, Jenna said, "I'm hun - gry." Mamaw left her bag on the floor and left her dishes from breakfast and lunch in the sink, and headed right upstairs to change clothes. Looking over her shoulder as she left, Mamaw reassured Jenna that she would not get left out at supper time, but would see what was left in the fridge to eat when she came right back down. Mamaw took longer than Jenna expected. She didn't come right back. She had left dirty clothes in the hallway that morning. Mamaw said, "I can't stand all this dust up here, so she looked on the right side of the shelf for her Swiffer dust cloths, which were actually on the left. Before she left to go back downstairs, she headed right for the bathroom to go potty. Jenna didn't help matters any with her hunger pangs, because she and her sisters were right downstairs repeating "Patty cake, patty cake, bake your man ... " Meanwhile, watching Mommy feed little sister, Jenna asks, "Please ... may ... I ... have ... what's .. .left?" "No, sit right here and watch your Clifford movie or Paps will turn it right off and watch the news". Jenna climbed back up on the right side of the couch, right next to Kaia so she could see if there would be any of her food left after she was done. After seeing that Kaia was digging right in and that there wouldn't be any left for her, she got down to play on the floor. Courtney said, "Jenna, you are right in my way. I can't see the TV. Move over to the right or the left. Mamaw, doing her magic in the kitchen, came up with a right delicious meal. We all waited till Jenna got what she wanted then we left our seats to get anything that Jenna might have left. Right after dinner, Jenna came to her Daddy and said, "I ... want ... some ... candy ... cane." ''Not right after dinner', Eric replied. ''Look at your belly. There's no room leftfor candy canes". "Yes, ... there is!" Jenna exclaimed. She took her Daddy's hand and put it on her tummy and said, "Here, Daddy, ... feel ... right ... here!" When Eric felt, he pushed a little too hard and a big gasser escaped. Jenna smiled really big and said, "There's ... room ... left!" Aunt TT just about split a gut right there on the floor knowing that what Jenna left in her diaper was more than just gas. "So, how ya doing, Jenna?, TT asked. "I'm doing GREAT, right?
6: 2006 | Back: Donnie Johnson, Eric Thompson, Keri Thompson, Joy Atteberry, John Atteberry Middle: Jenna Thompson, Courtney Thompson, Kaia Thompson Front: Kirstie Atteberry, Nick Johnson, Andrew Johnson
7: 2006 Right Left Game Kaia Michelle was born right in the dead of a cold January winter. Right from the start, she had so much hair that we suggested that when she left the hospital that she go right to the beauty salon for a haircut. We left the final decision up to her Mom & Dad. I'm sure they made the right choice at that time. But now her hair is so long, it is always right in her face, because left on her own, she will pull her barrettes out left and right. Although she is the youngest of three, for right now, anyway, she has determined to be right in there doing what Courtney and Jenna do and not being left out of anything. If you come right down to it, what attention would be left for her if she just got leftovers? The first thing we hear in the evening right as we enter the door is "Ma-a-m-a-a-a-a-w!" Mamaw says, "Are you hungry, baby girl?" Kaia says, "Yep!" and heads right for the fridge to see what is left from any previous days meals to eat. Right away, Kaia finds her seat at her table and does what is right by waiting patiently, or not, to see what Mamaw has left to bring. After she has eaten, Mamaw is right there to see if Kaia has any room left for a treat. Your right, Kaia says "Yep!" So right away, as if she already has them made up in the freezer, Mamaw is right back with a little ice cream cone. Kaia took one lick and pushed the ice cream right off her cone. Not seeing anything left on her cone, Kaia reached right down with her right hand and picked up the ice cream and put it back on the cone in her left hand. Looking down on the floor, she saw a residue of ice cream still left there. So she bent down right next to the spot and was going to lick it off the floor. When she bent down, her ice cream fell off her cone again right on the same spot where she was going to lick. Mamaw caught her by the left arm, took her to the kitchen and got another pre-made little ice cream cone right out of the freezer. I'm sure there are many more tales left that we could share about Kaia Michelle, right? I know that with every stage of life she has left, there will be little things she does that will make both our left and right sides ache with laughter. So, while there is time left, ponder these precious moments right in the memory bank of your heart and soul. They will be all you have left to treasure as they grow up so quickly right under your nose. I pass on to you words from Brother Mike, which I didn't believe at the time, but I do now: "Before you turn around, your girls will be grown and have left'. Oh, how I believe it, now. I wish I had paid more attention when I had the time! RIGHT! You were so right, Mike!
8: 2007 | Kirstie, Donnie, Nick, Taylor, and Andrew Johnson | Joy and John Atteberry
9: 2007 Right Left Game Who knew this time last year that God would deliver right on our doorstep five new people who left their comfortable surroundings and right away found a place in our hearts? Kirstie and Donnie met in 2006 and following right behind came instant grandchildren: Taylor, who right now has aspirations in the drama field; Nick, who left us questioning if there would ever be one of his endless riddles that we would get right. Then there is Andrew, our little hyperactive Cub Scout who needs to be doing something, even if it is sewing a button on right on a piece of material that Kirstie had left. There was no doubt with any of us that right away they would be planning and executing a wedding - but only if I promised right then to leave the shotgun at home. So much drama, so little time left before the big day arrived. What food, what guests, what dress? Was there a dress left that Kirstie had not tried on? After she bought the right one, was it really the right one? Oh, and did I mention the food? Who was afraid that there wouldn't be any left? Mom & Mamaw, the perfectionist, when it comes to doing food right, went out of her way to buy food, right and left. Needless to say, we had plenty of food left! Thanks Taylor, for trying to teach Kirstie the Electric Slide. I think we slid left when we should have slid right, and back stepped when stepping forward would have been the right thing to do. Poor Jeremy, the DJ, just hung his head and shook it left and right. Maybe if there would have been a couple more days left, they might have gotten it right. There will never be enough time left to do and say all the things that are left to do and say. We look forward to building on the relationships we have begun. We may not always "do" grand parenting right, but our motives and our love will always be in the right place. And then there were five ... Our numero quattro, came just at the right time - 7/7/07. Just when we thought there were no boy "swimmers" left, out you came. We pray for your safety Jude, as you struggle, from what is left of the "headlocks" your sisters put you in, as they vie for the right to your love and affection. Right from the start it was easy for us to look at you and say "how handsome", "how cute". How you have captured our hearts. But we know that, left to 'your own devices, Jude, the "heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?" The Bible tells us the right principle ... we need to focus on your inner qualities as you grow. "As the tree is bent, so it grows!"
11: Christmas 2008 Right-Left Game Right when I was hoping that I could sleep in a little, that thought left my mind when I remembered that all the munchkins would soon be coming for Christmas breakfast. Again, the phone rang right as I was getting out of bed. Trying to remember where I had left my robe, I tried to gather my wits about me, or what was left of them. You see, my family had thought that I needed reminding about my age this year by giving me a birthday party right when I was trying to forget that I have fewer years left than I have already lived. They meant well, all right, and that’s OK, because I have left in God’s hands whatever years He has already decided that I have left, to be ones of contentment and purpose. All right, I may not remember things like I used to, or where I left my glasses (which are usually right on top of my head), or the car keys, which I most often find in my right coat pocket. But, you know, that’s OK. I have so many memories that God has left in my brain’s hard drive. Sometimes I wish that God would give me a bigger memory chip so that the right name or the right answer (or the right question, for that matter), would come to my mind sooner so I wouldn’t be left trying to think of the right thing to say. But that’s OK, too somebody usually comes to my rescue by blurting out the right thing to say at the right time, so I am not left hanging out there by myself. There are times when my kids say I “hum” when I watch TV with them. I don’t think they are right. How could they be? After they have left, I ask myself, “What right do they have telling me that I hum? All along I know it is the left side of my brain that takes over and I don’t have control over what I do. I know that I do it, but I will never let on to them, though. I won’t give them the satisfaction of letting them know they are right. There are times when I have left the room, usually during an intense scene or right when the “scary” music starts to play. I tell them “I have some dishes left to do” or “if I don’t get the clothes out of the dryer right when the buzzer goes off, the wrinkles will set in on them forever!” I know this isn’t true. I just get down right sick and tired of them talking about my hu-u-u-m, hu-u-u-m, hu-u-u-mming! Three rings on the phone one more ring left and the answering machine will pick up. All right! I’ve got it! We’ll start a new tradition this year: Christmas lunch!!! I wonder what leftovers we have in the fridge to spread out? I know there should be some Tuna fish and peanut butter left. Oh, that’s right – we took that to work for lunch yesterday. I know that even if I said we had nothing left to eat in the house, I would be right in saying that we have more than a lot of people right in our own city of Louisville. I know I’m right that they are calling to see if we are up yet. So, whatever is left, Christmas breakfast here we come. Whatever we eat, drink or even when we play this silly right-left game, help us to be thankful for what and who we have left to enjoy. Merry Christmas!
13: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, And folks dressed up like Eskimos. Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe, Help to make the season bright. Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, Will find it hard to sleep tonight. They know that Santa's on his way; He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. And every mother's child is going to spy, To see if reindeer really know how to fly. And so I'm offering this simple phrase, To kids from one to ninety-two, Although its been said many times, many ways, A very Merry Christmas to you
15: We had just left town. I couldn’t see where we were headed, but I trusted their judgment to get us going on the right path. There wasn’t much time left to get there. We left everything behind: our family, friends, and right down to everything we owned. We jostled, turning left and right and every direction in between. There was no position to get comfortable. She rode, he was left to walk. I heard them talking, like they were right next door, saying that there were several days left to get there. I had overheard several of the men before we left saying that they were down right disgusted with the tax plan the government had put them under, but there was no recourse left for them but to do what they knew was “right”. They stopped to rest. The left side of their pack contained some leftover bread from the previous days meal along with a skin of water that he carried on his right shoulder. The journey had left them sweating profusely. They had barely left, but I could feel the sun bearing down right to my very soul. How much more of this could we take? I knew she didn’t have much left to make this trip, but he was rugged right down to the very core of his being. Was he doing the right thing? What was he thinking, anyway? His wife-to-be and a baby right on the way, that wasn’t even his. Sure, there was a motel on the left end of town, but there was nearly a week left before we would arrive, or so I heard him say. When she could ride no more, I heard him say, “Let’s unroll our blanket right over there in the clearing by the trees for the night.” He left us to settle in and I heard him walk away. Was it right that I should one day call this man, ‘Dad’? I had left my real Dad some time back; he wanted me to come and stay with my Mom until the right time came. I left that time up to His choosing. We finally got to town right after most of the people had gotten there. Our reservation must have gotten lost because there were no rooms left when we arrived. I heard him say that we would take any floor space that was left but people were coming right and left and, for fear that they would trample us, he had to say no. The lady, my Mother, left the motel and cried out in pain. The time was right. Tonight was the night! Right before I left Dad’s place, I heard that Gabe was working with the men’s choir on a song called “The Hallelujah Chorus”. Right time right place Oh, boy, here I go .. O-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W!!
17: I have heard about family members who have gone before us who have laid down their lives for the enjoyment of others. Great Mamaw and Paps Ginger were some of the earliest in our family who taught us how to live and grow just for this time of the year. They would swell up and get so big that their maker would have to flatten them out with a rolling pin. This left them flatter than a pancake. The maker would first roll them into a ball and then he reached into a bag on his right and got a handful of powder and put it on the table. He left to get the rolling pin and then put powder on it. Those who saw what happened looked to their left and saw a whole line of little people with large metal objects. They would later put these metal frames right on the stomachs of the ginger people and press down as hard as they could. I heard another family member say that it was worse than going to Jenny Craig to lose weight. But as I looked to my right and left, I saw all of these little clones of me coming to life. Suddenly, I saw all of the weight that I had gained had left and was being distributed to other little “ginger” people. The little people, who carried these metal frames, seemed to have so much fun making more and more of us. I was really beginning to slim down. Right next to me laid a large metal pan. When they had made as many ginger people as they could, there was an older and bigger lady (than the little people) who took each of us and laid us on this pan from left to right until there was no room left for even one more ginger person. I could feel the room getting hotter from where I was lying. I knew a change was coming right away. The longer we were left in this hot box, the more I knew that we were going to be just right for our maker. When the box went, ding, ding, ding, the older, bigger lady put her ove-gloves on her right and left hands to take us out of the box. When we were put on the rack so we could cool down, the little people left to get some stuff they called icing. They were getting utensils left in the drawer for just this purpose of putting this icing in just the right places on our bodies. It tickled when one of them put some icing under my right arm as well as when they left some on my upper left cheek.
19: “What is man that YOU are mindful of him?”, writes the Psalmist, David. Why is it that you even think about us? RIGHT from the beginning of time, You created mankind to praise You. Before you placed the couple in the garden of Eden and LEFT them on their own, You knew that everything would not be RIGHT with the world. When they sinned, why didn’t God destroy all the apple trees in the garden? Why were any of these trees LEFT standing? Because God knew, contrary to those polically correct on the LEFT or the RIGHT, that the problem was not the apple in the tree, but the p-a-i-r on the ground!!! RIGHT away, the relationship was broken. RIGHT then, man began to hide from God. RIGHT then, God had to take from them (the Garden) that he wanted them to have and all that it represented that was RIGHT and good in the world. Why? He knew that since they had disobeyed him and now knew RIGHT from wrong (good vs. Evil), they could, LEFT on their own, have eaten from the tree of life and live forever in their sinful condition. The Bible doesn’t tell us that they ever made things RIGHT between them and God, but it does tell us that when they LEFT the path that God set them on, mankind did what was RIGHT in their own eyes after that. Even when mankind turned from doing RIGHT in the sight of God, and LEFT behind the relationship they first had with Him, God still loved them! “What is man that you still think about him?” God is jealous for you since He created you, He wants to have a RIGHT kind of relationship with you, one where everything that is important in your life is LEFT aside and there is room on the throne of your heart for Him to take His RIGHT-ful place. You were not created for the devil and his angels; you were born to serve the Lord and praise Him for loving you enough to be willing to die for you! “What is man, after all the many times we have LEFT following you, that You still keep wanting us to make things RIGHT with you?” There is a song that says: He LEFT the splendor of Heaven, knowing His destiny, Was the lonely hill of Golgotha, there to lay down his life for me! Even before God made anything, he knew he would need a “game plan” to make us RIGHT with Him, again. He knew that “all we, like sheep, would go astray, and that we would turn to our own way, and that our sin would be laid on Him, Jesus. Love came down at Christmas . . . “Why does God still think about us ?” Because we, His sheep, have gone astray, LEFT the path, sinned. Nothing is RIGHT in our world if our relationship with God is not RIGHT! The question that’s LEFT is, “Who is God that you should think about Him ? He paid the price for our sin. What will we do with that Love? Will we accept it and His forgiveness, bringing us back into a RIGHT relationship with God, or will we give our souls to the devil who never LEFT hell to show that he loved us, by dying for us? Before this life is over, please make the RIGHT choice!!!
21: When you hear the word, right, or a word that rhymes with the word, right, pass your gift to your right. When you hear the word, left, or a word that rhymes with the word, left, pass your gift to your left. Since there are a lot more words that rhyme with right than there are words that rhyme with left, more often than not you will be going right. Let’s see which direction you will take: left, or right. To my right, the melodic harmony of the song, Silent Night, was filling the heft of the night air. The carolers, without really thinking about it, were gently swaying their bodies in a left & right motion. “ ... all is calm, all is bright ...” That’s the way it is tonight. There was a coolness in the air that left a soft bite on ones cheeks & nose, but it wasn’t like the bitter cold frostbite feeling of earlier in the afternoon. The snow had left a whiteout look ahead as it nearly blew you right from the sidewalk as we darted in & out of stores at the height of the Christmas Eve’s last minute plight to find a gift, any gift, that might be left on the shelves. It seems that no matter how thorough we write our gift list, there always seems to be one more gift left to buy. By the time Christmas arrives, we are bereft of all happiness from having to rush to & fro, that we have lost sight of what Christmas really means. It can be like a theft, a robbing of our “joy” that creates a blight on us & those around us. A quote was left on my doorstep the other day which said, “If you do not have “joy” at Christmas, another gift will not give it to you.” Despite all the “things” we have, Christmas is not about “things”. In spite of all we don’t have, what is left that we really need? Alright, we know the Christmas story: how Christ left splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny was the lonely hill of Golgotha; there to lay down His life for me (and you)! His purpose in coming is airtight: He did not come to receive, He came to give! In light of this, what will you give this year? Not a gift that will soon get left lying around, but something that only you can do or offer to someone to make their life brighter?
23: Insert Christmas story here...
25: All Is Calm, All Is Bright What a year, what a sight, here we are this Christmas night! Looking back on where we've been, thanking God for what is left Of this year and on this night, All is calm, all is bright! We left fire and smoke behind, knowing that our God was kind We'd have stuff left, untouched by flames, because we called on Jesus' name; We here proclaim, on this night, All is calm, all is bright! At the height of our unrest, we have seen that we are blessed For the roof, right o'er our head, where we sleep tight and we are fed; So, once again, we shout this night, All is calm, all is bright! Sensing our plight at the delay it's taken us to get back home, He's left his peace within our hearts; He's not left us alone! So, because of His great love, All is calm, all is bright! Donnie, Kirstie, Lucy Lou, Oliver & Misty, too, Have given up their right of home, to take us in, Left on our own an uphill fight, All is calm, all is bright! When life is upside down, nothing will be quite right; No matter how we try to gain control; I wish for you, this phrase, as you live all your days: All is calm, all is bright! Silent night, holy night, all is calm all is bright; Round yon virgin, mother and child, Holy infant, so tender and mild, Jesus, Lord at thy birth, Jesus, Lord at thy birth.