Blanche and I were sitting on her pizer a few days ago, chatting about the weather, current events, and island history. Talk turned to Essie Mae O'Neal (1915-1999). In spite of growing up on Ocracoke before the introduction of most modern conveniences, having only the most basic public education...and raising eleven children (all boys!) Essie somehow found time to wax philosophical, and to write poetry. Following is one of her poems, "Do Your Best" (spelling as in the original):
Just do your best in whatever you do.
Although it may not be easy for you sometimes.
Half heartindness never accomplished a goal, but positive thinking is good for your soal.
Just do your best that's all one can ask, in spite of the odd's whatever the task.
So what if you work up a sweet, you first have to give before you can get.
Do your best with whatever you have, wheather it's good or wheather it's bad.
You will know in your heart when each day is through, you have done everything that God expects of you.
Life changes, time marches by, and the old folks pass on. I like having some of Essie's poems to remember her by, and to share with others. Enjoy.
Essie did her best!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story of the Night Blooming Cereus Cactus. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072111.htm.