Gracious Old Soul

I have a few photos on my fridge; Happy Memories – Carmen & Ewan’s wedding invitation, Mary and Martin’s too. Sandra in her bikini on the one day years ago in December that I ventured out to the waterpark with her (and learning that I’m not as young as I thought I was!), Jack and I when I still had my braces (at 28!), an outing to a local wildlife ranch ages ago with The Bean and Aunty Carol one Mother’s Day (when The Toppie was still working); Lesley was with us that day, having lost her mother shortly before, so there is a photo of the two of us too, and another photo of Charlie and I, taken last year at the same place.  There are photos too of Aunty Carol, Uncle Barry, The Toppie, The Bean and I taken while we waited to board a passenger liner for a holiday, one of Elizabeth and her two sisters taken at Lesley’s wedding (which was on my 33rd birthday), Emma, Nathan and I at his 40th, and one of my precious little Mouse (which is the nickname I have given to my beautiful godchild, Lily-Rose).

Now, I see these photos every day, but honestly, I don’t notice them anymore. Except this morning I did, and my Mouse’s smiling face transported me back to the day she was christened, December 10th, 2017 – and the message the minister gave that day:  What’s in a Name?  Your Name…

I’ve thought a while about putting my real name here, and for the sake of this entry being authentic, I’ve decided to do so.

Hello World, my name is Priscilla Anne.  If The Bean had had her way I would have been Avril.

I never liked my name, until I realized that its meaning is spot on – Priscilla means “Of Olden Times” and Anne means “Grace”.  Avril means “Opening buds of Spring; born in April”.  The Bean sent my biological father (aka The Sperm Donor) to register me, and he came back telling her, “her name’s Priscilla Anne”.  For the record I was born in September, on the Equinox, so Avril clearly was never meant to be, although I doubt The Sperm Donor had the savvy to research any name meanings.   Avril though to me is worse, because in my warped mind I hear a tinny-airport-announcer-intercom-voice saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts as we prepare our descent.  Thank you for flying Avril airlines.

When I decided to start this blog years ago, Reflections of a Misfit just popped into my head and it stuck.  I still have difficulty sometimes accepting that people see me differently (and I mean that in the most positive sense) than I do when I see my reflection in the mirror.  I’m the piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit, quite literally a Misfit, but my given names are perfectly suited to the person I am – I am an Old Soul, who has Grace with everyone, often at the expense of myself (but I’m working on that as part of my therapy).

Thinking back to Lily-Rose’s christening, the reading was Isaiah 43:1.


The minister explained that each of us have a name (some of us even the same one), but that our given names have meaning and speak to who we are, and that God knew what our names would be, long before our parents even knew of our existence, referring to Jeremiah 1:5.


Today when I looked at how happy little Mouse is in the photo on my fridge, it stirred something within me, and that is that this Gracious Old Soul is loved and cared for, not only by the earthly angels that I am surrounded by, but by God too.

There’s comfort in that 🙂





When we lived in Potchefstroom, I attended an all-girls high school. In the beginning I hated it, but it eventually started to grow on me. Dad was transferred to Pretoria and I was faced with the option of changing schools (again!), or becoming a boarder. I opted for the latter.

At the school every pupil had to wear a name badge. It was part of our uniform. I always thought it was a stupid idea, but as I’ve got older I’ve realized that it isn’t.

I make a point of greeting a person by name if they have a name badge on, for example a store cashier, bank teller or a petrol attendant, because it makes them feel important and also because often they remember me too. They may not know my name but they remember my face.

That brings me to the subject of my post today. Daniel…

Daniel is the petrol attendant at the garage I utilize most to fuel my Silver Bullet and Dad’s car. One morning I stopped in on my way to the farm and asked him to put R120 worth of fuel into my car. He popped the nozzle in and fervently began washing the windscreen and when I looked again the pump was ticking over at R180! I shrieked “Hey! Look what’s happened!” in horror (purely because I only had R200 in my purse) and he grabbed the nozzle out and humbly apologized, telling me that he would pay the difference in out of his own pocket.

It was then that I noticed his name badge, which turned him from just another petrol attendant to Daniel, a real person working as a petrol attendant, trying to earn an honest day’s wage.  I felt quite sorry for him because I know that R60 is most likely his entire day’s wage, so I told him, “It’s okay Daniel, don’t worry. I actually do have enough money in my purse to pay for the petrol.” I still tipped him for cleaning the windscreen. He was so grateful.

Ever since that day, whenever I stop at the garage and Daniel is working he just about assaults the other attendants if they even so much as come near whatever car I’m putting petrol in. It is actually amusingly sweet. If I’m on my way to work he will ask how things are at the farm and wish me a good day, and if I stop in after work he will ask about the past day, as will I about his.

On Monday I came to work with Dad’s car and stopped in to put petrol in and he asked if the car was my other car (and I’m thinking “Oh, I wish!”) and I told him that it is Dad’s.  It’s idle chit-chat, but I know he appreciates the interaction.

It just goes to show, a smile and a bit of personal recognition can go a long way…and it brings that saying to my mind: “Be kinder than necessary to everyone you meet because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”