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  • Archive for June, 2011

    ♪ We are family ♪


    2011 - 06.24

     

    Cooking, cooking, cooking and then add to that, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. This is my Friday. I’ve invited both sides of our families up for dinner tomorrow. It’s something I haven’t done for awhile because it’s so danged hard to pull together. Reading some of your comments to this blog and what you thought of my book Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge has me reminiscing to the point where I’m doing the joint family thing again.

    We used to do this quite often but then this person said that, that person felt this…and eventually I got hurt, too. Yeah, yeah, I know that happens in families but these are in-laws I’m talking about. The same thing can hurt just as much but be forgiven more easily within your own bloodline. Somehow, when the insult comes from “them”, that “other side of the family”, it seems harsher and lasts longer. I know it’s not nice to hold a grudge but I’ll freely admit I do. But all of us are growing older, faster (it seems) and I’m willing to give it another go.

    So, as I’ve watched my mother in the past, I began cleaning a week early, planning the menu two weeks early, and started cooking at 7 this morning. It’s not that the menu is that huge, and others are bringing side dishes, it’s just that I have more cleaning to do, laundry to finish as I’m cooking. And now I’m more tired than I’ve been in a long time. And speaking of growing older, I have polyarticular pain, so my body’s screaming right about now. I’m glad I’m not as old as I feel or we’d be contacting nursing homes.

    I remember hearing Mamaw mention “hurting so bad” but, bad granddaughter that I was, I didn’t pay much attention. I’m so sorry, Mamaw, I think I might finally be “getting it.” I just wish I’d understood when you were still with me.

    So, back to the cooking and cleaning. May God take pity on me. Heck, since I’ve already got half the state coming, why don’t YOU just come on over, pull up a chair, sit a spell and have a bite? I promise I won’t even complain once if you will!

    If you need something good to read, how about checking out my books and short stories on Amazon? Gloria Teague and GT Everett (my dark side) both have something for everyone!

    Fathers’ Day


    2011 - 06.19

    WordPress has been misbehaving and refusing to work with me.

    Yes I know, I goofed up. I missed my own unofficial Friday deadline. One of the great things about being a full-time writer is not having to punch a time-clock. As long as I fulfill a publisher’s deadline, it doesn’t matter if I do it two weeks early or stay up 48 hours straight and squeak it in just under the line. And one thing’s for sure, I’ve never missed anyone’s deadline in my life. If my blog is a day or so late, no harm, no foul. I don’t think I’m holding up anyone’s life by posting today instead of Friday.

    While it’s on my mind-Happy Father’s Day! I wish I could get into it more than I do but, since my biological father died when I was four, it’s just not been a big holiday in my life. Sorry to be a downer. Okay, so let me go one step further in ruining your mood since I have your attention. Today is my mother’s birthday. She’s been gone for eight years yet, every year, for the week preceding this date, several times I panic and think, “Oh God, what can I get Mom for her birthday?” I’d give anything to have to still worry about that. And because she was mother and father both for most of my life, this weekend is a double-whammy for me.

    Okay, that’s the end of “Pity Party for One”. The sun is shining, I have a great family and already finished cooking breakfast (almost two hours ago) for my husband (steak, eggs, hash browns, biscuits, orange juice and coffee) and the kitchen is clean. As an early gift, I took hubby to the stage play production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at a community theatre last night. Afterward we got an ice cream cone. Very 1950ish, right? What more could I ask for?

    My daughter is taking my husband (her step dad) out for supper tonight and has invited me along. Since we don’t yet know where we’re going, it’s going to be a nice surprise. One of my step-sons called his dad earlier and was getting things together for a barbeque, including steamed clams. What???? This southern girl doesn’t understand steamed claims being part of any barbeque-ever. Oh well, he lives in Jersey-maybe that’s the reason. 

    I don’t remember having special Father Day events as I was growing up, though I may have with my first step-father and just don’t remember them. How about you? Do you have any nice or funny Father Day’s memories to share?

    Here’s my Father’s Day gift to you:

    Father’s Day was near when I brought my three-year-old son, Tyler, to the card store. Inside, I showed him the cards for dads and told him to pick one.

    When I looked back, Tyler was picking up one card after another, opening them up and quickly shoving them back into slots, every which way. “Tyler, what are you doing?” I asked. “Haven’t you found a nice card for Daddy yet?”

    “No,” he replied. “I’m looking for one with money in it.”

    ************************************************************************

    On the day I received my learner’s permit, my father agreed to take me out for a driving lesson. With a big grin, he hopped in behind the driver’s seat. “Why aren’t you sitting up front on the passenger’s side?” I asked.

    “Honey, I’ve been waiting for this ever since you were a little girl,” Dad replied. “Now it’s my turn to sit back here and kick the seat.”

    Memories…


    2011 - 06.10

    Yesterday I was honored to be asked to read a story or two from my book Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge at an adult day care center. I say honored because I was the one that was blessed simply by being with these living chapters of history. After I read the chapter titled “Bitter Lesson”, the director asked if I wanted to read them another story. I said, “How about I ask if anyone wants to tell me a story about being young, in the 30s, 40s or 50s?” Some of them started smiling so to encourage them I said, “Aw c’mon, surely you did something to get in trouble like I did when I was little. I’ll make you a deal; tell us when you did something nice and we’ll smile and act like we believe you.” First they laughed, then they started telling me their stories. Oh, how I wish you could’ve been with me. These beautiful lined faces were wreathed in smiles and they blossomed like a field of flowers. One of the gentlemen told me two stories. One was about being a little boy who attended the funeral of Pretty Boy Floyd. He told me about the beautiful suits the men wore, the handsome fedoras sitting jauntily on their heads. He talked about the big black cars lined up; men still inside them, and everyone knew they were federal agents. Wow, can you imagine?

    He also told me another story that lightened the mood and I welcomed it. He told me about making molasses with his daddy. He said he had to work with the sugar cane and then boil it. (I’m sorry to say I didn’t catch everything he said because a lady kept coming up to me with an adult diaper in her hand. I wasn’t sure if she wanted me to change her or put the diaper on myself.) While it was boiling, he had to skim something off the top and every night he’d give it their 400 pound hog. Man, that was a big ‘un!  “One day it was really hot and that stuff I skimmed off sat in the hot sun all day and fermented! So I gave it to that hog that night and…well missy, have you ever seen a drunk 400 pound hog?” I said, “I think I was married to him once.” They laughed so hard two of them started coughing so hard they lost their dentures.

    I wouldn’t have missed that day for anything. It was truly one of the best days of my life and I can hardly wait to go back.

    Summertime and the living is easy


    2011 - 06.03

      Whew, summer just sent an advance notice of her impending arrival. And humid-La’ ha’ mercy! Reminds me of chasing lighting bugs (you might call them fireflies), putting them in a jar with a lid filled with holes so they wouldn’t suffocate, grass in the bottom for food. I don’t know why I thought lightning bugs ate grass. I suppose it seemed logical since they lived outside and I felt they had to eat something.

    If my cousins were visiting, after we caught a blue million of the pulsating little critters, I’d take the bug lamp to the darkest corner of the yard and gather the others for a story. With my clothes stuck to my damp skin, sweat seeping from every pore, I was uncomfortable enough to come up with some creepy stories. My only goal was to make at least, the very least, one cousin squeal in fright by the end of the story. If I was lucky, one of them would get mad because I’d scared him so bad. If the planets were in proper alignment I’d scare one of them so bad he’d run crying to his mommy. Even being scolded by an aunt didn’t dissuade me from trying to replicate that fear in another person the rest of my life. If you notice, I used the pronoun “him”; all my cousins near my age were boys and believe me, they tormented me every chance they got. That’s what made the revenge of his wet pants and crying all the way home so rewarding.

    Fast-forward a decade and hot, sultry nights when the air is so thick you can taste it on your tongue, the smell of honeysuckle drifts by with every small breeze and the leather of the car seat again sticks to my skin. The windows are open, the radio is playing and Jimmy Ruffin’s asking me what becomes of the broken hearted. The boy behind the steering wheel is talking but all I hear is the song of the crickets being accompanied by the frogs. Nothing else can compare.

    Then too, I was imagining some ferocious creature lurching toward the car and would soon swear I heard a hook being dragged along the back of the car.

    I lost of lot of boyfriends that way. <shrug>