Saturday, August 31, 2013


If my blog were a sitcom there would be a great celebration today with flowing champagne and a Grammy award winning band playing the theme song.  Someone would take a picture of the cast members standing behind a huge cake with the number 100 on it somewhere in bright buttercream marking the 100th episode.  Everyone would be smiling and excited because the 100th episode generally means syndication and steady royalty checks.

But my blog is not a sitcom so this 100th installment does not merit a great celebration.  There are no bands playing in my honor, or magnums of champagne or even a cake.  There are certainly no royalty checks to rely on to supplement my future income.  

Like my old favorite sitcom, my blog is basically a story about nothing, and my attempt to make nothing into something someone else may enjoy reading.  I’ve used this space, now for the 100th time, to express views, share memories and offer a glimpse of how I see myself.  

I hope my short musings have not been a waste of your time.  I do not think them a waste of mine.  My Fluffy cat, who at this moment is lying across my arm in an expression of total possessiveness, wishes I would write more because when I write I’m still and she can have me to herself for a few minutes.    

I’m sure I will continue to share here.  One hundred does not mean the end, it’s just a historical marker on the side of the road of my journey on this side of life.  I hope you will stop now and then to read the markers.  They are there for a reason, weren’t you knowing it?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Here's the story

I’ve written many things here about my early life, my current life and hinted at what I want for the future.  But these stories, ideas, allegories do not tell the whole story of my life.  The story of my life is…

I wish I was taller, slimmer, more toned and could wear any item of clothing and shoe style of my heart’s desire.  The truth is I am the opposite of all of these things so when I come across a blouse that fits well, or pair of pants that does not drag the floor, or shoes that fit and are comfortable, I will buy them with little regard to price (within reason).  Actually, I will buy the same item in multiple colors.  In my closet right now there is one particular blouse I own in four colors and I also have one sandal style in four colors. This is the story of my life.

My mother was one of the luckiest people I’ve ever known.  She won when she gambled, she won raffles, she found money and other valuable things, and she always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.  This was the story of her life.  I’ve won a few things; a couple of door prizes, a few bingo games, a baby’s car seat, and a genuine autographed picture of country music star Trace Adkins (I was going for the $50,000 grand prize).  I’ve just never had the confidence my mother had when she put her name in the box or threw the dice.  Ah, how she loved to throw the dice.  And as try as I might I have not yet won the lottery.  Not yet, that is.  I’m still working on that one.  This is the story of my life.

I revel in a clean house.  If I can get my house neat and clean I can keep it that way for awhile because the atmosphere a clean house creates invigorates that small part of my personality that likes order and organization.  But then the mail piles up, the cats get sick, the dust builds and the dishes don’t get done one night.  Or I forget to make my bed one morning or I’m too tired to put the laundry away.  Then, POW, the house is so disorganized and dirty I throw my hands up and push things to one side to take a nap.  This is the story of my life.

In the spring I catch a fever of the garden variety.  I can’t wait to plant things, walk my property, sit on the porch and listen to the frogs.  My perennials put on a whimsical show against a blue sky backdrop and I am happy.  My porch is clean, furniture arranged in a homey way and I am ready for the summer when there will be parties, barbeques, and general good times.  Then somewhere around mid-June the weed season begins which coincides with the hellish heat of south Mississippi.  My perennials fade, and the weeds have a tight grip on the soil from which they have risen.  They build their troops to great number and get air support from the orkish horseflies and before long there is a full-fledged war going on outside my door.  And there's no way I'm walking my property through the grass that has grown higher than my ankle.  Snakes, you know.  Forget the parties, the barbeques, the walks and the general good times.  I hole up inside and push away the folded laundry to take a nap.  This is the story of my life.

So maybe my life is not perfect.  Maybe I’m not a Martha Stewart type, and maybe my home will never be featured in Mississippi Magazine, but I am thankful I have a family, a home, a garden, and a whole body to clothe.  I may not be lucky in random fortune, but I consider myself blessed and rich in other ways.  This is the true story of my life.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The beat marches on

Eighty-six years ago a man stood on the steps of the Forrest County Courthouse holding (what looks like) a baritone under his left arm and posed for a picture.  He was surrounded by fellow members of the Leaf River Camp Chapter 28 of the Woodmen of the World band, men of all ages wearing striped hats and holding musical instruments at their sides.  Eighty-six years ago this same man had six children at home, the youngest a baby girl born the same year as he stood on the steps of the courthouse with his fellow band members.   I am sure there were many thoughts running through his head at that moment just like any one of us at any given moment in time.  I am also relatively sure, but not absolutely certain, that the thought of what would happen eighty-six years in the future, in a new millennium, was not one of them.

This is what happened eighty-six years in the future of that man of small stature, wearing a striped hat, holding (what looks like) a baritone standing on the courthouse steps.  Eighty-six years in the future the youngest child and the youngest grandchild of that baby girl he had waiting at home were standing in line at their local Walgreen’s drugstore, thumbing through a book of postcards of historical Hattiesburg, the hometown of the man with dark eyes who stood on the courthouse steps holding (what looks like) his baritone under his left arm. 

Having flipped through that book rather quickly the youngest child of the baby girl from eighty-six years ago reached for the other book on historical Hattiesburg sitting in the stand next to the book of postcards.  On the cover of this book was a picture of the Leaf River Camp Chapter 28 of the Woodmen of the World band taken in 1927, eighty-six years ago.  She remembered her aunt telling her that her father played a baritone in a band so she skimmed the picture very quickly and her eyes landed on the dark eyes of a man of small stature, and those dark eyes matched the dark eyes of her mother and her aunts and uncles.  The man was wearing a striped hat and holding (what looks like) a baritone under his left arm.   

At that moment in time the youngest child of that baby from eighty-six years ago knew she was looking into the eyes of her grandfather, a man she never met.  There are no names to match the faces in the picture, but the youngest child of that baby girl knew it was her grandfather because her mother, that baby girl from eighty-six year ago, loved him dearly and shared many stories of his giving spirit with her youngest child.  Me.

Sometimes pennies are not the only things sent from heaven and placed in our path as reminders.