Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Morning In Scottsboro

I love home.

And we are here.

There were two friends arriving in our driveway about 30 minutes after we got here. Friends of Sarah and Kate. They paid me my FAVORITE compliment!!! "I LOOOOVVVVVEEE your yard!", they both said, in their young southern collegiate female voice. It's a hodgepodge yard with comfort and gates and a few paths, not enough to suit me, but still - and it's like a cottage yard. I would prefer to live in a Cottage Style house - which I suppose mine is that - just an overgrown cottage. I can't wait until we can "afford" to repaint the whole thing. I'll choose a new color - probably traditional white and if I do shutters I will want the real ones. Might even do without shutters, I don't know. I prefer anything real to faux. Except sometimes the faux is much more affordable and can be "pulled off". :-)

And this morning again, my new young friend, one of them, was on the back porch having her "quiet time", with a cup of coffee from my kitchen. That all just blesses my heart and feeds my soul.

Kate and I have a bridal shower to attend this morning. Looking forward to that. And it's a beautiful day - this Saturday - Sarah, Claire, and Anna Lucy will leave for the C'nooga wedding this afternoon - and return with one more girl - they will all be here tonight. But I'll be asleep by them. I don't last very long at night.

Life continues - here in Scottsboro, AL - we saw the Barber grandchildren yesterday - and we all played in the yard - after Charlie quickly cut the grass following the unloading of the car. Guess what? The grass continued to grow while we were on vacation. Amazing how it doesn't stop for anything. I'm glad. We need green soft stuff under our feet.

Ada will be back next week when her Mom returns for more dental work - so, YAY - I get to see her again. It was hard to leave her for the beach - knowing she was at my house.

Okay - just posting that we are here in Scottsboro - miles away from Orange Beach and that ocean air.

I'll return to posting perhaps this afternoon, or tomorrow or Monday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Last Day

The famous, or infamous, last day at the beach. It's comparable to late afternoon on Christmas Day. It's so over, with just a little left. The effort to savor those sounds and sights and scents. The feel of the wind - we've had a great breeze, this trip. The sound - that sound - the waves - the foam, the surf crashing slowly and easily. Nothing big and dramatic. Easy crashes of water on water. Easy waves. I got in again today with Kate. I even got in the indoor pool with Sarah and did swim a couple of laps. That would be have a lap pool.

We are all preparing to go out to eat tonight. At Lagniappe. I think that is pronounced Lan-yap. I've been saying lan-yappy, but Charlie corrected me. I was doing good to call it that - goes another memory.

another beach memory.

Our family - you know, the Northcutt family - from Evergreen - remember? It was Ella and Elbert who had 4 daughters, Lucille, Edith, Florence all 3 years apart and then Mary 10 years after Florence. Weeelllllll - there was this one year - and Ella had a brother named Tom who had a large family. Tom had a place on the bay, somewhere in Florida. It was called Lagniappe Beach - only all those years we pronounced it Lag - nappy. With a hard G sound. Or we referred to it as Uncle Tom's Cabin at Lagnappy beach. We all went. Well, not Ella and Elbert - but the families of the first 3 girls. Many years the Robinsons didn't go to the beach with us. They might have been living in Kentucky, or Brundidge - prior to finally staying in Evergreen.

So - the Cooks, the Prices and the Wilkersons all went to stay at Uncle Tom's Cabin. I didn't have a clue about the famous book regarding slavery, titled UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. Noone told me about that book.

Let me tell you about UT'sC. It was a sea green cement block house - flat roof - scrubby plants in the front yard - no shade. It was one large room. The length of the back of the house ran a screen porch. There was one bathroom. The beds were all toward one end of the large room - like army cots. I knew that all the females would sleep in the large room and all the men would sleep on the screened porch. The kitchen was toward the end of the large room - separated by a counter for eating. Like a large bar - with barstools. I guess that's where we ate. I have no recollection of eating but I know we did eat there because no way, in those days would we have gone to a restaurant. It's not like we were paupers - but we just didn't indulge in that kind of extravagance - not yet - not at that stage of our family recreation. Plus, there were so many of us. 3 families - that's a total of 7 children, the oldest being Bert who was dating beautiful Susan, at the time. I remember they did go out on a date while we were there(Susan was on vacation with us) I just thought that was the most magical thing to watch - her getting ready and looking so beautiful and having a "swirly" skirted dress on - I remember it as being coral. I was so young - 5 or 6 - and I do recall Suzanne who was about 12 painting my fingernails. I was trying to get somewhere into the range of glamor that I thought Susan held. I guess Suzanne was 12. She might have been 13 or 14, if Bert and Susan were dating. I don't know.

Back to Lagniappe Beach - it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. My memory is that I had so much fun - but again, never enjoying the water if the bay floor couldn't be perfectly smooth and clear. And it certainly wasn't. I remember being very "whiney" about that because I was aware Mom was really exhausted from my complaining. I sensed that I was beginning to be very annoying to her. Oh well. I didn't enjoy the junk we had to walk through to get in the water. That's all I remember and the feeling of yet another great family vacation. I know it wasn't air conditioned. It was just a lot of people in one large room and on one large screened porch. Isn't that funny? I wonder if the adults were enjoying themselves. There's no way to know at this point. Mom, Daddy, Lucille, Mabry, and Waynard are in heaven. Florence might not remember it. I heard from Mary Ann that Flo is in the hospital for stomach ailments this week. Sad. I want her to be comfortable and at ease.

So tonight we'll dine at Lagniappe Restaurant(Lan-yap) and when I read that sign I always think of Lagniappe Beach(Lag-nappy) or Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Tomorrow - back to 1412 Byron Road in Scottsboro, AL - but not without a brief bathroom break in Evergreen. It has to be brief - Sarah is meeting friends back at our house and has a rehearsal dinner to attend in Chattanooga, TN tomorrow night. We'll have 4 extra girls spending Saturday night at our house after being at a friend's wedding on Saturday. Back to being a part of the "wedding circuit". Ann and LB have about phased out of it, but now Sarah and Kate are phasing into it. :-) Anyone have suggestions on what to do with a zillion bridesmaids dresses as well as old prom dresses? Outdated styles? We could refer to them as "vintage" and perhaps someone would buy them. Any ideas?

I have big blue hydrangeas waiting for me when I get home. I hope there's been rain. They beginning to fill out when we left. Can't wait to see them. Charlie has Monday off. Yardwork! Yay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 2, Afternoon at the Beach

I didn't get to a laptop this morning.

I could have, but one thing led to another and as I had my coffee and finished the book I was reading, I got into a long discussion with Kate. Charlie and Sarah had left to run. (Kate prefers to run alone, which she did yesterday - I prefer to have coffee - :-)

It's that beautiful time of day at the beach - easy afternoon - sun not quite as harsh, but still there. Not sunset which is it's own beautiful time - I enjoy sitting out there for the duration - falling asleep until the guy has to wake me, saying he's taking up his cushions. I've done that. But tonight we're grilling snapper - so I needed to come in and clean veggies - we're also grilling veggies. Charlie, Kate, and I will work together to get it done - and Charlie would probably do most of it, but I will help.

The book I finished, I began yesterday. I actually grabbed two of Sarah's books to bring with me - supposedly to get me through the week - but I started the first one as we left Scottsboro and finished it before we got to Orange Beach. I began this second one yesterday morning and completed it this morning. They are good reads. The first one, SUZANNE'S DIARY TO NICHOLAS is a great love story. It's just a great story - and the second one is STILL ALICE which is very well written and is about a 50 year old woman who has Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. You know that EOAD is in a league all by itself. I am the child of one who had really really really severe and crippling Alzheimer's Disease - which makes me and my sister candidates. But Daddy, whom we knew had SOMETHING by age 75, died with the disease at age 80. People would say, but he's so healthy - he'd be fine if he didn't have Alzheimer's Disease. Mother would say that. To me that's like saying, "he'd be fine if he didn't have cancer!". His brain, any Alzheimer's Diseased person's brain, is diseased. And the brain affects all parts of the body. It's not a bacteria and it's not a virus - but it's a severe deterioration and atrohy of the brain. It's not the worst thing to have and it's not the best thing to have. It's just something that people have in this fallen world. Everybody has something. Anyway - I can talk Alzheimer's Disease. But......and a big parents didn't have it before the age of 65. Having it before the age of 65 is EOAD and is really tough - unfortunate - having anything before the age of 65 is unfortunate - from our human perspective. I wouldn't choose that - but Hudson Taylor said, "God is the Great Circumstance of Life". I love that. Whatever we have, in the hands of God, is there by His permission.

Okay - but back to today. I am at the beach and my brain certainly isn't as clear as it used to be. Helloooooo!!!! Whose isn't. It doesn't worry me at this point. I'm not sure it ever will. But anyway - here we are - enjoying this comfortable and clean condominium and the beautiful sand and sun. I did get in the water - I've always LOVED the Gulf Water - but in the past few years, besides my aged bod, the jelly fish have been bad - So - today the water was clear - and in I went - telling myself not to worry about the shape of me. There aren't many who are in mint condition. I love the salt water, I love the sand, I love the sun, I love the sounds. Very cleansing and healing.

I think that I remember my first sight of the gulf water. Or perhaps I remember the first time I'm able to remember. Because my parents were taking me to the beach when I was still in "cloth" diapers. We have pictures. They referred to it as "down yonder" and I have no idea where it was. But we have pictures. But the first time it's recorded in my brain - I was 3. We went with a family down the street - the Smalls. I know I was 3 because on that beach trip Mother was pregnant with baby #3 and it was on that trip that she told Katherine Small that she hadn't felt the baby move in a while. Mother was 5 months pregnant and it was on my 3rd birthday that she was in the hospital, having miscarried. She didn't tell me that story when I was 3. She told me when I was much older - maybe teen years. Anyway - I can recall - being close to my parents and approaching the gulf and the waves. It all seemed impossible and beyond anything that I imagined could be survived. I wasn't particularly scared because I had no idea that I would actually get in that water - those waves - I didn't even know that they were waves. I didn't know what the phenomenon was - but there it was and I felt it unapproachable. I only remember that moment and that impression and wondering how anyone could touch it and live. That's all I remember.

I do remember visiting Mother in the hospital - having no idea that she had lost a baby. I don't even recall knowing about the possibility of a new sibling. I just remember visiting her and thinking how lucky she was because someone was bringing her a "Coca Cola". I can still see the straw in the glass bottle. and feel where I was standing in the room. I also remember the day we took her home from the hospital. I still had no idea why she'd been there and feeling no need to ask. I remember going with whomever to pick her up and being in the back seat of the car as we all got in to go home. I felt covered up with flowers from the florist - and I remember there was a can of Almond Rocha Candy. I was allowed to have a piece and felt it was the best thing ever. I can now find that candy at Target and will buy it all along. I love it.

So - from beach to Alzheimer's Disease to Mother's miscarriage -hmmmm. Not much of a flow.

I need to get up and help with the meal. Already Charlie and Kate are doing all the work. I need to do something.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Early Morning, Orange Beach

Here I am at the Beach.

Charlie, Sarah, Kate and I drove down yesterday - leaving Laura Beth and Ada at the house - Laura Beth is in town to see the dentist and possibly have a root canal done. :-(

Seems that when we go out of town these days, we usually leave people at the house or have someone arriving while we are gone.

I haven't posted in so long - and I've quit apologizing for it. It's the just the way things are.

I really do think of things - during the day - small nothings that launch a really good memory - something to write about on the blog - then when I sit down to the computer I can't remember what it was. I should keep a small notebook with me to jot the subject down.

Let's not forget - this blog is supposed to be about things I like to remember - or my favorite things.

One of my favorite things - which is common for a lot of people - is early morning at the beach - hearing the sound of the waves(we're on the gulf) - fresh cup of coffee - I'm hearing sea gulls - We're staying at the Phoenix. If anyone is from Alabama the Phoenix has become to a lot of you a very familiar condominium to rent. There are so many. owned by that familiar name, Brett/Robinson Realty. I can't imagine the wealth of some of these folks - Who is at the head of this company? I don't understand anything that big.

I grew up in Evergreen, Alabama - which is just two hours from the Gulf Coast. We could go in a day and get back the same day. Easy. When I was in high school, I and my four closest friends, Rachel(my cousin), Martha(married my cousin), Mary(Martha's sister), and Val(in the same class with Rachel and Mary since grade school) - all five of us would get up so very very early, leaving by 7:00 - no later than 8:00 - to drive down to Pensacola. In those days - we could drive up to an undeveloped area, park the car, and go find a very unpopulated spot and cook ourselves all day - on the beach. No sunscreen in those days - no warnings about skin cancer - and who even considered one day that our skin might really wrinkle. We were 5 girls in a car, taking a day to be on the beach. We packed a lunch, in a cooler and there we were. I don't even remember what we did about a bathroom break. No matter. I'm sure we took care of it somehow.

Living so close to the coast. It didn't seem that close, as a child. 2 hours in the car? On a two lane, no air conditioning in the early years. The first air conditioned car we owned was when I was in the 9th grade. So - until I was 14/15 - we were in a car with rolled down windows -

There was another phenomenon in those days - we always seemed to "know" people who owned "places" at the beach - and somehow would be offered a week at their place. I only remember one summer when we actually "rented" something. It was called "Shady Shores". A row of cottages to be rented. They were on the bay, in Pensacola, just before driving over that long bridge which connects to Santa Rosa Island. I loved that. The floors were black tile. Anybody remember that look? I thought the whole thing was great. I loved it that the refrigerator had a separate freezer door. At home in Evergreen, we were still owning the old Frigidaire with one door - which had the tiny little 14" by 14" inch freezer at the top in the middle. I think it was a 2 bedroom cottage - Mary Ann and I had a room with twin beds which were that metal frame - the rounded look - hard to describe. Probably chenille bedspreads - something plain and white. We could walk out the back door of the cottage, across the sand, down toward the bay. There was a pier, of course to walk out on - over the water. I have no idea how old I was. Maybe 8. I don't remember what we did besides play on the beach. The swimming wasn't that great due to seaweed. We had access to the tourist area - and we'd drive to the Gulf. There was no TV - in the cottages - never TV at the beach. No cell phones - no laptops. Imagine our world. It truly was an escape. Always had to go to the souvenir shops - get something really tacky. I loved it all. I loved the coastal area - the salt air and the sun - the warmth - the salty water. All salty and white and sandy - all of it.

Usually, for entertainment, Mary Ann and I would be allowed to purchase something - to play with. I know that my usual choice was paper dolls - and I do remember sitting on beds at the beach playing with them - this would be during rest time - or comic books - Katy Keene was my favorite - and Archie comics - I liked Superman but that was about as actionpacked as I preferred. I guess I liked the romance and drama between Superman and Lois Lane. Katy Keene was by far my favorite. She was the beautiful fashion person and she had these friends all around her - and there was always the mean jealous girl who was trying to win her spot of popularity with the men and females. But Katy Keene was so nice and beautiful and kind to everyone.

Listen, I'm rambling and it's getting up in the morning. I need another cup of coffee - I'm at the beach. Not much of what I wrote is really what I wanted to say - but at least it's something. Perhaps early tomorrow morning I'll find another unoccupied laptop, left out here in the living room and can post again.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Already Friday - I Missed Thursday's Post

Okay - so today is already Friday.

I worked very hard yesterday, taking advantage of the pretty weather - outside.

We have an area that was totally out of hand - so I dug, and pulled and cut and chopped - and I'm still sore today - but it was worth it and so much fun. I got dirty and sweaty and achy, which is something I actually enjoy about yardwork. End result, my very large Hydrangea Bush has been given some room to grow more and to breathe. Already I can see little buds of blooms. Can't wait!!!! Those beautiful Flowerheads, I think they're called. So blue and purple and round. I love them.

We have other areas which are out of control, but that's another day.

I will now post pictures of another phase of the last month. Laura Beth asked me way in advance if I could keep Ada while she and Scott went to Rosemary Beach/Seaside....that area. It was the celebration of their 3rd anniversary - you can read about it on her blog - So I did travel to McDonough and spent 2 nights, one day - and drove back to S'boro with Ada. I had been gone so much, that LB was alright with my bringing Ada back here rather than spend the whole time in McDonough - I did that and she was here Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night of that week. I travelled back to McDonough on that Sunday with little Ada Bell.
Below are the 3 cousins at the table, coloring - Ada, Luke and Ellie
Those are the first 4 pictures.
The next ones are of Ada - and I'm following her around in the yard. We had had a lot of rain and there was a brief time when we could get outside.
She was hard to keep up with and these are just a few of the many I took.
Next day I took her home, and I miss her.

That's all for today, so I've caught up with pictures I wanted to post.

I've been busy around the house, and when I do things I think a lot - as I work - so I've got several things I want to post on this blog. Hope I don't forget them.

Right now I'm going to cut the grass. Rain is due back here tonight and tomorrow.

Sarah is home and Kate is coming tomorrow, instead of Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Evergreen Wedding

I'm still catching up with everything. These are a few pictures of the wedding on April 18. It was in the Evergreen Methodist Church - Because Ellie was the flowergirl, and because Ann had to have help with Andrew, I was able to tag along for the behind the scenes stuff. We were at the rehearsal and at the church early for pictures. Again, so many memories flooding back. The last time I was at a wedding rehearsal in that church was for my own wedding. And of all things, the girl who played for my wedding, Connie Gunter Kilpatrick, was the same who played for this wedding, only she's 61 now. She was 31 when she played for my wedding. The reason I know that is because she was my neighbor on Williams St. and I know that she is 3 years older than I.

She's fun and funny and we were laughing about all the years that have zoomed by. I've actually written about her in my blog, in other posts. The reason I'm taking up so much space about the organist is that in my Evergreen world, that is such a big deal. Mary, my aunt, who is the grandmother of this bride, is the organist at this church - but of course she had to be seated for her granddaughter's wedding - Mary was the organist at Ann and Steve's wedding - at my wedding Connie was the organist because I wanted Mary, my aunt, to be seated for my ceremony.

This is pre wedding stuff. That's Ellie in her dress. I think she thought she was as big a player in the whole thing as the bride. It was a dream come true for her to wear that long white dress. That's Ann in the black dress, my aunt Mary in the turquoise blue.

My aunt, Mary, and uncle, John Law. In my family we just say first names. We don't say, Aunt Mary or Uncle John Law. Had to clarify that.
Ellie posing for me in front of the flowers.

The photographer getting a picture of Mary Hamilton and Ellie, and I'm getting a picture of that.

Left to right.

Melissa, mother of the bride, Bride, Mary, John Law.

Melissa is my first cousin, of course.

Left to Right.

Edward (Mary's youngest), Melissa, Mary, and Mary Claire, (Mary's middle child).

I have to say that Mary's oldest is John, Jr. who died suddenly in 2004. I've written about that.

His 2 grandsons were bell ringers in the wedding and so adorable. They came in ahead of Ellie.

They are Jay and William. At the reception Ellie would not let go of Jay, dancing with him to exhaustion. Mary & John Law also had a child, Jim, who died at age 4 - They've suffered that kind of grief twice in their life and I have to say that as believers they both only cling closer and with trials they are even more "changed into His likeness".

The reception was at the Evergreen Depot, which is in walking distance, around the corner from the church. It was beautiful and I saw so many people, cousins and friends, extended family in every direction - people who not only knew my parents but also my grandparents. That's called roots - and I am wired for that.

There are a lot of things I could write about regarding that week. Things we did leading up to the wedding. Ann and I travelled down with the children on Wednesday - had Thursday to relax - and then a luncheon on Friday, Rehearsal on Friday night, and Brunch, Wedding, and Reception on Saturday. That's a lot of activity and "getting dressed" with 2 preschool aged children and one infant. We were tired, but it was fun. We didn't travel back until Monday due to bad weather. And with that, Kate was in Auburn with an awful virus - so we swung by Auburn, putting about 4 extra hours on the trip - and I drove her back to S'boro in her car, behind Ann in the van.

Who loves family? I do. I talked with my cousin Rusty - seems he ran across my blog when he was searching for something. Imagine his surprise when he saw that I was blogging. I have another cousin, Michael Cook, who mentioned my blog to me. I saw him at the wedding. I know that Rachel has seen it. Susan Cook, who is married to my cousin, Bert, is the only cousin I actually told about it - oops! I did tell Martha, who married my cousin John. So - if there are any cousins or cousins in law who are reading this - Hello and I wish you would blog also so I could read what you write. Please let me know if you do. I love and miss all of my cousins. Those on earth and those in heaven.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back to Posting...Where Do I Begin?

I'm posting pictures of what I have waited for all winter. The flowers and the green - everything green. And being outside - It's definitely in the top ten list of my favorite things.

Purple Iris. Isn't it beautiful?

Looking through the gate. Inside there is a ground cover which is called a "steppable", meaning it is good for it to be walked on. It's like a lush, soft clover. I bought a small little bit of it and planted it several years ago - maybe 6 - and now it is almost covering that area beyond the gate, between my house and garage.

Ummm - petunias and something else, like Johnny Jump Ups, maybe. Or violas.

My bed which has different things - herbs, and peonies, hosta, nandina, japanese maple.

And the old rose bush - given to me by a Mr. Clemons who said it came from his mother's "old home place". It's a very old rose - he planted it for me - and promised that it's very hardy - He was right and I love this bush - because of the kindness of Mr. Clemons to share that with me.
He had noticed that I like working in the yard, much like his mother did. I love that.

Those summer greens and shadows - Delightful!

Old Irises - not hybrids - I like antiques in furniture and in plants.

My sage.


Rosemary. I also have flat leaf Parsley, which is similar to Cilantro.

Obviously, my computer is back at home.

Nothing looks the same on my screen. It's as if a room in my house has been given a makeover and I don't know where everything is. I'm feeling rather awkward with it all. Plus the font is so small, I have to wear glasses to see anything on the screen. I'm guessing I can go somewhere and enlarge the font. I think I've done that before, but I just hesitate to tamper with anything because we spent so much money getting the crazy thing cleaned up and all well from its viruses. It moves really quick now. I wonder how long that will last. Computers own the world, don't they? I have a disk on which they backed up all my "stuff". I hope my pictures are on there because they're not at Picasa anymore. is what I use to store all my pictures.

I also get so much junk mail - I had 1800 + emails waiting for me. Maybe 5 or 6 were real emails. Crazy. The guys at Geek Squad told me to get a new email address, which I've just taken care of - it'll take a while for my new address to get "around in cyberspace". I hope.

Monday, May 4, 2009

quick update

Will be posting again pretty soon, from my tuned up computer,I hope. Today is Monday May 4 and I am in McDonough, GA.

I drove to McDonough last Tuesday to be with Ada while Laura Beth and Scott went to Rosemary Beach for a little vacation, celebrating their 3rd anniversary.

I arrived in McDonough on Tuesday, spent the whole day Wednesday with them in McDonough, letting Ada get accustomed to me and still feel safe with MOM nearby. On Thursday, due to my many travels recently - to Clearwater Beach, to Evergreen, AL - I drove Ada back to Scottsboro with me - with parents' permission, of course. So - Ada was with Charchie(Charlie) and Near(Elizabeth) in Scottsboro from Thursday until Sunday. We left early yesterday morning, getting ahead of the storms, arriving back in McDonough at Noon, Atlanta time.

I loved having my little Ada for those many days, but I know she missed mom and dad. She did great, but when she saw them again, she was literally running in circles. She was so excited to see them. So cute. I am driving back to Scottsboro in just a little while, giving morning traffic time to calm down.

My computer - Lord willing - I will pick it up tomorrow at Best Buy. They tell me it's ready! Yay! It's like getting my pet back - only it's my computer. Weird. I have pictures to post from both wedding weekends and from the Ada visit. There will be so much email to delete. I don't get much real mail - mostly junk - which the Geek Squad has advised me to get a new email address which will cut back the junk mail for a while. That, apparently is the solution to excessive junk mail. Every so often, get a new email address. A hastle, but I think worth it to cut back on the junk.

Sarah and Kate are done with finals this week and Sarah comes home tomorrow. Kate will come home on Tuesday of next week. She has to work this week at her "coffee shop" job.

That's where we are - and my little computer being at Best Buy is why I haven't been posting.

Looking forward to a great summer.

I have some updated summer pictures of my yard and my peonies are beginning to bloom. So beautiful!!!! I love them. They remind me of ice cream.

That's all for the update and checking in.