Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Still Around

I intend to publish more posts on this very simple blog - but everything in my world is a bit "all over the map" right now. In other words, so many distractions I can't think.

What I would like to do is talk about where I am going to be tomorrow and why I have to do this and all the memories it brings to the forefront and all the dusty brown memorabilia I've pulled out as a result - but the present is too pressing.

Charlie and I are "moving" Sarah and Kate back to Auburn on Friday and Saturday. Thanks to our hospitable friends in Tallassee, AL, we have a place to stay other than an Auburn hotel. It's Beth and Jamie Baldwin and it is good for my soul to visit their home. Moving them back to Auburn will require much heavy lifting and humidity endurance - all of that - but we are on the last leg of this 11 year college experience. We moved Ann into a dorm in the fall of 1999. We will finish with Kate graduating in May of 2010. Sarah graduates at the end of this semester '09.

Laura Beth and Ada are on their way here - but I am leaving tonight for South Alabama - attending the funeral of my aunt - she was married to my Dad's brother. She was 94 when she died.The funeral is tomorrow in Troy, AL - I have several distant relatives in Troy with whom I no longer communicate -many I've never met. When I was very very young and we visited Troy - I felt as if I was related to everyone there and always was being "shown off" to them by my grandmother. Everyone seemed very old to me. It was fun visiting Troy and so different from my life in Evergreen or it seemed different. Evergreen felt "contemporary" to me - new and young and fresh - but that was because I lived there and our house was a low ranch style. All the houses I visited in Troy were big and old - really old and really big - I liked it a lot and the way it was different. Now I'm talking about things I don't have time to talk about right now. Anyway - tomorrow is probably the last time I'll have reason to go back to daddy's world - and get a tiny glimpse into that part of my past. I'm hoping for a reconnect - but I am prepared to be a bit disappointed. Daddy would be 96 if he had lived without Alzheimers or any other dementia. His body was very fit. So - no chance of meeting his contemporaries. - we'll all be the next generation and we haven't kept in touch.

Mary Ann and I are meeting in Montgomery and traveling from there to Troy.

I need a camera.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hello Saturday

Gorgeous Day!

I cut grass yesterday and finally majorly pruned two bushes which needed them. One was my Mock Orange and I should have done it way before now. Right now is not the time to prune since probably all the buds are set for next spring - but oh well - I had to sacrifice a season to finally get the dear bush pruned. It had so many dead branches tightly packed into new growth. Had to do it. The other is my - well - I can't think of the name of it - but it just needed a really good haircut - pretty much - which I did that.

Last night Ann, Charlie, Andrew and I rode over to H'ville to see an All Star football game - my sister had emailed me that our cousin was playing in it. He's actually the grandson of our cousin - well - I called Charlie and he knew that one of our own Scottsboro graduates was also playing in it and that a group from church was going over to see him - including Steve, who was already taking Ellie and Luke.

We had a very nice evening at the Alabama A&M Stadium - Louis Crews Stadium, I believe. Weather was so nice and I was laughing that my two worlds were colliding. Scottsboro folks behind me and Evergreen folks in front of me. Crazy.

Favorite things - working in the yard - and visiting with family and friends.

I am now going to work on another small bed that really needs weeding. It's the one in which I planted seeds - beside the Art Studio after Charlie cleared out the overgrown bed. I planted Queen Anne's Lace and White Shasta Daisies. More clover is coming up and it's taking over the bed. Can't let that happen.

Yesterday as I was working on the Mock Orange Bush which is near the road - a friend slowed down and remarked that I had certainly picked a balmy day to do yard work - to which I replied, "I just have to get out here and do this". Then I added, "It works some of the nastiness out of me". She knew exactly what I meant and said she had so much nastiness in her. We really shared a good laugh. Another way of putting it is, "It's good for the soul". It is.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009 Part II

Want to share this quote that my sister, Mary Ann, sent me. It's actually from a hymn in the "old" Methodist Hymnal. It was written by Nicolaus von Zinzendorf and translated by John Wesley.

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness my beauty are,
my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
What am I wearing? How do I feel about my appearance? Where are my priorities? Assuming my head is bowed low in awe of His reality and in awe of being covered in His blood and righteousness, misdst flaming worlds, arrayed in His blood and righteousness, WITH JOY shall I lift up my head.
Thanks Mary Ann and had to share this on my blog.

July 15, 2009

Last night Mike and Mary Bratton and Charlie and I drove up to Chattanooga to eat at Tony's Pasta - for my birthday.

We had a really nice time - and a lot of talk and laughter - We were in the art district of C'nooga.

I know that I have things Mother kept regarding birthday parties of mine, but I was unable to put my hand on them.

The first one I remember which was very significant to me.... actually I was about to name my 5th birthday party, but the first one I remember is really my 4th. We were in our new house and Mother invited so many friends and all my cousins. All the children were dressed in their Sunday Clothes - in the afternoon. Mother served ice cream cones for the children - and cake - I have pictures of that party and the adult ladies are dressed really nice as well. I recall being aware of how messy the ice cream was. I have an image in my mind of the screen porch door being open and the ice cream cones being passed by Mother to other adults who were handing them to all of us children. The ice cream was very drippy and I was aware of it.

I have pictures of that party and in one of the pictures is the little girl, Marilyn Mason, who also sent me the birthday card this week. Here we are, 58, and she was at my 4th birthday party - and she just sent me a card. Amazing to me.

I remember nothing about opening the gifts or the arrival of the guests, or what we did - I just have an image of that time when we were all eating the ice cream. It was July 14th. Imagine how hot it was and of course the ice cream was messy.

On my 5th birthday, again, outside I do remember my friends arriving. I remember taking pictures prior to the party. I recall my friend from down the street arriving with her gift and it wasn't wrapped. Just a gift with ribbon around it and it was a tea set. I know the gift because it's in the pictures I've looked at over the years. Again, we were all dressed rather nicely - adults as well - but not quite as dressy as the year before. A bit more casual. There was a card table with a tablecloth on it and the cake in the center of that, surrounded by gifts. I know this because of the pictures. What I do remember is watching Mother make the cake for me. I thought it was beautiful. It had pale blue icing with those silver little balls on top - tiny - they have a name but I can't remember - They look like little silver pellets. I just remember being on the chair at the kitchen table, intensely watching Mother ice the cake and thinking how beautiful it was.

There was another significant party and I recall that we were outside playing games. Mother seemed rather flustered by the energy of the little boys. I think they were pretty wild and I don't recall there being a lot of adults there to help. I suppose we were all at the age when the moms just dropped their children off and returned at the end of the party.

Birthday Parties in the 50's. Pretty standard. Ice Cream and Cake. Favors were little plastic tiny baskets with small candies in them - or the blowout things. Those are favors I remember. I always looked forward to attending a birthday party - but I didn't like the midday bath I would be required to take - before dressing for the party. I suppose I had played so hard already and gotten so dirty that I had to have a bath before the party.

One more childhood memory I have is being in the den while Mother was ironing. I was sitting on the couch and she said, "Elizabeth, your birthday's coming up. We need to plan your party". I remember the feeling of getting so excited.

I really enjoyed Mary Ann's parties too. Her birthday is January 16. A winter party so it always had to be inside. As I recall it usually had more of a theme than mine did. I don't know why - unless Mother just had to think of something for those children to do inside our tiny living room. I never felt slighted by that. I loved my parties. As I got older, and Mary Ann, too, we didn't always have the group parties. Sometimes we just did family things - which included cousins and grandparents.

Well, this post would be better if I had pictures, but I don't.

And I think I'm a little tired of talking about birthdays. I find it fascinating that birthday parties given by mothers for their children have been going on for sometime. I might google that and research the history of that tradition. I have pictures of one of Daddy's birthday parties when he was a little boy. And he was born in 1913. It's common that most people feel really special that they can recall that day when they were born. Tells us, still, I think, something about God creating us and, whether we're believers or not, we're made in His image and have spirits and souls drawn to our creator. We're not just accidents - He made us for Him and for His glory. We have a sense of self and due to the fall we're self absorbed - but that sense of self is made to be lost in Him so that it is so one with Him that He becomes the glory and worship - not our own stuff and things.

Okay - that's all I'm going to write.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14, 2009

Today I am 58.

I have just spent some time searching online for hit songs during different years of my childhood and teenage years - and have created a special playlist for this week which I will call my birthday week.

As an adult the sound of July 14th still rings in my head - crystal clear - and I have wonderful memories of Mother making it such a special day. I don't care too much anymore about making it a big deal - although I did get two cards from friends - one an old high school friend who surprised me with a card. She said in the card, "Seems like we should still be playing with Barbie dolls, doesn't it?" That was endearing to read. Here we are, 58, both of us - except her birthday isn't until September. So she's a LOT younger than me - 2 months.

Mary Ann sent me a cute ecard - don't forget that I posted regarding her gift to me - the picnic tables.

I want to write about some of my childhood birthdays - wishing I had black and white pictures to post on here. That would be fun. I'll just have to draw word pictures. Right now I've been on this computer too long, picking out old songs.

Later I will edit this post and add some old memories about birthdays in the fifties and sixties.

Happy Birthday to me.

First Edit: Mother told me about the day I was born. It was hot and the hospital was not air conditioned. That's right folks, in 1951, the small hospital in Monroeville, AL - 30 min. from Evergreen - was not air conditioned. Mother's story goes like this - I was coming pretty fast, no time any pain medication - and we're not talking epidurals - it was all happening rather fast - and there was a fan blowing on Mother - the nurse had come in to the room to check on Mom, who advised the nurse that she felt like the baby was coming out. The nurse pooh-poohed her, but checked Mother anyway - sure enough. Mother said the nurse turned and ran so quickly to get the doctor that she knocked over the fan.

Things were different in 1951.

Another story goes like this. Mother was in the hospital for a few days - not sure how many. Have to check Mother's notes. Daddy was driving over to Monroeville after work - which would be after the school day ended - because he was a teacher in the high school. He was exceeding the speed limit and passed a school bus - in those days school buses only transported children who lived outside the city limits. In town kids were expected to be delivered and picked up by their parents or through a car pool or just by walking to and from school. So as daddy passed the driver of the school bus - the driver complained about his speed and careless driving - when another adult on the bus told him that was Mr. Wilkerson and his wife had just had a new baby - that he was in a hurry to see her and the new baby. They left it alone. I have always liked that story -

Isn't it funny how we begin in this world - so new and tiny and so many days ahead if the Lord ordains it. So much excitement about the new life.

I saw Ellie, Luke, Ada, and Andrew come into this world. I only heard my girls after they were delivered, due to the C-Section "curtain". It's amazing to think of our parents at that moment and their intense emotion over our being born.

It's the most amazing miracle and awesome event. When it all goes well - still - the fact that more of the births go well - than those which don't. Who could call the birth of a child an inconvenience - a mistake - something to be erased. At conception it is a new life and no man has the right to destroy it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Keep Checking

I keep checking my blog to see if I've written anything new. I haven't. Why do I do that? I really know that I haven't written anything new - but I go to it anyway - is it to see if what I've written has changed at all? I don't know.

Ada and Laura Beth went back to McDonough today. Ada was very willing to leave Near and Charlie - not in an unloving way. She waved bye-bye vigorously while saying, "BYE BYE!!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!". She did that over and over. We had said to her enough regarding home and Daddy - and she'd been in S'boro over a week. A good bit of that without Mom or Dad. So - I've heard from LB. They're in McDonough now and Ada was playing with Scott and Scott was playing with Ada. Our house is empty but it's as it should be. It's Charlie and myself - so - empty nesters or "wannabe" empty nesters will understand that sense of balance. Anyway - it's Saturday and Laura Beth has taught me a bit about couponing and using the bonus bucks at CVS. I'm doing what I can toward this last semester College Financial Crunch we're in. Ann got me $245.00. She told me about a cash for gold party and MADE me go up and rummage through my jewelry. Folks, I have never bought fine jewelry in my life. Anything that is gold is by accident. or by foolish spending - as in Ann's class ring. So - that was our spring board - Ann reminded me of the class ring and how they are bringing in $$. I gathered what might be a possibility, knowing some of it was a joke. Ann brought me back 245.00. That is good for us. I need about 50,000.00 to really feel better....or perhaps just trusting God. That will give me real peace....and does. :-)

So - it's Saturday - and I'm cutting grass.

I have now posted something new.

Sarah and Kate, who are home for the summer, are both in Auburn and Charleston, S.C. So...for this day...it's Charlie and myself, only Charlie is up at the church...cleaning it for Sunday morning. He'll be home in a bit to do the trim work.

I have a bit more to do on the grass. Just wanted to post something new.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I need to post pictures to show anyone my summer days.

My birthday is coming up - hoping I might get a camera. My other one was in an "accident" with one of my grandchildren.

For instance, right now as I'm at the computer, trying to think of what to post, Ada is on my bed under my red and white quilt - it's the bed that Charlie has already made up and it now doesn't look so neat - If I just had a camera I'd take that picture.

I wish I'd had a camera yesterday. I drove Ada to Crossville to visit her other grandparents - Scott's folks - and her Aunt Ann who is Scott's sister. It's about an hour away - and on a gravel - dirt road. It is a classic setting - rural - garden - pastoral - cows - country roads - oh, and frogs. We'll talk about that later. If I'd had a camera I would have taken the picture of little Ada walking down the dirt road with her Pop to look at the cows. There is a screened porch on the back of their house - It's like sitting outside but away from bugs....and frogs....

While on the back porch, toward the end of the visit we heard galloping. Ada's cousin was with 2 other friends - all 3 on horses, riding up the road, rather fast. Her cousin, Justin, turned into Edna and JT's yard and there he was - in the backyard - on his horse, just saying hello. How fun would that be?! If one was really accustomed to getting about on a horse - I'm not. But I wish I was that person. Better than a bike, I would think. Of course Bikes don't leave behind "bike manure" - the way horses leave behind that sort of thing.

There's a garden and they just walk out and pick those fresh tomatoes - a lot of people do that - but we haven't had much luck with gardens on this lot - as we did when we were on Birchwood. I need Charlie to "work the garden" and he's tried, but it just takes more than we can - well - we're sticking to flowers and bushes and beds and grass/weeds - that sort of thing. We're good with that and Charlie enjoys going to the Farmer's Market and visiting with those folks as he picks out fresh summer vegetables.

Anyway - it was a good day and a good visit with Ada's Pop and May-May. Charlie and I are Charlie and Near. Edna and JT are Pop and May-May.

I've had Ada with me since Sunday. I offered to keep her when Scott and Laura Beth left to return home. LB has been so sick(due to being Baby #2 in her tummy) and still is - and I just threw it out there - knowing how hard it would be for her to feel Ada's absence until this day, Thursday. After much thought and feeling so sick - Laura Beth took me up on it. Fortunately Ada was really good with it - and was fully aware that her folks were going "Bye-bye". So here we are. Laura Beth will come today and return on Saturday to McDonough.

Back to FROGS - I have this thing about them - they're so ugly - and visually they affect my nervous system - as in they freak me out. I just can't handle them - They are my phobia to the point of I've had to pray about it. Really ask God to deliver me from that "fear?" I hate calling it a fear because I'm not fearful of them - as if they would hurt me - it's just seeing them - I am better. I didn't go nuts when I saw one from a distance yesterday - but I couldn't handle being just inches away from it. That would have resulted in my acting really stupid like squealing, jumping - just acting all freaked out. I'm glad I didn't have to display that kind of behavior. Of course I wouldn't have HAD to - but it would have been my reaction.

We had a July 4th celebration/picnic on Saturday - lots of folks in my yard - on my porch - in my house - more food than I've seen in a long time - it was fun and delicious - but I - who love "events" - need to calm down about them. I get in way over my head - I've always been excessive and moderation doesn't come naturally to me. For instance, I would have had 6 children instead of 4 - If I shop at the grocery store for one item - I think I might often better get 2 - it can get expensive - and parties - let's make them big - and then I'm really tired at the end of the day - But our picnic was fun and loud and festive. I'm glad we did it - but I might need to retire from large parties - I think I need to calm down a bit. :-)

Well - Ada is very tired of my posting - and we're down to one diaper. Gotta run to Wal-Mart for those.