Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Is Ending and May Is Upon Us

Ann and I walked this morning.  We've been rather consistent - walking at 5:45 in her neighborhood - so many good, steep hills.

Our conversation went to how the days speed past us.  Time speeds by.  Each individual day is very present and then it's a vapor.  The days are lost in my memory.

Already my oldest grandchild is seven.  Ellie's birthday was yesterday.  For that reason Laura Beth is traveling to Scottsboro today with John and Ada.  Ada is invited to a very small sleepover on Friday night at Ellie's house.  Ellie will have 3 young guests - 3 little girls.  Charlie and I will have Luke, Andrew and John spend the night with us on Friday night.  Looks like we'll have our own spend the night party.
This picture was taken yesterday at my house.
Ann with her girls, Ellie (7) and Abigail (10 mo.)

Speaking of time going by so fast,
I've been going through old photos that Charlie brought back from his mother's house 
when they moved her from Pensacola to Atlanta.

I ran across these pictures taken of our house in November 1994, 
after we had moved in during the month of August 1994.
That was 18 years ago.

Look at how bare everything was.

So I went outside yesterday to take pictures of our house right now.
April 2012.

What a different 18 years of growth makes.

that's all.

Just needed to put up a new post.

I have lots of projects to work on.

I moved them all to my back porch on Monday 
to get them out of my garage and right where I'll be reminded to get them done.

It all involves stripping and priming and painting.

I love projects, now that it's warm outside.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Reason Kate and I Were in Evergreen.....

is because my sister is President of the UMW.


she gets speakers for their monthly meetings.

What is UMW?  United Methodist Women.

It's a classic.  There used to also be different groups within the church and they were called circles.  They had names attached to them - like - The Nellie Newton Circle - The Ada Henderson Circle.

I know for a fact that The Ada Henderson Circle lives on, because Mary Ann is a part of that one.  I'm not sure what the original purpose was - because there was always the Methodist Womens' Group - I guess there is still The Nellie Newton Cirlce also.  I don't know.

Ada Henderson is the name of my great grandmother.  I've just always heard her name with that particular circle.  I don't think I know who Nellie Newton was.

Back to our trip - Kate was the speaker for this month's meeting of the UMW.  Mary Ann asked her to tell how she came to trust Christ and believe in Him and walk with Him and also to tell about her work in RUF, which is Reformed University Fellowship.  Kate is an intern with that campus ministry, on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  So - we drove down to Evergreen for that.  It was a delightful salad luncheon and fellowship with ladies I've known for a long, long time - and also those who are new to me.

And so it was over.  

Kate and I drove around Evergreen, seeing old houses and neighborhoods, 
before we went back to Mary Ann's house to get our bags.

Then up, up, up to the top of the state in Jackson County.
All the way up on Sand Mountain, and then down into this pretty valley where sits Scottsboro.
Over the bridge and we're home.

Charlie had the house so neat and straight - and with it being dusk, the outdoor lights were on.

Good to be home.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One more spring in South Alabama

I'm here - again - 

One more spring in Minnesota, South Alabama,
To come upon Lake Wobegon. Evergreen.
Old town I smell your coffee. 
If I could see you one more time -- 
I can't stay, you know, I left so long ago, 
I'm just a stranger with memories of people I knew here. 
We stand around, looking at the ground. 
You're the stories I've told for years and years. 

That yard, the tree -- you climbed it once with me, 
And we talked of cities that we'd live in someday. 
I left, old friend, and now I'm back again, 
Please say you missed me since I went away. 

One more time that dance together, 
Just you and I now, don't be shy. 
This time I know I'd hear the music 
If I could hold you one more time. 

--Garrison Keillor 

 Kate and I drove down yesterday, Sunday afternoon.
So glad to be here.  It's been a while.
It's no secret I love my roots - those sights and sounds and smells and places and people who shaped me.
Family, Friends, Failures and Successes.
Laughing, Talking, Crying, Gasping, Exclaiming.
Loving, Hating, Learning, Knowing.

As Kate and I got into the heart of South Alabama, which I say is just above Montgomery - I felt my breathing change.  My heart lifted a bit.  My soul relaxed.  

Just so the reader will know, I shift back to another kind of homecoming when I get on Sand Mtn., around Rainsville - I'm going to what I know in Scottsboro, AL - what is present and real and what has shaped my adult life - married to my dear, loved and loving, and faithful Charlie - Always there to catch me in my breakdowns, always there to hear about my visits home to Evergreen - to know my lackings and my strengths - I get into North Alabama where I have been blessed with a life of loving my four girls from birth to now - where I receive my grandchildren and hug and kiss them and nurture them and my family and friends, my weeds grass, my flowers, my trees, my yard, my daily living - I love home, wherever it is.

But Evergreen is where I am/was a child and I am vulnerable and known.  

I can hear Mother and Daddy's laughter and rhythms and steady paces,  and there are ghosts here of my childhood  -  I think it's the longing we all have for our true home - eternal. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11


Now we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For now we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.  For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened, not that we should be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 5: 1 - 5
(knowing this scripture is about being clothed in His Life and His Righteousness and His redemption, but He did say, "I go to prepare a place for you"  and it is my true home)

Evergreen Images, What I've Always Seen
Mixed with Images of my Present Life - my children and grandchildren.

Grandmother's - excuse me - Mary Ann's Marble Table

Always the Music

The Clock from Troy(daddy's home).
It chimed every hour and half hour.

Grandmother's Music Stand.

Grandmother's Portrait, she was sixteen.

Where Mother used to sit, in her room.
Her Spot.

Portraits of my children, framed in old frames.

Mary Ann's house which once was home to another Evergreen Family.

More musical images, always.

This Picasso - from his "Blue Period".
Mother and Daddy were young, newly married and wanted to "collect art".

Grandmother's pastel from her Judson College days.

Mother always said these houses reminded her of her grandmother's house.
They called her Mama Sally.

My Daddy as a very young man.  He looks 14 or 15 to me.

Mother's silhouette.

And then we went to visit my aunt, Mary.

and her daughter, Melissa - my cousin.

We sat around their kitchen table.
They were asking Kate all about what she's doing now.

While they asked all about that, I meandered around Mary and John Law's house, getting some photos.
This oil portrait done for Mary and John Law of their son, Jim, who lived only 4 sweet, precious, adorable years.  1955 - 1959.

Portraits of Melissa and Mary Claire.  
My youngest female cousins, Mary's 2 daughters.
Melissa is a Caterer and below...... the kitchen where she prepares her meals and dishes and treats.

Her homemade rolls.

Mary's  baby grand piano.
again, the music.

Perhaps more pictures tomorrow of Evergreen outside the family homes.

We did eat lunch today at a local restaurant.
Saw old faces, old friends, old acquaintances.

I always identify myself  this way, 

"Do you recognize me?  I'm Elizabeth Wilkerson"

Because I don't always recognize everyone.  I have to gaze through the years to know who they are.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Train

Ellie went with me today to take Sarah to the Train Station in Birmingham.

It's on Morris Avenue - right smack kadab in the middle of downtown Birmingham.
Birmingham is no Atlanta, but it has its own unique downtown.
I like it a lot.
I used to work on the corner of 6th Avenue and 20th Street.  So, on the way to the train station, I crane my neck, looking to see images from my past - those days of single life and those days of meeting Charlie and then that one year we were married and living in Birmingham.

So - the train station - and saying goodbye to Sarah.