wrapping it up

Being a proud Southerner through and through, I took Southern Living’s online quiz, “How Southern Are You?”

Not surprisingly, I am “eat up with it.”

I feel blessed to have grown up with these experiences (and more) that define our region:

  • double names
  • fireflies in Mason jars
  • saying bless your heart
  • monogrammed stationery
  • tailgating in the Grove
  • calling my mother mama
  • crawfish boils
  • shelling peas on the porch
  • seersucker
  • camo
  • scheduling weddings around football season
  • knowing Shelby’s “blush” and “bashful” colors in Steel Magnolias

We were introduced to some of the things that I checked off by our children, so the tradition continues.

Talking with each other and telling tales are other Southern traditions. I wish I were a better oral storyteller, but I am so thankful to have the opportunity to use some of those gifts as I write. Sometimes I feel like the words that people share can wrap themselves around you and make you feel understood, and noticed, and loved. A gift indeed.

And I know the real color and warmth in us, as a people, is not in the landscape or the sky but in our language, the way we lean the words against each other. We are the best-spoken people on earth, not in the realm of grammar, perhaps, but in the pictures we paint and hang on the air. Rick Bragg

The March Slice of Life Challenge has been invigorating and exhausting, encouraging and frustrating. But most of all it has given me the opportunity to follow my dream and answer my calling. To write.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you, commenters, for taking time to stop by and share a friendly touch with your words. It has been a fast ride this year. And a good one, too.

I hope we’ll all see each other again on Tuesdays when the weekly Slice of Life Challenge continues. Wow – that’s tomorrow. No rest for the weary, as my mother used to say…

similarities?

It was a surprise in our conservatively styled town when this house turned up a bright blue.

blue house

I had noticed that an older lady lives here, so that made the intense shade even more unanticipated. Even the garage makes a statement.

blue car garage

Upon closer examination I saw a familiar looking car. It reminded me of a favorite picture book, The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant.

old woman who named

Now I am filled with wonder. What other similarities are there? Most importantly, does my neighbor need a friend?

 

This house is on my route when I walk into town. Maybe someday I’ll stop in and pay a visit.

the determination of spring

Today’s weather has not been very spring-like. We have not seen the sun at all. Even after the pouring rain ceased, the clouds and dampness never went away. There is snow on the plateau just off to the east. The day started out chilly, and it has gotten colder as the day and evening have progressed.

But this time there is something different…

 

The grass is greening.

The buds on the bushes are growing every day.

The fruit trees and daffodils are blooming.

The foliage on the lilies lengthens and thickens each day.

 

Despite this cold and nasty day, the signs of spring are everywhere. They won’t be denied. Or stunted by the cold. Even when the sun hides its face, nature keeps moving along the path to warmer weather, sunny days, and all sorts of new life.

For these and all Your gifts, Lord, we thank you.

a trip to bountiful

I attended a play in one of our community theaters with my book club last night. One of our members was in the play, The Trip to Bountiful. When we arrived and got settled, I took this picture and sent it to my husband with the caption, “waiting for the play to start.”

pull tight bountiful

Pretty simple, don’t you think? Pull-Tight Players perform in a former church. It is quite a small space, with limited seating, a mere three rows deep along only two walls of the building. There’s no curtain to rise and fall or shield the audience from set changes, but the lights dim well and the actors are good at moving things around in the dark.

The actors are also very good at acting. They transformed this simple set, and I strongly felt like I  was a part of the lives of the characters they portrayed. And they do it for love, not fame, and certainly not money. They have talent, and determination, and dedication to their craft.

Last night I was transported from a rainy night in Franklin, Tennessee, back in time to a tiny apartment, a train ride, a small town jail, and a beautiful sunny day in Bountiful, Texas. I could hear the redbirds chirp (provided by sound effects), and smell the wind off the gulf (all in my mind). The full moon was huge and glowing over it all.

I left feeling that I had made new acquaintances of the characters – such seemingly real people who had let me inside their lives and souls for a few minutes. And my tears at the end were heartfelt. Kudos to all community minded actors who give their time and talent to spreading culture and class, and to making our towns better places to live.

musical memories

Summer Project:

Load my CD’s into iTunes and get up-to-date on accessing and listening to music in the 21st century!

Meanwhile, I went through some of those CD’s the other day and “organized” them. Meaning I chose the ones I hadn’t listened to in a while that caught my eye and stacked about five in my car for the road.

The first one I played was an oldie made up of songs played on the old TV show, Dawson’s Creek. I remember how taken our daughter was with this show, and how smitten she was with some of the characters. At first I didn’t encourage her to watch it at all. Then I saw it a couple of times and got interested myself.

Such angst! So many “tragic” problems. Lots of young love. My daughter was just coming of age then (and our son thought he was) and so, as I remember, the show prompted several discussions around our house. We watched it regularly and were sad to see it end. Well, actually it got a little strange toward the last part of its run so we longed for the good ol’ days before it officially ended.

Some songs on the CD I had not heard in quite some time. Some I remembered word for word, others just in parts. But listening to it took me to another place and time. It reminded me how much our family members had changed since then.

I also thought about the changes in the lives of some of the stars. Katie Holmes has certainly had an interesting life with and now without Tom Cruise, and James Van Der Beek (Dawson himself, with thicker hair) is in the cast of a new show slated to start next week.

Funny how a melody sounds like a memory… wait, that’s from another song, but it is oh, so true.

a new perspective

I was up early this morning, running an errand before heading to a meeting before school.

I drove along a familiar route, though it is one I do not normally travel at this time of day. The sun was just coming up to shine its light on the scene from the opposite side of the sky.

It’s amazing what a different perspective can do to your vision. Trees that are usually in shadow were spotlighted. Angles became distinctive, landscapes were unique, and my point of view was changed.

Sometimes it’s a really good thing to view things another way. It sheds a whole new light on things.

forecast

weather forecast:

returning cold; strong winds to follow

snowflakes falling, little if any accumulation

below freezing again – tonight

protect those plants

 

school forecast:

analyzing data; numbers first, then names

results varied, little if any of a true picture

more tests to come – almost every day

protect those students