Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Write For Ten Topic: What is your favorite pet name for someone?

My oldest child was born in Germany, where I was living with my first husband who was in the Army. In 1971, the Army was giving early discharges to enlisted men, and my husband was one of them. So, when Seth was not quite six weeks old, I flew home to Atlanta with him the day before Christmas Eve.

My brother's girlfriend, who was later his wife, was visiting at my parents house for Christmas from California. My return home was a surprise for everyone, because we did not know I was going to be allowed to fly. I only found out at the last minute. So, when I got to Mama's house, everyone was there, and they all got to meet Seth and he was passed around to be admired by everyone.

A month or so later, when my soon to be sister in law wrote a thank you note to my mother for her hospitality, she inquired about the health of "baby Sledge".  We all laughed about that, but the name has stuck to my son now for more than 38 years.

My second child was born when my son was two years old, eleven days after his birthday. She was named Rebecca Jean. 

When Rebecca was about two weeks old, my mother came and picked up to take us to the grocery store with her. My sister and her friend were also along for the ride.

My sister's friend asked my son what his baby sister's name was, and he replied "Rejecca Bean."  She has been called that ever since.

And my last child, Emily, was born with a thick head of hair. By the time she was two, her hair was to her shoulders, and was very full and slightly wavy. My father always called her Farrah, after Farrah Fawcett, because of the way her hair self styled itself. No one else ever called her that, but I am sure if my father was still alive, he would still be asking me "How's Farrrah?" whenever he might ask about her.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Write For Ten Topic: Describe a stranger you saw today.

I had a doctor appointment today, so I had the "pleasure" of sitting in a crowded waiting room for about forty five minutes. Most of the people in there with me were just sitting there quietly, minding their own business. But, there was one lady who was talking so loudly it was obnoxious. She told anyone who would listen about how her daughter was working on her doctorate at "the university". As if she did not have to WHICH university and everyone would automatically know which one she was talking about.

This woman droned on and on about how this daughter already had a masters degree from somewhere else and how she had single handedly saved a school system somewhere in another state, and how when she finishes THIS degree she will probably volunteer somewhere for a while. You have to imagine a heavy southern bell accent, complete with exaggerated "g's" on the end of any word that ended in "ing", just so that everyone would instantly know this woman was well educated. Except that she had no manners, I guess she never went to finishing school.

I say she had no manners, because in between telling everyone how very very intelligent her daughter was, she asked each person what they at the doctor for. I really don't want to tell strangers why I am at the doctor's office. Well, maybe on my blog, but not in person, ya know?  She asked one young woman, who had her hand heavily bandaged, "Honey, what did you do to your hand" and the girl just stared at her. I thought it was very rude of the woman to ask.

I was so glad when they finally called me in to see the doctor, for more reason than one. At least I didn't have to listen to BragginG Betty anymore!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Write For Ten Topic: What Color Is Your Hair?

What is your natural hair color? What other colors has it been? If you could have been born with a different color, what would that be and why do you think it would have suited you better?

Ahh--now that I am in my late 50's my hair is a nice gray color. When I was young, it was so dark it was almost black. And my hair has a natural curl to it that makes it easy to style but gets frizzy in humid weather.

When I was a little girl, my mother always rolled my hair in rags the night before picture day at school, so that all my grade school pictures make me look like my hair is wound up! I know she meant well, but I hated that so much! What I hated even worse was when she tried to do the Toni Home Perm--I can so relate to the old commercials they used to have that showed the girl sitting on the sidewalk crying because of the perm gone awry!

I only colored my hair one time. When I was about 34 years old, I decided that I wanted a change. The color was a dark brunette with a purple hue to it when I was in direct sunlight. I thought it was beautiful. But when I went to work that Monday, a young twit of a co-worker said "Are you getting ready for Halloween early, Karen?" I wanted to slap that girl on the spot. I went home and washed my hair about ten times trying to get that color out, and I have never attempted to color it again!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Write For Ten Topic : College Education

College education. Do you have one? Was it worth the cost? If you don't have one, do you miss it? 

I was a flop in high school--I had no interest in school, except that it was a place to escape to from home, so I went every day. But, I failed in math and english. I failed 9th grade english four times, so that when I was in my senior year I was still in a sophomore home room. I knew I had no chance of graduating with my class, so I quit school before Christmas break of my senior year.

I got married, had three babies in four years, and divorced by the end of the seventh year. I worked hard to take care of my little family, and tried my best to get my children to understand the importance of an education.  My son, though, did not think it was as important as I had been trying to tell him, and he quit school as soon as he turned sixteen.

One day after he quit school, I woke him up early one Saturday morning and told him we were going to go take our test for the GED. He protested, saying he had not studied for it and was not ready. I told him I had not studied for it either, but if we went together and took the test and didn't pass, then we would know what we needed to study for the next time.

To our surprise, both of us passed the test and got our GED certificates in the mail. When I held that piece of paper in my hands, I was more surprised at how I felt to have accomplished that! I was so proud. After all those years of not having a high school diploma, I finally had proof that I could do it.

I felt so good about getting that GED, that I went down to the local satellite campus of Mercer University and signed up for my first college class. I decided to take the required business math class first because I knew if I couldn't pass that I would not ever graduate. I made an A. As a matter of fact, I was on the Dean's :List for every quarter that I went to Mercer. Even when they changed the requirements for the degree I was working towards and had to take Algebra, I made the highest score in the class.

I never finished the degree--but I got what I needed from my time going to college--pride in myself, and the ability to say I was the only one of my siblings to ever go to college.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Write For Ten Topic: Did something funny, unexpected happen on your wedding day?

 We had planned to get married on April 1--since we both felt like fools trying it again. I had been married and divorced three times, and he had been divorced twice. It seemed like a perfect plan--only it didn't happen. We just both drug our feet and let the day pass us by.

In May, we talked again about getting married, but still, did not make any effort to actually do it. He had already moved in with me and we were comfortable with the arrangements. Then, on May 13, he was in an auto accident. I went to the hospital emergency room and told them I was his wife. Only he had told them he wasn't married, so they wouldn't let me in. I also couldn't sign paperwork allowing them to treat him for his injuries. I had to call his brother to come to the hospital to take care of that.

He was in the hospital for 13 days. The night before he came home, he asked me if he could come to my house to recuperate. I told him he could, but that we really needed to get married if he did, because the doctor was talking about it taking two years for him to fully get over his injuries.

So, in July, when he could stand up without crutches, we got married. It was a small ceremony with close friends and family at our house. After the judge who performed the ceremony said "I now pronounce you man and wife", his brothers and friends all lined up to take turns doing their duty. They all said he had told them after his second divorce "If I ever get married again I want you all to just kick me in the ass!"  That was the first I had heard of that vow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Write For Ten Topic: My Favorite Smell

Ah, the fragrance of fresh laundry, of sheets that have hung out on a line in the sunshine! That smell takes me back to my childhood, before we had an electric clothes dryer. My mother hung all the laundry outside to dry. Oh laundry day, I almost couldn't wait to get into bed with those fresh washed sheets!

The sight of clean laundry flapping in the breeze on a sunny day is so welcome! Just the fact that they are there tells that someone cares, that someone wants their family to be clean and happy. That Mama took the time to change the beds and make them up. That love lives in that house where the clothesline hangs.

The feel of fresh sheets on newly bathed legs makes me think of days spent running barefoot through grass as a child. Feet that go so dirty they looked as red as the Georgia clay where I grew up. Mama made us all take a bath every night of course, but on laundry day, we couldn't even think of getting in that fresh washed bed before taking a bath and making sure our feet were clean! And those fluffy sun dried towels--just icing on the cake!

Yes, the smell of freshly laundered sheets is a powerful smell, one that can take me back fifty years or more. A smell that good can't be duplicated by turning the drum of the dryer--those sheet have to soak up that smell from the sunshine and clouds.

What A Small World This Is!

Just found out that one of the girls in my Write For Ten group is the cousin of the other camp host here at Payne Lake. How weird is that?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Write For Ten Topic: Out My Back Door

As I was looking for the topic for today, I was looking out my kitchen window and saw a beautiful Eastern Bluebird sitting on a post by the propane tank. These little birds have a rusty red breast and a creamy white belly with a beautiful blue for the rest of their body.

There are lots of birds around this area. We are volunteering as camp hosts in the Talledega National Forest sout of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Our backyard is unspoiled forest of long leaf pine, oak, cedar and a few cypress in the wet spots.

Across the road in front of our trailer is the 110 acre Payne Lake. The mood of the lake changes from day to day--this morning she was rippled by breezes blowing in from the north. For a few days back in January she was actually frozen over on the surface--quite an occurance for south western Alabama.

We have seen evidence of wild hogs in our "yard" ever since we arrived here in November--the root up the ground and leave it looking like it was plowed by a drunk farmer. We know they come almost every night but we have never seen them.