Popsicle Sticks and Provoking Posts

Summer is here.

School is out.

But lest you think it’s been a free for all around here–as was hoped for by my crew–let me reassure you.  No.

It has not.

I could see the gleam  in their eyes.  They were hopeful.  Then they planned.  And tried to manipulate and work the system.

To no avail.

Because I was one step ahead of them, you see.  I’ve been at this job for over 20 years.  Experience has to count for something.

So I took a cue from something that was being shared and shared again on the social media.  Using popsicle sticks to earn rewards.

I sat down with my sticks and sharpies and created one for each task/opportunity and the minutes associated with it.

Because, let’s face it, time with electronic devices trumps money around here.  These people love their Minecraft, Madden 13 or 15 or whatever, movies, music, etc etc etc.  Oftentimes, I refer to it as the Grumpy Screen, as it seems that staring at it for vast amounts of time makes folks grumpy.  Sometimes it’s them because of disagreements (“he took my pickaxe” “she burned my house down” “but I don’t want to play that football game with him” “we’ve already watched that episode–six times”), and sometimes it’s me because I want them off.

Why in the world do we have all these Legos and dolls and cars and whatnot anyway?

So yes, things like unloading the dishwasher and folding/putting away clothes and math practice and so on can earn time with their favorite games.

It’s not been foolproof, but it’s worked pretty well–that whole knowing what is expected of  them has helped folks know how to get on and behave and the like.

Yep.  That right there.  Knowing what’s expected.

It has cut down on a lot of misunderstandings around here.

So, in the spirit of that concept and how well it has worked, I’d like to share this for the world of social media–especially as it has grown to exist in the past six months.

If you want me to read all the things you are concerned about, things you want to complain about–first you have to earn my attention.

In the same way that my children have to earn their screen time, you have to earn my time by first expressing things worth reading–positive, encouraging, empowering, caring, compassionate words and thoughts and stories.  Shoot, some days kittens jumping at cucumbers will suffice.  I’m not hard to please.

Except that all the negativity and hate…..I’m over it.  I’m tired of all the finger pointing and accusations and hate speech and fear-mongering.  The fear-mongering may be the worst of all (in my opinion) because it tends to lead to the other three and all kinds of deterioration happens from there.

My Daddy used to tease Mama about the right hand ledger and the left hand ledger.  Things she did for the betterment of those around her “went” on one side, but if she bemoaned one bit about the time it took or how tired she was from her efforts, he teased her that it negated what she’d done because it had to go on the other side of the “page.”

There’s a bit of truth in that.  (Well, not about you, Mama.)

If we are always negative and sharing all of the angry, ugly memes and thoughts and quoting folks who are stirring up things just for the sake of dividing folks, then I expect few people are going to pay attention when we find something really good and want to share it.

And somehow when I thought about this, I thought about my children having to earn their time on the devices.

It’s all about balance, isn’t it?  Not all play without some effort put forth…..and not all the anger without some efforts to make good changes in our world.

I wonder if maybe we could use the popsicle sticks for Facebook and other outlets– we’d have to post so many good, inspiring, helpful things before we are allowed to post ones that complain or accuse.

It’s a thought.

Wishing you all a good balanced day and a dishwasher that needs unloading for an easy way to earn minutes for playing on your devices….. 🙂

Love to all.

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Our buckets–when something is done, the stick gets moved to the other side…..

 

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up…..But I Tried

Being the oldest of four siblings in the dark ages before internet access, I got to make up a lot of stuff. Stuff that may or may not have been true.  Stuff that the ones listening to me really couldn’t verify or denounce without going to Mama and Daddy.

Yeah, there were days that I was that sibling.

Summers get long and hot in Georgia, y’all.  Without AC you kind of have to make your own fun.

Mostly I would tell my sisters, especially Mess Cat, about celebrity relationships.  I don’t know why it mattered, but on those hot summer afternoons when we tried to do as little as possible since sitting still you would still sweat puddles, it was Something. To. Do.

It started with true stories.  About who was married to whom, like Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers) and Connie Sellecca.  Or who had been in what movie with whom way back when before they became famous.  Then the imagination would take off and I’d be making up all kinds of stories.  Inevitably, I’d cross a line–it always happened.  That line that would cause Mess Cat to glance at me sideways and cut her eyes just so, squinting, thinking.  I would hold my face still and just about hold my breath, hoping she wouldn’t see through my stories.

But she did.  Some days it took longer than others, but she always did.  Sometimes I’d continue to feign innocence for days, but eventually she found me out.

Oh the fun of the good ol’ days.

So it was that yesterday after the ball game (I watched that whole fourth quarter of the Seahawks/Panthers game–I’m a fourth quarter kind of girl, but that’s a story for another night), the TV was still on, and I was focused on what I had been working on.  I think I was crocheting another  stripe on my temperature blanket.  Whatever it was, my attention was not on what was on TV until I stood up to turn it off and leave the room.  It was then that I saw two men on the screen with the same last name.

My mouth dropped open.

It actually fell open.  I was frozen in place for a moment.  WORLDS COLLIDED.

Growing up we did watch CHIPS.  My favorite was not Erik Estrada’s “Ponch” character or Jon Baker, though they both were entertaining enough.  My favorite was Robert Pine’s character.  For whatever reason, I just really liked him best.  When I looked up at the screen yesterday, Robert Pine was pictured there. But it was the young man next to him that made my mouth drop.

Chris Pine.

What the what?

I have loved him since his Princess Diaries 2 days.  That’s one of my go to movies.  Yes.  If it’s on, I’m watching it.  As a matter of fact, it came on one of the channels the other day, and Aub said, “Mama, it’s like they know you.”  And we all sat here and watched it.  Again.

And so you might can understand how surprised I was when it all clicked and I realized that Robert Pine is Chris Pine’s father.

Of course he is.  I can see the resemblance now.

Wow.

For a moment though, I looked around to see if my sister Mess Cat was anywhere around.  She would have loved the poetic justice in that moment, I’m sure.

It’s fascinating when life surprises me with new stories, new things I didn’t know, things I never even considered before.  Even when it’s trivial things like who’s related to whom in the acting world.

Tonight I’m thankful for all the happy and lazy memories that yesterday’s discovery brought back for me. We worked hard, played hard, and lazed around hard all those summers so many years ago.  And we laughed and loved hard.  That’s what brings me the greatest joy.

Love to all.

Down Here Where I Come From

Today we went back down to our favorite Farm Market.  We went last week while the Fella was out of town to get our favorite variety of peaches.  Today it was all about the experience.

And the peach ice cream.

As I walked around, taking it all in, realizing how much I was going to miss this place for the next year, I saw things with new eyes.

This market is the heart of so many things Southern.

The first thing that made me smile was the freezer with the casseroles and peach cobbler ready to go.  The size of the pans were 8 by 8, and they labeled it “Family Size.”

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Y’all.  Bless ’em.

I’m sorry, that might be family size for some families, but for us that would be a healthy helping for the Fella and maybe one small one for another person.

Maybe.

Food is pretty much our love language.  I get it from my Mama.

I love where I live–I love the things that are Southern and tradition here.

In the South we can create beauty from brokenness.

These ferns were lovely hanging where limbs had been cut from the tree.

These ferns were lovely hanging where limbs had been cut from the tree.

We love what dirt and sunshine and water can do and the flavors of summertime.

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Tomatoes are sold by the box.  Because they’re just that good. (#matersandwiches)

Tomatoes.  For all kinds of good things.

Tomatoes. For all kinds of good things.

Peaches come straight from the tree to the wagons for folks to buy.

The peach trees next to the market.

The peach trees next to the market.

Folks choosing their O'Henry peaches from the wagon.  There were so few this time of year they were being sold in peck baskets instead of half bushel boxes.

Folks choosing their O’Henry peaches from the wagon. There were so few this time of year they were being sold in peck baskets instead of half bushel boxes.

Where I’m from, wreaths are an art form…..

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and barnyard animals make for lovely home decor.

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We pickle EVERYTHING down here.

Okra, green beans, peaches, watermelon.....you name it, we've probably pickled it.

Okra, green beans, peaches, watermelon…..you name it, we’ve probably pickled it.

Grits are a delicacy.  Especially from the grist mill at the Agrirama.

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We like our Coca-Cola in glass bottles and ice cold.

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Zinnias are a crop and folks come from miles around to cut them and take them home.

Zinnias a dime apiece.  Our Princess loves to go out and cut them--choosing a lovely variety to bring home.

Zinnias a dime apiece. Our Princess loves to go out and cut them–choosing a lovely variety of colors to bring home.

Down here, Sunday hours start up after most churches let out.

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And we know how important it is to park in the shade.

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Tractor brand loyalty is about more than just the tractor.  It’s a real thing.  Some folks bleed green and yellow.  Some of those have never even been on a tractor before.  It’s just how it is.

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Tonight I’m thankful as we say farewell to another summer.  I will miss our trips down to the market until next summer.  I will miss the sights and sounds and smells, but most of all, the flavors of summer.

Wishing you all an ever-growing appreciation for the place where you call home.

Love to all.

Summer Applause

It is officially summer.

No matter what the calendar or the thermometer say, in my book, summer has officially begun.

This is the fourth summer I have kicked off in the same way.  Sitting watching girls in leotards and boys in shorts and t-shirts show their gymnastic skills.

And then there’s the drive home at dusk.  With the lightning bugs and the smell of everything summer in the air that envelops me like a warm bath.

Yes. It’s definitely summer.

Tonight’s gymnastic recital brought back memories of the others–the first and only one my Mama attended, the one she enjoyed so much.  The one when my little guy and his buddies did a “Mission Impossible” routine.  The one that I left the kitten I was bottle feeding to attend.  So many memories, and tonight was memory-making all by itself.

Cooter doing synchronized, paired cartwheels with his best bud.  His smile as he worked his way around the horse.  Watching him PLANK.  (He never mentioned he could do any of these things!) Sitting with his friends watching the others perform, singing along to the different songs. Our Princess doing the floor routine with a little dance to it.  Watching her mouth the words to the song playing while she was walking the balance beam, dipping her toes “in chocolate.”  Looking over to see her fanning herself, her sign language that she was nervous–always with the super big smile and that sweet wave.  The moment she went over and told her brother what a great job he did after his performance.  Seeing the joyful and anxious faces in the room, and hoping that each one of them felt good about what they did and happy when the night was over.

There was one little girl, maybe five, who was in a class of girls who took turns doing their stunts on the mini-trampoline.  Each time she came up and finished, she threw her arms up as they had all been instructed.  And she waited.

For the applause.

Sooooo cute.

And of course the applause came.  It came for each one who took the time to stop for a minute. And for those who just finished and ran back to their spot.  But this little girl.  She stood and soaked it in with her big ol’ smile and sweet spirit.

That right there.

What a precious thing to see, this little one who was loving every minute of her life and KNEW she’d just done something fabulous and let all the rest of us celebrate that with her.

Because that’s what it seemed like.  Our applause was a part of her celebration, her victory, her accomplishing something really, really BIG.

And she had done just that.

The applause tonight did other things too–it encouraged each child.  Each turn the gymnasts came back more ready and excited than the last–encouraged by the applause from the previous round.  And it served as a balm to the souls of the ones who hadn’t made the perfect landing. Or done the best cartwheel.  It celebrated showing up.  And that’s always worth honoring.

Tonight I’m thankful for another year of growth and learning and good health with great gymnastics teachers who make it fun and safe for my children.  I am thankful for the ones who came out and made my littles feel celebrated and loved tonight–for them showing up.   I give thanks for the friends my children and I have made over the course of their years in this fabulous program.  I am grateful for the memories I have and the memories we made tonight of this special culmination of hard work, dedication, and fun.  And finally, my heart is filled with appreciation for the frog music, lightning bugs, and summer night sky that serenaded us home tonight.

May we all find someone to applaud and celebrate with–and when we do something absolutely fabulous, may there be someone there to celebrate us.  Most of all, may we all make the effort to show up…..and celebrate those who do.

Happy Summer, y’all!  Merry memory making!

Love to all.

On my Bedside Table

pic of bedside table books

I was inspired by the book I was given yesterday to get my reading act together.  As we wind down our “official learning” school year, and shift into mostly reading, I thought I’d get my “wish list of reading” put together for summer.

Before I get started on my rather lengthy and somewhat intimidating list (focus is a little hard these days), I thought I’d look back at what I have been able to read lately.  Just to remind myself I can.  *sigh*  I used to be able to read all the time.

Last book read:

Tornado by Betsy Byars–I read this one aloud yesterday morning to the littles.  We got all comfy and listened to the timely story of Pete, the farmhand, who gathered in the storm cellar with the family and told stories of his dog Tornado to keep their minds off the storm.  I really liked this one.  A lot.  So did the littles.

Before that:

Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran and Barbara Cooney–I love this one.  But then I’ve already told y’all that.

And before that:

The Invisible Girls: A Memoir by Sarah Thebarge–Another excellent read.  The story will change how you look at people as you go through your day.  And how you can change your world.

I really haven’t read much in completion before those three.  At least not since last year.  In looking around here at my plethora of books, I was thinking.  People sometimes will ask you who your favorite author is.  That is hard to say depending on the mood I am in or what genre I’m reading at the time.  But if someone were to ask me, what author has affected you the most?  Easy.

Karen Spears Zacharias–I’ve read all of her books except one. (She also writes over here.)  She is the author of Hero Mama, also published as After the Flag Has Been Folded, Where’s Your Jesus Now?, Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? (‘Cause I Need More Room for My Plasma TV),  and A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder.  She has also written Benched: Judge Rufe McCombs, which is in my to be read stack of books.  Each one of her books has affected me, challenging how I think, what I do about what I think, and how bringing justice in this world requires each and every one of us taking a stand.  She’s a strong woman whom I was delighted to meet over a year ago.  I love her as a person and a writer.  If you want to have your world turned upside down and a fire lit under you, go find one of these books and set aside a few hours of uninterrupted time.  Each one of these was hard to put down.  I read Silence in its entirety in less than 24 hours after I got it.  And everyone was fed and clothed as required.  Even though you know the ending, you find yourself not believing that it’s actually going to end like that.  And then she puts making a difference in the reader’s lap.  GREAT BOOK.  If you’d like to know a little more about these books and their amazing author, watch this interview.  It was done when she visited us last May.

So on to my stack of to be reads–these do not include the ones on my wish list that I have yet to find at our local used bookstore or at the library.

Sitting on my bedside table:

Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling by Becca Stevens–I love Thistle Farms and the Magdalene project.  Rev. Stevens is doing some amazing things, and these women are healing and getting stronger.  You can check them out here or find them on Facebook.   Here are the words I read that made me HAVE TO HAVE this book.

From Rev. Becca Stevens' facebook page

From Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh–This book was recommended by Karen Spears Zacharias.  More than once.  Yes ma’am.  It’s getting read in the very near future.  The plight of young people aging out of the foster care system has been weighing on my heart and moving me to take action.  This book tells the story of Victoria, an eighteen-year-old who has been emancipated from the system and tries to find her way.  I look forward to reading this and seeing where this will lead me on my journey.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans–Our Wednesday book group started this book back in January.  I was so excited about it.  Unfortunately the HospitalStay and life’s circumstances intervened, and I haven’t been able to get back to it.  Our group had a blast reading this, and I know I will too.

Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite–Another recommended by Karen Spears Zacharias.  She and Ms. Hite are going on tour together this fall with new releases for each of them.  I want to read this one in preparation for the tour.  I am hopeful we can host them in our area, just as we had Karen down last year for her Silence tour.  I’ve already learned that if Ms. Zacharias says it’s a good read, it’s a GOOD read.

Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain–A collection of stories and essays written after the death of his wife and one of their daughters.  This was recommended by a good friend, and I was able to acquire it through the old bookstore I love so much.  In the title story, Satan writes a letter to his fellow archangels about the inconsistencies of human religious faith.  Oh yes, this is going to be good.

The Saddlemaker’s Wife by Earlene Fowler–I was at the library last week, picking up a book on reserve from our princess’ reading list, when I wandered over to the new release section.  Because, you know, I don’t already have enough books here to read.  As I looked around, I saw the name–Earlene Fowler.  My chest tightened, and I took a deep breath to calm my spirit.  She was one of Mama’s favorites, and old habits are hard to kick–my first thought was, has Mama read this one?  Does she know about it? When I came around, I decided to check it out.  I used to read Ms. Fowler’s Benni Harper mysteries years ago, and I really enjoyed them.  When I read the blurb, I realized this was not in that series, but the sequel to The Saddlemaker’s Wife, which they did not have.  Nor could I request it at the time.  My favorite bookstore to the rescue again–I have a much loved copy here to read.  And remember Mama.  I do wonder if she read this one.  She wasn’t able to focus much on books and stories the past couple of years, so I really can’t be sure.

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings–My Aunt tells the story of my Daddy taking her to a bookstore in downtown Macon and getting this book for her.  She fell in love with reading.  So of course I had to find a copy.  And I will read it one day too.  It will remind me of Daddy, and his little sister.  He used to tell me about them piling up in his bed and him reading to her when she was little.  Precious.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly–When we were doing a major cleaning to prepare for our out of town company a couple of weeks ago, we went through Aub’s books.  We found some to give away, and I found some that I want to read.  This is one of them.  The cover is gorgeous.  I know, I know.  So I read the blurb–the story of an 11 year old girl in 1899, growing close to her grandfather and managing in a household with six brothers.  Sold.  I just know it will be delightful.  (Total sidenote–but the author has the same name as my eighth grade history teacher, whom I adored–what do you suppose…..?)

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The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason–Another one of my “cleaning up” finds.  I don’t know anything about it, except that one reviewer compared it to the works of Madeleine L’Engle.  Stop right there.  No further recommendation needed.  We’ll see.

Finding Freedom: Writings from Death Row by Jarvis Jay Masters–this was my surprise treat that I got yesterday from my cousin.  I’m already 1/3 of the way into it.  Not too shabby for someone who hasn’t been able to get her reading groove back very easily.  I’ve heard grief will do that.  But with this book, the book is hard but the reading is easy.  If that even makes sense.  It is really eye-opening and heart-breaking and hope-filling.  A good book, one that I have a feeling will be another life-changer.

Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey by Margaret Feinberg–My Wednesday book group started this one several weeks ago.  I have missed being with them the past few months, so I grabbed a copy, read some on Wednesday morning and joined them after lunch.  Ms. Feinberg sets out to close the gap between the ancient world and our own.  She visits with a shepherdess, farmer, beekeeper, and vintner, seeking to find the connections.  Really, really interesting.  I’m still working on it, but I highly recommend this one.

So that’s the stack.  I have a couple on reserve at the library, waiting on those to come in.  And there are two that I am most looking forward to getting soon–

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman–newly released by the author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  That book was so wonderful, I cannot wait to read her next one.  (So yeah, if you haven’t read that one, you might want to.)  I guess it will always be special because it’s one Mama and I both loved and talked about together.

Mother of Rain by Karen Spears Zacharias–This won’t be released until this fall and I CANNOT.  WAIT.  A work of fiction about folks in the Appalachia area.  I am so looking forward to this one.  I will also read Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field in preparation.  She said that was a good idea, and she hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

So, on this beautiful summer Sunday, after we visit with our friends at Daybreak this evening and pour a little coffee and a lot of sweet tea, I will come home and grab a book off the stack and get started.  Today I am thankful I don’t have to set the alarm for tomorrow morning.  I have a feeling it might be a late night…..and a whole summer of them.  Lots of books, so little time.

Grass Clippings

It’s that time again.  Time to mow the grass.  I suppose it’s on my mind even more so this year because I am overseeing the care of three yards for a while.  I am thankful for the folks helping me in this for sure.  And no, it’s not these guys.  Thank goodness.

Thank goodness I don't have these guys helping me.

Thank goodness I don’t have these guys helping me.

As I watch the grass turning green and hear the buzz of the mowers, I am carried back to when I was much younger and our yard at Blackberry Flats, where I grew up.  When we first moved out there, I was nine.  All we had at the time was a push mower.  On some Saturday mornings, I was offered the choice of doing my usual chores, which included dusting, or heading outside to help with the yard.  Suffice to say, I despise dusting.  So out I went.  Once the sun had burned off the dew.  Daddy had two major rules in mowing–no mowing on Sunday mornings and no mowing wet grass.

Eventually we were fortunate enough to have a hand-me-down riding mower.  Seems like I remember it having a handle-bar like steering mechanism instead of a steering wheel.  I don’t remember too much about that one, because I don’t think I got to drive it much, if at all.  My job was to do the trimming with the push mower.  I remember one time when I was assigned the trimming, and in stereotypical teenage fashion, I had gotten slack.  Daddy, of course, noticed this and called me to task.

“You doing your best out there?” he asked, when I came in for a glass of water.

“Yessir,” I said.

“Good,” he replied.

I went back out and “finished” up.   When I went to tell him I was done, he said, “Are you sure?”

“Yessir.”

“Okay, if I go out there and find some that you didn’t do, I’m going to give you a pair of scissors to finish trimming with.  Are you still sure?”

I shrugged.  I knew I hadn’t done it perfectly, but I figured he really wouldn’t check that closely.

WRONG.

He found it.  The patch of grass around the birdbath.  Yep, I had been sloppy, and I could only look at the ground as he pointed it out.  He handed me a pair of scissors.  About a half hour and several blisters later, I finally had it trimmed beautifully, the way I should have to begin with.  I never did that again, I tell you what.

Then I graduated to mowing with the riding mower.  Only by this time, I think we had one with a real steering wheel.   The deal was I could mow with it, as long as I helped with the trimming.  I loved it.  This was before I had my license, so I had all kinds of fun with that mower and my imagination.  Until…..

Well, let’s just say there were once three cedar trees in the side yard.  Instead of two.  They were newly transplanted little babies then.  Where everyone parks in the side yard?  Yeah, there.  And to all who have parked there, you’re welcome.  I didn’t meant to run over it one too many times, but there you go.

And the rose bush in the front yard.  I’m sorry, it was like a magnet.  I love trees and plants, I really do.  It’s just me and that power mower–we’re a bit dangerous together.  And in my defense, I think I was in reverse each time, so it’s not like it was an intentional act.  (I was probably trying to trim with the riding mower, so I wouldn’t have to get that push mower back out.)

Mowing and the aftermath has given us some great stories.  The stuff legends are made of.  Like the time that Aub and I were living there, and I was out in the yard with Mama raking up the thick clippings.  (No bag on that mower.)  It was like hay out there, so we were raking it up and putting it around some of the trees in the yard.  (Yes, the ones that survived the lawn mower massacre. Ahem.)  Daddy had gone in for a while, and it was an early summer evening.  Aub, about four years old, started pointing at the tall Leyland Cypress I had given Daddy one year for Father’s Day.  Her eyes were big as saucers.

“What? What is it?” I asked.

She pointed again.  “A snake.  In that tree.”

I turned around quickly, and sure enough, looking almost like a misplaced branch, was an extremely long, healthy-looking black snake poking his head out from all that green.

I froze.  “Go.  Get.  Cap.”  She didn’t need to be told twice.  She took off for the house.

Daddy came out, and he took the rake from me and used it to try to get the snake out of the tree.  He was going to carry him out to the “high grass,” our old horse pasture in the back.  Unfortunately the snake had different ideas.  He kept going around and around on the branches of the tree.  Daddy followed him around, pulling back branches, trying to reach him.  And then, all of a sudden, that big ol’ black snake shot out of the tree from a height of at least seven feet.  Oh.  My.  Land.

Mama let out a startled squeal.  I probably did too, but the snake never noticed me.  He ran straight for Mama.  Who ran too.  There they were, Mama and the snake, running for all they were worth.  Mama was convinced he was after her, and he was probably convinced we were after him.  She finally went off to one side and he kept on going, headin’ for the hills.  (Or the high grass as the case may be.)  Auburn told Mama in amazement that she had never seen her run so fast.   To this day, all one of us has to do is say, “Hey, remember the time that snake chased Mama…..”  We always get in trouble, because we can’t help but giggle.  Mama assured us it was not the leastbitfunny.

The smell of cut grass is a memory trigger for me.  To this day, it takes me back to those days at Blackberry Flats, and I’m never quite sure why.  But I love it.  I miss those lazy Saturdays when I was everything but lazy, mowing and trimming, and apologizing for whatever I’d run over.  I miss the smell of sun-dried sheets and supper cooking, and the taste of ice cold water from the well.  The sweet relief of the first evening breeze just as the sun starts to sink below the horizon.  And the sound of Mama’s voice, calling out to remind us, “Brush all that grass off of you before you come in that back door.  I just cleaned these floors.”

Ah, the precious sweetness of summer memories and the longing for days gone by.

pic of old lawn mower