Downsizing

After more than three years of keeping up with two blogs, I feel it’s time to combine them. This blog was originated to help with our transition to Birmingham. I later tweaked it, still keeping the focus local when possible. I think it has run it’s usefulness, so over the next month I will attempt to combine them. This will include reposting some entries from this site to my other blog, Not In This Soup Alone. 

Thanks to all who read and encourage me!

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Snow in the South

With weather on everyone’s mind, I thought I’d share this from E.B. White, a man who truly had a way with words. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the author of the children’s classic, Charlotte’s Web. When talking about the first flakes of snow falling, he said,

 

“At first it was an almost imperceptible spitting from the gray sky…”

I love the way he put it – such a perfect way to describe this scene. This is how I want to write.

 
I didn’t get any pictures yesterday, but here are some pictures from February, 2015, when we had that “…imperceptible spitting..”.

 

And, if you haven’t seen the Snow video, an Adele parody by Mary Morris from Tennessee, you’ve GOT to watch it!

 

Comfort Clothes

overalls

My cousin Debbie wrote a lovely piece about her trusty brown sweater.  She says, “This is my someone’s at the door, throw over your gown, warm, feel good, soft, sleep in, coffee stained (you can’t see them, thankful brown) enduring, lasting, missing one button, never fail me sweater. I keep it because it is the one thing I can trust to give me that peace of mind and comfort I need.”

This brought to mind Old Red. Old Red was an old red wool coat that belonged to my mom. Long past its prime, it hung it the closet for years. On Saturday afternoons when Dad would kick back in his recliner in the den, with a golf game on TV, he would say, “Go bring me Old Red.” I, or whichever of my brothers was closest, would go it from the closet. Dad would proceed to cover up and fall asleep. But we wouldn’t dare try to change the channel. He would stir up and bellow, “I’m watching that.” I wonder whatever became of that coat; it would have come in handy here in Alabama.

Then there were my overalls. When I was in college at Georgia Southern, there was this great old fashioned hardware store in town where you could buy painters pants and overalls. In the mid-70s these were the fashion around campus. I wore my overalls a lot. A whole lot.  I have a picture of me in them a few years later at Clearwater Beach holding my firstborn son. I also remember that I had them on the day I rushed out of the house to take my neighbor and her son to the ER. I didn’t have time to change, just scooped up the baby and the diaper bag and flew out the door. Barefoot. I’m sure people were shaking their heads at me at the hospital, especially when I had to go into the restroom to unhook them in order to nurse my baby. Then, when I was pregnant with our second, I wore them through about my fifth month. I think I finally gave them up when they got too many holes in them.

My husband had a pair of comfort shorts. When he finally replaced them, we had a burial ceremony in the side yard. He put them in a  shoebox and dug a hole, and then we and the four kids all trooped out, very somber of course, while he said a few parting words over them. They had lived a good life and died with dignity.

I appreciate Debbie and her trusty brown sweater. Comforts clothes are akin to comfort foods. And to friends.  We need to keep them around.

I love how she ends her thoughts. Thank you, Debbie.

“People are constantly telling us we need to let go of the past and move forward. No, we don’t have to forget the past; it is a part of who we are, where we have been and where we are now. Holding on is what we call “memories” and what’s wrong with having those to fall back to?… It is the thread of life that connects us to each other and if I find it woven in a piece of clothing, I’ll hang on to it and I’ll continue to hang this sweater over me until it or I am no more.”

 

 

 

A Year Later

pillows

Last September I made a list of my goals for the month. I thought I’d revisit them to see how I did/how I’m doing now.

  1. Lose 2 pounds. I’ve lost 20 since then.
  2. Cut out more sugar. I’ve done this, though I need to get back to it again.
  3. Walk 3 days a week. Nope, but I am walking more and was able to do a 10 mile hike this summer.
  4. Work on my book at least 5 hours a week. Nope – but I do get to it in fits and spurts.
  5. Visit my youngest daughter. I did that last October.
  6. Redeem at least twice in Bubblews. Don’t write for them anymore. They stink.
  7. Brush my dog’s teeth every day. Nope, poor thing. But I do remember sometimes.
  8. Plant some flowers. Nope, but I’ve planted herbs I got at Pepper Place and they are thriving. I have chocolate mint, oregano, lemon basil, and lavender.
  9. Spend an hour a week working on my photos. Nope, but I got some great shots this past year.
  10. Find two red pillows for the couch. Nope, but I DID get some other great pillows – blues, yellows, and birds.

All in all, I’m okay with the goals I met and the ones I tweaked. I’ll try to crank up the walking and dog tooth-brushing and plant some fall flowers. Maybe I’ll even dust off the manuscript.

Down With “Mother Nature”

 “We all know the church is not the building, it’s the people.” – James Spann, weatherman in Alabama, April, 2014

It was our first week in Alabama and we were under a tornado warning. Our new house does not have a basement, but my plan was to hunker down in the hall bathroom if needed. Which I did for a little while with my dog, Loretta, while my husband slept.

As usual with these kinds of weather conditions, the local channel gave weather updates all day. On the second day, it was announced that a church had been demolished. When the weather man said what he did about the church, I was pleasantly surprised. Because it is so true, yet many people don’t have this view.

Now, I always liked the weathermen in Jacksonville. In fact, one longstanding weatherman, now retired, was the father of one of my high school classmates. And a church going guy. Yet, all I ever heard from all those guys was “Mother Nature” this and “Mother Nature” that. It was refreshing to not  hear it mentioned during the two day vigil last April. I’m sure it could have been, but I never heard it. Thanks, James Spann.

So, tornado or sunshine, God is the creator of all nature.

Rainbow above my house

Rainbow above my house

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Where the Skies are So Blue

I felt the need to explain the title of my blog, since even my husband, a fairly decent Lynyrd Skynyrd aficionado, didn’t catch it. It’s from the song  Sweet Home Alabama.
“Big wheels keep on turning

Carry me home to see my kin”

Me and some of my kin   photo bomb
Yes, most of our kin are in Jacksonville, FL – ​our moms and brothers and many other extended family members. As I was driving home from my last trip to the beach (a sweet 35 minutes drive)  before we moved , the song came on the radio and I just began balling there in my car. ​With tears on my cheeks and the wind blowing my hair, I wasn’t sure what the coming year would hold. ​I was headed for Alabama​ where I have no kin. Now, after being  here a year, I still have no blood kin, but we have brothers and sisters in Christ here in B’ham. I still miss Jax, but I want so badly for Birmingham to be my new sweet home. So, one day when I sing “Carry Me Home” ​ I’ll be thinking of Alabama.
My other brothers and sisters  IMG_2129
“Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue”
B
B’ham blue skies  view1