Sunday, May 24, 2009

Take a Moment

As we share this holiday
With our friends or family
Take a moment to give thanks
To those who died so we'd stay free.
~Del (Abe) Jones~

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Southern Way

I have always felt a deep connection to my favorite writers, particularly William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams and a few others. I didn't choose their works because they are Southerners; I have just always been drawn to them. And not too long ago, I asked myself why.
Is it because we share a powerful sense of land, of place? A deep attachment to home and family; love and appreciation for those stories and legends handed down from generation to generation? Those powerful hellfire-and-damnation sermons to which most of us were subjected as we grew up? The secrets that simmer just beneath the surface in every family, every town? Eccentric characters who are too weird not to write about? Were the literary giants like me...unable to leave the past behind, driven to write about it?
When a subject takes hold of me, it sinks its teeth in and won't let go. So I was soon jotting down my thoughts, revelations. And before I knew it, I had an essay. I had planned to post it on this blog, but since I was excited about what I had discovered, I gave it to Suzanne to read.
Mom, this is more than a blog post," she said, "It should be published!"
I sent it to Jim Reed, editor of the Birmingham Arts Journal, and I heard from him on Monday. "The Southern Way" will be published in a future issue of the journal, both in print and online.
Have a great Wednesday, y'all!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mom Jeans

There was a time when I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing anything that was out of style. My closet was bulging with the latest fashions, from earrings to shoes and everything in between.
But somewhere along the way my sense of fashion disappeared.
Since retirement, I've lived in jeans. Well, I dress up when I have to, like weddings, funerals, or some other formal occasion (I'm not a complete slob!). But I hate to shop, and seldom so, although I occasionally buy a few pairs of jeans. When I dress each morning, I just grab a pair, put them on, and go on about my business.
And then. It happened.
Yesterday, I stopped by my daughter's house. And as I was leaving, she walked me to the door.
"You look nice," she said.
"Thank you, sweetie."
"Your hair looks really good, and I love your blouse."
"Why, thanks!" I said, patting my hair and smoothing the sleeves of my new blouse. Suzanne is a fashion expert; she's always up to date on what's what in the fashion world. And she has impeccable taste.
She hesitated, a pained look sliding over her face. "Mom..."
"I hate to tell you this..."
"It's your jeans..."
I looked down at my jeans, "What?"
"Well," she said, placing her hand on my shoulder, "They're mom jeans.
"Mom jeans?"
"You know...tapered."
I held one leg out and looked. She was right!
"Oh, my goodness!" I said, "I was in such a hurry that I put on these old ones! I have newer ones; they're boot-cut. And I have several pair!"
"I know you do," she said, "And I knew you'd want to know."
Today I attacked my closets with the vengeance of an HGTV fashion consultant gone mad, slinging jeans all over that bedroom. I had no idea I had so many Mom jeans! Tomorrow I'm buying several more pairs of boot-cut. Maybe I'll buy a few others things, too.
Or maybe I'll just start all over and buy a whole new wardrobe. I just realized there might be some Mom dresses in my closet!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mr. Star Trek & Miss Pincher

Saturday, I visited a book store in the area. I go there often, and things are usually the same, people standing quietly in the check-out line, some thumbing through books, others sipping coffee and relaxing in comfortable chairs.
But Saturday's visit was bizarre.
I was thumbing through books, stifling the urge to grab all of my favorite writers' latest books and make a beeline for the check-out. So I decided to distract myself by looking at the biographies. I had forgotten where they were located, so when I spotted a young man who appeared to be stocking shelves near a Star Trek display, I walked over to him.
"Excuse me," I said, "Can you tell me where I can find the biographies?"
He stood and crossed his arms. "Yes, ma'am," he said in a deep voice, "I can." He pointed to the Star Trek display. "Right there."
"Right there, ma'am," he said, "You'll find out everything you need to know in Star Trek."
I thanked him and began walking away. Hurriedly.
"I don't work here, ma'am," he called, "But it's all there. In Star Trek!"
Later, as I was standing in the check-out line, I noticed that the cashier resembled Miss Pincher, a stern-faced librarian at Illinois State University. I often had run-ins with her when I forgot to take books back on time.
She looked at me over her spectacles as she rang up my purchases. "Do you have a picture of one of your children?"
"A picture?"
"If you have a picture of any of your children," she said, "You'll get five dollars off your purchase."
"No, I don't."
"You don't have a picture of any of your children in your purse?" (She not only looked like Miss Pincher, she talked like Miss Pincher!)
"No, I don't. But my daughter shops here a lot. Does that count?"
Several customers behind me snickered.
"No," Miss Pincher said, "That doesn't count. You've got to have a picture. Do you have one?"
"Well," I said, "I'm beginning to feel kind of bad about it, but no, I do not have a picture of my daughter in my purse."
"Don't worry, honey," called a woman from the back of the line, "I don't have any either. I left all mine at home in my other purse!"
As I was leaving the store, I was stopped by a familiar voice: "Ma'am! Ma'am!"
I turned and found myself face-to-face with Mr. Star Trek. "Ma'am," he said, smiling ear to ear, "Did you find everything you needed?"
Over his shoulder, Miss Pincher glared at me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

My mother, Mary Evelyn Wilson
London, 1996
(Photo: Tony M. Wilson)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To Catch a Thief

I stole this toy from Isabelle. What fun!

Darn! Here comes the lady of the house. I'd better hide it.

I'm sunk.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Family Tradition

The George-Wilson Literary Club has been meeting each month for over twenty years now, and we charter members are hoping our literary-minded children and grandchildren will carry on the tradition. We are always happy when they join us, and Saturday's meeting was no exception. It was held at Mother's.

All the way from Mississippi: Gina's grandchildren, Corinne & Luke

Granna prepares her presentation as Luke looks on.

Luke gives his presentation.

And after showing us her lovely drawing, Corinne combs Granna's hair with a rolling pin.
All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley