Thursday, May 31, 2007


I miss a lot of you very much.... I'm here, just wallowing around in my own world for a bit. I miss the great escape I have found in bouncing into some of your worlds & I just love that I so often learn so much about myself, while reading about you.
Until I get a chance to devote several hours to bouncing around & reading, I thought I'd share some of the prettier & more picturesque stuff from my recent wallowings with you ;)

These are rocks gathered throughout North Georgia by me & my DH. The large white conch shell is said to be about 100 years old. The rocks & shells are all grandfathers.

These guys were happy to join me in the fresh clean water, once everything was all
said & done. Pond has about 13-14 goldfish in it now & one devoted stray cat which lives in the shrubs...of course, the birds and neighborhood dogs love to come visit.

These rocks are so that if a bird should fall in, he might could climb up to a dry spot to take flight from... this heart shaped rock was one of many found so far this year. I knew my collection would come into good use.

The guitar-playing Ski Lodge skillet in the form of a rockin' chicken behind-bars guards the path less taken... the Gerber daisies have made there way, since this pic was taken, into the ground...but my rusty old guitar player still stands at attention.

Finally there's a good old-fashioned night out with the boys playing in the garage. Some of these fellows I have known 25 years & I always amazed at how much we have grown & changed, but I'm more amazed at how much we have remained the same.

The south rocks, the heart rocks and all of you rock... Until Next Time, P&L

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Horseflies & Houseflies

I dug in the dirt.
Shooing the flies away & stinky with sweat,
I dug & I dug & I dug...
using a shovel, a spade & my hands.
I pulled at the weeds and thorny bushes and poison ivy,
caring not if I got pricked, dirty, blistered or chafed.
Piling the debris high like a mausoleum of sorts.
I then scooped, hauled & tossed all the spent soil.
Black dirt gone gray, depleted of all it's nutrients.
The weight of the dirt turned the makeshift mausoleum into a tight little tomb.
And just as the gluttonous weeds had once robbed the soil of all of its nutrients,
the soil now serves as a blanket to suffocate the weeds.
Full circle.

All the while, I looked for a sign, a talisman, a keeper.

Some marbles or heart-shaped rocks.
were found.

I just want to go to the river...

But instead, I throw black dirt, manure & some...
Scatter it, toss it, turn it, tear it up

Feeling the liberation of things that will be
rich soil, bright flowers, sunshine
and, like at the river...
Butterflies & dragonflies.

Take me to the river and drop me in the water
Dip me in the river, drop me in the water*

Thank you to magpie fairy,Singleton, for artwork and Mother Nature for all the other photos.
*The Talking Heads

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Part II...On Sleeping Alone

A flip of the covers, a blurry batting of the eyes...'Come in, just until Johnny.'

I snuggle up into my mother, 1/2 way under the covers. Chantyboy is in the middle of the bed...hands mid-air talking emphatically to each other and his throat, croaking like a little frog. Sleep will fall upon him soon.

Before long, I raise my fist up into the air in unison with Ed McMahon...'Heeeeere's Johnny!' hoping Momma will be so impressed with my enthusiasum & maturity that she'll forget her own words.

'Paigey, go get in bed now.'

I don't want to, but after a moment or so of hem-hawing, I go to the boys' room. I look around the room & see the big old dresser with 3 little drawers & 3 big ones, the open passage to the girls room & light flickering in through the jack & jill bath from momma's tv. I hear the hum of her tv & I hear the rumble of dad's snore from the front room. All else is quiet.

Hmmm...I crawl up & plop down. Flip. Kick. Sit up. Twist. Flop. Finally, I go sideways. The footboard filters the flickering light from the jack & jill bath. My crown faces the open passage way to the girls. I stare into an uninterrupted blank wall. Right foot out of the covers, shimmying left to right like windsheild wipers set on beserk, I drift away.

I hear the howls & bolt upright. To my left & over the footboard I look down the corridor of the jack & jill bath, but from the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of him. He's hairy. His grin drips and he's in the bottom drawer.

Starting denial at a very young age, I think this can't be real & just plop my head back down....close my eyes to escape back into a more peaceful sleep. Drifting, I hear the squeak of worn wood on wood and my eyes fling straight up to the old yellowed ceiling. Frozen, I begin to hear his howl begin. Low, throaty & deep. Breathe. I bolt upright and swivel to my left, just in time to see the upper big drawer slam shut. He's hiding from me.

'Hey, what do you want?' No reply.

'What are you?' Nothing.

'You better go back away...'

As I begin to lay back down, I hear the slight tink of the small metal handle tapping on the wood of one of the smaller top drawers & I spring out of that bed.
Feet hit the floor just as his grinning self gets tucked back in and that small center drawer gets sucked back in.
I freeze.
He begins to peek out of another drawer. I lurch, grab & pull on the drawer. Nothing.
Listening carefully, eyes peeled back, terrified... I slowly close the drawer.

Slam! Bam! Wham! Flinging out & slinging back in. Drawers slamming. A long howl. Pointy teeth with tendrils of spit. An evil howling.

I run.

I run straight to the front room where Daddy was. He was up. Sipping coffee & reading the paper on the pleather sofa in his boxers. It was still dark out. Before I get across the room to him, he's disgarded his paper, sat his coffee down & is meeting me. I tell him about my dream. As he laughs, I tell him it was real. I chatter about, just trying to convince him.

Finally he says, 'Listen.'

I did. I heard birds whisting, all different kinds of early morning birds, aquatic birds & even peacocks. Singing all their seperate little songs together for a symphony of sorts. Then I heard it.
The faint sound of that low, throaty & deep howl beginning to build up in the distance.
Whispering, I ask 'I hear him, d'you hear him? He's moved on down the street, maybe to go find his parents.' Laughter.
I swat at him "Jjzssshhhh......hear him now?'
More laughter.........

'You, my child, are a dream-weaver.'
'That's just an owl that I hear.'

Monday, May 14, 2007

On Sleeping Alone...

Growing up, our house had a 7 head minimum, not counting any pets or animals. The home in which we lived the longest was a sprawling old, added onto house that had 3 bedrooms & 2 baths by the time we arrived.
Mom & Dad's bedroom connected to my brothers bedroom by a Dick & Jane bathroom. My sisters had an added-on bedroom, that shot off the side of my brothers' room and if I remember correctly there was no door seperating these rooms, but a sliding glass door often left open to keep kids & animals alike from walking right into it.
My two older sisters had twin sized matching four-poster white beds and a wonderful old record player, that when weighted with pennies would belt out the Beatles, much to my heart's content. When not romping around the neighborhood, I would spend my days there while my sisters were at school. Much to their discontent, I would crank up the Beatles... shake it, shake it, shake it baby, now. Shake it up baby! Twist & Shout!... and I would twist & shake until the cramps doubled me over. Then I would do skin-the-cats from their bed posts, flipping my feet over my head, allowing my bottom to soar to new heights as I allowed all the blood to rush to my head...thus easing the sensation of twisted side cramps.
But when the girls ventured in from school, it would be time for me to leave that room. I learned quickly that it was best to be gone before they got in... so that I wouldn't have to hear them moan about how I was going to scratch their records, how their bedposts were loose or about my dirty little footprints left on their walls and dressers. (yup, I did up-the-walls before break-dancing was mainstream some 12-15 years later)
I would wander through my brothers room. They had one very large dresser with 6 or 7 drawers, in which we each(the boys & I) had one large drawer and one small drawer. There was also a big old bed in there.
Sometimes I would sleep in that bed there with the two boys, as we were closer in age & size. I'll forever remember the hum of Curt's breathing and the smell of his breath. More times than I can count, I'd venture out of that bed determined that I could not possibly find sleep nestled between these two sleeping souls with all their little breathing sounds and scents.
My parents once bought a cot & set it up in between my two older sisters' twin beds for me to sleep in, but that didn't last long. I hated it & moaned that it wasn't a real bed. The girls hated it too. They were older & really didn't want me in their room at all.
Dad usually fell asleep on the sofa with the tv humming, a book in hand & a dilluted glass of 'phew' on the coffee table.
Curtyboy was always the first to fall asleep & I was often the last, so that meant that I frequently just climbed into the bed with my Mother, who usually had Chantyboy with her until he fell asleep. Then she would tiptoe him into the bed with Curtyboy. She would tell me that I didn't need to be sleeping in there & I would ask her why Johnny Carson had a monkey on his head.
I never slept alone.
Then CurtyBoy went to the hospital down the street & stayed there. Among a million other things, it meant that there was one less body in that big old bed. Momma would never put Chanty into that big old bed alone & since Dad continued to sleep on the sofa, Chanty slept with Momma.
After the house fell silent, I padded my way to the bed that held Momma & Chanty. I put my chin on the edge of the bed close to Momma's face. The TV was whispering stuff about Nixon & Momma's breath was coming in sweet puffs. I stared at her. puff. phweew.puff.phweew.
The sound of her breathing terrified me. i thought each breath was her last. I leaned in my face closer to her face. I lifted one knee up onto the bed. vwoomp! Her eyes bolted open wide...'Paige, get in bed in the other room. I'm not going to have people sleeping all over this house & in my bed, when we have that big old bed sitting there empty.'
'But I never slept alone.'

To Be Continued...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Anyday & Everyday is Thanksgiving & Mothers' Day

Mother's Day is coming upon us.
I hope that it is not considered slack of me to link back to this wonderful picture of my own mother.
My love & admiration of her is as timeless & priceless as the photgraph.

Peace & Love to All of You Out There
May You All be Blessed with Unconditional Love.

Soulful Sister Singleton is at the beach this week-end with her middle daughter, preparing the sands for things to come.
Sweet Sister Kimbies is back on the chemo, but holding her own, surrounded by the good love of her daughters and grand-daughters,until we can all runaway together to the beach next month.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memories from Blount Street

Looking like a platinum Jacqi O'Nassis with her sixties stylish hat on, Momma ushered me out the front door with Kimbies & Curty Boy.
'Don't let her off the porch, Kim'
With cow-patty eyes as big as the moon, Curty-boy bellowed up 'What about me Momma?'
'You can go down there,' and she points to the circular drive at the base of the steps, 'but don't you put one big toe past that sidewalk. You'll get hit by a drunk driver.'
'I wanna go down there too.'
'No honey, your'e not going down there.... Kim, I mean it, she's not to go down there. She'll run into the road.'
She pulled the mammoth front doors shut & scurried inside to prep for her afternoon party.
Concrete and brick. Columns. In the shadows & on the front porch.
Curtyboy ran into the grassy section between the sidewalk and the driveway. He had a waffle bat & a ball & he was laughing.
Kimbies sat on the brick steps, her long brown hair neatly parted on the side and hanging over her left shoulder.
'I'm cold.'
'It's not cold out, Paige'
'It's cold here.'
Kimbies gets up & spins around, then smiles, 'You're in the shadows, Paige. Here, come over here.'
She leads me to my dictated corner of the world.
The corner that sits between two columns and to the far right of the porch.
The corner that has a slice of the days sunshine tapping on it.
The corner where the brick is warm. (I have always wanted more than just a tiny little slice)
Kimbies goes back to her look-out tower at the top of the wide steps.
Curtyboy is running, laughing, calling out to her.
I sit down & the brick lined concrete is no good for me.
The bricks are rough & the concrete is cold. I stand back up.
I look out at the expansive world before me.
Kimbies is chasing Curtyboy's ball. I sure would like to chase that ball.
A bird is whistling but I cannot see him & I so want to see him whistle.
The grass is greener when it's in the sunshine & I really want to sit in the sun dried grass.
A car purrs by like a gentle lion & I want to jump in that purring car & go where-ever they go .
I walk away from my slice & towards the steps.
Kimbies calls out 'Paige you stay right there. You heard Mom. Stay on that porch!'
I look down and I can see life just below me.
An entire army, a colony, a city of life...nestled right there beneath the shrubs that surround the porch, the steps & the house.
Bugs. Crawling bugs. Flying bugs.
Groups of bugs & bugs going solo.
Black bugs, orange bugs, red bugs & more black bugs.
I squat, firmly resting my rump on my heels. I stare & my knees become a platter for me to rest my chin upon.
A ladybug is crawling & suddenly takes flight, landing on a leaf nearby. I want her. I want her to crawl on me. I want her to be a part of my world up her on the cold concrete.
I reach, reach, reach but she is just too far away.
I look up at Kimbies & Curtyboy. More laughter & running.
Well, they can have the bright green grass & that big dumb ball.
I have these bugs.
I make it down the steps unseen and then, through the pinestraw mulch & behind the shrubs I wonder Where did my ladybug go?
"Payyyy-aaage! Keeeee-yummmm! Where is she?! Where did she go?!"
I looked up & could see the top of that net-lined hat.
'Here I am.'
'I told you to stay on this porch Paige!'
'No buts child, get up here & you stay on this porch & Kim, for dawgs' sake, watch her!'
'Yes Ma'am. C'mon up here, Paige'
Kimbies snaked her long legs through the shrubs to pluck me from the mildewy dirt. Batting cobwebs from before her face she exclaimed 'Why on earth would you want to be down here anyway?'
'I dunno, it's where my friends are and they wouldn't come up to there to see me cuz it's too cold up there.'
'What friends?'
'Um, the ladybug & the ants & daddy longlegs & stuff.'
'C'mon Paige, I see a friend that's waiting for you up in the sunshine.'
'Huh? Where? Who?'
'Come along now'
Kimbies, my big sister...not my biggest sister, but my big sister, takes me by the hand. I can see the sunshine makes her brown hair look not only brown but also a sparkly red, orange, yellow, gold & bronze. I love the sun. She leads me through the shrubs and back up the brick steps.
She points to a miniture armadillo on centipede legs and says 'Look, he was coming to see you.'
'What is it?'
'It's called a roly-poly.'
I crouched down, again bootie to my heels & chin to my knees. . . perfectly happy in my little corner of the world in my little slice of sunshine with my new friends.
Friends... you never can tell what form they'll take or where you may find them.

This is one of only two memories from the house I was born in. Blount Street. We moved from there when I was two. Some folks say that memories don't go back that far, but I think not. Having talked about first memories with perhaps over 100 people over the past 20 years, I have found that girls/women seem to have memories that reach further back than the menfolk.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's two in the morning and all seems calm.
The moon is full & the mockingbird sings her songs.
Two dogs are in & three more are still out.

The moon is full & my husband is passed out, sitting upright. His head is resting on his left shoulder, a warm beer can is still coiled up in his soiled working-man fingers. The chainsaw in his head occassionally turns into a horrific sounding gurgle. The sounds of his own snoring will not wake him. I gently try to urge my passed-out partner to awaken & get into bed, but it's no avail.

In the distance, dogs begin to bark. Like an assembly line passing buckets of water to a burning house, the sound of barking dogs travels up the road.
I Stop.
I Listen.

We double our neighborhood average of 2.5 dogs per household & in the wee hours of the night, the dogs in the 'hood provide a virtual radar of who or what is going where.
Something is coming down the road.
I look at the clock
My three dogs out back begin to really let loose.
Ferocious barking.

No howling... so I know it's not sirens in the distance causing thier uproar
No no cat, possum or another dog passing by.

Nope, just insane, rabid sounding barks.
The two dogs inside begin to chide in.
TimmyToes just keeps on snoring.

I can no longer hear the dogs in the distance.
The disturbance of the neighborhood has neared.
This disturbance is the worst kind... I just know it. It's gotta be the humankind.
And whoever it is, they are unwelcomed & unwanted.

I open my back door to try to lure three dogs in. Instead, the two dogs inside bumrush me to get out back, where the clamoring continues.

I go back to TimmyToes but his snores simply continue to rattle the air.
"Wake Up Timmy! Baby it's quarter after get up!"

I look out the front window & I see her.

She's flying like a ghost up the street... except, she didn't look haunted.
She was looking down at the ground before her & she seemed full of intent.
I went to my front door and watched as she made the abrupt left up my walkway.
My right hand wraps around the Louisville slugger as my left hand grabs the front doorknob.
Suddenly the ghost-like figure looks more doe-eyed than anything else & she stops in her tracks.

"Hurry up, come on inside."
"What are you doing up?"
"Who's out there?"
"I don't know"
"Whats going on? "
"Let me wake Timmy"

Ten minutes later, a still drunk & 1/2 asleep Timmy stumbles barefoot & in his boxerbriefs out the back door to fetch a ladder.

Cigarettes are lit at the kitchen tables & tea is poured. Ten more minutes pass & the dogs have not eased up, nor has Timmy returned to tell us the ladder is in place. She lights another ciggie & I tell her we gotta find Timmy. It's nearing three in the morning.

We make it down to her front property line when all of a sudden we hear the roar of an engine & before we can even completely spin around & look up...Bam!

In the blink of an eye we were blinded by a bright white spotlight.
We hear the car door & see the silhouette, toting a flashlight fixated on us, drawing near.

I start to giggle....

Timmytoes isn't the only one roaming the neighbor in his underwear/sleepwear @ 3 in the morning.

"Have you ladies seen any suspicious characters running around this area?"
"Oh, you know, it's probably my husband. He's in his underwear & has extension ladder. "
"Yeah, I locked myself out of the house & well, he should be here...but I don't see him. He probably looks pretty suspicious though."
Spotlights flash from the alleyway now too & of course, more giggles...
"Ladies we are looking for two black men that are traveling on foot. Someone reported seeing them in this area."
"Oh! Well, you know, like 45 minutes ago I thought I heard someone jump my chainlink which is why I went outside dressed like this & then, I locked myself out. That was a long time ago & I really didn't see any..."

The front door flies open & simultaneously we hear...'GET DOWN ON THE GROUND. STAY DOWN ON THE GROUND!'

Timmytoes emerged from the house & two men were jostled from the neglected & overgrown shrubs in which they'd been hiding. Their white tee's had been found in another neighbors' yard.

Bless their law-breaking, been busted, 'I was scared' & shed my shirt to hide in the bushes asses...
those bushes were poison ivy.