Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduation time....and memories

As of about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, Bubba graduated!

He seemed to think it was fun, and kept everyone laughing. He and Logan, the other graduate were good friends while attending the Scott Center in Oxford, MS. Hopefully, tho' school is out, he will continue to grow and learn. Tho' I suppose his teacher will have to be me now.

This is a picture of him with his teacher, Ms. Minnie.

When we got home we found out that my dad was back in the hospital with congestive heart failure. He is responding well to the meds, and feeling much better today. They say he may be home as soon as Friday. I think all of this has pushed them towards the decision to accept placement in an assisted living facility. My aunt and some of their friends from church have apartments there, and so they would have family and friends to be near. I am sure it is never an easy decision, to give up your home, and to admit that you need help. There would be such a war of pride and ego I would think. I do not live close enough (13 hrs away) to them to help more, and my brother can only do so much. My sister lives over 2 hours away, so helping out is not something we can share very well. They have always planned to go there, just were hoping to postpone it awhile longer.

It brings to a close a large segment of my life. I know you can never go home again....but now it will be for real....there will be no more old will be sold. Alot of memories will go with it...some good, some bad...but oh so many memories.....


As I was sitting in a restaurant, eating dinner
And listening to a trio playing old songs and new,
I found myself drifting away on a sea of thought;
Nostalgia is usually different for all of us,
Each memory a picture of separate meaning,
Love bound up in divergence and selfishness,
Yet somehow finding a pathway thru’ it all.

I remember so many things, long forgotten….
Mom playing duets with us on an old painted piano;
Her pounding out “Alley Cat” while we danced;
Lullabies sang in the hallway, so all could hear;
Washday with clothespins in her mouth outside in the back;
The smell of sheets hung in the sun to dry while
Dragonflies dodge the clothesline and we the poles.

Working with dad at the Y camp in the summertime;
Dad telling the joke about the suit the tailor made wrong;
Hitting his head on the cellar steps for the millionth time;
Cutting our hair in the basement, sometimes crooked,
While we wound up the record player and listened to
Lavinsky At the Wedding, and other 78’s grown warped,
And he puttered at the workbench or painted something.

Melting tin into soldiers, marathon monopoly games;
Being “locked out” into the fresh air with no book to read;
Picking raspberries till the mumps caught up to me,
Instead of the flies and prickers and wasps and bees;
Sick in the summertime heat and bored till daddy
Comes home and brings me a building kit to make
My very own city, in a fantasy world of my choosing.

Hiding from my sister, or hiding from my brother;
Or maybe just hiding from the neighbors in a game;
But we had to come in when it got dark, and we could
Still hear them calling “allie allie oxen free”, or “you’re it”;
Going to bed when it was still light out after school began;
Indian rug burns, mubletypeg, climbing trees and
Catching minnows in the “pond” in the side yard.

Riding with grandma A in her car that had air-conditioning;
Eating cornflakes before a bedtime later than usual;
Listening to the train whistle late at night which we
Never heard at home….only in town with dad’s folks;
Watching daytime soap operas on a 17-inch TV screen;
Going a movie or getting money to spend at Woolworth’s,
As a special treat on our yearly overnight stay there.

Building tents at grandma W's house, in her cold living room,
And ducking into the dining room to stand on the grate
After grandpa added coal to the furnace, on a winter’s day;
Eating cookies from the cookie jar, playing in the tiny room
Beside the kitchen or upstairs with curtains drying on racks;
Braving the outhouse, or heating water in copper tubs for washday.

Not knowing then that my kids and grandkids would not
Have the same kind of memories as I did with childhoods
So different than mine; no frame of reference for what I recall…
Records with only one side, played on players that wound up;
Getting our first TV with a tiny little screen and only a very few shows
On in black and white, listening to radio broadcast of the Lone Ranger
Amos and Andy, Father Knows Best, popping corn in a big kettle.

Playing army, or cowboys and Indians, with a stick as a gun,
In the “big woods” in back of the house (which was only a thicket
To my mother), and now is less than a few dozen trees; or in the
Forest back the lane where we could wander for hours and never
See anyone or signs of habitation; lying on top of a hillside
While the Blue Angels flew over us on their way to the air show
At the National Guard armory, with our dog barking beside us.

Watching the airport tower lights at night go from green to red to white,
Out my window when I was supposed to be asleep, but couldn’t sleep
Because I wonder what a broken home was that the boy next door
Came from, and if he would leave when they fixed it again, and praying
That he wouldn’t go because I loved him more than any six-year-old
Ever could; seeing who could drink a glass of water without stopping
To breathe once; chewing on dog biscuits in the haymow back the lane.

Once we had a food fight in my mom’s kitchen and she and daddy
Participated; and my sister told jokes from school that she did not
Understand and neither did I, but my parents did and said, “hush, now.”
Waving sparklers on the fourth of July after a picnic with all the
Neighbors gathered together; and late night parties on New Years Eve,
When my mom’s friends would come over and bring the “booze”,
Which was only seven up and coca-cola, but a treat ‘cause we only had milk.

Coming home from school and mom was there baking cookies or cake;
Easter-egg trees in the spring; taking piano lessons every week;
Having dad tell us about snakes and bugs; catching 6 baby skunks
And keeping them in a pen for awhile; catching fish on a cane pole;
Family vacations, and trips to my great grandparent's farms where
We could see cows and pigs, and ride in a boat; drawing lines in the car
So no one took more than their half of the seat or else we’d fight.

Learning to ride a second-hand bike that mom painted special,
With streamers in the handles and sticks in the spokes for noise;
Walking to the local dairy for ice cream with my grandpa and seeing
Where he worked and watching the cows get milked by hand;
Having the jocks in high school marvel at the same grandpa
When they worked on the road crew with him and he out-worked them
With him being an “old man” and them being younger “men”.

Wrestling in the living room with my mom, and she always beat us
Even when we got big because she cheated; growing up innocent;
Not knowing what we had because we were too close to it then, and
Wishing that my kids could have known what it felt like to walk
Barefoot in the grass and mud, without worrying about anything
More than having to wash off with the outside hose before dinner;
I wish we had known then how great we had it, but I do now.


Well it is late, and I need some sleep....I will apologize here too...for only now learning how to respond to comments....begging forgiveness and thanking all who have commented so far. Thanks!

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