Saturday, January 31, 2015

Winter Cranberry

My hands smell of "winter cranberry"
These halls, an "ocean walk"
Sixteen candles?
If only there were that few

There are photos in frames
And not the ones that came in them from the store
These throw pillows are nice
But why must there be so many
And so pastel

The refrigerator
Once a bastion of pizza boxes, flat 2-liters, and... ketchup
Now boasts of celery, beef broth, cream cheese
And unexpired milk!
(Which I've learned most of the world refers to simply as "milk")

Once prized possessions--
My favorite shirt from college
My Stars of Baywatch poster
Seem to be missing

So long, CJ
Farewell, Stephanie
Vaya con Dios, Mitch
I sob (inside)

The work of petty thieves?


There is a woman in the house!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A new (year's) memory

The call came early on New Year's Eve, just as I was beginning my annual revelry of struggling to stay up until midnight.  Most years lately, I let midnight Eastern time suffice. 

"Bone, this is your Aunt Ida.  Listen hon, since your momma and sister are at the beach, Aunt Ida wanted to invite you over for New Year's dinner tomorrow."

My New Year's tradition has been to go to mom's for black-eyed peas, hog jowl, collard greens, and fried potatoes.  But Mom, my sister, and nephews (there are two now) had taken a last-minute trip to the coast.

Even so, another year I might have said no, being my usual anti-social self.  But not this year.  Not this winter.  In the span of three weeks, I lost an aunt and an uncle.  Then on the way home from my uncle's burial, Fave Aunt was in a serious car accident, suffering several broken ribs and a fractured sternum.

Aunt Ida lives on this dirt road, at least five miles from the nearest traffic light.  When I was little, it used to seem so far back in the woods and we'd almost always go at night to visit.  Plus it was a dead end.  It all made for a bit of a scary place to a kid.

I'm sure that was exacerbated by the fact they had a basement where we hid during the '74 tornadoes.  Probably my earliest memory of life.  I remember the lights going out and huddling in the dark.  Years later I would learn that one tornado had passed within a couple miles.

Driving out there on New Year's Day, I discovered Aunt Ida only lived three-tenths of a mile off the paved road.  (I nearly said main road, but you have to take two more roads to get to anything that might even remotely be considered a main road.)

When my uncle retired,  or maybe even a bit before, they bought an old bus and customized it for traveling.  It would have been the mid '80s, and I'd never seen anything like it.  To me, the inside looked like a rock star's tour bus.  I remember once they drove up through Canada and over to Alaska.  Were gone for like 3 months.

My uncle passed on years ago, and as I pulled into the drive, I was struck by how empty the whole place looked without the bus parked there, or the enormous garden which used to stretch out forever behind the house.

My cousin, who's always seemed more like an uncle, and his wife were there.  New Year's Day still means bowl games.  And we enjoyed watching Auburn lose almost as much as we enjoyed the home cooking.  Almost.

It was a quite lovely day.

So lovely, in fact, that I called and invited myself back over for breakfast this past Saturday.  This time, I stopped by and picked up mom on the way.  After enjoying gravy, homemade biscuits, pear preserves, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns, we sat and talked. 

Well, mostly I listened, as the two sisters went on about growing up, kinfolk, and "whatever happened to so-and-so."  They talked of businesses that had closed thirty years ago, houses that were no longer there, of getting a ride up to the highway so they could catch the bus into town.  I soaked up all of it.

By the time we got up to leave, morning had become afternoon.

And there at the site of my earliest life memory, I'd made another one.

"We can stop and go to church with your sweet Aunt Ida / Have supper at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Diner / We'll be talkin' 'bout this trip when we're two old-timers..."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Music Monday: Remember me?

Congratulations!  For the past four months, you have unknowingly taken part in a sociological experiment I like to call, "Could you survive without Bone?"  I don't know how you did it, nor am I sure I want to know.  But somehow, against all odds, you have done it.

Others were not so lucky.  Some turned to Facebook.  Some resorted to more extreme measures, such as interacting with other people, face to face.  But even as we mourn those less fortunate souls, we must move on.

I am going to attempt to begin posting on a somewhat regular basis again.  In fact, my goal is 3 posts per week.........

Why are you laughing?  (I'm pretending I still have readers, just go with it.)

One might wonder why I am even telling you this.  My hope is that by making such a public statement, it will hold me more accountable.

Think of me as you would an absentee father you've not seen in years.  Just as you finally pull yourself together and accept that you will never have a relationship with him, he shows up and wants to be part of your life.  He promises this time will be different.

Will he keep his promise?  Not likely.  But I gotta think he feels a bit more guilty breaking his promise than he would having made no promise at all.  (It occurs to me this might not be my best analogy ever. I knew I should have gone with my "I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block/I'm still, I'm still Bone from the blog" idea.  Now I blog a little, used to blog a lot, etc.)

So where have I been?  Working?  Watching countless episodes of "WKRP In Cincinnati" on my new DVR?  Spending every free moment reaching Level 90 on Trivia Crack in only five weeks (in all likelihood a world record)?

Sure, I could blame it on any of those things.  And while all have some validity, the bottom line is if I wanted this relationship to work, if I truly wanted to be a part of your life, I would have made time to be here.  There are always a million reasons not to write.

In closing, and because I am fresh out of segues, here is my promise to you.  Actually, it's just a song called The Promise."  Originally done by the British band, When In Rome.  This is a fairly recent version by Sturgill Simpson.  The words don't entirely apply to our situation, but Sturgill has been scratching me where I itch lately.  Figuratively, of course.  (Am I using too many -ly words?  Probably.)

Here's to blogging more (and to hoping I'm a better father someday than I've been a blogger). 

"I'm sorry but I'm just thinking of the right words to say / I know they don't sound the way I plan them to be..."