I haven’t seen my friend’s mom since I was in high school, but I’ve thought of her a lot over the years.
I knew she was sick. Very sick. I just didn’t want to think about one of my oldest friends losing her mom. So I put it out of my mind.
Tonight I’m just so sad for her.
When I explain my memories they will sound so trivial, but they’ve played an incredible role in my decision making and outlook over the years.
In the period I most remember her mother was divorced and not seeing anyone. She would have been in her early 40’s, I’m pretty sure. Though, when you are 12 age is as abstract as money.
In my memories that now all run together we spent a lot of time in her vehicle. It was a blue suv that was rugged like a jimmy. The windows were always down and music playing.
Remember that song, “Where have all the cowboys gone” by Paula Cole? It came out in ’97. I’m sure you do it was rather catchy. About a woman who, to simplify it, marries a worthless man who goes out drinking every night leaving her with the babies, laundry and debt. (and any other horrible affliction one can imagine)
We listened on repeat in that car. Being our youth her mom was always driving us around the coast. She always talked during this song. I think she was talking to us, but in that indirect way people can. She didn’t look at us. Just stared ahead at the road. I don’t remember her words specifically, but she told us that what those lyrics described really did happen to people.
This was a time that my mom wasn’t even discussing boys with me. Not even the fact that I might find one attractive — certainly not the fact that I could marry one, have babies and be treated horribly. In my young mind love was a fairly tale type thing.
Her mom spoke with harshness — a rawness about it. I remember her saying girls have to protect themselves — be smart and tough. Be independent. Choose wisely. Never rely on a man for our resources or emotions and never be caught off guard because men and love can’t be trusted or truly counted on. Maybe it was a little harsh for a 12 year old, but it was true. Maybe it’s why I view all the weddings, proposals and engagement rings with a slight skepticism, but I do. I always will. We all have heartbreaks, betrayals and worthless partners and when I had mine, I remembered her knowing I wasn’t alone. My mom did give me the cold hard facts eventually, but considering they came first from a person who lacked agenda, I believed what I heard.
She was a kind woman who had a rawness to her that was real. She was never materialistic. She was an authentic person and I have always looked back at that with intrigue and appreciation.
Years ago I heard her mom remarried. I was so delighted because, yes, what her mom said is true, but it isn’t absolute.
Along with that coldness of the Paula Cole song, we, the gaggle of girls, also rode around with her mom listening to the Indigo Girls, Rites of Passage. We knew all the words and they were beautifully written with a message of hope and strength. When I think of her mom I remember both. The beauty of youth and the words of a wise woman who just wanted us to become women who used their brains with their hearts.
Just yesterday I was in a record store and saw a Rites of Passage cd with a $1 sticker. I own two cd copies already, but bought it again just because I can’t leave it behind. I only tonight saw the news of her passing. Life is strange that way.
I know this little memory is incredibly insignificant to the total of her life, but it’s a reminder of the profound strength our words have on the people around us. People we don’t think are listening or would ever remember. 17 years later I do remember and always will.
My love to her sweet daughter.
There are days you just feel the long intro. Honestly, I’ve always been more a music person than one for lyrics. Though, as with most things in life if you wait they will come around. Same goes with this 1984 number I’ve danced around my house with for the last two days. Amazing the song is almost the same age as I am. Well, actually if it came out in ’84 it was probably already recorded in ’83. Possibly my life twin.
It’s friday. Rest and relaxation isn’t far away.
I’ve already decorated my house for fall — few more things to find — excited to just enjoy it this weekend as one of my old work friends makes the drive north.
This isn’t over.
It looked great in person. Well, let me say it looked good to me when I looked in the mirror. These days I’ve decided that’s all I really care about. I mean I am my toughest critic, so If I’m happy with something I’m content — until it comes to tv clothes. The funky pattern made the tv screen go kind of nutzo. My friend and assignment editor walked up to me after show and said, “yea, that dress, don’t wear it again.” Can you imagine my face?
I checked it out and he’s right. The vintage style and colors were fine, it’s just the pattern. Just wish they made them like these still. The length was mid-calf. Lady-like and sweet. Check out the conservative neck! What a bummer.
p.s. this is the type of dress Banana Republic should have tried to recreate in their mad-men line. Yet to see a pretty neck or flattering length in their collection. Remind me, who can really wear pencil skirts? Not this lady. Doesn’t matter how much weight I lose. Can’t shove myself in there.
Oh, how sweet of me.
Ummmm, no. Both for me. The first one I polished off before 4:30 a.m.. The second one went with me on the set.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself right now. Yes, a toot my own horn blog. I’m not saying I did a very good job or looked “with it” at all beginning at 4:30, but this is the thing, I normally go to sleep between 3 & 4 a.m. Instead, your girl was sitting in the anchor chair alert and smiling four days this week. I can say, my news director Tammy Phillips told me today we had no hate calls with me on the desk and I assume that also means no calls asking if I was drunk. When I watched back I did look kinda manic — like I was going to hop out of my seat and make all my Mid-South friends some coffee while they kicked back and enjoyed the aroma from their kitchen table. You see, I really was happy. Happy to be awake, happy to be alive and thrilled to watch the sun come up on our sky cam over the Mississippi River. How exciting to know people were waking up and (hopefully) we were helping them get moving. That’s pretty darn cool, or maybe I’m just tired.
I know this. I leave Memphis on a train bound for New Orleans at 6:30 tomorrow morning. After waking up at 2:45 a.m. the last four days, 5:45 is going to be a piece of cake!! Bring it, Amtrak. choooo chooooo and Hotty Toddy!!! Here’s to us hopefully winning the one Ole Miss game I attend this season.
Around 5:20 this morning I thought I was going to lose the breakfast I didn’t eat this morning.
Sunday night was fine. I got about six hours of sleep and felt fantastic during work the next morning, but Monday night was a personal low for me. I got only three hours. I’m filling in on the anchor desk during the mornings while the male anchor, Andrew Douglas, fills in for the evening shows.
My plan was to stay awake until 8 p.m., but I couldn’t make it past 6:30. I started nodding off sitting up in a chair and mumbling to my mom on the phone. I eventually hung up on her when she wouldn’t let me get off the phone to snooze. My sleep was hard and good. I remember my cat, Bridget, putting her behind in my face and I didn’t budge.
Around 10:30 I was awake again and was nice and sleepy, but I was on the couch and thought I’d get in the bed in an effort to have better sleep. WRONG.
I never went to sleep, instead roamed around my apartment in a state of depression knowing 2:45 was getting closer and closer.
I bought new apps for my i-phone, ate an apple since I was absolutely ravenous, read some, sat on my porch in the dark. When I got cold I got back on the couch and finally felt like I could doze off, but at that point I only had 25 minutes left to sleep.
The good news is I got through the news that begins at 4:30 a.m. From what I watched I never looked uphappy, super tired or grumpy. No doubt in time I could really get the hang of this and come to actually enjoy the routine. It’s in no way happening soon, but I’d love a family one day. A morning shift job seems the best way to seemingly have it all.
Now it’s 4 pm. I would normally be anchoring the news, but instead I’m on the couch about to watch a documentary about prohibition. May it help me drift away.
I saw the collective envy and wonder in the eyes of the ladies around me. Mine included.
I do good to run my garbage out to the street around 2 am just hours before the garbage men roll through my street.
The houses on the Annual Central Gardens Home Tour in Mid-Town are so spotless — so perfect they seem like movie sets.
They certainly could be.
I do know Dennis Quaid stayed in a house on Belvedere Blvd while he shot Great Balls of Fire. See, you learn all sorts of useful things on the tour.
For a person who loves homes..homes with a history…homes that have been saved from the nightmare of bulldozers, this past Sunday was a dream.
A mere $15 dollars (going to some charity or something useful, I’m sure) you get to see how the other half lives. I’m struggling by no means, but these people know how to live. Most of the homes were built in 1909. The owners have the delicate task of not only keeping the homes at their turn of the century splendor, but also repairing the expensive wood work these elegantly designed homes are full of, and the gigantic project of filling the home with appropriate furniture. It would be a tragedy if the owners just ran to Ikea and filled a home. No, these homes we toured were stocked with Russian mirrors from the 1800’s, original paintings, fine furniture, oriental this and that and so much more to love admiring. Is it all my preference, no way, but I can say, the homes were all done in a way that even if not your taste you admired the time and effort (money) it took to keep the homes up in a way they deserve.
You can even take a little swing on their porch — and yes I took notes
If you drive through Central Gardens ( I don’t live there but do live in Mid-Town) you do a lot of neck stretching to catch a glimpse at the homes you pass by. You never truly get to see all the details or totally fix your eye on that speakers platform on this house in the 1300 block of Central. This house has been a frat house for the school of optomotry and the functining school house for Lausanne School. The current owners have been there since 2001.
It’s also amazing to see what people collect. I like collectors of strange things. We are all eccentric and I love people who are strange and keep it all around them. In one house the doctor owner collected these elaborate marble mantle clocks. In another more homey home the lady of the house collected these large marbles that look like paper weights. If there is a name for them I’m not sure, but they are all different colors and are filled with things like flowers and color swirls. The things were everywhere and on display. I love that she loves them enough to put them EVERYWHERE. Then there are the family photos. Some people display them in a somewhat muted way — that’s me. By that I mean a frame here and there, but others splash the family photos from 1985 on every wall and tiny space. I don’t think they love their family any more than I do. It’s just their style. I would have taken inside pictures, but it’s not allowed and I guess it would have been rude of me.
Two of my favorite homes.
This home on Belvedere. It was built in 1909 as a model home for the beautiful tree lined median street. A person could walk in and see amazing wood work in the foyer. About the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. If they took a right turn into the dining room they would find a very dressy and formal Itialian styled detailing in the wood work. If they took a left off the foyer they would find traditional arts and crafts styled wood working. Then the visitor could decide which they wanted in their Belvedere home. The lucky owners today get to have the best of both worlds.
The second home I loved most was on Peabody. It’s the old Crump home. Boss Crump himself had the house built in 1909 and died in it. His body lie in state in the foyer with roses lining the stairs, or so I was told. I’ve passed by the home so many times and wondered what it was like inside. Well, it was beautiful. Loved seeing a painting of Crump standing with other leaders in front of the New Daisy Theater. With the legacy the home has you have to keep the old man in the house!
It’s a total neighborhood affair complete with adorable little kids selling treats and cold drinks and boy scouts raising money. It was warm out there.
Before this ::
Was this ::
I got in a hit & run wreck Sunday morning on my way home to Memphis. I had to fill in at work Sunday, so left a fun weekend in North MS early. On my way back into town a white vehicle hit me — sent me spinning — I only came to a stop when I ran into another car. The white vehicle gone before my tires stopped spinning. Probably had outstanding warrants. Don’t think I wanted to meet him anyhow. Just glad for the witnesses even if one of them did ask me, minutes after the crash while I’m still in driver seat with face in hands, for a quarter when I asked him to stick around and tell his story to police. The man in the car I hit didn’t speak English. Felt terrible that he got brought into my vehicular drama, but also that he had to be stuck with me for 35 minutes in the center turning lane of a fairly busy street as we waited for police. Our cars were stuck together. I got in and out of my car checking to see if he was bleeding, freaking out or suffering from dehydration and promising through sign language that I had called 911. Short version of long story. I had lots of friends show up and help me and met some super cool motorcycle cops in the process. Whatever, life happens. I’ll instead focus on the fun times before the wreck.
Between Oxford and Memphis — right off I-55.
My college roommate in the Delta Gamma house put herself through college by working at the steak house on main street there which you see in the picture above. I always thought of her late at night and worried as she drove back and forth from Oxford to Como. She’d come home — back to the DG house– tired and smelling of steaks.
DOVE HUNT WEEKEND
I have to say :: I don’t hunt. All the men in my family hunt, but I just can’t imagine killing something (other than a roach) regardless of how small it is. I’m definitely not going to shoot a bird, but I do think the tradition and planning behind the hunt is wonderful.
My hosts :: Ellie and her boyfriend Barry
I enjoyed sitting in the back of the truck, searching my exposed skin for chiggers and watching the men do this sport they’ve done since they were little guys. They were all so very good — a little too good, frankly, as I winced every time one of the little birds stopped mid-air and fluttered all the way down. The shooter making his way through the high fields always right to where the bird landed. I instead filled the time imagining what that field had looked like only weeks/months earlier. The person who owned the land had planted fields and fields of sunflowers. They are dead now to attract the birds, but I bet they were spectacular.
Bonny from Terry, MS :: Lives in DC now
I do like hanging with the men :: these men wear Levi’s :: even the men in training
The hunters rented a house I can only describe as amazing.
In fact, so nice I didn’t want to leave for any of the weekend functions. If I had to guess it was built in the 1920’s. The screened in porch was perfect. The swing well oiled with a slight creak.
Inside the rooms were full of antiques and even some funky retro selections. Unexpected. Love a scrap rug.
The back yard was like a scene from a country still life. Tractors, sheds and fields for a view. Roosters roaming around.
I talk a lot about spaces. How much I love them. How happy they make me. It probably seems as if I’m easily excited and satisfied. I think I am. It doesn’t take much and this charming home off Main Street in Como did it. My friend Bonny, who was with us from D.C, said it was like a spread from Garden and Gun. I agree.
I remember when I was younger it was always,
“what’s next” “where are we going” “who will be there”
That isn’t me anymore. I realized it this weekend. I heard the others talk about how hot the porch was, and it was, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to move. I had a cold diet coke and that was enough to keep me satisfied.
I had been so excited to write this blog about this cool house and the neat things we did, but after the wreck I just didn’t feel like anything sunday night — except sitting around and crying–thinking about what could have happened :: how scary it was to spin around and stop only to see traffic headed right for me. Even feels silly to write about how amazing my weekend was a day later after almost dying on the way home, though bottom line :: I’m alive. I’m going to celebrate it. Got a really great spirit boost tonight. My mom came on a last minute road trip to Memphis with my aunt and grannie. Aunt Stephanie lives in Pensacola and Granny in Brewton, AL (South Alabama). I never imagined Granny would be able to see my life here in Memphis. She told me how much she loves my apartment :: how she could tell I’d been collecting my nick nacks for years. Makes me so happy to have them here.
Accidentally snapped this pic on my way home. My friend Krista pointed out my necklace as we stood sweating by my car. I smiled when I saw the picture.