To Garner Wisdom

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy. The amount of work is the same."~~~Francesca Reigler

Tuesday, July 8

It's My Party

This is my blog. It is my way of sharing the things I have done, and learned along the journey that is my life. I have made many poor choices, as many have. I think I can safely say that there is not a perfect person that will read this. Looking in from the outside we are not going to know the true picture of what goes on. My main thing and goal in life is not to appear to be selfish. I have been given many things that I did not ask for. The need was seen by those who loved me and gave to me without me asking. My regret in this is that I, in my own way appeared to be needy. Judge me today if you want. I have become better than most would under the conditions I was handed. What hurts me the most is that everyone dislikes me and really don't know the pain that still is in my soul.

The first thing ever given to me was a home with a dry bed. My grandmother sent for our family when I was seven. She saw that we did not need to be in the cold north. She saw that Mama and Daddy were not in a good place. Daddy was drinking way too much and Mama was not handling her family duties. She sat in the chair in her fur coat while the floor piled up with clutter. The heat did not work most of the time. I wet the bed and she did not change the bed. My memory of  the house on Morley is a wet and cold memory.

Monday, July 7

Aunt Faye

My daddy's sister, Wanda Faye, was my greatest role model. She was not perfect, but really who is? She was not the best house keeper in the world, but that really does not matter, either. A hoarder she was not. She had great intentions of a well groomed home.

Wednesday, February 27

Bootleggers of West Lauderdale County

In the time of my growing up, bootleggers were what seem to be the drug dealers of today. Many of the off spring of the bootleggers I knew of growing up are selling drugs today. There is no need any more to sell whiskey, because most of the towns are wet. The Tennessee Line was the only place to go for beer in the seventies. My family’s favorite drink was not beer. It was probably whiskey; also moonshine. It was made or sold up in our neck of the woods by the Patrick’s, Easteps,Whites and Jacksons. The Whites and Patricks were all related, somehow.The Jackson's also bought scrap metal. They worked on cars and tractors. The color they were was proof that they did dirty work. They were so dirty that the whites of their eyes shined as they approached you. They were crooks to my brother and I. We collected scrap metal for weeks; hoping to get this large sum of money for all our work. They came to the house finally to pick it up and only gave us twelve dollars for a trailer load. The old man looked like the preacher on the Poltergeist movies. The son was a small and even dirtier than his dad. He must have been the one that crawled under the cars; the worker I guess. My daddy would almost have drunk rubbing alcohol if he didn’t have the real thing. The Jackson’s were always stopping by to deliver their latest batch of wild cat. Daddy always had to hide the bottles from my grandmother and I was always searching for the bottle; just to tell on my daddy. I got some pleasure out of Grandmother finding it and pouring it out. There was one time he hid it at the edge of the yard in some rocks. This place was on the other side of the car; I guess he didn’t want to take the trouble to go very far to get a drink that day. I found it by accident, really. The strange thing to me was there was no label on the bottle; I had found my first bottle of homemade whiskey. The Whites, Easteps and Patrick’s bottles were transported and were five bucks a bottle. This was home brew and only three bucks a bottle. My daddy walked up just about the time I got the bottle out of the grass. When he saw me with it he grinned and told me, “That is the only bottle of whiskey that I will pour out.” I held the bottle up and looked; it was grey in color and had slime floating in it. The whiskey the Jackson’s made was as dirty as they were.

Monday, February 25

Just Gloom and Doom

I was asked the other day about, how long my daddy had been dead. This reminded me of the events that lead to his death. It was a couple of days before the actual whole story came to me. The strange thing about is was the time of day that the specifics and facts came to me. It was four am on Tuesday. I had been asked on Sunday. On the front porch in the dark; I out loud said to myself, " I can't believe that it has been so long since I have even thought of this event.
Daddy had already started doing the things that a doctor had told him before we left the north. He had been having an occasional sezure from his heavy drinking. My fourteen year old niece has asked about him recently. It is hard for my brother to specify the exact cause of his death to her. He does not want to talk badly of our daddy. He was probably a much better man than many think. He let wild-cat whiskey turn him into something he really was better than. Good looks was something the Garner's always were proud of; there really are no ugly people in our family. My aunt and one of the cousins dwelled on that fact, possibly to cover-up the faults of many of them. My grandfather had this curley thick hair, and was a small man. He was a drunk and begot sons that were, drunks too. The question I often ask is being a drunk passed down? Nope, because I ain't and my children ain't. One of the boy cousins has terrible addiction problems. Maybe some get it and some don't. I do think that some of the unfaithful sexual tendencies have seeped into the later generations, but who is to say that is genetic. I try hard not to be what they were and want my children to be even better than I was. Wisdom is garnered even from watching people mess up.

On the Lighter Side

A senior citizen said to his eighty-year old buddy: 'So I hear you're getting married?' 'Yep!' 'Do I know her?' 'Nope!' 'This woman, is she good looking?' 'Not really.' 'Is she a good cook?' 'Naw, she can't cook too well.' 'Does she have lots of money?' 'Nope! Poor as a church mouse.' 'Well, then, is she good in bed?' 'I don't know.' 'Why in the world do you want to marry her then?' 'Because she can still drive!'

Wednesday, August 1


Oliver what-ever his last name is; is a Methodist. I am thinking this is almost like being Catholic. I am just saying. The Methodist have about the same organization bindings as the Catholic; I may have this not all together right, but I know when I was little and going to the Methodist Church that the organization was who sent us the preacher that came once a month. Still really does not matter, if he has been rumored to be a perv for years; how come just now he is being caught? My thinking is the boys finally got the nerve or maybe it ain't so. If it ain't so he still will never be thought of in the same way. Rumors like this are not easily forgotten. Sad, but true.

Monday, July 30

Left on the Row

The blacksheep is something that I have always seen myself as. I am not making this up. I did not come to this conclusion all alone. It took the people that was raising me to make me really believe that this is true. I have a little black cloud that follows me around. The good thing is that I can most of the time find a rainbow in the cloud behind my back. Is it because I was a skinny ugly girl? Maybe it was because the whole family had no use for my mentally ill mother; that for the record was probably smarter than the drunk and selfish that she was surrounded by. She was abused by all everyone everyday. The children even followed the lead of the adults in making fun of her. Children tend to do that. She told the truth more often than her peers, but when she told what was really going on, it was made to be a lie. When my granddaddy chased her from one end of the twenty acres to the end that was something she had made up. She finally just quit telling what he was doing, because it did no good what so ever. My daddy really may not have believed her or he may have just been to out of it with whiskey to care. We were as disfunctional as it came in those days, but famous for working hard. We being the women and children. In my grandmother's eyes, it was a man's world. The penis of a man did his thinking and what ever that penis thought was good enough for her. It was the responsibility of the female being chased to stop the penis. WTF. When my granddaddy was sober he was the leader. He was the farm owner. This was not very often, so putting up with him in charge was a rare thing. He was considered a sick man to my grandmother and she always took up his slack. He was not sick. He was a drunk. He did die not long after we moved here, but that was because of drinking. He died drunk and that always was something my grandmother said she hated. Him dying drunk was not what was going to send this perverted man to Hell, she needed not to worry about that. This day and time he would have been caught up with. He died with many thinking that he was just a drunk. Today he would have been a sexual preditor.

Wednesday, July 11

Why Others Prosper?

I am at a point where I am totally confused. I am confused as to how some people can be constantly mean to others and still prospher. Everyone that I come in contact with lately say the most terrible things to one another. An old man fall's and his wife say's God Damn, Fred; like he fell on purpose. These people are old and closer to Heaven or Hell statistically. It seems that belittling others is a way to make some feel big. I have smarted off at times, but not to a point of cruelness. I am homeless, but still find enough kindness to be nice and not so jeolous of the constant words; mine, mine, mine. I hate those words. Selfish is something that I don't want to appear to be, but sometime I would just like to have something. I may not deserve anything. I am not going to be mean if that is what it takes to have. My grandfather, which I know is in Hell, because of what he did to me, was a selfish man beyond belief. He bought a car once and sold it to his own son at a profit. The people I see today are not evil as he was, but pretty evil. Families that don't like one another or have a kind word, WTF. I only hope in my life that if being well off makes you mean, that I never get there.

Tuesday, June 19

Don't Let Him

I am fifty years old. I really don't feel that old, but it is a fact. That makes me being born in 1961. August 30th and 31st are my birthday's. I have two because my Mama thought I was born on the 31st, but when I received a new birth certificate it had the 30th. It really does not matter, fifty years is still fifty years. What difference should a day make. I was raised during the time that men were held in much higher regard than most of them deserved. The women stayed home while the guys went to work and where ever the hell they wanted. Women, most of them knew that when the men didn't come home, what they were up to. This is what my grandmother referred to as, "it's a man's world." She was a prime example of a women was to do what was right to cover-up for her man's indiscretions. It did not matter to her if the other women was her daughter-in-law or even a child. "Don't let him", was the words I heard her use when she discovered that Granddaddy was trying to abuse a female. To her that would end the problem. Would it? How could something that evil end that easily? This is an assault that never goes away. It is taking something from an innocent soul, that can never be replaced.

Monday, April 2


There are many things that can damage children. The abuse of children no matter how they seem as adults sticks with them. Children that have been sexually abused have had something taken from them that they can never get back. I really hope there is a special Hell for the scum that prey on children. As adults there are many things that cause disfunction in our lives. Get over it is really not an option when in your mind the abuse suffered never is totally gone; it is there and nothing can take if from you. Even thought the person that abused you took something you can never get over. I have lived a relatively normal life, considering. My experiences I am sure made me not the most positive person. My self-esteem is something I have lacked in most areas. Many times I think I come across as having too much. I tend to pat myself on the back to make myself feel like I am really somebody. At this point in my life I am searching my soul to understand why I still feel inferior to most people. The answer is probably more simple than I realize. I have felt sorry for myself more days than not; crying being very common for me to do almost everyday. I have self medicated and with great luck not developed a drinking or drug problem. I function quite normally to the people around me. The people who know me best know that I have some bad attitudes towards why I can't be totally happy with what I have and have accomplised. Being truely happy was taken from me as a small child. In my mind I still think that I was chosen to be the one abused because I was not as good as the rest of the children around me. He targeted me because I was the child that came from the poor living conditions we experienced up-north. To me it was who I was and where I came from. My intelligence tells me different, but crying on the way home from church trips with my aunt and cousins is a clue to me now that I think about it, that I was already damaged from the abuse when I was 10 or 12. I never told the story to anyone except my brother and he shook it off as something we never talked about again. I would never tell my aunt because she worshiped her dad. I could not hurt her. All that it matters to are now dead. I wonder if when we get to the here after; do we find out all the secrets and bad things that we do here on earth. I hope my grandmother knows. Probably not, because she is in Heaven and I want him to be in a special Hell. A Hell hotter than just anyone else's. Damaged, but not useless is what abuse has done to me.

Tuesday, March 27

Don't Mess With Grandma

Don’t mess with GRAND MA.

THIS WAS MY BEST LAUGH OF THE for all the salesmen in the
A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying A vacuum cleaner. 'Good morning,' said the young man. 'If I could take a couple minutes of your time,I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners.''Go away!'' said the old lady. ''I'm broke and haven't got any money!'' and she proceeded to close the door. Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open...''Don't be too hasty!'' he said. ''Not until you have at least seen my
demonstration.''And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet. Now if this vacuum cleaner does not remove All traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder."The old lady stepped back and said, "Well let me get you a fork, 'cause
they cut off my electricity this morning."

Tuesday, October 11


I often say that I am not a good listener. It I know is because I tuned many of my surrounding family members out, as I was growing up. It was my way of escaping the unpleasantness of my home life. I really did not want to hear the bickering that was a constant. My grandmother and mother didn't even drink and they were at times worse than the drunk men in the house. It is true I know this that people pick on who they can get away with it with. I assume at times that is why the other grandchildren picked on me. My grandmother at times just simply bulled Mama. The deal of Mama was not all there made it seem to not be bad thing to criticize everything she said or done. This being the example that was set for the way the kids treated Mama also. To them Aunt Jean/Mama was mistreated by all six of us. We got her to do chores we didn't want to do. She was better than any of the family because she just wanted to get along in this so called life she was trapped in. She had been forced out of her home by my daddy's irresponsible ways. He was supposed to be sane, but had a worse disease than the one that occupied my mama's brain. She was drove to being so nervous that it was assumed she was crazy. Crazy can be defined many ways. Crazy is hidden well by many people. I think There is a little crazy in most folks. Weird ways, that is it; They have weird was is the same as saying, crazy. Mean is another word for being crazy to me. Some people could never be sane as mean as they treat others. To this day if there is something that really is going to bother me, that someone says, I can just tune the unhappy things out and go on about my business.

Wednesday, August 3

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

On my way to work today. I saw a guy walking downtown, Florence. I knew that walk. There is an unmistakable Garner walk. My daddy, my brother and my cousins all have that walk. The guy walking was my now middle aged boy cousin. He has sort of been missing for a while. Not totally missing; We all knew he had went to re-hab. We all knew he was in some sort of halfway home. I really knew it was here in town. The six of us all have demons we live with on a day to day basis because of the things we saw growing up. My brother does the best of the six of us. My girl cousin, my daddy's sisters oldest does even better than him. My brother is the only one of the six that married and stayed married to the same girl. The rest of us are divorced and living the life God did not plan for us to live. I firmly believe that God had a reason for making us vow, until death do we part. That other part about; Let no man put ith under, however it is; Is the way it is supposed to be. My parents stayed together. They fought and he drank, but we did not have to worry about step this and step that. We just had to deal with our own. Nobody loves your children the way that their real parents loves them. Well there are exceptions to that statement, but all in all God knew that it would be easier if only blood was involved. My aunt stayed with Uncle Keith even though he was close to the devil to her. She stayed, but strayed. She worked to give him whiskey. She gave him whiskey I think at the end to be able to hide the affairs. Uncle Keith's sister gave him work when he was sober and well enough to go. He did this over and over until his 44 short years on earth were over.

Tuesday, July 19

It's a Man's World

My grandmother really believed that it was a man's world. She catered to the men that really should have been whooped everyday. I am still puzzled as to how a whole fryer was to feed six at dinner, but when my daddy was going to work she fried him a whole chicken to take with him. The chicken was also fried at 3am. I like to think that it was that she was so tickled that he was even going to work. She said she could do that if he would just go. I have been guilty of pushing him off to work, also. I have on Sunday afternoon when he was to head to Jackson Mississippi to work shave his face. He was always still drunk from the weekend at home; He giggled the whole time I was shaving him. This was really wanting someone to get off to work. It would have been different if the money made was going to make the family have better. The brunt of the money earned was going to the Parker's or the Patricks. These are the names of the career bootleggers of western Lauderdale County.

Thursday, June 30

Fears Continued

I am not afraid to go across a bridge. I go over O'Neal Bridge or Wilson Dam every work day; Monday thru Friday. The dreams are still a mistery to me. I am on a bridge that all of the sudden ends. In some of the dreams I finally get to the other side by the bridge not ending but becoming way too narrow for comfort. The water is always rushing. The similar dream takes place as you are headed down County Road 51 towards Lexington. The streach of road passed the old Brown Cemetery, before you get to where the Lexington Dump was. The bridge before the cemetery was called Ford Bridge by some old people. At the right side of the road it becomes a hill; This really is the way it is. A hill directly off the road that goes far. The thing that is not really is that there is water at the bottom of the hill. In my dream it is as if there is a rushing river with a rock in the middle. I am on the rock. I am surrounded by rushing water with no way to get back to the bank.

Friday, June 24

Fears Continued

When I die I fear that the loved one's that went on before me will know what I really thought of them. I fear my grandmother will know that I secretly held it against her for making me feel as though one day I would be the person my mama was. Well the person she saw my mama as. Grandmother had that way many people have of making it seem her way was the only right way. Confidence beyond meaning is what I would like to say it was. She did things to help greatly, but with a small bit of selfishness. Taking us in was the greatest thing anyone could have ever done for us. We did double as farm hands most of the time. We picked cotton when none of the other six grandchildren were expected to pick. We were paid just as field hands were, six cents a pound. The money that I made picking cotton bought my school clothes each year. My school clothes consisted of a pair of shoes to wear all winter and material to make polyester pants suits. Maybe a store bought pair of pants. One year it was a pair of green denim ones from Sears. I had tops to match this pair of pants I could wear them everyday with a different top. I stopped doing this when I heard someone saying behind my back that I was wearing the same pair of pants every day. For a fourth grader this was enough to make me really feel like a poor kid. None of this should make me think that the dreams are caused by this, but it does. I see myself in Heaven and Grandmother being mad at me because I really didn't like her sometimes. I still am mad at her for the lawn mowing thing. My brother, cousins and I were mowing the front yard. We took turns four rounds a piece. I was out back waiting for my turn when the puppy of the year bit me. It really hurt and made me mad. I was mad when it came my turn to mow. I started making my rounds in the front yard with the mower; crying mad the whole four rounds. I was so upset that I missed some spots of grass; ran off the cutting edge. This was the talk of the other five children and my grandmother. Them talking about me made me that more upset. I was really by then having a mad fit. Mad at them and the puppy that had bit me. My grandmother didn't feel sorry for the dog bite. Instead she started the, "your going to be just like Jean if you don't get hold of your nerves" thing she always did. I am still waiting for the day I go crazy, because my grandmother said I would. I am going to get to heaven and I really hope that I am not crazy when I get there just to prove my grandmother wrong. She was right about allot of things, maybe this is not one of them. I am sure God is not going to like it if I get to Heaven and my grandmother is mad at me for thinking bad things about her.

Monday, June 20

Great Fears

I am not sure if these are phobias or what really. I not afraid of crossing bridges. I have a reoccurring dream that I am on a bridge. It seems to be Wheeler Dam, most of the time. I have tried in my mind to figure if it had something to do with some of my childhood discomforts. I am calling it childhood discomfort, because I really know that their have been many children in worse situations than we were. The adults for what ever reasons in my day were just not as parental aware as they should have been. People in general are more concerned with themselves anyway. Sadness and Utter Kaos made them just not pay attention at times. Sadness also makes you lazy, I think. Chemical dependancy also makes you just not care about anything, but the chemical. The bridge, the rocks and the water are what if I saw a shrink may be from all the water problems that the adults didn't take care of.
The house on Morley always had water standing in the bathroom floor. My toes were always split from walking in that water. My memories of that bathroom are that it was designed in the same fashion that the one in Alabama in Grandmothers new house. The bathroom in the new house was great. I would every Saturday clean it til it sparkled. The bathroom in the house on Morley had a tub in the same place. Water in the tub was Mama's cure for most everything. The tub was where she sent me the day I drank the clorox. I am living proof that clorox will not kill you at five years old. I almost drank the whole glass. I walked home from school that day and was thirsting to death. Mama had left the clorox she borrowed from the Kentucky neighbors that lived on our left. It was in a drinking glass. I drank that then ate a raw weiny on loafbread. In the tub full of water I was surrounded by floating weiny's because the clorox did make me throw up. That is probably why it didn't kill me. (to be continued)

Wednesday, June 8

Where Should They Bury Me?

I have not decided this. I don't want to opened. I know there is not anyone that will fix my hair the way I want it; then there is my make-up. The pictures I see of me now are less than what I used to percieve myself. Corum has a spot my brother saved for me. I just realized that I would be too close to the evil one in my family. I would be right behind him. My grandmother would be between us. She was kinda between us in life. She tried to be between us in a way. She told me not to let him........
Then my brother and his wife would be beside me leaving more of a distance from the spot he is. Then there is my Uncle; not totally evil, but a real asshole at times. My daddy and mama will be right in front of me. Mama may still be mad at me like she was lots of the time. Daddy was proud of me. Grandmother took care of me. Aunt Nell loved me. My cousin liked me, ok enough. He was a simple man; not complex enough to really think that much of me or anything complicated. In the whole row of Garner's maybe I would be what I was in life a peacemaker that just wanted everyone to get along. I wish that I had a soul mate to lay beside me. A mistake I just really can't fix. Oh, well I will worry about that later.

Friday, May 6

Corum Cemetery

'The Grim Reaper Stalks A Cemetery' Wall Decal - 36"W x 27"H Removable GraphicThis is the place where they are; Most of the family that I garnered my knowledge of life from. These people are there, but I am still here, realizing the many memories I have of them. In the line first is the evilest of them all. God must have decided to take the worst first. The mind is a great thing. We as children kept that cemetary up. Keeping up meant to push mow the whole graveyard. Each rock was trimmed around with scissors. We did not have even clippers designed to trim what the lawn mower did not get. The year long duty consisted of mowing the entire four acres. This chore was done starting in the spring. Decoration at the cemetery was always the first Saturday in May. This was the beginning of my brother and I having a hundred and twenty five dollars to split for the summer. Grandmother spaced the cuttings into five times, this way we would be paid twenty five dollars each time. She was always handy with figuring out how to make the most of a little cash. Her input to the work was following us around making sure we did it right. Right the way she assumed was the right way. She did in her bonnet and longsleeved mens shirt get down on the gound with scissors to cut the grass around the stones. Decoration was a thing that she deemed as an important day. She got the flowers to the graves the Friday afternoon before. It was a given that we took soapy water and an old rag to wash down Grandaddy's tombstone. Amazingly to me I still found the cleaning we did to his grave as something we did make look better. Better, shoot even pretty. Simple thing that we really conceived as a social event. The bad times that these dead folks gave us really did not matter when we placed the flowers on them in May. It was just what we did. Grandmother said many times, "I wonder if they would put flowers here for us?" Then she would answer the question with the answer we she gave by the way she asked it. In the Corum Cemetery if the dead could talk I wonder how many would be saying some sort of appologies. Going there as I will tomorrow I may listen close and imagine that I hear an; I am sorry.........

Friday, April 22

The Dodge and the Apple Tree

1964 Dodge Polara 500 & Polara 500 Convertible Print Ad (13072)
The events that lead to my daddy’s death came to me at four am just about a week ago. I was asked the previous week-end by a friend about the death of my daddy. He was only forty-eight when he died. Forty-eight; I have made it almost two years longer. Today I feel that I may not last too many more years. I can see my tomb rock now, “I told ya’ll I was not well.” That is really how I feel. I am really beginning to realize how short life is. Youth to me now is the perfect gift. I have struggled time and time again with the  depression that I blame on the adults that raised me. Not all of them had a huge negative part in my seemingly unhappy state of mind. I did from most of them learn that tomorrow is going to be another day and it would be better.
My grandmother amazed me how she could put a child in Corum Cemetery one day and start picking twenty acres of cotton the next. The words she used still come to my mind often. We’ve got to go on kids. With that she would rush us out the field, barn or whatever farm chore was to be done. Resting or grieving was something that was not much of an event on the hill we lived on. I still wonder if Mama would have been more upset had Grandmother let her, after all her husband had just died. My brother and I were teen-agers at the time my daddy died. The only thing we did do was take time about going out with our friends. During the time directly after Daddy died we were to one of us stay home with Mama and Grandmother. This was my idea. I think that I thought it was just the right thing to do; or maybe I was growing up and more concerned about Mama than I realized. With the fear of looking always the good guy, since this is my story, I am going to say I was taken advantage of in this situation. My first mistake was ever letting my little brother know anything I had done my grandmother would not approve of; all it had to be was a kiss from a boy and my little brother black mailed me to no end. That is what he did on Saturday night even if it was his turn to stay home. The words were like a magic wand, “I’ll tell grandmother about so and so.” He might as well just snap his fingers to get his way.

Daddy died December 5, 1978. This was a typical date for someone in our family to die. The holidays were when most of the tragic things happened on our little hill. It was that year that I was faced with a double whammy. Grandmother learned that if you belonged to the Local Laborers Union there was hospital insurance. Imagine that, Daddy had health insurance and did not even know it. I had always had sore throats that had really lessened as I got older. As a small child it was much more frequent. This was the chance to have my tonsils and adenoids removed and it get paid for. So one week after Daddy passed I was in the hospital because it was going to get paid for by the insurance that Grandmother had discovered. I have never had pain like that before. Wondering still was it really needed to be done; or if it was just a way to use something we never knew we had.
Daddy was sick all the week before with what he was saying was the flu. I now look back that I told my friends and family that he really was sick this time. It was not just a getting off of a drunk sick, “my daddy is really sick.” The morning he died I was still in bed when he came down the hallway. My bed was in the door directly at the end of the hall. I saw him hit one side of the hall and the opposite side as the seizure hit him. This made a cut on his lip and forehead as he was not just falling, but shaking from the effect the seizure was having on him. These seizures had started over a year before. He had actually been taken by ambulance to the hospital the first time he had one. He had been taken is the key here; if he had been coherent wild horses would not have put him in the ambulance. This was the case the day he and Mama hit the apple tree with the blue dodge car. Mama had not driven since I was a baby. She had stopped driving way before we left the north. She had not driven and the location of a gas paddle and break must have been the reason that she stomped her foot on the gas paddle instead of the brakes of the blue Dodge that Daddy was driving at this time. The accident happened within seeing distance of our house. The two of them were heading to Rogersville to the bootleggers. It was during the day so my brother and I were in school. It was early fall the year before Daddy’s death. He had already taken that trip to ECM. The seizures came without warning, but this was something that he really was not concerned about for he still drove; still drove to get the thing that was causing him to have them. Less than a minute was as long as this trip lasted. Down the hill over the cross roads, just passed Bethlehem Methodist Church, and up the hill was when the seizure started. Mama saw that he was shaking so hard that he was going to wreak the car. She was always terrified of everything. I can imagine the panic in her, because she really was scared of everything that could be a tad harmful to her body. I know from what she said that she tried to stop the car when it left the road. Stopping was not what happened at all. At the bank that they jumped the explanation of how they hit the tree so hard was evident. The car has spun up the bank. Instead of Mama’s foot hitting the brake she had landed her foot on the gas paddle. She had squeezed the gas as hard as she could just thinking; she was stomping on the brakes. That is why the impact to the apple tree was so hard. The car landed in the yard on Opel and next to Opel’s was the home of her sisters; Ofie and Cofie. This was a sure way to get all three ladies out of their houses in the middle of the day. Mama had a huge cut on her head that made it for sure to the ladies that they must call the Lexington Rescue Squad. The Rescue Squad came; by this time Daddy had came out of the seizure and was at himself enough to be himself and refuse going to the hospital. Since he was in the driver’s seat the steering wheel had dug into his chest. The bruises were so black and were from his neck to his stomach. He complained and took Anacin constantly for the pain. He even had me to wrap his ribs with old scrap material that Grandmother had collected. The medical attention that he received at home was not sufficient for a chest injury of this kind. The last year and couple of months that he lived were full of what he called a cold; chest congestion and pain. The seizures became more frequent on top of the pain he was constantly trying to relieve by taking Doanes pills for his pain. He had himself believe that these little back pills helped pain anywhere better. The fall that year brought on another cold. He had the flu that was accompanied by regular seizures. The last week of his life he laid on that couch day and night; not drunk lay on the couch. He had not taken care of himself and Sunday morning was going to be the end of him. He really did not realize that he had nothing more than the flu. The blow to his chest was I am sure what sped up the slowness of the way he was surely killing himself. That morning Grandmother and I both knew that the seizure was worse and that when he came to from that the pain was unbearable in his chest. This was one time that he did not sway Grandmother from calling the Lexington Rescue. It was 11:00 on Sunday morning less than ten minutes from Lexington, but by time they got their Uncle Luke had already came out to tell me my daddy was dead. Uncle Luke was always there, but he may have been there just because of my sick daddy.
Daddy’s death is something that I don’t think of very often. I think of my daddy often, but not the actual events that lead up to that Sunday morning in December. Being asked about it brought this story back to me. I have not thought of the car hitting the apple tree in years and years. The incident came to me at four in the morning surprisingly to me what ever made me think of that then.

Saturday, April 9

The Axe

CAS Hanwei XH2099N AxesFour months seems to be a time frame that the most memorable times in my life were spent. As a fifth grader four months seemed like much longer. Four months was the amount of time we spent at Grandma and Grandpa's after the banker put all of Mama and Daddy's stuff out in the snow. That day I came home from first grade and saw Mama standing in the yard surrounded by the stove; I remember the stove the most. Maybe because the stove is where I stood so often to be warm in the house without heat. The stove eye is where I had laid my reader from first grade. The one that had Sally on the cover. The shape of the stove eye could not be hidden from my first grade teacher. It could not be hidden from the bratty little kids in the class either. What happened to your book? I never answered. I have always had a great gift of fibbing, not answering and ignoring anything I did not want to face.
Four months was the time spent with Daddy's brother and his family after Grandmother's house burnt. I had this crazy notion that I should stay with my Daddy's sister just like my Grandmother did. That is one of the things that still makes me have the conplex notion that I am not good enough or as good as others. Daddy's sister had girls, I should have got to stay with my girl cousins. I wished to stay in the brick better house without the fighting that was an everyday thing with Daddy and his brother. The whole four months were full of fighting. The simple thing would have been for Daddy to refuse to stay where we were not wanted. That was the main cause for many of the fights.
We had dried beans and cornbread for most of the meals during the four months we were there. The fights were often after supper. That was the time that both brothers were home from loafing most of the day while we were at school. There were times they were at work, but not as often as the just roaming the roads. The work that they did was for their brother-in-law; that was who I wanted to stay with during this time. I wanted this in my mind, but knew that my aunt was not about to put up with Daddy's drinking and Mama's mental state. At that time she was dubbed crazy before she really went crazy. I know she was not crazy because she had worked the four months we stayed at her mom and dads. She saved the money for us to come to Alabama.
I often over heard the adults talking about Joe Abe getting a place of his own during this time. Grandmother and Grandaddy moved into the new little brick house in March. It broke my heart what I heard from Grandmother's mouth, "this will give Joe a chance to find them a place of their own." Yet another time that I felt as though I was not good enough to live in the new house. Grandmother had came to get us at the bus station to live with her and now she did not want us in her new house. We instead were still at the old not painted house that Daddy's brother rented from Steve Garner. Steve was a second cousin to my Grandaddy and just as evil as Grandaddy was.
The fighting only got worse as the weeks went by. One of the worst was the cut that Uncle Keith put in between Daddy's eyes. This was another one of those after supper fights that spilled all the pinto beans from supper onto the kitchen floor. My aunt had went to great pain to come up with the money to buy the beans only for Daddy and Uncle Keith to knock them into the floor. The butcher knife was an old hickory and very sharp. It was easy for him to grab and swing it across Daddy's forehead. The wound was deep to the bone and took forever to heal. The whiskey he consumed daily must have made it harder for it to heal. The cut within days started to rot around the cut spot.
During the day fighting they did I missed, except on Saturday afternoons. Finally on one spring Saturday afternoon the fighting was to what was going to turn tragic. Well, it did not turn tragic, but could have. The uncanny thing about it was that terrible thing that could have happened got me where I wanted to be. To this day there are many times that I really believe fate is on my side. I say fate really knowing that God has watched over me for me to not have it so terrible.
The porch of that old non-painted house went all the way across the front. There were two front screen doors, one into the kitchen and one into the livingroom. The fight had started in the livingroom, because Daddy was just sitting on the couch doing nothing. Uncle Keith had the notion that they should go to Grandmother's new house and move a sand pile left from where the concrete was mixed to lay the bricks on the house. Daddy was not in the mood to do anything anyone wanted him to do, he was on the couch for a drinking afternoon.
His brother was hell bent on getting Daddy off the couch, in the car and moving the sand pile. He walked past the couch and snatched him onto the floor instead of pulling him up Daddy hit the floor. He got up out of the floor and went out the screen door, off the porch and by the pole that held the porch up he grabbed the first thing he saw to use as a weapon. That day it was not a broom, garden hoe or stick, it was an axe. Uncle Keith came out the front door after Daddy. We the four of use kids had made it outside to watch the fight. I was standing behind Daddy as he stood hiding the axe behind his back. Aunt Nell was not there when the fight started, but pulled up to see what Daddy was holding behind his back. She did not get out of the car. She backed out and went to get Grandmother. The trip to the new house was five or so minutes away. Fifteen minutes at most. Aunt Nell came back with Grandmother. She pulled the car right up to the fight. Grandmother got out of the car begging Daddy to put the axe down. He only stood there with that evil drunk look that I remember seeing so many times. He was grinning as she pleaded with him to drop the axe. This was one time that after Uncle Keith realized that Daddy had an axe he did not move towards him to fight back. He just stood on the porch hoping the women would talk Daddy into putting down the axe.
He finally did and what got him to put it down was Grandmother telling him that the only way this fighting was going to stop, before someone got hurt really bad was for Daddy to come back and live with her. When she told him to put the axe down and get us and all of are clothes, he did finally put down the axe.
Mama had hid in the kitchen during the whole axe deal. I ran in and told her that Grandmother said we could come to the new house. The fight with the axe was the fight that ended the crazy four months we lived with Daddy's not so kind brother.

Tuesday, April 5

Kinds of Drunks

Photo (M): Evan Williams (Neg. is broken)
Evan Williams Poster
My grandmother had a name for men that drank and still went to work. They were drame drinkers. This is a word that she possible made up. The definition of this word in the not Webster Dictionary but the Nell Dictionary; would be someone that drinks at night but still gets up and goes to work. Dictionaries have more than one explaination of words so I will put another; someone who can drink all day and still work. Those would be the ones that drank in the cotton patch. Today it would be men that own their own businesses. These have other not so industrious people that work for them. Their basic day consists of going from job to job checking on the people that work for them. These are men that have uncanny luck to not get pulled over by the law. The reason they don't get stopped could be they are known by the law as owners of a business. Drink everyday and still do not fall to rock bottom as Daddy and Uncle Keith did.
Their drinking was of this nature. They worked long enough to make enough money to lay drunk for weeks at a time. The longest I remember Daddy staying sober was one month. I was very proud of this and baked him a cake to celebrate. He was not much on eating anything sweet. He did like plain cake with peaches poured over it. That is the celebritory cake that I baked for him that anniversary of being sober for a month. He came into the kitchen as I stood in at the counter in the kitchen finishing the plain cake. I had used a Duncan Hines Cake mix for the cake. He walked up behind me and I smelled it; I guess he was celebrating, also.
Sober for a month meant that he had saved enough money to get ahead alittle. He had possibly made enough maybe to rent us a house and leave my grandmother's. In my mind that would be not so good anyway. The thought of living in a house with Mama and Daddy as caregivers scared me beyond anything. I knew that when were still lived in Michigan that we were hungrey and cold most of the time. Grandmother had feed us and kept us warm. The beds were never left wet. This really was not a worry this time either that I should sweat. The month of sober just meant he would hit the couch once more. The couch with the gold plastic that my grandmother had covered over and over. The couch with sheet metal under the end that Daddy rested his head on while he lay there for a couple of weeks. The cushion of the couch was were the bottle was hidden. He lay there and would reach under the cushion to retrieve the bottle. He did not eat; only drank for the weeks he was on that couch. Going outside to the trunk of the car every day or so to retrieve the stash of whiskey that he had bought with the money he made. When he ran out of whiskey and money the coming off the drunk would start. His face would have white scales on it. He would be hungrey; beginning the ordering around of Mama to fix him something to eat. Mama could not cook making the anger he had from being out of money for whiskey worse.
He sat at the same chair at every meal. It was from that seat that he yelled at how and what she was fixing wrong. She in a freaked out manner would try to get it right. This on one occasion lead him to hit her in between the eyes with a glass filled with iced tea. The cut was not all that bad, but still I think of how bad that must have hurt.
In those days drinking and driving was not as harsh according to law as it is now. We drove the drunks around many times as children anyway. As kids we always wanted to drive anyway so away we would go. It did not matter to me that when I left it may be a day or two before we returned home. Daddy was not so bad; he wanted to drink at home. He could put the bottle under the couch cushion and not be bothered.
1966 Moonshine Cologne Jug Girl Hillbilly art Print Ad
Moonshine Print Ad
Uncle Keith was different. He liked being out and about the first leg of his pulling a drunk. On one occasion I really thought that I was never ever going to get to go back to grandmothers. It was a big mistake that day to be selfish enough to just want to get to drive. If not for us stopping at Aunt Faye's for him to raise a little hell with her I may have had to sleep in the car.
Aunt Faye's husband drank, but not often. He was one that could drink and stop when his wife made him. His drinking binges were few and far between. He did create some drama a couple of times with his drinking. He was just a normal social drinker, I guess. The dictionary of Nell did not have one for normal drinking. The people she tagged as drame drinkers were her brother-in-law and a neighbor Preacher Courm. Preacher was not really a preacher. They just called him that, because he like to dress up when he was young and fresh out of the Navy. Uncle Luke was a drame drinker to her because he took a drink anytime one was offered, but that was about it. Drunks of all kinds. Men of all kinds are to me what makes the drunk. Some can drink and some can't.

Monday, April 4

Kicked not Shaken (Click to see Link)

RoomMates RMK1317GM Tree Branches Peel & Stick Wall Decals

Anger was a real part of my growing up. Neglect or just not paying attention to the responsibilities of having raising babies. Shaking me when I was a baby; I don't know if that happened. Mama did throw thinks as as when we were older; four or five. She lost her temper before my grandmother took us in, I know. Maybe it was the drinking that made everyone so mad. My daddy did not actually beat us; it was more a really good whooping. His anger was focused toward my mother most of the time. She was an easy target because of her mental condition, I guess.

Being kicked very hard with a work boot is the most terrible pain I have ever endured. It was always right at the anal area that the kick landed. I guess my dad and uncle knew that or it just happened to land on that part of the body. Daddy I think did it out of shear loss of control. I can't imagine anything I could have done bad enough to be kicked that hard.
Vinyl Wall Art Decal Sticker Tree Leaves Grass Decoration Huge 54"x72"
Mama on the other had did not whip us that I can recall. She did throw things at me on occasion. The great abuser that has left me unsure of anything that I am in life was my grandfather. He did not live very long after we moved from upnorth. He to me should be in a special Hell. I read the story that Shoalanda published byTiffany Potts Evans today and the thoughts of People in Hell came back to me once again. Really could God put even small sinners in the same place as them. "There's a special Hell for people like that." I have said it many times.
That makes me wonder too, when we die do we find out who really didn't like us. What if you secretly hated someone? Would they know what you thought when we get to heaven? No, because all is going to be perfect in Heaven. I just answered my own question.
I have not always done the most angelic things in my life, but I know that God watches me. I know that God takes care of me above all; above just watching.
I wonder if he was watching the times in the barn and under that tree. I wonder did he see when grandmother left me alone. I wonder did he take care of me so much because of the pain and scars. I owe making it thus far to God. I just really hope that he took care of the sin that man committed. I did not die, but I am a little not so well inside.
Ok, we did not have guns at Grandmother's house. Hunting was something that really was not done by the men there. As the grandson's reached their teen years getting a gun for Christmas was not out of the question. The gun that shot out the back storm door was either a Christmas gift of my cousins or was purchased at one of the times Uncle Keith was working and saving money. Probably the later, because he is the one that shot the gun.
Uncle Keith had great problem with us living in the house with Grandmother. His main personality was selfishness and jeolousy. He really did not appear to like anyone of us. He always wanted to fight with someone. My daddy was his favorite target to pick a fight with. He may have chose Daddy because he was really not into confrontation. Well he did not confront anyone he knew was going to rare back up on him. Uncle Keith would have times take the stand that he was sick and tired of Daddy using their mother as a meal ticket and a place for his wife and kids to live. This day he was really fed up with it. He was probably jeolous too. He and his wife and boys lived in his sister's farmhouse, so what was the difference, anyway. He had not purchased or rented his own home either. His sister's husband gave more to her brother's than anyone would to the two drunk-most-of-the-time-men.
Uncle Keith was none the better than Daddy except he did not live with his mother. He never thought about it that way. It was all about how Joe Abe took from Grandmother. Uncle Keith had been sober his usual couple of months, AA and all, but like each time he feel off the wagon once again. This day he rode the wagon to woop Daddy's ass. He came in the front door looking for a fight. The livingroom of the three bedroom little brick house was very small. There was the couch that Daddy laid on for weeks. Two end tables under the front window. On one end was the wood heater and on the other end was a chair, radio and round table. The round table top was not connected to the legs. It had a table cloth hiding the real appearance of the table. All of the pieces of furniture that were in the living room that day were flipped and knocked around during the fight. This fight was so much more than just a fist fight, the two middle aged men were rolling around like cowboys in a saloon. The fight had gotten so intense that my grandmother had rushed us to the barn to get away from it. This was not typical. We usually just went out in the yard. As we all stood in the shead that was built on the side of the barn I realized when I heard the gunshot that maybe Grandmother knew that Uncle Keith had the gun in his car. There we stood, my little brother, Mama and Grandmother in the cold addition to the barn. The shot had came out the backdoor of the kitchen. I could see that the door was open when the shot was fired. It still was hard not to think the worst. My first thought was Oh, my God, Uncle Keith has shot Daddy. I ran as fast as I could from the barn to the house. Screaming just those words. When I got to the back of the house Daddy was sitting at the kitchen table grinning and Uncle Keith was holding the door open for Daddy to shoot the gun threw. The both of them had quit fighting and were just messing around shooting the gun. They are playing around and we are hiding from them. This is something I am sure they both thought would be funny, scare two kids, Grandmother and Mama to death.

Thursday, March 3

Bit of Church Humor; Joke Break

Church HatsA few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews and talking.
Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.
Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman, who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence.
1890 Robertson Fine Art Lady Woman Sunday Church HatSo Satan walked up to the man and said, 'Do you know who I am?'
The man replied, 'Yep, sure do.'
'Aren't you afraid of me?' Satan asked.
'Nope, sure ain't,' said the man.
'Don't you realize that I can kill you with one word?' asked Satan.
'Don't doubt it for a minute,' returned the old man in an even tone.
'Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying AGONY for all eternity?' persisted Satan.
'Yep,' was the calm reply.
'And you are still not afraid?' asked Satan.
' Nope,' said the old man.
More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, 'Why aren't you afraid of me?'
The man calmly replied, 'Been married to your sister for 58 years.

Saturday, February 19

Plane Ride

Planes, Trains & Automobiles
We had to go to my grandpa's funeral up north. Mama had attended her mother's funeral five years before, but was in a huge hurry to get home, because her twin grandaughters had been born on the same day as her mother died. I missed my grandma's funeral because I was having babies.
Five years later when my grandpa died, it was a given that we travel to Michagan for the funeral. Money was tight so we decided Grey Hound bus was the best way to travel to the funeral. Thirteen hours on a bus was not the greatest trip in this world. I was then expecting my baby girl and the trip was extra hard on me. We did the up there trip on the bus.
My aunt after the funeral decided that it was too much for us to take the long bus ride back to Alabama. My Uncle Buddy offered to buy plane tickets for the returning trip. I needed to get back to work quicker, also.
We made the five minute trip to the airport and that is when the fun started. Mama did not want to fly. She was terrified of the whole thought of it. Difficult was the least of what was to expire on this trip. Going through the security check was something she was not willing to do easily. She was holding on to her purse and was so determined not to do what my cousin, Alan and I wanted her to do that She would not place her purse on the belt for it to be scanned. In an airport that is something that is a given, but not for her. She was mental and had the papers to prove it. The security guards were in the dark as to who Mama was and did not care that she was not all there.
All they new is that this lady would not sit her purse down on the belt to be scanned. The normal reaction for security was to seize the women that was causing problems. That is what they did, three of them grabbed her, this just made her that much crazier she was jerking away and Alan and I were begging please Mama just put your purse on the belt. Alan was pleading Aunt Jean all you have to do is let them see what's in your purse. After what seemed like hours she calmed down enough to place her purse on the x-ray belty thing.
We finally made it on the plane seated, but not without her loudly groaning, ugg constantly. She was not being quiet with her ugg's either. In the air we were and ugg was echoed by her over and over.
At this time smoking was still aloud on planes. It was 1988 thank goodness because I think if she was flying today she would have smoked no matter what the rules were.
She loved men always had, and the man that boarded in Nashville I am sure wished he had another seat. I was next to the window, she was in the middle and this poor man was on the end next to Mama. As soon as he was seated Mama laid her head on his shoulder. This was a perfect stranger, but she did not care, he was a man and he would comfort her the rest of the trip. With this I began kicking her under the seat and whispering for her to get off of the man. Each time I touched her leg with my foot she yelled quit kicking me, what are you kicking me for, this echoed throughout the plane. I was so embarressed that I just gave up and let her ride laying on the man's shoulder that she did not know. We made it home that was all that really mattered.

Thursday, January 27

Coal Heater

When it is this cold I always think of how cold I always was when I was little. I have beat the story of the coal oil heater in the house on Morley to pieces. That heater was like a monster to me. I ran from the thing in the snow bearfooted to call the fire department on it. It caught Daddy's sock on fire before it caught the house on fire. Makes me wonder if drinking and fire really does go together. You know there is a song, that has a line did I dance on the bar or start any fires. Our great men started lots of fires. Well, maybe they didn't start them all, but we did have fires. The heater on Morley was oil burning or that is what my small mind thought. I was bright enough to know it had to be lighted somehow, and Daddy had to do it. Seems that drunk men want to do things that should have been done before they got drunk. Sober they just do nothing, then give 'em a bottle and they see something that needs to be done. That was how he burnt his sock, foot and part of the house on Morley. The fire department came, because I ran across the yard to our Kentucky neighbors house; barefooted in the snow. I ran into their house screaming that the heater was going to blow up. Berta and Dewy Napier were their names. They were alot like my grandmother that visited sometimes to scrub the floors. She came from Alabama to clean. Well she came mainly to see how bad things were getting. They finally got really bad.

The heater/sock thing was close to the final notice that the morgage was not being paid. The man that came in the long overcoat was from the bank. The house payment was eighty dollars, alot of money in 1968 and Daddy not working anymore. In his mind I guess he figured there was not a need to clean the white foam that the firemen sprayed all over the kitchen and livingroom, since the fat man in the coat was going to put everything out on the snow covered yard. Mama was always the blame for the foam staying till we were kicked out of the house on Morley. She was to blame for not finding out what happened to all the stuff that was put out of the house. Mr. Grass took it to his garage, but he died before Mama checked on her stuff. His stuff was possibly taken by kin or sold. There wasn't a way for them to know that the stuff in the old shed belonged to us if anyone really cared anyway.
***************Large Cast Iron Logwood StoveThere are a couple of heaters, well more than a couple, I remember as a kid. Worry is something I can never remember not doing. Heaters were always a worry to me, more than a worry, I was scared what the combination of fire and who was building the fire was going to cause. After the coal oil heater we had in the house on Morley was the coal burning heater in the old house. The old house being the one before the new house that was built after the old house burnt down. In the old house was a cast iron black one that sat out from the wall and had a pipe to the chimney made of rocks. This heater was also a monster to me. A monster made mad by the men that feed it too much coal. When this happened the top of it would turn red like a stove eye. I would go outside stand as far away from the house as I could to get away from the possibility of fire.

 One very tragic one that my Uncle Bill, his wife and son all died in. My daddy would not let us lock the doors while we were sleeping, because it was told that Uncle Bill actually did not die from smoke or fire. He bleed to death due to cuts he recieved breaking the window to escape the fire. There will be more to tell ya'll about the fires in my childhood, I am sure.

Thursday, January 6

I Wonder
I usually don't mention the affairs of today's news, but the story above made me wonder.
 It makes me wonder if I slip up and don't make it to Heaven. Now I think I am good to go, but maybe I have to tell some lies or steal some food. It is very possible that I could loose it and cuss someone out really bad; using the worst of words. I sometimes tend to be a bit jealous of what others have. Basically I am not perfect; not really bad, but a little rough around the edges sometimes. Not holier than thou, that's what I am; Run of the meal average try to good, but sometimes it is hard. The bad things I have done or may do before I die are nothing compared to the Shaun Shapley's of the world. If I mess up am I going to be in the same place as the likes of him. What I really want is there to be a special hell for evil men such as him.
Should this crime be forgiven? I know a have sinned, but gee whiz, my mind can't grasp this kind of cruelness. Everyday plain forgiveness is great, and greater than I can phathom, is a possibility that God could forgive such terrible sins.
Forgiveness is something that comes easy for me. Forgetting is harder. I remembered the quote, it is easier to forgive than forget. In searching for the quote I thought went, "it is easier to forgive than forget, I thought went, I discovered many others, but could not find it one quoted in those exact words. I can forgive and still love that person. Not being able to forget makes me cry when I think of being hurt by others. I will never ever mention it again to them. I let it go for their sake. I keep it in my heart to still creep up on me when I least expect the pain to come back.

*I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. ~Henry Ward Beecher So if I still let it hurt me I really have not foregiven anyone

*Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~Mark Twain Yes, that's what makes me feel better I have given to another person. It at the time makes me feel better to tell them, "its alright."
*Once a woman has forgiven her man; she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. ~Marlene Dietrich I never bring the wrong the person did me back up again. No matter how bad I want to.
*It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. ~Grace Hopper Done that! Said that!
*The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~Mahatma Gandhi Yeah, I am the bigger person. Oh, that's my ego, wanting me to be bigger/better than them. It is a payback, maybe.

*To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~Lewis B. Smedes I am the one that feels the sadness and madness emotions by not forgetting it-----Get over it. Let it go there is the solution.*Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. ~William Arthur Ward Feeling

Thursday, December 9

The Holiday Season (Part One)

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Daddy was hunched over in the chair under the telephone. He was wearing his normal khaki work pants. Well not actually khaki colored, but that material. They were usually navy. He looked far from powerful sitting with his head down on his chest. He had more power over his wife and two children than he would agree. He was the Foreman in a steel mill until the whiskey got the best of him. I looked at him as a five year old child thinking that something was not normal with the man I love as my daddy. The power he had was to keep us from having dry bedding or heat in the house. A real fool could tell that it was too, cold in Wayne Michigan to not have heat. In November we really needed heat. He may have not could feel how cold it was in the little house on Morley. He must have sobered up when he finally decided that he must try to light the coal oil heater that was at the back of the house; just off the kitchen.
Daddy picked up the bottle of cheap wine, there was only a few drops left. The realization that there was only a few drops gave him energy to have the energy to maybe try to light the heater. How long would he have to spend on the project of warming the house for my brother and I. Mama always had on her fur coat. The coat that she had bought while working at the Yankee version of K-mart. I hear the song "Copacabana' and that reminds me of my mama only she did not were flowers in her hair; she wore a fur of days gone by.
I was wearing a heavy coat, but my brother was in a diaper. This day the house was so cold that mama sat in the chair in her fur with me in front of her; Kenny on the other side of the chair in the floor. His nose was always running. The reason being he had on only a diaper up north in November in a house with no heat. The sight of his runny nose finally grabbed my five year old minds attention. It really annoyed me all of the sudden. I screamed, crying at Mama telling her I was going to find a bunch of clothes to put on him. This must have hit a nerve in her. She picked up the nearest object and slung it at me hitting my skinny ankle bone. The pain was great making me cry and scream more. Daddy had left a rock that he sharpened his pocket knife on the table beside her chair. This was the object that she hit me in the ankle with. I had the bruise on my ankle, but she did finally get out of her coffee drinking/smoking chair and put my baby brother some clothes on. The pain was bad, but maybe not bad enough to continue the crying that I did that day. It has always been whenever I start I just can't stop balling. My words in the tears were, nobody loves me or cares for me. This was the same thing I did the day Mama had her concussion in the garden heat. I knew she was terribly sick that day. Her eyes were rolled back in her head and she was slobbery. To me it was like she was foaming at the mouth, but that is exaggerating the truth a bit. She did fall on the carport and hit her head on the brick wall. The expert called that day was Uncle Keith. He had had so many detox fits that to Grandmother he probably knew what to do. They carried her to the bedroom at the beginning of the hall and placed her on the bed, wiped her face over and over with a rag. This did not seem to bring her around at all. Cars were something that around our place were not all that reliable. Grandmother called my great-uncle Luke to come and carry her to the hospital. He was the one armed uncle that always tried to scare the Jesus out of me. I was not allowed to visit Mama at the hospital because she was put in the 400 ward of ECM hospital. This I figured out by listening to the adults was where they put the crazy people. I do not know all that happened to her there, but she did come home with stitches in her leg. Again I gathered my information from the adults by listening to their conversations, that she had tried to get out of the bed; falling off and cutting her leg on the metal railing of the hospital bed. This story to me has always took the twist that she was trying to run away. The time she was gone and I could not see what was going on is a bad memory for me. I know in my mind it was worse that it really was. The adults at home were all to making it seem that Jean was way out there and not as normal as the rest of them. I take that as part of the reason that considering myself normal is hard for me. I have long awaited the day that I go totally insane myself. I was told on a regular basis that if I did not get a hold of myself I was going to be just like Jean. Jean was Mama.
Imagine moving into a women's house that took over everything that you are supposed to be as a mother. My brother and I went along with Grandmother. We showed Grandmother that she was the one that had rescued us from the poverty we left in Michigan. Mama did before we came here take over while Daddy was living on the streets of Detroit. She got a job, and saved the money for the bus tickets here. That was something that I never heard one of them give Mama credit for. (to be continued)

Shade Tree Mechanics

Shade Tree Mechanics
Working on a car can be dangerous. The car can fall if it is jacked up and fall. With daddy working on anything seemed as if fire was the main danger. Grandmother's house had not been built back long after their fire. We were living in a new brick house, which I thought was a mansion. I drive by there now and am amazed at how small it seems. That night he had pulled the navy blue Dodge Dart he was driving at the time beside the carport. I always got really worried when he tried to do something drunk. He had to, just had to get the car fixed, to go visit Parker. Parker was the local bootlegger. One of the local bootleggers. Lauderdale County was dry. Traveling to Pulaski was really not an option, considering the not so reliable car Daddy had. I could see out the kitchen door as he stood under the hood messing with the breather on the top of the engine. He took it off and was pouring gas into the carburetor. The next thing I knew flames were coming from under the hood of the car. Forget there being an easy way to put the fire out. There was not a water hose hooked up. It was before fire extinguishers were standard in homes. Dirt was the answer at that moment. I saw the fire and him getting sand from the pile that was left in front of the house from the building back of Grandmothers house. The fire was finally put out, but the car was in need of more repairs than before he started.

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