Friday, December 24, 2010

Grandmothe's Recipe

My Mother called a few weeks ago and asked if I had a cookbook from a family reunion. After a few minutes of thinking, I knew exactly where it was sitting, and went home and put my hands right on it.

Flipping through the cookbook was a nice experience in reminiscing. A cousin had put in a recipe from our mutual grandmother, I had put in a recipe from the mother of a childhood friend, and some of the names of the recipe donors just made me smile.

And then they made me do more than that. I resolved to cook. Or to bake. Or to, at the very least, try.

This weekend, we tried the first recipe from the book. I discovered that my Mom had Grandmother's poundcake recipe. The recipe. The one. Yes, that recipe.

So this weekend, standing in MyFella's kitchen, I gathered up all the ingredients. I pre measured for convenience. I turned the oven on. I sprayed the pan.

And then I said, "What does it mean to 'cream the margarine and sugar'? I had no idea. I was only on step one and was already lost! Luckily I was attempting this at MyFella's house, and about 20 minutes later, the two of us had a beautiful cake batter that was pouring into a loaf pan. And about 45 minutes later, out came the most delicious, from scratch pound cake.

Perfect. On my (our) first try.

Just like Grandmother's.

There was a ten year old boy buried deep inside me who was over joyed.


Her name was Grandmother. I couldn’t tell you why it was Grandmother, and not something more colloquial like Grandmaw or Nanny. We had these, too. Maybe hers was in deference to her more mature years. Or maybe it was what my father had called her. It was said with much love and affection.

Grandfather had died when I was young. There is a picture of me with him, though I don’t recall him. I only recall her telling a couple of stories about him. One was that, while she lived with her in-laws, who had said they could use the wood from a barn to build their own home, she got tired of waiting for him to build it. So one day, she went out to the barn and started tearing the wood apart herself. And that was my Grandmother.

She had raised my father, though his mother would tell us different. Regardless of who had raised him, he was raised in a farm house in a county in Mississippi. When I was growing up, the farm house was still the place that my great Grandmother lived.

There was a gravel driveway, and iron gates once painted silver with a pattern of a wagon wheel in them. On her back porch was a rope and pulley system that went down to a well beneath the house to pull up water. The front porch held a rocker and a swing. She was known to sit on the rocker for hours, and we loved the swing.

It’s hard to separate memories of her from memories of her home. The two are entwined together like one individual. Her bedroom had a fireplace for warmth, an oscilating fan for coolness, a large desk and the door to the bathroom. Two other bedrooms held an assortment of cedar closets and beds and chests with amazing things in them. The kitchen had a pie safe and a gas stove. The dining room held her refridgerator and a large round table. And on this table, when we could come to visit, was often a freshly baked pound cake.

This place, this woman, and her home, is the place where my love of pound cakes began. And most likely, I love them simply for the sheer memories of her that can come rushing back with the taste. I can feel the formica on the table, and the ceramic pitcher in which she kept milk. I smell the fragrance of wood from her fireplace. Or feel the wood on the cedar closets. With that taste, I can hear the crunch of gravel under my feet and see her in her rocker, watching the king snakes in her yard.

There was a tree stump in the back yard. Dad told us he’s watched her chop off many a chicken’s neck on that tree stump. I can see her walk past it to hang laundry on the line. I can see her braids wrapped around her head. Sometimes I look at the shade of grey my hair is becoming, and I think it is distinctly the same shade as hers.

There were an assortment of buildings on her land, once a well used farm of some type. There was a building Dad called a smokehouse, and one that was clearly a barn. And far in the back was a pond that Dad said had once held fish.

Grandmother is gone now. She lived until she was almost 100, and most of it she lived in that home. She spent a few years in a nursing home, one my Mother went to great effort to get her into because it was the best in the area. I did my best as a grandson to write her often, and visit her when I could, so that her time there would at least be dotted with moments. She had other descendants, too, from her son. But I don’t know them or their relationship with her. But that nursing home is never where I think of her. I think of her in that farm house. I think of her in the rocker on her porch watching the busy traffic go by. I think of her hanging laundry on the line. And I think of the sights and fragrances in that home; the smells of firewood and cedar and linens long since not used.

Sometimes as I drive down I-55 through Mississippi, I see the exit to the country church where she and Grandfather are buried. The church is surprisingly large, given the rural area it seems to be in. I stop for a few minutes and leave the flowers I thought to bring, and throw away the ones that have stayed in the vase since my last drive through the area.

MyFella was with me once, and a dark cloud blew up and a mighty wind came. I tried not to think on it, give it any credence, that there was a storm when I took my boyfriend, my partner, with me. She was an old school Baptist Christian. She would have loved me, in spite of.

Pound cake on a formica table top, the smell of firewood, the crunch of gravel under foot, and the sound of traffic through an old screen door.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I knew that I would like her

when she told me she was sitting right next to him, and couldn't say it, so she texted him, "I'm pregnant."

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My Aunt Bobbi is a lady much like my Mom, both in physical appearances and often in attitude and personality. Grandmotherlyness has taken hold of them both, and their homes are filled with the signs of little ones. The main differences being in sheer volume on my aunt's behalf, as her adult children have given her more grandchildren, and now great grandchildren, than my brother and I could manage mathematically.

My Aunt Bobbie and her husband are quite easily my favorite relatives, though there are some others I would call my favorites too. I suppose love can work that way, huh?

One of my favorite things about my Aunt is her cooking style. She was well known for making a pan of biscuits, and whatever was left over in the morning would sit under a cake pan in the afternoon until they were eaten, and they were always eaten. She seemed to make them in just a few minutes, with nothing more than a few hand motions near a jar of flour and a minute in the oven.

For my recent visit to her home, I called ahead to ask if she would teach me to make biscuits. She said I should just go buy them at Wal-Mart, as that was what she had started doing. But during my visit, she relented and Sunday morning poured flour into a stainless steel bowl and showed me how it's done.

It's less accurate to call it a recipe than to borrow a friend's phrase for her grandmother's sausage dressing, "more a collection of ingredients thrown together strategically." I was naive to believe I would get a measurement of anything. "here, add this." was followed by "more"

MyFella had pre emptively suggested I take measurements out of her hand, but how do you do that with liquid? And so, I learned from her in much the same way I imagine she learned from my grandmother - with a primer and words to go home and practice.

Which I did, this Tuesday morning. I had the ingredients just as she had given me (good flour is important, but apparently generic vegetable oil is fine). And I did it.

And I am proud to tell you they tasted like biscuits. They did not necessarily look like biscuits. They were small and unsmooth. But the bread inside the golden crust was warm and fluffy.

I was humbly proud.

I plan to practice again this Saturday morning, as MyFella will be in town. It's a good time to practice, and I want to make sure this Tuesday was not a fluke. And I need to get them bigger and more fluffy like biscuits.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Janie's Pastry Shop

This weekend I found myself in the quite nice town of Brookhaven, Mississippi. And having some background knowledge of this town, I knew there is a donut shop on Main Street (or something that probably is called Main Street, because it has that Small Town Main Street look). I didn't know the name or the exact block, but I was certain I could find it.

So on Saturday morning I set off from my relative's house for a real donut made in a real donut shop. Don't get me wrong, I love a Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts as much as the next diabetic. But to me, there's just something sinfully right about a real donut shop. The smell of the store and the taste of the sweets are untouchable, almost as satisfying as the donut itself.

I found the shop easily, it's two large doors with plate glass windows have been well taken care of, and clearly been opened many times. The large plate glass windows were clean enough to eat off. There are a very few tables in the restaurant, with a bar type thing looking out one window, so diners can have a sweet tooth and look out on the morning traffic as well.

I ordered a dozen glazed to take back to my Aunt and Uncle's house, then went for a cinnamon roll for myself. I bought a thing of cold milk and sat down to enjoy.

Something in the back of my head, some memory not quite remembered, told me we have a family connection to the place. But I couldn't quite remember it. So I ate my cinnamon roll in blissful peace and left.

Upon returning to my aunt and uncle's house, my aunt said, "Did you ask for Janie?" Turns out that Janie's parents had, many years ago, owned the shop, and had named their daughter, Janie, after the original owner, from whom they bought the shop.

But here's the fun part - my grandmother had worked for Janie's parents in that very bakery shop many many years ago. Now how neat is that to buy donuts in a shop where your own grandmother had worked? My memories of my grandmother's career involve a sort of steno pool at the local hospital. I have no idea what she actually did there at the hospital. But she did something. (and once told me she wore her watch with the face on her wrist so she could tell time while she was writing)

But it seemed very nostalgic to sitting in a place enjoying sweet treats in a restaurant where my grandmother, probably as a very young mother, was working.

I know, I'm hopelessly sentimental.

Prince William is engaged to be married. . .

thus putting me yet further away from life long ambition of being Queen. It's OK, really, I tell myself. He was far too young for me anyway, and I wouldn't want to be hounded by the paparazzi for the rest of my life.

Still. . . . I'm pretty sure I'd look stunning wearing a crown. And let me assure you, I would wear it every opportunity I got.

6 month check-up

I think it's a bad sign when the dental hygenist pauses part way through your check-up and says, "Please go to Walgreens and buy an electric toothbrush today."

Friday, November 12, 2010


This afternoon I am taking my Mom to her hometown, with her two grandkids in the backseat. Honestly I had wanted some time with my Mom, but she does love those ragamuffin urchins. It'll be good.

It all started with her hometown church having it's anniversary this weekend. Mom said she was gonna go, and I decided to surprise her and take off for the trip. She's waffled back and forth, and now we're going, but she and one of her sisters have both told me that the last time they went to that church they didn't know anyone there anymore, so they don't care to go.

It's a bit of a fast trip, leaving this afternoon and coming back sometime Sunday. But it will be enjoyable.

I have asked my Aunt Barbara to give me her recipe for biscuits, and let me make them once or twice this weekend and see how I do.

I'll tell you how they turn out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stop a bullet cold, make the axid fold. . . .

A few years ago a very good friend celebrated some minor windfall of hers by, in part, buying me the first season of the Wonder Woman series on dvd.

I've been re-re-re-watching it. Oh how I love it.

I really do. I really do.

Does that make me gay?

Friday, September 17, 2010


I know this sounds foolish, even as I write it. But I think everything happens for a reason. Or, at least when I'm not miserable, I like to think so.

So, while I don't think I lost my job just so I could eventually meet the PeveMeister, I do think I ended up taking this job maybe so I would know the PeveMeister. Have I told you about her yet?

OK, I'm not gonna tell much, because it's not my business to tell. She's a 27 year old brunette, very pretty and gorgeous smile. OMG, I just love her. (Say it out loud, O.M.G.) So she and I were working together, both brand new, at this whole cell phone store gig. (Did I tell you about that? Oh well.)

And we're having tons of fun together. Like the time she set off the store alarm and the cops came, and there ended up being more cops than there were employees. And after they left, P.M. said, "I'm glad they looked at your license because mine is suspended." And the time I came in and there was some guy working under the hood of her car and I said,"So he likes you huh?" and she said, "No, we're just friends." I told her she was stupid, and roughly 2 hours later she's in the back room on her cell phone SURPRISED that he called her and told her he likes her. Uh, hello, it was 100 degrees today and he's under the hood of your car in a parking lot.

So PeveMeister is gone off to what I am calling a Sabbatical. She's had some problems and she's off for a brief respite and reset. Thankfully I had forced her to give me her Mom's cell phone number, so I called and got an address for her. Her Dad was a bit ornery with me, but I'm chalking that up to him being a father (and not just some uber conservative Christian type) and I'm focusing on the bright sound in her Mom's voice. So I've been mailing PeveMeister on average twice a week. Usually one is a letter and one is just a note.

She's on sabbatical for 11 weeks and it is my hope that my letters and notes make some kind of small difference in her days. I think it's why we met. She needed a friend. I needed a friend at the new job. It worked out well for both of us.

I don't know what, if anything, the future holds for a bitter, old, fat gay guy like me, and a beautiful young brunette lady like her. We never had Paris, but we had 2 months in the cell phone store and that's enough for a life time. (plus 11 weeks of letters)


I hope that's how you spell the word.

With my birthday up and coming, I decided it was time to begin the celebration. Since I'm 40 going on 41, and since many of my friends have left the area, and since MyFella and I have to manage our time on the weekends, you have to make life. . . you know?

So first I called on old friend, we'll call him (former) Car Salesman John, turned New and Improved John. I told him I wanted to have lunch, and then go to a barber shop for a barber shop shave.

We settled on quite possibly the world's best pub grub that is around the corner from my home of 10 years (yes, I still miss that place) and I had the steak po boy. It was actual beef steak of some type. I struggled with my habit of ordering the chicken salad, which is always good stuff. The po-boy was a good choice. But I digress ~

John knew just the barber shop for an old school style shave. Four old men and the smell of blue liquid and talcum powder with a plastic box of SuperBubble on the counter. During my encounter, I asked the man about the shop and he said it had been there for 50 years, he'd only worked there for 7. Then he listed the other locations he had worked at, and they span a distance of time longer than my life.

The experience was very much like seen with Floyd, and I was absolutely sure that there would be a straight edged razor in my near future. There were hot towels and hot shaving cream and a close shave. I was disappointed that he used a Gillette Mach 3. I mean, I, uh, honestly, have that in my bathroom. However, one time I opened my eyes and got a close up view of the barber's arm. It was perhaps a safer option for everyone that he used a Mach 3. Aside from the use of a disposable razor, the experience was everything I hoped it would be, and it was shared with a good friend (who opted for the cut and shave).

I guess if I want one with a straight edged razor blade, I'm gonna have to look for a barber shop with younger barbers, who can still hold a razor like that. But I wonder, does the world still make barbers? Is that a dieing breed, or something that can be found? I don't know.

But on the whole, it was worth $15. And a fun way to start my birthday off.

Thunderbirds vs Eagles

Tuesday I went and spent the day in my hometown, and while it didn't seem hectic, it actually was a day of here, to here, to here. By my own choosing, of course.

First, lunch with my Mamaw (who loves me the most), and I picked it up at The Corner Market. So named, as it apt to happen in small towns, because it's on the corner of two streets. 7th and . . . something, I forget what. In all of my life living there, I was probably never in the Corner Market, but it's new my favorite place. Noodle told me that blue collar workers in the area will stand around their trucks eating their lunch and talking to each other. In addition to a great menu of sandwiches, they also make a hot lunch. On Tuesday the choices were rib tips, saulsberry steak (which I have never understood) and chicken & rice (one dish, instead of an entree with a side, casserole style). For Mamaw, I chose chicken & rice, green beans, corn and cornbread. Yes, she's a diabetic and only later did I realize the full-blown-carb-impact of my choices. Oh well.

Mamaw and I enjoyed a nice lunch together and she's feeling much better. She lamented the horrible treatment of her children who take everything nice (leafy vegetables because the home health nurse said not to while her sore is healing ~ i don't understand that one) and her ice cream bars. I called Noodle to ask about the ice cream, as Mamaw was very disturbed. She said something like, "She's eating 3 a day and even though they are low sugar, they still have sugar." I said, "Well, her version sounds better than '3 a day.'" Noodle, "What's her version?" Me, "One after each meal." You gotta admit, it has a more reasonable tone to it.

So after a very pleasant lunch with Mamaw and a brief, yet enjoyable visit with Uncle K, I made my way to the next part of the day: Picking up my two nephews from school. The 5 year old seemed only slightly pleased to see me, but the 5th grader hopped right in asking, "Where's my bookbag?" Because you know if something can't be found for that chile* I will scour the Mid-South to find it, and I produced a rolling book bag. **

Then I managed to sneak in a short visit with E, who I almost never get to see. *** That was a short visit, but I'm always glad to see him.

And my Moma cooked supper for me. She has this way of making hamburger patties, I can't quite describe it. But it's her way, and I love it.

But anyhow, the main point of the day was the Pee Wee Football game. This year my nephew is in the 5th grade and got a lot of good play time on the field. The weather was perfect with a break in the heat and decent Fall weather. And a favorite of me was the location of the game.

You see, in my youth, to my perception, private school kids were snotty. I had no friends there, and didn't care to. And even today, the thought of that school makes my nose turn up just a little bit (holding on to something from my youth, perhaps, a little too strongly?). It irks me that the public school system is so bad, so unsafe, that the best choice for my nephew is to attend that school. But there he is, just the same, a T-bird.

And then there's the Eagles. . . . somewhere lost in history . . way way back in 1987, I attended Prom there with my best friend**** It was a double date with her best friend, and drives to parts of the county that I had never visited prior. It was one of the most fun nights of my entire 18 years. And quite simply because of that, I just have a fondness for the school. A few weeks later, I attended her graduation, and then years later I began picking up the B children (of which E is one) in the afternoon and then on to their eventual graduations. So amongst my left over teenage angst for small town private schools, I have a fondness for that one, based on a few experiences there.

(Probably has something to do with white people's love of exclusivity, as seen recently on the website of 'Stuff White People Like')

So, I had called and texted the girl from that night and asked her to meet us there, since her alma mater (the Pee Wee sect anyway) was playing against my nephew and my Mom would love to see her. But she stood me up. I did get in a visit with the lady that did her that night so many years ago. And spent more than a few minutes checking out some guy that my brother and his wife know. Mr. Tony, they called him. . . . Oh, I could . . .well, never mind, I digress. . .

So the T-Birds lost the Eagles, and I didn't get to see my former. . . whatever she is to me. . . but I had a great day. . . in a land so far away . . .

*Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.
**The satchel he was carrying hung near to the ground on his tiny frame.
***And I hate to admit is hotter than a pawn shop pistol when he's really my younger cousin type entity. But since he's in his 20's and a veteran, it's not completely pervy. It's more circumstantial. I mean, I didn't make him hot. He just is.
****A relationship that to this day still confuses me and I can't quite describe. That would take a whole blog of it's own. And some serious couch time with a professional.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mrs. Mary Ruth

One night after arriving at my brother's house. . .

Brother, "Have you talked to your mother yet?"
Me, "No. Should I?"
Brother, "She went to the bank today."
Me, laughing, "And?"
Brother, "Mrs. Mary Ruth said, 'Are you here to make a deposit to his account?'
Your mother said, 'No, should I?' Mrs. Mary said, 'Well, it is Friday and you know how he likes his debit card.' "

Mrs. Mary Ruth, thank you for years upon years of family friendship and helping your friend's son manage his bank account, long after he should have grown enough to handle it.

I will miss you, and fondly remember you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday morning

and homemade buttermilk biscuits. I sure do like MyFella's family sometimes.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just one tear. . . .

I was at dinner tonight with MyFella and his family. For some reason, MyFella and his mother had a brief conversation about people who had passed away, or are passing away. They were talking about accepting death, or not accepting it, and how they do or don't miss people who have died. . . and my mind drifted. . .

to Mrs. Edna. I think actually she was never married, but certainly should have been called Mrs. She was. . . going over to her brother's house one day. I can't quite remember his name. He had rented the house across the street from my childhood home. The small rental was owned by the neighbors directly to our left, which was the cap-end of the cul-de-sac type street we lived on.

I think it was my brother who reached out to her first. It would be his way. I can see it. My recollections tell me that the man traveled maybe, or just wasn't home a lot, and one of his two sisters, Mrs. Edna, came over a few times a week to do something for him. I have the impression she helped clean his house or maybe made some meals. Who knows the things sisters will do for their brothers.

And the next thing you know, we were constant companions in her great big car. I remember it being a big silver grey Buick, 4 door. I remember adventures in that car, mostly cropped pictures in my head. I can't quite recall . . . I recall a feeling more than actual memories.

I remember a fresh water spring down a gravel road, and trips to the banks of the river. I remember Saturday and Sunday afternoons, my brother and I in her big car, wherever she took us.

I think that she passed away while I was in college. And I think I had not seen her in too long, long enough to be ashamed of it, looking back.

And tonight I miss her. I was surprised to have thoughts of her, and surprised when the tear rolled down my cheek.

July 31, 2010.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stereotypically gay . . .

I stopped last night at a quick stop on some highway in what definitely seemed like rural Mississippi. Behind the counter were 3 kids who all looked like high school seniors to me. Two girls, one boy. The boy had as much sass in his stance as in his hair style and exuded gay vibrations. I couldn't help but think, "I bet this firefly lights up his little hometown."

Then today I was having lunch with MyFella at a local restaurant when he pointed out the postmaster. Oh, my my. I'd say middle 30's, dressed in very nice black slacks that fit him well (fitting perfectly over a nice butt) and a pull over white shirt. He had dark hair, a very pleasing profile and a bit of a goatee. This man was handsome. Not overbearingly so, just the right amount of good looking with the right amount of good, well fitting clothing. I couldn't help but thinking if I lived in this town, I'd be going inside the post office to mail every single letter I write.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not So Different

It's been a long time since I've been in a divey gay bar with a pool table. But in my day, I've been in them many a time.

Come to find out, it's much like being a Legion Hall on a Friday night, except without the flags and military emblems.

Same smoky atmosphere, cheap, shoddy construction and sickly sweet smell from air fresheners in the bathroom.

We're not different, straights and gays.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Emergency Contact"

It must be love. I listed him as the Emergency Contact with my new physician's office.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

15 year old jackpot.

I had dinner tonight with one of my closest friends and her two sons. Turns out the 15 year old has a young friend girl who may think he's cute. She's broached the "maybe more than friends" comment with him.

And she's bi.

I couldn't be more proud of him if he was my own son.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I wonder sometimes, what my life would be like if I had never moved away from my hometown? I wonder sometimes, who would my close friends be? How would I spend my time? Whose lives would I have impacted? And how?

Just how different would it be?

The Box.

The box was rectangle, probably 4 inches high, and 4X6. Maybe smaller, maybe larger. A dark brown, like a mahogany maybe. Simple, yet sturdy and beautiful.

My mother said, "They want to bring the box and the pictures over to the Parrish Hall." She had the signature book in her hand, and someone took the pictures and she asked me to pick up the box.

The service was concluded, and everyone was walking next door for the lunch always put on by the ladies of the church for a funeral. He was just over 35 years of age. He lived a youth very much entwined with my own. Our fathers forged a friendship having worked together for many years on the police department, our mother's friends. I suppose, really, from our parents perspectives at the time, they were creating their lives and their families together in our hometown.

Many, many days spent together. In the older years, my brother was in closer contact with him than I. They were slightly closer in age. And sometime over 10 years ago I left our hometown.

His life's journey took an odd path. Struggles with demons of depression and other things made his life harder than anyone's should be. Struggles with the medication made his days harder than they should be. And then of course, when they feel better, they quit taking the medicine. It's a brutal, hard cycle.

It's an ugly way of life for a beautiful person.

It ended this week in a tragic way, a way that can never be undone. One of his friends said, "It's like being a teenager and wanting a beer. I'm going to get it." He said something like, once, "I told him I would come right there. But what about the next time?"

My mind wanders to episodes of Dr. Who, who sometimes said that he could see when things are a "fixed point in time." And like others, I wonder about the "what?" and the "if's?" Would it be a fixed point in time, if we could go back? But then, don't we wonder that with almost every loss? Natural losses? Accidents? Tragics that don't make sense? What? If?

The box was heavier than I imagined it would be. He was beautiful.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"It was like 10 years ago"

or better titled "What he doesn't know would . . ."

I was out the other night. A friend from my hometown had texted that he'd be at a divey joint listening to a band. So I went out to meet him around 10p.m. The friend has recently helped me get a job and I thought it would be nice to hang out with him for a bit.

I've passed the joint dozens and dozens of times and never paid it any attention. It's small and clean and definitely a dive. The electricity was shot, so without air until the local power people came, the band didn't play and folks hung out outside.

One of the guys with my friend is a local to this big city and lives just a few miles away. In fact, he lives 4 doors down from my best friend G. I know this because when I decided to leave, this guy asks for a ride home. He was beyond drunk. And beyond annoyed at our mutual friend over typical bar drama. But anyway, I figured that given our similar ages and living location, we probably had some mutual friends in town and he seemed nice, if drunk. But really, he was just asking for a lift home and wasn't out of the way.

So we're in the car, stuck at the train tracks, when he rubs my leg and says, "Let's see it."

H.E.Double Hockey Sticks. Not 2 minutes have passed it seems like and drunk guy is hitting on me. I mean, I'm flattered and all, but really. No. I declined. I drove him to his house and dropped him off.

I'd like to think that even if I wasn't 40 and with a long time boyfriend that I would not be impressed with a stranger in my car saying "Let's see it." But certainly with a boyfriend, I'm not interested.

But it was a little funny, you know. It was a lot like when I moved to town . . . what 10, 11 years ago?

MyFella wouldn't get it at all. And he'd be ticked off to no end. But there's nothing to be ticked off about. Some guy hit on me and I declined. I hate to admit it, but there was the shortest moment when I was flattered (slightly, he was wasted after all) and it seemed like I was young again (for just a moment).

But that was 10 years ago.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chick Filet

I don't understand the bizarre amount of traffic at the Chick Filet. It's been open at least 6 months now, if not a year. And the traffic is non stop. Part of it may seem non stop due to the weird traffic pattern the store was forced to create by the local heritage lovers to save a retaining wall from an old church building. But still, I can count, and the cars often are non stop around the building.

I decided to walk over and treat myself to lunch using a gift card, and every table in the room had customers and every cashier had a line. Bizarre.

But since I had nothing but time I went ahead and stayed. And for my patience, was rewarded with this beautiful sight in front of me. Pretty guy, great butt.

Thank you, Chick Filet.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grocery Store

Jamie was next to me. We had finished paying for our groceries, about $8 worth of stuff to get back home and cook for breakfast. I was walking away when the man behind me put out his hand and said, "Thank you." I said, "For what?" He said, "Thank you." Then, "I have a son at home. I try to take him everywhere I can."

I felt a little bit like a stolen moment, really. It should have belonged to someone else. To MyFella, or any of his siblings. MyFella has mentioned moments like this before, when someone understands. They speak, they nod, maybe they pass each other with a knowing look, not unlike the unspoken rule that Jeep owners always wave, however slightly, at other Jeep owners as they pass.

MyFella said he does it. He'll smile as he passes strangers who are in the mix of company not unlike Jamie. Peter Pan like, the children whose bodies grow, but whose minds don't. He smiles because he understands it all in one encompassing heart beat. He understands what the doctors told them when he was little. He understands what it's like to turn your head for just a moment in the grocery store to have him wander off. He understands what it's like to translate his sentences to friends. But he also understands the sheer joy of the simplest things. In Jamie's case, it's the constant thrill of going - anywhere. To town, to get gas, or just driving with the windows down. Or the way Jamie delights in helping wash dishes and fold clean laundry. Or the smile on his face when he holds a cat or puppy. It's all there, all the joy mixed in with it all. I suppose it's that way for every parent. But this is markedly different, knowing your child will never grow up as others do. And the shared knowledge is marked by simple acts like a nod or a handshake.

I made my choice long ago. I knew MyFella came as a package deal, and Jamie was part of the package. To me, some years later, taking Jamie with me at 7a.m. to the grocery was just as normal as going to the grocery.

But receiving the look, the handshake, it was new to me. Unknown ground. I didn't realize it for what it was until it was spelled out to me. "I have a son like him. I try to take him everywhere I can." I felt like I was cheating, that it belonged to Jamie's parents or to MyFella. I wondered if I should explain, "We're not family. We're friends." But I suppose that could be part of the same overall thoughts that the family might have. Who will his friends be?

I've seen people all over town smile at the sight of Jamie and call him by name. Just 20 minutes earlier at another stop, a couple had been engaging Jamie while I was distracted. When I turned my head to speak, the wife said, "We know him." I should have known, because the husband understood Jamie's speech. I should have caught on faster that they know him.

But I guess the simplest thing is also the most important thing. It was my morning, about an hour, with Jamie. We ran two errands while the word was still waking. And I suppose for all that it was, the moment that would come at the grocery store was my moment to be had. It was my gift from that stranger. He didn't care if our surnames were the same or not. He could tell we were friends. Are friends. He could tell as Jamie held the bacon and I held the milk that we live as friends.

I won't ever understand all that they think and feel, the families with their own Peter Pan's in their midst. I missed the first 40 years of Jamie's life. But the man he is today, I understand as well as I understand so many of my friends. And now I feel like I'm part of some kind of secret family. We nod to each other in passing.

Whoever that man is, I thank him, too.

Ford Tractor, blue

It's a 1970 Ford tractor. Blue. The machine an interesting combination of vehicle and tool. He rides it, controls it, commands it. . . the machine and the land he goes across as familiar to him as it is alien to me. He's bush hogging the land. Part of it his father's, part of it a neighbor's that lets their horses graze there. Her husband long ago fenced off enough of their land to maintain as a lovely yard.

I think it really only goes back a few acres, maybe 8 in total, though it could be miles to me. It eventually descends into the same ravine I've walked down on his father's land. Tree covered, tiny flying bug infested, beautiful and unseen spot of land probably with it's fair share of serpents, until it bottoms along a small, cold creek bed.

And there he goes, riding along. Cutting down errant grass and weed. I suppose to keep rodents and such at bay. To keep it from growing too high. Or maybe for the simple act of just cutting it. I suppose I don't know.

On the tractor he rides and I watch him from a fence gate, from afar. I walk the land before and after he's mowed it down. Careful of snakes. Not sure if I'm more interested in surveying the land or watching him. Spots of beautiful grass, areas in shade overgrown with weed, brush growing up along the rough hewn posts and barbed wire composing the fence. And over it all, he comes with the tractor that's almost as old as I am, with the bush hog behind it. Simple mechanics running it off the tractor's motion. He tells me things about a clutch, a PTO shaft, things that sound foreign to me, but he understands them. He understands them as well as I understand things he does not understand - the simplicity in blunt conversations about sexual practices with friends, the draw of the beauty of the drag show, the importance of matching brown belts to brown shoes.

I envy the owner of the land, actually. I covet the land. It's lovely, even beautiful in it's own way. I laugh and tell him later that if we are able to buy it someday, I have picked out the spot I want to build a gazebo with a swing. It's a spot in an open green field, open to the sun. There's a slight crest at the highest point. That's where I want a swing, in a gazebo, like I once saw on television. I think about ways to power a fan that far out in the field, and consider ways to keep the horses from walking through and getting wound up in the chain that will hold my someday swing. Problems I've considered long before there's a possibility. Challenges I'd like to overcome some day.

But today, there's him on the blue tractor and me walking in the field. I'm content with today.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Wednesday in my hometown.

A brick house with a front porch. A dining room table. A glass of tea. My Mamaw to my right.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Now, this creature is beautiful. But not near as beautiful as his confidence and outfit would leave you to believe. MyFella and I guessed he was from Ole Miss and in town with his girlfriend, hence the yellow shorts with the perfectly white shirt and the name brand shades.

From the bumper sticker on the car, we guessed the wrong college. But same stereotype of students there.

I wish I could have gotten a better snap of him.

Oh well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


In just a little bit MyFella will arrive here. He's got a meeting in town that ends at 4:30p.m. I tell you, after all this time, I still look forward to him coming through the door.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Facebook Addiction

So, I had just looked down and realized I pee'd on my shorts and not in the toilet when I thought, "It's a shame to be 40 something and . . . "

OHMYGAWD I'm composing a Facebook post in my head about peeing on my shorts! You have to stop it!

Stop it!

So really, is it any better that I wrote a blog about it?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekend Sights

This is the tree with the pretty flowers under which I sat on Friday, and this is a shot of the flower garden into which I mixed horse manure this weekend.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dave & Sugar

I can remember a time when Sunday afternoons meant afternoons on Midtown restaurant patios, usually with a vodka or tequila drink cold in my hands, and 2 or 3 of my closest friends. On a bad weekend, it would mean an afternoon with some guys that I didn't know really well, but I was trying to increase my circle of friends so I would accept an invitation from 2 friends to join their party. Or on a really bad weekend, it would rain and Red and I would shop "the miracle mile" of stores like Big Lots and Stein Mart on a particular stretch.

The best lesbian in the whole world, G, would often join the patio's and have one or two beers. Sometimes we would go to the second Mexican restaurant and bemoan the fact that Molly's does not have a patio, because the food at the second Mexican restaurant sucks, but the patio's great and the margaritas are cold.

On non-drinking days, we discovered a place that has a wonderful little singer that writes her own songs, and her music goes well with tea served with a slice of lime.

Today? Today my Sunday consisted of me wearing my slip on Wolverine boots, my "work" jeans, and shoveling horse manure into what I've claimed as "my" flower bed. So, there I am, shoveling horse manure from a pile onto a flat bed trailer, tossing it into the flower bed from there, and watching MyFella run the tiller. We put in a lot of pine ash and horse manure, and tilled it up good so the dirt will be ready for the plants. What plants, I don't really know yet.

Saturday I sat outside for a bit watching MyFella burn huge piles of pine needles down (which later went into the flower bed). Smoke was in the air, I was sitting under a tree, and a cool breeze was in the air.

I'm not sure exactly when my Sundays changed. I can't honestly say I love them now more than I love the other way. But I can say I love them just as much.

I probably need to keep vodka on hand up here, and find a job up here, that way I can have the work day, the vodka patio and not have to drive back.

That's what I'll do.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Drunk and Sober

There's nothing quite like passing out around 10p.m. drunk, then waking up around 3a.m. sober.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


MyFella and I are going to a party tomorrow night for the anniversary of some friends. I just wanna go on record and say that handsome man of mine surprised me and drove in tonight.

I guess he knows how lucky he is.

Maundy Thursday

This is the second year that I've attended Maundy Thursday services at church. It's a foot washing service, taken from the scripture about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. It really takes a few minutes to get over the "uh, feet?" factor. After that, it's no big deal.

The set up they use at my church is nice. They have some really pretty glass bowls, and earthen ware pitchers, and the water is warm. I think that's the nicest part, that the water is warm.

I really enjoy the services at my church. They're just so pretty. I really feel like someone thinks through the service and blends the scripture with the songs and the sermon. Overall it's just pretty.

I wish I could show you somehow.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I think I like the concept of it better than the actuality of it.

or the other title, "This sucks."

Sissy and Kitten are moving. Actually they're not moving like future tense, they're moving like the house is empty, the movers have taken everything away, and tomorrow she takes Sass & Spyder and moves to the new town, many hours away.

See, Kitten took a big job a couple of years back with a big ol' company. They assigned him a project right here, and told him that when the project ended, they would transfer him to some other place. Like Canada. Chicago. New Orleans.

OK. For one, that time was some mystical time in the future. Two, I have a passport, so I felt like I could get to Canada. And three, Amtrak goes to the other two places, which I thought would be a fun way to get there.

Here's the problem ~ that mystical time? It's now. Like, right now. As in, they're gone.

No more cheesy Chinese buffets because it's Kitten's favorite. No more bookstore breaks with Sissy. No more pizza dates with Sass and Spyder.

I'm trying to tell myself that I can kid myself - what with things like email, cell phone texts, Facebook, etc. I'm trying to tell myself that except for not actually seeing them, I'll still be in contact with them.

Only I don't think I'm buying it. The new city is like an 8 or 9 hour drive away. That's far too far to go for a pizza date. Or a bookstore work date.

Sass wasn't even born yet when they moved here, and Spyder was like 3 when they gave birth to Sass. And now they're going to live way far away.

I'm really kind of over this. It sucks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Off

You know MyFella and I live about 2 hours apart. So most every weekend one of us has to drive the trip, 4 hours round trip. But it's not a bad drive really. There is one way from house to house, and another way if I'm headed to/from work, which is about 40 miles South of where I live.

So usually early in the week we start talking about it, if we don't have plans already that necessitate a particular location, his or mine. Sometimes it's as simple as who wants to be where? Do I feel like a weekend in the country? Or it's as simple as a friend or family member having a birthday party, so the other comes in for it. No big deal, we've gotten accustomed to it.

In the beginning of our relationship, he would make the drive. That was before I met any of his family. He probably came every other weekend. Then once I had been up there, we started the negotiating. Once, after his father had been ill, I drove up there 5 times in a row because his father was too weak to feed the horses, throwing the hay out. Then one morning I saw his father in the garden pushing the electric tiller. I told MyFella, "Uh. I think your dad's scamming you. If he can push that electric tiller, he can throw a hay bale down."

But still, it's "all good" and it's just what we have to do to be who we are to each other.

Some weekends we used to negotiate as "off" just to save on gas and such. Maybe we both had things to do in our respective towns or whatever. So we'd schedule an off weekend. We haven't had one lately, but this weekend we scheduled one.

I slept late, went to a discussion at church, went to a big Expo with a friend, had dinner with some other good friends, which was over due. This morning I enjoyed the church service tremendously, and had an adventurous lunch date with friends at a place we'd never been before. I came home and played with some potted flowers, cleaned in the kitchen and such and did some around the house odds and ends that were on my "get to" list. All in all, a very enjoyable weekend.

Very enjoyable. And almost every single item was something I could not have done if I'd gone his way, or probably would not have done if he'd come my way.

And yet, I still wish we had been together.

Sappy and sentimental? Yeah. Why not.

"You have to stop hoping to be unemployed"

MyFella has told me time and time again.

You see, on February 15 my latest boss told me "You're not the guy for the job." He followed that up with "None of my bosses think you're the guy for the job." But in a sweeping moment of his magnanimous self, he's going to give me 90 days to "prove otherwise."

So now we're over 45 days into it, and I pretty much spend every one of them just wishing he would let me go. Give me a couple of weeks severance (or more) and unemployment. I'll be fine, at least for a while.

Yea yea, I know. Times are hard and there are people who can't find jobs anywhere. I understand. I know it's better to have a job with a boss I hate than no job at all. I get that.

I know the last time I was unemployed, it took me 6 months to find a job, and this one was it.

Still. I'm not exactly inspired.

At different times in the last 45+ days, my sleeping has been whack, I grind my teeth, I am completely nervous all day. I don't handle stress well.

I really think he would have done me a favor to just let me go, rather than leave me wondering every day and every week if I've done good enough to stay a little longer.

Ugh. Hate it.

"I know who holds the future, and I know who holds my hand."

an email to two friends I've had since high school, . . . about times from so very long ago . .

"So I'm at church this morning. First time I've been in a long time. And you know I really do enjoy going to church. And I really enjoy going here in Midtown.

So anyway, the service is nice, the songs by the choir are just exceptional today, the sermon was good. . . and then the closing song is "I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand."

"Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand" but I kind of let memories wash over me of the voices of Mrs. Peggy and Mrs. Mary, of a crowded back pew with the other kids . . . the way on Sunday morning I always sought out the pew with Moma Judy but on Sunday night sought out that back pew with the other teenagers. . . the sound of those two hollow doors on the swinging hinges . . . or the echoing sounds in the small fellowship hall. Or the way everyone had their spot, and some of the ladies of a mature age left afghans in their seat. So many good memories.

Gosh, that was a great place and a great time. ut the days and nights of church in a small Missionary Baptist Church, a long time ago . . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

another crush on an actor

And now in the latest addition of a string of gay crushes, Sam Adama. You could be my Capricorn lover on any planet.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Poor Thing

So an old friend from high school sent me a text that another mutual friend is about to lose her father. I don't know the details, except he is in advanced age and hospice is with them now. Friend 1 wrote in her text something like, "I thought you might want to know so you can call her."

I replied, "Is she still with the same husband?"

Friend replied, "Yes. Poor thing. He's so jealous."

Poor thing? Come on. "Poor thing." I've met the husband twice. Well, almost met him twice. One time I saw him was a concert at a casino. She was talking to me and he turned around and saw her and started yelling at her from easily 75 feet away. Then stormed up to her and she introduced me, I held out my hand and he looked at me and dragged her away. The second time was at her mother's funeral where he wore some bizarre hat and was so drunk he stumbled across the cemetery.

Poor thing my butt. She always liked the drama and the drama boyfriends. Seems like she found her gold mine.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


So the local grocery stores no doubt paid the forecasters to talk about snow for 3 days in a row, leading everyone to worry about the great storm to come. Since I work at a 24 hour casino, that doesn't promise a snow day off and pot full of chilli and an afternoon full of favorite movies. It usually means just wondering how long it will take to get to work.

So I decided to enjoy it what little I could and prepare myself mentally. I slept with the shades open so if I were to wake up, a quick glance would show me beautiful snow flakes or not. I don't remember what time it was, but the snow was so light I had to walk to the window to confirm there's snow.

It's odd sleeping with the window open. I don't like to do it often in the big city. But in a way it's kind of pretty.

The snow was rather disappointing. But it did make for an easy drive to work.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas with the hamster

Every year since my nephew was born, I wake up on Christmas morn at his house to watch and be a part of all the wonder and surprise. It's really very nice, and now more so with two nephews.

This year both of them were in bed with me, and I was pretty much against the wall with a 3 year old pressed against me and a 4th grader against him. They were late going to bed, and I was sound asleep and never heard Santa's arrival.

But somewhere late late at night, or early early in the morning, the 4th grader came back to bed with a hamster that Santa had brought. I wanted to be bothered by it, but chose the path of just rolling over and going back to sleep.

But next year me and Santa got to talk about living animals in the bed.