A southern Christmas, a little bit early…
December 13, 2012

 

A picture I love of my sisters and me, from when Mom was alive.

Thanksgiving found me once again in Alabama with my sisters…I’m so sorry we did not do this while my Mom was alive…but it would have been difficult. And I know she would love the fact that we’re all together. And this year, we celebrated Christmas early, while we would all be together! We cut down a tree by the side of the road…

All the decorations(sans lights) had to be found on the property…

You know you’re almost there when you see this….

I love, love, love all these property signs…and wow have they grown over the years!

My daughter and Tommy…she loves being with her cousins. And the pets aren’t bad either!

My sister’s Thanksgiving table…again, mostly things from the property!

For game day(Auburn-Alabama game)…we made a big pot of gumbo…omg it was so good. Lots of chicken and sausage..added shrimp right at the end. Made for great leftovers too…

The pre-game spread…lots of Gulf shrimp my sis brought from Gulf Shores…my bro-in-law is in charge of those…he’s quite particular about how they’re cooked!

We did a pool so the game would be at least somewhat interesting. (Bama beat Auburn 49-0….ouch)….I won nothing of course.

The multi colored eggs my niece brought from her very own chickens at home….Martha Stewart would be so proud!!

Went shopping in Cullman one day…thought it was amusing this particular store was NOT open. Hey, we tried.

My Grand-niece Piper…how cute is she??!!

We played a mean game of Take-away Santa….I ended up with the Kapoosh knife holder…which Cowboy found quite cozy for a post game nap….

Last but not least: No trip to the south is complete without a stop at Krystal. Just can’t be done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salute to my Father….on Daddy’s Day
June 17, 2011

This was on my sister's wedding day...so proud!

He was a pretty quiet man, not by any standards loquacious….he never hit me or my three sisters(that I remember), he never raised his voice(though his looks could mean business), and he loved a good joke.

That's him on the right...I looked just like him as a toddler...

He was one of three boys… never went to college….finished high school in Birmingham Alabama, and after coming home from WWII, went to work in his own back yard. I mean that literally, American Cast Iron Pipe Company was a block down the street from where he grew up…a street that was gritty from the cinders that flew from the furnace that melted and molded cast iron pipe. He worked there until he retired…..over 50 years at one company….can you imagine?

In World War II, he, like so many others, enlisted after D-Day….he and my Mom married quickly…(hey, it was war-time and why not get a little lovin’ in before who knows what happens!). He traveled all around the world as an M.P. My Mother told us a story when we were adults(my Father would never mention such a thing) about when my Dad was stationed in India….he passed by an alley in Bombay, in which a soldier had his fly open and a little Indian boy was……to use the proper term… fellating the soldier. The boy had tears running down his cheeks. Some MPs might have looked the other way…hey, a war is on and this is trouble I don’t need…but not my Dad. He arrested the guy and threw him in the brig, pronto. Good on you, man.

A man and his Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses....

Some of you may remember this wonderful picture of my parents,  and the story of my Dad and how he obtained  his beloved Ray-Ban aviator glasses from this prior post….the pic was taken on the shores of Lake Ponchatrain in Louisiana where he was stationed…and my Mom followed and worked at the airfield. I love that story.

My Daddy guarded this plane....

And perhaps because he was such a straight arrow(?), he was one of the men who guarded the famous, or infamous Enola Gay airplane…which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He and his squadron were flown to the tiny island of Tianan in the Pacific, from which practice and the real runs were staged. My Dad had no idea what they were guarding, or what was so special about the plane at the end of the runway, all by itself…they only knew NO ONE was to get close to it. I never knew how he felt about being indirectly related to an event that killed so many people. I wish I had asked, but there it is. I didn’t. And he wasn’t one to speak of such things.

He came home…still a simple guy who went to work every day, raised his kids, put all three of us through college, never left us and was a good husband…did pretty much everything my Mom told him to :)….and he loved fishing and swimming in his beloved Smith Lake. He died of Parkinson’s Disease, certainly not the way any of us would have chosen for him, nor he for himself… but he was pretty stoic about the whole thing. I only remember him saying once, “I can’t even wipe my own butt“.

Here’s to you my Father…lots of men could learn a thing a two about service, about loyalty, about kindness, and about being a dad, and a man. He got it right, all the way to the end.

Hope all of you celebrate your dads this weekend….especially those who deserve it. Call him…take him out to lunch…let him know you love him while he’s still around. Make it a great day and come home safe…’cause we miss you!

Snowver…..I’m so over snow…..
February 22, 2011

The woodpile, from my window....sigh...

Yeah,  the snow was pretty falling last night, and lovely and pristine white when I woke up…then I thought about all my compatriots at WBAL who had to be in to work at 3:30 am…or earlier…to go on the air at 4:30. Youza. That must have been some interesting driving, made better only by the fact that there’s almost no one else on the roads at that time.

I started to go outside to bring in another load of wood….this is our secondary woodpile, the first cord of wood(and the closer to the house cord)having been used up maybe a month ago. But the secondary pile is further…and you have to trek through more snow to get there and back….so I just shrugged and made a cup of tea.

One of the producers here who has an early morning call, and lives on Charles Street, said he has never seen Charles(a major thoroughfare) as bad as it was this morning….even in the blizzards last year. I couldn’t figure that out….is the city saving some money by not putting out the plows? Dunno. Luckily the sun is out doing its job….and with warmer temps on the way this week, the meltoff should be rapid. But I’m “snowver“….so over snow. Done. Kaput. Ready for spring. Ready for this….

Smith Lake living....

or this…..

Iced tea on the porch...

or this….

Donna on the beach....

Yeah, that’s the one…

Back from vacation!!
June 28, 2010

Strange bar we went to in NOLA.....

I have a lot to share with you…which I will dutifully do this week…but today is a busy day..hundreds of emails to sort through and eventually trash. And all the stuff that had been under my desk I came to find piled on TOP of my desk….I am surmising a thorough vaccuming was going on, or it’s a not so subtle sign to get rid of this stuff, which I did. I must admit, it does look better.

Let’s see, I hopped around a  bit on this holiday…two days in New Orleans, two days in Biloxi(for a wedding) and a week at my family’s place on  Smith Lake north of Birmingham, with my sisters and their husbands, though my baby sister left a couple of days in for a trip to Africa to see her son who’s on a mission trip there. And it was very interesting seeing a little of what’s going on at the Gulf Coast. I read just this morning, oil has washed up at in Mississippi in Ocean Springs, a darling little town right next door to Biloxi. Not happy news.

Fresh shucked oysters....a NOLA tradition....

But in New Orleans, I didn’t find people obsessed with the situation…sure they talk about it and worry about what it will mean, but life rolls on in the Big Easy…they’ve already seen a lot of suffering after Katrina, and while there were signs in a few restaurants that they weren’t serving Gulf seafood(makes some people nervous I guess)…..we went to an oyster bar in the quarter for some fabulous oysters on the half shell. I asked the bartender where they were getting their oysters these days. He said, “Oh, they’re still from Louisiana, so far…some of the beds are closed, but some are still open. We have to go a little farther sometimes, to Mississippi or Texas, but we can still get  ’em.” I don’t know how long that will last, but I enjoyed them while I could…Gulf oysters are  fabulously salty bivalves.

And the food there….if you’ve been to New Orleans you know of what I speak…it’s just amazing , though I didn’t have dinner in the Quarter, believe it or not. Tomorrow we’ll take a little food trip to NOLA….Ok?  It’s good to be home.