30 Things I Love Right Now

About two and a half years ago I wrote a post about the 30 things I love right now.  I sat down to write a new list, then compared the two.

This is my current list:

  1. Avett Brothers
  2. my soft, warm blanket with he cardinals on it
  3. husband of just about 39 years
  4. my 4+ children, scattered across three states
  5. muscle relaxers… ahh, relief
  6. my church family
  7. Alexa when she actually knows something
  8. reading and my Kindred Spirits Book Club
  9. wearing boots
  10. notes/drawings by my grandkids
  11. planning our trip to CA
  12. poetry and fellow poets
  13. Netflix
  14. La Croix
  15. foster care
  16. my Escape
  17. hiking
  18. subbing
  19. Pita chips
  20. hashtag games on twitter
  21. new rugs
  22. seasons for real
  23. memories
  24. reading
  25. photography
  26. Alex when she actually knows something
  27. Amazon
  28. being off work for a few weeks
  29. relearning how to sew
  30. scarves

Here is my other list:

1.Back porch mornings
2.BFF Cathy – we have known each other for over 40 years
3.Blogging
4.BOGO school supplies
5.Bulletproof Coffee
6.Discovering B’ham
7.Freshly painted bathrooms
8.Hiking at Red Mountain
9.Husband of 36 years
10.Loretta, my black lab
11.Making my own schedule
12.Melatonin
13.Microwaved pepperoni dipped in hummus (just ask me)
14.Mom – my example and support
15.My grandkids – I love both of them so much my heart aches
16.My kids – four plus my DIL
17.PackPoint app
18.Pepper Place Market
19.Photography
20.Prepping for Montana
21.Reading
22.Rug from World Market
23.Salami
24.Spotify
25.Steak from the backyard grill
26.The soft wind
27.Toss pillows
28.Tweeting
29.Writing letters
30.Zumba videos

 

Some things from the original list couldn’t be placed on my current list, but some could have been repeated, such as salami, Pepper Place and steak from the backyard grill.

From my first list:

 

From my current list:

 

 

 

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Pieces of My Culture

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A culture is a way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

“I get so frustrated when I talk to people and they say, I don’t have a culture. And it’s mostly white people who say it. And I say, that’s bull, of course you have a culture, where did you grow up? Who’d you talk to? What’d you do? What was your thing? What was your family’s thing? Where’d your family come from?” – – Rhiannon Giddens

I was born in Athens, Georgia, and thus by natural inheritance will always be a Bulldog. Not that I’m an over-the-top fan of any football, but it’s part of my culture. I grew up knowing what red and black were for. My parents met in Athens, where they were both living in the first government housing built in the town. My Dad lost his father when he was four, and Mom’s dad abandoned the family when she was a baby, so they were both raised by mothers who had to work hard all their lives. I never knew my dad’s mom, who died before I was born. But, my Mamaw Bryan was always a sweet, white-haired, lilac dressed Grandma who treated us to Coca-Cola in jeweled colored metal cups and cooked up wonderful fried chicken in her little apartment.

I’m sure being raised without fathers played a part in my mom always being home with us while Dad worked hard to provide. We never lacked for anything, but I have no doubt my parents were on a tight budget. Mom made some of my clothes and we ate a lot of beans, but I never worried about where my next meal was coming from. I learned to save what money I had to purchase what I wanted, like a ten-speed bike and my first stereo.

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We moved to Jacksonville, Florida, via Montgomery and Ft. Lauderdale, when I was six. I grew up there in the same house until I married. The Georgia Bulldog devotion stayed with our family, especially due to the Georgia-Florida game played each year in Jacksonville. My life revolved around school, church, and neighborhood. We saw Mamaw and our Georgia cousins once or twice a year. The extended family loved to visit us, partly because of our proximity to the ocean. We were less than 30 minutes from the beach and that was a huge part of my childhood and teen years. Flip-flops, body surfing, driving on the beach and listening to WAPE radio are all cherished memories that fashioned a part of me.

This was all background, though. It helped shape me, but there is much more to culture. There are also beliefs. When I was ten years old I came face to face with my sinful state and knew I needed a Savior. I went to my mom, who sat me down in the kitchen and gently answered my questions. I was soon after baptized and spent the next seven years or so with a group of friends, many of whom I’m still in touch. Our world was one of church picnics, choir trips, “rolling” each other’s homes with toilet paper and “dinner on the grounds”. I am forever grateful for those gentle times of growing up feeling safe and secure.

Jacksonville was a last-holdout to racial integration. This affected me in numerous ways. My parents would always claim not to be prejudiced, but they yanked me out of public school the year that desegregation was finally enforced. Yes, it was a tumultuous time and I would not have wanted to be bussed across town, but I actually was anyway, for a year, to a private school. By 10th grade I was back in my local high school, and had my first real encounter with a different race. I never told my parents that I actually made friends with some black students. In my house the “N” word was common; even my brothers and I called each other that when we were mad, much to my shame and regret.

Music is a big component of every culture. In elementary school we sang “Found a Peanut” and “Billy Boy” along with learning all the military branch songs; I still remember ““Over hill, over dale, we have hit the dusty trail, and the Caissons go rolling along.” I grew up on the Beatles, KC and the Sunshine Band, and “The Church in the Wildwood”. My first concerts were the Dooobie Brothers and Peter Frampton. I never learned to play a musical instrument, but from the time I got my first transistor radio music has been a part of my life.

I imagine it might take a whole book, and perhaps a quilt maker, to piece together all that is my culture. It’s southern, middle class, and pretty white. It’s sprinkled with ya’ll and yes ma’am and grits. Casseroles are the preface and postlude of every funeral; July 4th and New Year’s Eve bring reason to shoot off tons of fireworks; “Merry Christmas” still abounds as the go-to December greeting.

In reflecting on the elements that shaped me, I hope that I have passed down all the good parts of my culture, and let go of the parts that needed to be left behind.

 

(originally posted Dec. 2015)

Monday Music #6

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I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. And I’m attached to some places that are or have been homes for my loved ones. This one’s for everybody…

 

Feels Like Home

Something in your eyes
Makes me want to lose myself
Makes me want to lose myself
In your heart

Something in your voice
Makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling will last
The rest of my life

If you knew
How lonely my life has been
And how low I’ve felt for so long
If you knew
I wanted someone to come along
And change my world
The way you’ve done
It feels like home

Feels like home to me
Feels like I’m on my way back
Where I come from
Feels like home
Feels like home to me
Feels like I’m on my way back
Where I’m from

With your embrace
Down a long dark street
And a sigh of wind in the night
It’s alright
Cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see
The dark feels light

If you knew
How much this moment means to me
And how long I’ve waited for your touch
If you knew
I wanted someone to come along
I never thought I’d love anyone
So much

Feels like home
Feels like home to me
Feels like I’m on my way to where I come from
Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I’m on my way back to where I belong
Feels like I’m on my way back to where I belong

Written by Randy Newman • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Monday Music #5

 

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. And I’m attached to some places that are or have been homes for my loved ones. This is my third Georgia song. Couldn’t leave this one out.

 

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia, Georgia,
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said Georgia
Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia,
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

Georgia,
Georgia,
No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said just an old sweet song,
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Songwriters
HOAGY CARMICHAEL, STUART GORELL

“Georgia on My Mind” is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a native of Georgia who recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road. In 1979 Georgia designated this as the official state song – Wikipedia

Originally published @ Carry Me Home 8/17

Monday Music #4

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. This is my second song about Georgia. It’s been sung by numerous artists, but Box Scaggs is my favorite!

 

Rainy Night in Georgia

Hoverin’ by my suitcase
Tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night
A heavy rain a fallin’
Seems I hear your voice callin’
“It’s all right”

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Neon signs a flashin’
Taxi cabs and busses passin’ through the night
The distant moanin’ of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

How many times I’ve wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it, think of it
You just got to do your own thing

I find me a place in a box car
So I take out my guitar to pass some time
Late at night when it’s hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I’m all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Rainy Night in Georgia lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Originally published @ Carry Me Home on 7/31/17

Monday Music #3

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. Though I grew up in Florida, Georgia has always been that other home I dreamed of. The land of grandma and cousins and summer vacations.

Midnight Train to Georgia

L.A. proved too much for the man
(too much for the man)
(he couldn’t make it)
So he’s leaving the life he’s come to know
(he said he’s going)
He said he’s going back to find
(going back to find)
What’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so very long ago
Oh yeah

He’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ll be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreaming
(dreaming)
That one day he’d be a star
(a superstar but he didn’t get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don’t always come true
(dreams don’t always come true)
Oh no
(uh uh no uh uh)
So he sold all his hopes
And he even sold his own car
And bought a one way ticket back
To the life that he once knew
Oh yes he did
He said he would

I know he’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on the midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He’s leaving
(he’s leaving)
On a midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
He said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine

I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
Ive got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go
(her man, his girl)
I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
I’ve got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go right now
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)

Written by James D. Weatherly • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

*originally published @ Carry Me Home on 7/24/17