Earlier in the year, I had my DNA analyzed by ancestry.com and received my results within a few weeks. It was so amazing to see all the areas of the world where my ancestry began, and how those early relatives scattered and connected, and where we have all established ourselves today. I now have the confirmation that my family tree connections were correct, even generations back. If you haven’t researched your ancestry, you should. The kits are not that expensive. Our son and daughter-in-law gifted my husband and me with ours last Christmas, and it was exciting for the whole family to see the results. My husband is adopted, so it has a special meaning for him to connect with birth relatives, most of whom he was unaware. Continue reading DNA
I came across this piece I wrote over ten years ago and decided to post it. Reading through it I thought, oh my, what a difference a decade makes! I am not as audacious now as then, for sure. I know I TRULY have no more time to waste, not to mention money to spend!
Since I wrote the following piece, I have fallen as much in love with jewelry making, acrylic painting, and decorating hat boxes (not at the same time) as with all the other creative endeavors preceding them. Those things naturally ran their course the same as did the others I wrote about back then. Always I come back to my writing. It patiently waits for me, my old, most faithful, long-suffering friend. I will never say never, but for now, I believe my addiction to dabbling in various distractions and dalliances, has truly lost its passion, I really do. The years have gotten away from me, and now the time has come to settle down and seriously focus. I have two books to finish. But again, the best laid plans. . . . Continue reading Best Laid Plans
A New Leaf
I left Tennessee toward the middle of February, halfway thinking about following my old friend Crockett to Texas to see what was happening there. The Colonel had lost his appetite for Washington politics, according to a man who came into the shop one day saying he had read about it in a copy of the Alabama Watchman. I suspect Davy simply tired of having his honor trampled by the likes of Andrew Jackson, and opted for more worthy pursuits. For whatever reason, most likely adventure, he went to Texas. Continue reading Choices: Chapter 9
Sitting on the old front porch swing, Julianne waits for the arrival of the unfamiliar, for the seventy-year-old-woman who gave her life. Gently pushing the toes of her left foot against the floor in rhythm with the suspended motion, Julianne is struck with the profound comfort of her own immobility. In the midst of the constant procession of life, I wait here, she thought. Had always waited, it seemed to her now, while her environment ripened around her, touching her, sustaining her, as the patterns of living changed routinely, yet predictably, through the years. Continue reading The Family
Mammaw Minnie came to me in a dream recently,
As a child near the age I was when she died.
She wore the dress and hair ribbon I’d seen in an old photograph.
Until the dream I did not know they were yellow.
Relatives drifted in and out of familiar old rooms,
Everyone laughed and talked at once. Continue reading The Dream
Home on The Tennessee River
I stood on the deck of the houseboat, looking out over the Tennessee River, the sun just coming up over the treetops. A cold wind blew that fall morning, for which I was grateful. It had been a hot summer, although Danny assured me Tennessee summers were nothing compared to further south. The day Danny brought me home with him, now a few years back, he took me in as his own son. The turn things took after that was most certainly on my mind that morning. Continue reading Choices: Chapter 2
Way back there in birthing bed
alone again she’d weep.
Year after year, new flesh, new bone,
pushed out like temporal teeth.
Ripped from its sockets by the roots,
life gasped and screamed for air,
then quieted down in perfect peace
to rich maternal fare.
Grandmother soil, warm and fertile,
the perfect garden spot.
She was Eve in efflorescence:
Black-eyed Susans, Blazing Stars,
Snow-drops, Spring Beauties,
Ragweed and Clover.
She was Eden, perennially pregnant.
Wildflowers, we speckle the landscape,
earth’s laughter, we nourish and flavor the land.
Spawned one by one in darkened rooms,
loosed as fledglings from cradling hands:
we explore, we discover,
we dance, we sing,
This old house squats around me, over me
Like a brooding mother hen,
Her wings spreading out, to gather me close,
To confine me to her sagging, cozy bosom.
This old house speaks to me, privately,
Like a jealous old lover,
Resenting the chiming doorbell,
The ringing telephone,
Their rude presumptuousness.
Nestling down around me,
Her creaking old body embraces my fears,
And I snuggle deeper into her womb.
Because you are
I’m fully conscious of unconditional love.
Because you are, I know the texture
of being the center of.
Your awareness of my being,
is not shared by anyone,
not by mother, sisters, father, brother,
not by husband, not by sons.
A daughter’s love, unique and pure,
cares as no one can.
As I am, you are.
as you are, I am.
My rolling pin turns as silently
On its axis as the earth.
Rubbing my palm along its smooth, wooden shaft
Sets my teeth on edge,
For its abrasiveness disguises itself.
The surface reveals nothing
But perfect uniformity.
Natural etchings of amber
Swirl and speckle in the grain,
But remain two dimensional
Under my touch.
Water spots mar the raw pine blondness,
Splotching with smudges of gray,
Like ancient fingerprints.
This piece of wood belonged to my grandmother.
When I grip the handles,
I feel the warmth of her touch,
And the heat of it spreads up my arms,
Into my heart.