Saturday, February 24, 2018

Apricot blossom

It has "sunned" on and off today. I could say it rained on and off, but I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy so you get the picture. 

When the rain subsided this morning, we donned our walking shoes and headed out for a stroll.  I noticed that our apricot tree had bloomed out overnight.

The wind was restless and the tiny blossom was in motion so I got the best picture I could. 

The line of storms that have menaced the folks north of us is sweeping toward us. The weather app predicts it will be here around midnight. I'm hoping the wind is kind to us. 

I'm winding down tonight. Hope you this weekend has been good for you all.  

Friday, February 23, 2018


The air today felt like it was May. Jilda and I spent hours on the road today and spring is trying its best to...well, spring.  The Bradford Pears are blooming of course, but those trees are stupid. They leap for spring and then are often bitten before warm weather REALLY arrives around late March.

Plum and tulip trees are also in full bloom. Each time I tried to slow down enough to take pictures today, cars came up behind me so I drove on.

Our camelia bush is one thing that is supposed to bloom right now. And, it looks remarkable. I think Jilda posted a picture of our bush earlier in the week so call me a copycat, but it's the only picture I have today.

I hope your Friday has been grand, as the Irish say.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Warmy-warmo here

It was warm enough to swim today. The blinking bank sign said 83 degrees, but I'm sure it went up before it started going down.

This morning, I put the saw blade on my Husqvarna weedeater and went to war with privets. Catching them at this time was perfect. After about an hour of work with an angry saw, I came in to cool down.

After lunch, Jilda had head to work so I took the opportunity to go to the seed and feed store, to Harbor Freight, and a quick run to Walmart before heading home.

It's been a good day. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Productive day

I had several writing assignments due today. For weeks I've tried to set up interviews for my assignments, but I kept getting the old, "Call me tomorrow," routine. Well, today they all said, "Let's do it today."

I knocked them all out by lunch and I had a chance to take a nap before heading to a dental appointment. I haven't had a cavity and YEARS. But I had two tiny ones that appeared during my last checkup. Today was the day to git-r-done. 

The experience gave me an idea for my column next week so being jabbed with a needle the size of a kindergarten pencil was a small price to pay. 

One the way home, I took a sip from my water bottle and promptly drooled it out of the side of my mouth that had been deaded. 

On the stretch from the Interstate to our house, I came upon a pasture and the light was remarkable. The clouds were – well, there are no words, but fortunately, I pulled into a wide place in the road and shot a picture.

I hope you've had a productive day too if that was your goal.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Missing my mom

On February 20, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, my momma died. I put the date on my calendar but I don't need an electronic device to remind me. I woke up at dawn this morning with her on my mind.

She would have loved the weather today. The mercury eased into the low 80s with a gentle wind out of the west. She kept her space heater on at her house 10 month out of the year. The only time her gas bill went down was in July and August. 

I spent most of the day writing, but after lunch, I went out back as sat on the deck in the sun. Gray clouds seemed to be confused by the sudden heatwave so that seemed to race off in different directions. 

It didn't take long to realize that if I lingered there was a good chance my un-sun-screened face would get blistered so I stepped back inside.

I hope your day has been a good one. And if your mom is still alive, don't miss an opportunity to tell her how much she means to you.

Monday, February 19, 2018

That special girl ~ my column from Sunday's paper

It was in October 1966 when I first saw her sitting near the stage of the Sumiton Middle School. She was in an antique dress and bonnet playing gospel songs on a pump organ that looked as if it came over on the Mayflower. Her teacher was a history buff and persuaded her to play for the fall history fair. She was thin as a reed and sat straight on the organ bench, pumping the air pedals with all the strength her small frame could muster. Her cousin introduced us. Her name was Jilda. We talked after her set, and I could tell there was something special about her.

Jilda and I met again two years later during my senior year. She was a friend of the girl I’d been dating.

My girlfriend decided we needed to break up. She had a lot on her plate, and maybe she thought things were getting too serious.

The bottom line, I was dateless, and graduation was only days away. Since I didn’t want to go alone, I called Jilda and asked if she’d like to be my date. She said she would like that. I smiled when I hung up the phone. That was our first date.

The dates continued. She wore my class ring on a chain around her neck.

The following year, I was her date at her junior prom. I wasn’t much of a dancer but who goes to a prom to dance?

A few years later, I got the letter that all young men dread. That was in 1971. It was from Uncle Sam. My draft lottery number came up. I had to report for duty in April. Vietnam was raging, and she had college before her.

We decided that it might be a good idea to put things on hold. The future was uncertain. She said if it’s meant to be, it will work out. Even as we “broke up” I knew she was special.

After my stint at a post in the Panama Canal Zone, I wasn’t sure what I would do. My old friend Dale Short offered me an internship at The Community News. The VA supplemented my pay for two years while I learned the ropes. I wasn’t much of a writer, and my picture-taking skills weren’t much better, but Dale had patience, and I got better.

Jilda had introduced me to Dale before I left for the Army. One day during lunch as we talked, he said, “There’s something special about Jilda.” That night I gave her a call. A few days later, we went out and talked late into the night. It took some time, but we got back together. Her oldest sister Nell had told her when we broke up that it was only temporary. “He’s the one for you,” Nell advised. She laughed as she told me what her sister had said.

Before long we were dating solid again. I took her candy and flowers on that Valentine’s Day. Then on Cinco de Mayo of that year, we drove to the home of a preacher friend in Brewton, Ala. We got married on the porch of his house trailer as curious neighbors watched from a distance.

The preacher pulled me aside and said, “You should know that girl is special.” I nodded my head in agreement.

It turns out the preacher was right. There is something special about her.

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day with someone special.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The right place

I've been a little lazy today. Actually, "a little" might be an understatement. Thankfully, Jilda and I did take the dogs for a walk this morning. 

If you remember back last fall, I placed a bench down under the oak tree at the old house and said it was a trial spot. But the more I see it sitting there, the more I feel that the location is perfect.  

I tried my first Facebook Live posting on Friday when the sun came out. I "broadcast" from the bench. I had several people comment that the bench looked inviting. Maybe I had the right place all along.

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