Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sycamore Trees And Cinnamon Toast

For most of my childhood, my MaMa Eloise was my best friend. I told her everything. She would laugh as hard as me at jokes, funny people and just general silliness. She was a very little woman in stature, about 5 foot tall, maybe. Wore a size 5 shoe. The only thing big was her tummy area. I had two MaMa's, both in Phenix City. I decided at an early age, that so I could distinguish between the two, I 'named' them...Big MaMa (Eloise) and Sara MaMa (my mother's mother). I am told at first, she was not very pleased. As a small child, I guess you don't know any better. You do what works for you. All I know, is I called her that into adulthood, until she passed. I didn't know until much later into adulthood that she didn't like it at first, because she never said a word. I'm guessing she knew I meant no harm.

When she would laugh, her whole body would shake. The good kind of laugh, the most real of all. And Lord, did we laugh. My love for books came from my MaMa. She would read to me, buy me books. One of my favorite books to date, is the Uncle Remus Story Book she gave me. And every book was inscribed and dated. My Joshua has that book now. I read those stories to him when he was little. I don't like to brag, but I could do those voices like nobody's business! Brer' Rabbit and De' Tar Baby..classic story book telling material. She had books all over her house. And most summers, at least one day was dedicated to romping thru Used Book Stores. The kind you could bring books in and swap as well.

She taught me how to cross-stitch very early. I loved it. We made pot holders with that ropey looking stuff you tied on a frame. And she taught me how to iron. I don't know how many other people are aware, but back in the day, every man's undershirt, handkerchiefs and undershorts were ironed. Yes sir. I have a small scar on my wrist from learning how to iron. That was one of my favorite things to do..sounds unreal since that is the thing I hate most to do now.

She was thrifty if she wasn't anything else. She would buy bread and freeze it. I don't think I have ever known anyone else who froze loaf bread. I never went to her house that she didn't have fig newtons, ice cream and the best oatmeal ever made. We would make milkshakes, real milkshakes, with ice cream, milk, vanilla flavoring, sugar and a blender. She made real cinnamon toast too. Not that fake cinnamon sugar you buy now. She made her own with real sugar and cinnamon mixed. And soup, some kind of real homemade soup was always in that house. My Granddaddy was Assistant Superintendent of the Russell County School system. He came home for lunch every day. And had a bowl of soup and a sandwich. Every single day.

There was no dishwasher and I loved washing her dishes. Her kitchen windows went all the way across the back. They were huge, wide open windows. I would stand there and wash dishes and look out over her yard. Right smack in the middle was a big, beautiful Sycamore Tree. She had Dogwoods and Pines all thru her yard as well. She had clotheslines way in the back that we would hang out clothes on during the summer. She had a dryer, but the line was used in warm weather. The redwood deck that was on the back of their house went all the way across the back of the house. We would sit out there a lot, early mornings and later in the evenings after supper. That woman loved a stray cat. She fed them all.

When I got older, I loved to cut their grass during the summer. And one year, I begged for them to let me on top of their house to sweep off the pine straw. That seems a bit surreal to me now as climbing on the 2nd rung of a ladder makes me break into a cold sweat!

I have a lot of wonderful memories from that house. When my grandmother passed and my granddaddy remarried, he sold that house and moved about 5 miles up the road. That was very upsetting for me. Not only was my best friend gone, but now every childhood memory I had was gone. And strangers would be walking all thru the house amongst my memories. After he moved, the first few visits to see him in his new house, I would drive by and look at their old house. But I only did it twice, it was just too painful.

The 2nd summer my Granddaddy lived in his new house, we had gone to visit. He told me to come outside, in the back yard, he had something to show me. We walked out thru the sliding glass doors, and right smack in the middle of his new back yard, he had planted a Sycamore Tree. At some point, he sure must have been paying attention to me. I know I talked about that other tree at his old house a lot when they lived there. It was just an amazing tree. Huge and perfectly spread out over their yard. The shade it provided was unreal. Maybe he needed to plant the new Sycamore tree to make it a home as much as I needed it to make it feel like his home for me.

It wasn't very big when he planted it. But when he passed some 13 odd years later, that tree had gotten pretty big. And now it too, sat very pretty, right smack in the middle of that back yard. Last summer, I planted a Sycamore Tree in my backyard. I cannot wait until it spreads it's limbs and re-shapes the way my backyard looks.

Life is all about memories, big and small, significant and insignificant. The memories are what get us through. To be able to close your eyes, and be right back where you were years and years ago. The smells, the sights, and the people. And the trees, even the trees. Sycamore trees. Their leaves are huge and when they drop they are some kind of messy, but man alive, I sure do love those trees.

copyright © 2010 Michelle Mount Mims

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bring On The Heat

I know I'm going to be old one day. Heck, I've got a good foothold headed in that direction already! And I know right now, my life is all about hot flashes, flushed faces, and lots of cold air conditioning. But I'll just be suwannee, if I can imagine myself lying around with blankets piled on my legs and thick socks that climb to my knees. 

I love my Mama and Daddy like you cannot believe, but to spend the night at their home anymore is just excruciating! From the minute you walk in their door, you instinctively want to start removing your clothes. My Daddy used to be just as hot-natured as myself, but once he had his heart bypass surgery about four years ago, something changed. He was my only ally for the air conditioner to run at sub-zero and now he is no longer on my side either. He walks around in sweat pants in the middle of July and my Mother wears a sweater year round'.

As you all know, I recently visited them this past weekend. I came into town for the Relay For Life Walk and stayed with my folks over night.  I don't know what was wrong with me, but I completely forgot the things I usually bring along for surviving these over night stays. Yes, that's what I said, FOR SURVIVAL. One of them is a fan. They have ceiling fans in all the bedrooms, but that is not enough. BELIEVE ME.

So as I lay there this past Friday night, cursing myself for forgetting part of my survival paraphernalia, my mind began whirling around. I couldn't sleep, might as well entertain myself. Thinking in third voice as I often do, because I often write in third voice as well, my brain seems to circulate my thoughts in the same manner, these are the thoughts that were going through my mind.

1.  So as she flips and turns, she wonders, how many house fires are created from hot as fire legs trying to find the cool spot on some hot as fire sheets in a hot as fire house.

2.  She also wonders why the heck these old people paid good flippin' money to have their A/C repaired five times last summer? All they seem to use is the heater. They should have just installed a sauna and been done with it.

3. And though she knows she is on diet, she is also cannot fathom how in the world she came to the house of bran flakes and rye bread, and didn't pack hidden crackers in her suitcase for food supplement.

4.  She is wishing she had scarfed down two pieces of ILLEGAL chocolate cake at the walk instead of only one.

5.  She is also alternately praying between hunger pains and hot flashes that the ceiling fan above her head does not twist itself off the frame as she has it on high and it sounds like a helicopter with a propeller gone bad.

6. She daydreams, because sleep is OUT of the question, that they will find her sunburnt and shriveled come morn'.  Which at this point, is only three hours away now.

7.  She thinks, I am in hell, with the scent of BURNING potpourri all around me, and the flames are licking at my legs from all the friction of sliding them around, still bent on finding a cool spot. 

8.  That black bran bread is sounding better and better, she wonders what that really turns into once it's inside of your body. They cooked her noodles and string beans mixed together for supper. Never had that before in her life. They are on a diet. They are 70+ years old. They are already healthier than half the people I know. They will probably out live me she thinks.

9.  She is trying to imagine just how hot it really is, then she remembers, her folks "cutting the air down" for bedtime. To SEVENTY FIVE FLIPPIN' DEGREES. They should have saved that time for something more productive, like packing my body down with ice cubes. She is sure they will fret for days how much 'extra' electricity they will have burned. She thinks, I can cover that. I'll just leave a case quarter on the nightstand.

10. Then she begins to try and find the positives in all of this. Ah, here is one. She won't have to shave her legs in the morning, because she will have rubbed all the hair slap off her legs from scrubbing them looking for cool spots all night long! And here's another, she will surely lose at least 10 pounds from sweating to death!

11. I'm sure you are all screaming about now.."OPEN THE WINDOW". Because surely, it is cooler OUTSIDE, than it is in that house. Well, here within lies the best part. They live in a very nice home. In a very nice neighborhood. However, the prior owner was an elderly woman who was a very scared woman when her husband passed. The lengths she went to feel secure would astound you. One of those precautions, was NAILING ALL THE WINDOWS SHUT. So, short of me possessing a hammer and pulling those nails out one by one, that's out.

I finally fell asleep around 3am. It was an abrupt and restless sleep all three hours long. I awoke again at 6:51 am just as hot as I had fell asleep. I got up, took a cold shower, got dressed, went outside to their covered carport, sat in the swing and proceeded to put on my make up. It was 14 degrees cooler OUTSIDE than it was in their house. I was ten minutes into my cool down when my Mother stepped outside to ask me would I like a (HOT) cup of coffee. I said, "Yes please, that would be lovely", because that is what good daughters do. 

One day my children, especially that one that's a writer (wink wink) will probably be writing old lady stories about me. But that's alright, my hot flashes will be gone by then, and most likely, the better part of my memory and the rest of my 'give a dang' filter. And if that book makes enough money to pay for my corned toed pedicures, then have at it my son! Make up stuff if you have to, cause I plan on being pretty ornery when I get that old, and my nursing staff will have to be well paid to put up with me I am sure. My sweet, sweet parents are going to be a breeze compared to what I have in store for my children ;)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And Then There Was HOPE

This time a year ago, there were so many of us who were worried about what the rest of her treatment would bring. She was already so very sick. So hard to imagine survival, when you are spending more days than not in and out of the hospital, and most always in severe pain. So hard to understand that to feel better, to live, you have to endure more pain and suffering than you could have ever imagined possible.

Last year the Relay Walk barely saw Patti. She had literally gotten out of the hospital that day, and it took everything she had, but she meant she was going to make an appearance. So many people were there in her honor, and she would not let them down or disappoint them.

And survived it she did. In grand fashion to boot. This past Friday night at the Relay for Life Walk, she was able to strut her stuff with the best of them. So many of her friends, family and fellow church members once again reigned the tent which bared her name. They were all so proud to be a part of Team Patti!

Friday night meant so many things for me as well. I was able to meet new friends, only prior known through Patti and Face Book. To Mrs. Colleen Davis, her husband Rex, and her sons Larry and Barry, it was indeed my pleasure to put faces with the names. And I got to see girls I went to school with and was babysat by, that I have not seen in thirty years or better.  My grand at the laughter. The catching up. And honestly for the most part, because of Face Book, it seemed like we could all just pick up where we left off. We all sat there and talked about things in present time, because we are able to follow each others lives in just that manner.

I was able to watch Jenny and Patti in action again. This time, it felt more familiar but just as warm and wonderful. I don't know what either one of them would do without the other, but I doubt they will ever have to worry about that. 

We stood outside of porta-potties, in the pitch black dark, about to die to use the restroom, but scared to go in. Illuminating each others way with cell phone lighting, loud raucous laughter, and hilarious comments.  And amazingly enough, it was a unanimous decision, that the mens' porta-potties would most likely be cleaner, as they all stand upright to do most of their 'business'. So as we all stood guard as one at the time went in, the looks on the mens' faces as they came around to 'their' side was priceless.

And when it was time to go, we rode circles amongst circles in the parking lot looking for long ago parked vehicles. Because by now it was late, very dark, and nothing looked familiar anymore. Sweet Debbie White and her just as sweet daughter Haley, deposited both Tina Back and myself right to the driver's door of both our vehicles, with her extra sweet husband Jerry White in tow. Because he was of course, making sure nothing happened to ANY of us.  And let me just say this, sweet Jerry also hung tight all night long, right by his beautiful wife's side, while a bunch of silly hens cackled and talked and never once did he look impatient, bored or ready to escape. What a lucky girl that Debbie is...and as she said herself, her Jerry, is her everything. I saw it, and I believe it.

It's amazing to me what life can bring, the turns it will make, and the loose ties it will wrap and bind together.  As I sat in the back of Debbie White's vehicle last night, it felt just as normal as it felt surreal. Before Face Book and before God's hand in Patti's life and ours, who knows if anything we all experienced would have ever happened in that sequence. It certainly gives a new and greater meaning to "everything happens for a reason".

I have no idea why Patti was chosen. Was she the strongest? Was she the one mostly likely to struggle through it? Or was she simply the most central focal point that would bring so many people from so many tangled and distant directions back together?  I am so sorry for her struggles but so grateful for her survival and it's results.

God bless all the Survivors and God bless the Ones who were called Home, forced to surrender. Amen.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Real Strength Always Lies On The Bottom

♫ Some day I'll be living in a big ole city and all you're ever gonna be is mean, Some day I'll be big enough that you can't hit me and all you're ever gonna be is mean♫

Some eight years, a Bachelor's degree, three years into a Masters degree, teaching children nearly his younger brothers age the art of the English word and how to write it, and twenty plus publishing's later....he is big enough that you can't hurt him.

His novel will hopefully be ready for publishing sometime in 2013, his thesis will be ready upon graduation the same year. His students will have been the better for knowing him. Learning from him. For listening to him create new ways to talk, to listen, and to write. For teaching them to open their minds, their hearts, and their souls so that the words inside of them can come out, where they belong. On paper. And maybe, one day, in books.

From the minute I became pregnant, I knew, my baby would be someone special. Of course, every mother knows the same thing I suppose, but I knew.  And it never changed. His teachers were telling me as early as kindergarten how special Joshua was going to be. I would smile, nod my head, and think, of course he is.

In junior high and high school when he was so obviously on a different track from everyone else, I knew, he would make it. Even when he wasn't sure himself. He was trying so hard to find his way, to find what he needed, to be who he needed to be. But it wasn't without struggle, without opposition, or conflict.

♫ You with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me, you have knocked me off my feet again♫

 People fight what they don't understand. What makes them jealous. What they think they cannot possibly be. What scares them. Unbelievable, controlled strength that comes from people they cannot identify with. People make fun of, pick on, and bully those whose standards they cannot rise to.

I hope I had something to do with the strength within my son. I hope the strength in our home was part of how he was able to prevail. To stand up to the hate, the jealousy and the disrespect to him as a human being.

Today, he is one of the strongest people I know. His mindset is so strong, so wise, infallible even. He knows exactly what he wants, and what it takes to get there. He always has. When everyone else his age was being a teenager, he was in his room. Writing. His thoughts that were already so deep, there were very few who could even understand. 

He's twenty six years young today. There is so much left for him to do. To be. In a few weeks, he will be living another dream. A trip to London is in store. He will finally be able to see what he has only read about. Dreamed about. The storybook pictures will become real and colorized, right before his very eyes. The words from the hundreds of books long ago read will jump off the pages. The voices will now have accents only imagined before. All because a boy dared to dream. Dared to demand what he deserved. Dared to be denied, no matter the cost to himself.

Happy Day of Birth to my first baby boy. Everything I ever wanted for you, you have already achieved, and more. It has been my absolute privilege to be a part of your life. To stand on the sidelines and watch you grow into a man. Into yourself. Into what you always knew you were meant to be. You have just stepped into the 2nd quarter century of your life. I cannot imagine what all you will accomplish in the next twenty five years. Even the sky has never been the limit for you, I know that will not change now. Go forward and continue to show the world who you are and what you can do.

I'll share a little secret with you. It never really was a dream, because you always knew it would come true.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's been 90 Days Already?!

Well folks, I said I would check in from time to time. So today, April 12th, is officially the 90th day of my new leaf, turning over, in motion. On January 12th, my partners and I started off walking five days a week, One mile each time. Now we are at a full seven days a week, give or take a day off here and there for scheduled doctor appointments, unscheduled rain, and life. And each time, 1 1/2 miles are walked.

I am proud to say I can now walk on my own, without the constant fear and damned near probability of breath re-cessation being necessary. My breathing has calmed down to a softer and slower gasp, instead of the last breath gasping I demonstrated for most of the first two months of walking. And I can now say about six to eight words in between gasps instead of one. People are no longer walking past me rubber necking, whispering to themselves, wondering, just exactly when I will fall out, not if.

I have dropped about 80% of the sugar from my diet. I have no idea what my sugar reading would be, but I will know in a few weeks after my first doctor visit since all this began. I do know my blood pressure readings have dropped considerably. I am hoping to be able to come off some of my blood pressure medications during that visit as well.

I haven't lost near as much weight at this point as I had hoped that I would. But I know that I am healthier, and making wiser food choices. I have only lost eighteen pounds in that 90 days, and I still have so very far to go. Granted no one notices eighteen lost pounds on an elephant. But I can see very subtle differences in myself. How my clothes fit. The lost inches are rearranging my body shape.

But I am positive I can do this. My mind is set on achieving my goals. I have no intention of telling anyone what that goal is right now. It's still such a high number it scares the hell out of me. But I fully intend to tell everybody when I reach it.

I appreciate all the positive comments you folks pass my way. The encouragement is so very appreciated. I know this is possible, because I have ashamedly had to do this before. But it's been quite a few years, and many attempts, and this is the first time I have gotten this far in a long time. I used to look for every way possible to get out of exercising. Too much to do at work, too tired, my family needed me at home. You name it, I said it. But the fact of it is, my family does need me at home. They need me to take care of myself so I CAN be at home with them. So the goal is to keep going, until I get there. And I am.

Thanks for listening, thanks for supporting and I will see you all again in 90 more days.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

♫ You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Song Is About You ♫...And Maybe It Is

I've always found, there is no better time to identify problems, and how things really are, than when people walk around seemingly oblivious to their part in what's happening. Kind of shake things up a bit. Because as a whole, people are vain. We are a vain and oblivious people. We choose to see things as we "think" they are, how we "want" them to be, and not how they truly are most times.

As I listen to parents and grandparents talk about our children, their children, I have to wonder how did it all become this way? We knew how to raise our children. I think for the most part, we followed the guidelines as closely as we knew how. And still, something just fell apart along the way. These young people just don't get it do they? We are the reason they are even here.

We gave them the strength and courage they needed to make it in this world. We encouraged, praised (probably too much truth be told) and worshiped the ground they walked on. We brag, hang hand drawn pictures on refrigerator doors, on office file cabinets for all the world to see. We talk about their ballet classes and recitals, their football and soccer games, their girlfriends, and their buddies.

When we're talking to our friends, co-workers, and even virtual strangers at times, we tend to leave out all the bad stuff. The smart aleck mouths, the rampant disrespect, the phone calls that come with less and less frequency, the grandchildren visits we're allowed only when it's convenient for them. We don't tell anyone that they are holding their affections, their attention, and the love of our grandchildren hostage. Hostage for when it suits them.

We do this because we are a society of taught and learned cover -up. What you don't say out loud, really isn't happening. People won't know we have failed somewhere along the way, if we don't point out the obvious kinks in our grand plan that developed over time. People won't know that our hearts are broke from the lack of compassion and respect we believe we earned, but don't seem to receive.

Well I'm hear to tell all of you. We're not to blame for their misperception of how life is supposed to work. We did our job, and in some cases, I think we did it too well.  We gave them so much, left them without any want of any kind, and now, they have no idea how to give back. If we didn't show them enough of one single thing, giving back was it. We did not show them that life is a give and take deal. We did not stress enough, that it's just as important to give as it is to receive.

Last night I read ten different posts on Face Book about people watching the Ten Commandments. All of them, so proud of themselves for watching a story that tells the real reason why we are all here. Praising themselves basically for following tradition and honoring the Lord. But did you listen? Did you really pay attention, or was it just cool to post so everyone would think.."you get it". 

And when you went to your Easter Sunday services today, and you came home and posted that on Face Book, were you really listening to what the preacher had to say today? Or were you more interested in your new Easter clothes, how many times someone told you how nice you looked, and how many times people remarked how precious your children are in their Sunday's finest?

Honor thy Mother and Father.

That's just one of the Commandments. Did you know that? Did any particular thoughts cross your mind as you watched your movie last night? The movie you watched in honor of  Jesus and how he died so you could live?  Now that you're here, and grown, and on your own, are we not what you think we should be? Are you ashamed of us and how we talk, dress and present ourselves? Do we not meet up to your sophisticated standards? Are we too "backwoods" for your uptown life?

My blog stories are not always popular. Mostly because I speak the truth, and the truth doesn't always feel so good. And this story isn't about everyone. Not even close. There are so many people who really do "get it", even in their pretty Easter clothes. There are so many people who do walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

But for those of you who make it all the way through this story, without clicking escape somewhere in the middle, because you refuse to continue to read the babbling's of a woman who doesn't know what the heck she's talking about...go ahead. When your neck and face feel like they're on fire, that's guilt. And better than that, it's your conscious. So do something about it. Remember where you came from and how you got here. Think of someone other than yourself. And show some respect for the folks that got you here. Because I promise you, today, Jesus is not the only one you need to give thanks.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

♫ It'sThe Bare Necessities, the Simple Bare Necessities ♫

We don't own a lake house. We have a little house on Lowe Street. We don't have a dock. We have a drive way. We don't have a boat house. We have a boat shed. And we don't own rights to the lake itself. We just borrow the water. We do however cast a bunch of lines and reel in our fair share of catches. But we feed as many fish as we catch. That I can guarantee.

Good Friday weekend is coming up. Easter weekend. Zach is out school and we're taking a few days off work. We haven't taken the boat out all year. But it's coming out of retirement. I am SO ready to smell some lake water. Have my head and body baked by the sun. Turtles lining up on limbs in the water. Gators grunting their mating calls so loud it echos through the cuts in the quiet early mornings. Trucks and empty boat trailers lined up like slices of bread as their fisherman owners float the waters hoping for a good day. Sunrises that are so beautiful they remind of us just how simple life should really be, and how difficult we can make it.

As we lower the boat into the water, me in the truck, Mims behind me, half in the water, half out, directing me back, back and back some more as he guides it with the rope over to the dock and ties her down. I park the truck, walk to the dock, smelling the dewy grass and fishy lake water as I go. Walk the dock, grab a dock pole, climb in and Mims cranks up the boat. Slowly we crawl into the dark, quiet water, the cool breeze fanning our faces, heads tilted upwards, breathing it in as we go, and it begins.

Where do you want to start? I don't know, it doesn't matter, where do you want to start? I say where I would like to start. Mims says, well, I really didn't want to start there. I say, well, go where you want to go. Mims says, no, if that's where you want to go we will. And so it goes.

We old people bicker. You know, not real fighting or arguing. That bickering that old people do, that constant back and forth that seems to be necessary to co-exist. We bicker about who has the best fishing spot, because of course HE does, he's in the front of the boat guiding it. I'm at the tail of the boat where he's already fished, so I'm not going to catch anything. He says we can swap, I can drive. I say, you know I can't drive and fish. I drive us into stumps and tree limbs.

The first sign of fish, he wants to drop anchor, I say, wait until we catch a few before we go to all that trouble. He believes in trolling, I say the constant motion scares the fish. And of course, he always punches the trolling pedal just when I was about to land the BIG ONE!

The live well is of course at the BACK of the boat where I sit. So when he 'out catches' me, as he says he ALWAYS does, I spend all my time, opening and shutting the live well.
I finally get sick of it and leave the door to the well open to where he can just turn around and toss his fiftieth fish directly in the well. Which inevitably leads to disaster at least once every fishing trip. I canNOT tell you how many times, I have felt a BIG one tugging my line, jumped up, (because everybody knows you can't catch a HUGE fish sitting down) only to land one foot in the well, have one foot still on the bed of the boat, which leads to an unbalance that has to be seen to believe. My body flails from side to side, trying not pitch myself face forward, and dancing around trying to make sure the catfish still swimming in the well don't slice open my foot with their fins. Which is of course, when Mims decides he can use the BIG BUCKET he has up at the front of the boat to toss his fish in so I won't have to get up and down shutting the well door anymore. Yeah.

Fishing with both my men is just outright dangerous. We don't do it often, for good reason. One is bream fishing, one is bass fishing and I am always caught in the middle. Literally. Twice, Zach has snapped his bass reel back, forgetting where I am, and his bait slapped me in the eye while his hook dug into my face. We had to move the boat to the other side of the lake. After all that hollering about life scars and dancing around in pain, in the boat, there were NO fish left around us I am sure.

More times than not though, we're fishing alone. And we fish some more. Quieter now. Because we're both tired. Tired of pulling my lines out of trees, which would have never happened had Mims paid more attention to me in the back of the boat, whipping around in trees and dodging limbs that I imagined to be loaded with hanging snakes.

Tired of HUGE catfish, would have been catches of the day I am sure, snapping my lines in two. And in some isolated cases, dragging the second half of my pole with them, my pink cork bobbing up and down in the water as they swim away and Mims of course, not able to make the boat go fast enough to catch up with them.

Tired of listening to the radio playing that damned 93.3 OLD COUNTRY music from the front of the boat. Slow, droning music that I thought was somewhat soothing at 6am, but now in the roasting hot sun at noon, listening to Hank William Sr. whine/sing  "Your Cheating Heart" is wracking my nerves.

But I'm ready for all of that by golly! I absolutely cannot wait for the smell of Banana Boat 50spf sun screen spray, green worms covered in dirt that smells like heaven in a cup, legs and feet that will have fifty new freckles by summers end, and sun glasses greasy from sweat and worm fingers.

I was dumping house trash this morning, walked outside, and what did I see but my two men, fixing up poles for next weekend. Red Neck style.  Each of them at the back of a truck. Tail gate down, bait and tackle boxes out, bent over, adding new lines and corks.  Suddenly, in that one snapshot photo, I was right there, in that boat, gliding across the water, ready for all the fun and chaos fishing brings. Hooks to the face and all.

♫ Cause it's the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife ♫........