Monday, January 30, 2012

The Cuz And Bubba Jam

This Christmas I offered to take pictures of my niece and nephew, and as I set about the task I was reminded of how quickly a one year old can get around.  I was truly exhausted when I had finished chasing her, and then I realized that I still hadn't taken one image of my nephew.   

Now he is seven years old and I figured, "This will be easy...I'll snap some and then go relax with a cup of green tea."

Oh how naive...

What started out as me taking photos of him with a huge Calvin smile (as in from the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon) quickly deteriorated to my son joining him in some kind of random dance.  And I am using the word dance very liberally here.

Teeth and dimples were flying...

...shrimpers were entertained as they returned to the dock. you think they can dance?  Or maybe they should keep their day jobs?

One thing is for sure...Years from now when they have wives, these images will be entertaining.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Savannah - My Savannah...My Youth

As I reflect on my teen years I have concluded that I spent most of my time reading.  I literally read my way through high school.  I know that before that age my father thought it was ridiculous that I would bring a book to the dinner table, which he didn't permit, but I somehow managed to read even more in high school.  I became a history junkie and would read any novel that offered some trivia of the time period in which it was set.  Gone With the Wind consumed the winter of my 9th grade year.  And since it was the 80's my prom dress matched Scarlet's style to perfection.

When "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "The Good Earth" were assigned in class I was ecstatic as only a book loving girl could be.  Why didn't geometry offer such?  No wonder I struggled in that class!  Someone needed to write a good historic novel that would make it more entertaining.

And then in my 11th grade year I stumbled upon the writings of Eugenia Price in the public library.  Her stories of the south spanned the years from the mid 1770s to the late 1800s.  Price was a native to Chicago, when on a book tour she took a side trip to St. Simon's Island, Georgia and fell in love with the area.  She relocated from the hustle and bustle of the big city to the quiet island town and began writing her many historic novels, based in the south.  My reading began with the Savannah Quartet and from there I went on to enjoy the Florida trilogy.

On a recent trip to Savannah I could almost hear Price's characters talking as I walked the cobblestone streets, even with the modern cars.

As if time has rewound...a large sailboat docked on the river...similar to those that would have been used during the colonial period as new Georgia residents arrived in this port city in the late 1700s.

Even though these old building have been converted to shops and restaurants that attract tourists, they were once used for commerce of grain, feed and cotton.

As we dined in one of these centuries old buildings I was again struck by the clash of old and new.  Against the walls of stone, brick and heart pine, cords for internet and electricity snake along the ceiling.

This is why I love this city...such a mix of American history and culture.  And most importantly, while visiting I can almost feel 17 years old again reading Eugenia Price novels from the library.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Think Said the Titmouse

It is that time of year when the birds are flooding the yard.  Some days it seems that a sparrow convention has been scheduled for our yard, and then the next day the black birds arrive in a large flock.  And no matter how many pictures I've taken of these lovely feathered friends, I cannot control the urge to grab my camera when one poses and seems to stare at me through the window.  This happened the other day with this Titmouse.  He seemed to want to fly in and check out our abode.  Obviously he is not a very smart creature, as our house is the picture you find in the dictionary next to the word, chaos.

And as he flipped from left to right using each eye to take in the odd woman in the window with her closest friend, a digital slr camera, I couldn't help but think of this poem that my kids have memorized for school - "Bird Talk."

He may not be a robin or a jay but he was certainly thinking some odd thoughts about me...

Bird Talk
by Aileen Fisher

“Think…,” said the robin,
“Think…,” said the jay,
sitting in the garden,
talking one day.

“Think about people-
the way they grow;
they don’t have feathers
at all, you know.

“They don’t eat beetles,
they don’t grow wings,
they don’t like sitting
on wires and things.”

“Think!” said the robin.
“Think!” said the jay.
“Aren’t people funny
to be that way?”

So...what birds have come to enjoy your feeder this January?  And am I the only mother that has been reduced to communing with the birds in the backyard?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where I've Been and You Can't Stop Time

So Christmas came and went and the kids were very pleased, and for the first time in my life I was just happy that it was over.  I have been feeling weak and tired in recent months and the situation just got worse in a slow creepy kind of way.  By the time the holidays arrived I was barely functioning.  After dealing with thyroid issues for years I recognized the symptoms and I headed to the doctor for blood work.

An increase of Synthroid (thyroid hormone replacement) and I was good to go.

I regret the time I lost here on Hammock Tracks and that the holidays were endured rather than enjoyed.  I am trying not to focus on this lost time and then this happened...

While dressing my six year old daughter for church I realized that her red shoes were quite scuffed and I wondered how I could clean them up.  I knew that I had a plastic box containing shoe polish, but I was fairly certain that none of it was the shade of ruby red.  Since I was frantic, which is always the case on Sunday morning, I dug into the depths of my bathroom cabinet to find the box.  There wasn't any red shoe polish, and ultimately I painted the toes of her shoes with my quick drying red nail lacquer.  It was a perfect match and I felt like a genius for thinking of it.

What I did find in this Sunday morning shoe scuff emergency was an aerosol can of white shoe polish that stopped me in my tracks and launched a hundred memories.  For this was the can of polish that I used when my children wore their first shoes.  They were more like boots and when my oldest two reached this stage we actually went to a shoe store to have them fitted.  These were stores that treated you like a prince or princess as they wiggled shoes on and off your feet until they found the ones that truly fit.  No one ever walked out and managed to get a blister in these shoes, as they were tried on your pigs by professionals, who had been fetching shoes for their customers for many generations.

One advantage to being down?  You really appreciate being normal again...whatever normal is.

Anyone else fondly remember polishing their one year old's new shoes when they got scuffed?
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