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As I sat here tonight in my chair and looked above my head at my favorite painting above the fireplace of the picture of my young family, I thought about how much everything has changed over the years. When this picture was taken they were all just toddlers and babies. I used to look at the picture when they were all 5 to 9 and think wow how the the parasites (children for those nicer than me) have grown. Now as I look at that picture I think where did those babies go??
Two are teenagers now and one is on the precipice. They drive me nuts everyday. They make me look at my husband regularly and say “Why exactly did we have three children?” and say “Please for God’s sake goooooo to bed” on a regular basis. They make me cuss, pray, thankful, and in general drive me bat shit crazy daily.
The amazing thing though is in reality they are still here and will survive because whether they are 4 or 40 in almost every parents eyes they still are their babies. They still have those big ole toddler eyes and cheeks to us parents and when we question whether to eat our young or not- the pictures are here to reminds us.
God Bless This Picture Until They’re Grown!!!
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Yesterday as I was taking a road trip my mind started to wander (I was riding not driving so no where near as dangerous than it wandering normally is) As I was riding down the road I started to think about our interstates. The United States interstate system was developed to help get goods to us quickly and cheaply. Our grocery stores are full of things now for us to buy so it can just rot in our refrigerator. These roads are becoming ever more important because we need our things, such as banana’s. Banana’s and their potassium are important and can fend off infertility. After having 3 parasites in less than 4 years, (children for those sweeter than me) banana’s have been outlawed in my home. I may need strawberries, but (sing along) “we have no banana’s – we have no banana’s today” I am also about to have three teenagers so I am really ok with anything that can enhance selective and time lined infertility so no banana’s for them either. Actually I’m all for using any and all non permanent infertility aids. As a matter of fact – I pray for them.
These interstates were also put in place for us average Joe’s to get from point A to point B much quicker. They all look the same though. As a matter of fact most of the time we can’t even tell the difference in what part of the country we are in other than the trees that mind-dumbingly line each side of the interstate. When we used to drive down old 2 lane or 4 lane highways we got to see many things and learn a little more about a culture. Now we pretty much are resigned to learning about their trees and their culture through what’s on an exit ramp and billboards.
This started me giggling about what outsiders must be learning about the south while driving through.
1) We have pine trees
We have lots and lots of pine trees, If they happen to come during April they can even experience a whole new version of yellow snow. This isn’t the yellow snow of the north during winter- this is a whole new experience. When our pine trees (or evergreens for those from other parts) decide to pollinate they produce enough enough bright yellow/green stuff to populate the world. They don’t populate the world- they actually just cover everything with this yellow/green dust like substance that is about the same consistency as sand. I always love to watch the new transplants trying to keep their cars clean during this new experience- it takes a few years to learn it’s a lesson in futility. We southerners just know – wait it out- wash it in two weeks.
2) We really really really like waffles!
Get off the interstate in most Southern states and turn to the left or the right and there will sit that little yellow topped building called Waffle House (usually on both sides of the exit). They are all open 24 hours a day so if you need a waffle fix at 3 am we’ve gotcha covered. Many parts of the country have adult rights of passages. I have decided the South really has two. The 2 am drunk waffle visit and the 11 am hung over Waffle House visit. Once you have done both you are officially ready for adult life in the South and if you accomplish both in one day you are ready to conquer the world. There is no better “hair of the dog” than a grease fest Waffle House visit. You can do your Bloody Mary if you want, but I’ll take my medicine scattered, covered and smothered please.
3) Club Risqué is as important as peaches and nuts (there might be a joke in that)
Now I know they’ve changed their names, but if you’ve driven on our interstates you’ve seen the billboards. These billboards have caused many a complicated and entertaining conversations between mothers and children. As soon as they begin to read the question always comes “mom, what’s adult entertainment?” Some mothers almost wreck and some mothers say I’m not sure and the mothers like me say “well it’s kinda like shoe shopping, but different and I’ll explain it later.” Phew!! Now on to the next question “mom, what’s a pecan log?” I just smile sweetly and make the dirty jokes in my head.
You would think that being in the Bible Belt we would have serious issue’s with all of this adult entertainment advertising, but we seem to be able to live in the duality just fine. We have more churches per capita than other region. There is one on about every corner, but in our history there was a bunch of towns that the only things that gave the churches a run for their money was the brothels. We just didn’t put em on the corners we actually gave them a whole part of town. I think we understand that not everyone needs the same stimuli to say “Oh God” and we appreciate religious fervor in all it’s forms.
Now on this trip I had the pleasure to get off the interstate and go off the beaten path for a while and oh the education on the south these people are missing. I started to add them here, but realized that if I can’t write a whole blog on a store that advertises lingerie and bait then I should never write again. So until next time………………..
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I’m having a crisis of conscience.
I come from a very long line of what I call “Southern Church Women”. If you are from the south you know many of these God fearing women. They are at the church every time the doors are open, pray for everyone daily, make food for everyone for any little issue, know their hairdressers entire family tree, and have their own permanent seat in every grieving room at the funeral home. They also have the scariest “misbehaving in church face” known to man. They can make an entire row of teenagers behave with a mere glance. They have made more Gospel Bird (fried chicken for those not from the south) and casseroles for other people in their lives than most women have cooked dinner for their own family.
What’s even more fascinating about these women is their complete knowledge of their church family and their lives. These women know more information about what’s going in the church family than many do their own husbands. Trust me- the US government doesn’t need to fund the NSA, FBI, or CIA- they just need to turn loose 5 Southern church women in every church and mosque in the US. Within a week they will know everyone’s name, children’s names, family lineage, rough income, and absolutely everything going on in that family and all of it’s dynamics.
Because of this ability they are usually accused and considered gossips. In our world today of keeping everything close to the vest- gossiping has gotten a bad wrap. Gossips are considered nosy busy bodies who are just trying to be in everyone’s business. In these women’s defense they aren’t really, nor do they consider they are, gossiping – they are just trying to figure out exactly who they should lift up (that means pray to those of you not familiar with the lingo) to God that day. I’m pretty sure if you’re not being lifted up by at least 2 southern church women a week you can’t get past St Peter into Heaven. St Peter will say “Oh- I’m sorry Sally- We only take admittance after you have had 3 casseroles made and 7 prayers said from Ms. Wallace” I have had three babies (yes that gets you food too) and used to misbehave regularly in my youth so I am pretty sure I have me my quota with at least 10 women now so I should be covered. Phew!!
The reason these women know everything, cook casseroles, pray daily, and show up at the funeral home regularly is there best quality of all. They take care of each other and everyone else if you will let them. If they know something about you or your family member that could be disruptive they will usually just tell you the truth – even when it’s not pleasant. Because they seem so sweet most people think they would never say anything that might hurt you, but the truth is sugar coating just isn’t in their wheel house. Now I am by no means saying they will ever hurt you on purpose- that’s never their intent. There intent is to help you. They just never got the memo on how to tell you bad news with a buffer. They typically raise their children with a mentality of “yes it’s gonna hurt- just pull the band-aid off anyway” so that’s how they give info. There’s no build to it, there’s not sandwiching (good,bad,good) they just pull the band-aid off and damn the torpedo’s.
So – back to by crisis of conscience. Because I was raised this way I have a tendency to feel the same. Now, much to my mothers heart break, I did not get the show up at church every time the doors are open gene (I get lifted up a lot) and I haven’t picked out my funeral home seat yet. However, I did get the cooking people dinner gene and the worst one of all – I feel I should tell them gene. Now most of the time it’s OK because I try not to know much information. I have learned on most occasions that ignorance is bliss. With the parasites getting older and into their teenage years I am learning now that I know much more information that I am really prepared or want to know. I get a lot of “Mom- did you see this tweet or MOM- can you believe they did this?” concerning other teenage behavior. Teenagers have a tendency to not be so bright – so- the question of the hour is do you tell the people that care about these other teenagers or not?
HMMMM- it’s a hard question. Since I have always just had the band aid ripped off- I would always want to know if it was mine. I am fully aware they are teenagers and are going to do stupid things. I want to be able to guide them through the trials of teenage stupidity with preferably as much information on their stupidity as possible. I usually wish I could live the ostrich life and hide my head in the sand, but I just can’t get my head in that tiny little hole. I feel I should tell these other parents, but do I want to be labeled as that busy body who is invading their space? I don’t feel like I am invading their space- I just care about them and do not want to see them hurt, but the world has changed so much and usually kids are in control. We talk a lot about “it takes a village”, but most parents don’t really want the village in their business.
In the world I was raised if I had done anything even remotely near the things I am seeing and hearing my mama would of known within mere minutes. Those good ole church women would of told her and damned the torpedo’s. She would of given me the misbehaving in church look, handled the stupidity with a firm hand, and I would of been all the better for it.
Oh for the days!!!!