Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A warm Sunday morning

I woke up this morning with my head spinning.  Stories that I had written in high school.  Stories I had written over the past year trying to get something together and self published.  The little rainbow, Wicked Chickens coloring books and The lullaby still in mind, but all the words so carefully crafted into stories, now lost on the written page.  I have had to rewrite some of the stories over the years.  I can rewrite them again.  I need to write them again.  They are visiting me in my sleep.  The stories, the words, the pictures fill my dreams and are bright in my eyes when I woke this morning. 

I think it was from going to see the Smithsonian Exhibit at the Jefferson Art Center last night.  It has been the talk for weeks.  Our little community.  A community of about 14K people nestled in the keystone of Florida.  No red/yellow/green traffic lights, no Wally World.  But we have a travelling exhibit from the Smithsonian, the one in Washington DC.  It is a beautiful exhibit that takes up most of our art center.  It crowds our front gallery and winds back the hall.  Filled with photos and interactive activities, press a button and hear the stories.  It is about transportation and how America was built.  Fascinating and at the opening last night Bug and I crowded in to the center with our fellow Jeffersonians and bragged how our small town could have such a wonder.

Thanks to Monticello Main Street.  A year or so back Main Street, led by our Director, Anne Holt, obtained a $10,000 grant to bring this exhibit to our fair town.  Every turn I saw people I love.  Jane, our garden circle chairperson sat at the door welcoming everyone.  Jane is the President of the Board of our Art Center. 

I was pretty useless for most of last week.  I simply do not do well when it is cold.  And it has been cold for us.  Thursday the weather had ventured north of 60 and compared to the previous few days it was lovely.  I put on a bra.  Something that I have never enjoyed wearing, but now with trying to get my pain under control, bras have become even more uncomfortable as they bind around me, pressure all the way around my chest area, or as I confessed today, thorax.  But I put one on, slipped my mint green cashmere 3/4 sleeve sweater and drove just north of town and turned east on Boston Highway.  This beautiful canopied two lane road slips thru Florida into Georgia into an even smaller town then Monticello, Boston.  Boston, Georgia is the smallest town in the United States with a Carnegie library.  It is a lovely yellow brick two story building with huge stairs leading up to the books.  Just like the one we had were I was growing up.

I had a lovely ride as I drove to one of the beautiful large brick homes that speak of a time gone in most worlds, not ours.  The brick house stood stately tall under the pines, oaks and magnolias, away from the road.  The shutters were painted a blue that made the whole design of the home and the garden that wishes are made.  Inside it was glorious.  Reds, golds, yellows, woven in ways that spoke of light and grace and taste into this tapestry of Southern hospitality.  The ladies were lovely and funny and all different from each other, yet they have a connection from years of sharing moments just like this winter today.  They are so very different then my garden circle, but their connection is the same kind our circle shares.  They were so gracious and we had a lovely luncheon in the dining room.  The table elbow to elbow ladies, was covered with layers of linen cloths and napkins.  The winter light slanted through the oak trees and in through the floor to ceiling bay windows.  I had one of those moments where I was there and my mind kept blurring between that moment and one as a child in Palmetto at the crab luncheon at the woman's club.  The hair and clothes, classic on the women from each time, beauty, grace and Southerness.  I can not think of the word that describes a Southern lady.  They are correct, kind and gracious, audacious, funny, stylish, good friends and neighbors.  A Southern lady gives back to her community.  The garden club, the historical society, the art center, the Opera House, the woman's club, downtown, main street, the humane society, your church and of course, the civic organizations and the chamber are the choices Southern ladies pick from to give back.  I have never met a true Southern woman who did not head up several if not all of these during a life time.  It was a beautiful moment filled with all the things my mother shared with me.  After the perfect luncheon of delicious soup, finger sandwiches a choice of chocolates, lemon bars and other lovely sweet delicacies, we gathered in the drawing room with the living room directly behind and the transition of color, fabric and treasures caught my breath.  I took a seat by the window and listened as the Founder's Club garden circle held their meeting.  I was still in the glow of the moment and again the similarity of other moments just like this one flooded through me.  Then it was my turn.  I had already bored a couch of these gracious ladies before lunch talking pesticide labeling.  Really?  pesticide labeling?  I don't even like to talk about that.  I guess I was just trying to jump start my brain.  I had 20 pages of notes on dragonflies, fireflies, cicadas, and katydids.  I picked these as the easiest garden friendly insects.  I realize that cicadas and katydid do cause garden damage, but I left them for last hoping to drag out enough information about dragonflies and fireflies.  I just started out throwing out facts about dragonflies and watched the reactions of the group.  I would throw in information that an Entomologist would enjoying hearing, but a normal gardener?  I don't like to talk down to people.  After realizing how much my brain does not work well, and that I don't think my IQ is any bigger then my shoe size, I have no write to talk down to anyone.  And yes, these ladies enjoyed the fun and the factual.  They were not intimidated by the scientific information.  They laughed and listened, and then they asked questions and it turned from a talk to a discussion and I had so much fun.  I had seen many of these ladies at the Opera House and the art center and so on, but now they were getting to know me a little bit.  And by that they opened up about themselves and so last night as Bug and I walked around the Smithsonian exhibit last night, I saw many of these same ladies and their husbands again.  Suzanne had not been able to make the meeting and told me how much she missed the presentation.  I told her I had my 20 pages of notes in my purse.  She asked if she could read them.  I laughed and said okay and handed over the manuscript.

I really enjoyed getting that opportunity.  I do not allow myself that many opportunities these days when it comes to people relying on me.  Today is the camellia garden circle meeting at Gelling's Florist.  I am going to run up to the WD and pick up some eggs to make a quiche.  I am going to look up simple things to do for February crafts because I have to commit today whether I can still do this.  An opportunity.  Will I take it?  At this moment, I am filled with hope.

I have been flu sick for several days this past week.  Every week or two I feel like this.  It is the pain meds.  I am getting better at managing the pain and the meds.  Maybe, maybe better.  It doesn't feel like I am getting better as I am on my knees in the bathroom.  I think I am doing that less.  Yes, after last weeks episode, I gave myself as long as I could take it and did not even look at any pain meds for more then a day.  I don't think I was too unbearable to get along with.  I pretty much just hid at home and kept my mouth shut.  Since then I have taken the same med, the heavy duty one each morning and one each bedtime.  The pain is better.  All in all I can handle this.  I will give myself at least until after the next cold snap that is predicted mid week and down to the 20s.  Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike the cold?

Bug's parents are adjusting in.  Every other day they make comments about moving back to CA.  They still own their place out there.  But usually by the end of the day, they are happy in their lovely little home. It has been gray and cold since they have been here.  For the last few days a fat gray wet cloud the color of dryer lint and almost as thick has sat on the ground here chilling us to the bone, even after it warmed up.  I think they will be very happy here, once I can get Mom out of the house and into town.  I will take her to the Rosemary Tree for lunch.  She loves their food, but mostly she loves the precious ladies who work there.  We will go over on a Wednesday and look at the Smithsonian exhibit.  I am scheduled to work there in 2 weeks on a Wed.  Just a few hours in the morning.  An opportunity I am giving myself. 

On the 25th Carolyn and I are taking Mom to see Cabaret at the Monticello Opera House.  I understand that several of us from the Stage company will be meeting to enjoy the show.  I am looking forward to her getting out and maybe making friends.  At the art center last night I saw my friend Penny, a wonderful artist, and it turns out she just lives around the corner from Mom and Dad.  Penny's mom is staying with her.  We suggested that maybe we should get the two ladies together.  Did they have anything in common.  Honestly, we really don't know what Mom enjoys other then maybe shopping.  Penny said something about her Mother not getting out as much because she is in so much pain.  The shock on her face was priceless as Bug and I in unison said, "That's great!  Mom is in pain, they can talk about their pain together."  Penny's eyes glowed with a mischievous spark and I apologized for how we must have sounded, we just really want these two people to be happy here.  They live in a lovely neighborhood filled with precious families and lovely homes.  Once they are freed from winter's dreary gray I think all will be fine.

In the meantime we are doing the best we can.  I have not taken a pain pill yet today.  There is a little nagging in my thorax, time to spin the wheel of drugs and determine what kind of pain, stress and happiness await this day. 


  1. Hello Kathleen, You don't know me but I live in upstate New York. I check in on you about every few days .I admire you and everything about you. You are my inspiration!!

  2. My mother was a member of the woman's club, the historical society, the DAR, the UDC, the garden club, and several other clubs in our small town. Your writing about southern ladies was a remembrance.
    Glad that you are doing well.