December 31, 2007

Short History of the Clay Family

When I first undertook genealogy, I didn't understand the importance of documenting sources, so many of the bits of photocopied data in my files are incognito, as is this, a single page from some possible self-published history. It could have come from the Huxford histories.
I mentioned the Clay family when Eddie Hunter wrote about the family of General Lucius Clay. Here's a bit about the Clays in South Georgia.

5th Line 1Aa7'
Edmund B. Clay, 7' above, was evidently the youngest sone of David and Eve (Harden) clay. (Records of Wilkinson County show that Robert Clay, as his guardian, paid tuition to his teacher, David S. Pearce (Query. Was he a relative?) He married Sallie or Sarah Jones, a daughter of John Lawrence Jones and Lucy Taliaferro Jones, who was a sister of Judith Jones, who married Lewis Clay, to Nancy Jones who married Peyton Clay, and to Richard Jones, who married Obedience Hatcher, a granddaughter of David Clay and Eve (Harden) Clay.
Note: this is why researching these people are so difficult. They married each others' kin and used the same names over and over.
Edmund Clay moved to Lee County, GA., toghter with Lewis , where he died, leaving children, as follows:
A' David Clay
B' John W. Clay
C' Nanny Clay
The administration of the estate of Edmund B. Clay was begun in Lee County, GA., but was finally disposed of in Terrell County, after Terrell County was made from territory embraced in Lee County.
David Henry Clay, identified as A' above, was born in Wilkinson Coutny, Ga., April 1, 1841, and died Dec. 16, 1904, in Decatur County, Ga., and was buried oin Durham cememtery situated in the Northwestern part of the county. He married in 1876, Mrs. Guest, who was the widow of James Guest. Mrs. Guest before her marriage was Miss Martha Jane Fiveash, a daughter of John Fiveash and his wife, Nanny (Knight) Fiveash.
Not mentioned in this account is that John Fiveash and Nanny Fiveash are also buried in the Lane-Durham cemetery, which is now at the edge of a huge irrigated field having been sold out of the families. It is fenced and a flag flies above the lot. Burials of family kin still take place there.

David Henry Clay was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, a Master Mason, and was wounded in the Confederate service. Their children were:
a' Edmund Fiveash Clay, b. Feb 14, 1877, m. Roberta Lane. Res. West Frostproff, Fla. Children: David Hay Clay, b. June 14, 1916, and Earl Fiveash Clay, b. June 12, 1918.
b' Cora Estelle Clay, b. Sept. 16, 1878, m James B. Lane (on) Jan 10, 1904, res. Brinson, GA.
c' Nancy Sarah Clay, b. ct 30, 1883 m Homer Powell. Mrs. Powell is deceased, but her husband lives near Brinson, Ga.
I date this to have been written years before 1960.

d'Julia Petronia Clay, died quite young, Sept. 23, 1880.

John W. Clay, identified as B' above married twice, first to Gusta Ann Powell a sister of Jesse Powell, who married Nanny Clay, second a Mrs. Helms.
Nanny Clay, identified as C' above, was born Feb. 9, 1843, died 1920, married first, Charles Haynes, Feb. 1864, second, Jesse H. Powell, 1863.
The page contains an aside to Powells, which I will leave to another time. There are many families of Powells in this community, interesting how they all fit together.

December 26, 2007

Boy, Did I Get a Bad Number!

Once, long ago before the days of caller ID, the phone rang and when I answered, a man said, "Lady, I used my last quarter to call my wife and dialed the wrong number." I offered to call her for him. He gave me the number and I dialed up.

"Your husband wants you to call him at work," I said, "He used his last quarter and got a wrong number."

"And WHO is THIS?" she asked in that voice reserved for pond scum and 'the other woman' and such.

"Wrong number," I said and hung up quickly.

December 25, 2007

Christmas Phone Call

Me: Hello

Unfamiliar Male voice: How you doin'?


Unfamiliar Male voice: Hello?

Me: Hello?

UFM: How you doin'?

Me: Who wants to know?

UFM: Uh, do you know a dude named Charles Thomas?

Me: No, I don't.

UFM: Oh.... I'm sorry.


December 23, 2007

Roses in December

It's supposed to freeze tonight. Today it's misting rain, very dreary. I picked the last rose buds: 2 'Peace' and one bud each of 'Queen Elizabeth' 'Sombreuil' 'Gene Boerner' and 'Knockout' to fill a vase on the kitchen windowsill.

Today is the 70th Anniversary of Daddy Senior's parents. We have a cigar box full of letters they wrote during their courtship, when there were no telephones in the country. Postage stamps went from 2 cents to 3 cents sometime during 1937.

December 22, 2007

Roses in December

Sombreuil on a cedar post.
If the brave little buds are tight when a freeze comes, they can survive to open after the next couple of warm days. If they're open, they're freeze dried and usually limp. This one made it to a warm day.

December 19, 2007

Sense of Smell

Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

December 15, 2007

Twenty One Inch Butterflies

I found them while browsing other sites, not going to post a link. They're made of acrylic and are supposed to last ten years without fading. I do have some metal butterflies in my garden; some are brass and some just pot metal. They're obviously fake and not so big as to be overwhelming.

I've found that some artificial ornaments overwhelm the blooming plants in color and size. If visitors are busy looking at my thirty dollar fakes, I'm afraid they'll miss the delight of the winged beauties who are sure to appear on any sunny day, like these:

December 09, 2007

Tag ... You're It!

I was tagged by Judy of Imagine What I'm Leaving Out.
The rules are as follows:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random, Weird things about myself:
1. I once took a class in making and using Puppets at the Center for Puppetry Arts, downtown Atlanta. I learned to make puppets with no sewing -- we stapled them together! My favs were the stick puppets with one moveable hand.

2. I have difficulty with right and left. They say that's a learning disability. I am likely to tell you to look in the left corner when I mean the right.

3. I collect buttons. My favs are glass.

4. I have a Red Neck. No, really, I have a red birthmark on my neck. My father had one, too. Hemangioma is the term, I believe.

5. I was named for two of my Mama's cousins. She had a number of cousins with names for whom I am glad they weren't her very favorites. Mama was named for a character in a novel her father read before she was born.

6. I'm not putting out Christmas decorations.

7. I've never had piercing, unless you count when the opthamologist accidentally perforated my cornea, which healed.

With hardly two weeks to Christmas, I'm not tagging anybody. Maybe somebody will pick up the meme anyway, y'all hear?

December 06, 2007

Social Media and Commentary

Old Media:
  • Newspapers.
  • Magazines.
  • Television.
  • Radio.
  • Books.
  • CDs and DVDs.
  • Paper photographs.
  • Paper mail and catalogs.
  • Phone books.

    Social Media includes blogs. All of the above are static. Blogs can be edited, indexed, archived, linked, deleted. Adding photos and videos sparks more interest.

    Social Media thrives on commentary. The best comment I heard all yesterday was this:

    Calling illegal aliens, "undocumented guestworkers" is like calling drug dealers, "unlicensed pharmacists."
  • December 03, 2007

    Catalogs of Christmas Goodies

    I threw out a catalog from a famous store with sites in New York and California. Evidently they embed a little chip that signals from the garbage truck, because another came immediately in the mail, full of holiday delicacies so tempting to someone whose holiday treat runs to Nabisco Gingerbread Graham Crackers.
    They have a pound of marshmallows for $12.50, not to be confused with the 10.8 size for $18.50 that are for the couverture bittersweet hot chocolate mix for $19.50 which doesn't include milk.

    I got past the candy by remembering the Adams Family visit when I took three of Alease's homemade candies because they looked so good and it was so hard to choose. Then she said, "Oh, you have to try Alice's, too," and I had to take three more so as not to hurt Alice's feelings.

    The cakes are an adventure into food language fantasy: spumoni gelato, tiramisu, dulce de leche, buche de Noel; almond gateau, petis fours, macarons, panettone. I did see a little garnish that I could do: crushed peppermint candy around a gelato truffle.
    I can crush peppermint, not make a truffle, I mean.

    Oh, the pates. Ah, the fruit. On to the hors d'oeuvres. Empanadas and tamales could be the undoing of me. Moving on through smoked salmon and caviar, I thought of the time at work when I mentioned eating potted meat as a snack at home the night before, and the unit secretary said, "I didn't know white people ate potted meat!" I asked, "What did you think they ate?" She said, "Caviar." Fish eggs, hog offal -- does it really matter which?

    The hype for a cocktail shaker almost persuaded me: "Sophisticated cocktails deserve nothing less than this iconic 1920s style shaker. It's fashioned of polished nickel-plated brass in a classic shape.... I was brought sharply back to reality when I remembered we don't drink cocktails.

    I paged past the wine racks and fell head-long into the cheese. 'Discovering artisanal cheese,' it said. Artisanal means handmade by artisans, apparently. I always wonder about their quality control measures. I managed to get past the beef as well.

    Sliding into the non-food areas, I was impressed by how many items to which I could say, already have one or similar except for the mandolines. Why one should need a mandoline when there's a food processor puzzles me.

    Already have a Le Creuset saucepan, now sadly out of style, white color, no longer chic or in stock and heavy for a ceramic top range.

    Scattered throughout the catalog are recipes to accompany things like hundred-dollar french fry cutters that would require its own separate closet to store. The french fries are to accompany the ham and pear panini. Hey! I have a panini press. Hey! I have a sandwich grill for making the stuffed sandwiches on the next page, full of mozarella, pepperoni and tomato sauce, all of which we have on hand.

    The tableware section almost did me in. I always want more dishes, until I remember there's not room for the plates we have now. I need 8 forks to match the spoons and knives I bought at a terrific price last year, only to learn they were discontinued and no forks are available. Now I have to find almost-matching forks, which I don't really need, either.

    Nor do I need the La Cornue CornuFe range for eight thousand dollars, which is too wide to fit my little space, but "From the esteemed elegance of the (LCC) range to time honored cookware and appliances, the selections on these pages artfully represent the creme de la creme of the culinary world," made me feel I had a right or is it a duty, to shop these pages.

    On through the expresso makers, linens and fresh greenery. What a day!

    December 02, 2007

    Who's Afraid?

    Had a visitor after midnight Fiday night, a young woman who said she ran out of gas and was lost. She said she'd been walking for two hours and lost her shoes and came through a cotton field. The place where she said she'd run out of gas was a couple miles in the opposite direction from the cotton field. When I asked, she said name was Gina and she asked where was a certain road. When I said it was about four miles, she became more agitated. That road is frequently mentioned in the paper as arrests are made for meth manufacture and possession.

    I wouldn't open the door and hand her the phone, insisting that she give me a number which she finally thought of. When I called, the man who answered said they'd been riding up and down the road for an hour looking for her and they'd be right here. After I hung up, she asked if there was a water faucet she could get to, flinging her long hair about. She said she even had dirt in her hair. Help was less than five minutes away, so I said no.

    She rushed off into the night and didn't wait on the carport for her ride. I think she could see through the window that there was someone behind me with a firearm silhouetted in the doorway . We heard a car later, I think it turned around in the driveway.

    In a kinder, gentler time, maybe 40 years ago, we'd have brought her in and given her hot chocolate and found her some shoes. I was concerned who or what was behind the shrubbery if she gained entry to the house. If she hadn't given me a phone number to call, I'd have called 911.

    I'm paranoid.

    November 30, 2007

    Is Jeff Gordon our Kin?

    I heard the NASCAR awards in the background and went to see why Jeff Gordon was getting so choked up during his speech. It seems they showed a video clip of his baby and he kind of lost it.

    I asked Daddy Senior, who was puzzled about it, if he remembered what Mama used to say when some of us got tearful: "You know the Joneses, bladder above their eyeballs!"

    The Frog Who Fell in the Churn

    Mama used to tell this little story about the frog who fell in the churn. Today I found the same premise in a poem on a blog by someone named Suzanne.

    Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl.
    One was an optimistic soul.
    The other took the gloomy view
    “We’ll drown,” he cried, without more ado;
    So, with a last despairing cry
    He flung up his legs and said “Good-by.”
    Said the other frog with a plucky grin, I can’t get out, but I won’t give in;
    I’ll just swim around till my strength is spent, Then I can die with more content.”
    Bravely he swam till it would seem
    His struggles began to churn the cream.
    At last on top of the butter he stopped, And out of the bowl he gladly hopped

    What is the moral? ‘Tis easily found -—
    When you can’t get out keep swimming around.

    Mama told it as, "he just keep kicking until he kicked up a little pat of butter to sit upon." Her moral: "Just keep kicking."

    November 28, 2007

    English as a Common Language in a Chinese Restaurant

    A conversation I overheard during lunch gave me pause for thought.

    A man at the next table struck up a conversation with the young Chinese waitress. He allowed that he was from India, and made mention of India, Nippon, and China in a sentence I didn't quite comprehend as it was not my conversation, after all. They talked about how long they'd been here and how they liked Tallahassee. When he inquired as to where she lived, she made a point of saying, "I live nearby, with FAMILY."

    She went to answer the phone and the conversation ended. What suddenly struck me was that while she chatted with her fellow waitress in their native tongue, the conversation with the patron was in English. While 'they' might pass laws requiring certain languages be spoken/understood/printed, there has to be one language that is primary so that we can all communicate without newcomers having to learn more than one tongue.

    Imagine an ethnic waitress in a university town trying to remember the polyglot of dialects of customers from all over the globe!

    To the City and Back to the Center of the Universe

    We are back from Tallahassee, bearing batteries and magnifying glasses and light bulbs and various food items like chicken and broccoli and strawberries.

    We have THREE of those metal carts with raised sides that Harbor Freight had on sale for cheap, cheap. DH says, "They're probably coated with pure lead paint (they're red and made in China). I said, "The tractor shed is fraught with toxicity anyhow." He's giving me one for my tool shed.

    November 25, 2007

    Spiderman and Cat Woman

    These photos are from Halloween, of my Grand nephew Will and his friend. Notice the Halloween decors.

    Spiderman Spins a Web

    November 18, 2007

    I Didn't Know This

    There is actually a doll, made by the American Girl Company named Bitty Baby. I think they owe us royalties.

    There's also a 'Kirsten' doll. They spelled it wrong -- maybe they're like me and forgot and should have looked it up.

    November 12, 2007

    I've Got Your Dots!

    I have the dots from the Dark Dots template! It took a bit of looking, but I found them, and there are three little color dots along side every Title.

    Getting the dots reminded me of the game on the Kellogg's site a few years ago, where Pops cereal rained down and the player had to catch them in a 'bowl' using the mouse. When you missed, a voice that sounded like Herman Bentz' wife Marie shouted, "I've -- got -- your -- Pops!"

    November 11, 2007

    Free Lunch, I mean Candle

    Free Candle Blogspot

    I clicked on 'next blog' to find the Free Candle with links to blogging from Heather's Brain. She's a Christian homeschooling mommy with lots of friends who give awards and challenges and free things. It's refreshing and pleasant, unlike many of the 'Next Blogs' I usually land on.

    December: The rest of the story: I didn't win. There's a new contest. I don't burn candles, anyhow.

    November 05, 2007

    What Do I Know about a Turbine Ag Cat?

    The photos on Could Have Been a Cowboy of the crop duster who defoliated the cotton field across the highway was picked up by a bot and linked at this site: Ag Air Update

    They didn't leave a comment that it had been linked, I figured it out when Cowboy began to have as much traffic as the Seedscatterer, which does have known links by interested gardeners.

    Anyhow, some of us might enjoy going to look at the site mentioned above, there are lots of aircraft photos.

    November 01, 2007


    Disney's Jasmine and our Bitty Jasmine, 2006
    A whole new world
    A dazzling place I
    never knew
    But when I'm way
    up here
    It's crystal clear
    That now I'm in a whole
    new world

    A whole new world
    A new fantastic point
    of view
    No one to tell us no
    Or where to go
    Or say we're
    only dreaming

    I'm like a shooting star
    I've come so far
    I can't go back to where
    I used to be

    -- Walt Disney's Jasmine

    October 16, 2007

    Lost Again

    I've been to my 47th year high school reunion, a picnic. This is the Depot replica, a perfect place for a meeting. We were mostly a group of prematurely bald men and prematurely blonde women.

    I had a great time coming home yesterday when I realized I'd missed the turn for Hwy 27 in LaGrange and was on Hwy 219 where I'd never been, and without a map. I kept on 219 until it turned south and I kept east. When I came to a 4-way stop, I turned south again (the road name was Hamilton-something) and went down Pine Mountain on a good paved, winding county road. Great views, ending in Hamilton. Took a left and a right and I was on 27 again by sheer luck.

    Here's my travel philosophy: with a gas credit card and a compass, you can keep going. If I come to water, I'll know if it's the Atlantic, or the Chattahoochee River and I'll know which way to turn. If I'm going north, eventually I'm going to reach Atlanta or Chattanooga. South, I'll reach I-10. I know the way home from all of those. I can always find a familiar landmark in Atlanta, where I've been lost before numerous times. "Oh, I've been lost here before," I say, and turn left, turn right, turn around.

    October 05, 2007

    Monkey with an Invisible Tail!

    Fancy hotels and cruise lines' staff roll guests' towels into animal shapes, I'm told. Someone online is selling the instructions on a video for $1.00 per animal. I found the booklet from Royal Caribbean online: Monkey, Lobster, Cat, Boat, Frog, Elephant and Swan. The Monkey and Elephant are my favs; they require one towel, one washcloth. I used an extra red washcloth for my monkey, so his red smile would show up similar to a sock monkey. His eyes are circles of blue post-it paper. Royal Caribbean accessorizes their animals with sunglasses -- I guess they use the passengers' specs. A clothespin helps him to hang from the shower rod.

    Out of the Shadows

    I thought this was just a photo of us with Bo until the scan was done and it was brightened -- in the background was that grinning little face. 1970's.

    September 28, 2007

    Postcards from New York

    Playing with photos; this one turned out looking like the photos on 1940s postcards from Florida where the colors were intense but the subjects were kind of blurred, especially with Bitty's aqua and pink outfit and the classic pose.

    September 19, 2007

    It's a Beautiful View

    Some years ago at a family reunion in a state park, the weather was damp and drizzling, chilly for July. Little kids were running around wet and muddy and we grownups were huddled underneath a picnic shelter. I was thinking what a miserable day it was when an older cousin looked out over the Falls and said, "It's a beautiful view."

    Suddenly my attitude changed. It WAS a beautiful view; we were with beloved cousins for the day; good food, great memories.

    Since then, I've tried to enjoy the view and not grouse to myself about minor inconveniences.
    High Falls, 2001

    September 10, 2007

    Nurse Humor

    They loved stories of which I was the butt of the joke, these young nurse friends who knew my sons in high school.

    "Tell the story about when Glenn was throwing up in the bathroom and you fainted and slid down the wall and you were out colder than a wedge..."

    "I could have had a broken neck."


    "Tell the story about the night we were leaving through the ER and they were remodeling and the sidewalk was rough and Sandra told Kim to be careful because Kim was clumsy and Sandra fell down and you sat on the curb and laughed until you wet your pants."


    "Tell the story about when you bought the bikini and Puppy snickered when you modeled it and you wouldn't wear it because the dog laughed."


    September 09, 2007


    It was hard to decide whether these two belonged in Dotty Pants or Could Have Been a Cowboy, until I read the definition for dotty again. Joey was infatuated with the Angel from the day he saw her step out of her sister's car. From that time was when she stopped being an awesome tackle by whom the little boys in the neighborhood didn't want to be hit.

    September 08, 2007

    Dust to Dust

    The house where I was born and lived until I was 18 or so, is all different now. It sold and was remodeled in the 1980s after Mama died. My mother would be so proud, except she would have added some kind of solarium/greenhouse for flowers.

    The dirt road is paved, too. She would particularly like that. The old man who lived in the second house next, refused to agree to paving. Mama had this Dodge 'Duster' and she would speed up when she neared his house, so he got plenty of dust which she thought he

    September 06, 2007

    Dotty Mom and the Prettiest Baby in the World

    He came with a tiny instruction book that said, "All babies, cough, sneeze, hiccup and pass gas." I had no idea.

    September 05, 2007

    Pam and Mary

    1994Pam moved into the house where we lived for 30 years, when we moved to the farm.

    September 01, 2007

    Dotty Old Message

    Thnk ur gr8 @ txt msgng?

    In competition in Australia, a telegraph operator since 1927 was pitted against a 13-year-old girl in a battle of the messengers. The old gentleman has a lifetime of experience using Morse code; The girl has two years of text messaging experience and a slew of popular slang.

    The telegrapher transmitted the complete message in 90 seconds; the girl used texting shorthand and took 108 seconds to send the same message.

    The message: "Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing."

    August 29, 2007

    Why I Don't Color My Hair

    Miss Vencie visited us frequently when I was a teenager. She and Mama were cousins.

    A widow, Vencie had married late in life and had no children. Her two unmarried brothers, Coot and Toad, lived in the old family home which was still as it had been at the turn of the century: unpainted, no electricity or running water. Vencie would escape their hospitality to stay with us.

    She took a job as a sitter, staying with a woman whose primary ailment appeared to be boredom. One weekend Vencie came to spend her days off with us. The woman had talked Vencie into letting her cut and dye her gray hair.

    Mama took one look at her and said, "Vencie, no human ever had hair that color."

    Ever since that day, when thoughts of hair color enter my mind, I can hear Mama saying, "No human ever had hair that color," and I squelch the thought.

    August 28, 2007

    Piano Man

    Granny's House 1967

    When the movie 'Big' came out, the adult Gary wanted a giant keyboard like the one on which Tom Hanks danced in the movie. He could have danced 'King of the Road' -- much more fun than Chopsticks.

    August 24, 2007

    Sweetest One 2

    Mary in a Dotted Dress that says 'Sailor Girl'
    Click photo for a closer view.

    August 23, 2007

    Sweetest One

    "If Dad is the prettiest baby in the world and Uncle Gary was the cutest, what am I?" he asked.
    "The handsomest baby in the world; you told me when you were three that boys weren't pretty, they were handsome."
    "What about my sister?"
    "She's the Sweetest Baby in the World," I said.

    Does Benevolent sound like Birmingham?

    The Cowboy left at 5 am on the way through Dothan and Birmingham to North Alabama to pick up an engine that he may or may not need. Cur is distraught and will only leave the rug in front of the side door to go outside, coming right back in when I come in. It has rained 3 inches already and still thundering and lightning. As best I can tell from NOAA, he has missed most of the storms.

    The phone rang at 10:20. A voice said, "This is a courtesy call from the Police...Buh..."

    Blood pounded in my head and my chest tightened.

    When I finally processed what she'd said, it was this: "This is a courtesy call from the Police Benevolent Society, blahdah, blahdah, blahdah." It's a good thing for the Police BS that it was a recording.

    By 5 pm he's leaving Montgomery for Dothan. My pulse finally slowed to 80.


    Click to make cartoon large enough to read.

    August 22, 2007

    Picnic Fare, Fifties Style

    We take plastic, styrofoam filled ice chests that keep food chilled for days for granted now. Fifty years ago, picnic food could be dangerous, bacteria growing in tasty dishes that did not keep well in summer heat. Banana or pineapple sandwiches made and eaten on the spot were a safe choice. Mama usually added peanut butter with bananas and cheese to pineapple.

    My friend Burt laughed when she told about taking her new boyfriend on a family picnic. Eddie was from the north, stationed at Fort Benning. Burt, blond and pretty, had caught his eye. She was only allowed to double date with her best friend. Somehow they'd managed to convince these fellows to go along on a family picnic to Callaway Gardens.

    Burt's Mama spread the picnic fare on the table under a huge live oak. "Y'all come on now. There's bananas and pineapple for sandwiches."

    Eddie looked startled. He leaned over and said in a low voice, "Burt, I don't eat... FRUIT sandwiches."

    August 21, 2007

    Water Color

    Mama's Papa, Joe
    One of Mama's earliest memories is that somebody always had to run to the depot to get Papa's paper as soon as the morning train came through from Atlanta, eighty miles away. He died suddenly when she was 7. 'Papa's paper' was the Atlanta Constitution. It was a family tradition until we moved south in 1994. My brother still starts his morning with the Constitution.

    Miss Fortune

    My Fortune Cookie told me:
    Count your books before they hatch.
    Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

    How'd Miss Fortune know me so well? I'd feel naked without a book. When I go to Jonesboro to visit, one of the highlights is going to the Fayette County or Stockbridge Library book sale.

    My Garden Books

    August 18, 2007

    Cary Grant on Growing Old

    A yellowed clipping from Dear Abby's newspaper column, in which she published a piece called 'Meditation' as read by Cary Grant, shortened here:

    "Now Lord you've known me a long time.... You know that each day I am growing older and some day may even be very old....

    "Make me thoughtful, but not moody, helpful but not overbearing.

    ".... Keep my tongue free from the recital of endless details. Seal my lips on my aches and pains....

    "I ask for grace enough to listen to the retelling of others' afflictions.... I would like to have improved memory, but I'll settle for growing humility and an ability to capitulate when my memory clashes with the memory of others.

    "Teach me the glorious lesson that on some occasions I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably kind....

    "Please give me the ability to see good in unlikely places and talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so, Dear Lord."

    August 17, 2007


    Mama always said, "You have to COME UP with the times!" So I investigated avatars and discovered one could make a middleaged, grey haired avatar, complete with dog, tote and red shoes.
    The dress I wore to church recently looked a lot like this one.

    August 16, 2007

    Knotty Questions

    There's someone who played a little brother role in my life. I taught him to dance; he escorted me to the prom. We have a bond that is stronger than the blood that made it.

    Recently he had questions. One had to do with grammar. I know where to find answers to grammar questions. Strunk and White serves me well.

    Then he asked how to suture human skin. I didn't ask whom he'd cut. I found a video from a reliable source online and now he's happy in the knowledge of how to tie a suture knot. I suggested he practice on a boston butt -- pork, not one of them Southside yankees he's always incensed about.

    Aunt Grey and Lane

    Aunt Grey helping Baby Lane stay upright beside a huge crinum at his Granny's house nearly 70 years ago. I don't think Aunt Grey meant to be in the photo, but it's priceless. You can see the profile at far left of a proud father coaxing a smile from Baby.

    August 15, 2007

    Another Reunion

    My High School classmates have a planned a reunion. Less structured than previous meetings, we expect to have a grand old time.

    This time it's a randomly odd number rather than a decade year. It's approaching time to see old friends before it's late for some of us, not wait for a year that ends in zero. Already too late for more than I'd like to count. Time has been kinder to some of us than others. Life's been harsh to some.

    Some I've seen infrequently over the years; some who never came to any reunion have promised to be there. Maybe there'll be surprises -- happy surprises, like Sandra and Billy, for whom it was 'love at second sight' decades after high school.

    August 13, 2007

    August 12, 2007


    It's not summer unless you go to a couple of reunions. Saturday night we went to a family reunion of the best sort, where you meet cousins you never saw before and see others you've not seen in a spell. Dinner was at a restaurant, superb. Dessert was down the road, graciously provided by one of the cousins. I had caramel cake, didn't look to see what they urged on the Cowboy who doesn't need sweets. Maybe just one slice for old times sake, as close to what he remembers at his Aunt Ella's as can be provided. We looked at ancient photos, read obits and histories, and found relatives and relationships in common that surprised us all.

    Vowing to do it again, we said goodbyes and drove away. We eased down the lane to the road and saw a grey fox bound away into the weeds.

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