Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
My family comes from Winfield, a small town in northwestern Alabama. Everytime I visit, I'm always amazed at all the photo opportunities I encounter...like this one. Me: "Mom, what is this??" Mom: Well, it's winter, and she was cold!" I might add that mama knitted these things.
This is her cat, Moses. He can usually be found sleeping on the front porch. Every now and then, he poses for me.
Photographs of me as a child used to be on this shelf, until my mama met Alabama author, Rick Bragg. I've now been replaced by the photos I took at this monumental event. What a fickle mother!
This is land which has been in our family for many years. My uncle now owns it.
My grandparents lived in this old house. The homeplace has been boarded up for many years. I'm not sure why this seems to happen so often in the South....lots of abandoned old homes, that used to be full of life.
Here's the house, looking at it from behind the pond across the road. It's hard to believe that my grandparents raised ten children in so little space. They were poor farmers, who scratched a living out of the dirt. Their oldest son, Glen, was killed in a school bus accident when he was in first grade. Times were hard...I've heard stories all my life of hard work, death, sadness, but I know there must have been happy times, as well.
Here's mama with her brother. They both still walk the land almost every evening.
Please let me have a complexion like this when I'm eighty years old!
Here's mom, along with three of my aunts. I have two more aunts, one who lives in Livingston and one in Birmingham. I still think of them all as high school girls, running around with crinolines making swishing sounds under their full skirts, wearing bobbie socks and saddle oxfords. They painted their lips with bright red lipstick that came in tiny white Avon tubes, and sprayed their hair until it wouldn't move. A splash of "Tabu" or "Ambush," and they were out the door on a Saturday night date. It's funny, the things one remembers. I couldn't have been more than six or seven years old when I observed that ritual.
The road back to mom's house is always well lit, if only by a beautiful sunset or a full moon. It's good to know I'll always be guided back home.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
While visiting my family in Alabama recently, I took a day trip to Columbus, Mississippi. Only an hour away, the countryside was beautiful and peaceful, even in the wintertime.
Not knowing very much about Columbus, I did a little research and found that it has the second largest collection of Antebellum homes (after Natchez) in the state. The town sits above the Tombigbee River, and many of these homes have cupolas with views of both the town and the river. The homes also have names, and they are displayed on front yard signs. I fell in love with Riverview (conveniently for sale).I could hardly stand it when I found out that it's being sold fully furnished, with the original furnishings!
Two greyhound statues grace the front sidewalk.
Front porches and rocking chairs are the norm in this town. Iced tea, anyone?
Columbus is also the birthplace of playwright Tennessee Williams. The original house was moved downtown, and now serves as the town's Welcome Center. I wonder what Tennessee would've thought of that!
Downtown is very clean and brightly painted.
Even the industrial areas were nice and neat!
Columbus is also the home of the Mississippi University of Women.
I'm ready to go back and spend more time in Columbus...maybe in the spring or early summer. I'm sure it'll be gorgeous when it's in full bloom.