Last weekend I decided, on a whim, to join my husband and my dad on one of their saltwater fly fishing trips to the barrier islands off of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They go on these survival camping trips to Horn Island several times a year, and when they return from their adventure it takes them days to recover from the sunburn, bug bites, chaffing, and general malnourishment and dehydration. Sounds fun, huh?
Little girls grow up way too quickly to suit us, and my niece is no exception to the rule. Recently I was honored to escort her to the makeup counter where she would be introduced to mascara applied the right way, lipstick in a shade worthy of a graduating sixth-grader, and even something to "blush" about, literally.
For generations of Columbians who have only hearsay to know what MSCW (Mississippi State College for Women, now Mississippi University for Women) used to be, Eugenia Summer has a tale of the days when Dr. B.L. Parkinson was president. I think it will amuse, perhaps amaze, you.
Deep in the heart of every writer lurks a voyeur. We are masters of schizophrenic listening. A good writer can participate in a lunch-time conversation while tuning into diners at the next table. He (or she) is an observer of human nature, body language and, most importantly, subtle inflections, the nuances of speech. There is an invisible recorder in the brain, storing away accents and tones.
Many of my friends are reading "Fifty Shades of Grey." They simply can't put it down. I suppose many of us need to escape reality, if only through the pages of a bestseller. Well, never mind that, I am going to hit reality head-on with a few "grey" matters of my own.
Doesn't it seem like men have it easier where weight loss is concerned? It doesn't seem to take any time at all for a guy to get into tip-top shape. And don't even get me started on how quickly and easily those rascals can lose fat and gain muscle. It's quite unfair.
"Why did the chicken cross the road?" giggled 8-year-old Stella, entertaining her house sisters and "Mom," Kara Copes, at Palmer Home for Children in Columbus. Her audience, gathered under the gazebo on a bright May afternoon, pretended to be stumped.
As a child, I was terrified of trains. I cried if our car stopped near a train track or crossing. Many songs have been written about the romantic sound of a distant whistle. I cannot relate to lyrics about the allure of a train whistle's screech. That sound pierces chills and panic into my body. To me, it is the soundtrack of horror movies.
Once upon a time, we visited. When I was a young mother we visited often with other mothers tending small children. Morning coffee with friends was not unusual. Then, children grew, and mothers went back to work.
Last weekend was a fun yet busy one, with Market Street Festival and Cinco de Mayo falling on the same day. I had Market Street After Dark on Friday night, Zumba In The Street with my Y peeps the following morning, then, of course, a little Market Street shopping in the Mississippi May humidity.
On Friday afternoon a week ago, as I set out to run my errands before the weekend, I decided to take the scenic route to East Columbus down Military Road and Highway 12 to Lehmberg. As I passed Wolf Road to my left, I noticed Beard's Produce that I had frequented in the past. Somehow it had slipped my mind this spring. I adore a good produce stand. There's something just so nostalgic and reminiscent of a simpler time. And so I vowed to swing back by on my way home to pick up a few things for our first summer soiree of the season.
All my bags were packed for my week at the beach, and I had finessed my essential skin creams into a clear quart ziplock bag along with my other toiletries. The dogs were on high alert as I scrambled from room to room checking things off my list. They knew something was up, and they didn't like it.
I wish I had a plot. I do not mean a plot of ground; I wish I had a plot for a novel or a play. I know for sure that I have plenty of characters, but so does a dictionary. A dictionary is not really good reading or entertainment.
Standing at the window of my gym looking out onto the beautiful sunny, breezy afternoon in downtown Columbus, I'm struck with the dreaded thought I was sure I'd eradicated from my brain: "I don't want to be here."
Why do I love things that are old? I am truly fixated on yesterday when it comes to most all things in my everyday life, whether it's the marvelous worn patina of an old mirror or the imperfection of an antique mantle with its chipped, peeling finish.
I suppose the old adage that April showers bring May flowers still holds some merit because it's been showering all over my roses in the backyard. It's not even the end of the month, and I am tickled beyond belief that my roses are spilling over with little bursts of tiny colorful buds, like little gifts waiting to be opened by sunlight and more raindrops. I couldn't be more excited.
As much as I adore my husband, he is one of those annoying people who can eat anything he wants, as much as he wants, never work out and still maintain his long, lean physique. What's even more annoying, he can not work out for months, step out the door, and run a 2- mile sprint without breaking a sweat. He even breathes out of his nose the entire time, unlike me -- open-mouthed, gasping for air and dripping with sweat even though I clock eight or more hours of exercise every week. I mean, could he not just pretend to breath hard for my benefit?
Some of my earliest memories include books. My mother read to us long before my brother and I began to read for ourselves. She loved afternoon naps. After lunch, the three of us would scramble into bed, each child with a head against her shoulder, so that we could see the pictures as she read. We all fell asleep with visions of animals and fairies and magical adventures.
The first face I saw "painted" was probably my mama's, but then there were all the others that followed, such as my junior high girl friends. Some were more talented than others with the makeup. I can still remember Chrissy's love of Billy Idol, hoop earrings and jet-black eyeliner. It was absolutely cool then, but frightening now to think of the tubes of mascara that a 13-year-old went through in a week's time.
Ahh, the beach. Where all of our weeks, or even months, of hard work go right out the window. The daily workouts and healthy eating are gone with the wind, like my sarong in the Gulf breeze. Isn't it ironic that we try so desperately to get into that teeny tiny bikini, only to slip it on and lounge lazily about drinking sugar-bomb tropical cocktails and drowning our seafood in drawn butter -- that is, if it's not fried to begin with? No wonder most of us come home from vacation busting out of the seams.