Thursday, August 26, 2010

Childhood Memories

I wrote this poem in the early part of this year. And you will find that it's where many of the lyrics to the song I posted a few months ago, came from. Enjoy.

Ashley and me muddin' on the Tivoli

The afternoon sun was just

beginning to burn the air.

It was the time after church,

after your Mama

has filled your belly

with a slow cooked roast, potatoes

and endless selection of vegetables

that all taste like bacon.

The time of day

when you have to move

before the sleepy threat

of a full stomach and lazy day

tells you to close your eyes.

I headed down the old dirt road,

kicking the barking dogs

from my bike tires

to meet Ashley.

Hearing the same call of adventure,

I, unsurprisingly, found her waiting,

under the towering pine

we called half way.

We hopped on our bikes,

pockets full

of our daddies’ loose change,

making a game of riding,

kickstands rattling,

through the same pot holes,

that our parents tried so desperately

to miss in their shiny cars.

The mirage in the distance

made it look like a silky ribbon

of new asphalt.

But we knew better,

as the vision was devoured

with the sharp teeth

of rocks and an unmaintained

patchwork of old cement

that made up the seemingly forgotten path.

When the road turned to dirt,

we fought like warriors on horseback

against washboards and quicksand

dismounting to push

when it got too thick to ride.

We headed to Ms. Betty’s

For candy cigarettes and airheads.

Heading back again,

we both wondered to ourselves

if that little piece of freedom

was worth the sweat of the dirt struggle.

We rode to the culvert that drained

to what we considered our domain;

The 400 yard ribbon of wild tomboy adventure

following the property line of Hendley’s place.

Hopping over branches and under washed out roots

ponytails and braids swinging

in a canopy of live oak trees

easily 20 times our age.

We stopped along the way to send

wax-bottomed leaf boats

with their skinny captains

down miniature currents

to empty into the Tivoli.

The freshwater,

sandy bottomed creek bed

turned to sticky, tar like black mud

crawling with fiddler armies

waving their weapons to deter the giant

enemy’s invasion.

Kicking caked feet 8 times their true size,

we swam over to the low-tide, oil slick bank

of the Tivoli.




knee deep in the mud

up to the edge of the marsh.

Spreading out our bodies on the cool mud,

we slithered back down

into the piercing jabs

of a multitude of passing shrimp

on parade to our neighbor’s cast net.

An unforeseen revenge for the attack

on our tender legs.

Whoo wee!

pierces the air like a strange distress signal.

Looking over to the dock,

Hendley drops the ladder,

with a silver splash, into the river.

We ride the almost still tide on its way to the sea

To our unbidden rescue,

an unsure footing of the dock

floating on the currents of the Tivoli.

Seeing the gleam in his eye,

We follow him up the ramp to the shed

slick feet,

dripping clothes,

among sniffing, tickling dogs’ noses

to a 5 gallon bucket

of fresh boiled shrimp.

Filling our now empty bellies

we lay back in the grass,

staring through the specked light of a live oak.

Sitting up, we race to the tire swing

Taking turns




Hendley’s diminishing outside bend

of the Tivoli.

Baking sun,

warm breeze,

eyes closed,

wings outstretched

catching flight.

In stiff damp clothes,

itchy, salty skin,

we kick the sand,

and pat the furry heads of the dogs,

as we head back to our bikes that we

left in a heap

at the culvert.

We pedal hard,

this time alone,

and in opposite directions,

weaving to miss the pot holes and quicksand pits,

racing against the creep

of the evening

and the bite of the mosquitoes.

We return to our air conditioned houses

overlooking the marsh flats

with our families and weekly rotes

until the call of the Tivoli

the following lazy

Sunday afternoon

beckons us to her muddy adventure

once again.

Cleaning up on the dock

We got to visit Ashley and her Hubby this summer in Missoula. We haven't changed much. We're still playing in the woods and in constant preparation of our next adventure. These days, they tend to be a bit further from the river we grew up on.

Our families now: Me, Aeneas, Justin, Patrick, Ashley, Maisie and Aaron.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Avery on his mind...

Apparently Patrick told Justin that he wanted to write a long story today. So JP sat at the computer while Patrick dictated. This is the story he wanted to tell:
Patrick and Aeneas and Avery with Christmas

Last night when Aeneas and Patrick were sleeping, they woke up in the morning. When we fly the plane, we went to Jasper to see Avery. When we got there, we saw Avery. We played upstairs for a little bit; we played all kinds of games there. We played games like monster-hide—we saw a monster and we ran around to get away from the monster. Avery’s daddy and my daddy and Aeneas’s daddy were talkin’ downstairs. But Avery and Aeneas and Patrick were having fun. Patrick said, “I like you, but you live in Georgia. I’ll see you again next Christmas.” Then Avery and Patrick and Aeneas went to bed at Jasper. In the morning, Aeneas and Patrick said good-bye to Avery. Then Patrick and Aeneas went back to Colorado.

Then a couple days, then more days, then more days, we went back to Georgia and saw Avery again. Aeneas and Patrick said hi to Avery, and Avery said hi to Aeneas and Patrick. They played upstairs some more. Then Patrick and Avery and Aeneas went to bed. In the morning, they went back to Georgia.

The End

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Anna, as with the skirt post, I thought I'd post a picture of me enjoying the beautiful necklace that you made us lucky sisters for Christmas. You are so creative!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Here is where G and Crystal live! Right in the middle of the beautiful rolling hills of the Ozarks. We hiked out to this overlook, sweating along the way of course and putting poor Bailey into heat exhaustion, but to spectacular views.

Aeneas got a kick out of Leland and how small she is. But more importantly how soft her little fuzzy head is.

We did manage to get out of the heat one day by going to the city pool. It sits on a huge park with bike trails, sports fields, tennis courts, a creek and some woods. Patrick decided he was going to swim without his water muscles for the first time and managed to do a pretty convincing dog paddle. Aeneas chewed a hole into his water muscle and floated lopsided the rest of the day.

The only unfortunate thing is that the area seems to be wearing off of them a bit faster than we originally thought it would. The Ozarks are very much like the Appalachians only smaller. Yes, we are all related to this guy.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A piece of work!

For those of you who may not have spent much time with Greenlee, then I think I have just the thing for you. Watch this video over and over half a dozen times every day for 7 days and you've just spent a week with her.

A visit to Arkansas

A few pictures from our trip to Arkansas.
Crystal, Leland and me in the wilderness of the Ozarks.

Leland, the worlds best baby...EVER. No really, she either looks like this...

...or this, all the time.

The boys pretty much striped down to their underwear as soon as we entered the house, and Greenlee back into her princess dress.

And here's Greenlee thinking she's had just about enough of the cousin love.
More to come...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Uncle Dooney in the making

Some of you may remember me posting this little video of our talented climber...

Yeah, well, now he's three. He's progressed to not even using the ladder. I guess it's time we let him up to the top bunk!

Disclaimer: No one was hurt in the making of this film.