Sunday, June 2, 2013

Such Good Roots

Today was the Scronce family reunion.  I guess it's to be expected that the numbers have dwindled over the years.   Even still, it doesn't make it any less sad and bittersweet.  The past few years the reunion has been held at the reception hall of the Methodist church where my daddy and grandmaw and fifty-eleven other relatives are buried.  But when I was growing up it was always held in the pastures behind my granddaddy's house, in the yard of the old homeplace where my daddy was born.  There were always lots and lots of people. Young and old and in between, we played softball and ran through the cow pastures and took turns drawing some of the sweetest, coldest water I've ever drank out of the old well.  The night before the reunion, my daddy and his cousin Marshall would  sit up all night drinking beer and sipping branch-water and eating and smoking boston butts in their special made portable smoker.  That was the best damn barbeque I've ever eaten in my life.  It was different then.  I never thought about who wasn't there when I was a kid.  And I surely never considered those who wouldn't be around the next year.  But today, I found myself counting the dearly departed in my head and I felt old and bruised.  Tender in my heart and thankful and proud for these clannish genes of mine.  They don't know it, all these cousins and nieces and nephews of my wonderful papa, but they're the reason I moved back home.  They're my roots, salt of the earth and dear to my heart and I am proud to be among their numbers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We call her Christine behind her back.

Two months to the day after I broke my ankle, John broke his wrist.  And the day before the wrist happened, he left his iphone in the back pocket of his jeans and I washed them.  The jeans and the iphone.  It was a catastrophe. Srsly.  Also, my ankle's still not healed.  So I'm still out of work.  And we're still broke. But, we're still together.  It's okay.  We say that a lot to one another.  "It's okay." and "It'll work out.  We'll be alright."  Which is really code for, "I don't wanna scare you, but I think we might be fuuuucked."  

Good stuff though is that I'm able to move around more, and I've been planting all the half-dead, half-price flowers I can afford and any clippings that anyone will pass on to me.  I also pressure-washed the house.  It looks brandy-new.  We have a house!!!  We love our house.  (gulp)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Keeping It Elevated


We bought a house a couple of weeks ago.  It's pretty awesome even if it was a huge hassle and everyone involved in the process acted as though this was their first time dealing with such, even though I know that it wasn't.  It was my first time buying a house and I think I knew more than the lender and the lawyer just by Googling it for 15 minutes.  It was a mess and a nightmare and I'm pretty sure I made at least one enemy for life, but I gots my gotdang house and a happier person, I could not be.  So, we've been in said house for less than two weeks.  This past Monday morning I was leaving for work and slipped down our back deck and broke my damn ankle.  Thirty-six years I've gone without breaking anything more than a major sweat and a week after I pledge my last dollar to the bank, I break a bone.  My first thought was "Goddammit!Goddammit!Goddammit!" on account of it hurt a whole freakin' lot and I came very close to puking.  The next thought was, "This house is trying to kill me."  But here's the deal:  We did a house blessing before we brought any of our stuff in.  I'm talking sage and salt and prayer and meditation and asking the Earth Mama and the little baby Jebus  to rid the house of any negative or malicious juu-juu.  And I firmly believe that it worked.  So after a couple of days of contemplation and of being waited on hand and foot by John and watching him clean and fix things and make me coffee and bowls of Cheerios and baloney and cheese sammiches, I have come to the realization that this broken foot thing, well, it might not be a negative.  Maybe, it is in fact a big positive with a few minor negatives attached.  The main positive is that it's totally making John feel like a useful, productive member of society.  He's a homeowner, and for now he's the only functioning homeowner in this home, because I can't even pee without needing to make sure he's standing outside the bathroom door in case I can't get up off the bowl. Point is, this is doing wonders for his self-esteem.  Which in turn does wonders for my disposition because I'm not having to reassure him nearly as much as he once required.  The negatives are the accumulating hospital bills and having to file for short-term disability and other financial woes that are pretty much a daily task anyway.  Oh, and the broken ankle and the possibility of having to have surgery in a couple of weeks.  But for now, for this moment, I'm good.  I get to spend lots of time in my new house with my not new paramour.  I don't have to cook or clean.  I can read and write and tweet and pester the cats and text my sisters and make an ass out of myself on FB at my own leisure.  I can work on my British accent by watching copious amounts of Masterpiece and I can work on my pectorals by swinging myself around on my walker and crutches.  Everything little thing is gonna be just fine.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'd cut your ass for a cherry-lemon Sundrop.

I'm supposed to be writing an op-ed piece for a new magazine.  I fucking volunteered my services and now I'm all at a loss.  At first it was going to be political.  Then I thought, no, I think I'd rather it be more social commentary.  Now... well hell.  Now I've got no clue.  The editor has left it completely up to me.  He wants varying opinions.  Honestly, I think I'd rather do book reviews.  Right now, John and I are reading Proof of Heaven by Dr Eban Alexander.  It's mind-blowing.  I've only read 40 or so pages of it, and John is nearly finished.  But I think I want to do an essay somewhere along the lines of faith and compassion.  And honestly, I'm better at talking the talk than I am at walking.  I tend to trip on my own feet and step on toes. 

Mostly, I can't be pinned down.  I'm a ball of nerves, what with this house buying/mortgage thing and feeling like I'm about to come unraveled.  Odd things are afoot.  I've been seeing the shadow people... those images or shadows in the corner of your vision.  It's been my experience that when I see them, it means something's about to go down.  I like to think they're my guardians.  Daddy's birthday was the 23rd, which was the same day we officially applied for the mortgage.  Then a few days later I had a conversation with a complete stranger at the gas pump and she said, "There's no shame in not knowing how to do something.  You can't be expected to know something if no one's ever taught you."  And I felt like I'd been punched in the gut because my Daddy used to say that very thing.  But it's been years since I've heard anyone else say it that way.  It's been sad and hard, but I'm trying so much to make an effort.  To do my share and not rely on someone else or procrastinate and not do anything at all.  I hate that about myself.  That I'm afraid to put myself out there, I'm afraid of rejection or "failure" so I don't even try.  But the past few months I've been trying harder to make the effort. 

Other than that, I had another bout of the malaria and slept for like 17 hrs between Saturday and this morning.  Woke up with a stiff back and a case of the horribles.  Read some.  Drank some coffee.  Ate granola and pizza.  Have managed to lose 10 pounds over the last month or so, probably because instead of eating, I'm sleeping.  Wanted to go hiking in Linville, but am trying to conserve gas.  Visited with Wendy and Double A Friday night.  Katie and Carrie came over and entertained us.  Carrie says hippopotamus and octopus now.  Also, her first whole sentence is "Give me just a lil' bit more."  I love an assertive woman.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

John ate the last piece of fudge. :-(

I bought like 20 back issues of Mother Earth News a couple months back.  I keep them in the bathroom if you must know.  Anyway, I was reading a letter to the editor and this old dude from Texas was all pissed off and uppity because Mother Earth shares apps and ipad widgety-widgets and high-tech shizz and he was like, "Us country folk don't want anything to do with your new-fangled shit and how dare you infer that your readers want to have the Internet AND grow their own dang lettuce!".  I felt really bad for him and his wife and children. 

I've been trying to visit with my Papaw and Uncle Jimmy on Sunday afternoons.  I didn't make it this week, but a couple of weeks ago I was over there and Papaw was fascinated and dazzled by my iphone.  Mostly the camera part of it.  I took pictures of each of them and then showed him. And then I showed him an old picture of he and my mamaw and my daddy and Jimmy from like 1942 that I'd downloaded onto the phone.  He thought it was plum spectacular.  We conversed about the state of the world for a while.  The cost of milk and what not and I told him when I get to be 93, I hope I'm living in a cabin by a creek, growing taters and beans. And he said, "There you go!".  I am a very lucky girl.

John and I house-hunted this weekend.  We put a bid on a house.  It may or may not be accepted.  Every time I think about it I feel light-headed and giddy and terrified.  I'm trying not to like the house as much as I do.  Because I really, really do.  And I really, really want my own house.  But if it ain't meant to be then I reckon I'll get over it.

On a different note.  I am totally in love with Brandi Carlile and her brothers.  I listen to Hard Way Home and Bend Before It Breaks every single day on grooveshark.  Then I even it out with Pixies and the Violent Femmes. 

Brandi Carlile - Hard Way Home

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's a long one, ya'll

So this is how most of my days go:  I get up at 4:30am, I get dressed and pack my lunch and I get in the car and drive to town where I purchase coffee and a breakfast sammich of some sort.  Then I drink and eat and drive and listen to a book on CD.  Last week I was listening to The Cove by Ron Rash, but it bored the ever loving shit out of me so I returned it to the library about 30 minutes before it was finished.  This week I'm listening to an Alice Hoffman book.  Anyway, I drive to Charlotte and work my ass off.   My schedule is supposed to be 9 hrs Mon-Thurs then 4 hrs on Friday.  This would rock if it ever actually worked out that way.  However, the past month or more I've been working 12 hrs Mon-Thurs and 6 hrs on Friday.  This means that I don't get home till 7pm.  Then I spend half of my weekend sleeping and the other half trying to cram in all of the things I needed to get done during the week. 

So there's that.

The holidays were pretty fucking awesome.  Thanksgiving was awesome because Angie and her gang crashed at Mama's for a few days.  We had 8 folks in the house.  It was a buttload of fun.  I'm glad I don't have any of my own, but other folk's teenagers make me laugh and laugh.  A week or so after Thanksgiving John flew back to CT to spend time with his sister and family there.  This coincided with the tragedy in Newtown.  While he was thrilled to be with his kin, he was ready to leave, because all of CT was in a state of despair.  I missed him.  But it was good for my head having to prioritize and take care of things I don't normally bother myself with.  Which leads me to 12-12-12.  I celebrated by myself.  Went outside in the dark and played my granddaddy's harmonica and stomped and contemplated.  In the 15 or so minutes that I spent outside I came to term with a lot of things.  I don't know how it all happened within that span of time, because quite frankly, I forgot all about 12-12-12 being 12-12-12.  I worked all day and drove home and took care of the cats and my household chores and showered and ate and sat down and talked to Mama and was skyping with John when it occurred to me.  So I just ran outside in my pajamas with the harmonica and I let it all out.  I had no notion of what I was going to do or think about. And other than knowing that I wanted to play music,  I hadn't prepared myself.  But these were some of my epiphanies:  I believe in God.  And not just an idea of God, but I actually believe in God.  Like, the Lord.  And I've spent way too much time being angry at Christians and being purposefully bad-ass about it and trying to be PC, and you know what, it hasn't made a damn bit of difference to anyone else.  Mainly me.  I've distanced myself from myself and I'm truly sorry for that.  I can't identify as Christian, but I can be completely comfortable praying a Christian prayer or sitting in church if I needed to.  The other kind-of epiphany I had was more of a vision. I saw the way things will be.  I saw what was true and purposeful.  How after a long day of working and surviving and tending and thriving, there will be a time for loving and laughing and being silly and being a child.  How all of these things need not be separate.  That you can't know one without the other.  That life isn't black or white or goddamn gray.  It's the color of passion.

Then Christmas.  Christmas with the all the kids and  the noise and food.  It was a blast for all of us.  We spent most of the day at Wendy's.  New years was more quiet.  John and I ate collards and beans and stew with Wendy and baby Carrie and then spent the rest of the day lounging and listening to the rain.  I was sick with a mee-graine and indigestion for a couple of days.  The weekend came.  I went treasure troving behind Papaw's house with a trowel and a ten gallon bucket and found a few shiny play-purties.  John and I went to Boone and West Jefferson yesterday.  We drank too much coffee and listened to lots of hillbilly music and didn't argue once.  Next up is monkey bread and Downton Abbey and then finding a proper house for us to buy. 

There are lots of pictures over on the Twittah.  There's a link ----> thataway.  We'll see if maybe I can't get back into the swing of blogging.

What I've been reading:  The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek and Angel Among Us by Katy Munger and back issues of Mother Earth News. What I've been watching:  Dexter, Homeland, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead.  Movies:  Lincoln and Moonrise Kingdom.

Also, if anyone knows how to get rid of stinkbugs, I'm offering up sexual favors in exchange for their complete annihilation.