Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ramblings of a mad woman...

Not since the loss of my mother some 11 years ago have I felt this type of grief. My brother Brad is gone. So young, so vibrant, so vital to so many of us; his wife Paula, his children and grandson, and my family.

Unc as my children called him, has been a vital part of their lives since the day I brought Beth home from the hospital and he held her for the first time. He was a wonderful Uncle, more like a father at times. He rolled in the floor with squealing children, attended birthdays, weddings and took them on trips.

My granddaughter Dorie loved her Unc Unc and just last week baked up a batch of Christmas cookies for him. Earlier tonight we gathered for a family dinner, just the few of us that where here... Paula, Sara, Frank, me and our children and we broke out that can of cookies and ate a few for Unc Unc .

I cannot at this time fathom my life without him. Regardless of time or distance or even our little spats we were always there for each other. As I gazed upon him today all I could think of was that I needed a hug... he gave good ones, so did our dad. None of that half way, barely touching you hug. No his big ole arms would wrap around you and you knew that this person loved you and the world would fade away.

I called my little brother Boo Boo and he called me Gert. Nicknames that we carried proudly for some 40 plus years. He was named after Boo Boo Bear, Yogi Bear's faithful friend who followed him everywhere. My dad gave me my nickname and I hated it growing up, but grew into and soon learned it was a meaningful sign of love.

To say that I will miss Brad does not even touch what I am feeling. I have lost more than a little brother and a friend... farewell Boo Boo Bear I'll see you in my dreams.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Love grows where Patsy goes...

Patsy has always had this incredible way to transform the blandest space into a home; whether it was a trailer, a small 4 room house or the back yard of her present home... her touch can turn the simplest thing into a beautiful masterpiece... of course often with Dave's help.

George, the greatest cat in the world

Thursday as I drove towards Beth's house I saw a dead cat on the side of the road; slowing down and looking I was sure it was George. Named for the great state of Georgia where Dorie adopted him a little over a year ago, he was by far the greatest cat in the world, according to her. I walked into Beth's home and asked where George was and was told he was outside, she had just let him out, why?

Well I told her and off she went to find poor George and bring him back home. Before she left she explained to Dorie, who only wanted to ask why and say but George was the greatest cat in the world... I am not ashamed to say that we all were crying, Dorie, her mom, me and Grandma Betty.

When Beth left, I went and got the shovel and picked out a nice sunny spot by the Chinaberry tree near the swing set and started digging. Beth came back and we gathered round and when we through the first shovel of dirt in Dorie said wait, we needed to say a prayer. So there I stood, freezing in the wind holding a 4 year olds hand praying to God to provide George with butterflies to chase and sun to keep him warm.

As I sobbed out the words I thanked God for George cause he was a good cat and we all said amen and finished the funeral. I slowly walked back towards the house and heard a cat meowing, thinking it was the new calico kitten that Beth had gotten I looked up and saw... GEORGE on the front porch.

I hollered to Beth and told her that we just buried someone else's cat and we all took to laughing and screaming and scared poor George so much that he flew around the house like a bat out of hell! It took us a while to explain to Dorie that the neighbors cat looked just like George, I'm not sure if she was ever convinced and even her Papa asked did we dig up the grave to look.

Nope we didn't, we just counted our blessings and poor Georges too and reflected on what a good funeral we gave that other cat.

Merry Christmas ya'll, Camella

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Pressure, hmmm I meant Presents...

I'm going to blame my dark mood on the fact that I'm under the weather and was up before 6 taking a breathing treatment and now can't fall back to sleep...

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and the whole holiday experience, the lights, smells, hustle and bustle and of course the meaning, the joy of birth, the birth of Christ our lord... I like the traditions too.... those time honored and those that are sometimes newly formed. But sometimes I just like to sleep through it all and wake up in January!

My husbands family gathers each year, 4 generations strong under one roof to eat, be merry (for the most part), exchange gifts, laughter and memories. There are many traditions, some old, some new... Santa coming to visit, Strut Miss Lucy, Jimmy's creations in the kitchen and an ornament exchange between the women of the family.

This year many of us attended the local Christmas parade and that was a lot of fun... if you weren't there or listening to WDOG then you missed a most memorable performance by Beth, Becki, Phoebe and Emily as they paid tribute to Trudy and sang Blue Christmas! (After telling half the state of SC who they were.)

As I watched these young women act like the children they once were, I realized how blessed we are to have our future right before our eyes and it doesn't look half bad, that even at the risk of public ridicule these four women banded together and paid homage to their family in a most silly but loving way.

I hope I live long enough to gather at their homes for the holidays and listen to them tell the stories of Christmas pasts... what a wonderful gift that would be... no planning, no cleaning, cooking....

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rainy Days

Rain, rain go away, come again some other day... although this is a children's nursery rhyme I am sure many adults have hummed or sung this song in their head if not out loud!

Here in our little area of the south, the rains seem to come with the Fall/Winter season, so not only is it cold, its dreary.

This morning as I sit and listen to the silence around me it's peaceful and quiet; the fog has gobbled up all sounds except for the clicking of my keyboard and the little rumble that Becki and Althea make as they sleep.

This photo was taken on a dreary but happy and peaceful day... on my trip back home to Port St Joe Florida. Frank, Andy, Julie and I were at a little place looking out of the windows at St Joe Bay as we (not Andy) dined on some of the best shrimp I had ever eaten in my life.

Many people say you can't go home again, but Bon Jovi said you could so I decided to give it a shot. While I didn't get to see any old school friends, I did talk to several neighbors, discovered our old home had been torn down (yes I cried) and that some things never change... like the footpath to the beach where 30 years before I had walked across the burning sand to plunge into the peaceful waters of the bay.

I miss PSJ, and Ocala and Jasper, AL the not so little anymore town where I was born but am content to call my little spot in SC home as yes I've learned "home IS where the heart is".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Times of Your Life

In 1976 I hated our senior class song. It was by Paul Anka, who was old by our standards and used by Kodak for a tv commerical! The class before us chose We May Never Pass This Way Again by Seals and Croft... so much cooler...
after looking through boxes of old photos this week I thought back to this uncool song of my youth and of the times that have passed by and well, I can honestly say that I finally understand the lyrics of "The Times of Your Life"

Camella, Jeanne and Brad... Haines City, Fl

So thank you Paul for writing this beautiful and touching song...

Good morning, yesterday

You wake up and time has slipped away

And suddenly it's hard to find

The memories you left behind

Remember, do you remember

The laughter and the tears

The shadows of misty yesteryears

The good times and the bad you've seen

And all the others in between

Remember, do you remember

The times of your life (do you remember)

Reach back for the joy and the sorrow

Put them away in your mind

The mem'ries are time that you borrow

To spend when you get to tomorrow

Here comes the saddest part (comes the saddest part)

The seasons are passing one by one

So gather moments while you may

Collect the dreams you dream today

Remember, will you remember

The times of your life

Gather moments while you may

Collect the dreams you dream today

Remember, will you remember

The times of your life

Of your life

Of your life

Do you remember, baby

Do you remember the times of your life

Do you remember, baby

Do you remember the times of your life

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Planting seeds

As I look out the back door I ponder whether the pumpkins are growing. A few weeks back, Dorie and her Papa took to the garden and spent a few hours tilling, planting and hoeing a couple rows of pumpkins and gourds.

Dorie got dirty, I heard it took 3 washings to get the dirt out of her shoes; Frank got sweaty and they both had the time of their lives. I joined in for a brief few moments to snap a couple of photos and quietly faded into the background.

I don't know if we'll have any pumpkins or gourds this fall, that really isn't important but we'll have some special memories of a wonderful day.

Broken Seashells

Looking at this photo it's easy to see that most if not all of the shells are chipped, scarred or broken; some are just pieces but together they bring beauty to an otherwise dull background. Much like the world around us, they are different types, colors, ages and size but they seem to belong there lying upon the sand together.

Sometimes we forget that all the shells, nor people we find can be perfect, they have flaws, some hidden, some in plain sight and some we choose to ignore be it right or wrong; should we treat them any different? Are they of less importance?

This week Becki was dealt another blow, the loss of her job. While this milestone is never easy, the action of it could have been handled better. She was tossed back to sea by someone or someones who could not see her beauty nor her importance... thankfully the sea welcomed her with open arms and will nurture her until she reaches the shore once again...

She will survive just as those beautiful, broken seashells have.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Baby Teeth

Today, I found Althea's first tooth... I cannot convey the joy I felt sitting here at the computer as I felt that little hard tooth poking up through her gum. I felt a little guilt because I found it before her mom, but to tell the truth, not much... it brought back such memories of my own children and all that they accomplished; from their first teeth, crawling, starting school, graduations and moving away and it caused me to ponder all the "firsts" that Althea and Dorie have in front of them...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rose Colored Glasses

Years ago I listened to John Conlee sing this song on the jukebox and fell in love with it and the world around me. It fit me at the time, as I was young and without worry. I have seen and felt a lot of pain through out my life and as most of my friends know, I can be a bit of a pessimist (okay more than a bit)....

but holding Althea or watching Dorie dance clears my mind and my heart and I remember that the world can be good and clean and loving... I get the same sensation when I pick up a camera. I loose myself and become a different person and so does the world.

I find delight in the smallest of things; dew on a leaf, a strange colored lizard and even the most ordinary of things like the skyline of Augusta GA changes when I focus my camera.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Something Old is Something New

What a treat I had this past weekend when I helped host a Bridal Tea for the fiancee of my nephew Shawn. We are a large family and I lost count a long time ago of the countless showers, both bridal and baby that we have held for sisters, daughters, and nieces and I knew from the start I wanted to do something new and fun.

I suggested that we have a tea party and of course we girls dove head first into the world of china teacups, Irish linens, little nibbles and hats! Oh the hats. The thought of wearing one scared some of us and delighted others. Many of us spent weeks shopping; online, around town and out. Hats became the focus and everyone wanted just the right one.

I had so much fun gathering tea cups and linens from various sources it almost got out of hand. I bought some online and at the Pick of the Litter store in Barnwell but the bell of the ball was the beautiful Old Staffordshire pot and cups that my sister-in-law Tricia Black brought for us to enjoy.

Old linens came out of trunks and others were quickly snapped up from flea markets and Ebay. They joined fresh flowers, potted herbs and 40 plus guests in a beautiful ceremony that many in our country have forgotten about... afternoon tea. And the hats! Oh those wonderful hats, it was a site to see as women young, young at heart and even teenagers came up the walk in hats of all sizes, shapes and colors. I can tell you know, it looked like the Kentucky Derby at my house that day!

Many of us "girls" and our daughters and granddaughters had such a wonderful time that we have decided to make this an ongoing treat. We are going to gather together throughout the year, teacups in hand to enjoy a cup of tea, a little bite of something and celebrate everything, nothing and whatever.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Worst of Times

Many of us have friends, those guys or girls we pal around with but do we have the "worst of times" friends?

I have a girl friend I only talk to once or twice a year, I know she's there and we've had some great times together over the course of time; from highschool, failed marriages, remarriages, reunions, parties, etc. I miss her and wish I could see her more.

I have internet friends that I talk to daily, play games with some, order clothing from others and yes we share parts of our lives with each other; the family news, good and bad, the day we spent at the mall, doctors, etc. are left as little notes on each others pages, no in dept news, just smidgens.

Then I have this friend, Patsy who by fate, luck or cosmic interference happens to be my sister-in-law too boot. Patsy is a "worst of times" friend; shes there when I need her or if I don't. But I can depend upon her in a pinch. Never complaining, also with a smile on her face, even at 1 am when shes sitting beside me in the er exam room.

We've had some adventures over the course of the 30 years I've been married to her brother; we've catfished on the lake with our hubbies at 3 am, worked side by side at my parents pub and raised children together. She was there to watch Andy and the girls during family emergencies, there to lend an ear in the middle of the night when I was scared, angry, hurt or just plain lonely.

We've played many roles through the years, acting up and being bad at local auctions, truding through the woods on the trail of a good story, or looking for gold as we dug up old bulbs and plants at long abandoned home places.

When her daughter, Emily was sick, I slept in the parking lot of the hospital to be near, and she allowed me to love her and Coop like my own children, and I did just as she loved mine. I wept when she told me her dad died, I'm glad it was her on the other end of the phone.... and I know she wept when my parents went, my momma and daddy loved her as much as I do.

Yep, Patsy is a friend all the time, not just the good ones, not just the every days, or the special days, she's even there during the "worst of times".

Monday, February 16, 2009

New roads

After reading some of the great poetry written by SIL Patsy, I decided to venture back to my roots and give this a try for old times sake. Not much for punishment so I'm keeping it real and focusing on rhyming poetry and leaving the Haiku's to her!

She sits upon her Papa's Chair

She sits upon her Papa’s chair
As the cartoons boom and blare
His favorite with golden hair
A new one born, they named her Clare.

Dorie watches, not quite a stare
At the new baby lying there
Strangers now, an unmatched pair
Cousins, friends, life leads where?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Little Girl Lost

This weekend while in Bluffton, SC I witnessed an adult(?) male beating a young girl between the ages of 4 and 6. In full daylight in front of the Kroger's while at least 2 dozen people of all ages, gender and races milled about and ignored what they saw.

While many stopped and stared,they did nothing... even after I walked towards him screaming, hey, hey, stop that, I said stop it!I got some strange looks, and was amazed that even after I dialed 911 and was asking several people what the name of the shopping center was no one, not one single person came to this child's aid much less mine.I walked within 10 feet of this man while he loaded first the toddler and then the baby he carried in his arms into the van.

As he walked around it, I did too as I was describing him as I did so and his car too. I wanted to be sure that if it happened I could identify him.I never became concerned for my own welfare and regret that I followed orders and did not attempt to block his exit with my car or approach the woman who later joined him; instead I walked and half ran following him through the parking lot until he pulled out of sight.

Alas the local police did not catch him but did put out a bulletin to detain him if they caught him (he had out of state tags).I wondered why in the world we (society) even bother to teach our children what to do when approached by a stranger when we can't even protect them from their own parents!!! (Sorry, need to vent here).

This incident left a great impact on me, and I have kicked my self over and over for not doing more... I thought I'd lay it on ya'll and see what you thought and what you'd do if faced with this situation... fire away.Camella

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cut off from the real world...

Wow we have become spoiled within the last 20 -30 years. I remember well when cable was unheard of, we shared a party line on the phone and the closest I'd ever come to a computer was watching 2001 A Space Oddessy!

This past month while at Becki's I had to endure (!) faulty internet connections, no cable/no live t.v. actually and spotty cell phone service. I thought I'd been bannished to the end of the free world and would have revolted and bolted except for the fringe benifits of holding and loving Althea Clare who turned 2 weeks old this past Weds.

Yep that little baby (almost 10 pounds of her) and her big blue eyes kept me spell bound and up at night so I had little time to worry about what was going on outside that tiny apartment in Bluffton... speaking of which the kids got moved today to a much bigger and brighter 2 bedroom with 2 baths, thank you!!!

I have missed blogging, but to tell the truth I've missed Patsy's Words of Wisdom even more; I look forward to catching up. BTW thanks sister for that wonderful poem you wrote Frank for his birthday. I love ya! And thanks for listening too.

later ya'll, Camella

Monday, January 12, 2009

Althea Clare

On January 7 2009. I stood in the hallway 50 feet from my daughter who was having a c-section with her first baby. At 12 noon they wheeled her in the o.r. and at 12:15 Althea Clare joined our family. What a beautiful sound her cries were as she let us all know that she had been born.

She is a beautiful baby, with a wonderful attitude and at a mere 5 minutes old she looked up into my eyes wide awake.

Mommy and baby are home now and I am hanging around to help out, to tell you the truth the only reason I'd want to leave is that Dorie is 2 hours away waiting for her Granny to come home... ah the miles I'm going to be putting on the car....