Wednesday, May 19, 2010


There is a strangeness going on within my mind at this point and some of the blame lies with my illness and the medicine to treat it. However, I believe that part of ricocheting thoughts have been caused by immersing myself in three completely different types of books at the same time. For example, when I finally turned off the bedside light last night, my mind continued to think in the Southern twang of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Scenes from that book danced across my closed eyelids and revived my memories and those stories my mom had shared of her life during the Great Depression. Reading about that time and the views held by people reminded me of some snippets of stories told by my sweet mom.

When she was a young girl (in the "roaring twenties") her large family lived in a huge house that had once been grand, but at this point was in need of more repair than was possible with her Pa's meager pay as a steam shovel operator. Her mother was from the old country (Germany) and kept her large family fed and clothed with whatever money Pa shared. Gardens were cultivated for vegetables, fruit trees were harvested, and chickens were raised for eggs and meat. Nothing was wasted, but everything was shared with whomever was more in need. Hard to imagine anyone more in need than a family with eleven children, but they somehow found their way to the doorstep of the large farm house.

Every spring for many years, traveling gypsies would come to ask permission to set up their wagons and camp in the apple orchard. In the evenings my mom and her sisters would go down there and sometimes sit up in the apple tree to sing songs in German. I can see these little white-headed girls sitting on the branch, with their saggy stockings, hand-me-down clean little dresses, and sparkling eyes sweetly singing with their pure voices. Below would be the rag-tag group of dark, swarthy families and their own children who accepted this welcome by a family who didn't know they were poor. If this would even be suggested in these times, oh, my would there be protests of "DANGER" "THEY CAN'T BE TRUSTED" or "THEY DON'T LOOK LIKE US, SO MAKE THEM GO AWAY." Luckily for my mom and her sisters, their outlook was one of adventure, acceptance and friendship.

There are other stories of my mom her relationships with people who looked different than her and at some other time, in another blog, I will share them. These stories speak volumes about the time in which my mother learned to be the person she was.

When my attention shifts to another book that I am exploring, then I am taken to a Southern college and the experiences of a naive girl who has made a few life changing mistakes. Tom Wolfe is the writer and he has a very colorful way of looking at the world. His language is not for the delicate, as he using the language of today's average college "jock". He does devout an entire section to the explanation of all the ways that the f-bomb can be and will be used. I know that I have diagrammed many a sentence in my day, and this section made for some interesting thought. More thought than the people who use this word actually give it, though.

This Tom Wolfe book reminds me of how truly unprepared I was to be in college and all the experiences which took over my being. I began college as a sweet, innocent, hopeful seventeen year old and finished as a wiser, tarnished, sadder, young adult. Would I change anything that happened to me at college? Probably not, for those experiences made me who I am today. On the other hand, if I had been treated kinder, gentler and nicer by the ones who tarnished me, one can only wonder who I would now. We will never know, since that part of my past is over and I have forgiven those who were so unkind to me. Forgiven, but not forgotten.

Since I am ready to return the murder mystery series to the library, I will drop them off outside and not be tempted to pick up another string of novels. Trimming down my diverse reading selections at this point is necessary, as I have found myself thinking in Bayou French (Ya-Ya) and trying to diagram the uses of the F-bomb. While I try to keep from coughing up a lung and push the fluids the distractions of too much input is slowing my recovery. Well, maybe not entirely, but my mind is really on overload at this point, so sleep is not coming as quickly as it should.

I must get back to the YA-YA's story, so until next time.

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