Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sick Day(s and days)

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday in Lewisburg with Craig’s mom and family. Unfortunately, we brought back a little bug with us and it wasn’t Max. I was sick first, then Craig’s mom, and then Craig. It was just a bug, but it knocked us out.

I used to pride myself on how seldom I got sick. I was one of those people that had the sniffles once a year, maybe. A lot of that was because my mom worked in the hospital and probably brought home little whiffs of everything that ever went around. I was proud of being healthy and proud of being tough when I was sick. Again, this comes from being the child of a nurse. You just can’t whine and moan too much when you’re raised by our lady of perpetual immunity. This last week has finally proven to me that I'm a shadow of my former self. I get sick any time someone sneezes near me and I’m sure the neighbors heard some of my nasal groans of frustration. So, we were sick. Craig even stayed home from work, which is saying a lot. I used my time to catch up on the reality shows on Bravo, which I’ve been neglecting, and Craig discovered that his Nintendo 64 does work. I assume we'll speak again sometime in March. After much needed rest and a few pieces of medicinal chocolate, we are both feeling much better.

Friday, December 18, 2009

History Lessons/Lessens

I’ve always loved hearing about family history and looking through old photos. I love to hear about other people’s families too. For me, it takes no effort to sit rapt at your Grandpa’s feet and listen to tales about the lives of people I don’t know. I wish that I knew so much more than I ever will about my own family. By the time I realized that the people who told the stories wouldn’t be around forever, they weren’t. It’s hard to get people under the age of seventy to tell you much because the memories are still so fresh for them. They haven’t taken on that myth-like haze. I think this is why our parents don’t want to share about their grandparents and great-grandparents now. They will though. I hope. I think our own parents don’t want to burden us with troubling stories or they think that some of the details are insignificant and uninteresting. They aren’t to me.

I’m a story teller and I think that I’ve prematurely entered into it. Hence, none of my stories are that good because, how much happens to a person at twenty-five? Still, the impetus is there. I’ve tried to remember everything about my life and the people that I know so that one day if there is kid like me with a wild imagination and solitary streak I can tell them everything they want to know. I think the reason that I hold on so tightly to my own history is that there aren’t many people that could tell it. I’m an only child of a single parent. My dad passed away almost ten years ago. I’ve never been very close with my aunts and uncles and haven’t seen most of them in years. Basically, “family” for me is something you can keep in your pocket, not spread around a great big holiday table, so my access to learning about my history is small. My dad’s parents are gone, so what I know about the Hendersons/Britts is all I ever will. Although, recently I found my dad’s baby book and learned that he was named after his grandfather, something I didn’t know. What I know about my mother’s family has been filtered by generations of tale-tellers. I don’t know what’s true and what’s legend, but it doesn’t matter to me.

I want to think that there is a thread that links people in families. That there are things that go recessive for generations and then pop up again in some unsuspecting child. I like the notion that the people staring back at you from old photos knew a little something about what it’s like to be you.

These are some of the things I do know about my family:

My dad’s father, Winard, is one of eleven children. Their father died when they were young. Several of them had flaming red hair. My grandfather was called Little Red. He had one brother named Jasper and another named Oberon, O.B. for short. Winard (Papaw) joined the Army at sixteen. He burned the corner off of his ID that gave his age so that he could enlist early. He had no middle name, so when he enlisted they made him Winard N. Britt for Winard “Noname” Britt.

He married my grandmother, Grace, who was also from Tallassee, AL. She lived with her sister and their mother. Their father, Thomas, died when she was young, but I don’t know what of. When she was a girl in the depression, they made slips out of flour sacks. She kept one of them and would show them to her grandchildren. Her sister ran off to Florida with a man on the back of motorcycle, or so the story goes.

My mother’s mother, Ruby Nell, was the oldest of six children and grew up fast after her father died when she was thirteen. They had owned a general store, but when he died they lost it. She helped raise her five younger brothers. Her mother had beautiful Auburn hair. Again with the motorcycle theme, she met my grandfather Bobby who had one and they married before he left for Korea. She and most of her brothers still live on the road where they grew up. Much of it was paved in my lifetime. Taylor Crossing still marks the place where the store was.

Bobby was the youngest by many years in his family. He grew up on the Alabama/Florida line in Escambia County. He was part Choctaw. He was a sheriff’s deputy and used to take me riding in Montgomery at five in the morning before everybody else got up. He liked to show me the capitol building and all of the old cemeteries. I don’t know much about his life, but I know that he told all of his grandchildren that they were his favorite and we all believed him.

I don’t know much at all about the family beyond my grandparents, although I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it was littered with motorcycles and redheads. Every man in my life other than my husband has had one. I was actually driven to school on the back of one in middle school many times with our Pekinese/Poodle mix in the saddle bag. You know what, that particular memory doesn’t need to be kept. If I think about that enough I'm pretty sure I could still feel my face burn with emabarassment.

Winard "Noname"

This is him with my dad

                                                        These are my mom's parents, Ruby and Bobby

My grandmother Grace

Grace with my Mom at my parents' wedding. This isn't that old.  My mom just lucked out that I can't find the picture I have of her as a child, although it is very sweet.
My dad

My great grandmother Amie in 1950 and me posing in the yard at 14. 

How can you say that there isn't something more than genes passed through families?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deck the Halls

I should start by saying that I don't have the eye or the talent of a photographer.  I can barely use our basic digital camera.  All of those buttons and symbols mean nothing to me.  I'm in awe of people that can do it well.  The pictures that I take are what I'll call utilitarian.  They're me saying, "Look at this, it kind of looks how it does in real life."  My grandmother would say that I'm an amatoor or that I'm immatoor, who knows. That being said, the following photos of our holiday decorations are an approximation of how cozy they look here at home. 

P.S. If you're in Memphis and want a great photographer, Annabella Brandon of Asian Bees photography is fabulous and did a lovely job for our wedding!

All of these decorations were donated by my Mom.  Thanks!

This tree skirt lasted until Max left a little yule log under the tree.

Hello Santa, are you kin to Charlie Daniels? (He has a tiny fiddle).

You have to look hard, but there are decorations in there.

Pretty Nativity set we received as a wedding gift.

Christmas China

The mantle in our bedroom.  Those Noel letters are from when my Dad was a kid.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I pulled this from facebook...

These were my impressions about marriage afte six weeks that I wrote in a facebook note.

She says….

"Do you mind if we run into Target real quick?"

She means

I hope you packed a lunch because I intend to pick up/try on/compare and contrast about $1300 dollars worth of merchandise before I buy a pack of gum.

He says

"Hey, let’s pick up the stuff in the living room."

He means

Woman, you are not a geisha. Quit leaving your tiny flip-flops in the door way. Oh yeah, and I’m onto you sliding them under the chair.

She says

"We need to buy more shampoo soon."

She means

I know we have six bottles with a fourth of their contents remaining. I already read the labels a hundred times, though. Plus, my hair still doesn’t look like the ad, so obviously it’s broken. I won’t have broken shampoo.

He says

"We don’t really have anything to fix for dinner."

He means

I’ll be having Mexican food and beer out tonight. You’re welcome to come along.

She says

"What did you do today?"

She means

Tell me everything that happened since you left the house, plus all the related gossip. If it helps, I’ll make a diagram so that we don’t lose track of any talking points.

He says

"What did you do today?"

He means

Just the highlights. Sports Center format, please.

Friday, December 11, 2009

He's Baaaack

Craig is coming home today! He's been in D.C. for week. Not a week, but a WEEK. I've been careful not to put anything on facebook about missing him or wanting him to come home because, besides the fact that no one probably cares, I didn't want some rogue facebook friend that I forgot was on there because they don't have status updates to come to my house and kill me...and my little dog too! I know how crazy this sounds, but you have to realize that when I'm not reading law school case books chock full of crimes, I like to watch SVU and City Confidential. Basically, I can imagine all the terrible things that someone might to do me and our house and I can imagine all of their relevant legal defenses. Needless to say, it's enough to keep me up at night, but the news it out now. Craig is flying in tonight!

Admittedly, I lived alone for a long time before we got married. I always lived in a single dorm room in college and I lived alone from the time I graduated until we got married, but I'm out of practice. I don't have a baseball bat or a pre-planned lighting scheme to make it look like someone is awake at night. Nope, I've happily been lulled into feeling safe.

More than safety, though, it's that I'm out of practice of being bored. I mean we're talking about two people that make each laugh for hours with fart jokes and obscure literary references. Also, Craig has seen every movie ever made and I've seen like 10, a hundred times a piece. We cannot agree on any movie facts or who was in it. For example, until I see it again (which I won't--ever), I'll be convinced that Lou Diamond Phillips was in Predator. Also, I didn't know until fairly recently that The Abominable Snowman was actually Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I guess that tells you who I thought the pivotal character was. For his part, Craig says the funniest old man things like, "What were those key chain toys, pokie pets or digi-mons or something." Or my favorite, "You know one of those things they carried Cleopatra on. It was either called a kitty or a litter." For the record, it is litter but that word association was the funniest mess I've ever heard. Oh, if only you could've heard how earnest he was about it!

Anyway, I'm glad he'll be back. The house will be back to regular operations, which means I'll have to make the bed and use the stove on occasion, OH, and stop giving Max treats for being funny.

Max misses him too.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It begins thusly...

I've found that I love writing little notes and then sending them out into the far reaches of the inter-web. Since I'm going to be an attorney (come hell or high water) I've decided to keep the privacy settings on this blog tight so that only people that I invite, or give permission to, can read it. If it weren't for that little career thing, I wouldn't mind having it open. If there is anyone that you know that might want to follow, let me know!

I'm excited to have this way to keep in touch with anyone who is interested in what's going on in mine and Craig's lives. I make absolutely no claim that any of it is actually interesting. I am a huge fan of reading people's blogs, even people that I don't know. I think it's fascinating to see people unfiltered from being outside of verbal and face-to-face communication. I'm not a great writer and I don't do much but watch tv and study, but I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring too. I'm probably going to import my notes from facebook if that turns out to be a real option that I can learn how to do, and not something that I made up just now.

To kick this off, I will share a story of an embarassing encounter that I had today. This will surprise no one. Anyway, I was at the (throat clearing noise) doctor and, being thorough, pulled out my index card of questions to ask. Specifically, I wanted to talk about Craig and I starting a family in the future. Don't you love the way a Catholic girl dances around all the juicy parts of a story? Anyway, I said, "My husband and I talked about maybe trying next year and I wanted to know the procedure." Naturally, the doctor looked at me like I was a visitor to this planet so I quickly (code: awkwardly) said, "Uh, I mean, I know the like procedure. I just meant do I need to come here and tell you about it (What!?!---shut up self). I mean, is there anything that we should do?" He kindly interupted me and said that I should call when the time comes and get a prescription for prenatal vitamins. Seriously? I really am a grown-up and I really can make it around in this world, but for a moment I was pretty sure that man was gonna tell me I probably need to get some more raisin' myself first, acting like that.

Consider this me taking an e-bow for a job well done.

Laura: Being weird since 1984.