Hello everyone, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything on the blog. Health and winter problems, health getting much better, winter in Wisconsin is up and down. No snow, but extreme cold. Wisconsin with ice, snow, rain, cold also comes the flu season, the common cold and a host of other viruses.
Even my four-legged son Mason came down with an ear infection. That may not sound serious; however, he will not let anyone touch his ears. Therefore, he has to be put to sleep to clean them out and put in medicine. Mason will be six years old on January 31. I know that is still young but this breed can have many problems. Time goes quickly and there are times I think about my life without him. He has been an Angel sent to me from “above”.
I have been laughing about the complex that I live in; it is filled to the brim with “old” people. My laughter is obliged as I am the same age of many, but… We have a central community room, which I never go too. The main lobby is another gathering place during “mail time”. I have discussed with some about the decorations; Thanksgiving décor was up the day after Halloween. Christmas décor was up before I had eaten all the Thanksgiving left over’s. Christmas night all of those decorations came down and Valentines went up! Trust me, Easter décor will appear before the Valentine chocolates are eaten.
How do I know all this…I go to the mailbox about midnight when everyone else is in bed, because of winter I walk Mason in the hallways.
I think the focus here or the main words are independent living. It is not a nursing home, but it is a facility that caters to the elderly. It makes my children happy that I am where there are many things that can make my daily life easier and they do not have to worry about me. I have a sign on my main door that reads, “Do not disturb”. I have a reputation I have been told that of a hermit. I do not want to listen to stories about age, aches and pains…I have my own.
They have “Happy Hour” on Fridays, 4 to 5 PM, you have to be there at four O’clock and you are ushered out the door at 5 O’clock. I went once, then took my bottle and went home. A one-hour Happy Hour just does not do it for me. Nevertheless, such is my life, I am happy.
I am currently working on my new book with no titles at this time; it is all printed out waiting for me to do proofing. This is not an easy job, as most of you know. Either, I hope to devote some of the winter months when I cannot get out to my painting. This book will be a work of fiction based on fact, which I have decided to do. There are a few family members living and I want to respect their privacy.
Therefore, the winter months are here. I will wane away the time on self-made projects. Sharing these moments with my readers, my followers is another great joy of mine.
Then War came to Chadwick Manor…
The State of Alabama declared that it had seceded from the United States of America on January 11, 1861. Jane was thirteen-years-old; she had learned many things like gracefulness and proper manners; Sipsee had succeeded in keeping her daughter from the Master, now she had to worry about the soldiers both Union and Southern, neither respected women. She and her mother were happy when it ended; Jane was seventeen-years-old. She would only say up to the end of her life that the greed of the white man would be his downfall. Sipsee and Jane remain in the Chickasaw village until the War ended.
It was there that Jane met Pap, he was an Indian Scout for the South, and Jane just becoming a young woman and no longer referred to as a child was smitten by him. Sipsee did not care for him as he was twenty years older than Jane was; Sipsee hoped that he would not come back; Jane felt a sadness she could not explain. Sipsee considered Jane still a child and to Jane he was some sort of God, a Warrior like her father fighting for the South.
Sipsee did not see him as a great Warrior and neither did the other people in the slave quarters; at best he was to laid-back and lazy, he went from family to family in cabins to be fed. Yet, he never contributed to the quarters, no deer, rabbit, nothing. He seems to slip in and out, as he pleased.
Pap had his own story; he had been a scout for the Southern Army, it was apparent that the South was falling, hunger, no coats or fires to keep away the cold nights. To have a fire could be deadly. He had witnessed much during the past four years, it was his job to go ahead and scout out the “Yankee” camps. There they were tents and fires to keep out the cold nights; he could smell the food being cooked or roasted over the fire and he was always hungry. He had been issued a rifle but was weary of using it to draw attention; he had no bow and arrows (only a romantic notion by the whites), his silent weapons were his knife and a hatchet. He was good at catching game but it would not be wise to make a fire inside enemy lines.
It was close to the end of the war, Pap had not returned to Chadwick since he left; he rode into Decatur, Alabama bareback on a sway back mule. His horse had been shot out from under him in a getaway on his last scouting trip; he stole the mule from a sharecropper close to the Tennessee River and rode toward Decatur. The company he scouted for was now somewhere over on the Georgia line.
Pap received no more than a glance as darkness set in; he pulled the old mule into the river holding onto the bridle, he guided the mule between the railroad and old bridge linking the North side of the river held by the Yankees and to the South side guarded by the Confederates’. When he reached the other side, he walked into a Yankee camp all eyes and guns were on him.
To be continued…
Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was intact, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised as she took her last breath, speaking softly to my father.
Grandson – Roy C. Johnson
Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter
BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM BY ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE
A great American Artist
“There are no words to describe how I feel, we have lost another great one!”
ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM AND BARNES & NOBEL.COM
FLYING WITH BROKEN WINGS
REFLECTIONS OF POETRY
SACHET OF POETRY
MY JOURNEY INTO ART
Thanks for reading and in advance thank you for your comments. EAJM
The following is an excerpt from one of my favorite short stories, Araby it was published in a James Joyce’s short story collection, Dubliners in 1914. It is widely considered to be his finest short story, and recommended reading, please enjoy. I study writers the “Master’s”, the way their “Voice” shines through, words placed perfectly. I hope you will enjoy this story as well. Have a great day.
Credit for story – https://american literature.com
North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two story’s stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbors’ in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.
The former tenant of our house, a priest, had died in the back drawing-room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. Among these I found a few paper-covered books, the pages of which were curled and damp: The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of Vidocq. I liked the last best because its leaves were yellow. The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple-tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant’s rusty bicycle-pump. He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.
When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses, where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odors arose from the ash pits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness. When we returned to the street, light from the kitchen windows had filled the areas. If my uncle was seen turning the corner, we hid in the shadow until we had seen him safely housed. Or if Manga’s sister came out on the doorstep to call her brother in to his tea, we watched her from our shadow peer up and down the street. We waited to see whether she would remain or go in and, if she remained, we left our shadow and walked up to Mangan’s steps resignedly. She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.
Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlor watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.
Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs’ cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers, who sang a come-all-you about O’Donovan Rossa, or a ballad about the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.
One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: `O love! O love!’ many times.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO EVERYONE THAT CELEBRATES THIS DAY….
This image is what “a picture is worth a thousand words” means.
I have been very busy trying to meet a deadline so I will be away for a short period of time. I promise to visit all of you soon.
The Tapestry of Life…
The individual self is an actor, life is the stage; we are masters of our emotions capable of expressing self-assurance, joy and rage.
There is a hidden self, living deep within the forest of life, one that we prefer not to show, it is only the image of strength and confidence that we truly choose to expose.
It is during the times of valleys and peaks, darkness and fear; that we wear a mask, we masquerade keeping emotions hidden in the forest of our souls, yet within sight and near.
The landscape of ourselves guides us to better places, and it is the silent strong self that transforms our outward faces.
To believe in our aspirations and make our lives worth living, to hope we cling; it is within the landscape of our strong confident selves that allows us to dream.
We perform in our world upon the stage of life where we remain perfect impressionist; yet it is only when we change the landscape of our lives we find true happiness.
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[All writing is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]
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Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
The Passing of Time
My body aches, after years of “beating it up”. I give in to the grace of gravity. I do not live these days in wonder or fear. Yet, a baby’s breath can take mine away and these troublesome times can instill fear in me for the future of this wonderful world. My spine tingles in the presence of a gentle man both young and old. I know that the passing of time is like a cool wind on a hot summer’s day, I no longer count the hours or days. The thought of a new love still makes my heart soar. It is the precious moments that I allow to linger.
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[This writing is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]
Your support of my blog and its contents are appreciated
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Bayou Gauche Death
Drawing by Anneka Reay
At dawn, Ruby Waters life light went out, in the dark her children cried; a candle glowed against the rustic rough boards of the shanty shadowing the souls left behind. Laid to rest quickly in the Louisiana heat; the moon cast a glow on her shallow grave. The children’s tears burn hot upon their dirt-streaked faces as relatives who heard the shots took them away. Drunken Gat Waters had shot his emaciated wife because she was pregnant again then yelled, “Now dat’ are two less mouths to feed”. They were swamp folk no one outside Bayou Gauche would ever know.
Text Copyright © 2016 by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Publishing Rights AsterialThoughts.100WordShortStories 2016 by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Bayou Gauche Death is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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