RSS

Category Archives: Daddy

Wisconsin Weather…

womanwriterblog

So…today is Friday and it is cold outside!  Mother Nature loves to play games with the people who live in Wisconsin.  We have had it in the 70’s and must now endure the mid-40 mark.  The coat I placed far to the back of my closet is now at the front.

The first time I knew there was land beyond the “Mason Dixon Line” was in March 1956, I was about seventeen years old, just married to a boy that had “faked” his southern accent.  After a wedding so to speak, not a shotgun one but arranged by parents to keep this young boy in the south.  That story too long for one post.  The arrangement did not work, as he was an Alabama transplant living in Wisconsin with his mother and stepfather for over a decade, and had always planned to return after he vacationed in the South.

Fresh out of the military he yearned for what was called “STAN & IRENE’S”, yep…a bar.  We went to Chicago by train, switched there to a train going to Beaver Dam, I slept, exhausted from the last two-weeks of sheer horror and missing my daddy; I may as well be a kidnapped victim.  It was dark when we got on that last train.  I stared out the window into the darkness thinking, this person no longer has a southern accent and what do I know about him, nothing.  Yes, I think back see myself as a kidnap victim.

When I woke in amazement, outside was a world I had never seen.  It was truly the most beautiful landscape I had ever seen other than the white sands and warm gulf waters of Panama City, Florida.  I had on a blue short sleeve sweater and a light green “poodle” skirt with a blue scarf tied around my neck and yes…saddle shoes and white roll down socks

This post was supposed to be about today’s cold right?  Well, I have veered off track.  I stepped off the train in a place called Fox Lake; I was scared and surprised…the “GOOD BOOK” had given me the impression that Hell was hot!

I rode from the train platform into Beaver Dam freezing; even the inside of the car was cold.  When we reached the home of my then husband’s parents it was not much warmer than the outside, but at least the wind was not blowing through the two story – two flat house.  As time went by, I knew that I had been sentenced to Hell for sure; I lived with the Devil and his followers.

When I acquired the proper clothing I loved the clean fresh look of snow, to toss it in the air and something I had never done make and throw a snowball with my new twelve-year-old sister-in-law, I loved snow.

Well, it now sixty-one years later, all of the people I knew then are gone, I hope to a peaceful place.  I still have a southern accent; do not ask me why…it just stayed with me.  I can live anywhere I want too, I continue to choose Wisconsin and its four seasons.

Nevertheless, please it is the end of April and it in the forties…give this ole southern girl a break!

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Easter…for Me!

womanwriterblog

 

At the age of three and yes, I can remember back that far!  Easter meant dressing in your best clothes and going to church.  There was always an Easter egg hunt at the church, which was lucky for me, as my mother believed it was a day to worship “The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost”, not hide Easter Eggs. 

Daddy would put me into one of the two dresses I owned, both quiet plain and ugly, he brushed out my tight as coils hair and mother finished it off in a crown of corncob ringlets.  My mother and sister wore store bought dresses I wore hand-me-downs.  Armed with my one-pound lard bucket I was placed in the front seat of an old Army jeep.  We could only use it on nice days as the cloth top had been removed after the War!

In those days I did not realize that, everyone in the little Rural Grove Baptist Church was dress in their Sunday finery, and that only a few of us were labeled “share croppers” wore everyday clothes.  This did not matter when the service was over, all of the colorful eggs were found, Easter dinner of ham, and the trimmings were waiting at home. 

Daddy who refused to go to church would be waiting on the front porch of our tiny clapboard house, picking his banjo with a few of his farm hounds howling.  Even Soap sticks, our old mule brayed along with the dogs.  When my mother drove up the road, a silence fell across the land.  Relatives came from near and far for that Sunday feast, which she hated.

thOUE5SYF0.jpg

By the age of six my mother made certain that I knew that there was “no” Easter Bunny, she may have been tired of me all year long refusing to eat the rabbits that my daddy killed on a regular basis as part of our food source.  I understood by the age of six that the only eggs boiled would go into the potato salad; coloring eggs was a waste of money, to hide them was a waste of time.  She no longer allowed me to hunt for the eggs at church.  By now, I knew why my daddy would never attend church, my sister left home and that left just mother and me. 

By the age of twelve, we had moved from the farm into the city, I was old enough to dress myself and I walked to church alone, for some reason my mother always stayed home with my daddy.  In her later years she returned to the church. 

The Easter Sunday that I turned thirteen, many of us were put into busses and cars to be taken to the backwaters of the Tennessee River to be baptized.  My mother never asks why my clothes were still wet and my hair hung down my back weighing a ton.  Daddy looked at me saying, “Well little girl they got you too”, the subject never came up again as relatives were piling into the front door greeted by the aroma of that big ham waiting for them.

By the age of sixteen, I was teaching Sunday school to an excited group of six-year-olds, I did this for ten years, through the years.  By the age of twenty-six, I was still teaching Sunday school; by this time, I was taking with me my three little girls, their daddy stayed at home.  Now, everyone is gone, my family from my childhood, the husband, and I have lost two of my five children. 

If for no other reason, I have to believe that Jesus existed and rose from the dead to enter his father’s Kingdom in Heaven, for if it is not so that would mean I will never see my family again.  So, with my time getting closer I celebrate that day and to grasp the idea that there is a Heaven and a Easter Bunny; in my mind’s eye a little curly headed child of a sharecropper is skipping on the green grass at the Rural Grove Baptist Church in Alabama hunting for eggs.  Sorry… I have to go; I see another colored egg in the tall grass by the Oak tree!

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Harnessed a few old thoughts today…

womanwriterblog

My mother never had but one child and it was not “me”!  My mother never had but one grandchild, it was not among my own five children.  My mother never had but four great-grandchildren, my two are not among that accounting.  My mother had many great-great-grandchildren I have none to be in that accounting!

While working on my current writing project “Flying with Broken Wings”, I stop to write down a thought that would be in relation to my own autobiography that now comprises of many scraps of paper, some full sheets, including the back of many coffee house and diner placemats.  My “someday” autobiography.

The thought was to write a book about estrangement among family members.  This relates directly to my beginning paragraph.  After Google delivered its list to me, I realized that there is a slight possibility that every family in this world had problems with getting along with each other.  There are dozens of estrangement books, so my starting one is not necessary.   My home library beside many books on fiction and non-fiction consists of dozens of self-help books from emotional to the deranged brain; I have nothing on the family that hates.

 I quickly went to Amazon and ordered one that I thought interesting.  When it arrives, I will read and store with the other books on “real life issues”.  I love to read, and I see my family and myself in these books.  I do not need to learn how to confront family; ninety-nine- percent of them are dead; the other one-percent is dead to me!  These percentages consist of my birth family, mother, father, siblings, and nieces, etcetera.   

In general, I have read articles about family estrangement, mothers, fathers, siblings and the cold war of ending communication.   It is not about who got the spotlight in the family, to me it is about how one selfish act of my own mother changed the dynamics of my entire family.  There are many books and articles about this subject, but I found there are few statistics on the subject of family estrangement. 

If I had to make a statement about why family members cease to speak to each other, I would say one reason is intolerance.  Family members are unwilling to be their real selves and share their real feelings.  Living in a family with estrangements is extremely painful and can be debilitating.  I usually say, these people wear “rose colored glasses”.

Is healing possible, maybe, but my own healing is impossible due to death or stubbornness of these people.   Therefore, I believe that healing starts within, willingness or unwillingness of communication lies with the parting family member.  I chose the path of healing myself, making peace with myself, knowing that I have tried more times than anyone to reach out to family members.  They return to the “circle” of family only to push those who tried to love them away.  I find them to be hypocrites and unworthy of my love.  I have peace of mind, I will be okay, and the scars will heal.  The secret is time.  I call it the “Seven Decade War”! 

Have a great weekend.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sundays at our house…

womanwriterblog

Sundays at our house…

Sunday was the only day of the week that my mother was home, she and my sister Billie (before she got married at fourteen) would dress up in their fancy store bought clothes for church.   I never understood the importance of dressing up when I was a child; I thought I looked fine in a shirt, jeans or even overalls.  I admit that my mother had a hard time trying to make look like a little lady; I just did not have it in me.  I had a dress or two, but I just soon go naked than wear one.

Daddy never went to church.  She would try to make him go on Easter, his answer “That would make me a hypocrite since I don’t go any time the rest of the year.  To this day, I believe he is right.  I never saw my daddy smile much, but he did every Sunday when my mother made me go to church.  I knew she would soon be dreading her choice in making me go to church with them; she knew that I would be “singing loud and tapping my feet” while the rest of the people as she would say, knew how to sing softly. 

Mother insist that I attend that little old Southern Baptist church called Rural Grove on top of Burleson Mountain, she thought that I would get a religious foundation.  I never thought much could come from watching the preacher beat the pulpit, raise his fist in the air while blaring out his stories of “hell and damnation”.  You could see calmness in some, in others you saw fear, as they still smelled of the Moonshine they drained from jugs.  I was never afraid, my daddy always said that if I was kind to people believed in doing good, we would know someday, I would be fine.  I believed in the way of my Native American Heritage, I was part Chickasaw. 

untitled

So, I sang as loud as my spirit wanted  while they sang soft, accept old lady Ragsdale, many times I thought if the roof was not nailed down it would bounce up and down; I think I did hear the bell clang once.  I danced barefoot in-between the hand hewed benches every once in awhile, and it did not bother me when I would hear the congregation call me a heathen child.  I could hear my mother after church apologize for my actions.  Heck, I always thought God and me had a good time on Sundays and I never believed in “hell and damnation”; my daddy always said how could there be a hell we are living in it here on earth.  I still believe that!

Buddhist Temples, Mosque, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Protestant, Mormon, all Temples…I know that I have left many out in this writing and I apologize; wherever anyone goes to worship their  personal God and pray is a good place.

Nonetheless, I knew everyone in our little church and I felt that many of them displayed their goodness in that little church…but left it there when the service was over, including my mother.  As for me, I have not changed much through the years I see my God in everything.  I am far from perfect, and I am not afraid to admit it, every day I am alive is a good day and every day is a good day to die, so I was taught.

Believe me when I say, I loved that little church and the singing and I loved my mother!

 

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Authors Books on Line:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+johnson-murphree&sitesearch_type=STORE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: