These pages are reserved for our extended family and what we wish to make public. The Davises, Beardens and those related in some are are included. Mostly included are stories that are about incidents in their lives that either demonstrate their personalities or their character.  Authors usually are other family members who either witnessed or to whom the stories were told.  We invite the readers to correct any inaccuracies that they find.

Judith Amanda

This section contains the musings of Amanda, well worth your time to get know this amazing and talented person.

Observations On The Lake

By Judith Amanda

I would like to set the record straight. I am not a fisher person. I don't randomly fish nor have the urge. I am not the type to jump in a boat, drive off into a lake, catch a fish and exclaim, "WOO HOO! Lookie here what I caught!"

Well, that is until I started to find myself attracted to a man who fishes. Now I jump up and say, "HAW HAW HAW! That fish you caught was WEE TINY and look at my one pounder!"

He did this to me. It's all his fault. Let me explain.

Getting to know David, hearing the stories around the precinct about his fishing and those who coveted the said adventures made me realize I had to eventually 'get my feet wet" in those waters. I am up for just about anything new adventure wise as long as loosing a life or limb is not possible. So when David asked, with shy approach, if I would even consider going I said, "absolutely."

First, and very important, I will tell you of my passion for being in my studio and painting. If I am in a really cranky mood, those who know me well ask how long it's been since I have been in my studio. Twenty nine times out of thirty, they are correct. Being surrounded by the smell of oils or glue or canvas is my own personal heaven. It is my retreat. It is my second air, food, sleep and all manner of survival one needs to live. David is the same when it comes to fishing. And both of us have dated people not understanding of our passions for fishing or painting. That is a personal slice of hell.

So, I ventured out to one of the various lakes he goes to. I carefully listened and followed his fishing and boating instructions. He was surprised I was alright with going and that I kept going. The first dozen or so trips I would sit in the back of the boat and squirm and cuss and untangle lines. He would offer help but I was determined to do it myself. I caught a boat, a dock, Davids boat, a tree and eventually his hand. "I'm fine. Really. See," he says as he hold up his poor hand with a tiny trickle of blood. He remained calm, encouraging and carefully guided my actions when I was ready to throw the rod into the lake. One day he asked, "Why do you start things and think you will be perfect from the beginning? You were the same way when you started your job. No one starts out perfect. Take a breath, have fun and just keep trying. And don't apologize all the time. I have made and still make all the same mistakes you do."

After a winter of rest, we came back to the lakes. I was a little tied up inside until I remembered his words. I threw the first plastic worm of the spring out and it was darn near where I wanted it to be. Then I did it over and over and over. David said from the other end of the boat, "Where did all this good casting and fishing come from?" "I dunno," I respond. "You know what I think," he asked. "No," I said. "I think you had time to relax your mind and mentally just worked on it without being under the pressure of being out here," he said.

Wow. How does he do that?

As my fishing improved, I started looking up from my rod and reel and watching other people fishing in their boats around the lakes. And, sadly, I noticed something I don't like. And, joyfully, I looked at David and thanked the stars.

I saw men yanking at snarled lines and their young or female companions sitting and watching, head down, miserable. We heard a father yelling at his son when the young boy could not lift the fish into the boat. And then heard him yelling at his wife because she didn't know to get the net. We saw young men yelling at their dates because they hesitated to gas up the truck to pull a boat out of the water. The more I watched, the more I loathed the typical asshole out there and the more I watched, the more I could not believe my luck with David. To those witnessed events, David would say, "I don't understand how any man thinks that will work to his advantage later tonight or ever. Why would you want to intentionally piss your wife or girlfriend off?"

I watch David freeze like a hawk in those moments. He doesn't tense nor does he bow up. He sits on the front of the boat, still casting like a pro but never diverts his attentions away from what is happening. I suspect he is waiting to see where it is headed. And inevitably, like an invisible radar, the yelling man in the other boat picks up on that and changes actions. It is truly weird to behold. And there I sit. I have messed up two of his reels, caught his hand with a hook, let 4 and 5 lb bass get away, fuss and cuss at bugs and never once has he lost patience.

One late night we let the current take us by an obliging boat house while sailed our fake worms into the water. A man was hooking up his bass boat. He and David exchanged pleasantries and then the man paused looking at me. He turned to David and asked, "You gonna keep her out here all night?" I wasn't sure what he meant but David picked up on the ideology immediately. "Just until she wants to go home," he said. I looked up and jokingly said,"And that will be when I kick his butt and catch a monster bass." The man paused again, glanced to his very well situated home with all it's glowing lights and perfectly manicured lawn. Then he said, "I wish my wife would go fishing with me. Just not her thing. She is not really good at it anyway."

I felt the urge to tell him the big secret. There was too much to tell in that brief moment. Too much to explain how to alternate between what you both want to do and how to enjoy what the other does. To be clear, I am a solitary figure when it comes to my studio time and that is perfectly fine with David. But he makes sure I get in my studio and makes sure I have the time. And here this poor man was, discouraged, a hint of jealousy and a moment of looking into his past to a woman who he used to know. We said our good byes and he said his good lucks.

As Davids patience endures, so does my passion for going out to the lake with him. We have our own little world and own language and snacks and sodas and fun. Never did I once think in my life I would love a form of hunting as I do. Now with the understanding of catch and release, tricks of the trade and the sheer fun of competing with him, I find myself saying "yeah, let's go fishing this weekend." And I am smiling

Orange After Labor Day

By Judith Amanda

There is a white house on a corner with a big lawn in Montevallo famous for it's parties. Or there used to be a white house on a corner with a big lawn in Montevallo famous for it's parties. I remember that place endured lots of torture from lots of bored young adults. During those events the floors and walls would bump and groan with loud music and look similar to a kicked ant bed with young adults stumbling in and out.

Being a social mute at that time with little to no witty words, I would stand to the side gathering all the cool things I could say to people in my head. Then I would attempt to mingle only to retreat back to my corner again and sip my cheap beer someone gave me. My memory from those days is fuzzy and forgetful. Not from some over indulgence of drugs and alcohol but from the sheer input of information from new people and new classes and the attempt to adjust to a very different life from the one I had known. Although the memories are fuzzy and sometimes missing, there are a few that stick like glue and still make me laugh. This is one of those very short stories.

I remember Stan as something of an enigma. He would skulk from class to class barely looking or speaking. He walked with purpose and his head seemed to be bent toward his destination. If my memory serves he had tattoos. I cannot be certain. And a side cut that could have been a mohawk. Again, I cannot be certain. He made me think of a dragon for some reason. Afraid he would say hello because he might breath fire and burn the unintended to a crisp.

It was at one of these parties, different location same Stan, that I saw him spread those giant scaled wings and breath fire. And everyone loved him for it and wanted more. Quiet, head down Stan was almost eating a microphone and with amazing passion he was yelling his lyrics in tune. I was stunned, mesmerized and completely confused. I had an unintentional habit of taking people at face value. The way they reacted in my presence just must be the way they were. I won't tell you how many years it took to shed that bad habit. I think after that party I tried to muster the courage to say hello to Stan when I could.

Weeks later while my brain was still processing that Stan even had a voice and wasn't mute, that white house on the corner with the big lawn in Montevallo held a party. A really fun one. One of those where the couch caught on fire at least twice.

During the evenings festivities, the guests were getting warm and starting to collect on the lawn. I was standing about ten feet from the "new" Stan. As it was with most parties in those days, Montevallos finest came rolling up in two or three cars. In slow motion I watched the following events occur while I stood there in a frozen trance. A beautiful new freshman with long blondish hair leapt like a gazelle spotting a lion and as she did so she gracefully hurled her Boones Farm through the air in somersaults while saying, "I'M UNDER AGE!".

Stan, stoic as an oak, held his arm out without bending a back muscle and caught the bottle just as the police headlights shone on him like an intended spotlight on stage.

My mouth dropped open. The former gazelle turned into scrambling prey and we were suddenly alone. Me, the police and Stan. My memory thinks there might have been someone else with me. Maybe not. Forgive me if you are that person.

It was quick. He was cuffed and placed in the back of the car. Before they left I scrambled for my keys and jumped in my car to follow. My only thinking, in a time where I probably should not be trying to think, was someone has to save the dragon. Or at least post bond. Maybe I could quickly sell a kidney.

I drove up to the police station and was ushered back to a room. There were several crusty officers and one rookie. The tiny room was full. By the time I had collected my thoughts and gone inside, the officers had figured out Stan was not a danger, had lectured him and were about to turn him lose.

Now, this next part is probably something I should have skipped. But, again, I should not have been trying to think at that moment.

The officers talked to me about getting him home safely and making sure we were doing what was right. I nodded in total compliance. Then, the moment I should have probably skipped occurred. Everyone was silent. All eyes were on Stan and I could not stop my mouth. I looked at him and said, "Well, at least your dressed for the occassion."

The older officers grumbled, the rookie busted out laughing, Stan stood there, well, being Stan and me, I fought back a laughing fit.

Stan, in his wild and artistic self, decided to don his new outfit that night. Thrift store approved, it was an orange jump suit complete with inmate numbers on the left breast pocket and back.

Years later my aunt had me over for dinner. During the nights amusing conversations, my aunt announces they had a someone on their show that knew me. They run a local program on TV. Proving yet again I didn't know the depth of Stan, my aunt announced Stan was a guest on the show to read poetry. Stan. Tatted Stan. Singing Stan. Stoic Stan. Dragon Stan. Orange jump suit in a police department Stan and now poet Stan.

I think my favorite Stan was orange jump suit Stan.

Thanks Stan. That is one of my fondest memories.

This message has been Stan approved.

Waves, Of The Brain

Judith Amanda

The brain is a weird, scary, unfortunate, glorious and wonderful creature. The brain....if I saw one in the wild I would poke it with a stick to see what would happen. Then I would run for my life.

Hi. My name is Amanda. My dad is a rocket scientist and my mom had brain surgery. I am still waiting for the joke that encompasses both.

Both subjects have to do with brains, however, this one is of the tumor side.

To those of you who might not know, my mother had brain surgery. To those of you who do know...I am happy to announce something else has "clicked" into place. Just when I am convinced my mom is as well as she will be and will get no better, something improves. This particular "click" is her ability to start to organize. I came home a few days ago and her "rats nest" next to her chair was cleaned up. Now in the rats nest place are new crisp pieces of paper. Lists. Lists of all sorts. I was almost afraid if I said anything positive or negative that it would vanish like a mirage.

Lists. My mother, back in her endless energy days, was the queen of lists and organization. There was a list for everything. There was a place for everything. Period. I used to hate her lists because at some point on that list, I was going to be "en-listed" to do a whole bunch of crap. When my mom would just about cross the last thing off a list at the end of a notebook, lo and behold, there...there was another brand new 5 subject small size notebook begging to be written in.

Rats nests. I get a little nuts when things are not put away. I understand projects but in my mind if it is not being worked on, all the parts to the project get put away until you do work on it. When mom and I moved in together, I had to give in to moms "nests". I designated areas mentally for her to make nests and when a nest would pop up in a non designated space, I would clean it up.

Before moms brain surgery, these nests became more than just something she was working on. They morphed into nasty black holes of crap laying around and that crap would spread to other areas of the house. Non nest areas. I would come home to find pizza lying on the floor, trails of wadded paper, dirty clothes laying around, pistachio shells all over everything and messes that varied between not so bad to grotesque. Her excuse for the pizza laying on our new hard wood was the cats wanted it. She had a reason behind everything but the reasons and messes became more and more bizarre. She also began ignoring or putting off certain things that just cannot be put to the wayside. An example would be doctor appointments. There came a day I was sick of her excuses for not going to the doctor. Her blood pressure medication had long since expired and I finally had to force her to go to the ER for dangerously high blood pressure. We went in for high blood pressure and came out the confused owners of a brain tumor. We made a lot of soap opera jokes about it for a few days. What else does one do with that information?

Skimming by the whole process of the surgery because that is a book....

After surgery and during recovery, mom would recognize me after a little while but had no memory of us. No memory of our home together. No memory of our furniture together (that she always teased me about re-arranging during storms). No memory of our plants we planted together. No memory of our cats we fed and tripped over together. Not even our new kitten Ella. No memory even to make a list. Nothing. Our life had vanished. Most of the history of her being married, having kids, all her adventures around the country had vanished.

After long nights at the hospital I would come home briefly to do my chore rounds I was used to when she was home. I would come in and with zombie like enthusiasm I would visit all my usual clean up areas. No trail of tissue or paper towels, no rats nests, no food on the floor and no lists. I would weigh out the consequences of what I did when I made her go to the ER that day. Would it be better to have her messy and inconvenient to my ocd ways or is it better now that she is barely qualified over a vegetable?

I would go to her room and try to do a little something to prepare for when she would come home. At one point all the papers from the hospital were weighing me down and I went digging for a black hand bag she had that was big enough them all in. In that bag was a collection of small 5 subject notebooks. Usually in blue, her favorite color. I held them close. I smelled the ink and the old and new paper. I smelled for the hand that glided over them for years in an attempt to make life make sense and to finally be organized.

The one person I went to without fail in every situation of my life that could make a list to set me on the right path and guide me on what I should do next, whether I took her advice or no, was unavailable. Lost in her own nightmare.

Tonight I came home and saw freshly drawn up lists she proudly displayed on her clean table. I felt the faint dread of my "enlistment" echoed on the papers. However, that dread is a mere shiver compared to the cold I felt when she was gone. She and I have talked about the inevitable. The impending doom that no one gets out alive. But for now, although I grumble and bitch, I secretly enjoy the smell of the ink, the smell of her new small 5 subject notebooks and, yes, even the "enlistment."

Military Service

On this Memorial Day May 25, 2015 we are honoring the men and women in our family who have served in the military to preserve our freedom.  Even though most were not killed, and Memorial Day is specifically for those who were, these men put their lives on the line and deserve that recognition

We may have left out some and if you have pictures, we would like to add them to this page.

Thank You

Columbus Allen Bearden

Ernest Edward Bearden

Felix E. Bearden

Jacob Pleasant Bearden

Oscar Loron Bearden

Robert Henry Bearden

Walter Bearden

William Bearden

William Newton Bearden

Lawrence Andrew Becco

Henry Keller Byars

James Henry Byars

William Byars

Robert Caldwell

Harriett J Caldwell

Sidney Thomas Davis

Gerald Driggers

John Douglas Jackson

Sherman Stansel Machen

Gene Parker

Harriette J. Parker

John Daniel Purgason Jr.

Thomas Jefferson Riley

Joseph Suttle

James Thomas

Enoch Anderson Watkins

Pleasant Harrison Watkins

Stephen Horton Watkins

Wiley Marion Watkins

Leonil  Hayes

Leburn Lewis

Aubrey Lavies

James Lavies

Lawrence Edward Shaffield

John David Shaffield

John William Shaffield

My Beliefs

What I Believe

This article was written to make it easier for my readers to understand some of my opinions. I will add to it as questions arise from discussions.


My most fundamental beliefs are inculcated in the Nicene Creed most often said in Christian churches.

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

This is belief. That I cannot prove God I decided long ago. But then his existence cannot be disproved either. And this belief has been help in my life and it is hard not to believe.


Even though I am not a member of the party, I do subscribe to the fundamental libertarian beliefs.

1. committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; 2. that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; 3. that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; 4. that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; 5. that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; 6. that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; 7. that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; 8. and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty.


I believe in the "priesthood of all believers", that my relationship with God requires no intervening person.

The Bible

I believe the Bible is inspired by God. In it the writers have given us guidance, often very serious, as to how we should live our lives. Because the writers and translators are human we must carefully consider what we read.


I have included this here only because a reader has made incorrect assumptions about my belief. My belief can best be described as Intelligent Design. There is plenty of scientific evidence that the literal reading of the creation in Genesis cannot be accurate. Where evolution is a widely accepted theory, there are existing scientific problems with that as a theory. Since I wasn't there, as well as many who want to debate, I confess I have not studied the subject in detail.

Our Own Irma/Celestine

Maryann Purgason has been entertaining many of us with her emails for the last several years.  This column recounts some of the best that I have on record.  If any of you have some that I have missed, please email them to me and I will post them.

2/12/2010 At the Library Again

So.  It turns out that there were 18 people on our road who were having the same trouble with their ATT internet service that we were.    How do I know?  I stopped and asked the linemen at the end of the road.  When you want to know something, ask somebody who really knows and is on the scene, not some dude with a script in Pakistan..  Now our desktop works, but they had Dan disconnect the wireless setup and he's looking at Dawg Nation, so I'm here, b/c my laptop is wireless.
I'd like to thank all of you who sent all those funny, funny emails, since I can't laugh out loud here.  Don't worry, I have the library ladies e-addresses and I sent the emails to them.
We're supposed to have snow.  Must be global warming.

2/20/2010 Godzilla Died

Godzilla died.  For those who may not know, Godzilla was Dan's huge greeeeeen big mans' recliner than dominated the living room until I convinced him a year ago to build its own room.  Now, I like green; it's my favorite color, but this green was so out of style that I couldn't find anything to go with it, except to get lucky at yard sales.  Some of you may even know that Godzilla was locally famous, having been chosen for an article I wrote for the Lagrange News on Father's Day a few years back.   The really neat thing is that it was big enough for Dan and several grands to eat watermelon and old enough that they could, without recriminations.  Our puppies chewed on the handle.
We began to notice creakiness after a spring broke and could not be replaced, because they no longer make either the chair or the spring.  There was a huge recliner sale at Father's Day and Dan bought a tan microfiber suede recliner that went perfectly with the rattan porch furniture.  I had a lovely room of tans, creams, and turquoise, absolutely up to the minute style and I loved it.  Dan hated it.  Suede gave him the creeps and it wasn't big enough for him and the dogs, so, I got the new recliner and Dan dragged Godzilla out of the garage.  We kept looking.
We saw some wonderful chairs that had everything.  They rocked.  They heated.  They massaged.  They had storage.  None measured up.  We drove to other states so he could sit in them or see the swatches.  Finally, he ordered a  tan plush catnapper cloud 9 rocker recliner for delivery in six weeks.  Saturday afternoon, he got stuck in Godzilla.  It absolutely would not fold and he had to fight his way up.  The phone rang and it was the truckers with the new chair, four weeks early.  Kismet.
Now, Dan wouldn't pay extra to have the thing placed in our house, so they unloaded it onto our pickup and he drove it around to the sunroom door.  We removed Godzilla's body and commenced unloading the thing.  Now, excuse me, but I am 63 years old and a female and I can pick up my side of the recliner, but the 3 inch shipping staple in my hand was a little too much.   When I let go, the chair hit Dan in the head and we all went down in a heap and we're not even in the door yet.  We yelled at each other for awhile, which is our nature, and then stopped the bleeding.  Finally, we got it in.  It's bigger than Godzilla. Dan and the dogs took a nap.
Godzilla is back in the garage.  Should I have it bronzed?

2/26/2010 The Purgason Ballerina

No.  It wasn't me.  It was Sugar, the Bulldog, who thinks she's Hogansville's answer to Pavlova's Dying Swan.  More like Dead Duck.  She did a swan dive off the new recliner, which is higher than the old one and went splat on the laminate floor that covers the old concrete patio.  She was stunned for about half a minute, couldn't get up for trying for a minute more and then limped to me with her paw held out, whimpering.  She continued to limp for a couple of hoursbefore we could get her in to see the vet.  She's mainly bummed up, but he weighed her while we were there.  She weighs 60 pounds!  At nine months old! 

3/11/2010 No Good Deed...

So.  Let's go back to when we built the house and decided to put in the new kind of septic system that is kinder to the environment.  It was 1996 and green wasn't cool, but we did it anyway, wanting to be responsible people who make the right choices. 
You may have heard of the times (I lost count) there was ankle deep sewage in the house that had to  be pumped out.   After we replaced the carpet with laminate floors, we had a few good years there during the drought, but it happened again after the ice storm and again during the Atlanta floods last fall.  Whenever it rains, it backs up.
We got 2 inches of rain yesterday.  Closed doors didn't help, so I lit candles all over the house.  Damn if the fire alarm didn't go off.  Scared the dogs, scared us. The dogs got loose in the house and inside of 2 minutes, the boys had marked everything in the living room and Sugar had stolen a tube of who-knows-what from the bathroom trash where I had discarded outdated cosmetics.
She ran like the wind to get outside thru the doggie door, with me in pursuit and when I'd go out the people door, she'd snatch it and come inside, and when I'd go inside, she'd snatch it and go out.  With the candles out and the fire alarm off, Dan came to man the doggie door and we trapped her, getting the tube, along with one of my missing sox and five chewed paintbrushes.  I also picked up something else on my shoe, so then I had to clean the floor of that, plus the boys gifts and wash my shoes all because of that septic system. 
Now, Dan is trying to replace the carpet Sugar chewed off the sunroom step and she's helping by standing right beside him, pulling the carpet off.  He's only almost fallen twice.  SweartoGod, I'm not making this up.  No good deed goes unpunished.

3/22/2010 Rules of Laundry

Today, Murphy's Law of Laundry: Part 1: if it fits and looks great and you love it, it will shrink.  Doesn't matter how careful you are--cold water, hang it up--it's gonna shrink.  Part 2:  If you love it and it looks great but it's too big, it won't shrink.  No amount of hot water and hot dryer tumbling will make it.  Part 3:  It will, however, fade.

4/6/2010 More Laundry

Tried a getup for Sugar that came undone in the wee hours.  I was too sleepy to do much about it; so am washing bed linens AGAIN. I'm going to get something smaller, with ruffles on it for her. We'll have to go through this twice more before we can breed her.  Everyday, I want puppies less and less.
Have been plowing through half a dreadful book, about a bunch of seniors at Princeton writing their senior theses--my first mistake was listening to the critics who loved it.  To engender my interest, I skipped to the end to see what happened and still didn't care.   Decided to bail.
I hope you are thoroughly enjoying sunny skies.

4/6/2010 P.S.

After I applied for my passport, I stopped at the Troup County Rec Center to join for their Cardio room and the pool.  This morning, I realized that if it is to augment my new healthy lifestyle, I'll actually have to go and work out or swim.  Darn.

4/6/2010 Swimming

Ok, so I drove 10 or 15 minutes, peeled out of my cutsie dress designed to go over my swimsuit and stashed my keys, glasses, Rec Center card, towel and sandals in a locker and about froze myself to death getting into the pool.  The Troup County Sharks are still competing and they like the water frigid.  It certainly keeps you moving once you get past the 4th step.  It's move or die.
I did my slow laps for 20 minutes as instructed, thinking that it was hardly worth the bother to drive to Lagrange for 20 minutes.  Then I tried to get out of the pool. Forget the ladder, I had to go over to the kiddie steps and pull myself out among the little minnows and their grandad who said he had better sense than to swim laps.  He found me to be amusing.  I found him to be a jerk. 
I think it's stupid that you have to drive to a pool dressed, go into the locker room and change, then change back to go home.  It's a pool for pete's sake, why not wear a swimsuit?  But I am a Southern woman and I go by the code, though it is antiquated and I'm about to fall over.  They don't like for you to squish through the lobby, but why?  It's a pool!  Wouldn't you expect water?  We do that at the beach too.  We walk 50 yards to the sand and we wear clothes that we must peel off and then wear them back full of sand.  Maybe it's just me...but it seems like a lot of bother.
I"m not going to the Olympics, not even the Senior ones.  I'll be happy to feel better and maybe even get out of the pool on the ladder.  Someday.

4/17/2010 The right way, the wrong way, and the Purgason way

So. I packed the car Thursday night to alleviate as much last minute running around as possible and was ready to leave at 8a. m., having aimed for 9.    Agatha called a few minutes later to say that she was ready, so I said , "Let's go."  I drove over to the gas station to fill the Santa Fe in the meantime.  She arrived, spoke to her kid, Dan, and we left a few minutes before 9. She was meeting friends for a long weekend in Dahlonega and I was going to keep the dog for a quiet weekend and the kids for a week and a weekend while John met  his fiancee Claudia in Germany.
We made it to John's house in an hour and a half, from 35 minutes from ATL airport, through downtown Atlanta, to Gillsville.  This is from the farthest Southwest suburb to the farthest Northeast suburb of metro Atlanta.  Nifty trip.  No stops, no stalls, no accidents, although the traffic was heavy, on a Friday.  This is momentous.  The S*** Fairy, however, was waiting for us at John's.
Anticipating a ten hour flight to Germany, he had ridden his racing bike for 25 miles and had arrived home to find that his flight had been cancelled due to the volcano in Iceland. He was beside himself.  I don't know what Agatha said, but suddenly he burst out, "It IS a big deal.  It's a great big deal.  It's a bigger deal than y'all (he's a Southern boy)  know. We are going to get married while we are over there."  Bless their hearts, they planned 2 weddings:  the Catholic one in Garmisch for her family and the Protestant one here, for us.  Each one would have a ceremony with family. 
To be honest, I was relieved, since the only one I knew about was the one where John's family would be and none of Claudia's. We love her dearly, but it's not the same as her having her family there.  I would love to be in Germany, but hey, it's their wedding, they should have what THEY want.  The best wedding I ever went to, everybody was barefoot on the beach at sunrise, had a wedding breakfast at the beach house and partied all day.
"When is it?" I asked. 
"I don't know, " he answered,  "Some time next week. I'm just gonna show up and do what they tell me."
"Okay, I said, "We have time to regroup."
After much planning and many phone calls,  we threw our luggage into the carport, threw his in, and all piled into the car, headed  to meet a ride to ATL airport.  Agatha was in the back with the dog, who had escaped and run to the car.  She proceeded to shed all over Agatha's pretty navy blue sweater set.  We met Scott, who was headed back south, switched the luggage, hugged quickly,  and they went.
Agatha and I hadn't eaten anything so we stopped for lunch.  I would have taken her to meet her friends, but she had left her purse at John's house.  We went back.  She called and they came to the house.  In the meantime, Agatha carefully cleaned the dog hair off her sweaters, but as soon as she sat down, the dog jumped into her lap.
The the meter guy came to install the new meter for the house addition.  The TV went off; all the channels are locked; I don't know the code.  After Agatha escaped with her friends I watched one of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which I hadn't seen yet.  Just as Orlando Bloom came out of the maelstrom, healed of the wound to his heart, the phone rang.
"Mooooom?"  John had stood in line for four hours and had a flight for Rome on Monday. Claudia will ride the train from Bavaria to Rome. (Yes!) He rode the train to Doraville MARTA station and I headed out again.  I couldn't find it and couldn't speak Korean or Spanish, but finally found someone who spoke English and knew where it was.
John hadn't eaten all day.    This is the kid who I never got between and the refrigerator when he got off the bus after school, so I took him to the nearest Chili's.  He bought us a nice dinner and expressed a desire to go to Rex's baseball game.  So I took him and came home.  My stuff was still in the carport.  I'll go back on Monday.  I know if I'd had the kind of day he had, I would want to spend the weekend alone.  And I brought the dog, which he requested,  so I have 4 for the weekend.
That's about it, except for Spaghetti Junction at rush hour coming back from the train and the hole in my passenger side floor from John's braking. 

4/22/2010 A Done Deal

They did it!  John and Claudia eloped while in Germany--just went off by themselves to get married.  No family, no friends, just them.  I thought it was wonderfully romantic.  They did what they wanted.  Imagine, the bride and groom had the wedding they wanted.  What a concept!  I wish I'd run off to Germany.

5/04/2010 Sugar the Bulldog

    So.  She's loose in the house when she is supposed to be in the sunroom or the yard, but she followed Dan, who cannot resist a pretty face, and then she found one of my NEW sandals, but I chased her down before it got any teeth marks. I barred the closet door, which will keep all of the a/c in the closet, so I'll  move in there.
    We are doing our best to keep her on a diet, but she likes the boys' food best and they like hers best, so it's a huge deal to get them separated, running back and forth, capturing escapees twice a day.  Then, she won't eat unless Dan feeds her by hand and we both have to stand right beside her while she eats, "Because, " he says,  "She has separation anxiety."
      We're standing there quietly, not moving, in the kitchen when this prescient flash hits me.--" This dog is spoiled." (ya think?) The good news is that my brain still works and we exercise by chasing them around.

5/8/2010 Maryannie's Big Weekend

Time for Dan's semi-annual golf trip and I have celebrated by making a huge mess in the house.  For whatever reason, when I deep clean I make things worse for awhile.  It has something to do with the way I think, which is global, but I do have a method here: fire up, mess up, clean up.  Oh, yeah, and it's okay for me to end a sentence with a preposition, and misplace my modifiers, 'cause I'm Southern and I write like I talk.
I fired up Thursday by running errands to collect the cleaning supplies I needed and the tchotchkis I had purchased and left in the store until I needed them.  I thought that was inspired, as I have been known to lose things that I put up until later or where I will know exactly where they are. 
I messed up Friday by moving  furniture and vacuuming, dusting, and finding things like Dani's Binky.  Dani's six, but it WAS squashed between  the bed and the wall and would have only been found when the bed was moved.  I could have said it was Zane's as he's younger, but it was pink. I have found that it's much easier to be truthful about myself, as it's too much trouble to keep up with stories. Besides, the goofy way I do things makes it much more interesting. The whole process would have been quicker and easier had I simply put the furniture back in the same place, but what's the fun in that?
I'll clean up later today, like right when I press send, except that it's really already clean, just messy or rather, " in disarray".  Happy Mother's Day!

5/13/2010 Confirmation

So.  Dan takes the long walk out to the mailbox at the road every day.  I didn't go while he was on his golf trip, since I was otherwise occupied in the back bedroom rakeout.  When he got back, he collected the exciting missives.  His comment was, "We must be old."  He laid the letters next to my computer and I looked to see what he meant:
Letter #1:  The Scooter Store
Letter #2:  AARP membership renewal
Letter#3:  Insurance for final expenses  (I love that--"final expenses."  Isn't that sweet?)
I am reminded of my Mother's aunt, Lolly, who lived alone and drove in the city of St Louis until she was 100, the Big Ten -o..  One December, while in her nineties, she had a heart attack and didn't tell anybody cause she didn't want to ruin Christmas.  The following March she decided to depart for the Trans-Canada Mystery Train.
    "Oh, Lolly," I protested,  "Do you really think that's a good idea?"
    "Well," she said,  "I thought about it and I've already paid for it.  I can't get my money back.  I decided that, if I die, it's not my problem."

5/19/2010 Roses x 9 = Pain

Happy Mother's Day to me.  I planted those babies in pots, which almost killed me.  Thank goodness I didn't have to dig holes or I would still be in bed, unable to move.  Dan was most helpful.  He went to Home Depot for ten 40 pound bags of soil and left his truck so I could use the tailgate for a potting bench while he went to his mother's to sit on his bum for the afternoon.  I'm not complaining--I'd rather wrestle with 400 pounds of soil and slice myself open on thorns.
I did NOT plant his 25 strawberries, but I had helped him spread out 9 bags of soil the day before.   Intellectually, I recognized that it would have been a nice thing to plant his strawberries, but I decided to rely on the old saying,  "It's the thought that counts."

Uncle Stan

Uncle Stan Felix Bearden Stan loved to tell the story about me meeting him for the first time while sitting on the front steps of our house in North Highlands. 

"You must be Sister's new boyfriend." he laughingly recalls.

What he didn't know was how I knew.

Sister (as I always called her) seldom had boys call on her at home.  In fact, she had a unique way of terminating friendships with boys she didn't want to date.  When she came home with one she didn't like, she came via the Fountain Heights bus line.  On the walk from the bus stop to our house she had to come through a park next to Martin School which had, in addition to swings and a huge sand box, a wading pool which was at most about three feet deep.  The area was not very well lighted so it was easy for her to walk her undesirable into the pool.  After which, the prospective bow was made to walk down the rock steps in the park to 15th Avenue which was below our house.  Now in the light there was no problem.  However, in the dark you had to be very familiar with them.  The slope was not steep enough to require even steps so was made up of a series of steps interspersing ramps at an uneven spacing.  There would be three steps, a 10 foot slope, three steps, a 15 foot slope, 2 steps, a 20 foot slope, 3 steps, and a 10 foot slope ..., next to impossible to navigate in the dark except for Sister.  So the undesirable boyfriend would never make it to our house without being wet and having his dress-up cloths exhibiting evidence of at least one fall on those steps.

So when Stan showed up, dry, and with his cloths in tact, I knew he was not only new, but would be around for a while.

And he was... In addition to becoming the hero to Sister's little brother by serving in the Army during World War II and being awarded the Purple Heart. He became the favorite uncle not only to his family but countless children who visited him in his garage to have their bicycles, tricycles, and other toys repaired.  Not to mention the visits to his special door in the kitchen cabinets where he kept goodies reserved for them. 

At one of our visits, his son had a bicycle made of several frames, that required him to mount from a high wall.  He insisted in demonstrating that he could ride this contraption on a city street.  I remember that he was stopped at a red light and had to put his foot on top of a car until the light turned green.  This was just an example of Stans ingenious inventions for children and young people.  It was always a joy to visit his house to observe his solutions to normal household problems.

He was the "go-to" persons when our parents needed help.  Sons in law everywhere could do not better than following his example in their relations with their wives family.  

The world will miss Stan, one of God's foot soldiers in this world.