Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good / Bad

They say you can't go home again.  Actually, you can, it's just never the same....  I just got back from Tennessee where I helped my mom celebrate her 80th birthday.  It was very low-key.  In fact, I had a hard time convincing her we did Not have a big surprise lurking around the corner.  She hates surprises, she hates not being in charge, and she hates not knowing what's going on.  She also mentioned while I was there that old photos depress her.  So, in a way, it's good that I never got my project finished that I wanted to make for her birthday, which involved heavy use of old family photos. 

My first day there, even though I had been in the car all day, we immediately got in her car and drove out in the boonies to the little Mennonite store.  They have great stuff there, and even if you don't buy anything, it's fun to look around.  Good that we made the trip (as it was a beautiful fall day), bad that they had switched to winter hours and were closed.  Guess I'll to wait until another time to get some more Chili Soup Mix (not to be confused with just chili). 

We went home through "town" (a term used very generously).  It was good to see a whole little park filled with flags honoring local veterans.

It was bad to turn around and see yet another vacant building falling apart and awaiting demolition.

However, other buildings have been painted in bright colors - such a contrast. 

My mom has been in her house 35 years, and just put it on the market last week.  She is ready for less yard, less space, less headaches.  That's good that she is thinking ahead while her mind is sharp.  Bad for us, but only temporarily, since it is sad to see the For Sale sign in the yard.  The biggest thing I will miss is sitting at the kitchen table, having coffee, looking outside in the backyard.  There are lots of bird feeders and lots of birds.  Beyond that is a large field where sometimes corn grows, sometimes soybeans, and sometimes cotton. 
This was taken a few years ago, after cotton had been harvested just before my visit.  They sure don't pick cotton like they used to when I was little.  If you've never picked cotton, the cotton bolls have a hard pointy outer shell, and it pokes the heck out of your fingers when you pull the soft cotton from the inside.  (Not that I have a lot of experience doing that.  I think my sister and I picked cotton once when we were younger.  I remember picking for what seemed like a very long time, taking my bag to the scales to be weighed, and being presented with a grand total of twenty-five cents.  Bummer.)  Of course, these days it's all done by big machines, which leaves the cotton in large blocks.  How they pick it up later is beyond me. 

I still get nostalgic when I see all the cotton fields in West Tennessee.  And that's good.

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