Saturday, June 30, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I have been tagged by Taexalia for play the High Vibes Game started at Optimistlab.

The top five ways I raise my vibration are:

1. Listening to Abraham/Hicks cds

2. Live Music, especially at house conscerts or out door venues.

3. Reading uplifting material.

4. Travel

5. Spending time with my sweetie, our dog, and my friends.

6. (I know the game says 5 but I couldn't stop there) My work. I have found it near impossible not to feel really good when I am doing massage or bodywork. When the exchange of energy if in the flow, it is awesome.

I tag

Guilty with an Explanation Can't pick just one entry. Guess you'll have to read them all

Harp & Sword look at the Superstion Ride blogs. Be sure to start with the first one

Christine Kane go to the right side of the page and pick anything under Popular Articles or a topic in the archives that interests you and start reading

Knock Knock lots of fun. look at Feel Grrrrreeeeat

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman again lots of fun. also runs delightful contests.

You are all tagged. Have fun.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My new favorite read

Stephen has turned me on to a great blog called Harp & Sword. Its author writes passionately on subjects ranging from music and performing, Native American history and ceremony, Irish mythology, overcoming addiction, living in the Southwest, politics ( I usually just skim those posts even though I usually agree with what he says) and cooking. I think I may have gained a few pounds just perusing his archives. Right now he is writing a sequal called Superstition Ride. If you want to read it, be sure to go back through the archives and start at the beginning. Otherwise, you won't have a clue how the Germans got into the story.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Texas 1959

Two black dirt roads run in front the row of four houses. There is about twenty feet between the roads and maybe thirty feet between the southern most road and the railroad track. The two roads come together and end on the west where a farm to market road intersects Texas State Highway 24 which parallels the track. On the east end, they end at an oil top road, which crosses the track and meets the highway.

There are no trees in the yards of these houses. Any trees that grew on this blackland prairie were cut long ago to make way for cotton fields. When it is dry in the summer, the ground cracks open and I am sometimes afraid that my little brother will fall in a crack and end up in China.

The Santa Fe a line trains come by several times a day but the trains don’t stop here. We can see people in the passenger cars and sometimes they wave to us. We don’t use the roads in front of the house much. There is gravel road behind us and the garage is back there anyway. When entering the house from the back, you have to walk through the bathroom so company uses the front door just to be polite. When it rains, the black earth turns to gumbo so it is a good thing that the road behind us is gravel.

On the other side of the highway sits a Baptist church, a Methodist church, a garage and maybe a dozen houses. There are about six houses on our side of the tracks and a few others scattered around, maybe twenty-five in all. The school is about a mile and a half up the highway. A small store is about a mile and a half farther away. The cotton gin has long been abandoned. About seventy people call this microburg in the western corner of Hunt County home.

The metal swing set that our father bought us sits in the barren yard between our house and the house to the west of us. A divorced woman and her three children live there. I am pretty sure that everyone is gossiping about her. Divorce is strongly frowned upon in rural Texas in the late ‘50s but she is doing the best she can. The daughters are both older than me and mean as stink. My arm aches just thinking about how the younger one twists it behind my back when she thinks she can get away with it. The son is just out of diapers. He often wets his bed early in the morning. Not wishing to stay in wet clothes, he takes them off and goes outside. We get up and look out the kitchen window to see him lying on our slide nekkid as a jaybird. My parents decide that the swing set will be just as well situated on the east side of the house. A black woman comes to stay with the children every day since single moms have to work. The little boy is just learning to speak and is picking up the cultural vernacular of his baby sitter. It is quite amusing to hear it coming out of the mouth of a blond toddler.

My parents play 42 with the neighbors on the east side of us. They are like an extra set of grandparents. The adults slap dominoes on the table and drink iced tea while we chase lightening bugs in the front yard. The Russians launch another satellite and we all stand out in the front yard and watch it go over. There are no streetlights and no other satellites so it is easy to spot. We are in awe of the technology. I get the feeling that the adults are uneasy about it. I’m not sure why.

Kennedy runs for office and the adults are concerned because he is a Catholic. I am not sure what a Catholic is but it has something to do with telling everything you do to a priest and not being baptized. Makes no sense to me. We are eight miles out of Greenville. Every time we go to buy groceries or anything else, we pass under a sign that says, “Welcome to Greenville, the Blackest Land and the Whitest People.” I don’t even know what color Catholics are. Could they be red, yellow, black or white? Are they precious in His sight like the song we sing in Sunday school says? The only black people I have ever seen are the woman who baby sits next door and the ones who show up to work the cotton fields. They seem OK to me. The only brown people I know come once a year to do the same thing. They stay in a house that faces the gravel road behind us and for a few weeks, I have a playmate named Gloria who is the same age as me. She may be Catholic for all I know.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Those Old Cotton Fields Back Home

If there is a place on earth hotter than a Texas black land bottom cotton field in mid June, I don't want to know about it. Whoever conceived the image of hell as a place of eternal heat most likely spent time in a place like this. A sloping hill meets high walls of Johnson grass on three sides blocking any puff of a breeze. Shimmering heat waves turn the distant landscape into virtual liquid.

Foot high cotton plants poke out of the cracked earth. My brother and I are cleaning the morning glory vines from around the stalks. This sometimes requires crawling on our bellies on the hot ground. We search the sky for clouds. When we see one moving in our direction we stand still waiting for it to float overhead and block the sun for a few precious minutes. There aren't many clouds today.

Sometimes Jake will fly the crop duster over us so low that if I raised my hoe up in the air, I could whack the landing gear. I don't do it. I don't want to get anybody hurt, especially myself. His fly overs provide a distraction from the monotony of our task but he isn't flying over our way today. We can see him occasionally fly straight up and dive straight down on the other side of the hill. He must be working on the plane.

We continue going up one row and down the next, pulling vines, cursing morning glories, talking about whatever was on our minds at the time. Anything to not think about the heat and how many more rows of morning glories await us.

A small cloud drifts over head. We stand up to savor its fleeting shade. We haven't seen Jake's plane in a while. There is a spiral of black smoke drifting up from the other side of the hill. We wonder what is on fire.

11:30- lunch time. Some days we bring boiled eggs and pork'n'beans to eat in the shade provided by the '68 Impala we usually drive out here. Today we head to our grandparent's house for lunch and some time in the air conditioning before returning to the field.

Our grandmother meets us at the door. "Jake crashed the crop duster," she tells us. "I thought you might have seen it happen. He was over by Weldon's fiddlin' with the engine."

Soundtrack for this post: Stephen Stills' Tree Top Flyer.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Forty Days

We are sitting in the laundry room of a campground in Indiana. Brother and sister and brother and sister, teenagers all. We are playing cards and comparing notes regarding things such as the music being played on Chicago top 40 radio stations vs. music played on Dallas top 40 radio stations. Most of it is the same but in these pre MTV days, the kids from Chicago have never heard of ZZ Top.

The sisters are older than the brothers. She is telling unfathomable stories about cutting class on a regular basis to stay home from school and spend the day with her boyfriend. It is equally unfathomable to her when I tell her that she would never get away with that kind of behavior in a northeast Texas town of 500 souls. Everybody knows everything that everybody else does. If you skipped school a whole day and your boyfriend did so at the same time, shot guns would likely come out and there just might be a weddin’. At the very least, the girl's reputation would be ruined for life and her whole family might have to leave town.

Geezer comes walking by. “Card playing is bad business,” he says. “You are all going to come to no good end if you don’t cut that out.”

We look at each other for half a second. Is he for real or is he joking with us? We can’t control the giggling fit that overcomes us.

It is raining like stink outside and the roof develops a leak that begins to drip onto our table. We quickly gather our cards and move to a booth to resume our game. In no time, the table we left is completely wet.

Geezer walks back in. “Forty days it rained. Forty nights it rained…and rained and rained, and rained…” he says as he sits down, puts his postcards on the waterlogged table and begins to write, seemingly unaware of its condition.

We lose it.