Sunday, July 26, 2009

Y'all dunn asked fer it now!

There I was again at the Nashville Flea Market over the weekend. Can you believe it? I can't get enough of this place.

Mom and Dad met me there, accompanied by friends. They with their close friends Janet and Eddie, and I with my gal pals Libby and Lauren. We went down for the day. And what a day it was!

Lauren and I picked Libby up in Elizabethtown and got to the Flea Market around 9:30. We found a nice little parking spot and met up with my parents. Of course, we had to go see Steele first (see the entry titled "Good Stuff Displayed Bad"). It's a good thing we did. I thought Lauren was going to buy him out right then and there. She found herself an antique vacuum cleaner base painted turquoise (which she will use for her outdoor fountain), an iron coffee table with hotel flooring for its tabletop, a turqouise metal scroll for the wall, a brass lamp, and she was given a cross made of iron pipes. Yard art!

I personally found my dream decor, which I suspect will end up being my husband's worst nightmare: Three already-wired lamps made from vintage tin pails. Two were once used to hold lard (I have a feeling he will have an issue with the word "lard" on a functional piece in our living room), and one that used to hold peanuts. I asked Lauren if they were kitschy, to which she replied, "No. They would be kitschy if they were fake. These are dirty and real." Touche.

One of the most treasured memories I have of the Nashville Flea Market (albeit my memories only date back to last November) are that of the little hut that sells fresh roasted, hot-buttered corn in a husk. There, you can nibble away on something relatively healthy- I mean, it IS a vegetable- and you can also refresh your thirst with a nice cup of ORANGEADE. I know, why didn't I think of this? Someone actually said to me, "Isn't that just... orange juice?" Oh, but it's not. It's made the same way lemonade is. With sugar and water. It's divine. I had soon added two fans to the Orangeade Fan Club and it was only about one hour after the first cup that Libby offered to go back and get herself and Lauren seconds. So away she went.

Now, I am about to tell you what happened to my mother, Lauren and myself while Libby was off refilling her newfound obsession. This is not, in any way, an exaggeration (ask them for their version- I can assure you it will be the same). You will almost not believe what happened next. The three of us took off on foot, down a 45-degree angle hill to retrieve our vehicles and drive them back up the road to load our new treasures. You must have a pass to do this (which we did) and there is little to no traffic here for that reason. But alas, there we were hugging the curb of the road, walking to our cars. Let me paint the picture- we were on a paved road that was wide enough to fit three cars across. Plenty of room.

So as we are walking, I hear the loud beep of a car horn. Naturally, your first instinct is to think that you are in their way out of your own stupidity, or that you are in their way because of theirs and either way you might want to move. Well, when I turned to see that this car was riding down the middle of the road and was loaded with 4 heavy, middle-aged women holding small children in their laps it occurred to me they were just being obnoxious by honking at us innocent curb-huggers. It made me mad. And I'm a big fan of fairness, so I simply uttered, "What are you honking at?" No surprise- all four windows were down, but to my surprise, the driver was an angry mid-life-crisis road rager who must have had a target on our three little skirts (we did look cute, as Lauren pointed out and derived she must have been jealous). But here we are thinking I would have just uttered something to tick them off as they drove away. But no.

This crazy loon slams on her brakes- on the 45-degree hill- and proceeds to give everyone in the car whiplash while doing it. The two kids are thrown into the backs of the front seats and the car comes to a screeching halt. As the car stops, we hear these words from the lost soul of a woman in the front seat: "Y'all dunn asked fer it now!" I look at Mom and Mom looks at me and Lauren is already trucking it. It turns out Lauren was deathly (rightfully so) afraid of this woman using her vehicle as a weapon. But at this point, the redneck driver was flinging her own seatbelt off of her (never mind the kids- just save yourself) and GETTING OUT OF THE CAR! Mom and I are thinking "What exactly did we ask for?" And I'm mumbling to Mom, "Do you have your pistol?"

Meanwhile, we make it a good ways down the hill before we turn back to see this nutjob standing in the middle of our nice, wide road, in a middle linebacker position. She has her hands cupped around her mouth and her feet are nicely planted in a rather manly-looking plie position. And she's yelling, "I was TRYIN' to tell y'all to GIT out of the RO-AD!!!" At this point, there was nothing we could do but... laugh. And laugh we did. We laughed all the way to the shady spot under a tree where we determined the deadly vehicle would have plenty of things to run into before it ran into us. It took a good minute and a half for us to regain our composure and walk the rest of the way to the car. Only then, did we see the weighed-down nissan make its way out of the grassy parking area and disappear on the other side the guard shack. We're pretty sure they sat there for a minute plotting our deaths. But we didn't care.

We were living on the edge of our curb. And whatever we "asked for" was worth every redneck second.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

RC Cola and a MoonWalk

Life hasn't written much lately, or at least it hasn't given me much time to. Okay, so maybe I'm not officially a "writer," but I feel a little like a negligent mother- I haven't typed out my take-them-or-leave-them thoughts in nearly three weeks.

In that time, you would think life would have given me a little material. After all, I have since visited my parents' farm TWICE, finalized a much-cherished and much-needed trip to Italy to reunite with Justin and family (part of the time), and Lord Jesus, help us all.... Michael Jackson died.

I spent the first trip to The Farm cherishing my time with my dad, his mother ("Ma"), my sweet Granny and the rest of the family that makes me the only little gully-gully-gull- or spending time being "Lucy" as my mother refers to me. We had a low-key weekend then. That Sunday we had the local schmocals over for "Cowboy Church" a tradition that is anything but traditional... or is it? How, once, did a congregation really meet? Would they not have been surrounded by God's beautiful bounty? It doesn't get much more beautiful than Clay County, Alabama.... God's Country. Dad gave a memorable sermon and pointed out the land we were given (not by my parents, but by our FATHER), appropriately, on Father's Day. Spending time in that part of the world turns me into a different person. Not because I wasn't myself before I got there, but because it teaches me to act like the person I really want to become.... Simple, back to the roots, back to the earth. And whole.

On my second trip to The Farm, I was accompanied by friends Jessica and Michelle. We booked our Southwest flights (Louisville-Birmingham) at the last minute and I convinced them that it would be a relaxing 4th of July weekend. We arrived around 3 pm last Friday and headed straight to Flat Rock (or the Redneck Riviera, as we affectionately call it), a large stretch of limestone that slopes off into Lake Wedowee and is rumored to be the same rock that makes up Stone Mountain. There, you can sunbathe and wade in the bathwater-like lake. We drank white sangria and read books, the three of us basking in the glow of nothingness and lack of responsibilites until our cell phones got service again. It was sheer peace. As a matter of fact, we hardly talked at all. We enjoyed home cooking at the tiny cabin my father built with his own hands, and slept on air mattresses on the screened in porch. Heaven, I tell you.

Justin and I planned a trip to Italy in September and October. In Rome we will do like the Romans. In Tuscany we will do as we please. I am overjoyed. For the first week our families will join us. Our plane tickets are purchased, our hotels are booked. And there is a villa waiting for us in Cortona (where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed). We will see Rome, Florence, Siena and Cortona with our parents and brothers. We will see Cinque Terre by ourselves- a welcomed respite from the worldly obstacles that have kept us apart. Justin and I will be together in Italy for fifteen days. I count my blessings all the time. I am the happiest woman in the world.

In other news, the King of Pop is gone. I was a fan, but not a FAN. I admit he was talented- he had his hey day. But it was over long ago. Gone were the days of his smooth dark skin accompanied by his smooth moves. Gone was the well-written music inspired by 80s-era, over-the-top flamboyancy. Gone were the early nineties when his looks had changed but his music hadn't. Gone. Why are we just mourning him now? He was gone a long time ago.

I think the hardest part of watching this fanfare over his death has been that we put all this stock into celebrity and image. We lift these people up and create idols out of them. We worship them, pine for them, long to meet them, and try to emulate them as much as possible. And for what? I beg you- I urge you- to prioritize your admirations.

I was saddened to hear of the deaths of a number of US Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan the week MJ died. Was there fanfare over that? A televised funeral? I think not. And I don't expect there to be. I do, however, expect that we begin to look up to, respect, love, and admire the men and women who keep free the nation that produced the icons like Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon (who by the way, was a decorated Marine- you don't hear that in the news now do you?).

We have forgotten those who gave their lives for our freedom, but we will never forget how to moonwalk.

If heroes were actually regarded as heroes... we'd attend welcome-home cermonies like we do concerts and fan letters would be sent to the ones who really deserve it.

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