Monday, June 28, 2010

Have You Seen This Plate? OR .......................The Dog We Left Behind

This darling dog was the resident canine companion of Clock Creek Cabin where we stayed during the weekend of May 22 for cousin Rebecca's wedding. He adorned the wall of the bathroom, and we so wanted to take him home with us. The owner of Lairdland Farms and this charming, restored log cabin says he is not ready to part with the pup. Alas, I will just have to book another stay to see those beautiful, begging eyes again. Meanwhile, I am looking for this plate. There was no information on the back, other than the fact that is was designed with a notch so as to hang it on the wall. I will say that it seemed to be somewhat old.
Of course, there were many other wonderful features at the cabin.

Just out of sight is a much needed step stool to climb into this comfy bed.

Gorgeous old pine floors and period furniture made for an authentic restoration of the cabin. I enjoyed reading historic books all about the town of Pulaski in Giles County, Tennessee, where I spent many of my childhood summers. On a nearby 600 acre farm, I passed many a day cavorting with beloved cousins Larry, Gary, and Melody. We swam in ponds like the one near this cabin, rode tractors, got lost in cornfields, looked for crayfish and swam some more in Buchanan Creek, and climbed high up into the hills and pastures where we all had to take turns being Davy Crockett on a given day!

The upstairs loft featured these twins bed across from another queen sized bed, making plenty of room for our son and his family to join us.

The cabin was set near a meadow and a cold water spring.
Just plain peaceful. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

If you look across the meadow, you can just see the top of the spring fed pond. In the early evening this was the stage for a most spectacular lightning bug display. Well, that is what we call them in the Deep South, but I also love "fireflies." One look at the glowing dancers over the tops of these grasses, and the existence of the fairy folk seems a certainty.

A place for meditation be you a mortal or a spirit...

A view from the hillside...

The side porch where we sat and watched the lightning bug ball.

Goodbye, Clock Creek. We will be back again, Mr. Blackburn.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Who's Your Daddy?

Yes, yes, I know last Sunday was Father's Day! I was busy celebrating, plus I had house guests here to help me. Good grief, these dads are a so much trouble. No wonder they did not get a holiday until 1972! And beside that, I have so few sepia photos, I save them for Sepia Saturday posts. So, here we have my father John Daniel Patterson. This is his high school senior portrait from 1929. His first job was working for Tennessee Coal & Iron aka TCI as a miner. On the back of this photo, written in his own hand "Mr. John Patterson, Edgewater Mining Camp." I think he must have been proud of becoming a working man. He was working for college money and soon made his way to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. There is a better version of this portrait, but this 4" x 6" is special to me because it features his handwriting. (The mark on his left cheek is a stain on the photo.) My father had thick, auburn hair. I was his fourth and last child, and the only one with the same color hair as his. I can remember my Grandmother Patterson telling me that every time I visited her as she would pat my head and comb her fingers through my hair.

This is a postcard addressed to my mother when she was a young and single working woman in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. There is no message, only the address "Miss Nina Cox, and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi" written in pencil and a one cent cancelled stamp. (I can't quite make out the date, but my best guess is maybe 1933 or '34.) When I would shuffle through the photo box and come across this handsome fellow and ask, "Who is this man, Mom?" A big knowing smile would appear on her face. With a sweet, little chuckle she replied, " That was almost your daddy!" I think his name was Hollis Lloyd or maybe it was Lloyd Hollis. I am not sure now, but I am certain he was not my father.
Click here for more Sepia Saturday Posts!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let It Be, Birthday Boy!

Today is Sir Paul's birthday, born in 1942. Thank goodness for Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac to keep me up to date on the Fab 4! Have I ever told you, dear readers, that I had the great good fortune to see the Beatles three times? Also, I did get to see Sir Paul at Phillips Arena in Atlanta about five years ago. Hum, I will have to check that date.

Look into these eyes...Is it any wonder so many were in love with Paul? And the spell of his music is still evident all around us. Last month I attended the wedding of a cousin in Tennessee. Her father, Gary, would have been just a little older than I am. He and I were great pals during the sixties and were great Beatles fans. He died in 1998 when his baby girl, the bride, was in the fifth grade. As I sat in the church, getting teary, anticipating the traditional notes for the entrance of the bride, I was wondering if an uncle or a grandfather would be giving Rebecca away. The doors of the church opened; the sunlight of late afternoon flooded the small chapel illuminating the lone bride. Everyone stood up for her. The warm sounds of the organ poured out a familiar melody, and "Let It Be" escorted her to the alter. Thank you , Sir Paul.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Face of a Poet

Robert Graves 1895-1985
When a memorial was placed in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner on November 11, 1985, poet, translator, novelist, and critic Robert Graves was the only survivor of such World War I greats a Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. After a long and distinguished literary career, he died the following month. In her brief notes on him, Natalie Merchant introduced me to the young Robert Graves. My first experience with his writing was his book Greek Myths, and of course I, Claudius from Masterpiece Theatre. I have read his biography of T. E. Lawrence and translations of works I have taught, but I missed his children' s poetry. I must say, some of it is not exactly light hearted, but then not all of childhood is.


Lady, lovely lady,
Careless and gay!
Once when a beggar called
She gave her child away.

The beggar took the baby,
Wrapped it in a shawl,
"Bring her back," the lady said,
"Next time you call."

Hard by lived a vain man,
So vain and so proud,
He walked on stilts
To be seen by the crowd.

Up above the chimney pots,
Tall as a mast,
And all the people ran about
Shouting till he passed.

"A splendid match surely,
"Neighbours saw it plain,
"Although she is so careless,
Although he is so vain."

But the lady played bobcherry, *
Did not see or care,
As the vain man went by her
Aloft in the air.

This gentle-born couple
Lived and died apart.
Water will not mix with oil,
Nor vain with careless heart.
*A play among children, in which a cherry,
hung so as to bob against the mouth,
is to be caught with the teeth.
Graves was wounded so badly at the Battle of the Somme, he almost died. He and Sassoon were young officers in the Royal Welch Fusiliers (RWF). Wikipedia's biography is useful and informative! To hear Natalie Merchant's music set to this poem click here! From this official website, you may also select videos of several other pieces from her new CD. (See my post for June 7.)
For more Sepia Saturday posts click here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Milk-White Horse


See, they are clearing the sawdust course,

For the girl in pink on the milk-white horse.

Her spangles twinkle; his pale flanks shine

Every hair of his tail is fine

And bright as a comet's; his mane blows free,

And she points a toe and bends a knee,

And while his hoofbeats fall like rain

Over and over and over again.

And nothing that moves on land or sea

Will seem so beautiful to me

As the girl in pink on the milk-white horse

Cantering over the sawdust course.

by Rachel Field 1894-1942

Though this may not be the one in Rachel Field's poem, this white horse is one of my favorites from the gallery of work by Heywood Hardy. The name of this painting is "Noonday - Taking a Horse to Water." I hope to take you to the wellspring of Natalie Merchant's new CD Leave Your Sleep. Listen (Equestrienne) and drink the fresh waters of her creative and inspired music set to the words of poets who were writing not merely for the children of their day, but for all who cherish and honor childhood with its mystery, magic, and melancholy.

My younger son picked right up on the hint I dropped for a Mother's Day present after I had heard Ms. Merchant discussing her latest project on NPR back in April. In fact, he had been "reviewing" the music in the days before May 9, and saying, with a huge smile and sparkle in his eyes, "I have a great present for you....I mean GREAT...Do you want it now?" I declined. Even when I did get to open it, I had little time to listen closely and pore over the poems and the commentary featured in the small book which holds the two CD's. Last week, it was vacation time. Though the sun was shining on the Gulf Coast, the gloom of the coming disaster was heavy in the atmosphere...everywhere. When I was not sleeping late or dining on seafood with best friends, or staring more deeply and more sadly at the unbelievable beauty and brightness of the beach at Seaside (as seen in my header photo), I was escaping into this music. And what a thorough escape it is! For anyone who writes poetry or music, or both, this is a must. I suggest you click on the RED link above and allow Natalie to tell you about it. Then try the PINK link for her dramatic presentation of just one of the 26 poems. (You will see other selections from the CD on YouTube as well.) Should you decide to purchase this, you really want the 2 CD version with the book (not the one with 10 or 12 selections). The photographs of the poets along with short profiles are both eloquent and scholarly. Guess which mother and son have tickets to Natalie's August concert in Atlanta?

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat