Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Schemes of Atticus

My life has settled back into a routine. There is a routine for the week, to keep me on track. Decisions about this column have become part of the weekend routine. Atticus may be smarter than we realize, or he just senses when to capitalize on an opportunity to receive attention.

This past weekend as I attempted to decide what to write, he found a way to get my attention each time this thought came into my mind. He flopped down on my feet or hoisted his large body into the chair where I sat, demanding my time and attention. This may have been his way of saying that he felt that Atticus was the best subject for this week’s column.

Atticus seems to operate under the idea that the world was designed for him. There were things that needed to be done before his arrival so that he could live in comfort. The apartment we live in was built specifically for his arrival in this world. The central heat and air unit was created and placed there for his comfort. His brand of cat food and kitty treats were created for his enjoyment. The list is endless.

Atticus was named for a character in my favorite book, To Kill A Mockingbird. The character in the book was wise; I had hoped that my Atticus would be the same way. The character thought about others. My Atticus thinks about himself, as a matter of fact he is enamored with himself. My Atticus has been caught gazing at himself in the mirror numerous times. 

Atticus may not be as selfish as we think. Maybe his goal was to coax me into stopping for a few moments. He understands the importance of rest. Did he want me to understand this idea as well? Did he want me to rest? Was he concerned about someone other than himself?

No, more than likely that was not the case. He wanted to be held and couldn’t care less about what I needed to do. He wanted admiration and attention. He wanted extra cat treats. He wanted control of the situation.

Why does he appear to sit and meditate? Perhaps he is thinking about the things he has taken and where he has hidden them. Maybe he is planning to pilfer my purse again. Maybe I will never know and that gives Atticus satisfaction.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I Suwanee

Did you ever hear your Mama say “I suwanee”?  You may have heard that expression or you may have suwaneed too. My Mama was a suwaneer. Oh my word, did she do some suwaneeing. Todd and Brad are the cause of the suwaneeing and let me tell you, there was plenty to suwannee about. Mama also said “help my time” quite often; you can guess that they caused that too. 

It is a good thing for them that I didn’t write for the paper then. Its okay brothers, I won’t be telling the story about the little boy and the croker sack in the apple tree. Thank goodness for Granddaddy! Yall will just have to ask them to tell you what happened.

Suwaneeing is southern and comes from a different time. Ladies were expected to act like ladies and mind their words. When a lady used that term, she was exasperated. It isn’t often that we hear that phrase these days. Ladies don’t seem to use it anymore; it has been replaced by other unladylike words sadly.

My friend D uses that term often and isn’t afraid to do so on social media either. It made me think about the term and how we have neglected those old southern sayings, which may be amusing, but you don’t have to be ashamed that you said them. Maybe it would just take too long to explain it to younger generations. They don’t understand how or why to suwanee.

There are ladies that could teach others why and how to properly suwanee. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing in my opinion. You can’t help but hear the things people say in public, especially if they are on a cell phone. That seemingly silly phrase doesn’t sound as ridiculous now and isn’t as offensive as the things we can easily hear in public.

The art of suwaneeing may completely disappear. Oh my word what a tragedy. Is it possible to throw a good hissy fit without a suwanee or three? It is sad to think of these things disappearing from our lives not because of the tradition, but because of what they represent. It was a time when ladies and gentlemen were just that. It represents a time when the antics of little boys did not cause a Mama to act inappropriately. Help my time! There is no shame in a good suwanee.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mama's Wisdom

This past Saturday my formerly faithful dryer refused to start. The only sound it made was a slight whine, or it could have been a whimper. Whatever the case, it would not be drying my laundry. I hung my head and wondered if I could reason with the stubborn appliance. 

Our time together has been short; 13 years can pass so quickly. Why had my friend deserted me in my time of need? Why did this have to happen on a Saturday afternoon?

There had to be options, but what were they and what about the wet laundry in the washing machine? This was a crisis because I am a working gal and I need my weekends to catch up on things that have been neglected during the week.

Mama would understand. Mama would offer sympathy, understanding and somehow manage to find a gem of wisdom to offer. Mama wouldn’t laugh until after she hung up the phone. Mama was the person to call!

Mama reminded me that this past Saturday was the day I was supposed to be moving away. It was the day my belongings would have once again been loaded up and hauled to a different location. This could have been happening in a different town, far from my home. My problem began to shrink to a realistic size. Mama was right again.

This was not the crisis it could have been if I were in a new place, attempting to unpack and find a trustworthy repairman simultaneously. There is always a reason to be grateful. My boss had called a few weeks ago with the news that I was being transferred to a different location. 

My heart broke with that news. This new location lacked the cotton fields, family and friends that have been a part of my life. Everything was about to change.

That change did not happen and I have been granted the opportunity to stay in the place that I have loved. A broken dryer is not the crisis I had believed it was. Mama gently provided the attitude change I needed. The dryer may have deserted me, but Mama didn’t.

This reminds me that a Mother’s work is never finished. Mama offers a different type of bandage for adult ouchies. Sometimes that healing bandage comes in the form of a paradigm shift. It’s my turn to offer my grown child a paradigm shift.