Alabama

In the Land of Snow

Another snow fell on top of another snow. They piled up in Iowa, late November until April. The first blanket was light, soft, and clean until muddied and grayed by the roadside, where snowplows threw grit, sand, and ice in the raw morning. By mid-February, the dirty drifts packed down in rough-hewn walls no shovel […]

More

Mom: Wonder Woman without the Skimpy Suit

Peggy, my younger sister, wept bitterly on her first day of school. “Honey, don’t worry,” my mother reassured. “You’ll be home before you know it.” My sister cried louder. “You’ll love school. You’ll read and color.” “But you’re so old!” Peggy squalled, tears of shame on her face. Mom, her hair already turning fine silver by […]

More

You Say “ca-MEE-lia”; I Say ”ca-MELL-ia”

The camellia, the Deep South’s winter belle, freshly accents the dormant garden. Its Asian invasion long forgotten, the camellia japonica is Sweet Home Alabama’s beloved state flower.  No matter how you drawl it, this flower is a cold-weather keeper. Speaking of pretty blooms and soon-to-be spring . . . now is the time to think of […]

More

Farmer Leon Goes Squirrely

My dad’s garden mania shot up when his children-sharecroppers (forced labor until their early teen years) scattered. He doubled the crop when the next-door neighbor gave him permission to plow through the lower end of their backyard. These events forced Dad to double his hours in the garden. My mother never commented, but she developed a blank stare […]

More