When it comes to telling stories I’m the middle child waving her hands in a room of people talking over the other. I’m not always the loudest, but I am usually the one smacking the table, losing her breath from laughing so hard. When my family gets together it’s a celebration of bad jokes, impossible gossip and dusty stories from growing up as everyone moves around each other, the tide rushing from the kitchen to the porch and it’s that rhythm I chase while writing. The noise of people and their mad, sweet, impossible stories.
Stitching all of that together into the richly drawn mess we steal from our sisters then pass on to our daughters.
I wanted to sit down here on my blog and open the door to that noise.
So, I give you this week’s (three) stories I’d have told you over coffee while we sat on my front porch and spied on my neighbors.
♥ This past weekend Mom and me had a yard sale together at my house. Let me tell you, my mom was the yard sale queen in her day. For years she used these same bright yellow signs, and people knew her by them. They saw those suckers out by the road and would drive down our mile long street just because of them. My mom didn’t play one bit when it came to her yard sales. The organization she put into them and the careful way she made sure there were varied items for everyone to look at. She shooed us kids away when we’d browse through our old stuff and try to sneak some of it back inside, so it was weird to be the one shooing my nosy kids back inside. I’m at a point in my life where it was glorious to just get rid of stuff and to do it while Craig was at work (because he’s a sentimental hoarder and I don’t need all these pieces of paper, sweetheart) and the extra cash will come in handy for our gauntlet of birthdays that is also known in some parts as May.
(Also, for the record, my signs are red.)
♥ I’ve got a love affair going with PBS. It’s this sweet thing where we hold hands and I know I can always count on it as Lucy and me dance around the house to Peg + Cat and Phoenix learns Spanish with Noah. Great, fantastic stuff for kids as you’d expect, but the documentaries I’ve stumbled upon on there about music? I am hand to my chest serious when I tell you it’s my absolute favorite. Few weeks back they had a documentary about Americana Music called Nashville 2.0 and watching it was like stumbling upon all my favorite songs in an unexpected place. They featured all this rootsy, twangy, heartbreaking, foot stomping stuff and I couldn’t get close enough to my screen.
And then last week it was Muscle Shoals.
Oh, man. I don’t even know where to start. I was mesmerized.
The way they captured the sound, place, and history of this southern town that made music shaped by blues, rock, gospel and spirituals was incredible. I’m telling you I was down in Alabama dancing to Wilson Pickett and Aretha and then came Etta James and because it was an unexpected magic that tangled together genres there was Lynyrd Skynyrd and Paul Simon and then Band of Horses, Jason Isbell and The Civil Wars.
Sometimes even a Florida girl has to give a nod to Alabama.
♥ This last week of April means I’m preparing madly for a summer of birthdays being that I was shit at math and had both my babies in May (I will never stop telling that joke, by the way) and both me and Craig are June babies and topping all that off with Mother’s and Father’s day and basically in summer the mosquitoes aren’t the only ones draining me. I’m not a Pinterest Mom that goes batshit bananas with birthday parties, but I do try to nerd out with whatever they’re into with as much dime store magic as I can. I’m talking hunting thrift stores for old nurse scrubs that will become a young Padawan’s birthday outfit and the dad who finally gets to wear that tool bet he bought forever ago as part of being Han Solo for the day.
And with the kids being a week apart it means a lot of repurposing, but that’s the magic that comes with being siblings. Dealing with hand-me-downs and fighting it out for attention. Like I said, I was a middle child.
Here’s to the week ahead, guys.
Now get off my porch.