Thursday, November 18, 2010

School project, accidents, nature, tobacco and yard art....

How do you not love that smiling face! Here is Page with her school project she and her Mom were up late finishing - yep - that is school these days. The parents work as hard if not harder than the kids on these projects. I may be getting senile but as far as I can recall - I think the most involved I ever was with a school project for either of my children was getting the two gold fish bowls with two fish for Kurt's science project one year that I was pretty impressed with. I had to stop and get on BigD and Miya who are fighting. All he has to do is call her while hitting the stool in front of the sofa and she comes to him because she knows he is going to give her a good rubbing at which time she turns on him and tries to bite him at which time he smacks her. Hmm - sounds a little "kinky" to me. Not sure what has happened but Miya has a swollen place above one of her eyes. I'm thinking maybe a spider bit her there (they love to come in the house when it gets cold outside). We talked to Kurt tonight who had a really bad day at work all day long today. BigD was really affected by what took place and told me he hates that Kurt has to work in the environment he does. He thinks that Kurt is too tender hearted to be in that environment - isn't that sweet? It's true though - Kurt is very sensitive to other people and their needs and goes out of his way to try to accommodate them - been there - done that - and he will get hurt at times but would rather he be like that than cold hearted. My wonderful computer guru called to let me know he and his son were in a wreck yesterday. The pavement was wet and the truck in front of him hit the guy in front of him and when he tried to stop, he slid into the guy in front of him. The worst part is he didn't have too many more payments before this car was paid for! Man - that sucks! He told me he would get my old computer he gutted and re-vamped for Page to me before we leave for the coast. He and his family will be in the same area we will next week so we might try to hook up for drinks if nothing else. He is such a special young man with a lovely family. It turns out his sister is married to my cousin's son so we consider ourselves family!

I'll have to say I have enjoyed the first three days of this week - the trees are gorgeous, the sky is blue and the cool air has been delicious. The sky has vacillated between cloudy and bright and sunny which has been great. We did have a pretty significant storm the other night but the next day was even prettier.How beautiful is this? Nature is full of so many colors with so many subtle shifts to enjoy in them.And then you have the burning bush shrub and these lovely purple flowers. After lunch one day, I drove down a residential street in a very old neighborhood. I do so love older neighborhoods with the various architecture and older plants, trees, and shrubs. Then it was back out into the countryside wherethere is an abundance of animals, landscapes and older buildings which I also love.Every time I see one of these old building I remember when I worked in tobacco with my childhood boyfriend's family for his grandfather. Hmmm - what is one word to describe handling tobacco leaves - GUMMY! These are the types of barns/building the strung tobacco would be hung in for curing. Tobacco has been a part of my life since I was a child. My grandfather and father both grew tobacco as share cropper farmer and later in life would travel to Canada to cure tobacco for farmers up north who weren't as adept at curing as Southerners were. Both of my parents as well as most of my friend's parents worked in one of the two major tobacco factories in our town where they not only made a fair wage for their hard work but also got benefits and retirement. My Dad didn't handle working in a factory as well as my Mom and always enjoyed the actual farming and curing aspect of the process. We have a local museum that educates those who are interested in what an influence tobacco has been in our history and not always for the best. Once the tobacco was ready, the farmer would have workers lined up to get the crop in, tied to sticks and put into the curing barns.My boyfriend, his brother, grandfather and other helpers would bring the tobacco to the barn on slats or sleighs and load the tables up with it and we would would pick up two to three leaves and hand them as quickly as possibly to the women who would string or tie them to sticks. My boyfriend's mother was so fast and taught me how to string also. Then we would load the sticks back up and take them to one of the local curing barns in the area and hand them up to the boysabove us to wait for the men who came and took shifts to keep the fires burning constantly to cure the leaves perfectly before being taken to auction. This picture makes me think of my Daddy who wrote letters from Canada later in his life when he went up to Canada for several seasons after he got older to cure for some farmers up there and I have copies of the letters he wrote home to Mama.Once the tobacco was cured it looked like this and would be taken to the Auction House. Tobacco was the major industry in my town and the farmers worked very hard to get the best price so they could pay their bills and continue farming for another year. My boyfriend's grandfather didn't think I was that good a worker but I didn't care - I got to be with my boyfriend! We would start work as early as 4:30am, eat a big lunch and take a nap and then get back to work. After that, I would walk the rows with my boyfriend and his older brother while they "suckered' the tobacco plants and then we would drink a soda and eat a Moon Pie. My boyfriend's mother loved me (and I loved her) and was very protective of me around her three boys (she eventually had a fourth son). That particular week I stayed with a younger friend from school who also worked with us that week. This is hard to believe but I stayed with her in the house I live in now - yep - her family was renting this house. Mom and Dad had gone to NYC to take my sister Ann and her husband to board the Leonardo Da Vinci ship that would take them to Italy where they would live for a year. The younger girl and I weren't very close but her older sister gave me her old maternity tops to wear while I worked in tobacco and they were ruined from all the gummy leaves. I am so happy to report that both of those tobacco companies are out of business and the buildings have been renovated into apartments, condo, lofts, office space, restaurants, theaters, and shops and are no longer producing the poisonous cigarettes they once did. And that brings us to the "yard art" I've documented this week. I've noticed this "gazebo" several times and it saddens me to see that someone wanted to build something unique while re-cycling (the top of the gazebo) but I don't think it has ever been used by anyone. I have to admit this is my favorite for "yard art" this week! It sings out to me on so many levels from the window panes that have been hung around the structure to the sweet toilet sitting out in front for the world to behold.And the wet leaves on my windshield yesterday morning after the big storm. All the yards were full of brightly colored leaves the rain and wind brought down - nature at it's best.
I'll end this entry with a quote from a fellow blogger to those of us who comment on her blog entries. She lives in Southern France, has a hubby and two young boys and is so creative that when I look at things through her eyes, it makes me feel creative. She said she wanted to give a huge, heartfelt thank you for the sweet and supportive words she gets from comments from others because they keep her going and they felt like a million happy bombs in her heart! That is exactly how I feel at times when someone comments on my entries – whether on-line or if they mention something I wrote to me personally. I started this blog because I enjoyed reading my daughter and another friend’s so much and thought I would try it (and to help my sister start one who is SO not interested in doing it) and got hooked. I’ve started so many journals that ended up in the trash after a few months over the years and have found this medium to be helpful at times. So thank you to those who wade through the sometimes long, drawn out meanderings of this old girl. At times it can even be cathartic so for now I guess I'll continue.


  1. You're welcome ;-)
    Love reading your blogs by the way.
    Interesting learning about some of old durham's past!
    See you tomorrow!!


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