One of the reasons we write stories from our life is to make sense of our journeys.
I know Texas is a Dr. Pepper state, but I’ve been a Coca Cola girl since… well, since I was a girl. Back then, I would get a glass bottle from the cooler for 5 cents and then, instead of uncapping it, I’d take an ice pick and punch a hole in the cap. It was like having a grown-up drink in a baby bottle. The sweet, sticky, carbonated watery syrup leaked through that little hole, and I drank in tiny sips like a humming bird at a feeder.
By the time “Things go better with Coke” became the marketing mantra for my favorite brand, I’d learned to uncap the bottle and pour Planters peanuts through the neck and enjoy the salty-sweet dance of peanuts and Coke on my tongue. Singer Barbara Mandrel did the same, but she earned royalties from a song about doing it.
When I started going honky-tonking, the things I added to my Coke were Puerto Rico rum and Tennessee whiskey, which I drank from a paper cup. I’d start out with two fingers (about a jigger) of alcohol, but as the night deepened, I quit measuring. I was wild and crazy, but not very smart.
Now I’m older and wiser. I drink Diet Coke in a glass or Solo plastic cup. Today my sweetie drove through McDonalds and bought me a large Diet Coke for $1.08 (the 8 cents is the tax). I crushed the straw between my teeth so I could only get a trickle into my mouth, like I did when I was a girl. That’s one of the benefits and blessings of living this long: I can be a kid again.
I woke up with a novel idea (no pun intended). I want to host a write-in. What do you think?
I’ll have it at Church Street Retrerat, which is Ronnie’s and my Victoian home, built in 1875 in Navasota, TX. It’s only a 90-minute drive from Houston.
There’s roomy spaces in rooms with high ceilings and slow moving fans, a porch looking out on a pecan and elm shaded lawn, a fenced backyard with three rowdy dogs to keep you company but not talk to you, and blocks of small town wonder for solitary meandering with the Muse as company.
Bring your writing tablet or laptop. I’ll provide coffee and tea, maybe a little fruit and cheese. We’ll write together, but in silence. We will be like children in parallel play–feeding off each other’s creative energy, but not interrupting one another’s thought process.
In silence but in community.
You see yourself as an artist but not a writer? No worries–bring your sketch book. Or your camera.
In the late afternoon we’ll come together, reflect on the experience, and decide if we should do it again.
Sound like a plan?
April is flying by, and soon it will be May, so when? Sundays are preferred but I’m open.
I love shoes. They’ve marked some important events in my life. When I got my tonsils removed at age three, I got white sandals for being brave. I wanted to race out of the hospital, but my daddy carried me. I can still remember what they looked like on my pudgy little feet.
Growing up, I had two pairs of shoes, one brown pair for everyday school shoes and Mary Jane black ones for church. I know those shoes were probably two more than other kids had, but I can admit it now–I wanted more. When I turned thirteen, my parents gave me black patent French heels for my birthday, and even though my younger brother insisted we could only love people and not things, I looooooved them. My everyday shoes were cordovan penny loafers, but I thought of myself as an uptown girl, so I put silver dimes in them instead of copper pennies. ( I had no idea what an uptown girl was, but I felt sure she’d prefer silver to copper.)
When I graduated from college and bought my own wardrobe, I began buying shoes in larger numbers, but they were from discount stores, made of imitation leather that made my feet sweat. Smelly feet, however, were a small price to pay for 3-inch heels with tiny slingback straps in red, white, taupe, navy, gold, pink, lavender, silver, and black. I was twenty-one teaching high school seniors who were seveneen, eighteen and nineteen. I needed the height.
I moved from teaching into administration in my thirties, enabling me to buy good Italian leather shoes. My favorite was a pink and white Bally high-heel number from Neiman Marcus. I also purchased slinky sandals and sturdy atheletic shoes in both bold and muted colors. As they say from where I come from, I was in high cotton.
Now that I’m nearing retirement, I no longer buy high-heels–or to be honest, mid-heels. I need to be extra careful about keeping my balance. It’s a much harder fall at my age and further down, too. So I’m wearing flats again. My favorite are a pair of Mary Janes. They’re comfortable and the crossover straps keep them snug on my feet.
Oh, and I have three pairs of low-heel leather cowboy boots: one in a red, white, and blue Lone Star design, one in blood red, and one Ostrich pair in honey brown. After all, I am a Texas woman, y’all.