Monthly Archives: February 2022

Just A Note…

It was about nine years ago when a friend rolled her eyes as I launched into yet another story about… oh, I don’t know. It could have been about the powerful influence of my grandmother, it could have been about a poignant moment with my kids, or it could have been about a valuable lesson from my parents.

Or… it could have been about any number of things I’ve blogged about since. Chicken nuggets, junk drawers, or the smell of dirt. Deep stuff like that.

I’ve always felt everything has a story and I made my friend suffer through that belief! She would just say “Write it down!”, while vigorously pointing her finger at me.

She encouraged me to blog when I didn’t really know what one was. And when I did learn, I doubted anyone would care to read my family memories, daily observations, or nonsense about a finial from the floor lamp we had when I was a kid. (Yeah, a finial.).

She nagged until I wrote that first piece and had nerve enough to hit the “publish” button. Then, I sat back and waited to be ridiculed. I’ve never been a slave to good grammar and punctuation and I’ve never taken writing classes, so my stomach churned as if I’d just turned in a term paper. But, I was told I should write what I feel and not worry about the rest. So I did. And I do.

Writing is fun. I’ve always thought so. Having someone read what you write is even better. And when those who read what you write feel so strongly about it that they write to you, well that’s the best.

In nine years of posting bits of memories and such, I’ve gotten some great comments. What’s made the feedback special is that most has come from fellow bloggers. These writers understand the power of sharing a story and appreciate the fun and fear involved in the process.

As a nod of thanks, below, in no particular order (except I give a special shout out to Katelon Jeffereys because she was essentially the very first years ago to comment and has been supportive ever since!) are links to the blogs of some who have followed and supported my blogging all these years.

There are also many other familiar names I recognize as followers, in addition to the one-time comments from random readers just passing through. I appreciate them all. Support means everything.

Encouragement from the folks below often came at times when I thought I had nothing left to write about. (Then I’d notice something magical… like a doorknob… and think, hmmm, there’s probably a story there…). This list is not at all a “review” as I see on occasion. It’s a note of appreciation. They all have something worthwhile to say in their blogs and they’ve certainly helped shape what I include in my own.

This is a “Thank You!”

Stuart M. Perkins

https://empowerandbalance.wordpress.com/    Katelon Jeffereys

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com

https://amehrling.com/

https://jfetig.com/author/jimfetig/

https://catterel.wordpress.com/

https://butterflysand.wordpress.com/

https://aimerboyz.com/

https://janbeek.blog/

https://heimdalco.wordpress.com/

https://amlifcar41.wordpress.com/

https://mikeandberg.com/

https://brucestambaugh.com/

https://gwennonr.wordpress.com/

https://nananoyz5forme.com/

https://tailsaroundtheranch.blog/

https://narble.blog/

https://mandyhackland.blog/

https://friendwise.wordpress.com/

https://joynealkidney.com

98 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Home Game

The girls and I watched the ball roll to a stop against the trunk of a tall shady crepe myrtle.

As kids, we were mesmerized by most anything. Seconds earlier, from the bottom step of the back porch, one of my sisters had given our well-worn kickball a final punt towards the shrub before we ran inside to wash up for supper.

From somewhere we heard Mama’s voice. “Don’t leave that ball laying out there in the yard.”

We pretended not to hear. Our game wasn’t over. It could restart at a moment’s notice and we must be prepared! Put away a bike yes, a skateboard maybe, a kickball never. Unwritten rule.

My sisters and I, along with various cousins, played together in our backyard constantly. Most any time we could be found in the throes of Hide and Seek or Simon Says, but our pick-up kickball games made memories. Some of the best lasted from just after supper to just before lightning bugs. It was a fun, exciting, laugh-filled summer routine we knew would never end.

But it did.

Somewhere along the way, kickball took a backseat to other activities. Maybe a cousin “got too big” for it. Maybe summer vacations took up more time. Or maybe it was a childhood ritual that had simply served its purpose teaching us how to follow rules, be good sports, and recognize the value of family fun. While it lasted, it was our world. Surely, none of us realized the last time we played would be the last time we’d play.

But it was.

My sisters and I, cousins too, eventually moved on and away, but stories of kickball glories resurfaced whenever we regathered at Mama’s. We’d laugh over who was the best kicker, fastest runner, or loudest screamer. Mama would roll her eyes and remember we always made such a terrible racket. We reminded her she must have enjoyed it since she always watched from the kitchen. She’d grin and say she was just making sure somebody put away the ball. We liked Mama watching us. We knew she always would.

But she won’t.

Mama passed away last month. After the funeral and on my way back out of town, I rode by our old house. It had been sold months prior just after my mother moved in with one of my sisters. She wasn’t thrilled to leave the home she’d been in for sixty years, but she was happy knowing the new owners were a couple with children. Young children who would enjoy the yard the way we had.

I thought about that as I eased slowly up the driveway like a stranger. The same old driveway I’d pulled into my entire life, but now it wasn’t Mama’s. I sat behind the wheel and stared first at the house, then out across the yard where so many memories were made.

Images flashed before me of games we played, laughs we had, and suppers we bolted down so we could get back outside for more. While in thought, from the corner of my eye I noticed movement in the direction of the back porch. Two little girls stood on the bottom step, mesmerized by something they saw in the yard. I leaned forward on the steering wheel to see.

From somewhere I heard Mama’s voice. “Don’t leave that ball laying out there in the yard.”

The girls and I watched the ball roll to a stop against the stump of a long gone crepe myrtle.

Stuart M. Perkins

107 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized