Showing posts from 2017

Hickman Marriage, Continued

Sorry, This is going to take some time as I am trying to compile more information about Charles' backstory and those archives are not very searchable. Is searchable a word?

I have names and dates and locations of people and places. Currently, this novice detective is trying to pinpoint his exact route that led to his demise. Today, I took the kids to the Summerville Cemetery to find the Hickman graves. His father, H.H. Hickman, has about the largest grave in practically the middle of the cemetery. He was easy to spot.

The kids were with me. The kids are always with me and I can already my sister-in-law saying, "What is it with you and graveyards?" I pulled up a picture of Dr. & Mrs. Hickman's gravestones and showed them to Birdie. Those hawk eyes looked up and said, "There it is, Mommy!" And off we ran.

Chas, his wife- Blanche, and spinster daughter- Gladys are buried on a slightly smaller plot than his father's- northwest from H.H; directly west/ad…

Hickman Marriage

Dr Charles W Hickman and Miss Blanche G. Walton were married on a Wednesday afternoon at the Church of the Good Shepherd-- allow me to quote:

....The scene of a beautiful ceremony in which the society of that elegant suburb was considerably interested and which furnished a pleasing episode to the midsummer record. At six o'clock that beautiful churched commenced to fill with white dresses and black coats and to brighten with expectation, while the suggestive sweep of vehicles around the carriage walk anticipated the happy tendency of the evening's service. The church lamps burned low in the twilight and sweet music stole softly through the aisles, wound among the flowers and seemed to form wavelets about the marriage bell. At half past six the bridal party entered the church....

The ushers and bridesmaids have names I see again and again in the newspaper: Mr. Willet, Mr. Berckmans, Mr. Gibson, and Mr. Stovall; Miss Turpin, Miss Walton, Miss Cuthbert, Miss Walton, Miss Adams, an…

Playing Clue

For Birdie's birthday, a friend gave her the travel size game of "Clue." She loves to play it at night with Bennie and the 'rents. Of course, a parent has to help Bennie who is pretty much clueless {pun not intended}, but she enjoys participating and Fuzzy loves running in circles around the coffee table and making quite a mess of things. Husband and I lose patience with Fuzzy but try to be active participants in the game without cheating. Ya know, like looking at those cards the kids have flipped up or the ones they show us when they are asking questions about Colonel Mustard and if his favorite condiment is ketchup.

It's not, we have decided. He likes honey mustard.

In addition to playing Clue, I have been listening to Unsolved Murders, a podcast about, well.... unsolved murders. Let's combine this podcast and Clue playing with my research loving historically inclined self.

A few days ago I was digging through the archives of the hometown newspaper. This is…


These past few days {read: weeks} I feel like motherhood isn't my strong suit. I get mad at a lot of things that normally shouldn't bother me. Or, I look around and see my children chasing each other in the grocery store and want those little ducklings lined up behind Mama Duck and be good. Not because the running bothers me, rather- they look like they are being bad. I was rubbing my temples while the chasing was going on and the butcher said, "Hey! .... Hey! .... HEY! You!"

I turn around.

"Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. I see you rubbing your temples."

I didn't know if he was trying to be funny or to tell me that I needed two aspirin. The kids kept running and I collared the first one as she made the next lap around the bread island. I asked the baker for three children's cookies. He looked over my shoulder, "It looks like you need three children's cookies."

What's my deal today? Is he being funny or telling me that…

A little for the History Fanatics.

Something that has fascinated me of recent is the history of our new home. A few weeks ago, someone bought a house up the street that needs a "hug" as my neighbor calls it. It doesn't just need a hug, it needs CPR. As we were speculating who bought the house before it went on the market, I started researching the life-support home to see what I could find out.

You know what I found out?

House Be Haunted.

It has to be. Okay, so it doesn't have to be- but I have two words for you: Indian Graveyard.

Right, right, right... political correctness and all: Native American Place of Eternal Rest.

I am exaggerating. At least, I think I am.

sidenote: the people buying the house are going to do an awesome job restoring it and I cannot wait to see what will happen when they breath life into the walls. 

When I was a kid, there were two homes next to each other in my old neighborhood that my dad swore were built on a Indian Native American Place of Eternal Rest. In the span of about…

First Communion

My first born received her First Communion this past weekend. It was such a sweet and beautiful thing watching all those little second graders in their springtime best and white dresses.

If you follow me on Facebook, then you already know this. But, if not-- See her veil?

It is my Aunt's veil from when she made her First Communion. Both of her daughters wore it and then I wore it for mine. Her eldest daughter had a slew of boys and I grew up and had children of my own. As soon as Birdie started second grade, I asked my aunt if we could please use the veil again. She came through for me! The dress was one my aunt had made for her only granddaughter when her son was married. Don't they look like they were made for each other? 

She did such an amazing job and we were over the moon proud of her. Before the Mass, we told her to be on the lookout for a kid to either throw up or pass out- it happens every year. This year, they figured out if the air conditioner was on, nervous little…

Watery Rainbows

Fuzzy takes the award for being my first child to find food coloring and to also find it fascinating.


I was organizing one of my kitchen pantries the other day and did not think twice about putting two containers of 8 dye packets at Fuzzy height. No other kid took a second glance at those beautiful bright colored lids, why would he?


Truly, the food coloring was in the new home probably 68 hours before I round the corner and find a rainbow that had been hit by an 18-wheeler. Food coloring, when squeezed, will spray a beautiful arc on a white wall. There Fuzzy was, sitting in front of the pantry that he had never noticed before, covered in food coloring.


His new outfit-- toast. His skin-- tie-dyed. His smile-- massive.

We found 6 containers of dye with only two lids missing. They weren't in his ear, we checked. Score one for parenting. Peeking in those little ears, we discovered that he squirted food coloring in his canal.

Green, in case you were curious.

Just …

The New Door

The new door is massive. Like SUPER big. I can stand on my tip toes and reach for the sky without touching the top.

And I wanted to paint it. I wanted to paint it purple, to be precise.

My neighbor said, "Purple? Ya sure? Maybe you should start with something tamer. Sit on it for a year and make sure you want it purple."

Nah-- I need to go ahead and get on this. Eggplant? Dove's breath? Violet? Berry Bush? Wood Lilac? Obi Lilac? Husband said no. I said yes. He said no.

I said yes.

He said no.

I said, "Let's ask Yancey."

He said okay.

{Because surely the interior designer would not pick out a purple door. He felt secure in this statement.}

He was right. She didn't pick out a purple door.

She picked out a pink door. Salmon to be precise. And it is awesome!

He loves it.  Lie.

I don't know how Husband feels about it. Let's leave it at he loves me.

We are waiting on the doorbell, so there are some tools that are still out there. But, I've been wor…

Bennie Prays

Dear-ah Gawd,

Bennie here.

Thank you for my mah-mee, my Fuzzy, and my daddy. Oh, and Birdie! Please let me grow very tall and have beautiful dresses. Thank you for Trolls and the bee-u-tee-ful flowers and my pajamas. I love my pajamas.

'Dis gonna be a long prayer, Mah-mee.

Please let me have waffles every morning for breakfast. I love my giraffe blanket and my thumb. Fuzzy is really funny. Today, well- he hit me today. A lot. But, he is really funny like Big Viv. Gawd, Big Viv calls me Tiny the Brave. Thank you for making me brave. But if you could make me Tiny the Tall and Brave that would be awesome.

Mah-mee, I told you-- 'dis gonna be a long prayer.

I love cats and want daddy to no longer be 'lergic to them so we can have three cats, but no panthers. Birdie likes panthers, but they are too big to sleep in my bed. OH! How about we have a panther and two dogs? Please get us two dogs and a bunny rabbit. I love bunny rabbits.

Is that it? I ask.

No. I love bunny rabbits. Wait…

Things get me thinking

This ten year business has me thinking about other marriages. For example, did you know that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were once married? I am sure you hear the sarcasm in that statement. 

But, did you know that they used to eat dinner naked?

I kid you not. Like, flapping in the wind for all to see- the birthday suit you were born with, N - A - K - E - D. While I am most certain that they thought this would sound so sexy, the reality is that it makes me wonder:

What did they eat?

Could you imagine if it were soup? 

“Honeyyyyy— shuck your shoes and your clothes at the door, I made chicken noo-dlllleeeee,” Jenn calls from the kitchen. Maybe Brad cringed a little and decided he wasn’t hungry, because if that soup spilled — the man would be in trouble.

If they ate naked, did she cook naked? Because that, my friends, is not hygienically correct. That isn’t sanitary and that’s just icky. Of course,I have to ask- if she cooked naked….

Did she cook bacon?

My money is on no.

And how did they come …

10 years!

Husband and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe how truly fast time can fly when you aren't paying attention.

We just got back from our celebratory trip to Jamaica. It was the most fun. I can't say that enough. For the past two years we have talked about where we want to go and what we want to do. We went big. Landing in Jamaica, our private driver drove us to the resort where our personal butler opened the door with her white gloved hands.

I kid you not.

The Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios was spectacular and if you are on the fence about choosing where to drop a chunk of change, look no further. While we were there, we made some friends. Several newlyweds were on their honeymoon and they let these old folks pal around with them.  On the last night, one of the girls said, "Y'all have been married ten years and seem so happy. What's the one piece of advice you have for us?"

Almost simultaneously, we stated {loudly}, "DON&#…


It's 3 o'clock and Bennie is trying very hard to not nap. I find this incredibly frustrating and she has already received one spanking. On one hand, I want to force her to be still and sleep, but on the other, that awful other hand that makes me want to relish the moment and not punish her for not obeying- that other hand is telling me to smile and coddle her for another moment.

All I can see are the tufts of her curls and I have a flashback to being in the ICU with my brother's identical tufts and watching him sleep beside me. I wanted to protect him, take the scars away, and rewind the clock hours. Bennie, ever the image of my brother, looks like him in the bed next to me.

There is a fear resting in my heart of losing him and it is eternally a breath away. Sometimes, when the phone rings, it feels a little more urgent and I know that when I pick it up, there will be bad news and sadness on the other end. Just today, I received a phone call and before I picked it up, the wi…

What I fear

There are some things in life that I am truly and embarrassingly afraid of.

I am afraid of dead cockroaches. Alive ones, too. But I see more dead ones.
I am afraid of frogs.
I am afraid of those oversized grasshoppers. You know the ones that are like 6 inches long and 2 feet tall? When I see one outside, I scream and run the other direction.

These are things that make me quiver in fear.

I am not afraid of being mugged, shot, stabbed, heights, small spaces, or anything usual- but, put me in a room with dead cockroaches and frogs, I am a puddle.

There is something else that I must confess. I am afraid that I will become a hoarder. It is so easy to hoard and I come from a long line of successful hoarders. The things that my family can hide from sight but not from reach will astound and astonish you.

When I was a new mother and visiting my aunt, Birdie needed a diaper change. My aunt asked if I needed a mat and from virtually thin air she produced her son's kindergarten nap mat.

Her s…

We are doing it again

We closed on our house. I got the HUD document and there was a $40 difference between what we were expecting and what we got. I can roll with that. It felt gooooooooooood to go to the bank and make a deposit.

Real good.

We are still in the house for another two weeks and the question I hear most often is, "Have you started packing yet?" and my answer?

"Heck No. I'm paying someone to do that for me."

Yeah, we are those people. When we had movers pack and move us from Washington, D.C., Husband and I wondered why we had ever done it any other way. {Because we were a poor, poor resident's family}.

Those moves with my husband holding the dresser, mattresses, and mirrors while hanging off the back of a trailer as it turned on two wheels- those days are long gone. THANKYOUJESUS. Those moves where Brother is driving back and forth into the night and we are loading things into trash bags because the new owners take over the house the next day? Yes. Those days. G-O-N-…

Our first together house

When Husband and I were first engaged, I owned a little condo and he owned a little house. Knowing that we would much rather live in his little house instead of my little condo, I called "Bob the Realtor" and asked him to list my condo. Our wedding came and went with my condo being no closer to sold. Realizing we needed to sell ONE piece of property, Husband put his house on the market. About a week later, I got a contract on my condo and called Husband.

"Praise the Lord, I just got a contract on my condo!"
"Are you serious?!"
"Yes! .... why?"
"Because I just got a contract on my house!"
"Oh dear."

Off we go to find a house. It seemed that everything we wanted was nothing we could afford and everything we could afford was nothing we wanted. We were told to either raise our price or lower our standards.

I was already in a panic about the $160,000 price point we had erroneously decided upon.

House after house... nothing after n…


We are closing on this house in about 48 hours and I have been stalking the closing attorney for our HUD paperwork. It's a really long sheet with a bunch of itty bitty lines that basically say who is paying what and how much money we, as the sellers, are getting.

It is a very important document and I learned with the purchase of my first house just how valuable it is.

In March 2003, my 22 year old self went all around the small town where I was living to find a house to buy. Interest rates were the lowest they had ever been and my rent would be the same price as my mortgage. All twenty two years of me were about to be a proud home owner. The little 1200 square foot house I found on Elmwood absolutely fit the bill.

Looking back, I had no idea the house was so "small." It felt massive and I could barely afford to furnish it. I made a back room into an office with a computer on a folding table and bought some used cherry wood twin beds for $250 and asked if I could have the…

The Best Haircut I Ever Had

A few days ago, I posted about the worst thing I ever did to my hair. Perhaps now it might be worth mentioning the best haircut I ever had.

Sometime at the end of high school, I was at a baby shower for a friend of my parents. We were on the west side of town on someone's farm. The people were really nice and I knew not a soul. Being the youngest there, I mostly listened to conversations instead of partaking in them.

A man spoke about picking up some lunch at "the Pumpkin Center," apparently it was really tasty. Someone else mentioned that they popped over to "the Pumpkin Center" to pick up a few groceries. An older woman mentioned something about how "the Pumpkin Center" just repainted the sign.

I ask, "Is this place a real pumpkin patch?"

No- it's the only place to shop on this side of town between here and Thomson.

Okay, fair enough. Place to shop. Got it.

It seems like "the Pumpkin Center" was a central hub to this side of …

First Reconciliation

Years ago, back when my grandfather was still living and had the majority of his faculties and my brother was still a Catholic, the Bishop came to town. Brother took BigDad to the Mass that evening. At the end, the man in the funny hat announced that if anyone wanted to make confession, there would be priests stationed around the church to receive and give penance. My grandfather, fast as lightening on that walker with tennis balls on the end made his way third in line with the Bishop before Brother could even get out of the pew. Brother, sheepishly, stood in line- perhaps ten or twelve back from BigDad. The line drew down by two and my grandfather was next.

BigDad stepped out of line, turned around, extended his skeletal arm and pointed to my brother. The wrist flipped over and that long pointer finger pointed to Brother and beckoned him forward. Brother turned around to see if BigDad might have been pointing at someone else, perhaps his equally elderly sister or, maybe the postman.