30 April 2019

[Past Piedmont Chronicles] - Reaching Nirvana Through Lawn Maintenance

*ed. note: originally ran in 2016

My latest posting of The Esoteric South over on the pages of The Covington News. This edition is entitled "Reaching Nirvana Through Lawn Maintenance."

The Esoteric South 

Reaching Nirvana Through Lawn Maintenance 
Cutting grass is a passion of mine, and I believe it to be good for the soul. I truly do.
Now, that statement probably comes as a great surprise to some of my neighbors in and around the North Covington historical community. They'd probably speak to this in the contrary, and, if so, I'd probably not have much to say to dispute it. However, I think I've got a pretty good excuse. For most of the last year or so our lawn mower has been broken, and while we've tried to pay folks to cut it a fair amount, it's just so much harder to put it high on the priority list when we have to dish out money. In addition, I've been known to have a propensity for laziness, and it's just been so hot! And maybe the whiskey sometimes plays a role...
In fact — truth be told — the last time the grass was cut, after our lawn mower was fixed, it was my lovely wife who cut the grass.
There was a time in my life when I used to concern myself whenever she'd cut the grass (so you can tell it's been more than once). I'd think to myself something along the lines of: "Man, the folks around here are going to think you're a total and absolute no-account." I used to concern myself with this but not anymore. No, I finally learned to embrace it. It's like the lyrics to "Good Hearted Woman." I realized, ultimately, that it was a win for Yours Truly. "That rascal Marshall McCart," they'd say. "He won't even cut his own grass. Poor ole Ann has to do it."
For the record, she says she likes to cut grass. Therefore, in my mind's eye, I'm just helping her to be happy and reach Maslow's concept of Self Actualization, right? We do what we can here, folks, I'm just happy to help!
Really, though, cuttin' grass is serious business. A lot of heavy thinking gets done in the course of the process. For me, the usual identities of these thoughts are as follows: God, UGA football, Led Zeppelin, and Hunter S. Thompson. And I think about my wife and daughter too, for sure. Sometimes I think about the weather, and whether or not it may rain. Sometimes I think about government and politics. I pretty much think about those things all the time anyway, but it seems like the thinking is more important when one is in the act of this endeavor.
I remember one time many years ago when I was talking to this yokel about the differences between how men cut grass vs. women. This fella was a real piece of work. He was basically like a Southern-style Redneck, but he was from Ohio, or maybe Pennsylvania. But anyhow, his whole thing was this:
"Men and women cut grass different, ya' know?"
I nodded while maintaining eye contact, letting him know I was really interested in what he had to say.
"Us guys have a plan when cutting grass, ya' know." We cut the outer perimeter, and then we go back and forth in straight lines...we try to make it efficient."
He went on to say, "Women don't, though. They're just all out there haphazard and willy-nilly. No pattern. No logic. It's just a free-for-all."
I, once again, let him know I was listening and that I respected his point of view (although I really didn't put much stock in it. At that point, I was just ready to get back to the house).
But later on, it did get me to thinking. Men and women do cut grass differently. I'd seen it before with Ann. She'd be out there all over the place. Going back and forth, cutting in circles; as the fella said — no real pattern, or so it seemed.
I remember my dad giving me the rundown on how you properly cut a yard when I was a young kid, and that's the plan I've always tried execute. Sometimes, though, especially when you get to the end of the process, or if you have a unique yard design (like ours), you can't always stick to the plan. And I, on many occasions, have found myself cutting grass like a girl. It happens. Invariably, though, whenever this occurs, it always seems like my old-timer neighbor who served as a Marine, drives by right at that precise moment.
It's like I can hear him muttering under his breath, "he cuts grass like a …," and I swear I always see him shaking his head as he accelerates after making the turn in front of my yard. Oh well, maybe it's just all in my head.
Another thing about cutting grass is getting the dang thing started. It always takes me back to my childhood when, probably about every other time, I couldn't get it cranked and I'd have to get Dad to do it. Usually, it would end up being, for at least a brief amount of time, a bit of a struggle for him as well. You could always count on some contorted faces and maybe a couple of choice words as he was pulling the cord. It was as if all the stress of the previous week was being channeled into this cathartic ritual. The whole earth might be a big ole catastrophe and there are about 127 different things on your mind, but by God, we're gonna get this darn lawnmower running! And that's how it is with me, years and years later.
You do some really good thinking when you're cutting the grass. At first, it's a ton of thoughts, in all directions, all at once. But as you expend that energy, and continue to get more and more done, those thoughts tend to whittle down and the energy seems to get less frenetic. You tend to feel more peaceful and serene. And about the time you finish up, and get to sit down on the porch with your ice cold beverage, you look out and smile. That feeling of instant gratification we're always yearning for envelopes you, and with a calm, quiet mind, you think to yourself maybe something like this:
“The world might be a mess, and there's so much going on in this crazy place, but I got my grass cut today, and it was good.”
And what is it about the smell of fresh-cut grass that simply captures us?
Marshall McCart aspires to one day be able to fully and truly articulate that peculiar essence of what The Esoteric South is all about. He can be reached at marshall.mccart@gmail.com.

A Moment From MB: Talkin' the #COV, the home county & TPC; The Road Ahead ; Odds & Ends

Greetings, Dear Reader, and I hope this post finds you well. It's been awhile since we've had a tête-à-tête. 

So, in the past two weeks I've put out pieces on the financials of both the City of Covington & Newton Co. Both are concerning. Both are based on audited information & were pulled directly from the governmental entity's own paperwork, but yet, somehow...magically, my information is "not accurate." 

Well, frankly, I call B.S. 

I'm more of a facts & data type of fella, you can keep the rhetoric & guh'mint doublespeak to yourselves. 

But the big thing is this: as I was mentioning to a good friend of mine (and fellow fan of freedom & one of the advertising supporters of TPC), "it's not like it's gonna do anything anyway." This stuff gets put out there. The minority of folks who actually care about it react with disdain - as well they should - and then...nothing ever seems to happen. 

It seems disheartening, but it's really just the way of the world, friends, and that's okay. We "...beat on, boats against the current." 

As some of you may have noticed, TPC has been rather post-heavy here recently. In fact, this is the 5th post in about 25 hours. 

Why the increase?  

I'd set a goal, as Editor of this publication, for 40 posts in the month of April, since we announced the ramping up our content. And by gosh, I wanted to hit that goal. With the "Past Piedmont Chronicles" that's got hit at around 11:55, we're gonna meet that goal. "I love it when a plan comes together!" 

As for the road ahead, it's just to keep doin' what were doin'. And it is we - our contributing writers, guest columnists, local advertisers, friends of the program, but most importantly you - the reader. And thank you for that. 

Speaking of contributors, as you may have seen - Alisa Brown has come on board as our Nature Correspondent. And we had two guest correspondents recently as well - my lovely bride, Mrs. Ann McCart, and The Professor - Adriane Ivey. 

Look for the newest print edition of The Chronicles on Friday, May the 3rd. 

And keep an eye out for Kayla's Corner, the Music Minute & another edition of the TPC Report, all coming to you later this week. 

As always, thank you for reading. 

Your Friend, 

MB McCart 

[Perrin Lovett] : No Particular Place Nor Person - A Story from the Modern “Academy”

* Ed. note: we're finally getting another piece of Brother Lovett's fiction, and this make me happy. Enjoy!

Sometimes things happen and nobody cares. Even if what happens is horrible. Worse, many, maybe most folks usually, if they consider matters at all, cheer on the atrocity de jure, especially when calamity comes wrapped in false promises of something … anything. They only begin to care when the wolf is literally at their door. Some only find alarm when jaws close around their own throats. Tom Ironsides wasn’t one of them.

Every morning was a grand new beginning in his educational experiment, serving as a humble substitute teacher in the high schools of a suburban county much like most others across fading America. Monday, April 22nd was no different. Coach R’s first period honors chemistry class, a point of pride at Silver Snuff Comprehensive High, worked rather sleepily on their review sheets. Tom surveyed the room - fourteen working slow but steady, two working on and off, two quietly discussing the weekend, three engaging the digital wonders of social media, and one sleeping soundly. He spoke words of encouragement:

‘It’s all about balance. Calculate the change in pH for each little equation. You should be asking yourself if you have electron donation or reception in progress. Your work goes in the little boxes. Every correct formula will match one of the three answer options for each equation thus leading to the next problem. It’s just an equation-maze puzzle, from “start” to “finish.” This young lady up here is almost finished!’

‘Were you a chemistry teacher before you came here?’ asked a boy from the back-right. He was committing three infractions at once - being black, wearing a hoodie, and listening to something via earbuds. Unconcerned with bureaucracy, Tom had already noted him among the “slow but steady.”

‘I lectured in classical philosophy for three years at a University in Eastern Europe,’ Tom answered, ‘Before that, I did two one-year teaching fellowships, one here and one in France.’

His answer piqued the interest of a few plodders and one of the on-and-off-agains.

Another boy in the back, maybe a “good old boy” inquired, ‘What did you do before that?’

Tom thought for just a second - the plain and direct (and maybe still classified) answer simply would not do. He replied, ‘I … retired from the Marine Corps.’

‘You an officer?’ the first boy wanted to know.

‘Yes, Oh-five, light colonel. I was in … requisitions. At the Pentagon.’ While technically true, this explanation was far from exhaustive. Tom wondered if it would satisfy collective curiosity. Beyond “requisitions” he had always had trouble with explaining things away to the innocent and the by-the-book “I can’t talk about it” never felt right to him.

Of all people, a pretty girl in the front row, the one who was now actually finished, pushed the matter forward: ‘So, is it “Mr. Ironsides,” “Dr. Ironsides,” or “Colonel Ironsides?”’

‘Were you in combat?’ came an inquiry from another good old boy.

Tom, vividly remembering a painful night in Mosul, considered his available options. Balance, Thomas, he told himself. ‘Well, I …’


‘Pardon this announcement,’ squeaked a limp-sounding voice from the ceiling, ‘Teachers, please hold first period for a few minutes after the bell rings. We are starting a… We just need a few minutes to do something.’ After a short pause, it continued, ‘Please keep all students inside the classrooms and keep the doors closed. Keep the students away from the doors…’

Tom starred at the circular speaker for a moment, wondering if there was anything to be added. He hated superfluous chirping, as he heard it. Five, ten seconds passed. Okay, that’s that, he thought. At least his little predicament was diffused. He spoke: ‘Well, now we all have time to finish. Let’s have at it.’

Minutes passed. A bell rang. A tardy bell rang. More minutes passed. Half of second period passed. The students, all of them, were now either tapping at their phones of dozing. From just down the hall, a loud BARK! got their attention.

‘So that’s what that is about,’ Tom smirked. The black boy with the hoodie returned his expression with a chuckle. Some of the kids looked less than pleased.

Tom swiftly stepped to the door and glanced out the narrow, security-wired window. Coming down the hall was a grumpy-looking coach, a lighter-loafers-looking administrator, two tubby lawmen in tactical pants, and a rather handsome German Shepherd. Tom instantly formulated a plan which he found both defiant and amusing. He stepped to the front of the class. ‘When they come in, everyone look at me,’ he said. The class nodded along.

Someone twisted a key in the unlocked door. It opened and in walked the grumpy coach. Tom “resumed” his lecture: ‘... and that’s why the Georgia sheriff pled guilty to violating the students’ civil rights, violating his oath of office, kidnapping, obstruction, and…’ He looked at the now quizzical coach, ‘Hello! How may I help you?’

After gaping at Tom for a second, the coach spoke directly to the class, ‘I need everyone to step out in the hall. Just leave yer bags and jackets in here. Take off yer coats. Just leave everything. And, hurry it up.’ He turned and, avoiding Tom’s steady thousand-yard stare, said, ‘I, uh, please step out with them. Sir.’

‘Love to!’ boomed Tom as he waltzed into the hall. He walked straight up to the nearest obese deputy, ‘Can I have a look at your warrant? I’m writing a research paper on probable cause.’

The officer looked confused and almost frightened. ‘I don’t… We… It’s routine procedure.’

‘Just kidding,’ Tom said with a laugh, wheeling to face the class, now assembled along a locker-embedded wall, ‘Thank god the dog barked, right kids? Just enough time to flush that fresh batch!’ With that, twenty-two previously sullen and dejected teenagers roared with laughter.

Even the deputies checked smiles as they entered with the Shepherd. Grumpy Coach also stepped back in and closed the door behind them.

Tom’s mind briefly addressed the sub-compact .45 on his ankle. Not a thought about it. You don’t print and you never touch, Thomas. And, that’s only a drug-sniffing dog. Of course, it would impress the hell out of these kids to pull OC on this rabble of petty tyrants... His thoughts were cut short by the suspiciously swishy administrator, who now angrily addressed the still snickering students.

Mr. Assistant Something chastised the children, ‘Now! We’re not gonna have any of that. This is very important and if you don’t want to…’ He was cut off, in turn, by Tom, who stepped in front of the little man, making sure to “accidentally” brush shoulders.

Tom asked bluntly, in his long-unused direct action mission voice, ‘Did the principal invite them here?’

Stammering, all the man in the pink plaid shirt could muster was something about a policy at the board office.

Tom continued, ‘Under sixteen dash seventeen dash four-twenty, either the school’s principal or president has to authorize any outside visits. By anybody. You don’t have a president, just a principal. He didn’t invite them, huh? No warrant. Are they in hot pursuit of a dangerous felon or something?’

The little man looked worried. The kids, having found a new hero, looked on in rapt silence. Tom looked CIA serious. He didn’t blink.

Luckily, the classroom door opened at that most awkward moment. ‘I think we’re done this morning,’ said one of the county’s finest (and largest).

‘Okay, y’all can resume the science,’ barked Coachy the Grouch as he lumbered away.

‘We’re studying civil rights, at the moment,’ rejoined Tom as the kids filed into the room.

Several minutes later there came another BEEP from above. The squeaky voice (now sounding a little shaken) announced the “project” was over and that all students should report to second period. He thanked everyone and extolled the school’s commitment to “safety.” He added that the Pride Club would meet Wednesday after school in his office. He ended with the lame house motto: ‘Cause you can’t get enough of the Snuff stuff!’ A bell rang.

Thanks to “safety,” second period lasted all of seven minutes - barely long enough for Tom to take attendance and tell the new kids to do the pH review sheet for homework.


Another idiotic interruption from the sky heralded the fact that parents and the community were being alerted to that morning’s successful - nothing at all was found - routine safety search via Facebook and Instagram. Another bell rang.

Third period was Coach R’s planning period. For Tom, it was investigative and alarm-ringing time. He quickly downloaded the school’s letter from Zuck’s Suckerbook site, read it, and suppressed a laugh. The damned stupid letter hadn’t even been up for fifteen minutes and it already had garnered twenty-eight little “likes” and “hearts.” The mindlessly cheerful comments had started as well, most of them thanking Providence for “safety.”

Yeah, keep the kids safe by stomping on their Constitutionally-protected liberties, Tom mumbled to himself.

The last, latest comment caught his eye. It was from the little effeminate admin man, who apparently had just posted the letter itself. His self-congratulatory remark got under Tom’s thick skin: ‘No, sir. Nothing illegal was found. But, then again, if they’re not doing anything wrong, then they have nothing to worry about.’

Tom repeated that to himself as he dialed the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The conversation, once it started, was a little disjointed.

‘Hello. I’m not sure if you’ll consider this civil or criminal. I’d call it criminal. My name is Tom and I’m a substitute high school teacher. I’m a mandatory reporter. I just witnessed a school and the local police break violate scores of students’ rights, break about a dozen laws…’

Forty minutes later, Tom was wrapping up an interview with an ASA and two special agents when Little Mr. Pink Shirt snuck to the door. Eavesdropping, he caught the last of the conversation, Tom’s end:

‘Definitely. Under the State Constitution too. Maybe under forty-two U-S-C nineteen-eighty-three? No. I don’t know the state’s kidnapping statute. The one for disrupting a school - it’s a one-year misdemeanor - is sixteen dash seventeen dash four-twenty. Ha, ha! Yeah, like pot… Conspiracy for all counts. RICO too, if I was really tacking on shit. Oh, hey, thanks, gentlemen, ma’am. Bell’s about to ring and my coffee cup is empty. No. No, I doubt anyone from here to there cares at all about any of this. But, I thank you. Goodbye.’

Pinky recoiled from the doorway and slunk back to his office. More bells rang. Coffee was consumed. pH was balanced. A girl thought Tom looked like a cartoon robot.

Around four o’clock Tom signed out. Another successful day in his experiment and one he would remember. He turned around and saw the Plaid Swisher standing in the corner.

‘Who were you talking to this morning during third,’ that squeaky, annoying voice asked.

‘FBI,’ Tom deadpanned, ‘I’m a mandatory reporter, don’t you know.’ He turned to leave but couldn’t help adding one last thing: ‘Of course, if you’re not doing anything wrong ... then you have nothing to worry about.’


The next Monday morning, on his drive back to Silver Snuff of all places, came a predictable call from Agent Sara Smith (who sounded young and kind of sweet). She regretted to inform Tom that, after an exhaustive (one-week) investigation, the Bureau and the Department were declining to do anything about the previous week’s matters. Something about a Facebook barometer. Something else about being overworked assisting refugees and making sure commercial banks were protected against customer withdrawals. She asked Tom to keep the issue quiet. Not an issue for this particular sub. For the past twenty years, he never had a problem maintaining silence. Sa la vie.

Eight o’clock. A bell. A BEEP. Something about the “Snuff stuff!,” and Tom looked out at Coach R’s first period once again. He dropped the prepared lesson plans in the lab countertop sink and began,

‘About last Monday, kids. About that. It’s important to follow the law … for safety and so forth. And … the law, and the CFR, just happen to say that a person can make up to one-half ounce of certain things before it’s a problem, legally-speaking. Now, this being a boring old chemistry class and all, who’s ever heard of Torpex? I have here a dash of powdered aluminum...’


CFF Public Service Announcement:

Every week in this country, government schools and local law enforcement routinely throw the law out the schoolhouse window - at the expense of your children. Your acquiescing “likes” and “hearts” be damned.

Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. School Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969). They don’t shed the following either:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

- U.S. CONST. Amend. IV (1792)

Rights may not be “shed” but they can be trampled. If we allow it. Will you?

CF Floyd Feature Writer of Affairs National

Nature Watching with The Alibug: Grosbeaks, Finches & Raccoons, Oh My!

By: Alisa Johnson Brown, Nature Correspondent 

~ Special to The Chronicles ~ 

It's time for some serene nature shots from the Alibug. Enjoy! 

Need Recommendations!
Two Grosbeaks! Pretty special to have two at one time!!! 😃

However....I'm having a terrible time with the Cowbirds. It's illegal to shoot them, and I'm not sure I could. But they are in some cases literally fighting my songbirds that are regulars here and the migrating birds TOO!! So.....I HAVE decided I'm going to SHOOT them, but with a water gun. So if any of you know a good water gun that will shoot a straight stream of water a pretty good distance, please let me know!! Thank you!!
Male Blue Grosbeak

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak


How many of you knew that House Finches are NOT native to Eastern North America!? Funny....we seem to like them better than Starlings and House Sparrows which are also not native!

"The House Finch was originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico. In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, after failed attempts to sell them as cage birds (“Hollywood finches”). They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within the next 50 years."

(Male) House Finch striking a pose...


Years ago a storm with some tornadic activity in the area cropped out the top of this pretty White Oak. It repaired itself! Lots of times trees will repair themselves even from lightning damage. This tree formed a flat girdle that I've always thought would be an excellent and comfortable perch for some critter! But I never saw a critter until this morning!

- Alisa Brown 

Multi-generational Newtonian & former WGFS radio host, Ms. Alisa loves the outdoors, birds, the arts, fine dining & great music. She's also got a thing for pirates... An absolutely wonderful woman, we're so glad to have her beautiful nature pics here at TPC. 

Recapping the April Sunday Social at City Pharmacy

* Guest Correspondents Adriane Ivey & Ann McCart contributed to this report 

The third-ever Sunday Social held at City Pharmacy on the 28th of April on the Historic Downtown Covington Square was a resounding success! Very well attended, multiple accounts detailed a fine evening of food, fun & fellowship, not to mention exquisite art & some "amazing music." 

Lesley (L) & Candice - two great women; two great artists!

The art, as mentioned in our previous piece, was the showcasing of two of Covington's most impressive Artists - Lesley Daunt & Candice Dean

Folks couldn't stop talking about both of their respective works... 

A couple of Candice's paint pieces, she also had some of her acrylic, resin & furniture works as well

Part of Lesley's "Music is Iconic" series

By the way, quick sidebar - the food, per usual, was outstanding! And many folks were really getting into the spirit. What with the amazing food & art, how could one not? But what apparently really took things to the next level was the musical entertainment. 

Pony League simply killed it Sunday night, folks. This band is something else! 

Atlanta band, Pony League

The ladies had a chance to chat with the fellas a bit. 

Interview with Pony League 
How did you get together?

Met in high school (Chamblee). Went to Georgia State. 
Playing together since 2003, in different bands
Started as punk rock in college. Gus used to play drums. Fox Trotsky. 
Gus grew up with a piano but hadn't taken lessons. 
Mason started as guitarist 
This exact set up has been about 4-5 years 
Justin (acoustic guitar player) has his own digital record label. 
How would you characterize your music? What category would you put it in?

Folk rock, Americana, piano rock 

Your favorite place to play ever?

Southeast, definitely The Earl - so comfortable 
Coolest place to play? Red Rocks. 
Brent Cobb and Dave Cobb
Jason Isbell

Future Gigs?
May 14
Smith's Old Bar
Early show

What a night in Downtown Covington!

And keep it tuned into TPC - Your Source for the REAL Stories of Music, the Arts & Culture. Look for a Music Minute later this week for some of the weekend's upcoming shows & be on the lookout for Kayla's Corner hitting digital newsstands tomorrow in which she'll be talking about the Biggers Family Band's show on the Square on Thursday.

As always, we appreciate you reading. Til next time!

- MBM 

Adriane Ivey & Ann McCart, Correnspondents 

A & A 

29 April 2019

An Analysis of the Financials of the Newton Co. Government, 1st Report

By: MB McCart, Editor

The Newton Co. government, for fiscal year 2018, saw its best year, in terms of revenue, ever -- after realizing a 15% rate of appreciation in increased revenue, $87.6 million vs the previous year's $76.3 million. 

For the majority of us who saw our ad valorem assessed values skyrocket, this is really no surprise, but it is pretty telling, no? Most of us got the memo - the business of government is a good business to be in right now, and while the private sector is growing, due mainly to the changes in the regulatory & tax structures at the federal & state levels, regular wages & capital investment still remains fairly stagnant. But that's simply not the case for most of the 159 counties & approx 600 municipalities of the our fine state, is it? But...that's another discussion for another time. 

The most concerning bit of information, though, at least for this writer, was the rate at which Newton County's government grew this past year: 

The expenditures of Newton government increased $9 million in FY 2018. 

And folks, the increase of judicial & legal costs of this past fiscal year was actually almost flat. The problem was the usual culprit - the "general government" of Newton Co, which overran it budget by approx $8.8 million deficit, per page 26 of Newton Co.'s financial report. 

So, fearless readers, not unlike the City of Covington, the TL;DR version of things is this: 

"Not Looking Good..." 

As always, thanks for reading. 

- MB McCart 

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: The Kids Are Growing Up

This past Saturday was bitter-sweet for me.  It rudely drug my head out of my... memories.  Not what you thought I was gonna write, is it?  It also spilled many more memories out across my mind.

My favorite rent-a-kid got married (rent-a-kids are those that never had to knock on my door, knew what time meals were served, could always find a spot to crash for the night and became just a part of the menagerie we called “home”).  It was a –beautiful- ceremony, but shocking too.  Left me happy, sad, mourning the kids they used to be, proud and excited for the adults they have become...  It’s confusing.  All these kids are grown, getting married, and having children.  They’re “adults” now!  

Stories were told, of course, about their growing up.  Brothers getting into a fight resulting one’s head through an office window.  One of my Things swinging on an office door and putting his butt through another window.  Losing my rent-a-kid in the round bale hay barn – we found the kid but never recovered the good, expensive leather jacket his mom had just gotten him…  We both got in trouble for that one.  Now, some of my new favorites are them complaining about their children, who turned out just like them, and they can’t figure out how we survived their upbringing.  Sometimes payback is –wonderful-!

The kids all still call me “Ms. Bess,” even though they’re grown and I’ve been relegated to the “Old Folks Group.”  Yes, those of us that are hard of hearing, poor eyesight, a malady of aches and pains, and avoid crowds with a passion.  In this group it’s more comfortable and the stories go back even farther.  You know, the ones about what we did when –we- were “adults” their age.  Most of those will never be published.  Some should be forgotten.  Others were “Oh, I wish you didn’t remember that.”

It’s sad that we only seem to get together anymore for weddings and funerals.  Think I’ll start planning my funeral now so –I- can enjoy it.  

It was a wonderful, beautiful day.  Great food, good company and a heartfelt ceremony for us all to celebrate the newlyweds.

All my love and best wishes to the new couple.  There won’t be a honeymoon.  Husband and wife are both active duty Air Force.  Wife is being deployed to Afghanistan and husband is returning to flight school.  I think they’ll do just fine, like Ying and Yang.  They compliment and complete each other.

To add the final icing on the cake – I wish them children JUST LIKE THEM!!!  Looking forward to the stories, kids!