Clover

Part III: We bring the storm with us

The next morning arrived quicker than I could dream it up. Mama had been up well into the early morning hours making sure each cardboard box was taped, labeled, and stored neatly in the living room for the movers. Daddy gassed up his truck the day before yesterday, cleaned out the garage, and cooked us the perfect bbq meal last night. I can still taste that chicken — yummy. I slept so hard I couldn’t hear a single thing. I was excited about today; I am excited about today and I just want to hurry up and get on the road.

Daddy says it’ll take about two hours and thirty minutes from here in Summerville to Hopeulikit. At least we don’t have to be on the road for too long. I hate traveling long distances in Daddy’s truck. It’s dependable but it’s old and loud and is a rusty orange color — so, it’s not a looker by any form of the word. Daddy says, “It gets us where we need to go and when and that’s all that matters.”

He has a point but I’d rather be in Mama’s subtle sedan. It’s reliable, good on gas, and Mama always selects the best music stations on the radio. Daddy listens to gospel all day long and not the contemporary or modern kind, either.

No . . . not anything for Clover.

He plays the Georgia Mass Choir, Mississippi Mass Choir, The Winans, The Clark Sisters, The Anointed Pace Sisters, and the list goes on and on and on. Mama sways her head and hums to each song. Sometimes, she even gets emotional. But she has a wider range of music appreciation and that’s what I prefer most.

Daddy says we’re not making any stops so for me to eat, use the bathroom, and put my raincoat in the backseat of the truck with me. Forecast ain’t callin’ for rain but Daddy is usually spot-on when it comes to the weather — better than those fancy dolled-up weather people on the tv. They’re almost always wrong. I do as I’m told and make sure my raincoat is sitting right next to me when we leave.

Mama takes her place in the front seat, next to Daddy. She smiles. A hint of sunlight kisses her cheeks. Daddy smiles back at her. They hold hands for a brief moment. Daddy says a prayer for safe travels and we thank “the Good Lord above” for another day’s waking up — in our right minds. And before you know it, the truck’s radio is blasting Shirley Caesar’s “No Charge” and we’re off to Hopeulikit.

The loud thump-thwack sound of the truck upon ignition is common. I don’t flinch — not one move. I’ve grown so used to this thing happening that it seems second nature. Daddy asks if I’ve made myself comfortable and to him, I respond, “I sure have” and I settle in for what will be an early morning nap. I don’t remember time sailing by so quickly ever before but as soon as I open my eyes, we approached Statesboro, Georgia, and shortly after, Hopeulikit.


It is as if God above anointed my daddy to read the skies. I look up and that same pink burnt storm sky from Summerville greets us. The underbelly of the sky is the most beautiful thing — I wish I could jump straight up and touch it. Just as I was losing myself in my thoughts, the bottom falls out and I hurry to wrap myself inside my raincoat — slapping the hood on my head within seconds.

Mama lifts a huge umbrella to her chest then out to the air and presses a button for it to open. She and Daddy scatter under it before we begin to unload our items from the truck.

The movers pull up moments later. Daddy signals them to start with the bigger items then work their way down to the smaller ones. Two of the men have ponchos on while the other is soaked from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. I wonder, “will he track that mess through our new home or will Daddy advise him to hang tight while the others do what they can before the winds pick up?”

He throws up a trembling hand at Daddy and asks, “Where should we start?” Daddy doesn’t waste any time letting him know, “You can start as long as you and your crew get some plastic laid down in the main areas.”

I watch the men pull out a long roll of plastic and begin rolling from our new foyer, through the hallway, and into our living room and dining room. After that, they’re moving lightning fast, unloading boxes and furniture, and knick-knacks.

Daddy wants to help. He busies himself with the few things we loaded in the truck and I follow behind him to help. Rain is coming down like cats and dogs. I pull the hat of my raincoat tighter and tuck the curls of my hair under it.

One hour later, everything is unloaded and I stand in my new bathroom, peel the clothes from my body, and cough. Mama hears me. I know she’ll want to flood my body with Cod liver oil. Yuck!

I already don’t like Hopeulikit.


Originally published in The Weekly Knob on Medium.

Part I and Part II

Clover

Part II: The sorta pink lipstick

Photo by Ithalu Dominguez via Pexels

I don’t know what to call this feeling.


I brush the broom across our foyer and cringe — woosh-woosh.



Clover, Part I

Writers: A Challenge

“Family” in Three Words

My baby cousins (Jaidynn & Caison) and me. Two loves of my life. They enjoy making silly faces with me. I mean, what more could a big cousin ask for?

I am blessed to have so many little ones in my life and family members who love, adore, welcome, and enjoy being around me. This pandemic, in its early stages, put a heavy kink into my visiting plans and time spent with those closest to me in distance but now — I venture out just a little bit more. Being around them lifts me up in ways that are almost inexplicable. Many of you are familiar with Caison and Jaidynn and have watched them grow up over the years as I’ve shared stories or poems about them. Jaidynn will be six in August and Caison will be four in October. Time flies by so quickly and on most days, I want to pull it by its ears, settle it in my grasp, and beg it to stop.

So, the challenge? Tell me something about your family or what family means to you or why you rely on your family but do so in just three words.

Here’s mine:

Smiles
that heal.

Writers, it’s your turn . . . Tell me about your family but in just three words. I know you can do this; I’m sure you can do this. I’ll be kicking off this 4th by visiting my mom for a few hours — that’ll be some additional quality “family” time after seeing the little ones yesterday.

Please, bring it!

And of course, there’s music. Sister Sledge, We Are Family (This song makes me feel all the feels. I used to play my mom’s record to death. No regrets.)

YouTube

Originally shared via Medium.

Writers: A Challenge

Reminisce (Three Words Only)

My kid brother moved to Seattle, Washington this past May. He is the youngest boy of our mighty seven and one who lived with me for three years and remained in North Carolina for five years after that. To say I miss the kid is a major understatement. I am ten years older than him — he was eight when I left for college and confessed to me when he was about twenty years old that he felt his “mother” was leaving him. I carried that with me for a long while but had to remind him — although I was significantly older, I was not his mother — am not his mother — he has one. We have one.

I thought of our connection this morning and it sparked this challenge. Using three words only, give me a snippet of a memory — any memory that sends you sailing down the nostalgic rabbit hole.

Here’s mine:

estivating — no . . .
permanence.

He isn’t just visiting somewhere for the summer, he has ventured to make Washington his home — at least for now. I am planning on visiting him sometime next year.

Now, it’s your turn . . . Writers, let’s get creative! Reminisce, but use three words only. Please, bring it!


And yes, a bit of music: They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) Pete Rock & CL Smooth

YouTube

Originally shared via Medium.