To thewritesteph.com faithful:
I’m sorry that I can’t post my usual prose, today. I contracted some tummy virus that has kept me inside since Saturday. I surely have missed my church family! As to everyone on cyberspace, I hope to get back to writing on Wednesday or so.
When I was growing up in rural south Alabama, we had a small stream that we liked to play in. We called it “the branch.” What country kid can resist playing in water? Ben and I learned a lot about water tables and soil errosion from playing there.
I found this description, along with its line art, in one of my journals. I’ll copy it just as I wrote it in 1984, without any editing.
At the Branch
The “branch” is a good name for the stream that runs through Papa’s pasture. It changes over the years and branches in many places and the deepest part is less than 2 yards wide. Later, it branches into our big creek in Daddy’s own pasture which leads to the Tombigbee river. The branch holds hours of both summer and winter playtime. Ben and I have always dug extra passages for water to flow. It have [sic] huge banks and clay bottoms even at the floor of the branch which is only one or two feet at the deepest. Mama usually always disappoves [sic] of us at the branch because of glass bottles and snakes. I have only gotten cut twice in 14 years. (Summer “84”) Ben got snakebit but only way off down where we dont play and it is snakey and bushy. We enjoy the branch!
Ben, my pony, and I, playing at the branch.
My journal page.
The back of Gihon Springs Grocery and the foundation of our house.
My mom and dad both attended the University of Alabama, but they didn’t meet until they were both teaching in Winfield, Alabama. Mom was a second grade teacher, and Dad taught math at the high school. A couple of colleagues set them up on a blind date.
Sometime after they got married, they decided to take on one of Papa’s businesses. He had Gihon Grocery and Sunny Land. Sunny Land consisted of a small store and motel on Romar Beach (near Gulf Shores).
Papa recommended that they buy the store in Gihon Springs. He said that it was a better place to raise a family, but I’m pretty sure that it’s really because he wanted them to live near him and Gramma. I wish my parents had chosen the beach…one of my favorite places in the world. But then I would be blogging about growing up at the beach!
My parents opted to buy the store and 160 acres of Findley land. They actually had the house built onto the back of the store. It made very interesting living arrangements, to be sure. We never had to go grocery shopping. Mom would just have me run to the store to get whatever we needed. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The pictures that I have are of our house being built onto Gihon Grocery.
View from Papa and Gramma Findley’s yard.
Great-Gramma Bee, Aunt Lyn, Cousin Lydia, and Gramma come around the corner of the store to see the progress of the new house.
Happy Earth Day, everyone!
Today, I’m in a mad dash. I’ve got an editing deadline for the 25th, and Princess Buttercup’s class is putting on a school play at noon, today. You know that commercial where the little girl comes into the kitchen, hair mussed, and she’s still in her little jammies? You know, the one where she then says that she’s got to dress up like Martin van Buren? What follows is that the mom is in a scramble to get the child’s costume together.
Yeah, my life, too.
Well, that’s what this morning has been like…kinda. But it’s not all Buttercup’s fault. She did tell me, yesterday, that she needed clean jeans and a western shirt. First of all, our dryer isn’t working, so I had to hang-dry the blue jeans. And don’t tell Buttercup, but this morning I found the shirt at Wal-mart, in the boys’ section. (Shhhh. She wouldn’t like the fact that it’s a boy’s shirt!) It is a white, button-down oxford shirt. It should do, right?
I’m taking a break in my editing work to write my blog. Also, to take a shower, dress, put on makeup, get my cameras together… I’m not doing this all at once, though. We aren’t fancy enough, in the Robertson household, to have a pc in the shower. haha! I will try to have it all together tomorrow.