Friday, May 30, 2008 different they can be...........

Growing up, I was around family constantly. Mostly family on my Daddy's side. We'd go to both grandparents house every weekend, but I remember the Forsyth's side more because there was always so much going on there. At MaMaw Kimbrell's house it was somewhat quieter. I was an only child till my mother betrayed me and had my middle brother. I was 8 years old and perfectly content with things the way they were. That year it seemed like I stayed with MaMaw and PaPaw more than I stayed at home. I do remember that summer I was there for several weeks because Buddy was born with a large cyst on his shoulder and a hernia, so he had to have a couple of surgeries. I remember I spent my 9th Birthday at MaMaw's house. As much as I loved them, I sure did miss my Mama and Daddy.

I lived at Blair Village Apartments, on Lacey Circle Drive. Our apartment was a two bedroom one bath, with a kitchen, dinning area, living room and front stoop. Those apartments were freezing cold in the winter and burning hot in the summer. The tile floor was the type of tile that is stuck down with glue. I want to say it was a gray color.....I'm not sure.
The back porch was a cement pad with several steps going down into the back court yard. The apartments were, if I remember correctly, 4 units long. They were placed in squares with an interior court yard in the back of the units. There there were the border ones that had a court yard in the front as well, with a parking area as the top of the square.

My Uncle Art Nix was the maintenance supervisor for the complex. Blair Village was very, very large. Uncle Art worked hard. He was most always covered in paint. People were always coming or going at the Village. Uncle Art and Aunt Ophelia had 5 children, three girls and 2 boys. They lived in the building below us in the main court yard. Mary, their youngest daughter was my favorite playmate. She and I were into everything! We stayed in trouble. I'll recount some of our adventures later.

Then there was my Uncle Dorsey and Aunt Doris. They lived a couple of blocks over from us. Donna (yep, the Donna of the onion patch) is their oldest, along with 2 brothers and 1 sister. Uncle Dorsey (aka: The Greatest) was a favorite uncle of mine. He was fun to be around. He drank to much and too long, finally succumbing to liver disease due to the drinking. Dorsey was a biker, probably where I got my love of it. He used to ride us kids all over the neighborhood when I'd spend the night with them. There were always guys with bikes there.

When we went to MaMaw and PaPaw's house on the weekend, there were cousins by the dozens there. All the grown ups would sit around and talk, all the kids would be playing all over the place. Sometimes we'd wind up at Cedar Grove Elementary School down on the play ground for a softball game. The grown ups would play and we kids would play on the playground equipment for hours! Then we'd go back to the house and eat or have more grown up talk and kid play. We kids would often wind up hunting lightening bugs. MaMaw would give us old mayonnaise jars to keep them in. The poor things would light up all night in those jars, crawling up and down in vain, trying to find their way out. Many's the night I fell asleep watching lightening bugs in a jar beside my bed.

Ahhhhh.........for the simple times again...................

Papaw Forsyth's Sweet Onions

Setting: Cochran Mill Road, Fairburn, GA
Time: 1960 something

I spent a lot of time at my MaMaw and PaPaw Forsyth's house. I loved it there. A lake, pasture land, creeks, an old barn, a country store within walking distance, who wouldn't love that? It was paradise for a little girl that lived in the "city".

We lived in Blair Village Apartments in Atlanta. There were very few places there that I could play outside. Traffic and other concerns my Mom had kept me indoors or very close to the apartment most of the time.

Not only did I love to go to MaMaw's house but my cousins did as well.

One summer, my cousin Donna and I had our own little play house carved out in the old barn, although MaMaw didn't like us playing in there too much, to dangerous she said. We had little chipped cups and saucers for dishes, old milk bottles and other discarded kitchen items, to play tea party with. We had our favorite doll's there for our babies, soft old hay for beds and old blankets to make our beds more comfortable.

PaPaw had a tiny little garden, he wasn't very strong due to back problems.  In his tiny garden there were a few tomato plants, maybe a cucumber or two, a squash plant and sweet onions. Donna and I helped PaPaw to plant the vegetables, most of the time we ruined more than we planted.

This particular year, PaPaw had the usual items planted when we got there. He'd put a fence of chicken wire around the tomato's so they could climb, little stakes marked the sweet onion bulbs and small mounds, or "hills" as PaPaw called them, of black soil marked the cucumbers and squash seed locations.

Donna and I stood looking at the tiny garden and thinking about all the good things to eat that would come from it. As we stood gazing at the marvelous sight, PaPaw came out and warned us about bothering the garden. In particular, he warned us not to touch the tiny sweet onions. Well, wave a red flag in front of a bull why don't you? Donna and I stared down at the Sweet Onions.....sweet he'd called them. That did it, from that minute on, we dreamed of how a sweet onion must taste. "Like candy?", Donna asked. "No, can't be, onions burn", I replied. "But PaPaw said they were sweet, sweet don't burn, and besides, I like sweet onions. I want some!" Donna had made up her mind that we were going to have sweet onions with our tea party and that was that. She reached over and grabbed a handful of the green tops and pulled! Out they popped, the tiny white bulbs with little thread like roots dangled temptingly in front of us. We ran for the well house to wash them off, our excitement grew as the warning PaPaw gave us faded from our memories.

As we were washing the sweet onions, Donna and I talked of how we'd "cook" them. We should cut them up and eat them with slices of bread or biscuits left over from breakfast was my suggestion. Donna wanted to simply eat them whole and have a tomato biscuit along with them. So it was decided that we'd eat them with a tomato biscuit and have cool water from the well for our "tea".

We ran to our playhouse in the barn and proceeded to have our tea party. Putting our babies to nap in their beds, we prepared the table for our feast. MaMaw had fixed us up a nice "lunch" to have for our tea and we sat down with our stolen onions to enjoy. And enjoy we did. Those biscuits with tomato and mayonnaise were heavenly, the water cool and thirst quenching. We didn't eat many of the onions. We found them not to our liking as they weren't sweet at all but sharp and hot.  We were just finishing up our feast when we heard MaMaw calling us to come to the house.

We ran to the house, laughing and planning our next tea party. Not knowing the fire storm waiting for us there.

PaPaw had found the empty spot in the garden where the onions had been. He was livid. First thing he said was, do ya'll know anything about my onions? Well, I knew we were done for. Donna right off the bat said, "No Papaw, we don't know nothin' about your onions." All innocent and light she was and believable.

PaPaw looked at me and I looked at the floor. "Well?" He asked me, "What do you know about my missing onions?" I continued to look at the floor, feeling like a louse. "PaPaw", I said, "I didn't take the onions." Which wasn't exactly a lie, I didn't exactly pull the onions, but I knew what had happened, I was there, I was guilty and he knew it.

PaPaw could tell when I'd done something wrong, he said he could "read me like a book". And he could. My PaPaw could take one look at me and ask what I'd been up too and I'd spill it all! Tell him evey thing I'd done wrong. He always would say, "Kat, you know better" and that would be it. He didn't have to take a switch to me, the look on his face would be plenty enough to have me in tears and saying I was sorry for what ever transgression I'd made.

So, when PaPaw looked at me looking at the floor he turned back to Donna and asked if she didn't want to change her story. Well, Donna wasn't giving up, she claimed a big dog got into the garden and took the onions, then she said maybe worms ate'em. PaPaw stood there looking at us, his mouth twitching, I thought we were dead. He was actually, I found out later, about to crack up laughing. Then, with a very angry look on his face he said to me, open your mouth and blow your breath out. I didn't, not quite understanding what was going on with that. Then he turned to Donna and said the same, she did, but she knew why he'd asked that. We knew then, we were caught. Evidently my onion breath was fairly low, hers however, was off the scale! Then PaPaw did the strangest thing. He told us to "git outside and play", but as we were heading out the door, he added, "don't go far, you got some work to do this afternoon."

Our work turned out to be weeding the garden, since we liked pulling up stuff as PaPaw said. Then we had to sweep the front porch, wash the dishes from supper and had to go to bed without watching any TV.

After our "punishment" was done, we lay in bed talking about our day. Donna would be going home the next afternoon so we had some planning to do. One thing we didn't plan to do was touch anything in the garden with out PaPaw's permission!

This brings to mind the Horse Apple Trees......................

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No. This is not a blog about motorcycles. Yes, there will be motorcycles discussed in this blog, but it isn't about them. My life does not revolve around motorcycles, pretty close though.

This blog is about a journey that began 49 years ago in Macon, Georgia. There will be discriptions of my life lessons and what I learned from them. There will be tears, laughter, sadness and delight, but there will not be pity, anger nor revenge. Those are for God to deal with and help me through.

So, I invite any that will, come along with me on a journey and discover the true meaning of this life.