Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Little White House on Willow Branch Road

My parents traded houses with my grandparents on my daddy's side when I was four, which would be in 1963, so we moved from the big house to the little white house.  They decided to trade houses because the big house had more room, and then my two aunts and an uncle were still living at home.  The little white house was located about half a mile down the same road, Willow Branch Road, as the big house. 
Image result for 1962 Christmas card with Santa
Image from here

My most vivid memory of the little house is Christmas, and Mama and Daddy coming to the bedroom my brother and I shared to coax us out of bed to see what Santa brought us.  Can you imagine children having to be coaxed out of bed on Christmas morning?  I guess my brother and I were a bit timid.  It could have something to do with watching for Santa and his sleigh out the bedroom window.  Maybe we were afraid he would still be there and we were shy.  

I remember only one of my Christmas gifts and it was a horse pillow for TV watching.  My brother and I each got one.

Image result for Twilight Zone pig snout people
Image from here

One other memory I have from living in the little white house was watching Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock with my parents.  They probably didn't think I was watching, but those people with pig snouts scared me, and I also remember dolls that came to life.  That memory could explain why I freaked out when I discovered my husband years later watching Stephen King's "It" while our toddler played in the same room!

My dad and baby sister at the little white house

One day Mama and us kids were outside, Mama sitting on the back step with my baby sister Sharon, and Allen and I playing in the backyard.  A red wasp landed in Mama's hair and as she shook her head to get it out, it decided to take off after me!  Mama cried, "Run, April!"  So I ran.  But I didn't run fast enough or far enough.  I stopped running and that red wasp popped me on the forehead over my left eyebrow and then on my hand when I brushed it away.  I still have the hole in my forehead from the stinger.  I've been afraid of wasps ever since.  Mama tried. . .   Wait, isn't that a song?

Me helping with Sharon at the little white house

I don't have many more memories of life in the little white house, but I do remember Mama chasing my brother around the house in a tight shift dress.  I don't recall if they were playing or if he was in trouble!  (Probably the latter.)

On to the house by the football field  in Van. . .stay tuned!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bad Weather is Good Weather

Image from here

Disclaimer:  Before you read this, please understand that no disrespect is intended toward those who have been adversely affected by bad weather, and I'm sure if I had lost possessions or people because of the weather I would have a different opinion.  In fact, I did lose a brother-in-law, niece, and nephew in an accident in a snowstorm several years ago.  Nevertheless. . .

I love me some bad weather. (I'm not an English teacher any more, okay?)  Rain, fog, clouds, snow, sleet, thunderstorms, you name it, I prefer bad weather over sunny days any time.  And yes, I am serious.  This coming from the girl who stayed indoors at age 6 when the whole family was outdoors all day.  It was too windy.  I hate the wind.  Correction.  I don't like being out in the wind.  I don't mind a good howling wind if I can stay inside.

When stormy weather is forecast I get almost as giddy as the meteorologists on the local news stations.  I said, almost.  I really love thunderstorms.  I will open my front door and stand behind the storm door to watch the lightning play across the sky.  We are fortunate enough where I live to be able to see the horizon, unhidden by trees or buildings.  I will watch the cloud bank of an approaching cold front creep its way toward us.  Even when there are severe weather warnings I enjoy watching the lightning, thunder, and rain from the storm door.

Image result for Lindale tornado
Image from here
This tornado hit my hometown last year!

I even have a hard time staying in the bathroom, which is our safe room, during a tornado warning.  I will usher my two dogs inside our guest bathroom because it is an inner room with no windows, and I will try and wait patiently for the threat to go away.  I keep my cell phone handy to check radar and receive weather updates, but inevitably in a few minutes I am sticking my head out the door or leaving altogether to watch weather updates on TV.  Of course, then the dogs run out and I have to corral them again.  Wouldn't the smartest thing be to remain in the safe room until the threat passed?  My son says he does the same thing.  He wants to know what's going on, at the risk of getting caught out in it.

Granted, since I live in East Texas where the weather is almost tropical most of the time,  I have no experience with severe snowstorms, but I do love the occasional ice storm.  The world becomes still and quiet and resplendent with icicles hanging from eaves, tree branches coated with ice frosting, and the ground completely white.  When I wake up after an ice or snow storm, the world is eerily quiet.  I relish getting outdoors as the snow or sleet is falling, even though it is too cold to stay out for long.  Again, as an East Texan, I am not used to freezing temperatures or frozen precipitation. . .

Image result for ice storm pine trees
Image from here

. . .which reminds me of icy roads that Texas drivers have no business driving on.  Texans go a little nuts when it snows or ices over.  We all rush to the grocery store, thinking we have to stock up on food, and we either refuse to slow down on the roads or creep along so slowly everyone else risks their lives to get around us.  Still, I love a good ice or snow storm.  It transforms everything and slows life down for a day or two.

You can have your sunny days.  I prefer the mystery, awe, and excitement of bad weather.