Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another Easter: Journal Entry

It’s Easter Sunday, and I sit here on my balcony, my aerie. It’s just me, the cat and the Sunday paper with our view of Barnett Street and Ponce de Leon Street in the distance. The sun arrived at noon and Sabrina, being a cat preens her star white fur in its warm brilliance. I sip the last of my morning coffee, take a bite of rye toast spread with Brie and read “Peanuts” first.
A young couple and their three little girls are walking down the street. Their clothing says church: suits, hats, ruffles, and bows. Across the way, an elderly couple gets out of their car. A young woman runs out of the apartment house, camera in hand calling out, “Mom, Dad, wait. Let me get a picture by the car.” She snaps them, then Dad snaps one of Mom and her, then Mom snaps one of her and Dad. They all go into the apartment. Her neighbor is watching from his front porch. He takes another drag on his cigarette, stretches in the sun and returns to his paper.
My sister is preparing ham and all the trimmings for her mother-in-law. This will be the last year she does that. The old lady is dying.
Last night at John and Judy’s house, we cooked out and ate and drank and talked and Judy dyed eggs. They have no children, but Judy always dyes eggs. It takes her back she defends, “Because, that’s what you do at Easter, isn’t it?” Today, she’ll be taking her husband, John, and the eggs to her Mom’s and Dad’s in Birmingham.
My Mom is in Birmingham, too, but she works today and my sister will spend the day with her husband and his dying mother. One of my brothers is in the Bahamas with his wife and her family, the navy brother is stationed in the Philippines and the oldest works nights, so I am sure he is sleeping as I sit here.
I used to dye eggs, too, and go to church and fix the Sunday ham, but the child is gone now. I have no obligations now, except a few phone calls. I take another bite of Brie on toast, sip my first Mimosa and read “Parade Magazine” next.
© Perle Champion

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Winter Southern Style

The groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter, which would take us to March 15. As snow covers the ground and continues to fall here in Birmingham, Alabama this morning, it would appear that he was right. For this moment, it is winter.

This is the South; however, and winter is a now and then, here and there sort of thing. Today there is snow, but yesterday was just a mild breezy day and the day before that the temperature went from early morning 34 to 70 in the afternoon. I ate lunch at a picnic table by my office at the Colonnade and enjoyed the sun.

The weathermen are holding court as if this is a blizzard; it is not. There’ll be no TV to speak of this morning. They’ve preempted the Today Show and Good Morning America. I may get the Early Show, as the CBS folks are a little more sensible and give us a weather strip at the bottom of the screen. No matter, I’ve turned it off.

I walked amid the snowflakes before dawn this morning, and snapped a few pictures of this transient white wonder of nature, and went out again at daybreak. The snow is patchy at best with the grass showing through. The city streets are wet, not slippery. The freeway overpasses are another story, but I’ll not venture there until the veiled sun does its job of thawing them. Even now, it's playing peek-a-boo through the clouds.

So the groundhog was right. We’re having 6 more weeks of winter, but here in Birmingham, we’re having them Southern style – here and there; now and then.

Tuesday, it’ll be 62 and Wednesday 67 and sunny, so I’ll be back in shirtsleeves. This is my kind of winter. This is winter Southern Style.

Perle Champion, University of Texas at San Antonio fine arts major, currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama’s colorful Southside, writing, painting, attending art openings, cooking, reading on the porch swing, and writing. Published in Birmingham News, Birmingham Weekly, Birmingham Arts Journal, Daily Mountain Eagle, First Draft Magazine, and Bantam’s Sneak Peek website.;;