Thursday, July 13, 2006

By the side of the road

Small town living is great, but sometimes these former Houstonians need a city fix. For us, it’s easy—run the forty or so miles down the road and visit Tallahassee, Florida. Home to the state capitol and two big universities, Florida State and Florida A&M, there’s always something going on. A play, a concert, a great meal, and of course, lots of shopping. For Texans—Tallahassee is like Austin in the late 50s and the 60s. ‘Bout as close to perfect as you can get—it’s even set on rolling hills.
One of the best parts of the Tallahassee ramble is the trip home. Right at the Georgia/Florida state line there’s usually a cluster of entrepreneurial vendors. Shrimp “straight off my cousin’s boat this morning,” great fresh vegetables and fruits, “picked an hour ago at Mama’s.” And that great North Florida-South Georgia delicacy, boiled peanuts.
That’s right. Green (they’ve got to be green) peanuts boiled in their shells and then sacked up for good eating.
When we first moved her a new friend gave me the recipe—cover the green peanuts with water in a big soup pot. Add ‘way too much salt and boil ‘em ‘way too long. They’ll be perfect.
Believe her, they will.
I’ve labored in the kitchen over fancy appetizers, and then on a whimsy put a bowl of boiled peanuts on the porch. (They need to be served outside because of the slimy shell problem!)
Guess what! Every man at the party—and most of the women—are on the porch gobbling peanuts. Forget the paté and the smoked oysters. They know what is good!

I'm going to be playing with grandchildren for a bit, so I may not post for a few days. But I'll be back soon!

A local tradition--buying a couple of bags (or more) of just-out-of-the-pot boiled peanuts on the Georgia-Florida State Line. (US Highway 27 North)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Daisies bounce back

Seems like the daisies keep popping up in my posts. Here they are again. What’s left of them!
If I’m recounting the good times of small town living, then I have to hit on some not-so-good ones as well.
My daisies were devastated on Independence Day—right in front of the flag I’d shown so proudly waving that morning. We were in the yard mid afternoon admiring the flowers and feeling the heat when we heard and felt a shattering jolt. Clearly a collision in the fairly busy street in front of the house. I ran for the phone while Bob ran for the sound. A truck had apparently run a stop sign and plowed up the embankment and across my flowerbed.
By the time I was out the door with 911 on the line, Bob was heading for our car. “He left!” He called “I’m going after him.”
Things calmed down. Bob did find the truck—badly damaged. The police came. The alleged miscreant who’d been doing early celebrating in a “borrowed” vehicle was apprehended. Things are almost back to normal.
Not quite. We’re still nursing the wounded garden. Bob rebuilt the bank and replanted the antique lilies and the precious daisies. I babied my treasured Pink Pet roses. The surviving daisies dipped in the summer breeze and assuring us that things will be fine!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4, Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

Early morning on July 4, 2006. Bainbridge Georgia

Do I have a nose for news? Yesterday I shared the fireworks tent sponsored by the Penecostal Church here. Today the stand and the pastor are front page news in the Post Searchlight. Check it out at While you're there, check out my column by hitting the "stirringupmemories" link--it's two under the obituaries. If that doesn't work, go to, read the column and enjoy some Bainbridge views.

P.S. best seller at the fireworks stand is "Pyromaniac"!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The big bang!

The weekend before Independence Day, it’s no surprise to wheel into a parking lot and find a big tent filled with fireworks in Bainbridge or across the country.
I was, however, taken with the sponsor of this tent load of bangs and sparkles—The First United Pentecostal Church!
Tomorrow, if I go in search of the Big Bang! I know who can take care of me!

If you'd like to visit more scenes of Bainbridge, visit my website--

Saturday, July 01, 2006

July 1 gift

When my neighbor offered old-fashioned lillies in exchange for daisies, I was happy to make the trade, but I felt fairly sure I was getting more of my "Professor Elcan" pinks.
It seemed appropriate that their new home be in the front bed, right beside the daisies.
The Elcan flowers burst into a pink symphony last week. The new ones did nothing. Maybe they don't bloom the first year, I thought.
But this morning as I pulled up from my early morning gym class, a flash caught my eye. The bright, almost red gleem of the new residents, splendid in the July sun. From now on, they will be known as the "Carolyn lillies."

If you'd like to know more about Bainbridge and my garden, visit me at!