Thursday, March 27, 2008
A few days ago I was looking out my front door at the neighbors pink house across the street. Now I'm sitting on a front porch in east Texas looking out into a field at a scarecrow. The differences between here and where I live and work every day always get to me. The weekend before last I'm sitting at a Starbucks watching loud motorcycles ride by and in between the noise I'm hearing conversations about big bootie women, the presidential election and how the Lakers can possibly go all the way to win a championship. Earlier today I was at Walmart. I overheard two men talking about tractors and how they were thinking about traveling to the next town to pick up some beer because this town didn't sell alcohol. A "dry town" as they referred to it. The differences makes me smile. I was stepping over drunks and smelling liquor everywhere not too long ago at a gathering in LA. Big difference here, though there's some craziness going out this way too.
Adjusting to the slow pace in the country always takes me a few days. One thing that I love instantly is when I hear the voices of my southern family, especially the sweet sound of an elderly woman's voice that greeted me yesterday. This voice belonged to someone who knew me as a kid but I only knew of her and couldn't really recollect how she looked. I've heard so many stories about cousin Palestine. She's the grand daughter of one of my great grandfather's brothers. Last time I was here everyone kept telling me to take advantage of her still being around.
They were like "you need to sit with Palestine and just listen to her. She'll have you sitting there thinking you watching a movie 'cause her stories be so vivid. The best part is that she's telling you about folks that is kin to you. That's when you start to smiling and can't control yourself."
I haven't heard detailed stories from her yet but I have enjoyed the compliments and feeling loved because she keeps trying to see if I've got something to eat. She promised to bake me one of her infamous pound cakes made from scratch and using some extra rich butter that she churned herself.
Palestine said to me "I still does that kind of stuff! Now don't get me wrong, I love an occasional trip to Taco Bell and even Walmart's bakery make some nice desserts but ain't nothing like homemade cooking. And the way we do it here in the country is a lost art form. You need to come down more often and get you some of this here..."
I didn't get to visit with Palestine too long but the lingering presence of her spirit is still with me now. I had to take care of some personal matters and pay my respects to family no longer here. I even said hello to a few cousins that run some illegal activity deep in the woods and by the looks of it, they making way too much money. They're egos are as big as the wheels on the cars. Times have changed from the days when I remember them being young and occasionally fighting pitbulls in the field. Life has changed in many ways but despite that, simply being in the country is a much needed escape from city life...