"They're back!" Mama Thompson said as she got up as fast as she could and grabbed the firecrackers she had kept hidden underneath her china cabinet. Squeezing quietly out of the back door, she reached up and unscrewed the bulb that lit the back porch. The entire backyard was blanketed in darkness. Then she picked up the floor mop and held it out like she was holding a gun.
She heard the boys in the garden whispering,"there goes that old lady," she heard one of them say. "She got a gun," another boy whispered. Just then Mama Thompson took out some matches and lit the firecrackers, and quickly threw them over the trees in the garden. When the boys heard the popping, they screamed, "and she can shoot that thing too, run!" ©
Buttermilk, cornbread, fried chicken, black-eyed peas...
Sunday dinner, family gatherings, cold lemonade...
Talking much trash and this week's gossip.
"Did you see Ol' Ned leaving Ms. Sally's house in the early morning as the rooster was crowing?"
Dip that cornbread in the buttermilk, eat that greasy chicken and the black-eyed peas.
Wipe the grease from your lips with the back of your hands.
Tell them youngsters that have gathered around to hear
the grown folks gossip, "Get! Go play! This is grown folk talk."©️
The first, fat drops of rain hit the nape of her neck and trailed down her sweaty back, as she threw the last shovels full of dirt back into the hole. With that done, she wondered what to do next. This was hardly premeditated, and with her heart pounding in her chest, she looked wildly about the yard while muttering to herself, ”Think, think, think.”
“Oh, duh”, she said aloud, as her eyes fell upon the four rose bushes wrapped in brown burlap, leaning against the porch. Shaking her head, she grabbed the arms of the wheelbarrow, and ran crazily back toward the house to complete the job she had started hours ago. She picked up each rose bush by the root ball and carefully placed them in the wheelbarrow. Sufficiently cloaked by the torrential downpour, the gardener took her time as she lovingly planted the rosebushes in front of the emerald green wall of bamboo near the back fence. ©️
Finding your sweet spot of authenticity can be confusing. Sometimes we find our truest, realest self in surprising ways, in unlikely places and with help from unexpected sources.
Hair. What to do with it? Oh, the struggle! Most of my life has been defined by efforts to fry it, dye it, buy it, tie it, twist it, mist it, curl it or unfurl it. The bottom line is that my hair was, all too often, NOT my crowning glory. I could never seem to get it right.
The issue with the mop on my head was - notice I say was - tied up with feeling that my outside appearance did not match my internal reality. That all changed on one fateful summer day. ©️
When she arrived in heaven and was on her way to the pearly gates, she saw a lot of her friends and family members there, and Mary-Agnes being Mary-Agnes, had to stop and talk to everyone she saw. By the time she reached the pearly gates Peter was getting ready to close them.
She said, “Peter, wait, don’t close the gates. I got to get in there.”
Peter looked at his list and said, “You are scheduled to be here, but you’re late. Didn’t your mother always warn you that you would be late for your own funeral?”
She said, “Yes, but I serve an on-time God.”
Peter smiled and said, “You’re right, time does not exist in Heaven. Come on in my good and faithful servant.” He opened the gate and she entered. ©️
France erected a statue to commemorate America's commitment to universal liberty, as a gift to the U.S.A. This was supposed to afford all an opportunity to start over in unity. It held a torch high as a beacon, welcoming weary escapees across vast oceans to the land of the free.
It was free to all...except to those who looked like me. Liberty... they lied to the world when it came to me. Our lives are not theirs to extinguish. So I’ll continue marching in these streets, until we all are truly free! ©️
Me: "I want to design cars when I grow up."
Pop: "Colored people don't get those kinds of jobs."
Me: "I want to be a fashion designer."
Mom: "You'll have to work ten times harder cause you're colored."
Me: "That's what I want to be when I grow up, a bachelor."
Gramma: "Oh no, Baby. Don't you want to work in the insurance company and have a family like your daddy?"
The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt Gramma's feelings.
My heart sang its first sad song as I sighed, "I guess so."
By age 22, I was working at the same insurance company as Pop, had gotten married, became a "daddy" and was living someone else's happiness.
I've come to realize I cannot base my happiness upon the wishes of well-meaning loved ones.
Please visit https://www.nextavenue.org/someone-elses-happiness/ to read Mel's story in its entirety and hear an audio recording of him reading his story.
Georgio Melanisi’s body floated face down in Amy Windsor’s swimming pool. Deep ruts made by spurs on the heels of on his cowboy boots were a clear indication of his body being dragged through Amy’s perfectly groomed front lawn, past her Lanai, to the pool. The cause of death was drowning but the toxicology report revealed high levels ofketamine, a sedative, in his blood. The Coroner declared Georgio’s death a homicide
and the police were looking into the incident.
That was headline news on Saturday. My eyes glued themselves to WTVJ where Amy, a sixties-something retired schoolteacher sobbed into the camera, “Ah declare, I don’t understand why someone would do this to him. Georgio was my chef, the heart of my business. “I don’t know how I’m going to get along without him.” She shuddered. “And I may never swim in that damn pool again!”
Why people do what they do is a never-ending mystery. I was preparing to create a file for this [case] when the phone rang.
“Buck fell into an alligator pen. He’s in the hospital.