Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Going Home

Time goes by so fast. It seems like just a couple of years have passed when in actuality it has been 11 since we moved north and ended up in Maine. I got the chance to go back to Jacksonville, Florida and visit family. Here, we live in a very small, quiet town with one blinking light, neighbors that wave when you pass, cows that get out and come to visit. At night there are no sirens, no police scanners and blue flashing lights. We can see the stars by the billions. There is no light pollution. Crime is very low to non existent from my previous standards. I love the peace and quiet. Jacksonville is neither peaceful nor quiet. Traffic is a non stop monster from 6:30am till 8:00 pm. The streets are in constant reconstruction. Welcome to the big city.

My mother and I took time to visit the Westside. Jacksonville is so big that it is broken down into areas of one city. I was born and raised on the Westside. We had no gangs then. Neighborhoods were segregated. I lived through the desegregation in the 70's. It was federally ordered because there were areas even in the 70's that were resisting integration. It was a painful time in the south. Painful for the students in schools. Busing was the way that the city chose to move Afro-American students from the Downtown areas into the suburbs. They were angry and so were the White students. This anger broke out in many occasions as riots in the school halls. So much anger over a very necessary, and long overdue change.

This was my elementary school, Annie R. Morgan. There were no 6ft chain link fences then, no signs posted "No Drug Zone". I remember walking home from school. It was safe, clean, and the 60's were a good time to be a kid.

This little house was where I grew up. I remember the yard being so much bigger. The driveway seemed immense to a kid. All the trees have grown up. All the neighbors have moved away. I have pictures of me in the front drive dressed in my pj's and my brother in his Army uniform as he was leaving for his second tour in Viet Nam. We were the lucky ones, he came home.

Now this is what I call a Farmers Market. The colors are a treat for the sense's.

One southern treat is boiled peanuts. They always taste great.

What wonderful colors.

Have an avocado or two! I love hearing the different accents and dialects. English is not the first language here.

Florida has many bugs, snakes, lizards, and spiders. They can be found everywhere. My mother lives in community outside of Jacksonville named Middleburg. There is a lagoon ( retention pond for water because the area was once a swamp and uninhabitable and some developer thought it would be an excellent idea to build homes there, and paid off the proper officials in order to get wet lands permits) in her back yard. They have to have alligators removed occasionally. There is always the one resident who will not use the brain God gave them and feed these reptiles. When the alligators become acclimated to being fed by humans, then small animals, children, and pets become an acceptable food source. Someone gets hurt or killed. There are many less dangerous creatures. I love the lizards. I'm sure that there is a correct name for these. We always called them lizards. Technical I know. I remember my daughter, Sue, placing one on each ear lobe like a matched set. If you hold them behind their jaws they will open wide and then clamp down when you let go. She didn't count on her brother tickling the lizards and making them wiggle. They bite a bit harder than you expect. No harm done to the lizards, Sue may have something to say about the clamp down.
This Momma and her babies call the lagoon home. They love to come up and take advantage of the seeds dropped from the bird feeders.

The many bird feeders!

The beautiful flowers from my mother's garden.

I was telling my mother about Don's blog, A View From The Green Barn. He combined Madagascar Vanilla beans in alcohol and made his own vanilla extract. Hmmm....... we had this bottle of Vodka and we went to Penzy's Spices and picked up vanilla beans. Oh how I did shop for spices. I love that store. I'm waiting for them to come up with a scratch and sniff catalog for spices. By the time I left that vodka smelled so good.

I got the chance to visit with family. The main reason for my trip. This is my daughter Sue, my son Richard and my most handsome grandson John. The trip was wonderful.

Now, it truly wouldn't be a trip home to the south without fire arms. My nephew James inherited a very special antique double barrel shotgun from his father. The saga is complete. After every trip away it feels so good to be home. Peace and quiet. Chores to do. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

1 comment:

Terri and Randy Carlson said...

I LOVE Penzey's too!!! Looks like a fun trip.