Farewell Toaster Oven

Toaster Oven Dec., 1959-Sept., 2018 You were a wedding gift 59 years ago. You’ve made our toast every morning and reheated our snacks. We remember who gave you to us. We intended to write GE to tell them about you, but didn’t. You outlived GE’s small appliance division anyway. You made our toast yesterday and then quietly turned off, not to be revived. Rest in … Continue reading Farewell Toaster Oven

Florist sign read "Funeral Fresh Flowers" for sale and I wondered at the meaning.

Funeral Fresh Flowers

“Funeral Fresh Flowers” read the sign on the plate glass window of a florist shop, and I did a doubletake. Funeral fresh? What on earth does “funeral fresh” mean? I saw that sign in 1994 when we moved to Florence, Alabama, and have wondered about it ever since. I can stretch and twist the words, but I never get a sense of what meaning was … Continue reading Funeral Fresh Flowers

Protestors with signs

March for Our Lives—Atlanta

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES—ATLANTA March 24, 2018 “I hid in a closet Feb. 14. and I’m not hiding anymore. I’m not hiding from my government, not hiding from the NRA, not hiding from guns. And most of all I am not hiding from change.” Carly Novell, Parkland High survivor 30,000 in Atlanta, millions across the world, marched today in protest of gun violence. I was … Continue reading March for Our Lives—Atlanta

setting related to headline

January 6–The Insurrection and Helen Keller

I watched, as did you, in disbelief as a mob of thugs scaled walls, overpowered police, smashed glass, smashed heads, and stormed into our nation’s capitol, tromping across Statuary Hall. It was much later, after order was being restored, that I thought about the statues and wondered if they had been harmed. I remembered the day one statue was unveiled. I was present at the … Continue reading January 6–The Insurrection and Helen Keller

Love of a foster dog

Goodbye, Winston…..revisiting a memory

Goodbye, Winston. When I agreed to foster Winston early in December, 2013, I thought he’d be around only a few weeks. He stayed four months. Just out of a bad situation of neglect, he was so happy to have a home, people to love—and a name—that he followed my every step. I’m sedentary, though, and my steps are slow. He needed playmates. Now he has … Continue reading Goodbye, Winston…..revisiting a memory

Looking For—My Senior Malady

  Everything in its place—and it still gets lost. Somebody, most often me, is always misplacing something. It’s like a senior moment but with things, and it’s getting worse. If it’s not my glasses, it’s the car keys, or my credit card, or the door key. Or any combination, or something else. What’s lost usually turns up, but I may be using up my luck. … Continue reading Looking For—My Senior Malady

sale sign


For the second time, I’ve been blocked—booted out, no explanation, all my posts dumped into oblivion, and no recourse or appeal. Not from all of Facebook this time but from a benign nostalgic group called Forgotten Alabama that posted photos of abandoned houses and stores, old signs, things that had seen better days. I didn’t see any rules so after observing for a few weeks, … Continue reading BLOCKED AGAIN!

Ad for elephant on display in Alabama frontier in 1810 before roads and cities. by Jennie Helderman

An Elephant, Stag and Rambling about Research

  By Jennie Helderman In 1810 a man in Huntsville, Alabama, sold tickets to see an elephant. I have a copy of the flyer advertising the event. Now I happen to know that in 1810 Huntsville was the western frontier. Very few people lived there, and travel was hard. So how did an elephant get to Huntsville? And how could the man keep the elephant … Continue reading An Elephant, Stag and Rambling about Research


I Knew Her As Mother

The picture is of Kathleen Russell of Walnut Grove, Alabama, from the 1931 Glomerata of Auburn University. You might have known her as Kathleen Miller, married to Ed Miller of Gadsden, Alabama. I knew her as Mother. She died on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, died in her sleep at age ninety-two, which is why I’m thinking about her in the holiday season. I hesitate to … Continue reading I Knew Her As Mother

Friends by the Numbers, or Number One Friends

Does anyone remember autograph books? The little albums young girls used to collect signatures of their friends, probably during junior high school? Or, did your school tradition include signing yearbooks? Maybe we didn’t admit it at the time, but the more signatures, the more friends you had, the the more popular you were, so there was a little game or contest underneath the surface. I … Continue reading Friends by the Numbers, or Number One Friends