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July 30, 2009

Home

Check out the following guest post by Sherry Quan Lee on the blog "Embrace Your Age Cause You're Living." These are much needed words on the creating a home for oneself. Thanks, Sherry!


Buying Home: The Story the Story the Story

July 23, 2009

View From the Farmhouse

The farmhouse sits on a plot of land that butts up against the Jamison plantation. The cypress trees on the west side of the property make a clear division between it and the cave plantation. The east side is relatively flat with a large field for cotton or tobacco.

The old house sits off the road a bit. A two-tire track marks the way to the barn, a large leaning shack. The barn hides in the shade of trees. The house sits in the center of the lot of land, in intense heat, come summer. The yard is a mixture of grass, weeds and dirt. Never know what you might find out there, a penny, nickel, or a lost pendent. The farmhouse is white to reflect the sun, an illusion to keeping it cool.

It is a one level house with two rooms off the back by the kitchen. The porch has a couple of old cane straight back chairs waiting for visitors. One the west facing side of the porch there is an old porch swing for sweethearts to be close and swing away any problems. The screen door is black and chipped from wear.

The door leads you into the large parlor and behind the arches there is the dining room. A long table is pushed up against the back wall. A tablecloth covers the worn spots. A large Bible rests on the table open to Psalms 27,"The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident". On each side of the Bible are cream-colored candlesticks, gathering dust, not used in a while. On the wall is a picture of Moses holding the tablets of the 10 Commandments. Pictures of the husband and wife and family are on both sides of Moses.

The wedding picture in an oval frame has faded through the years. Other frames circle the picture of Moses; pictures of babies, daughters, sons with wives, and sons and daughters with their own families, all serious looking, no one smiling. Their formal dress is plain yet proper, even if they came from meager means. White dresses for the mothers, black dresses for the old maids. The dresses are pinned stiff at the collars with ruffles at the wrists. Ruffles are worn on babies and pleats cascade down the front of young girls white dresses with shiny shoes. Sashes tied around waists and hold back neatly laid curls. The never-married stand in the back of the pictures. Alone, they keep vigil over the family. Their dress is plain, nothing to bring attention to them.

All the women in the pictures look at you and yet past you as you try to get some indication of who they were. Who laughed loud, who was shy, which one was mean and exacting, who went crazy after having Master Jamison's baby, which one woke up one morning to work the field, never to return, and who carried the family secrets? But like pieces of paper, their faces are blank. Their eyes reveal nothing, just looking past you out to the road and across it, to the plantation. Now you see why they left. There was nothing for them there but more work, rape, and hard times.


Lori Young-Williams
Revised March 26, 2009

July 15, 2009

Home: Writing Prompt July 14 - 21

As a kid, visits to Menonmonie, WI were a staple in the summer. Trips to my mom's family home made me feel I was a part and apart of something. What does home mean to you? What memories does it conjure up. Do you feel at home where you currently live? Are you still trying to find home? Or doesn't home matter? Why are we drawn to having a place called home? What does home mean to you.

We would love to have your thoughts, stories, poems, esaays, and prose pieces on this topic, we want to hear from you! Please see the "How to Become an Author" blog
entry for further information on responding to this and all future prompts. We welcome all posts, if your writing doesn't end up speaking to the prompt but is triggered by it we want to know!

Happy writing!

July 2, 2009

De Colores

Red is my favorite color most days. I love red, it is one of three equal colors in the Mexican flag, it makes up one equal third of the identity of my peoples. Red for the indigenous aspect of my ancestors, white for the Spanish colonizers who came and took their lives, their land, their love and green for the mestiza race that bloomed from the red and white mixing. A perfect interpretation because green is not a primary color, you can only find it from mixing yellow and blue, like the skies that burn brightly while falcons and eagles dip down to grab snakes from under cacti in the desert.

I also like pink, hot pink, rich pink, deep pink - pink so bright it inspires white people to comment on my color choices. Pink like a New Mexican sunset, "You're so bold to wear such bright colors" they say, admiring my colors while they wear black and grey and tan only. Like vampires, afraid to attract attention, they walk pale in the bright yellow, orange, red of the sun, afraid to shine under blue skies.

Maybe they are afraid to sneak out from the shade of trees in their bright colors because of the power of the hawks that roam in the sky. Knowing that while we may have been colonized, once we are free to fly there is no marginalizing us anymore. I twirl in skirts, red as blood, with embroidery in the colors of five differently shaded rainbows. I boldly wear yellow - all shades of yellow, lime green, dark green, bright blues, orange anything to connect me to my people who are not afraid to walk freely out of shadows and into bright, warm, yellow sunshine.

Nothing around me is dull, I am attracted to other bright shiny things, the brighter the better, I'm so bold. Colors stream out of me as I walk through this world, connecting my brown feet to brown soil, dipping my red hands into red chiles, smiling green when white people ask me "what are you?", "can you speak Spanish"?, "is your mother a citizen?" all the while knowing that it is I who can walk freely under blue skies, not them. I am Chicana, I am de colores, and they are jealous.

Kandace Creel Falcón
July 2, 2009