August 11, 2009

Life, Home, Family, Love

Kandace Creel Falcón
August 11, 2009

At this point in my life, I have been thinking a lot about the issues of home, numbers, reading, writing and legacies. For instance, how is it possible that children born today will only know the century containing 2000 years? I find it rather unfathomable to think about how even the 1990s are foreign concepts, the so passé twentieth century! But as someone who has definitely not been on this earth for long, but experienced most of those years in the twentieth century these numbers just feel weird. What did the Aztecs think would happen in the 2000s? Did they have maps and star charts that could tell them about this "future"?

I saw lightning bugs the other night for the first time since I've been in Minnesota. How long have these creatures been roaming this earth? Five summers and only one bug flitting through summer night air with a light in its butt. Bugs that every summer in Kansas my brother and I would torture by capturing them and holding them hostage, that is if they even survived our mad grabs in the dark, in glass jars for their "future", soon release.

What does home mean to you? All I can think of is lightning bugs. They are reminders of seasonal cycles, of the trips my family endured via a long two way highway road from Albuquerque where the skies are pink and orange at dusk to Kansas where wheat waves in the wind. How ten hours on the road were mostly agonizing but also excellent opportunities for reading several books. But home means family, even if you are miles and miles apart. I've never, in my recollection seen a lightening bug in New Mexico, but I often wished I had, so much so that now my memories are unreliable now I see them coming out to play in our backyard even if they were never actually there.

I ask the mothers of nature to forgive me for the souls of the lightning bugs I unwillingly, accidentally harmed in my attempts to capture your beauty I took it away. When my hands came away from the jars in which I kept you captive and my fingers were covered in a green-yellow dust, I am sorry. It is now that I know the harm of my selfish ways. But fear not, your short lives and early deaths were not in vain, rather they now serve as the important metaphors of my life, home, family, love.

July 30, 2009


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!