It was back in the seventies when Ms. Annie taught me clogging. I am at her house but not so sure it's her's. Between that and Billy Sue being so excited, Oh, you've brought me to another home. Can't wait to meet my new owner. Hope she's more fun than you.
It's her fault I leave the lights on 'cause I have to be all concerned she needs the windows down so she can talk to us while Ms. Annie and I walk around the yard.
Plus, Ms. Annie is more fun than me. I'll go ahead and admit it.
Plus, I'm nervous 'cause I'm still not sure it's her house. All I know is it's one of these. I look to the right. It's seven a m. It is a still neighborhood.
It is a soft light and a light dew when I look onto the porch or deck or where she got married. Once I find out this is her's I ask her, Is it okay if we make margaritas and play music?
She smiles but doesn't say yes. I don't know if she knows what to think of me.
Yes I do. She hugs and says she loves and
she wants to talk
about a rose.
A rose which was called a cabbage when Annie got it back in the seventies.
From a drugstore owner in Decatur.
When she and her cloggers were doing a street dance in front of the courthouse.
As a kid I just knew we would get on Hee Haw with Roy Clark and Grandpa and Minnie Pearl.
But anyway, the flower.
Ms. Annie saw this flower in a bouquet by the register in a drugstore.
She told that guy at the register she liked it.
It watn't long after we got home I received a can of those sticks and began to grow them right over there in the yard, she tells me.
Now when I see them in town I smile and think I know where they come from, she continues.
I find out Ms. Annie has been dividing these flowers and placing them out by the road every Spring. She lines them in buckets and puts a sign of instructions.
One year someone even took all the buckets.
Note to future flower getters: Leave those there.
Ms. Annie will fill them again next year.
And every year until she is two hundred four, because at eighty-one Annie is looking good.
But we're not talking about Ms. Annie.
We're talking about the rose.
The one that was supposed to be a cabbage but later called a confederate.
She laughs, Then years later a man who grew roses in Jackson came to tell me no, it wasn't a cabbage and no, it wasn't a confederate. He said it was a Hawaiian hibiscus.
I don't know. What do you think?
Truth be told I love the flower story but I am here under the cover of a flower to find out about the spoons. Ms. Annie was one of the first women I asked about when I came back home. Was she still clogging I wanted to know. No, her daughter Peggy said. She had knee problems a couple of years back and ended up having to sit down so she picked up the spoons. She's up in Branson playing with a band.
Stop, I said.
Later I found out she ended up in the place's brochure.
I let her tell me everything she needs to about that flower but I came to find out about those spoons. The wooden ones she bought at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. Played them so much her husband threatened to throw them out the window.
Later she played with a band at Silver Dollar City and can now brag, I played the spoons at the biggest barn dance in Missouri.
At seven thirty on a Monday morning I am sitting in Ms. Annie's living room listening to bluegrass and watching her play the spoons.
And I think . Well. how do I tell you? Maybe you can imagine.
Much better than these photos.
But then there's more.
As I am packing up to leave she asks, Do you know about my cakes?
My strawberry cakes. I make one to two a week. The most anyone ever paid for one was $750 but they normally sell for $500. The monies go to charity.
My writer's notebook is starting to resemble the etchings of early man. Some people are so darn crazy full of life and love and giving and laughter and I just start drawing circles. Then running to my car and trying to leave until I find out my battery is dead.
That dang Billy Sue.
It's okay. Annie's husband, just the sweetest guy, recharged it.
I am just so very grateful for people right now.
Also, she said to tell you to vote Romney.