Tuesday, April 30, 2013

dear Marlee,

I was thinking about pulling the alarm, but I kinda felt like I was being watched.

I know. Just paranoid. It's not like your parents have developed some sort of circle of defense.
The whole family, it seems, just surrounds you.

Not that you need anyone's protection. To me, you're pretty much the mob boss. Like in the above photo where you're basically waiting on Aunt Wanda to please you. You're all, No.

Uh uh.


Wait. What?

That. More. Do more.

Okay, okay. Yes. I like to talk for you since you don't speak yet. It looks like you want to, don't you think? So we stand around and watch and coo and make gestures and whatever else it is you seem to want to do.

And it works, this whole baby worship.

Marlee, today I am grateful for your happiness. Your toothless smile is simply the sweetest.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

stealing gratitude

Yesterday I asked Jess, What was your favorite thing today? Dunking your Dad, playing laser tag, watching the girls dance or your party?

She answered, My favorite thing was spending time with family and friends.

Today I am grateful of how kids remind us of what is truly important.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

climbing stairs

It reminds me of my Papaw's house, the cousins and how high can you climb and jump. 
How the adults would be in the kitchen finally getting to spend time with each other and one would say, What are the kids doing?

Knowing what I know now I am almost positive my Mom and her siblings and their spouses, our parents, took turns seeing whose child had instigated some death defying feat.

The interrogation which followed went something like this.

Dad: Shea, what are you doing?
Me: We're seeing how high we can get on the stairs and jump. Watch me. I can do it from here.
Dad: Get down from there.
Me: But Daddy.
Dad: Get down.

Obviously his goal in life at the time was to embarrass me in front of my cousins who were cowered at the bottom of the staircase attempting to utilize their power of invisibility. It worked. He never even saw them. Just pointed his finger at me. With head held down in the all too common I'll figure something else out seething, I went down those steps then looked up at him and said, 

Yes sir.

There were concrete steps outside. He didn't say anything about those.

Today I am grateful for memories.

Friday, April 26, 2013

who's who

Betty Press

Marcus Linton

Tyler Carroll

Today I am grateful for artists.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

oatmeal pecan yes

Christy's Olde Time Sweet Shop in Joann's pad

The night we bought local and paired it with wine we talked about all the dreams women have. Who is doing what and what can we do. This is what I heard, how can we better that. Should we? I can't sit with these type of women without whispering yes.


Today I am so very grateful for the women who sprint into my life, the ones who pump a maternal energy into this world. Yes, I love men but the older I get the more I appreciate these women in my life.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the day we all had the same horoscope

Sitting, waiting on the sun, knowing something great is coming.

Today someone is going to smile for us. You and me, we will laugh with at least two other people. Someone we love will get the best news they've had since last Thursday. We may not know them, but I swear, I know for sure, someone will be in a hurry. It's okay, we've learned. We learned to slow down and not get frustrated, be patient with others because we know they can hurt. That's why today we will not look through them, not at them but with them and we will help.

Today I am grateful for the feeling of anticipation when I understand I've only seen just the slightest, the tiniest amount of our potential

and I am betting on our greatness.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

the canyon of middle ground

I once read that a major US company had moved it's headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah. It was during a time of American upheaval. Supposedly the area provided good defense in the form of mountains and a sufficient water source with desalination. Also, the people there had already been planning for some type of destruction or collapse or everybody run into your basements, eat all the food you have stored down there and come out in a couple of years. It was one of those thorough, great writing, investigative journalism type of genius so often found within the pages of Rolling Stone.


I don't know. I don't know if predicting collapse is a precursor to collapse in the form of a self fulfilling prophecy. I mean, it was a powerful company. Many former executives had high seats in our government at the time. What that writer was telling his reader was that the people in economic power were kinda,   um,    running for the hills, people. They were planning something or at the very least they saw something coming.


We learned not to trust our government long, long ago. It's not about democrat or republican, right or left or moderate, elephant or ass. If we consider ourselves fundamentalists we believe it about freedom and insanely enough not just for ourselves but also for others.


We can and will disagree. There will be times when we need to sit down and talk things out. If we did talk about this, which we should. We should definitely talk about it. I think what I have to communicate is we don't trust our own government. The writer of this article doesn't trust it either.


There are people starving in this world. Children who have nothing to eat. It is not near as bad as it used to be because we are evolving as humans. We are getting better at taking care of ourselves and each other. Even with all the bad news, the smoking, the obesity, the alcoholism, those people who jump off buildings, genocides, wars, those guys in Boston, the list goes on and on. Still life spans are increasing.


We are going to focus our energies on what is best for as many people as possible and we're going to read and be informed and stop calling each other names because we know, we learned back in grade school, that's no good.


Our government is taking control of our healthcare system.

But remember.

We don't trust them, either side. Something we may call a healthy suspicion and we have seen, read about people in power having way too much greed. Why would they be in power if they didn't have a love for it? We don't want those people in charge of saying we're mentally healthy enough to carry a gun.

Plus we are emotional about this issue. Of course we are. Still there are some facts we should read.

Today I am grateful for an honest dialogue with wonderful, intelligent people who, like me, are not willing only to talk but to listen as well.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Right there, maybe at that moment, I heard, Sheeah. I smiled when I realized she had only seen my name, never hearing someone say it or being forced to speak it. That reminded me of the longstanding joke of my Mom became a second grade teacher and taught phonetics only after she named me. The joke helped me relax because it reminded me not to take myself too seriously. There is something quite beautiful about someone not knowing your name. It's almost as if they have no expectations.

Right here, maybe at this moment, I understand having expectations of ourselves can be a full time job.

They will build and build and build until I don't know, I don't want it to end.

The editor of Desoto knew me. She knew this story of community, of Betty's photography, of art and expression would thrill me until it scared me on how could I ever tell you this much in only six hundred words.

Plus, when you meet Betty you meet others and those others are like Betty because Betty Press doesn't only photograph communities in Africa she also lives them here in Hattiesburg, MS.

Today I am grateful for ideas presented to us as simply as black and white when the drama comes as we whisper, Of course, I knew that all along. Thank you for the reminder. It's just. I felt odd until now.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Betty Press, black and white

What I can tell you is that I blew the interview with University of Southern Mississippi's fine art professor, published photographer, journalist, world traveler Betty Press. What I will write here is that she was kind and patient and generous and understanding.

And gentle. She was gentle and soft spoken and I don't know how long we sat but eventually I felt like I was getting in the way of a woman the world needed.

We do. The world, we need more of her.

What I should say is that Betty Press wrote a book called I Am Because We Are.

Today I am grateful for the assignments I am given and the people I meet.

Saturday, April 20, 2013




Overheard in a frontyard yesterday.

Him: That's nuff.
Me: Okay.
Him: I got 'nother idea.
Me: Okay.

Him: That's nuff.
Me: Okay.
Him: I got 'nother idea.
Me: Okay.

Him: That's nuff.
Me: Okay.
Him: I got 'nother idea.
Me: Okay.

Me: Trent, what are you doing?

Him: That's nuff.

Today I am grateful for our leaders, for the personal trainer I found named Trent and for answers which come when we focus on intention.

Now it makes all the sense in the world that the first person to say, Clarke County needs a bluegrass festival, was those kids' Grandmother.

Friday, April 19, 2013

he's the daddy

The night Josh tried out for the Tarantino part.

There are times I think, Oh please. Not this. This again? Seriously?

Then I remember we're going somewhere and we have no idea where because life curves and swirls and all of a sudden it's been a year and a half.

A year and a half of change and the kind of joy which scares you at what kind of joy that is.

Fear and joy and love and he just started walking around trying to keep his heart from exploding.

And it's nine whole months containing forty weeks of going from tadpole to needing a shoe.

And then one night he's all, Oh shit and hallelujah and what in the world is happening, just let everybody live.

Then boom. She's here.

And that's the theme for the rest of his life.

When it's done right.

Today I am grateful to accept that we are all on some weird boat ride and some boats take a turn and some follow the moon and some are steered by incredible captains.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

who is possum holla?

Tyler and Sheila Carroll

You know I have no idea what I'm doing. Right? You did know that, right?
I thought so. Now that we have that out of the way.

I can say, I am Possum Holla.

I am writing a love note to a hometown, to a people I remember who, for whatever reason, were kind to a kid who was always rebelling.

Good people.

Harley by Kim

Like a friend, who in a time of life and death, left me. In a flash she left me standing beside a car when this man wanted to kill me.

Was it Bill Cosby who said children come to kill their parents? In 1987 my Dad started to grey and the fact he didn't take my life that day meant he had incredible strength.

Thirty-two days in high school of thinking not so much for me. When I found out Slater was a boy I thought thank goodness he's a boy 'cause I couldn't handle a me.

I am Possum Holla.

Bubba by Sky & Kim

'Cause still no matter how awful I was as a teenager these people still believed that one of something doesn't make all of it and we were still a community who looked out for each other.

Phil by Teri and Tempa

I am Possum Holla because I came back, returned home, and found these people to be as kind and forgiving and lovely as I had almost forgotten.

Who cares why I would have searched out the music? No matter where I go I'll do that.

Then I'll sink into it and appreciate it because, well,

isn't that what music is about?

I didn't make the t-shirts. My brother, Josh, made them. I just bought them.

Future plaintiff in child labor case

Then we asked his own personal Gerber baby if we could exploit her to sell the t-shirts and she was all, Heck yeah, 'cause she can't talk or reason yet.

Lisa Mathis and the Mathis strawberry

But Lisa can reason and is aware and brilliant and hardworking. 
And Lisa knows what community is about.

I am Possum Holla because I believe when we give we receive.

Today I am grateful that you are going here and you are going to buy a Possum Holla t-shirt and you're going to tell others to do so as well because you, too, are Possum Holla.

Plus, I have so many t-shirts I need to sell. Please help.