Archive for October, 2013

An Update on Jane

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

I thought i would post an update about my cousin Jane’s murder case. The man who killed her was sentenced today. I was going to just put the link on Facebook, but I know there are some folks who read my blog who aren’t on Facebook, and also, I just felt like i needed to write a little about it. I haven’t written about it all very much, but it is one of those things that stays with you, and reminds you that there is true evil in the world.

 

I know that will sound hokey, and i hope that if it does, you will never know what it feels like to have it touch your life, and that you can continue to think there is no such thing as evil. I hope you never experience the equivalent of being unable to put away leftovers in your own home without thinking of your cousin’s murder. I hope you never have to get a call and hear a loved one’s voice as they try to tell you what happened, or look in their eyes and see the complete shock and disbelief. I hope you never have to wait years to see one iota of justice, and i hope you never have to truly know what you really, deep down, when put in the situation, think of the Death Penalty. I hope you never have to sit in a courtroom with the person accused of killing your loved one, or know what it’s like to see him living and breathing while you look at coroner’s drawings of your loved one. I hope you never know this much about damn zip ties.

 

That stuff goes away most of the time, but then every once in a while it comes at you, and you still just can’t believe it is real and not some CSI Miami show.

 

It is truly magnificent, though, that when you see someone lost so suddenly and in such a tragic, violent way, that you are also reminded of how many lives they touched, how much of an impact each and every one of us can have on one another, and of how strong people can be in the face of unspeakable circumstances.

 

I will take away from this my wonderful memories of my cousin, of time spent in her warm, cozy home, of the wonderful weekend i spent with her when i was in college and visited for a weekend, of the time she and her brother, Finley, and Mom and I sat up until 3 in the morning and i wrote down every story they told, and of the times we spent with her when I was a child at my grandma’s apartment. I will never forget the last time I saw her, on Mother’s Day two years ago, when she gave my mom, Sister, and I the pleasure of her company for Mother’s Day Lunch. She was one of a kind. And as Rachel so eloquently says, she definitely “told it like it was.”

 

Some things run in families.

 

That is one other thing i will take away from this: I am so proud of my cousins for the way they have handled themselves throughout this all. I come from some strong people. Some damn strong people.

 

Chattanooga news story featuring my cousin Rachel, Jane’s granddaughter

The most recent post by my cousin on Justice for Jane.

 

Thanks to everyone who still continues to pray for my family and keep us in your thoughts, and who continue to ask for updates on the case, and who never met my cousins, but ask after them with true and genuine concern, and to all of the wonderful people whom I don’t even know, who take care of my cousins every day in their “real lives.” There is evil in the world, but there is also good. And i think the good always rises to meet the bad.

 

cousins

L-R: Cousins Nancy, John, Jane, and Virginia (my mama)

 

In Her Hand

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Seems just yesterday she was like this. . .

Seems just yesterday she was like this. . .

And here she is today. Brownie bridging ceremony at Stone Mountain Park Grist Mill. Almost 8 years old, 2nd grade, October 2013.

And here she is today. Brownie bridging ceremony at Stone Mountain Park Grist Mill. Almost 8 years old, 2nd grade, October 2013.

She’s eight. I’m no longer one of those moms with babies. Or toddlers. I’ll never have a preschooler or a kindergartner again. It’s sad, but so so sweet, too. She can run her own bath, and swim laps, and brush her own hair, and boy does she have ideas about how she wants her hair to look. She has beautiful, soft hair. It still smells good after a bath, but smells more little girl than baby. I know now why grandmas want to smell babies heads – it’s like crack. You get a whiff and you want it the rest of your life.

She’s in 2nd grade now, and reading stuff like Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, and likes clothes and puppies and stuffed animals and jewelry. She likes reading and writing and homework, and god help me, crafts. She is sensitive and sweet and nothing like me. She wants to please us and her friends and her teachers. She wishes she had a sister. She still writes notes to Fairies, and believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. She still loves my hugs, and wants to be with me whenever she can. She sits next to me comfortably, and without pulling away. She is a Brownie. A swimmer. She has the most amazing smile, even with that little snaggle tooth. Her laugh is my favorite song. And she laughs a lot – she likes to make up jokes, and she likes it when we make jokes. She wants to be a vet. And a zookeeper. She likes math. SHE LIKES MATH. She makes up stories. She writes stories. She loves loves loves her Grandmas. She wraps Grandpas around her fingers with just a smile, or a hug. She adores Leah and Syd, Mia and Liliana, Rachel, and Gia, Nathan, Tristan, and Michael. She loves her brother, but god do they fight sometimes.

This week, at the lake, I watched her, and she didn’t know i was watching. She sat under a tree, and wrapped her arms around her knees, and gazed out over the lake. And I knew she was thinking. Just like I used to think under Connie’s dogwood tree. Or on the front rocker of our porch in New York. Like i still think when I lie on the boards of the dock at night and ponder the moon and the planets and the constellations. Sometimes she lies with me. Sometimes she holds my hand. She holds me in her hand.

MUSHY. Let’s talk about the party.

So, yeah, we had an old-school carport cookie-decoratin’ party. October birthdays might be the best.

Tiller loves beanie boos.

Tiller loves beanie boos.

Watching tills open stuff.

Watching tills open stuff.

Miss Chloe.

Miss Chloe.

I think? Tiller collects beanie boos and twins.

Lilian, I think? Tiller collects beanie boos and twins.

Yeah. Twins. Maybe leah. Gah. I have trouble when they are not together.

Yeah. Twins. Maybe Syd.. Gah. I have trouble when they are not together.

Boys focused on cornhole and that jumpie thing.

Boys focused on cornhole and that jumpie thing.

So, yeah, not sure what the deal was with the gems on foreheads. Hopefully not insulting to my Indian friends - They were part of the scavenger hunt treasure, and the kids started putting them on their foreheads. I like to think it is their multicultural upbringing that made them do this.

So, yeah, not sure what the deal was with the gems on foreheads. Hopefully not insulting to my Indian friends and family – They were part of the scavenger hunt treasure, and the kids started putting them on their foreheads. I like to think it is their multicultural upbringing that made them do this.

A rare moment of still sitting with this whirling dervish of a nephew.

A rare moment of still sitting with this whirling dervish of a nephew.

My sweet girl. Best smile in the world.

My sweet girl. Best smile in the world.

He was pretty bored.

He was pretty bored.

The basket and bell, because why would you make a girls' bike that doesn't have these? Where would you put acorns, rocks, bows, and beanie boos?

The basket and bell, because why would you make a girls’ bike that doesn’t have these? Where would you put acorns, rocks, bows, and beanie boos?

Just what all 8 year olds need. She loved this gift, and it actually looks really, really cool.

Just what all 8 year olds need. A messenger bag She loved this gift, and it actually looks really, really cool.

 

Chloe and Tiller, about to blow candles out.

Chloe and Tiller, about to blow candles out.

My baby is 8. This cannot be. Also, i just ate the rest of that cake with coffee for 2nd breakfast. A pitfall of working from home.

My baby is 8. This cannot be. Also, i just ate the rest of that cake with coffee for 2nd breakfast. A pitfall of working from home.

Chloe always has the best expressions.

Chloe always has the best expressions.

My sweet, tissue-paper pasty skinned, freckled nephew. I want to eat him up.

My sweet, tissue-paper pasty skinned, freckled nephew. I want to eat him up.

Leah, i think.

Leah, i think.

Yeah, that's definitely me.

Yeah, that’s definitely me. With tills and . . . uh syd. I’m going with Syd.

My sister will eat some cookies.

My sister will eat some cookies.

Good sister, bad sister. Guess which one is which?

Good sister, bad sister. Guess which one is which?

Pretty sure that's syd, and leah. Syd on left. It's like a puzzle.

Pretty sure that’s syd, and leah. Syd on left. It’s like a puzzle.

These three are just three peas in a pod.

These kids are just a bunch of peas in a pod.

Jimmies my ass. There were sprinkles. Lots of sprinkles.

Jimmies my ass. There were sprinkles. Lots of sprinkles.

Rollie doesn't go for hugs anymore, not even from his Aunt, not unless his fever is at least 102. He's ten now, you know. Way too old for your hugs.

Rollie doesn’t go for hugs anymore, not even from his Aunt, not unless his fever is at least 102. He’s ten now, you know. Way too old for your hugs.

We decorated cookies. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

We decorated cookies. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Tiller wins.

Tiller wins.

 

I See the Future

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

No matter how many times I look at this, it fails to become less funny.

20131015-195834.jpg

And this is a little freaky. . .

3rdgrademe

Afraid this is just a taste of the awkward middle school years.

Uh, yeah. . . We’ll be doing a retake.

Grey Kitchen: Not My Realm

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Yep, it’s me. Dogwood Girl. I know, I’ve been MIA. I’ve been here all along, just not here here. I’ve been at a desk in Cumming.

Yes, i drive that far every day. Which is yet another reason we’ve lived here five years and still have the same wallpaper. I’m trying, people.

So, looking to get a little feedback on grey kitchen ideas. Comments and suggestions welcome, because this is so not my realm.