- Wed, 21:37: RT @MockingbirdPub: The Alabama Book Festival has posted its author line up for 2013 and Nothing Fancy author Kerry Madden, with... http ...
A Tale of Friendship and Tomato Sandwiches
By Marie Sutton
Illustrations by Lucy Madden-Lunsford
Never underestimate the power of a tomato sandwich. For the late, famed Southern storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and renowned Alabama folk artist Charlie Lucas, that was the meal that set in motion a years-long treasured friendship, one that is a shining example of love, acceptance, and kindness.
The tale of the duo’s famed tomato tryst—as well as anecdotes of them hunting for stories, metal scraps, and Christmas trees; fishing along sandy riverbanks; and performing hair-comb kazoo concerts—will be told to children of all ages for decades to come thanks to Kerry Madden, M.F.A, UAB assistant professor of creative writing.
Madden, a lauded storyteller herself, took on the charge of writing about Windham and Lucas’s friendship, collaborating with her artist daughter Lucy Madden-Lunsford to create the children’s tale.
“They knew how to see the world together with love and curiosity and with eyes wide open,” Madden says of the two. “They explored back roads and city streets together like kids in a world full of possibility of discovery without the anvil of adult expectation and duty.”
(From Nothing Fancy)
Windham, who died last year at 93, was a world-famous writer and master storyteller who penned nearly 30 books about everything from grits to ghosts. She captivated audiences with her colorful stories of life as a Southerner; many aired weekly on National Public Radio.
“When you listened to her stories, you felt like a kid again,” Madden says. “She made you remember what it was like to be a wide-eyed child listening to a story. She made you feel loved.”
Off the Beaten Path
Lucas, a former maintenance man, prayed to God to give him a talent like no one else’s. Those prayers were answered. He spends his days searching the earth for old, discarded junk like busted car mufflers, railroad spikes, and metal scraps and then fashions them into magnificent statues and works of art that are sought by art lovers around the world.
Although Windham and Lucas could have lived in big, fancy houses and gone about town touting their accomplishments, they chose to live humbly in a quiet Selma neighborhood in homes that sit side by side. At first glance, the two appeared mismatched: a petite white woman more than 30 years the senior of a tall, lanky black man. But their endearing simplicity and love for art and all things Southern made them twin souls.
“For so many reasons, it’s an honor to be publishing Nothing Fancy,” says Ashley Gordon, the founder of Mockingbird Publishing in Fairhope, Alabama. “Kerry and Lucy have captured beautifully the magic Kathryn engendered and the remarkable friendship she and Charlie enjoyed.”
This spring, through a creative grant from the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, Madden and her daughter will set out on a book tour of rural and urban libraries across the South. “Kathryn and Charlie always veered off the beaten path to find interesting stories,” Madden says. “I wanted the tour to reflect that sense of adventure, to discover places where kids might not get to meet an artist or author every day.”
Plus, Windham loved libraries, Madden says. The tour is a tribute to her. “She knew the library was the greatest place in Selma for children to go and learn to read and write and tell stories,” Madden says. In fact, all the proceeds from the book sales will go to the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, Windham’s favorite place.
“Kerry and Lucy will use the book as a foundation for writing and art workshops for children to be held in libraries around the state,” Gordon says. “I hope readers will recognize the importance of libraries, books, authors, and artists in our communities and the transformative power they represent.”
Madden had not planned to write a book about Windham and Lucas. It kind of just happened, she says.
After assigning her children’s writing workshop students the task of writing a ‘friendship’ story, she decided to write a friendship story, too.
“I remembered how Charlie had made Kathryn a tomato sandwich, and I thought of the day I’d spent with them the previous spring, and I just started writing,” she says.As the story goes, Windham and Lucas, although both Alabama residents and seemingly cut from the same Southern cloth, had spent years on the cultural scene but had never met. It was in France, of all places, that the two crossed paths.
They sat among artists and admirers at a fancy dinner when Windham mused that she would love to have a tomato sandwich. Lucas’s ears perked up. He’s a tomato sandwich kind of guy, too. He quickly got his hands on some tomatoes and bread, and together the two savored the sandwiches while also satisfying their appetites for down-home companionship.
Charlie told Kathryn about collecting junk. Kathryn told Charlie about catching stories. Then they were quiet, gazing at the plum sky of sparkling stars over France.
The Storyteller’s Story
Writing their story wasn’t easy. “I’ve written more than 100 versions of the story,” Madden says. She even gave a copy of an early draft to Windham for review. Slowly, the tale came together. Lucas offered Madden moral support and assured her that she would do their story justice. “You’re going to do it, girl,” he told her. “You will.”
Madden’s own interest in writing surfaced in fourth grade when the teacher told her she was good at it. “Before that, I was simply the ‘nice, tall girl who listens well’ or the daughter who could ‘scrub a floor like nobody’s business.’
“I was relieved when a teacher told me I was good at something that I cared about,” Madden says. “I loved books more than a clean kitchen.”
Today, she is the author of several children’s books, including the Maggie Valley Trilogy. She also penned Up Close with Harper Lee, which made Booklist’s “Ten Biographies of 2009 for Youth.”
Madden teaches aspiring writers at UAB and often shares the lessons she learned from Windham and Lucas with them. But even with her own literary accomplishments, she was initially nervous about meeting a literary legend, she says.
But Madden’s fears were unfounded. When she went to Windham’s home, she was welcomed like an old friend. “I’ve been expecting you,” Windham told her, and she had the cornbread and sweet tea ready. “I felt like I had known her all my life,” Madden says. Later she introduced Madden to Lucas. “Their backyards were connected, and Lucas’s Trojan horse sculpture kissed Windham’s garden of tomatoes and sunflowers.
“Charlie is pure love,” Madden continues. “He has a giant heart, and he loved Kathryn.” When Windham passed away last June, Madden said her heart broke a little. “I’m never going to stop missing her or her voice and laughter,” she says. “She swept us all up in her tales and love. I wrote Nothing Fancy to thank her for her stories.”
It's a rainy Tuesday morning, but my cousin, Tricia, sent me a picture from Ireland taken in 1978, so I'm going to post some of Michael's pictures here. More soon...my head is cloudy today like the Birmingham sky.
This essay came out of an Aimee Bender exercise at Antioch University asking us what were we experts at and to dive into the expertise of the language without explaining. I'm still working on it. It may be a memoir or it maybe just a long essay. I don't know.
The man next door is an Alabama fan. I think of him as a kind of Willy Loman Alabama fan only because he travels four or five days a week in a jeep with Alabama stickers. Six red "Roll Tide" folding chairs sit under his carport. I imagine him selling something out there on the road - what would it be? Or maybe he's an inspector of some sort? What would he inspect? He's a cherubic, baby-faced man with no hair and a belly. During big away Alabama games, other men come and park on his lawn since the driveway is so small. This only happens on a big game day. I think he must go to Tuscaloosa with a posse for home games. He doesn't say hello or good-bye. He has an adult son who lives with him whose license plate says "monymkr" or something like that. The father parks in the driveway, the son on the street. There are no women around. I did see a visiting grandson in a baseball uniform once, who waved and smiled in the way of polite teenage boys, but the men who live there say nothing - ever. But I don't either. A wireless code pops up as "Roll Tide," and I know it must belong to them, although when friends visit and they want to sign on they smile and ask if I am "Roll Tide."
A parallel universe lives across the street. An older woman and her daughter, who is maybe college-age. She has a backpack, so I think it's college. We wave and say hello although we don't talk either. The daughter comes and goes at different times, but the mother has a job with regular hours. In the spring and fall, she likes to sit on her front porch, and I imagine her reading a good book or doing crosswords. She had a cough last summer and I was worried because she didn't seem to be working, but then she starting working again, and I realized how morbid and ridiculous I am. They mother and daughter across the street never talk to the father and son next door to me or I've never seen them exchanging pleasantries. The mother and daughter have a pretty golden retriever who likes the front porch. The daughter is friendlier than the mother, and the same could be said about us.
Next to me on the other side is the church family. There are two boys, one of whom watches our dog, Olive, when we go out of town for a few days and can't take her. They go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays in two cars, which I take it to mean they are very involved. The father plays basketball with his sons, and the mother sits in the sun on her days off and catches up on work and goes out of her way to say hello. The older boy is a storyteller, according to the mom and does lots of plays at church. I've never really spoken to the father. I think they work at UAB - maybe in medicine? The boys play all kinds of games and build elaborate Lego tracks up and down the front walk on warm days. They have open faces and big smiles. They love Olive, our dog, and recently came over to our backyard to build a snowman with Norah when it snowed for an afternoon and melted. They have a cat who is not allowed inside. The father didn't want the cat, so they gave it an odd name that I don't remember, but the family likes Olive, and the mother says her boy is glad to have the job when we go out of town.
In a way, this feels like my pretend street - the street not where my husband lives but visits, even though I live and work here, and I like this little house very much. I'm grateful for the trees, two huge oak trees in the front yard, and a front porch with a porch-swing. I'm grateful for our fireplace, and Norah knows how to build a roaring fire now. The daffodils I planted last year as an experiment are coming back - I saw them growing out of the snow. It was a shock. I'm not good with plants, and Olive, I thought, had dug them up, but I was wrong, and they're growing back, which makes me want to plant more daffodils. Will that make Alabama home? I'm into my fourth year of teaching here, which means Lucy is a senior in college and will graduate in the spring. She's thinking of New York or Chicago.
We both left for college at the same time. :)
Unfinished notes on a Sunday morning...and now a Sunday night.
At the end of road a small city DART bus trolls up and down the skinny hill, resembling a kind of Miyazaki mode of transport like the cat-bus in MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. http://www.dvdizzy.com/myneighbortotoro.html
Here is a picture I took today downtown. I like the old brick buildings of Birmingham. There are still uniforms in this building that boasts "The Uniform House of Dixie." What kind of uniforms did "Bottlers" wear, I wonder.
It's the waning days of 2012 and I want to try capture a few thoughts, eavesdrops, and pictures of the year, though Facebook wrapped it all up quite nicely pictorially, I suppose.
So with no thought to particular order, here are some things I'm grateful for or mean to be grateful and/or not grateful at all at this tail end of the old year.
And this just barely skims the surface of 2012.
THIS AND THAT...
John Coltrane and Lucinda on Pandora to name a few
A cat called Daisy on the bed
A dachshund mix called Olive just happy to be
A Westie called Sebastian forever tense but beginning to dole out tentative kisses
An ancient 18-year-old dachshund, Bascom, who wanders into walls and doors and pees wherever and last pooped directly on the Twister mat during a game. This will probably be the sweet old man's last Christmas.
A glass of red wine in the evenings
Lucy's boyfriend, Trent
Flannery's girlfriend, Elyse
Norah's ASFA friends
Kiffen surprising me for our 26th wedding anniversary by flying top-secret to Birmingham while Flannery played his first gig at the Viper Room.
A front porch with a swing and hot coffee
Shooting ON DACHSHUND POND in a summer LA heatwave with wiener dogs in costume, directed by Rebecca O'Brien...(not yet edited)
My first cameo as a homeless person in PANDA IN MY CLOSET in Alexandre Rockwell's film. (an LA screening)
Chattanooga Lookouts Game - favorite (and only) baseball game this year
Barbecue with Allison Anders in Atlanta after her day of scouting locales for the June Carter Cash film with Jewell
Yellow roses for my mother-in-law, Frances.
My parents 52nd wedding anniversary over hot wings at the San Diego Brewing Company
MORE THIS AND THAT...
Norah learning about Wendy Wasserstein for the first time and me missing her again
Marshmallow catapults from the Renaissance Fair in Florence, Alabama
Seeing Queen Elizabeth in her Elizabeth costume with her kid on a leash at the Renaissance Festival also in Florence, Alabama
Finding the first season of GIRLS at Amoeba
Still not seen a speck of HOMELAND
The whole of BOARDWALK EMPIRE, first season, and of course, MAD MEN and Lucy's summer of BREAKING BAD and LOUIS CK
Cole's Coffee from San Francisco
Higher Ground Coffee from Alabama
DUMB fights with adult children that leave one bowed at the knees
Kids I knew as kids now addicted to heroin and the helpless, horrible feeling it brings
A late May roadtrip from Birmingham to LA by way of Milledgeville, Chattanooga, and Nashville with my three kids
Norah learning to play OH HOLY NIGHT on the piano
Norah's piano teacher who looks like Cinderella skipping around the piano. Birds could burst into song around her.
Lucy's beautiful illustrations for our book, NOTHING FANCY ABOUT KATHRYN & CHARLIE, coming out with Mockingbird in April
Meeting Harper Lee in Monroeville
A pianist playing "MEMORY" on the piano by golf course in Monroeville at the Community House as folks crowded in to celebrate Fannie Flagg
The use of the word "Smirk" - 7 ten times in a 10-page story.
The simile of tears skiing down the slope of one's cheeks - another story.
My mother's illness in Hawaii and going to Hawaii to be with my mother and father - and her saying to me, "Go see something pretty before you come see me." A waterfall, the ocean, and taking her to Wameia Canyon when she recovered - slow little steps. She said, "They dragged Marcella up here with her oxygen tank years ago."
Finding Passionfruit pie, but not Guava pie in Hawaii
My beautiful and funny sister, Keely, and hearing about her novel inspired by a theatre bus trip in the 90s, and I can't wait to read it
A gorgeous salad from a son with stories in between his pushups
Amy Timberlake's six page, single-spaced editorial letter on WEREWOLF HAMLET
Secret Sisters signing a T-Shirt to Norah after singing under VULCAN in Birmingham
A meeting with Ashley at Mockingbird Publishing about the tour to rural libraries in Alabama to get kids to write their stories with UAB Creative Grant
"Arranged Marriages at the Pizza Hut" - one of my favorite student stories about a Pakistani mother arranging dates for her four her daughters, and it made me think of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in Alabama, and I've begged her to write the screenplay
Dinner with Eileen after 16 years at Donna's house from my very first writing group that began in the spring of 1991.
Mr. Kiffen's Boarding House
Diana Wagman's big success with her beautifully scary book, THE CARE AND KEEPING OF EXOTIC PETS. (Don't read in scary company.)
Seeing Allison Kraus and Union Station in Birmingham
Our lovely renter, Carol, who kindly walks the dogs and greets each day with kindness and a smile
The red birds in Alabama who like our yard
Olive's fear of inanimate objects that inspired a new picture book, "Lady Norah and the Sausage Dog."
Walks in Griffith Park with old and dear friends I see only a few times a year now
The families who watched Norah for two weeks in Alabama - Melanie, Pattie, Susan, Fran, and Nancy
Making chili and black bean soup over and over this year
Christmas shopping and Emmylou Harris with Julian
Cliff's scene design - THE CAUCASION CHALK CIRCLE, MACBETH, PROOF
Christmas golfing with my brothers, my father, my husband, my brother-in-law, my nephew, and my daughter - so much fun, and who knew?
Lafayette Hotel at Christmas in San Diego and the annoying children blasting "We Are the Champions" on a sunlit San Diego morning but still imaging Esther Williams and Johnny Weismiller swimming in the Olympic-size pool.
Hearing Flannery's funny stories about working for THE VOICE
Dressing in one of Kiffen's suits (being told I looked like Patti Smith) for Christmas to man-up for the holidays and not fall apart like one of Picasso's Weeping Women.
The guy blasting heavy metal with his dogs at the CVS parking lot in San Diego
Valerie finding beautiful beer made by monks
Carol's shortbread and toffee
Losing Levon Helm and only realizing at his death that he played Ted Webb, Loretta Lynn's father, in COALMINER'S DAUGHTER
So many movies...
Don't know - really liked ARGO, THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, but BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD was my absolute favorite of all!!
Began writing "Blue Whales," an essay, and winding up with fifty pages about my young uncle's suicide in 1979 and reconnecting with his friends again
Writing 200 pages of HOP THE POND, a novel, set in England
Revising 50 pages of VULCAN BLUE, a children's novel, set in Birmingham, inspired by the immigration law HB56
Revising WEREWOLF HAMLET and sending it out...hooray!
Publishing an essay in the LA Times
Getting a possible book deal from SOUTHERN LIVING on a book called THE SOUTHERN GIRL'S SURVIVAL GUIDE - co-written with Patti Callahan Henry. (Our good and dear agents are working out the details.)
Playing with China essay, circa 1987
Revising, always revising...
EVEN MORE THIS AND THAT
Receiving unanimous faculty tenure vote - so grateful to UAB faculty
Long coffee and fast catch-up gossip with dear friend, Amy, who told me about her father's business collecting monies from juke boxes around Detroit for decades and reading her amazing novel, THE INTAKE OFFICE. She made me breathe when Flannery was driving the GIANT-GIANT rental truck around the circle on Trash Day.
Playing the game "Anger Management" designed by good friend, Jon Vandergriff
Meeting a little curly haired boy, Hobbes, at our holiday party and loving him on sight, missing his grandmother, a beautiful poet cousin, whom I never met, but know and love her sisters very much. Anna Kirwan. She used to send Norah fairies and little fairy forks, plates, knives, and spoons. Missing Anna. Meeting her beautiful daughter, Corrina.
Kentuck Festival with Cathy and finding more glass menagerie treasures for Norah and seeing Charlie Lucas too
Learning about the way Armenians curse in letters with wondrous creativity about eyes and tongues and rot and grandmothers and everlasting vendettas - best holiday conversation with a family court judge in the Valley.
Reading Emily Rapp's gorgeous and heartbreaking essays about her son, Ronan.
My brother Duffy's plans for a flamenco workshop and a possible return from Spain for good
Ann Whitford Paul's picture book workshop in June with Lucy, which set us on course for NOTHING FANCY ABOUT KATHRYN & CHARLIE
Reading "Dear Prudence" and Cary Tennis regularly just because...
The Alabama Map Guy from the downtown library
This American Life
Stories, stories, stories...
Bloomsday Night at Heather's making crowns of flowers
SCBWI Conference and snatches of conversations with dear friends
Reading Poe Valentine when he's in THE SUN and renewing the subscription to THE SUN to Alabama
Driving from LA to Alabama with Norah - a teepee in Holbrook, Arizona, a hotel near Shamrock, Texas, or maybe not, and another in Little Rock, Arkansas, and then William Faulkner's 12 Oaks and Elvis's shotgun house in Tupelo and Birmingham all on the same day and seeing a sign to DANVER'S, also in Tupelo, a hamburger restaurant I worked at in high school in Knoxville. (I didn't know the chain still existed.)
Graduate student workshop of memoir from meth to bondage to guns to a granny in red with a gun at a funeral to tremendous loss to schizophrenia to recipes to France to religion to infertility to Jesus trees. They taught me so much about being brave.
The relief of the election being over
Retrieving Beanie's needlepoint Christmas stockings from bowels of closet
AWP in Chicago - Associated Writing Programs - hearing Cheryl Strayed speak and Antonya Nelson - watching versions of myself at nearly every stage in my writing career with 10,000 other writers - but then a night of Ethiopian food with Annie and longs talks with my brother, Casey, and his family
Finding the biggest Christmas tree this year since Norah said they were getting smaller and smaller and pretty soon I'd be hanging lights on the wall instead of the tree
Watching Boardwalk Empire
A UAB colleague building his own log cabin from scratch
Pie in Albuquerque
Sneaking Olive into the hotel in an old Atlanta Falcons bag
Midwestern, split-the-sky thunderstorms of hail and horror with son at the wheel
A few folks in Homewood, Alabama thinking Norah was a baker or Martha Stewart instead of Mrs. Lovett
Seeing Dale Dickey as Mrs. Lovett in SWEENEY TODD at the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, visiting dear old theatre friends, Tommy and Julie, and Tina too.
Seeing Dale also in BLUES FOR WILLADEAN at the SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL in Birmingham along with AMERICAN MAN about Lou Gehrig's disease and Alabama football player
Gathering and editing stories for PoemMemoirStory coming out in January, PMS 13.
Callie & Shelly's standup and funny stories
The panhandle with Jill and Norah reading THE YEARLING as we drove through North Florida
Saying good-bye to good friend, Jill, and her new job in Massachusetts
Susan Orlean's lecture on 1000 words a day
Seeing Dylan Moran LIVE at LARGO and his kindness afterward regarding Norah and signing an autograph for her.
A winding, looping walk with a friend in a cemetery, Chris - a much needed respite for a moment on a Wednesday during the MFA residency.
Renting a car and seeing a giant donut that said RANDY'S
Trees in Alabama
Vulcan Trail in Alabama
Griffith Park Trail in Los Angeles
Birds in Alabama
The wishing walk in the Emerald Forest in Griffith Park
Making son move out
Watching son move back in
Proud of his success in an indie film, STRUTTER, and his two trips to Germany this year for the film and Woodstock and Northern California
"The tulip trees have outdone themselves this year." Julian
A boy named, Angus, who inspired the name, "Angus Gettlefinger," who asked me at a party - "So how is our book doing? You finished? I never thought I'd want to read Hamlet." (WEREWOLF HAMLET)
"Oh, bless your heart." Harper Lee
The "bug woman" in Alabama who, said, "I have broadened my husband's horizons considerably. He never saw NOTHING until he married me. Never did a thing. Now he's the one who gets the Cirque de Soleil tickets. He don't want to miss it. Ever. That's cause of me. Thank you very much."
The vet in Alabama who said, "Your husband's in LA? You still feel married?" who then later turned to Norah and said, "I was an accident too" when I over-explained that her brother and sister were older and in college.
Seeing Tig Nataro LIVE at LARGO and hearing her say, "Thank you, I have cancer."
The words, "This is not a social call."
The docent at Helen Keller's house saying "Go out there and get you a look that pump where she said water. I gotta eat my sandwich."
A Cherry Orchard Thanksgiving Dinner in Tennessee with my brother-in-law who said, "Why don't you visit more often? Well, nobody misses you, darlin.' Nobody."
"I came of age in Alabama."
"I'm a public figure!!!"
"You hate them don't you? Just say it!!!"
"The stockings were slung by the chimney with care." A quote from my mom in the wreckage of the holiday.
The grandchildren - Norah, Liam, Sidney, Kolya, and Casey howling with Olive...
And more, so much more...it was a full and rich year. Wishing anyone reading this love love love and joy and peace for 2013.
Finally, I made a lot of pies this summer and it felt good to make pies - although pie crust texture is different in California and Alabama. Maybe it's the humidity. This was a Silver Lake blueberry-blackberry-raspberry, inspired by a variation from the cookbook, BLUE EGGS AND YELLOW TOMATOES by Jeanne Kelley.
I live in the no-sleep house. My sweet husband's snores punctuate my dreams, and then our adult son, who doesn't carry a key - (why doesn't he carry a key, I do not know. This is something I must remember to ask) - anyway, he rings the doorbell at four or five or three in the morning - whenever he gets home from his late ramblings of music and movie-making. He doesn't have a car right now, so he gets dropped off or rides public transportation, but no key. Why? I don't know.
Fourteen years ago tomorrow I woke up on a day like today with sky brightening peach and apple streaks across the morning sky, and a few hours later Norah was born. My sister, Keely, was here and she recently recalled Lucy's birth (no drugs) and Norah's birth (epidural) and she said the difference was - "Lucy's was labor, pure wild labor, and with Norah, we had a great talk about Susan Sarandon, and then she was born." I can't remember what we said about Susan Sarandon, but it must have been a good talk. Lucy was eight and Flannery was ten when Norah came home on Christmas day.
Our eighteen-year-old dachshund, Uncle Bascom, who is shivery and blind and deaf, still eats and likes very slow walks, although the poor old dog bumps into walls, snuffling along. He wears a pink and purple sweater, which is new and keeps him warm. We got him when Flannery and Lucy were five and seven, I think. 1996. Yes, five and seven. He's a gentle old dog, and Olive, the young spry dachshund, licks his ears and eyes, while he sits there patiently. We have another dog, Sebastian, a nervous Westie, who growls at Norah every time she walks into the room, protecting old Bascom, so there is no love lost between them.
My brother, Duffy, who is a blues guitarist and flamenco dancer in Spain, is back in the country after three years. He arrives tomorrow in Los Angeles with my sister, Keely and her family, for Norah's birthday. I need to ask Norah what kind of cake she wants for her fourteenth birthday. Maybe Kiffen can make her some kind of "Dr. Who" cake. When I was fourteen, I had a boy-girl party of at least 20 kids in our rec room in Pittsburgh. (Dad was coaching at Pitt then) Duffy made out with a girl, Toni Brungo, under the pool table to Beach Boy music. I didn't make out with anyone, although I was two years older and it was my party. I talked football with Michael Kretz also near the pool table. Couples were everywhere. I think I got three Beach Boy albums. Three. Sigh.
Lucy arrives tonight and cousin, Robert, (another member of the household making his way in the LA music world) flies back to Tennessee just as she arrives. My mom calls our home "Mr. Kiffen's Boarding House," which makes my sister think of some old BBC comedy. Flannery has been living in Lucy's room, since we're renting his room to a lovely friend and actress who makes the most amazing shortbread cookies and toffee. The question is in all this - Will Flannery clean Lucy's room by tonight? He swears it will happen. He swears up and down it will happen.
But I found my old CDs cleaning up the living room. I haven't heard or seen these CDs since 2009 when I began dividing my life between California and Alabama because of work, but I found my beloved Marisa Monte CD, and she's given peace and respite in the approaching bonanza-extravaganza of the holiday season.
Here is a picture of the kids taken from our road-trip this summer from Birmingham by way of Milledgeville, GA all the way to Los Angeles. This was Albuquerque, and by then the fights had been fought, stories read and told, and we'd hit our groove over pies on the strip. I can't even believe how much I love these three faces.