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Category: Memories

The Pontiac Man

The Pontiac Man

I come from a family of many stories. When we can’t find one appropriate for a situation, we make one up on the spot. I tease my dad that he kissed the Blarney Stone one time too many, as good a reason as any as to why he’s such a great storyteller, but the truth is, some people have the gift of story and he’s one of them.

One of his stories revolves around Pontiacs. Dad has been a fan of the brand for a long time now, particularly of the Grand Am and Grand Prix models. When the company decided to no longer produce them, it about broke his heart.

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Scarecrows and Rain Dances

Scarecrows and Rain Dances

Growing up, I must’ve had the strongest female role models of any woman alive, except maybe my sister, who was blessed with the same set.

Nanny, our paternal grandmother, lost her first husband to Nazi gunners during World War II, her eldest daughter at a tender age to a tragic accident, and her second husband to drink. She developed rheumatoid arthritis in her late thirties, the most severe case her specialists had seen at the time, and eventually died due to complications thereof, but not before seeing her remaining five children and umpteen grandchildren reared proper like.

Her faith and a lively sense of humor shored up her strength, traits she passed on to the better part of her progeny, usually in equal measures. We’re the Bible-thumpin’est, laugh-out-loudest bunch of yehaws never seen outside the South.

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Over the River and through the Woods

Over the River and through the Woods

Note: This post was originally published on my author blog on 25 November 2015.


When I was a kid, Thanksgiving meant days spent at my maternal grandmother’s house helping prepare for the upcoming feast. It was prefaced by a long, summer growing season, canning homegrown vegetables outside in a huge cauldron propped over a wood fire, and slaughtering a pig MawMaw raised for sausage, hams, and bacon, cured by her own hands.

There’s nothing like canned sausage reheated and served with freshly made applesauce and piping hot, from scratch biscuits.

Back then, I was only a peripheral player in the game, the grateful recipient of hours of labor, and when the last plate was scraped clean of pumpkin pie and black walnut cake, one of the dishwashers and floor sweepers.

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Found at Last: 200 Years to Christmas

Found at Last: 200 Years to Christmas

Note: This post was originally published on my Lucy Varna blog.


The primary joy of my pre-teen and teenaged years was reading, and I occupied myself in that way wherever I could find a book. If we visited family and friends and I brought no books with me (a rarity, I promise), I picked one off of their shelves and read it while my brother and sister played with cousins and family friends.

I spent a lot of time that way.

My grandparents’ houses were lovely treasure troves of stories waiting to be read. My maternal grandfather attended the University of Georgia during the Great Depression (I haven’t been able to pinpoint exact dates yet) and was later a surveyor and a lay preacher. His bookcase now sits in my father’s garage-turned-studio. At least some of PawPaw’s books, the Biblical commentary (yes, I read some of those), ended up with one of my uncles. No idea where the rest went.

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