Selma! Oh Selma!

Last Saturday I crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge into Selma, Alabama, a place I have longed to see since childhood. Stopping at the National Park Service Welcome Center we spoke to a wonderful park ranger who told us about a short film, which we decided to skip, and pointed out a display of books available for purchase regarding Selma's history. Perusing the shelf's contents, I couldn't help but think of RaeRae and how, if she had been with me, she would have purchased one or two to read the remainder of the trip.
Although Selma has many wonderful buildings, far too many to photograph in a single day, we decided to spend time at a historic cemetery located on the outskirts of town. We walked the entire cemetery admiring the unique grave markers and the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. I love Spanish Moss and was very disappointed by the lack of it on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Spanish Moss has always been mysterious and romantic, to me. It's wonderful living in an area so rich in history and natural beauty. Guess that's why its known as "Alabama the Beautiful."
Above, are photos showing two of my favorite grave markers in the cemetery. The last marker is unlike any other I have seen before. An iron fence surrounded the grave plot and a stone, engraved with the family name, marked the threshold beneath the entry gate. One day I would love to hire a stone mason to carve a beautiful and unique marker for my mother. Until then, I will continue to admire markers these standing memorials of past lives and love.

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Dear Mom-

Today we celebrated Mother's Day by having dinner at Mellow Mushroom with Lauren, Joshie and Jett. Did you know you have a grandson? You do. He is the cutest, smartest little man and he has captured our hearts.

At seven weeks he rolled over for the first time last night. Did I mention he is strong too? He has Joshie's chin but he's super long. His pants are big in the waste but short in the legs. I am praying he will be a UK basketball player some day. I already tease Joshie that Jett's going to be taller than him someday.

Although he has a few "friends" his favorite appears to be Worm. Worm makes several noises and, is now, shorter than Jett. He also enjoys watching the lights flash and blink on the star attached to the arch above his Baby Einstein mat.

Every time I am with him I can't help but think, "Mom should be here. Mom would love him and Jett would love Mom." You are missing out on so much. I wonder if you know?

In April I attended the Atlanta Temple Open House with Pamela McKinney Smith, your friend from high school. She contacted me on Facebook last year and we have been corresponding since. She is wonderful. I had a great time talking with her and she brought me your high school yearbook from your Senior year. I had no idea your nickname was "Dr. J." Joshie, Lauren and I had a few laughs looking at all the pictures. I wish you could have been with us.
The coolest thing, I think, about the closing, renovation and rededication of the Atlanta Temple was the temple was closed on my birthday and rededicated on your birthday. I wanted to be there so badly for the rededication but it wasn't meant to be. Instead I went to church and then to the cemetery. Since you passed I have tried celebrating your birthday in a fun and meaningful way. Last year I went to Gulf Shores where I got food poisoning. This year wasn't much better. I think from now on I just need to accept the fact that May 1 is going to suck for the rest of my life. Don't worry. I can handle it.
I just wanted to let you know this Mother's Day and every day I love you, I miss you and wish more than anything you could be with us.
Love you forever-

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The Three Amigos

For the past three years Dad's friends, Eek and Meek, have been regular fixtures on the Cat Farm during the planting and harvest seasons. There are two gardens on the farm. One is located behind the barn and the other is located behind the house. Initially, Eek and Meek planted the back garden and we planted the front. No matter what, Eek and Meek always helped us with our garden and vice versa. Due to Meek's health, Dad switched garden plots with the duo last summer so they wouldn't have to walk as far. Despite the distance, you could still find Eek and Meek in the back garden helping Dad weed or pick veggies.

Since last summer, Meek's health has improved. Unfortunately, his brother Eek is in poor health. We pray this will change and both will be around for long time.

I didn't identify Eek or Meek in the photo above. Can you guess which is which?

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A Bit of Lil' Bit...

is missing. Doctor Long shaved Lil' Bit's belly and sections of her front legs during her operation last month. Lil' Bit joined her older sissies, Mary and Zu, in the big girl's club when she was spayed last month following her miscarriage of two kittens. We all agree Lil' Bit is too little to carry kittens and to prevent further heartache we decided it was time.

Lil' Bit is the first female feline we've spayed whose legs have been shaved during surgery. In my opinion, she resembles a poodle which has prompted the nickname "poodle cat." In an effort to document this awkward time in her life I took this photo. I will always remember it as a time when bits of my Lil' Bit were missing.

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Displaced Maiden

My Dad is a fan of lawn ornaments. I am not sure where this comes from but he has a few positioned at various locations around the porch. These lawn ornaments were acquired when we lived in Lilburn where they were stood around our swimming pool. Josh and I tease these ornaments are Dad's "little friends," which I'm sure Dad does not care for but goes along with anyway.

This maiden once stood in the center of a bird bath. I have to admit, I was not a huge fan of the bird bath or the "naked" lady (Josh and I realized the maiden was clothed but teased Dad she was naked anyway) that adorned our front lawn. Over time, however, I enjoyed watching the birds roll in the dirt, only to hop in the bath water to cleanse their feathers.

I'm not sure what happened to the bird bath, but the maiden is still with us. Standing on a tree stump at the base of our steps, she is a displaced maiden, stripped of purpose, sans the bath. In a moment of spontaneity I decided to photograph her. Of all the lawn ornaments, she is my favorite. I'm not sure how long she will be with us but none of us will ever forget Dad's "naked" lady in the bath.

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