Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Beginnings

Like I said in my about me page, I am a southern girl, raised on southern principles.  I feel like the south is an enigma to the rest of the country.  It is just another world down here, and people cannot understand how we could think certain things we believe are normal.  I have one resounding phrase that pops in my mind to explain this: because my Momma told me so.

When it comes to family dynamics in the south, the mother is the very center of every equation.  "Mom, when is dinner going to be ready?" "Mom, will you iron my shirt?" "Mom, where are my keys?"  I know this sounds slightly archaic, but mom is the first person you go to if you do not know yourself.  She is the problem solver, the peace keeper, and in my family, the little engine that could.

This is my sweet mother helping me get ready on my wedding day.  In any wedding there are bumps in the road, but I never saw them phase her.  She had a solution for everything!  I thought we had made it through the wedding disaster free until it came to the thank you notes.  Now, I am not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but in the south, it is unspeakable if you do not get all of your thank you notes out within one year from your wedding date.  Or horror of all horrors, do not write them at all.  One week I decided I just needed to do them.  I do not like to brag much (wink wink), but I am good at writing thank you notes.  I mean so good that people saved the one I wrote them to show their daughters what a real thank you note looks like.  I was churning out these notes like crazy, and by the end of the week I had written my remaining notes.  I think the final count was about 175 personalized notes.  Whew!  I breathed a sigh of relief and slipped them in the mailbox.

THREE WEEKS LATER when I had not heard anything about my superb letters, I began inquiring about them.  No one had received theirs yet.  I had this knot forming in the pit of my stomach.  I called our apartment manager to see how often the mail got picked up.  I called the post office our mail man delivered to.  Nothing.  Now my dear husband decides to step in.  We walk down to where we deposit our mail and there are two boxes: one large box that says "Mail Disposal" and one teeny tiny slot with the postal service eagle next to it.  My husband says, "Wait!  What box did you put it in?"  And then it hit me... I threw away 175 stamped, addressed, and personalized letters.  

It was too much for me to process.  I sank to the curb in utter defeat.  Suddenly our mailman appears and discovers our situation.  To make matters worse, he proceeds to laugh at me and what has occurred.  By this point, my husband can see the tears welling up, and he scrapes me up off the concrete and gets me home.  As I lie on our living room floor with the tears streaming, he knows exactly what to do.  He calls my mommy.

Of course she is outraged for me.  "Who has a stinkin' trashbox by a mailbox!  That is just ridiculous!  Don't you worry about a thing.  We are going to get this taken care of.  People are just going to understand.  Do you hear me?  They are going to understand.  We are just going to call everyone.  It is going to be alright."
This all to say, one of my simple things that I find joy in, is my wonderful mother.  The reason I bring her up in this first blog is that I have realized over this past year that she has so much wisdom to share.  Some of these pearls of wisdom may sound ancient, but in a world that is constantly looking for the next new thing, it is refreshing to hear old truths that never die.