Harlan

11

The year was 1984, and there on a cold wintry morning I took my first breath of Harlan county USA air, thick with coal dust as it was.  You see, I come from that place they portray on the TV show Justified. It’s really real.

Harlan_Kentucky_Aerial_view

Picture from Wikipedia

I had an odd childhood, not unlike many kids of my generation I suppose. I really “came” from two places. I have two “homes”. One was mom’s house where I did most of my living. The other was dad’s – Harlan.

The funny thing about Harlan is, as much as I loathed the place growing up, it holds my go-to memories of childhood. Why is that? From the time I was 3 until I left for college at 18, I mostly lived with mom. Harlan to me was every other weekend and half the summer. There’s just something about Harlan that is hard to shake.

The town of Harlan is a small place, population 2,000, nestled in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. It is very much cut off from the world. It’s at least an hour, if not a little more, away from the nearest interstate.

I honestly don’t know what it is about the place that holds me so deeply. I think back to my memories of growing up in Harlan probably 5 times for every 1 time I think about growing up at my mom’s – which in all fairness is where I did most of my growing up. Maybe it’s not the town itself that holds me so, but the powerful memories of my grandparents. I think about those two daily, and dream about them almost as often. I know everyone loves their grandparents, but those two were definitely special to me in ways that no one else ever will be. I can still hear my Granny say “Hey girl” as she did every time I called or walked through her door…and it kills me inside to know I’ll never hear her say that again.

Granny, Pap, and me -- sometime in the 80's.

Granny, Pap, and me — sometime in the 80’s.

I didn’t mean to get off on a tangent about my grandparents, this post began as a look at that odd, quirky, drug-laden, poor little community that almost holds an odd mystery to it for both people there and on the outside.

Maybe I’d be more willing to make a trek back to my homeland, if Timothy Olyphant were actually the US Marshall there…a girl can dream!

And no…. I never heard of anyone firing off rocket launchers…but I wouldn’t be surprised!

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Blog of the Year 2012

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I’m blushing here. Kourtney over at Kourtney Heintz’s Journal  has given me the Blog of the Year 2012 award! HUZZAH!

BotY

Well, I’m honored! Thank you so much Kourtney. I suggest everyone follow her blog. This minute! The second she posts a new story about her Grandma, you won’t be sorry!

Hmm, who should I pass this onto……oh DUH how about my fellow Limebird Writers friends! That sounds like an excellent idea, if I do say so myself. 2012 was my first full year of blogging, and Limebird has surrounded me with the best blogging friends a girl could ask for! Hey, while you’re at it why don’t you go check out Limebird, too!

In no particular order whatsoever –

Conversing With Novels – Amber sometimes talks to her novels, sometimes she writes stories that scare her friends to death…

Continuous Strings – One can never go wrong with the writings of Cat!

Dennis M Lane Publishing – Dennis is the resident Limebird sci-fi guru.

4 a.m. Writer – Kate gets up….at 4 a.m…..to write! Gotta love that dedication!

The Short and the Long of it – Folks submit 3 words…and Neeks writes short stories featuring them! How cool is that?!

Vanessa-Jane Chapman – Vanessa writes about the things that matter most in life, like your uvula! And if you like sweets and treats, she has a blog dedicated to that!

Living in a Tampon Commercial

7

Let me set the stage for you.

It’s the Saturday before Christmas. My family has come together under one roof, as we always do every Saturday before Christmas. My cousin’s and I are all range from our mid to late 20’s to early 30’s. Some of them have kids which are all under a year old to 3-4 years old in age.

In short, chaos has ensued.

Everyone’s bellies are full. The crumbs of pies and cookies still litter the table(s).

For some reason when people have kids, they like to ask those of us who don’t when we’ll be joining in their misery. I can’t remember how this particular conversation began that I’m about to regale you with, but lets just pretend it began after someone was asked for the 800th time when they will be blessing this world with a snot-nosed creature of their own.

The following is a real conversation between myself, my cousin and my sister. Also, my grandfather is Daddaddy. That’s how it came out of my mouth before I was capable of proper thought, and that is what he remains to this day.

Cousin: My periods have been irregular lately.

Daddaddy walks up behind us and hands us our Christmas cards with money, seemingly out of nowhere. Has he been a ninja all my life and I never knew?!

Cousin: And we’re not going to talk about that now.

I burst into uncontrollable giggles, the “adults” (because obviously at 28 years old I’m NOT an adult!) look at me like “what’s up with this crazy person, oh wait that’s just Laura.”

Daddaddy exists stage left, at which point I turn back to my cousin.

Me: Oh my gosh me too! That’s so weird.

My Sister: You guys should try Mirena. (a type of birth control)

That was it, that did it. I lost it, I laughed until I cried, I couldn’t breathe, my stomach hurt.

I tried several times, but failed, to say “Oh my gosh guys we just did that thing they do on commercials! It really DOES happen!”

You know the type of commerical…ladies sit around moaning about that time of the month and then decide that if they use the latest birth control/maxi pad/tampon/Midol/etc that everything will be fields of daisies on a pleasant spring afternoon.

Not sure of the type of commercial I mean? Here, take a look at this old gem I found on YouTube.

Ah, well, you know what they say. Nothing like Christmas to bring cousins and sisters together to talk about period irregularity and birth control.

TMI? Oops oh well I should have warned about that in the beginning, eh?