My best friend from childhood is getting married today in St. Paul. Richard and I are here to celebrate with Francene and Mark as they begin their new life together. Here are some photos from the first day.
Here’s Francene with two nieces in the background.
Francene’s mother, Katie, with granddaughter, Bre.
Melba, a friend from New York who will be maid of honor.
Marvin, a friend of Mark’s. The men had a serious game of dominoes going at the back table.
Robert, who is Francene’s sister Niecy’s fiance.
NaVondyl, who is Francene’s brother. And our sometimes nemesis from days gone by.
Vonda and Richard talking about housing, credit, deals in Mississippi, etc. In other words, shop.
At nearly the last minute, my senior son, Graeme, arranged to take a friend, Elizabeth, to prom. This left me with the unanticipated task of finding a corsage. I looked at one floral shop, picked up something that looked pretty old ladyish, and took it to the counter to ask: Is this all you have for corsages?
Is it for prom? the florist asked. Yes.
“All the girls want wrist corsages now. They’re over there — starting at $39.99.” Seriously?
I love Elizabeth. Been knowing her since she was a kindergartner. But, she’s a sensible girl, and couldn’t possibly want one of those ugly (to me) and expensive wrist corsages. So, on the spot, with about 5 hours until the prom, I decided I’d make one myself. Maybe even out of fabric.
Elizabeth and I have been working on a purse together. There’s a pile of fabric that she chose on my sewing table. With Pinterest, Youtube, and craft bloggers out there, I can do this!
After I browsed the internet a little, I decided that the flowers in my yard would make a nice wrist corsage. I gathered the bits of ribbon I had on hand. I took a basket into the yard and picked azaleas of various sizes, and some hawthorn. I improvised a bow and started arranging flowers. The crisis came when I considered what kind of glue to use to hold it together. In the end, I used craft glue. I also sewed a few of the blooms in place. It was ready with an hour or so to spare so I put it in the fridge.
The next day when I asked my son whether Elizabeth was embarrassed because she had a homemade wrist corsage. No, all the girls are into that kind of stuff now. Yes!
Here they are together.
Here’s Graeme, being all formal.
Here’s Zaliyah, another friend who came over for photos.
Here are all three.
Graeme with Richard and me.
Lisa Nichols with her daughter, Elizabeth, and her son, Ryan. (Not picture are the two Yuans. Senior was working and Junior was running track.)
And because I just couldn’t resist, here’s a photograph of Graeme and Elizabeth on the day they finished fifth grade. They are pictured with Liz Sharlot, a spokesperson for the MS state department of health.
I love the way photographs become part of us. They shape our memories and become a lens through which we see the present and the future. Here’s a photograph my mother took of me with Francene Young in May 1981 on the day we graduated from the ninth grade. Now, Franny lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. She’s engaged to be married, and came home to shop for dresses with her Mom and sister. I joined them.
I spent most of my time shooting video and stills — most of which won’t see the light of day for a very long time because Mark is not allowed to see. I wish there was a way to block one person from seeing a video or photo. At one point, the consultant took a picture of the two of us. Franny leaned down and in.
Then, we decided to reverse our longtime height imbalance. I hopped on a chair.
My sister, Emilye, spent the academic year in Atlanta (instead of Rochester, NY). One of the happy consequences was that we got to see her more than we usually do. We also got to see early drafts of one of this year’s projects, an article on school desegregation for the Oral History Review.
My Mom and I gave her our impressions of the early drafts, and helped her track down some information. Now, I have the published version. It is titled “White Privilege, Black Burden: Lost Opportunities and Deceptive Narratives in School Desegregation in Claiborne County, Mississippi”.
I spent Friday at the Science Olympiad on USM’s campus with the Chastain Middle School team. Once again, our team members had a great time, shuttling between events, enjoying fascinating displays, playing soccer on the grounds, and visiting Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and the gameroom.
My third son became the second in the family to participate in the “tower” event. The big question was whether this original design would hold all the sand.
The sand went in at a steady pace.
Congrats! and Phew!
M.E., enjoying the static ball.
Julie and M.E. keep a fan blowing by keeping the electricity flowing by touching.
‘Tis the season of school competitions. I drove to the Coast for the State Science Fair on Tuesday and spent much of today at Hardy Middle School for the semi-finals of the Middle School Challenge Bowl Competition.
Here is G, my eldest, a junior, with two Murrah teammates, both Seniors.
With their teacher/coach, Mr. Jeffrey Stokes.
The Chastain Middle School Challenge Bowl team on stage at Hardy Middle School after defeating Northwest Middle School in a second round match. My youngest, D, is at far left.
Full team, including alternates, with Mrs. Roberta Hagler, teacher and coach.
Kicking himself for a missed answer. Crater Lake, maybe? Mt. Hood?
I traveled with Chastain Middle School’s Science Quiz Bowl Team to Columbus, Mississippi, for a competition. My youngest son was the captain of the Chastain “A” team.
Our family has had at least one child in this competition for the last four years. I was proud of both of Chastain’s teams. The “A” team was undefeated through 8 rounds, and lost to Tupelo in the semi-finals. One of the big wins was against cross-town rival St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. The “B” team, with three of the four members complete novices, didn’t win any matches, but they came awfully close, and we anticipate good things for them next year.
We had a huge milestone around here last week. D, our youngest, turned 13. So, a house full of teenagers! Here he is with his snickerdoodle cake, the first one I’ve made in a long time. (N typically bakes the cakes around here; I don’t know what happened to him.)
The next day, all three boys started school. D headed off for his first day as BMOC at CMS. He is very glad to be the only boy in the car in the a.m., and I am enjoying having him be the only one up with us in the early, early shift.
As for me, I’m enjoying having the house to myself. I have been filling my days with shopping for school supplies, meeting plumbers, tree cutters, etc., and, generally trying to clear the mountains of paperwork that accumulate around here during vacations. Here’s to fall!
Richard woke up this morning wanting to take some creative photographs. He set up a ton of equipment in the kitchen and began playing with water. I helped every so often when he didn’t have enough hands. I love this one! (If you click on it, you’ll see a larger version.) I’ll share more as he edits more.