Ira Mae Monks Crawfish Manor…#61

(Fiction –A- Short-Short-Story)

Ira Mae Monk sold her Rockdale home that she had lived in for fifty-years, moving into a remodeled house with small apartments for senior citizens.  Pine Grove was a short distance from the city, she wanted small town living, and she had already made a friend.  A young woman that she met when she rented a moving truck and quickly became friends, she would soon become the friend that Ira Mae never had, Sipsey Andrews thought the old woman was looking for a caretaker.  She clearly had the wrong idea about Ira Mae Monk; she was an eighty-five-year-old firecracker.  Sipsey loved her, Ira Mae was unafraid, strong, yet gentle when needed, the two women formed a wonderful friendship; Sipsey was at a time in her life where she needed someone to be there for her, she had no family.  Ira Mae Monk said and did what she wanted…be damn what others thought.

Ira Mae moved into Crawfish Manor, next to a creek of clear and quick moving water, called Crawfish Creek.  Weeks had gone by and Ira Mae was still adjusting to her new home.  The telephone rang, Sipsey knew it meant one thing, Ira Mae was unhappy about something, and no one else called her.  Ira Mae said that she was certain that the old folk living at Crawfish Manor did not have enough to do, why, because they were always prying into other folks business.  

Sipsey tried to calm her, “You might need to stop and think that most elderly people are not like you Ira Mae, most have hearing, seeing problems and gossip was their world”.  Ira was in her late eighties, acted as if she was fifty and craggy.  Sipsey laughed.

Ira Mae screamed into the phone. ”Hard of hearing, do not be fooled by that, they can hear a fly fart sitting on a pile of cow shit one-hundred yards away, they’re  nosey”.

Ira Mae sounded as if she were on a deadly mission, target unknown.

“They stare at my short hair, hell, not everyone likes short blue ringlets; and I know there is whispering when I go by them, they talk about me being braless and barefoot”.  Sipsey heard her labored breathing, “Are you OK Ira Mae”. 

“Yes, and if I was meant to wear shoes I would have been born with a pair on my feet”.  Another thing Ira Mae screamed, “I can’t help it if my girls don’t hit my knees” 

“Most of them have jugs so big that they could eat dinner off them and making it impossible for them to go braless”.  Ira Mae let whatever rolled off her tongue come out without a filter.

Then the genteel laugh begins and Sipsey knew Ira Mae had shouted her anger away.

Ira Mae no doubt irritated but amused continued with…

“Today, with the unpacking done, I decided to go for a bike ride. There I was, on the elevator with a man and woman; I had never seen them before. The man looked at me and said loudly, “Do you go to church”? Well, I smiled and said “No”; he got louder, “Don’t you believe in God”?  I smiled and said “Yes”.  He would not shut up; people who believe in God go to church”! His wife said in a screeching voice, “You’re going to hell”!

Ira Mae, I smiled and said, “Yes mam, I may go there, but, you and your husband don’t forget to say hi when you see me, yaw’ hear”!

Ira Mae heard something as they got off the elevator they said something about my southern accent.  I still don’t know their names; I just call them the Church People!  She then ask, “Sipsey you still there”.

Sipsey actually felt sorry for the other people at Crawfish Manor. Ira Mae was one of those true southern characters that you either loved or hated.  A few days later Sipsey stop in to see Ira Mae all she could talk about was the do’s and don’ts of moving into senior housing, her accounting of the Manor; her moving to what she called Hell-Town, USA , and many of its few inhabitants.  Ira Mae renamed Crawfish Manor to, “Gods Waiting Room”.  The people from “hell”, Sipsey did not believe that all of the people in Crawfish Manor or Pine Grove were as Ira Mae described them.

Upon leaving, Ira Mae saw that the Community Room was jam-packed with blue haired old battle-axes.  “She told Sipsey that if any one tells you that old people cannot see, or hear, their liars.  They sat waiting for their supper to be delivered, like vultures waiting for a road kill, peering around with their tiny beady eyes”. 

Ira Mae had moved to Wisconsin when she was just a girl.  She told the tale of how the handsome Yankee made a visit to Alabama and swept her off her feet.  She divorced him a month later but liked Wisconsin and stayed, she liked the four seasons, the snow, and she never married again and never had any children.  Her sister Nadine Monk had come to visit one summer and she never returned to Alabama, married a Rockdale boy, but a stranger killed him while playing poker at a local bar.  Like Ira Mae, Nadine never married again; she lived with Ira Mae and had only recently died.  Ira Mae mourned the death of Nadine more than she did their parents.  She was alone if not for Sipsey.  Ira Mae at one time told Sipsey that she look like Nadine when she was young. 

It was a weekend Sipsey had wish she did not come.  Sipsey wondered at times if she was slightly demented.  Several women got on the elevator with Sipsey.  They immediately jumped her with their verbal banter.

“Ain’t you the woman who moved that old woman from Rockdale in here”, yelled the one Ira Mae called the Warden. Mouth her sidekick chimed in, “Most people think she is a crazy woman, moved in speaks to no one, we know she smokes and drinks; and she is gone all day”!   I nodded respectively, without saying anything.  I did smile as I walked away. The Warden shouted out, “No one is gonna like her”.

Ira Mae called Sipsey the following night with the latest…

“If you are ever looking for senior housing”  Ira Mae said, Here are some do’s and don’ts, and this may be the most important information I could give the younger  generation, you gonna be old someday “.  Ira Mae started calling off her list.”  Sipsey wondered how long the list was!

Ira Mae continued, “You move in with old people you will be the subject of conversation for many months, maybe forever…

 “Hometown, USA, beware it is Hell-Town, USA), friendly, no, then you find that you are living in God’s Waiting Room…”  Sipsey was out of breath just listening and silent.

Sipsey did not agree with her story of a fishless Creek on one side of Crawfish Manor and the Pearly Gates on the other!   Seems Ira Mae does not let anything or anyone get her down, Sipsey’s message machine was filled most days, Ira Mae would soon end her day at Crawfish Manor and she would have said, a shot of “Jack” a day will keep the doctor away, and if you are a senior citizen just keep telling yourself…”breathe damn’it”.  Ira Mae was never satisified.

Sipsey made a sigh of respite when the phone rang; it was of course Ira Mae…

“Have you seen your email yet”?  Her voice was almost cheerful.

“No Mam, did you send me something? 

“Well, I sure did a picture of me, I walked down town today, an old man came out of the bar and I ask would he take my picture with my phone.  I sent it to you.”  

“I’m opening it now,” Sipsey prayed as she clicked the keys.

There she sat in the doorway of what looked like an old building; dressed to the “nines” from a local thrift store, her favorite shopping place.  Sipsey almost fainted, where did she get the cigar?  Sipsey felt that Ira Mae Monk was letting Pine Grove know that the great-great-granddaughter of Hightower Monk of Winston County – Alabama.

However, Sipsey had grown to love Ira Mae.  Ira Mae continued to call her new home Gods Waiting Room, somehow without talking to anyone she always knew the latest gossip, her trips around Pine Grove; everyone in Pine Grove knew her.  She felt that everyone in the town was related, maybe incest was involved, no the people who run the town are too smart. 

When she told Sipsey that there are no crawfish in the creek! Ira Mae no doubt put on her waders and checked this out. The town she says begins with the Manor, and the creek twist through town, with stores on either side of the town. On each end of Main Street are two wood bridges between the bridges between is a Theater, owned by Mayor Robert Wilson, and opened on Saturdays only. Next comes Andy Wilson barbershop, he was the Mayor’s son, Crawfish Café, was from Milwaukee County, the Mayors daughter-in-law Emma, Andy’s wife , she helps in the beauty shop if needed.  Morrie’s wife runs Edna’s Beauty shop.   Wilson’s Drugs and Hardware store is run by the Mayor’s son Morrie and Morrie’s Service Station is run by the Mayors Grandson Mitch.  That’s it, you are leaving Crawfish and last but not least, there is a sign coming into town with one single word, “Welcome”.  Next to the last bridge going out of town is a sign with bold letters stating… “YOU ARE NOW LEAVING PINE GROVE”.

By now you are wondering, the town should be called Wilson Creek. Well, no, because Ira Mae said that Mr. Wilson’s Great-great-great-granddaddy settled the town and he thought it was a fine name for a creek and named the town too. It is farm country there are no citizens accept the Wilson’s and their homes on the edge of town, right after the “Leaving” sign.   

Ira Mae told Sipsey that Crawfish Manor is a large home with palatial four-column porches that would lead one to believe it had been picked up out of the Deep South and placed there beside the creek. Ira Mae always said that the house reminded her of her Alabama home.   Within time, Ira Mae grew use to living in the Manor.   It became home and the longer she lived, the people of the Manor became her friends.

It was the day before Christmas and Sipsey received a call from Crawfish Manor.  Ira Mae had passed away in her sleep.  Sipsey knew that before Ira Mae died she had found happiness, she grew closer to the other residents at Crawfish Manor, she stop walking the one street in Crawfish.  She sat looking out her window, she was at peace  and it was a long time coming.  There was not a lot of material things, a walking cane, bottle of Jack Daniels and a few household things, Sipsey sent her entire apartment contents back to the thrift store.  The walking cane and bottle of “Jack” were put into a guest room, waiting for the Spirit of Ira Mae to come by, Sipsey had made funeral arrangements years ago, and Ira Mae had no living relatives.

Sipsey, her husband and children stood quietly by the graveside, all of them had grown to love Ira May Monk.  All of the stores closed, all of the Wilsons, the ones who had grown old with Ira Mae, they loved her too.  She had outlived everyone she knew in Crawfish Manor, the ones she knew when she first moved to Pine Grove, but the town people help get to the cemetery.

When everyone had left the cemetery, Sipsey went back, to be alone with Ira Mae.  She lovingly touched the marker and smiled as she read what Ira Mae wanted on the marker:

“Ida Mae Monk

Born and lived too long

Pine Groves Firecracker”

~

The End

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Advertisements

Giving Second Chances (My Analysis) of Family or Friends that Betray…#57

Burton Characters

My Sister and I were having a conversation yesterday and it turned as usual to “family”.  I know that we are not the only leaf on the family tree to fall, I hear many people talk who have the same quandaries with families.  We discussed that we were always the ones to extend the “olive branch” so to speak.  The keeping up with our much faceted family is heartbreaking and tiring.  If you call them weekly to see how they are doing, and you say to yourself, why am I the only one to reach out?  Then you start to count the years wasted in being the glue that may hold this small family together.  I guess that we have a very diverse group of individuals that are related to each other.  If you do not keep the flow of conversation going, it may and has been months or years before you give in and call them.  They portray someone that has never left what a waste.  I begin to think, if these people were not related to me would I have anything to do with them, would they be my friends, some yes and some no?

When one becomes tired of the obstacles, one must fight through to deal with them, to continue working on a one-sided family or friend relationship.  A lifetime of being the one to write, call, visit, get real… they “use” you and then they return to their “entitled” selves.  In addition, on and off family or friend relationship that “finally” becomes a chore to continue.  The term “you have to love them, as in family”, maybe… “But you don’t have to like them” or “continue to have something to do with them.  It is time to move on, but first some thoughts…

Reverting to past times and starting new…trust your instinct about one-sided relationships.  You are not obligated to make continuous “start over’s” when these people do not contribute to a relationship, family or friend.  Vow to give yourself a new start and ending all the old turmoil in your life, be bold.  Their “Faith” does not have to be your faith.  The entitled relative or friend has no real pride, it is false, they have had everything given to them in life and continues to expect more.  You do not have to bear the weight of their crisis of the day that turns into a joke tomorrow.  Give up, accept final defeat, you need to stop extending that “olive branch” when you have been shunned, mistreated, or was always the giver while the user takes.  This type of relationship is not cracked it is broke!

“It takes years to learn to move on to understand that you were not in the wrong.  Hope for change in this type of person is overrated and outdated, reality needs to be fully awake and aware, leave the past behind and their hypocrisy.  You have been kept too long on the “family or friend” hook; their manipulation gives them power, the “I will call you, so you do not call me as I may be busy” needs to end.

Hypocrisy is the claim or pretense of feelings, behaviors, characteristics that one does not in fact have, these people have false acts and their motive is for gain.   Failing to perceive and condemn faults of their own is their real normal.  These people, these human beings misuse others and justify their own behavior.  Evil is not uncommon, it is every day.  Hypocrites believe that they are good, that they are innocent, and the victim.

My decision going forward, gives no chance or favor, my rule only.  It is my life, it is worth living without constant conflict, the emotional pain these people impose should nourish your courage, the time comes when…”SAYING GOODBYE TO THESE PEOPLE MAY BE THE ONLY SECOND CHANCE YOU WILL GET”.   

Peace and Love

Elizabeth

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

Honey Wine – A Short-Short Story…#48

Sunset in Georgia

Caroline Crabtree knew that beauty had an ending that all things fade and die; now she was in the winter of her life.  All her friends were gone, as was much of her family, the ones that were left, distant greedy cousins.  The southern elders now forgotten like goldenrod dust upon a warm southern breeze.  Her eyes yearned for the loves of yesteryear, frustration guided her thoughts, and she kept repeating…

“Old, old, old.”  Caroline hated to eat from a plate made of paper; when she was younger, the family dined on fine bone china from Boston.

“Now you come with me Ms. Caroline, its supper time.”  Simon had a special bond with the elderly Ms. Caroline he did not mind that she lived in the past and sometimes he could bring her to the present.  Simon was her trusted friend; the color of his skin had faded with time.  She no longer saw the brownish of him, what she did see was the love that came from his pearly smile and gracious heart.

Satiation, that was where Caroline was at in her mind, then she thought… is it necessary that old people feel wants beyond hunger. The clouds of time had spun away like the seasons; she now waited for the last leaf to drop.  All that was left was the sweet memories, like her family and friends, loves and the taste of her father’s Honey wine.  Please she whispered let me go quickly; she then turned toward Simon.

“I am so tired of time”.  She looks at the setting sun; it melted into the lake; next back to where she shared a room in the old nursing home with a stranger, another woman.

“Simon, can we go sit by the lake until the sun goes down.”  She reached for his hand.

“We sure can Ms. Caroline”  When he reached the dock he sat on a bench next to his beloved, he held her hand and they watch stars filled sky as the sun went beneath the black waters of Lake Macon.

Simon rubbed her hand it had grown cold; he stood up to take her back.  “Ms. Caroline we have to go back its getting cold.”

When she did not answer him, he bent down to see her face.  There before him was an angel, eyes closed, a smile on her face, he kissed the hands that use to be smooth and gentle, he sat down holding the loving hands he know so well. 

“You sleep now Caroline soon you will be riding a golden wave of honey wine that leads to a place with no time.”  Simon kissed her hands saying…

“You wait for me, I will be there soon.”  He could not stop the tears that rolled from his dark brown eyes.

Peace and Love

Elizabeth

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

AUTHORS BOOK AT AMAZON.COM AND BARNESANDNOBEL.COM

Heaven’s Magnificent Sky…#44

The future is viewless, that undiscovered mystery, at the Cocks crow will death’s lifeless wings be felt with the morning sun.  No one wants to know of ending things, not even those who carry around a wasted body, and feels the human resistance to the pain of taking a breath.  Mostly sorrow is the course of life; life is the soul in combat with death.

Does one hide behind curtained windows to keep the world from seeing dying eyes, face is not longer bathed in the dew of morning, it is filled with furrow’s, brown and leathery, the wisp of snow frames the landscapes of the face covering the bright colors of youth.  A world lies outside; one that gave birth to many and one that will soon be forever gone to those who pass on. 

The aging prays for a calmness not know in youth, it needs to grow and know peace before the spirit takes flight.  If you embrace life it will be all too clear, live it as best you can in those waning years.  Like the Moon, Sun and Stars strength of mind and essence of the Earthly-Self take their place in Heaven’s magnificent Sky.

Peace and Love

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00CGBLQZO

We are Americans…#27

We are Americans, we do not stand idle when other foreign countries fall prey upon their own citizens. 

We are Americans, we do not stand idle when men, women and children from foreign countries are abused and killed.

We are Americans, we do not stand idle when other foreign countries tortured or kill anyone at any time.  

We are Americans but we have stood idle while those in power in our own country stand idle while the country is being manipulated toward dictatorship instead of that of strength and compassion

We are Americans, why do we allow our leader to act as a terrorist in his own way, separating children from their parents (Remember the Holocaust).  Demanding loyalty from those who serve him or they will be removed from their positions (Remember Hitler).  He is also disrespecting the office for which the Americans gave him.

The list could go on, but we need to remember that we are Americans and we will not allow this country to fall back fifty years.  We have the ability to build up the America we once knew before its basic principles are destroyed.

We can as Americans change the landscape of our nation.  America can be saved… do not vote for dictatorship.  VOTE!

Love and Peace

Elizabeth

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree



A Walk in Brightness…#22

You try to absorb rather than being absorbed, have you not done this too well.  Life cannot be lived without pain; one must learn from the lesson life gives so freely, if you never learn, if you keep returning to the pain that feels so real, nothing will ever change. 

Do you find that when you try to be happy, absorb the joy, nothing changes, your life feels like a pickaxe in the heart, you are deeply engaged in its meaning, learn.  You tremble with fear, lie down and hope life will pass quickly while you hide in the shadows of the darkness of time. 

Have you salvaged from the lessons life teaches enough to walk into the brightness of what will come beyond this tormented world, to walk in brightness is to know that happiness is just beyond the golden curtain.

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Love and Peace

Elizabeth

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books Located at: Amazon:

ARTWORK BY ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE

Women of the Desert – Acrylics – 656 X 478 – Arizona 2009

Casualties of Political Wars – The Homeless…#16

Casualties of Political Wars – The Homeless…

The homeless cannot sleep on cold nights, they gather around a burning barrel, men, women and children, forgotten, shattered and despised.  In the distance, a baby cries.  Begging for food, living on the streets, no jobs, family no longer sound.  The spirit freezes, fruit of labors rot, life squeezes and struggles to persist.   Bad luck smothering heart and soul, hope ceases to exist.  Shifting winds turn into storms, will the world grow wiser or beaten back into servility?  Trust departed, a cardboard box in the streets is where the homeless make their beds, hope disappears and the future appears dead.

Homelessness represents both a policy problem and a political dilemma in the United States. In the wealthiest economy in the world, the fact that individuals and families lack housing and must live on the streets, in their cars, or in congregate shelters calls into question the basic functioning of the social safety net and suggests that something is deeply wrong with the political and economic priorities of the country. Yet the dominant discourse in the United States proposes that at least some percentage of homeless people are at fault for their situations; their dysfunctional behavior, aberrant choices, and lack of a work ethic explain their homelessness more than economic inequalities or policy priorities.  As the analysis of policy approaches below suggests, political and policy choices may explain, at least in part, the growing numbers of children who are homeless.

Social system dislocations—an increasing rate of poverty, a deteriorating social “safety net,” the steady loss of low-skill employment and low-income housing, and others—have created a situation … where some people are essentially destined to become homeless. In so many words, we now have more poor and otherwise marginalized people than we have affordable housing in which to accommodate them.

Love and Peace

Elizabeth

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books Located at: Amazon