Monday, November 30, 2009

Post Thanksgiving Return

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes over the holidays. I return those wholeheartedly.

I got back Sunday from Arkansas and spent the rest of the day trying to get caught up on everything I’d fallen behind on. I didn’t even come close. I did look at my Google Reader and had 288 posts. I actually scanned through all of them but there was no way I’d be able to comment on all so I didn’t comment on any. I should be able to pick up with new posts again starting today or tomorrow.

I had a pretty good trip, although they changed the gate on me in Memphis and didn’t announce it, and I missed my flight to Fort Smith, Arkansas. After I got home I realized they’d sent me emails about the change. That didn’t help since I had no way to check email while I was sitting in the terminal at the original gate. After running madly through the terminal I managed to make a flight to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and my brother Paul David and his wife Rita came all the way up there to get me. Thanks to them.

My mom seemed to generally be feeling OK, although she is certainly quite fragile these days. I did lots of visiting and ate a lot. Mom’s husband, Ray, has 7 kids and most of them brought varying amounts of food over for the holidays. We didn’t go hungry and I got my Lemon Pie. I also wore out my visiting bone for a while. And I only got chewed out one time by my mom, so things are looking up! The weather was great and I got to see my high school football team, the Charleston Tigers, win a game on their way to the playoffs for the Arkansas state championship.

One thing that really came home to me over the holidays is how much importance folks from small towns put on family relationships. Every time a new person’s name came up, my mom and Ray and my other family members would start in listing that person’s parents and their brothers and sisters. It had never occurred to me what a kind of “tribal” behavior that is, but I may post more on it later. It’s also interesting how it jumped out at “me,” having lived for a long time in a much more urban environment. The tribe is still alive and well in our world.

Coming up in future posts: 1) an interview with writer Shauna Roberts. 2) a bit about the process of trying to put together an anthology of one’s short stories. 3) more oddities and weirdness.



David Cranmer said...

Damn, you had to say Lemon Pie.

laughingwolf said...

grats on what seems a good visit, charles

and yeah, they have the same kinda tribalism here... CFAs [come from aways] are a bit frowned upon for that reason: can't be traced by family... lol

nephite blood spartan heart said...

Having spent three fourths of my time in the more so rural enviroment that tribal thing is just what I am used too, it took you saying something to make me step back and go Oh Yeah I see it now.

Bernita said...

"would start in listing that person’s parents and their brothers and sisters."
Sounds familiar. The tribal mind is indeed alive and well.

Unknown said...

Coming from the tribal thing most definitely shaped you for your tomorrows.
And I love lemon pie!

SQT said...

Welcome back Charles. I've always lived in the urban jungle, so I don't know much about tribalism. I look forward to your post.

BernardL said...

When you don't live in the same tribal area, communication can get difficult. :)

jodi said...

Hey Charles, my family does that weird 'tribal' thing too! Salads this week on the menu?

sage said...

A group of us without family within the state had our own Thanksgiving... living in a small town where you're not related is interesting. Glad you had an okay visit, I got to head down and see my parents right after Christmas.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Hey, Charles ... welcome back. I'll be looking forward to that post about putting together a collection of your stories.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Glad you had a good visit! I hate gate changes and am always clutching all my stuff furiously, ready to run somewhere new at a high rate of speed. My dad used to call this "doing an O.J." after the old commercials with O.J. Simpson -- needless to say, it wouldn't have the same meaning today. Glad you got your lemon pie. And yes, in a small town, everyone is kin to everyone. I remember oh so well!

Spy Scribbler said...

It's like when two musicians meet, they start connecting the dots from which teacher they studied with, which schools and summer festivals they've gone to, until they find a connection, LOL.

Campground living is totally different. You talk to everybody. All the time. All day long. It's taken me up to an hour and a half to walk to and from the bathroom, just because when you pass people, you chat for half an hour.

I'm an introvert, though, so there's a point where I get stressed out and want to hide, LOL. But I like it, too.

Rick said...

You did say hi to my relatives while you were there, didn't you?

ArtSparker said...

Always good to get chewed out by your Mom...we wouldn't want to get TOO comfortable, would we?

JR's Thumbprints said...

I know all too well about missing flights. Sounds like you had lots of catching up to do.

I can't wait to hear more about this short story anthology.

Cloudia said...

Glad you enjoyed.
Yes, the "tribal" IS Hawaii: everyone is someone's neighbor's husband's cousin's friends son.
Maybe all small communities are islands of sorts.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Erik Donald France said...

Cool, Charles. The visiting bone must regroup. So true about tribes alive and well vs. urban style. A great writing topic, indeed.

ivan said...

I come from Ukraine, not far from Belarus. There was a village where everybody's name was Smirnoff. Smile on your broher? Sisters must have had to have been very athletic.
I thought we was secular in Canada.

Miladysa said...

Welcome back!

What a farce re the flight changes! I would have been pulling my hair out.

I LOVED the tribal comment :)

Greg said...

hey Charles - glad you had a good holiday. a post about creating anthologies sounds neat, and oddities and weirdness are always good.

the walking man said...

Welcome back. I can attest that the tribal thing is well dead in the more urban areas, at least in this one.

Charles Gramlich said...

David Cranmer, I had about 8 pieces.

laughingwolf, humans are still tribal for sure.

David J. West, I hadn’t really thought of it like that before but it came through to me this time on my visit.

Bernita, indeed. It was so salient

Gaston Studio, Yeah, now I want another lemon pie.

SQT, I wonder if the gangs do anything similar in the urban jungle. I suspect so.

BernardL, indeed so!

jodi, Salads? I see you’ve never met me! ;)

sage, I can imagine so. I see that a bit in Abita Springs, although we don’t visit with a lot of folks there.

Issa's Untidy Hut, I’m gonna start on that soon.

Michelle's Spell, relatedness is such an important thing, and saving face as well.

Natasha Fondren, I can see that and would probably enjoy it at some level. But eventually I’d want to pull a hole in on myself.

Rick, I stopped by and cleaned out their fridge. Where do you think I got the lemon pie?

ArtSparker, no, it’s important even at age 50 to know your place in the family hierarchy! :)

JR's Thumbprints, spent four days catching up and didn’t.

Cloudia, it’s such a human characteristic.

Erik Donald France, I’ll probably talk more about that at some point. It was so salient.

ivan, when I was in Canada I saw a fair amount of tribalism. ;)

Miladysa, thankee. Yeah, the flight thing was weird.

Greg Schwartz, oddities and weirdness are my life.

Mark, I know it is to some extent here, although in some areas you see it more than others.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am always amazed at how important family is in small towns compared to urban life where friends seem to fill that spot.

Jean said...

I've lived away from my tribe for 35 years. I miss the closeness but not the smothering.

Charles Gramlich said...

Pattinase, I think that those of us who live in more urban areas forget how much blood counts for in many areas.

Jean, unfortunately, it doesn't seem like you can totally separate the two.

ANNA-LYS said...

Welcome back :-D

Lana Gramlich said...

Hooray, hooray, he's home! <:D

Steve Malley said...

Ah, the joys of family... fortunately, mine are some eight or ten time zones away. :)

j said...

I'm glad you had a good trip and only got chewed out once :)

My husband travels to Fort Smith a couple of times a year to see a customer (he goes to a restaurant called Doe's).

Have a great week!

Richard Prosch said...

Growing up in rural area, I know what you mean re: the tribal discussion. Having lived in urban settings for 20 years, not watching much TV, it seems to me folks have substituted media characters. People talk about celebs much the same way my grandma used to talk about ladies at church.

Charles Gramlich said...

ANNA-LYS, thankee. Glad to be back.

Lana, and glad to see you again.

Steve Malley, family can be a two edged sword.

jennifer, Doe's. hum. It's been a long time since I've eaten in Fort Smith. I don't recognize the name, but there have been so many new restruants opening up.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, that's a very interesting observation. I hadn't considered that. Maybe that's why the gossip has become national instead of local. Hum...

MarmiteToasty said...

they all know whose who cos aint they all interbred? :) or is that someplace else lol

Glad you had a good visit with family and got ya PIE :)


Charles Gramlich said...

marmite toasty. It may actually be a defense against interbreeding. I've considered that.

Tyhitia Green said...

Glad you're mom is doing well, Charles. :-D Can''t wait to hear about the anthology process and the interview with Shauna. :-D

Middle Ditch said...

What! No chocolate pie? You didn't have to suffer? Darn!!

Great to see you back and pleased your mum is doing fine. And good to read you had a lovely time.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

I think that is fascinating! You should definitely do a post on that. Small town mentality is so different from large city one.

Charles Gramlich said...

Demon Hunter, I'll probably post the interview tonight.

Middle Ditch, I guess I was good this year!

Ello, it sure struck me this time when I was home.

Merisi said...

I happen to believe that the Tribal Thing is good for you, as long as you manage to leave far enough away to not have to show up at every reunion. ;-)
Good that you got your lemon pie too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, I think you're right. In small doses for sure.