Jocie Brooke here – reporting from Hollyhill. I’m not exactly on Main Street tonight. I’m at our house where I live with Dad and Aunt Love. I haven’t told you all about Aunt Love yet, but I will. I did tell you about her cat, Jezebel. Right, I know Aunt Love says the cat’s name is Sugar, but I think my name fits her better. You’ll understand that if you read my book, Scent of Lilacs. What a cat! But she suits Aunt Love. You have to know my Aunt Love to understand. I don’t know who named her Love, but sometimes names don’t tell the story. Then again, I don’t always know the whole story. I’m not telling you that here, because that would mess up the fun of reading my book. Here I’m just reporting extra stuff. I need practice writing if I’m going to be a writer when I grow up. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to write books or newspaper pieces. Or maybe I’ll learn to take great pictures too and go on fabulous adventure writing stories for National Geographic. Wouldn’t that be neat?
But tonight, since we’re having that grandmother contest to celebrate my book, I’m talking about tulips and my grandmother. I had the very best grandmother in all the world. I know you may think yours is best, but mine was best for me. She loved flowers. As soon as it started getting warm in the spring she’d be out there digging in the dirt. After my mother took off, she moved right in with me and Dad and loved me even when I made messes or was too loud or didn’t listen. I have trouble with that listening sometimes, but I was always ready to listen to my grandmother when she was telling me stories. Or telling me about her flowers. She especially loved tulips. She said there was something extra cheerful about tulips popping up out of the ground in the Spring and adding color to the world. Red tulips were Mama Mae’s favorite. And then one day when I was nine, the Lord decided he needed her up in heaven to plant flowers up there. I didn’t know why he needed her more than me. I can’t imagine how that could have been, and I’m not sure if Dad understood either. That day when Mama Mae died out in her tulip bed, I had to go get Wes to get Dad back on his feet. Some things are just too hard even if you are a preacher. But after Dad prayed about it and we cried a bunch we somehow came through on the other side of that dark valley. Dad said Jesus was walking right alongside us, crying with us.
I still want to cry sometimes when I see red tulips, but Dad says I shouldn’t feel that way. That I should look at the tulips and see Mama Mae smiling down on me, wanting me to have a great life. Dad says everybody has troubles and while we’ve had plenty, that we can always look around and see other folks with more. Dad and I, we were doing okay by ourselves. That’s why I wasn’t real excited about Aunt Love moving in with us after Mama Mae died, but Dad said she needed us and we needed her. Maybe so. But I sure didn’t need that cat!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. One of the winners turned in her book, so Pam from Kansas is getting to read all about Hollyhill now. People have been giving away copies of my book everywhere. I think that’s loads of fun. If you haven’t already entered, you’ve still got plenty of time to enter the Scent of Lilacs Celebration giveaway. Check it out at Ann’s website.
See you next week. I’ll try to think of something funny after I felt a little like crying this week. It’s all those grandmother stories I’ve been reading over on Ann’s blog, One Writer’s Journal. You know she’s the one that wrote those books all about me and Hollyhill.