Famine & Fortune

“ All eyes were on Wall Street, but truth be told, the market crash paled in comparison to the Navarro County drought.

The news of Black Tuesday came and went as little more than dry morsels between flapjacks and red-eyed gravy. Black Thursday was no different. Margin calls and ticker-talk; it was all a foreign language to the average man of Navarro county. New York, Chicago and any place not adjacent to the dying province could have just as well been another country – another planet.
Suicides headlined newspapers across the globe. Although desperate men (and women) chose gas or bullets; poison or tablets to avoid poverty the stories of men leaping from windows sold more papers and it seemed to pacify the masses, at least for a while.


EIGHT MORE TAKE THE PLUNGE.


The headlines went on and on. Tales of a brutal bearish market where stock prices were plummeting and fortunes were being dissolved. The days grew long and the soup lines grew longer as billions of dollars were lost, except for the sparse crowd who knew how to short the market and profit from despair.


The caste system was readjusting; the prudent wealthy settled into middle-class; the so called middle-class went back to being poor and the poor resorted to begging or starving. Even the outcasts felt the impact.

Amidst all of the chaos and realigning there was one morphological thing that everyone understood; a fact that every race, creed, class and religion agreed upon – the roaring twenties had come to a crashing halt. Literally.


A somnolent bedraggled man stood in the doorway of Crom’s Cafe and eyed the headline of the Navarro County Herald. He thoughtlessly tapped his hat against his thigh to loosen the grit before tossing a nickel into the box that read COFFEE & TOAST 5¢. There were a dozen nickels alongside his.

The usual crowd shuffled in, in their habitual manner. More coffee was poured into waiting mugs, more nickels dropped into the box, a few at the bar ordered a real breakfast and those who could afford to buy a copy of The Navarro County Herald unfurled their paper.

Liam inconspicuously glanced at the man’s paper next to him. The dismal headline meant nothing to most tenant farmers. It meant even less to Liam Weir. He saw it as one less gluttonous banker and they could not die fast enough to suit him.
And greedy cotton ginners can go to hell right along with `em.

Feast & Famine (the Sharecropper’sSon) is available on sale at your favorite retailer.

And psssst Google has it listed at 98¢

A Pilgrim’s Prayer

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. 

Another Thursday, another November and another Thanksgiving holiday in the USA. Which means the earth has not quite spun off her axis; some of her inhabitants may have but we are here today so let’s make the most of it. 

I have shared the following bit of prose in one form or another for … I don’t know… decades maybe?

Occasionally I vary the wording but the sentiment is always the same, so without further ado, here we go… 

A Pilgrim’s Prayer

Once upon a time – a long, long time ago (before Black Friday) Thanksgiving was a celebration of harvest and a time to give thanks. Hence the name thanksgiving.

I don’t think the early pilgrims had a Super Walmart, a Sears or a Best Buy. They had never heard of an indie distributor called Smashwords(yikes, imagine how scary that might have sounded)

I’m sure they didn’t have the www to answer all of you questions or a beastly giant named Amazon— yet somehow they managed. 

Can you imagine having to grow your own food and prepare it without the help of of a search engine like google

When did they have time? Where did they get their Stove Top stuffing and who canned the yams and plucked the turkeys? How did those crazy pilgrims do it?

John Wayne

I didn’t really know any of those pilgrims but I did see a John Wayne movie once. John knew a pilgrim when he saw one. He seemed to know a lot of pilgrims but that was a long time ago too.

I propose we are all pilgrims, each one of us on a journey of sorts. Our own personal pilgrimage…

Aren’t we are all looking for something? Be it a quest for self-confirmation, truth, a cure, enrichment, comfort, a friend, a lover, a job, a meal or a place to lay our weary head at the end of another day.

I believe life is a journey, or at least it should be. It would be terrible to think we were just flailing through this experience; killing time on this giant floating gumball while waiting for the next Black Friday specials.

I believe we all have one destination though we travel different roads and I trust that we have choices.

Pilgrims (2)

Hopefully we will choose well. On the occasion we do take a wrong turn [and we will from time to time] I pray we have enough sense and humility to stop and seek direction… to reassess our route and to be considerate in our voyage.

So here’s wishing all of you pilgrims a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving from the Hill house and may we all, whatever road we’re on, take time to look ahead, pause and bow our head in thanks.

My personal prayer:

I pray our good seeds of hope, humility, toil and courage produce abundantly; that love and kindness grow wild like the weeds of early spring – fruitful and undeterred.  And may our harvest be rich with wisdom and discernment.

Thank you Father, The Creator of all things, for this day and all it holds. Thank you for the days past, and Father forgive me for my wrong turns. Thank you for the day to come and guide me to make better choices. Thank you for all the pilgrims in my life – for those who’ve gone ahead and the ones that come behind and for those who read this prayer. And Thank You Father for the beacon that lights my way.

In Jesus name, Amen.

BTW Thanksgiving & John Wayne (A Pilgrim’s Prayer) is also in Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)

It’s officially Autumn (Summer Adieu)

BTW A happy belated birthday to Stephen King, the king of horror. 👑 Yesterday (September 21st) he turned 75 years young. Here’s to many more. 🥂

🎉🎈🎈🎈🎈 🎈🎂

I was going to post 75 candle emoji’s but my finger started cramping. 😉

Without further adieu, let us recognize this, the first day of fall, with an aging poetic piece.

Summer Adieu

It’s out of the flip-flops and back in the Reeboks

and long pants dug out of the dust 

So long to the tank tops, bikinis and cut offs 

and lawn chairs left lying to rust

Adieu to the sand dune, the pelican and plain loon

My loves, we’ll see you `fore long 

Leaves drop as trees swoon, long past the crop moon 

With the scent of a sweet autumn song

Let’s all take a big swill to ward off the night chill

Winter’s a season away 

Crank up the camp fire; avoid the ole quagmire 

With children perched high on the hay 

Poem from Getting Me Back

More about the Autumn Equinox at National Geographic

Dear Sweet Tallulah

Lay your grammar obsessions aside, let your jaw relax, loosen your ears, take a long deep breath and you let your mind drift to the deep south as you listen in on the privy conversation between Maggie and her dear, sweet Tallulah.

From Book 1 of the Clan Destiny Series

Maggie pulled the Egyptian cotton over her face and murmured,
“Thank you Tallulah but for the umpteenth time would you please call me Maggie, okay?”
“Okay Miss Maggie.” The drapes flew back and light filled the room. Maggie lifted the cover from her face and squinted at the morning sun.

“Are you gonna sleep all day Mizrez Lafont? Best try to git up a bit.”
It was the voice of Tallulah attempting to rouse the exhausted Maggie. She tapped the rail of a lump beneath the bedding and continued,
“Ima open these shades now missy, better make yo eyes ready cuz it’s a mighty fine mornin’.” Tallulah warned. Her bedraggled vernacular seemed to come from every direction at once.

Tallulah studied the woman’s face which was no more than a shade darker than the snowy sheets. She planted her hands on her hips and stared into the hollow eyes of her mistress.

“Mr. Ray is comin’ home today. He’s gonna be here in time for supper, you gonna tell him?”
“Yes Tallulah, I am going to tell him.”
“Is you feelin’ sick this mornin’? I can fetch you some dry toast and warm tea. That was always a help to me and to Mr. Ray’s mama too.”


“Yes please.” Maggie strained to sit up and suppressed a gag as she spoke. “That would be nice.”

Happy Friday y’all!! #SouthernProud

TikTok (Mad Monday)

Well I have to admit [again] I haven’t been very productive as a writer lately; well not in a creative capacity.

I could blame it on the move after selling our fishing shack in Port Lavaca.

I can blame it on the new pups our daughter gave us.

I do blame it on a lot of things, heck the heat here in Texas by itself is an acceptable excuse [and I have lots of excuses] but the truth is…

in my spare time …

I’ve been TikTok’ing.

I know!!! Oh the shock!! The shame!!

I stay up late nearly every blasted night gobbling up this stuff like a big man eating biscuits and gravy.

Some of you know my TikTok account has been deleted more than once but I keep going back.

Hardheaded?? Opinionated? Determined?

All of the above.

But this time I am curbing my enthusiasm.

This time The Real Janna Hill has learned a lesson or two.

So hopefully TikTok won’t put me in time out or evict me again; after all my demeanor is milder now – not so anti ______ – not so confrontational – not so spicy.

Yeah I’m more like a lovely bowl of covert cold oatmeal – with an agenda nothing but optimism.

HaPpY Tuesday y’all.

😉

TikTok.

What’s New? (Tuesday’s Tell All)

What’s new?

Is nothing and a lot an appropriate answer?

Well it will have to suffice.

Let me first assure you I am not in a funk nor am I suffering from writer’s block.

On the contrary, potential stories abound!! I say potential because none have made it past my imagination.

In the garden, the grocery store, in front of the television or at a restaurant….

The list goes on forever.

So this morning as I was rocking and sipping my coffee (without spilling a drop), I asked myself,

Self, why haven’t you written a damn thing ??? Not so much as a blog post since April. And you failed miserably at supporting NPM

I pondered the question while I kept rocking and sipping, listening to the birds, watching the butterflies in the mimosa tree and waiting for a response.

Finally self answered. Well, (in no chronological order) let’s see...

You got older and slower so multi-tasking got a little harder.

You had Covid twice…

You focused more on family…

A large portion of last year was consumed when the home had to be gutted and restored due to the flood after the freeze. And the fishing shack had to have all of the pipes replaced due to the same freeze.

You spend a lot of time “working” in the yard and gardens. But honestly you “meander” as much as you work.

Your dog died and you got a new kitten.