Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Friends and Embroidering


by Edna St. Vincent Millay
(first published in The St. Nicholas League when she was around eighteen, but more recently in The Essays of E.B. White, which is where I found this little piece waiting for me.)

I. He

I've sat here all the afternoon, watching her busy fingers send
That needle in and out. How soon, I wonder, will she reach the end?
Embroidery! I can't see how a girl of Molly's common sense
Can spend her time like that. Why, now--just look at that! I may be dense,
But, somehow, I don't see the fun in punching lots of holes down through
A piece of cloth; and, one by one, sewing them up. But Molly'll do
A dozen of them, right around
That shapeless bit of stuff she's found.
A dozen of them! Just like that!
And think it's sense she's working at.
But then, she's just a girl (although she's quite the best one of the lot)
And I'll just have to let her sew, whether it's foolishness or not.

II. She

He's sat here all the afternoon, talking about an awful game;
One boy will not be out till June, and then he may be always lame.
Foot-ball! I'm sure I can't see why a boy like Bob--so good and kind--
Wishes to see poor fellows lie hurt on the ground. I may be blind,
But somehow, I don't see the fun. Some one calls, "14-16-9";
You kick the ball, and then you run and try to reach a white chalkline.
And Bob would sit right there all day
And talk like that, and never say
A single word of sense; or so
It seems to me. I may not know.
But Bob's a faithful friend to me. So let him talk that game detested,
And I will smile and seem to be most wonderfully interested.

Seriously, who can't relate to this poem?! I love it!

As for the little images along the way, you guessed it! This is the progress I've made with my "projects" this summer. Hannah the Hedgehog is completely finished. April the Alligator's embroidery is complete, and all that remains is sewing the pieces together and stuffing it. Jane the Jellyfish only lacks her mouth now (I did the eyes after I took the picture.) so she's almost finished, too. All that's left is dear Bethany the Butterfly. And no worries. She will get done. I have a whole week-plus left! Soon, all of these animal pals will be hanging out on our apartment couch together.
And their namesakes will be too. That is what I am most excited about.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Procrastination. Bah!

If I had blogged this past weekend as I had planned to, I would have entitled this post "Philadelphia #2 of the Week!" or something like that. Since I procrastinated, however, I can't say that honestly. I haven't been to any Philadelphia this week... Oh well! I can tell you about it anyway. :)

Every year, hundreds of people migrate to Philadelphia, MS, for the week-long Neshoba County Fair. They come in trailers, campers, pick-up trucks, and cars of all sorts to set up camp for the festivities. Many, many of these people have come every year since childhood. It's just one of those things you do.

Alleys of the fairgrounds are lined with colorfully painted cabins. From what I understand, the real estate for these cabins is intense, and they are very expensive (especially since they are "vacation homes" you only use at most two weeks of the year). I don't think people are allowed to build anymore, so oftentimes the cabins are passed down from generation... or at least the property is. Most are two-storied, with a big kitchen and living area downstairs, and sleeping room for up to 20 people upstairs! Wild!!

And all of them have big ol' porches for the masses to sit and hang out and chill in the heat. With an atmosphere like this, it's no wonder it's nicknamed "Mississippi's Giant Houseparty"! Walking down the dusty, lit-up alleys is pretty magical for an innocent outsider like me.

Of course, the Neshoba County Fair isn't just about the cabins and campers. There are a few rides and food booths, too. As far as rides and things go, I'd prefer the Jackson State Fair, but the State Fair doesn't have horse races or chair races! Ha!

We had three main reasons for going to the fair on Friday afternoon: first, our dear friends from church, the Warrens', go every year with their camper, and we wanted to see them; second, we were going to Philadelphia anyway to see family on Saturday; third, there was a concert! Haha! Country singer/songwriter Phil Vassar was performing, and he was actually good!

I'm not a huge fan of country music (that is, I don't listen to it on the radio) but I used to be, so I knew most of his songs. And sometimes it's just one of those fun indulgences, you know? Country music equals summer, and Phil Vassar's concert on the Neshoba County Fair horse racing track was just what you picture summer in Mississippi to be -- hot and dusty, with people sitting in metal lawn chairs waving paper fans frantically, listening to upbeat country music about girls and life and hanging out. It was a pretty family-friendly environment, but it still had a bit of that frat-party-meets-family-reunion feel.

I like the juxtaposition of the bright lights and the old-fashioned "...County Fair Assn." sign in this picture. :)

Saturday was spent with family. Oh, how I love them! After our continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn, we made our way over to Mom's Aunt Peggy and chatted with her for an hour or so. Then we headed over to Williams Brothers, a local Philadelphia grocery/clothing/shoe store that's been around for ages.

Here's a picture of the hustle-and-bustle around the bacon and cheese cutting area. It's fun to watch. :)

George Road is named for my relatives! Yeah! Let me tell you, it was so much fun hanging out with Uncle Robert and Aunt Coweela and second-cousins Mike and Diane. And we had some goood food, too! Mmm...

To wrap up our weekend away, we dined at Newk's with my cousin and her husband who live in Clinton, and then went to see my great-aunt in the same town! Seriously, I love my family. I wish I could retell some of the stories second-cousin-something-removed Mike told us, but those retellings--especially written in blogs--never have quite the same effect.

Also, I wish I could give a more profound analysis of the Neshoba County Fair, but being outsiders as we are, and unfamiliar with customs and attitudes, anything I said would be mere assumptions.

Now! I have only 12 days before I go back to school... and only TEN days till Jane Shibley makes a brief appearance in Mississippi!! Hooray!