snapshots


“We kill time. We save time. We rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But no one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down.” (actiTIME, February 20, 2020)

I was born on Easter Sunday in Navasota, Texas on the 21st. of April, 1946. My mother and daddy joined millions of other WWII survivors who married their childhood sweethearts as soon as the young soldiers came home from the hinterlands – or from England in my father’s case. They eloped in May, 1945 when my mother was eighteen years old and my dad was two years older. My dad sold appliances at a furniture store in Huntsville when I was born but we moved to Houston when, as the story goes, my dad realized he needed more income with a new baby to feed. The “story” is suspiciously silent about his employment in Houston.

He floundered for a while until the GI Bill rescued him with money for college to pursue a teaching career; and my mother’s mother rescued his little family when she made room for him, my mother and a baby almost two years old in her very small home in Richards, Texas, the same town where both my parents were raised. They had come full circle to the place and people that loved us all

me and the grandmother who took us into her home

(circa 1948)

To steal a phrase, it took a village to raise me. Although we lived with my maternal grandmother Louise Schlinke Boring who I named Dude because I couldn’t pronounce Louise, my paternal grandparents lived across the dirt road and down a little hill from our house. I stayed during the day with my other grandmother Betha Robinson Morris who I named Ma because, well, she had my grandfather I named Pa. Dude worked every day as a clerk in the general store, Pa had his own barber shop to run, and Ma was my entertainment – the greatest storyteller of all time.

Ma and me in front of her house

(circa 1950)

During the past week April 21st appeared on the calendar for 2021 – this time marking five and seventy years since that Easter Sunday in 1946. Good grief. The laptop I’m using for writing this post has a screen that is roughly the same size as the one for the first television set my daddy bought for us in Richards. That small console held a television which broadcast three channels in black and white, signed off every night at midnight with the Star Spangled Banner playing as the Stars and Stripes waved farewell for the evening. My laptop never signs off unless I tell it to, will play the national anthem only if I can Google it, and I must select an emoji to wave farewell to me at midnight or any other time.

The social media well wishes, birthday cards, phone calls, flowers I’ve received this week have made me remember each decade of my “good ride” because I have friends and family from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 10s and 20s who have remembered me. I have smiled at our shared memories, laughed at our conversations and am beyond Thunder Dome grateful for everyone who reached out to make this week special for me.

all good rides begin somewhere –

mine began on a horse in Texas

This week our good friends Nekki and Francie took Pretty and me out for dinner on my birthday, and as we were getting ready to leave, Nekki asked me if I had any wisdom to offer the much, much younger women at the table. Hm. Without too much reflection I said time is fleeting, moments are passing way too fast, make sure you spend those moments wisely doing things that make you happy with people you love…or something like that. If only I’d had this:

“We kill time. We save time. We rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But no one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down.”

if I could save time in a bottle, I’d like to save every day with Pretty…until eternity passes away

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Nana to her granddaughter Ella James born 10-01-2019. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to snapshots

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Love is all I see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luanne says:

    Happy happy birthday, Sheila! Hah, I remember when my grandmother turned 75, and I was so impressed by the many years. Now I respect the years, but it is starting to sound quite young to me. Funny how that happens! Love that pic of you and T. And the family history story is marvelous. Where would we be without our grandmothers?! XOXOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    • My grandmothers meant the world to me, as yours did to you. I’m not sure where I would have ended up without their constant love and affection in my childhood. Thank you for liking the pic, too – our friend Nekki took it as we were about to leave. The dessert was yummy – perhaps more so because they brought it to me for free!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely photo of the two of you! xAx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so very much, Annie! Our friend Nekki took it just as we were about. The waitress brought out the lovely ice cream dessert – the others had told her it was my 75th. When you make it to 75, people like to celebrate!! It was a fun night for Pretty and me. The first night we had eaten inside a restaurant in more than a year!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wayside Artist says:

    What an amazing life you’ve lead since you were first thrown into the saddle. That particular photo is priceless to me, a fellow horse crazy girl.
    Time certainly is precious and fast like water going over a fall. I’m glad you and T have each other to ride the rapids together. Happy Birthday (belated), Sheila!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. M.B. Henry says:

    A very happy birthday!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the photo on the horse…and yes time is …so mysterious, so preccious,so unique.

    Liked by 1 person

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