Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I recently had a sibling die. Younger sibling. The sibling I that was closer to in age, temperament.....the one I would call with that question about family, call about who this or that person is, the one I would call just to call.
Being "executor" or "personal representative" (whatever the politically correct term is now....), it is up to me to go through things and empty the house. This sibling got most of the things from our family home, plus all the little, left over things. And this sibling loved "things" like I do/did. As I go thru things it began as fun, discovering old photos, finding this scapbook or that clipping.......then as other heirs come through and started  "picking"......not so much fun.
As I went through, the things that were even the least sentimental would end up in my car. As others went through stuff, I'd try to entice them with  "oh Mother used that for so-and-so" , or "Daddy always used that", and watch them just plop it back down. Condition meant nothing to me, if it was sentimental. Then the other heirs started grabbing things with any value....piling them in boxes, haphazzardly, much to my, I guess, horror.  And as I had moved through, carefully going through things, and keeping things straight, they'd leave piles of packing paper torn on the floor, drop photos......
Things...... now our own orderly house is not so orderly. And as the deadline for clearing out the house looms, I'M the one to have to take to Goodwill......Things.......maybe not so important. Sure I've kept valuable stuff, old photos, especially of me and my sibling.....but the Things others leave behind amaze me. Their own photos.....Then I think, should I be keeping the things I'm keeping????
And even as I sit here at my desk and look in the cubby holes,and think of the drawers below probably stuffed....... People, go through your own things and get YOUR life and things in order. As I've gone through drawers I've thought what wound this sibling be thinking if they knew I was going through all these things???
I meet an heir today for them to take big stuff. I have movers coming tomorrow to get our big stuff. Then I guess it will be me to go through the left overs and see what is personnal and not wanted to be thrown away, what is TOO sentimental to throw or give away, and just throw away that stuff that no one else cared about helping.....
Things.....everyone, go through your own things.
Maybe minimalism isn't so bad after all ?????? No, not there YET!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thank you notes

Every once in a while, something will catch my eye as I glance over "Dear Abby" and I'll read one or two of the letters. The other day was about baby or bridal showers and the need to write thank you notes for a gift. Some may said it would be so convenient for each person to either address their own envelope for a thank you note.......and to do so and put it in a basket to draw for a door prize (really!)........or maybe even "the poor mother or bride to be has so much on her mind, just not to expect a thank you note"....REALLY! What HAS the world come to? How can anyone justify that it's OK NOT to write notes after receiving a gift, or excusing someone to not take the time to address an envelope themselves to thank that person for a gift? I know I was brought up, obviously in a past era, but my mother would not let us touch a gift after opening it, until we had written a thank you note. Even the ugly pair of socks that Aunt Suzy sent us at Christmas got a Thank You note before we could hide the socks. Why is that so hard a thing for someone to do when receiving a gift, or even some type of kind gesture! And the worst, is a friend of ours, who when you give them a gift, makes the great gesture of calling you up, NEVER UTTERING THE WORDS "Thank You", but to say they never write Thank You notes. I really am trying to understand all this and to think this is OK, but....................
next post will be about "downsizing America" or age discrimination.

Monday, July 19, 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird

Several weeks ago, I watched the segment on CBS Sunday Morning, about the festivities on the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird. I couldn't remember ever having read it. And I loved the movie! I had gotten out of the habit of checking out books from our library, but with the ecomnomy like it is, and really not wanting to buy a copy, I marched down to the library. I had to get help finding it, but the librarian was extremely nice. She explained it was on the reading lists for schools, and might not have a copy. She did find a ratty PAPER BACK....., I asked might she have another copy. She replied "maybe in the large print section". So we looked, and sure enough, this great big RED hardback. The OLD curmudge would check out a "large print" book. I thanked her profusely, and went to get a card, and check out......
Southern Curmudgeon's story will now not about getting the card, well partially....We went through all the rules, check out times, what they had, when she informed me that the computer was down. She kept trying, and I thought, I'll just go find a nice quiet area, and read some till the computer was up.
Well, what was I thinking. I went down to an area over looking a nice sunken garden, and got into the book.......when all of a sudden conversations started, and not the sneaky quick whispers I remembered from highschool when we went to the library to "study". No these were loud, even across the room discussions. I wondered where the old librarian was that used to constantly shhhhhhhhsssssssssh us over the top of her readers. I can see her to this day. I saw a guard ambling through and I thought he'd certainly tell them to be quiet........HE just jumped into conversing with them!
I went to check on the computer, it was still down, so I left to come back after lunch to get my card and book. Got the book later, and after supper, sat down for a good read, and noticed in the front, a disclaimer that the book was noted to have "damage". I didn't think anymore about it and started to read. Each page seemed to be worse than the one before! Rips, peices of page missing. Major underlining and noes written in margins and around words. I know I hold books pretty much in awe. I've always respected mine and other peoples books. I hate to borrow someones books about as much as I hate to lend them. The Curmudge just got his latest "things just aren't what they used to be" reality check.
Just where is that old librarian, anyway!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Washing Feet on Maudy Thursday

Well here I go. I was brought up that it was impolite to talk about sex, politics or religion. We all know it's boring to NOT talk about those three little words. So here I go....calm down, not about sex. And I'll do politics later.......
I was brought up in the Episcopal Church. My family have been Episcopalians since it was started in 1785. I was certainly brought up not to wear my religion on my sleeve. PLEASE! Didn't the Baptists do that.
We went to church regularly, and then retreated to different homes for cocktails and lunch. All very civilized. And we always did ashes on Ash Wednesday, later towards the end of Lent, went to some services during Holy week, going to an occaisional Sunrse Easter service on some years. And ALWAYS, when we traveled, we went to services at the local, usually historic Episcopal Churches.
Several years ago, the church I was brought up in, began the practice of brining in a wooden cross towards the end of the service. That sounds very quaint, and respectful, and Holy. WELL, the church has a woman Deacon, should I say Deaconess? And her idea was to laboreously drag an enormous wooden cross, BAREFOOT, down the aisle. I was so taken aback, I quietly left. I heard from others, who could have been pulling my leg, that she flung herself down on the cross at the steps going up to the communion rail. Last year, I went thinking again I would leave after communion, when a young member of the congregation started taking pictures, WITH FLASH, of the entire service. Isn't THAT solemn. I left early to wait for friends at my private club for lunch, and let them tell me about the Cross drag.
This year I thought, well I hadn't been to Maundy Thursday in a while, maybe I'd do that instead. OMG! Everything went well, solemn, respectful, UNTIL.....the talk about Jesus and the foot washing. Next thing I know, in the oldest Episcopal Church in our little city, congregants who wished to participate, were instructed to remove their socks and shoes and walk down the aisle for the washing. And did they use something nice like a silver pitcher? Too fancy maybe? How about a nice earthernware or pottery pitcher/jug? No, it was ribbed plastic beer pitchers. And who walked up to do this? The cradle Episcopalians I grew up with? No, mostly those ex-Baptists who flocked to our doors. At the end of that, we all watched as the preists all put their socks and shoes back on. So solemn.
I had felt that this year would be the sunrise service year to observe Easter at that, my cradle Church. Thinking if they did that on Maundy Thursday, and yes the Cross dragging on Friday did happen.....what would they do Easter?
I didn't find out. A fledgling little country, carpenter Gothic Episcopal Church, that actually is older than the city church, had a beautiful, almost 1928 prayer book service later in the morning. Welcome happy morning indeed! A beautiful, respectful, solemn service, that was over just in time for bloody mary's and cheese straws at the Plantation. There stil are nice things left....sometimes you just have to look for them!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CASUAL FRIDAY February 19, 2010

For the life of me I can't understand why people want to come to work dressed as slobs. And sometimes to pay money to a charity, to do so. The Southern Curmudgeon remembers as a child being put on a plane in a coat and tie. And there are pictures of us as coat and tie at grandparents and great-aunts and uncles for Sunday Dinner (early afternoon). Sometimes I feel undressed not to wear a tie, and casual, to this old Curmudgeon, is a button down and blue blazer. What has happened to society.

Now at home on the plantation, yes we do live on one, we DO dress down....sweats....even putting on p.j.'s, with robes, to watch t.v. with our cocktails. But if we need to run out......khaki's and maybe a knit shirt. And I'm not against casual dress or dressing down,
but only in it's place.

Friday, here they pour in , blue jeans, collar-less shirts, SWEAT shirts.......and it's the people that should NEVER wear jeans ANYWHERE in public that always wear them. I threaten to take a picture from behind some of these full figured girls and boys to let them know how truly casual they look! And tight shirts on these full figures......AGH! The cute bodies always wear the chic loose fitting tops. And some of the jeans look like they're pick up off of the floor, and ripped! One rather formidable girl once came in a tee shirt and cut off overalls!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh well. I just turn away like I have to do for a lot of things.........poor old curmudgeon!

We are professionals in the office (I thought) , well read, studied, passed exams, registered. Why want to look like you live in a trailer, excuse me mobile home. Pleeeeease!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Southern Curmudgeon

A Blog that looks at Southern Food, Southern Manners (or lack of), Clothes, Drivers, Design, Designers, Architecture,
Southern Cities and other Cities
Southerners Go To,
and other things as well.........

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary has the following entry for Curmudgeon :

"Main Entry: cur·mud·geon
Pronunciation: \(ˌ)kər-ˈmə-jən\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1568
1 archaic :
miser2 : a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man
— cur·mud·geon·li·ness \-lē-nəs\ noun
— cur·mud·geon·ly \-lē\ adjective

I don't consider myself old...........only in my 50's and isn't that the new 30 somewhere? Crusty?, sometimes. Ill tempered?, Well MAY-be, sometimes. But definately Southern, all the time! But this is not a blog to celebrate Billy-Bobs, mudding in your SUV's, "Pauler Deen" types,etc.
This will be MY avenue to vent as I try to navigate through life amongst the not so nice people that seem to be EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME! N-O-C's (Not our class) as I might just slip and call somebody who is really ill-bred! And I hope to vent in a fun way, that you the reader hopefully will enjoy, and once off my chest I can go through out the day more or less acceptably as a politically correct Southern Gentleman and not let any of those low lifes bother me. And maybe just mentioning "observations" here will be enough, and you, my reader, will learn just what I'll probably say before I say it.
This is just the preview. I will try to get my ducks in a row so it will hopefully be legible. And I can't spell, so if spell check doesn't catch it..........
So let's just have fun.

The Southern Curmudgeon