Without prior notice, part 2: Life synopsis

(Part 1 may be found here.) It's taken for granted that nobody living in Huntsville is actually from Huntsville (Kat being our resident exception). There is no single 'Huntsville accent,' just a variously-lilting amalgamation of the various Southern accents of the engineers who have found their way to this town. But the lack of a specific accent does not imply a lack of commonality in the way the locals speak; go far enough away from standard 'Southern' and the questions begin to pop up:

As some random Southerner has undoubtedly said in some overblown novel, "Ah don' thank they's from 'roun heah."

Your forecast

"Isolated showers around the area will die a slow death overnight as lows fall to the lower 70s with patchy dense fog developing in areas that recieved rainfall. Expect more isolated showers and thunderstorms on Monday again with highs in the low 90 s. Hope for some rain it will cool temperatures off and create a nice breeze. About midweek it looks a tad drier with temperatures slipping into the upper 80s and low 90s."

for whom the bell tolls

Storm season is back amongst us again, blowing through in a succession of muggy afternoons and dark-grey clouds. It's later than usual this year, having decided to wander in and get revved up only towards the end of spring. Several nights this week, Jeff has had to shut off the weather radio multiple times.

Say something!

Sometimes I love my accent like I love having a hole in my head. I've noticed that on trips yankeeward, at least one person will say the dreaded phrase:

"You have a southern accent! How cute!"

"Why…thank you." (Of course, in the way I speak, that comes out more like "Whaaaah, thaink yew." This is the point where I start to cringe.)

"Say something!"



Groan. Ok, time to don my best educated-Arkansas accent. "I hate being asked to do this?"

"How CUTE!"

The power of one

Two generations of my family are best defined by the things they almost never discussed with me. For my grandparents, it was the desperate poverty of the Great Depression, followed by the heartbreak that was World War II. For my father and mother, the event that shaped the years of their early adult lives was the Vietnam War.

I am a member of the first generation of my family who, upon looking back, cannot claim to understand what they went through. My generation has nothing of the kind—and this, as my mother once said quietly to me, is probably the greatest blessing we will never comprehend.When I was ten, I was given a school assignment: to interview an older member of my family to learn what their life was like when they were my age. I picked my maternal grandfather's eldest sister, Belva Davis.