Dancing in Sunbeams- A Short-Short Story…

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Dancing in Sunbeams

Rose could visualize the little country church, the chorus of Crows flying back and forth over the gabled roof; its white washed siding. Not too far away stood a row of Birch trees beside a shallow creek winding its way through an open field green with Johnson grass. She pictured a group of black feathered Angels following a funeral hearse down the old dirt road. The rocker on the weathered porch unmoving, the sun would be glowing through tattered curtains and dancing in the nearby cracked mirror. Rose felt empty and that childhood was dead as was her beloved Grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

The Aunts – A Short-Short Story

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The Aunt’s and the “World’s Oldest Profession”
A True Short-Short Story…

 
In the early 1800s, the hectic harbor in Mobile, Alabama was bustling with upriver planters who came to town for the annual cotton-marketing season. Along the waterfront a variety of establishments from boarding houses, hotels, saloons and other places know as the gentlemen’s entertaining facilities, as a group they were known as “Shakespeare’s Row”. During the South’s Antebellum Era prostitution ranked right up there with vagrancy and public intoxication. It later became a prohibition of any disorderly behavior public or privately. The fines for “keeping a disorderly house” ranged from $10 to $25; there were no consistent laws on the subject.

 
It was during mid-1850, when my Aunt Molly and Modena Veste found themselves visiting a distant cousin in Mobile near the waterfront. They had inherited a hotel outside Birmingham, Alabama and after working night and day for months decided to give themselves a vacation. Leaving the Veste Hotel in the capable hands of their hired staff off the two went on their seashore retreat.

 
It was toward the end of their stay when they ventured onto the waterfront and Shakespeare’s Row. Neither Molly nor Modena wavered from having a good time. When they inherited their Aunt Ira’s Hotel the entire family encouraged them to turn their lives around and make a living running the upper-class establishment.
It was during that trip to Mobil that the idea of turning the Veste Hotel into a “Gentleman’s Club” became a reality. They did not identify themselves with the Shakespeare Row prostitutes, but they did discover since their youth their need to pander with men.

 
These two young women catered to the wealthy, cards, cigars and liquor became the enticement. Upon paying a substantial monthly fee to join, a daily fee deposited at the door would give the gentleman their choice of available “Ladies of Pleasure” or “Ladies of Easy Virtue” for one hour. The city agreed to turn their heads to these nightly “Whore Parties” for a reasonable tax! A wink and a nod condoned and protected prostitution at the Veste Hotel for almost 50 years.

 
Therefore, Miss Molly and Miss Modena brought the red-light district to Northern Alabama. It was one of the few buildings left standing when Yankee troops pilfered their way through the south. The women that worked in the hotel were not cheap, but to test the virtuous caverns of the Veste sisters’ could be costly.

 

2017©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Looking at a blank page – Part 1

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I am so drained by the actions of the President of the United States, all politicians, lobbyist, protesters, those who hate, destroy or wish to destroy history; the news media, you get the idea… I must return to my safe place within my mind to rest.  That place is the blank page before me where thoughts come alive and I remember the stories of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”.

   She told me of Fosee, a descendant of many generations of warriors.  Born in a round birch bark dwelling in the circle of a Chickasaw Over Town Tribe in what would later become Eastern Mississippi. His father had given him the name Fosee; the meaning of that name was “Bird”.   The other boys teased him because of his tall skinny body; they would jeer at him and run away singing “Little Bird, Little Bird, fly away”.   So, he played alone, kicking around the Chukka Ball in the open yard in the middle of the town’s circle of dwellings; he hunted small animals.

   Fosse’s father held a place of importance in the tribe; he was a powerful warrior, a skilled hunter.  His mother was an exotic looking woman from a Choctaw Tribe in what would become Alabama Territory.  Her beauty and gentle nature were the reasons his father has chosen her to be his bride.  Fosee was their only child, living in the same dwelling with his parents and grandparents.

   He remembered all of his grandparents.  Yet. it was his Chickasaw grandfather that he loved most.  He remembered the elegant clothes and colorful beading sewn onto the soft deerskins by his grandmother.  His grandfather’s white hair flowed about his shoulders and when he would go to the river with him to bathe, Fosee could see the dark skin engraved with the scars of war. 

   Fosee would listen to the stories his grandfather told around the cooking fires, he would see his eyes soften and glisten when he talked of the loss of family and friends in battle.  Fosee was just a boy when all four of his grandparents died from a disease brought into many villages’ by the white man.

Fosee was my great-great-grandfather…   

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree-Part 1- Fosee

Author’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aann+johnson-murphree

 

 

 

 

RIP Sam Shepard…

samA great American Artist 

“There are no words to describe how I feel, we have lost another great one!”

 

 

ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM AND BARNES & NOBEL.COM

FLYING WITH BROKEN WINGS

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https://www.amazon.com/Flying-Broken-Wings-Charlotte-Murphree/dp/1547051329/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018149&sr=1-1&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

BEYOND THE VOICES

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https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Voices-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500426709/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018788&sr=1-3&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

HONEYSUCKLE MEMORIES

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https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree/dp/150029070X/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018932&sr=1-5&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

REFLECTIONS OF POETRY

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https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500168645/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018932&sr=1-6&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

ECHOING IMAGES

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https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018932&sr=1-7&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

ASTERIAL THOUGHTS

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https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought/dp/1540862356/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018932&sr=1-8&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

RUTTED ROADS

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https://www.amazon.com/Rutted-Roads-Collections-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1532909365/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018932&sr=1-9&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

SACHET OF POETRY

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https://www.amazon.com/Sachet-Poetry-Adoration-Aspirations-Asylums/dp/1500483354/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499018932&sr=1-10&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

MY JOURNEY INTO ART

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https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Johnson-Murphree-2014-07-28/dp/B019NRG4YG/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499019157&sr=1-14&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

Thanks for reading and in advance thank you for your comments.  EAJM

 

 Painting below:  Acrylic and Watercolor created December, 2010-The First Christmas without Charlotte…

19.charlotte winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW BOOK: FLYING WITH BROKEN WINGS…

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Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person, in fact, not too many people knew her, but those that did knew there were many facets to her life. the book tells of fifty-two-years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl she was made fun of by schoolchildren, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought Cerebral Palsy, Living with Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia disorders. Charlotte lived not only with herself but she endured the “Voices” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about her beginning, her middle and the end of her life.

This book was a labor of love, Published in June 2017, now on sale at Amazon.com

The Coffee Table…

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This is a very, very short story of a long marriage that “ends” after thirty-six years with spurts of happiness and much tribulation; the end came over twenty-five years ago. Now that the logistics is out of the way, this numeric information is relevant to the title…the coffee table. 

I chose to end the marriage that had been filled little happiness and many tumult periods from the beginning.  It is important to know that before ending such a marriage my children were adults.  I walked away on a sunny June morning with a suitcase, my dog and a rented car.  I did not want anything that was a part of my past.  The coffee table bought in the mid-sixties was going to be tossed in the mid-nineties; it had been in the basement of my sons’ home.  Cleaning time. 

I said yes, I would take it.  Somehow it meant something to me; the only thing that I would have from my marriage.  This ageless contemporary piece of furniture carried with it many memories.  Shopping for furniture in 1979 was during a better time, my then husband and I spent an entire day searching the stores until the one meant for us was found.  A few days later the table would be tossed across the room in a rage of madness, the inside frame broken.  I repaired the table and it was like new.

It would appear that the coffee table itself was somehow demonic.  Over the period of ten-years, the coffee table would split open the chins and one cut above an eye of two boys wrestling in the living room.  It placed cuts on grandchildren that tripped and fell on its corners.  It left bruises on shins of the entire family who chose to hurry around the object of discussion.

 

It had its good moments too.  It served as desk where hundreds of thousands pages of homework was done.  Throughout its “life” served as step stool, craft table, coloring table, and eating and snack table.  It has held plants, books and other things during the different seasons.  I smile as I think back at the many good times my children and I had sitting around this table when my husband was out of town.  We glorified the days without chaos.  When I received the coffee table, I painted the dark wood white, a pure color that would remove all turmoil significance.  Throughout these past years, it has been repainted the same white many times.

This brings me to the present and for the record, I have stated many times that the table is being held together by the paint.  Apparently, it was…my four-year-old grandson used it as a bounce board and then I sat on the table to talk to my granddaughter and poof; I ended its life and an era.

 

Well you would not believe the “moans” from my children, “ah can’t it be fixed”?

 

There was no pain in its exodus from my home, well maybe a little as it was heaved into the trash.  I suddenly understood that I had held onto it for the memories, memories that are embedded deep within me.  The good ones I will keep, the bad will soon be hauled away.  I thought about what could have been and never was; time wasted, and I looked for the last time at the only thing that was left of a long marriage… the coffee table.   

 

 

 

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

The Tapestry of Life

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The Tapestry of Life…

The individual self is an actor, life is the stage; we are masters of our emotions capable of expressing self-assurance, joy and rage.

There is a hidden self, living deep within the forest of life, one that we prefer not to show, it is only the image of strength and confidence that we truly choose to expose.

It is during the times of valleys and peaks, darkness and fear; that we wear a mask, we masquerade keeping emotions hidden in the forest of our souls, yet within sight and near.

The landscape of ourselves guides us to better places, and it is the silent strong self that transforms our outward faces.

To believe in our aspirations and make our lives worth living, to hope we cling; it is within the landscape of our strong confident selves that allows us to dream.

We perform in our world upon the stage of life where we remain perfect impressionist; yet it is only when we change the landscape of our lives we find true happiness.

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by Author at locations below:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+johnson-murphree&sitesearch_type=STORE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

[All writing is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]

Your support of my blog and its contents are appreciated

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

The Passing of Time

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The Passing of Time

My body aches, after years of “beating it up”.  I give in to the grace of gravity.  I do not live these days in wonder or fear.  Yet, a baby’s breath can take mine away and these troublesome times can instill fear in me for the future of this wonderful world.  My spine tingles in the presence of a gentle man both young and old.  I know that the passing of time is like a cool wind on a hot summer’s day, I no longer count the hours or days.  The thought of a new love still makes my heart soar.  It is the precious moments that I allow to linger. 

©2017.annjohnsonmurphree

 

Books by Author at locations below:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+johnson-murphree&sitesearch_type=STORE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

[This writing is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]

Your support of my blog and its contents are appreciated

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

A Short-Short Story – I was born to mourn…-

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I was born to mourn…

My world is like a grain of sand upon the shores of time, changing, ever changing, and then washed out into the sea of life.  Infinity is in my soul, eternity floats upon the clouds of heavenly moments.  My hours caged, my spirit angered at the thoughts of those who have walked away from my gate.  My feet have left their mark upon the sands of time, waves of tears have splashed upon the rocky cliff that bares scars of what I have lost, and my mind wanders the caverns of the past.  A mother’s grief screams into the endless nights leaving scars upon a heart that is already torn and ragged. 

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Words of doubt have poisoned my faith, the days are winding down, and I was born to mourn. 

 

 

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree