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The Chickasaw – Part 8

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The Chickasaw – Part 8

Sipsee and Jane thought life at Chadwick Manor was worse than they could have imagined witnessing pain and sorrow.  They also learned to live in a world where freedom was recognized only by the color of one’s skin; they learned that the world they lived in showed hatred for both the Negro and the Indian people.  The Indians were mostly free in many of the states that withdrew from the Union.

They would learn how to survive…

Jane had wonderful memories of her mother and father; she also had nightmares of seeing her father killed and of the Master of Chadwick coming to their one room shanty during the night.  The sadness of moving from the forest onto land where she was surrounded by cotton, and living with her mother’s sadness, Jane knew that both she and her mother would need to learn a new way to survive.

As a favor to Sipsee, Mistress Chadwick-Alboin and Master Alboin allowed Jane to be schooled along with their daughter;  Jane learned  reading and writing, elegant manners.  Her mother told her that an education was the only way she would escape from being an Indian; Sipsee wanted her only child to do extremely well in this new land, to be accepted in any social setting.  Jane did want to learn the white man ways; she would never forget that she was the daughter of Hawk Over-Town.

Their home may have been a one room shanty in slave quarters, but it was home; Jane was a tall gangly girl that did not have the beauty of her mother, instead she was to bare the hard sculpted features of her father.  She felt safe when she and her mother were roaming the woods collecting herbs and plants for medicine.  Sipsee would teach Jane the ways of their people, the custom, the culture, they would grow strong and some day be more than slaves to rich landowners.  Sipsee wanted to see the day when she and her daughter did not have to address these people as Missus and Master.

Then War came to Chadwick Manor…

The State of Alabama declared that it had seceded from the United States of America on January 11, 1861.  Jane was thirteen-years-old; she had learned many things like gracefulness and proper manners; Sipsee had succeeded in keeping her daughter from the Master, now she had to worry about the soldiers both Union and Southern, neither respected women.  It was during the beginning of the war that Sipsee found out about other Chickasaw’s living in the area; the Mistress of Chadwick sent them there to be safe, neither side Union or Southern bothered the Indians.  When they arrived everyone greeted them, they were shown kindness; it would be their home until the War Between the States was over.

Jane right up to the end of her life would not talk about the War.  She and her mother were happy when it ended; Jane was seventeen-years-old.   She would only say that the greed of the white man would be their downfall.  Sipsee and Jane remain in the Chickasaw village when the War ended.

It was there that Jane met Pap.  He was a scout for the South, and Jane just became a teenager and was smitten by him.  Sipsee did not care for him as he was twenty years older than Jane was; Sipsee hoped that he would not come back; Jane felt a sadness she could not explain.  

To be continued…

Story Resources:

Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father.

Grandson – Roy C. Johnson

Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter

 

BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM BY ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree/dp/150029070X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8/

https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought/dp/1540862356/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Rutted-Roads-Collections-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1532909365/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF81

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500502960/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Sachet-Poetry-Adoration-Aspirations-Asylums/dp/1500483354/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Voices-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500426709/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500168645/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

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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

66th

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

55th

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

whales

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

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Estrangement from Family …

Estrangement from Family…

With the book, Flying with Broken Wings finished and in the “mail”; before I begin the next writing project I wanted to post my own feelings about ESTRANGEMENT …some type of estrangement appears to be an ongoing part of my life.  Therefore, I will share a few with you…

I want to write about estrangement from family, mine and my point of view.  First comes the Alabama “shirttail” redneck relatives oh yes…I use to go back home to visit and their first words upon seeing me was “You still a Yankee”?  Still living is an aunt and uncle neither have ever been outside their home town except when my uncle went to fight “The Big War”, which in reality was the end of the Korean Conflict.  He returned to work in the same factory forty or more years and she was a homemaker.  Nothing wrong with either of those statements accept you would have to know them personally, as there are various levels of “Redneck”.

I call it a YO-YO estrangement spanning about forty- years.  I went those many years going back to a place I knew was never “home” just a place where I grew up.  Always spring and Thanksgiving breaks with my parents whom have since passed, I had one sibling who passed as well.  During those, many years visiting on Holidays brought a new meaning to the word relatives.    

I understand that I left home when I was sixteen, but I tried to keep in touch with many of them.  I must say that it was a one-way communication, hard to believe but it was…I would call my parents weekly, reach out to the only sibling I had, and the others who I thought of as relatives.

Now after all of these many years later I have to wonder why relatives chose to distance themselves, choose to demonize you while painting themselves as virtuous, sailing a tide of bitterness and anger mostly for unknown reasons.  Most thought if you crossed the Alabama state line you would fall into the Pits of Hell, yep, Alabama was the world and it was flat.  It appeared the closer the “Pecking Order” leading to the top…the nastier they were when talking behind one is back.  Oh, this was not just me; this deeply embedded Redneck dysfunctional family went after each other as well.

My parents made it known to me in the hidden messages in their conversations that visitors should stay in a motel.  I was the visiting relative.  I kept my visits short and casual, the love I had for my out of touch parents would never end.  I was not alone in these situations, my aunts, uncles and families were not welcome, including my only sibling.  The only one my parents ever accepted was a grandchild whom had lived off my parents all of their life. However, this individual would never learn to function alone, not my problem I say.

Three years before my mother died (my father already dead); ask that I “not come back”.  I honored her wish and did not return until her death.  Estrangement…the only relative I felt close too ostracized me for about ten years.  I reached out and the email relationship and an occasional visits were on and off for another twenty years, having three year gaps.  Please understand that I continued to try and “hold on” to this individual because of my parents.  In the beginning of 2017, the mixed messages and/or lies seem to give me reason to turn loose, to stop the acting, to stop listening to how their entitlement created by my parents caused all of the problems.  From parents that made the mistake of “dying” leaving them to fend for themselves.  Oh my, what a dilemma! 

I finally went “Oh my God”; I have been holding onto a family member that clearly does not want to continue communicating with me or have a family relationship.  Since, I have made it very clear that I no longer want to be a puppet in their lives, strung along to whatever tune they are playing. 

I realize that some might be empathetic and others will say for the sake of peace live with their poor reasoning skills and their sense of entitlement.  I understand struggling, but I was not the child that lived free well into adulthood under my parents “roof”, I was not the one who did not know how to survive.   

Honestly, I wrestle with the challenges, struggles, and consequences of writing about my estrangement.  It is hard to decide what to omit and what to disclose.  The stakes are high and paying the price for transparency can strike hard.  While many people are empathetic, some think I should bury the hatchet for the sake of peace and family.

While I am no person’s judge, I do not presume to know what others should or should not do in the same predicament.  I do not have to explain or justify my decision to draw boundaries between my family and me.  I do not have to help these people understand my position.  I do not have to defend myself or prove myself. Please do not underestimate the power or long-lasting effect of emotional and verbal abuse.  With the death of my parents, I would tread lightly as the family I was dealing with had a passion for lying and being a victim.  I have known all my life that my family would never inspire to match the image of a Norman Rockwell painting.

For those who are empathetic with my situation or suffer from their own estrangement, thank you for understanding!  I know estrangement is tough especially during the holidays, which promotes families and togetherness.  It is plagued by awkward moments where we dodge communication about our family and suffer in silence.  

I try to remember that no two people view any event the same, even within a family.  We have different vantage points, shaped by our own perspectives & life experiences.  Our different levels of awareness are impacted by our beliefs, ideas, fears, & motives.  I have quit trying to change my estranged family or trying to get them to consign to a common perspective.

There are NO completely innocent parties with estrangement.  I try to reflect on my part.  I do not question if somehow I could have handled things differently.  What would I do differently next time, nothing, as there will not be a next time?  Life hands us pain and hurt to teach us lessons.  I have finally with aged wisdom learned from my experiences with family.

I have chosen to focus on the healthy relationships in my life and my children and grandchildren, which I have built on respect, support, & appreciation where I am loved for who I am and not what others wanted me to be.  My was not imprinted with images of unconditional love and acceptance from family.  I do know that I am not alone…with these words in closing old wounds, I have a new perspective on my life and will now begin my next writing project…”Rain, Fire and Lies”, my autobiography.

Thank you for reading and supporting me, I will do my best to keep all of you posted with the progress of the book and my daily life.  Love to all of you.

2017©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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The American Dream…

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The American Dream…

There was a time when life flowed slowly like a perfect meadow stream, fresh was the air, blue was the sky; and everyone had a chance to live the American dream.

These things will never return, we have put a hole in the sky, we are destroying earth out of self-seeking for the things that we really do not really need.  The sky is no longer a clear blue, now we see it as a dingy hue, the rivers and streams are filled with debris, between Heaven and Earth hovers a cloud of toxic waste, we are destroying this planet at an ever-increasing speed.  Our wetlands are taken away sold to build summer get-away, gone are the lands, forest and streams where wildlife was free to roam, today it is some greedy rich persons million dollar home.

Listen, are the birds still singing a joyous song, we are not happy because our backyards we find mountain lions, foxes and deer who are only passing through; it use to be their feeding grounds.  We never give it a thought when these feeding grounds were gone, where did we expect Mother Nature’s children to call home?

Mother Nature tries to correct our mess with hurricanes, tornados and such, but I believe she thinks that saving these feeding grounds for her children is up to us.  It appears we do not care and one day all there may be are crumbling buildings, bridges and monuments that will all turned to dust.  Where you ask is that American dream, its lost among the rubble of crooks and banking schemes.  The planet will die and waste away in fishless oceans and down dirty mountain streams.

There was a time when life flowed slowly like a perfect meadow stream, fresh was the air, blue was the sky; and everyone had a chance to live the American dream.

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Harnessed a few old thoughts today…

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My mother never had but one child and it was not “me”!  My mother never had but one grandchild, it was not among my own five children.  My mother never had but four great-grandchildren, my two are not among that accounting.  My mother had many great-great-grandchildren I have none to be in that accounting!

While working on my current writing project “Flying with Broken Wings”, I stop to write down a thought that would be in relation to my own autobiography that now comprises of many scraps of paper, some full sheets, including the back of many coffee house and diner placemats.  My “someday” autobiography.

The thought was to write a book about estrangement among family members.  This relates directly to my beginning paragraph.  After Google delivered its list to me, I realized that there is a slight possibility that every family in this world had problems with getting along with each other.  There are dozens of estrangement books, so my starting one is not necessary.   My home library beside many books on fiction and non-fiction consists of dozens of self-help books from emotional to the deranged brain; I have nothing on the family that hates.

 I quickly went to Amazon and ordered one that I thought interesting.  When it arrives, I will read and store with the other books on “real life issues”.  I love to read, and I see my family and myself in these books.  I do not need to learn how to confront family; ninety-nine- percent of them are dead; the other one-percent is dead to me!  These percentages consist of my birth family, mother, father, siblings, and nieces, etcetera.   

In general, I have read articles about family estrangement, mothers, fathers, siblings and the cold war of ending communication.   It is not about who got the spotlight in the family, to me it is about how one selfish act of my own mother changed the dynamics of my entire family.  There are many books and articles about this subject, but I found there are few statistics on the subject of family estrangement. 

If I had to make a statement about why family members cease to speak to each other, I would say one reason is intolerance.  Family members are unwilling to be their real selves and share their real feelings.  Living in a family with estrangements is extremely painful and can be debilitating.  I usually say, these people wear “rose colored glasses”.

Is healing possible, maybe, but my own healing is impossible due to death or stubbornness of these people.   Therefore, I believe that healing starts within, willingness or unwillingness of communication lies with the parting family member.  I chose the path of healing myself, making peace with myself, knowing that I have tried more times than anyone to reach out to family members.  They return to the “circle” of family only to push those who tried to love them away.  I find them to be hypocrites and unworthy of my love.  I have peace of mind, I will be okay, and the scars will heal.  The secret is time.  I call it the “Seven Decade War”! 

Have a great weekend.

 

 

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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

 

 

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