Saturday, December 3, 2016

Y'all, I Lived to See My "Afterwhile"

Good morning, all. I wanted to say that I have waxed sentimental these last few days and have looked back on my life and do realize that the Lord has blessed me to live to see my "one day," my "afterwhile." I come from a single-parent poor family where all my mother had to give me were her God, her morals, and her ideals. She always taught me to pray and "reach for the stars" and she told me time and time again that I was "bound to land among the treetops." 

  • I had been wanting to be a teacher or a nurse since I was nine years old, but we had no money and could see no way for me to go to college, but I kept praying and believing and wah lah! I went!
  • I wanted to be a writer and I am.
I have not told you the entire path that my life took, but I have told you enough so that you can understand the mindset of the little girl in the following excerpt from my book, W.O.W. created w.o.w.:

She hoped her cousins wouldn’t give her a hard time about the water. She knew that her aunt had started dropping hints about how high her water bill had been being. She made it to her aunt’s and knocked on the door, “Who is it?” her favorite cousin called from within. “It’s me,” piped Alicia. “Doors open; come on in.” Alicia went inside and started her routine of filling up the two canisters. “Don't you ever get embarrassed about hauling that water? I wouldn't do it. That's what your brothers ought to be doing!” said her cousin.

“I know that’s what my brothers ought to be doing,” said Alicia. “But it's hard for Momma to make them do anything.  You know they’re teenagers and she can't make them do what she wants them to do and sometimes they make her cry. Somebody's gotta help Momma. So, I do it. I don't want to see her cry. Sometimes I hear her crying at night and I don't like to hear Momma cry. So you know; I go get the water. It's okay. Now, about people laughing at me, they gotta laugh at something. If they didn't laugh at me, then they would be laughing at somebody else. Anyway, one day I'm gonna be somebody!”

 She hoped that she didn't meet any of her friends on the way home because you could hear the water splashing against the sides of the canisters. Alicia's coat was wet on one side by the time she got back home because one of the canisters had developed a slow leak. She hung the coat up on the back of the door in the bedroom and closed the door. She hoped it would be dry tomorrow because that was the only coat she had. It was so cold in the bedroom that maybe her coat would not be dry, but she had to take the chance and leave it in the bedroom with the door closed because she didn't want to smell like smoke when she went to school the next day.
 Alicia couldn’t worry about Hank Gould nor anybody else, right then. She had to cook. She knew it would do no good to worry about him.

 Alicia went back in the front room and put the rice on in the rice pot. While she rinsed the chicken with a cup of water. When the rice got done, Alicia set the rice on her makeshift table, the metal chair that was beside the charcoal bucket.
Since there was no flour, she battered the chicken in meal and then put the frying pan on with a small amount of lard to cook the chicken in. Alicia remembered to use a very small amount of lard because she knew that the lard had to last for three or four weeks.
Momma had taught Alicia how to stretch the lard. She knew to use the fatback grease for cooking cornbread. And she knew to put the fatback grease back in the grease can after she finished frying anything. She browned the chicken on both sides and then poured the extra grease into the grease can. She then put one glass of water and one fourth of an onion in the frying pan to let the chicken simmer. Alicia had to be careful that the water from the frying pan did not boil over onto the charcoal and put the fire out. She knew that the room would be colder than it already was if the charcoal got wet.
Then Alicia put more charcoal onto the charcoal bucket to warm the room a bit more.
Alicia got sick to her stomach because of the fumes from the just started charcoal. She had to go to the door to stick her head out to get fresh air so that she wouldn't be sick.
She always kept a headache in the evenings because of the fumes from the charcoal bucket.
            After she had finished cooking, Alicia, again thought about her harrowing day at school.  "But, that's alright. That's okay; one day, I'm going to be somebody and I'm going to have pretty clothes and ain't nobody gon laugh at me then!"

            So, you now understand my driving need to write and tell the story of how the Lord has brought me over.
            Doing What I  Can, While I Can,
            Alma Jones

            For the Record:
            One day you may get up to read my blog and see a message from a different person. That person, in all probability, will be my son. He will send you a message that I have instructed him to send when I cross to the other side...
            No, no, no! That is not happening just yet, but I wanted to cover that JIC (just in case). Look forward to your reading my blog on the morrow if it is the Lord's will. God's blessing on you and yours.

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