Archive for August, 2020

Dear Gideon,

I missed you when I took Dominic to Savannah.

I missed your non sequiturs.
I missed the odd comments.
I missed our inside jokes.

Luckily, you gave me all three starting the second I got home.

For the first, there’s this:

For the second, I especially like comments that make you sound like an old man. Like what you said when you got home from work yesterday:

I can’t wait to take my socks off!

To be fair, you get that particular thing from me. I prefer being barefoot.

And for the last one, I submit this exchange:

Me, outside your bathroom door: Are you taking a bath?
You: Yes. I’m in the hot TUB.

The emphasis is on “tub” because of this SNL sketch (one of our favorites).

You make me giggle all the time.

I missed you.


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Dear Dominic,

Sometimes I forget how great you are and how well we get along. (Having to bark at remind you to take out the trash and recycling takes its toll on both of us.)

But as we were leaving our place this morning to head to Savannah, I saw you at your best.

Wee morning hours are not great for me. It’s my own fault: We needed to get to the McKinnons’ house before all my Zoom meetings began.

As I was trying to get my watch charger in the dark, I whacked my forehead on the nightstand.

I was still rubbing my head when I told you it was time to go.

You saw the lump that had formed immediately.

You: What happened to you?
Me: I banged my head on the nightstand.
You: Come here. (Gave me a hug and a kiss on the forehead.)
Me: Did you just kiss my boo-boo?
You: That’s the treatment!

That was very sweet.

But then later when I took the ice pack off, you went back to normal.

Me: How do I look?
You: Like Voorhees.

Thanks so much.


Love you anyway,

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Dear People in the Condo Building:

I’m truly fascinated by your lives. Every time I go to our place to clean for a new guest or just hang out, there’s something going on.

It’s very “Rear Window.”

I’m here today because I have so much work to do, and I needed peace (read: time away from Dominic complaining about the Wi-Fi).

It’s a nice day, so I’m on the balcony. I’m worried about getting a contact high from the clouds of chronic. (New building name: Chronic Condo. Or THC Towers. Or High House.)

The last time I was here to get work done, I got to party with Cardi B, along with everyone else on their balconies.

One time, I was having a girls’ night with my friend Becky (with the good hair).

Some guys two floors down and two balconies over saw us.

Dude 1: Hey Ladies!
Dude 2: You with the hair!
Dude 3: We’ve got weed. Come on down!

Becky and I are middle-aged women. We are not going to party with random guys — in a pandemic, no less.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t weirdly flattered.

Anyway, thanks for providing plenty of entertainment.


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Dear Dekalb County School System:

Thank you for starting the school year online rather than face to face. Thank you for not caving to pressure from the COVIDiots Thank you for keeping all of us safe.

We are still in a FREAKIN’ PANDEMIC!

If people had buckled down and done what they should have in March/April, we might be closer to being back to normal.

But no.



My boys went back to school today. Usually I’d post a photo from their first day of the new school year on social media. This year, it seems silly.

Their bedrooms are their school.

Here it is, for what it’s worth:

Dominic is in 10th grade. Gideon is in ninth.

They are feeling overwhelmed. Seven classes each. All virtual. Mostly asynchronous.

(I’m even overwhelmed by the number of parent emails and texts I’m getting.)

There are thousands of kids doing the same thing, so the network was overloaded. Dominic was in a synchronous classroom by 9 a.m.

It took Gideon until 11 to get online.

But this is the way it is right now. I’m not complaining.

One of the cool things is that they decided they wanted to go to the store to get their own supplies. No ridiculously long and detailed supply lists this year. Thank GOD. (They rarely even used most of the things we just HAD to get.)

One of the not-so-cool things is that we ended up going to Walmart. (Shudder. Big stores now give me anxiety.)

On the way home, Dominic and I had this conversation:

Him: I really would prefer actually going to school. I’ll take my chances with the virus.
Me: Great! So you want to put your brother at risk, me at risk, and also your father who has asthma and likely would get the worst of it and die.*
Him: Well, when you put it like that, I guess virtual is fine.
Me: Mmmhmm.

So, DCSS, keep up the good work. Difficult times call for creative solutions. We will persevere.

You know that adage: What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Beth, DCSS parent

* Yeah, I exaggerated, but not by much. Eddie has had so many colds that graduated to pneumonia.

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Dear New Airbnb Hosts:

Welcome to the club! It’s a good way to make some money, and the Airbnb platform usually makes life easy. Sometimes the guests don’t, though.

I advise you to set clear house rules. Here are mine:

Even then, I’ve had people leave:

  • Frat-party levels of empties.
  • Multiple bags of trash even though the chute is right outside the door.
  • A weave.
  • Dirty underpants.
  • A burn mark on the bathroom mirror.
  • The balcony door open with A/C, fans and lights on.
  • Bleach stains on the towels.
  • A pile of wet towels in the bedroom closet.
  • Balcony furniture in the bedroom.
  • Something orange and sticky on every surface.
  • Cigarette stench that required days of airing out and a trip to CVS for three styles of air freshener.

Someone also left an unopened package of bacon, which did not upset me at all.

One thing I didn’t realize when I first became a host is that guests can be dumb. Really dumb. Like how-can-they-live-their-lives dumb.

Take, for example, the woman who is in our place now. She called me at 10 last night because she couldn’t figure out how to turn on the light in the bedroom.

I had no idea of the rarity of an overhead fan with a remote control that features a lightbulb icon.


But there is a different woman who has the honor of being the dumbest person so far.

Here is the full exchange (I didn’t leave anything out, except part of the map I sent):

She needs one of Bill Engvall’s signs. Right? Or am I just being mean?


Now you know better what you are getting yourself into as a host.

Good luck!

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Dear Gideon:

It’s true that Dominic is more like me when it comes to wit and personality, but you and I are more alike in terms of things we like to do.

For example, we share a love of the outdoors and a certain level of redneckery.

Thank you for going with me on one last state park trip before “school” (such as it is during COVID times) begins Monday.

The trip had everything we needed:

  • An adorable cabin
  • An adorable cabin that had a kitchen (Mama doesn’t play with cook stoves.)
  • An adorable cabin that had a kitchen and a proper bed (Mama is too old to be in a sleeping bag with tree roots digging into her spine.)
  • Fred’s “Famous” Boiled Peanuts just down the road apiece
  • River tubing
  • Hiking trails
  • A waterfall
  • A lake on which we could kayak
  • A town that tries its best to be the Bavaria of the South
  • Moon pies in a medley of flavors
  • Outdoor dining where we could load up on loaded tater tots (and feel our arteries leaden)

The trip also had things we didn’t need:

  • People without masks
  • Pickled pigs’ feet
  • A ridiculously tight valve on the kayak that made it nearly impossible to deflate (Luckily, Mama can charm passing fellow rednecks.)
  • The loaded tots (Seriously.)

It’s funny to me your brother was bent out of shape and jealous when we got back. I invited him. He didn’t want to go. As usual.

Dominic: I thought you were just going for a day. I didn’t know it was an overnight trip.
Me: You didn’t listen. I tried to tell you about the cool cabin, but you weren’t having it.

Anyway, I enjoyed spitting cherry pits off the balcony with you while we listened to Alan Jackson (in true redneck fashion).

I hope you’ll do things like this with your kids if you ever have them. Or at least remember these times when I’m old(er) and (more) decrepit and unable to haul a deflated kayak up and down a hill.


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Dear Publix:

Thank you for employing three of my family members. I feel very fortunate that they have jobs during these weird, unprecedented times.

I feel especially fortunate that my two sons want jobs at their tender ages.

Look at Gideon during his first day on the job!

Here’s Dominic the Cart Wrangler.

Granted, they have my genes. I started working at age 15 and have been employed every day since. Eddie also is a hard worker.

My daily perusal of Reddit indicates that a strong work ethic is in decline.

Anyway, guess where I do all my grocery shopping.


Dominic was horrified when I picked him up yesterday with a car full of groceries from there.

Him: Mama, I ain’t about you disrespecting my employer.*
Me: When Publix stocks the coffee I like and sends me coupons, I’ll shop there.

Meanwhile, his newly employed bagger brother reluctantly went along with his mother, the bad influence. He did at least practice his skills at your competitor and judged the bagger there quite harshly.

If you want the loyalty of all four of us, take a page out of your competitor’s playbook.

For your convenience, here’s a link to my coffee of choice.

I believe you have all my home info. for the coupons.

Warm regards,

* This is apparently how teenagers talk nowadays.

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Dear Jeff Foxworthy:

Congrats on your new show. It sounds like a lowbrow “Antiques Roadshow.”

Dare I say it’s the redneck version.

That tracks. You made your money by calling out the kind.

I have a terminal degree in my field, work in higher education and wear suits/dresses to work (even in the age of COVID-19).

You’d trust me to teach and mentor your college-aged children, right?

But under the collar of my professional lady clothes, my neck is red.


  • I’m barefoot even as I write this. When we lived on a lake in Savannah, I could go days without wearing shoes. I never let myself get Jiffy Feet, though. That’s gross.
  • I sincerely miss the annual Dublin Redneck Games.
  • I like taxidermy. Specifically bad taxidermy. Preferably things I stuff myself.
  • I used to drive a crappy Ford pickup truck. Stick shift. So old the shine was gone from the paint. I recarpeted it myself. Sometimes when Eddie drove it, I’d roll down the window and stick those bare feet out of it.
  • Give me a beer over a cocktail any day.
  • I don’t have anything against boxed wine.
  • My favorite summer outfit features a concert T-shirt and cutoff jeans. (Not Daisy Dukes, though. I have kids.)
  • My idea of fun is tubing down a river.
  • I carry hot sauce in my bag.
  • There’s local moonshine on the liquor shelf.
  • I own overalls.
  • I used to have chickens, all named like pets. (Trish still appears as the header on this blog.)

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Dear Kalen,

Thanks for taking me to “shoot the hooch.” I cannot believe I grew up in Atlanta and never did this before.**

I almost feel like I need to turn in my Southern girl card.

But not quite, as I adapted like a champ.

Ratty visor? Check.
Brewery coozies? Check.
Cooler filled with beer? Check.
Bungee cords to tie our tubes together? Check.
Bikini to get some sun (even though I know better)? Check.

The sun was hot. The beer and the water were cold.

It was a perfect day.

Perfect until I fell in, that is. (No, apparently I CAN’T reach your speaker carabiner.)

So there I was, dangling in the water, contemplating how best to get back in the tube when something touched my leg.


My human brain knew it was just river weed.

My lizard brain lost it.

I started scream laughing. You started scream laughing. At me.

Here’s a dramatic re-enactment of me, slippery from sunscreen and still screeching, trying to get back into the innertube.

In addition to making sure to stay in the tube next time, we also will have to do a better job of tying you to the cooler float so you don’t end up in someone else’s pod, flouting social distancing expectations.

Thanks for the adventure. Let’s do it again soon!

Love and ‘hoochee kisses,

* Thank you, Alan Jackson.

** Edit: A friend reminded me I DID shoot the hooch. In college. While completely trashed. So that doesn’t count, as I don’t remember.

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