Bama, Baby!

Image:  The mall I met in Muscle Shoals, 1990.


I live in small-town Alabama.  Let that sink in; “Slick Vic, the Chicago Chick” has been rooted in Northwest Alabama for over thirty (30) years!  Why?  How?  What?!!

My deceased husband, Bob, was reared in the Shoals, community.  Comprised of four small towns, the Shoals include Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield, where Bob grew up,  When our budding teenage daughter was in the urban distress of Virginia Beach, we initiated a geographical cure to small-town living in Muscle Shoals, the smallest, youngest city of the Shoals.   It worked!  Our daughter and son could relax in the comfort of family unity and relative peace of close-knit friends.

I now live in Florence, the largest of the Shoals cities. My friends and family can not believe I am still here, but beyond the peace of raising our kids in a small town, there are other perks, especially at this age.

I love my hometown Chicago and can’t wait for annual visits and travels to other cities, even abroad.  However, when I come back to my home in Florence, I know I can fill a prescription 10 minutes flat; I personally know my banker, pharmacist, and police chief.  No lines, traffic, or high levels of crime.  For me, it’s just easier…for about three months; after that my stomach starts to grumble and I have to get away and find what I crave – an array of culture.  We have a few galleries and festivals, but I need a bit more to feed my appetite.  I’m not alone.  Many folks from here travel far more than I, and most folks I have attracted from here are like-minded about art, spirituality, and politics.

Yes, I said it.  Not everybody from Alabama voted for Mo Brooks or Tommy Tuberville; there are plenty of folks that want this state to grow in all areas, and they even vote progressively. However, the truth is that as a state, we are at the bottom of the barrel, and it’s up to us to get us out and to move us forward, first in mind, then in action. How?

I am too old to be out there in the streets with my daughter protesting.  They march and I’m ready to crawl.  (A lifetime resident, Glenda Williams, and I were talking. She remembers making a stand at the Colbert County Courthouse.  We both recounted that we had our time during the Civil Rights Movement.)  What I can do is write about what I see and encourage all I know to do what we can.  If we chop the Alabama mountain of fear into molehills, little by little we can move the needle forward.

Old Schoolers protesting the Confederate monument, Florence courthouse. Larry Brown and Yours Truly.. (You notice we are sitting). Photo credit: Fredrick Huntley

Molehills:

  • It takes courage to rage against the backward machine in Alabama.  Let’s help our candidates out.  If he/she believes in a new Alabama, we can do all we can to support the candidate and run our mouths about policies that serve us all. Speak change into existence.
  • If you experience bigotry, say something.  Join Project Say Something and call out the roots of racism right here in the Shoals and nationwide. Call, write and do what you can to contact government officials.  We can’t have our government dog-whistling racist tweets and rallying against the Constitution.  Steve Marshall. John MerrillMo Brooks, Tuberville. 
  • Write and call to pressure Kay Ivey about that bill supporting Confederate monuments. These sordid figures do not represent who we should be..  We don’t have to protest physically; let your voices ring out for justice.
  • Mr. K and I traveled to Tennessee to buy lottery tickets…along with a bazillion other folks from AL.  Call, write, pressure Representatives to come out of the Neanderthal ages. Legalize the lottery.  I mean, it ain’t like we don’t need funding for education; we are dead last in the nation’s ranking.
  • Support events that promote cultures other than your own, and bring someone who hasn’t experienced other cultures with you.  Go to festivals and galleries.
Florence – The WC Handy Birthplace, Museum and Library houses personal memorabilia from WC Handy (who wrote “Memphis Blues” and “Beale Street Blues”) including his trumpet, handwritten music and the piano on which he composed “St. Louis Blues.”
  • Robert Trent Jones golf courses are big in Bama too.  (‘Better call Chicago golfer, Tyrone Banks).
RTJattheshoals
  • Social media is a strong collaborator.  Post your views and visions for Alabama on your page.  #forward #2021
The CORE Drummers at the Project Say Something Juneteenth Celebration

I don’t envision Alabama tossing out its charm, (Mr. K is from here too), but I want us to come into this century with ideals that are inclusive and receptive to change.  I ain’t walking or running, but I’m writing and talking change for where my feet are planted – the red clay of Alabama.  What?!


Joy Juice

There isn’t a day that goes by without someone exclaiming, “Thank God, I woke up this morning!.”  I’m screamin’ the same thing.  I am also screamin’ that I want to leave a legacy of expansion and growth in this place where  I am living my senior years.  Do it for your grands.  Wherever we live, we are blessed to be able to do what we can to make a change.  Remember, to move a mountain, moving every molehill counts.

“It’s all good/God/love” – Victorine

© 2021 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


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 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.


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Pearls

 

Photo by Anna Stampfli on Unsplash

I am a fan of the fabulous Facebook group, Wear Pearls on January 20, 2021.   ‘Never heard of it?  It only has 410K members, and it’s growing.  (Y’all know that after this post, you have to check it out).  This group has the direct mission of supporting our Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, the pearl-wearing, fierce AKA and HBCU graduate; the former prosecutor and Senator that slam-dunked her office as second-in-command of the USA.  The group page has countless women, children, all colors, and creations sporting their pearls they intend to wear on Inauguration Day.  What?! 

One of the oldest gemstones, Pearls have always been a delicacy that decorated our dress code to affirm class in a traditional sense. So there’s this.  However, Vice President Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first African American Sorority, and its founders are referred to as the 20 pearls.  Wearing pearls signifies that Vice President Harris knows who she is; she is intuitively and literally bringing her pearls of wisdom to the White House.  I wonder does she know that pearls carry even more significance?

Pearls have a spiritual connotation that symbolizes a calling of the new dawn for our country:

The pearl is a symbol of perfection and incorruptibility; it is a symbol of long life and fertility, and because of its luster it is often considered a MOON symbol. Buried within the OYSTER shell, the pearl represents hidden knowledge, and it is highly feminine.” sparknotes

Pearls represent the gift we have long-awaited, an opportunity to fall away from the wretchedness of our past to birth a country accountable to all it serves.  Women have significant intuition; we nourish, sustain, and we know.  We have been “buried within the oyster,” learning, growing, but we are the treasure we have been waiting for.  Yet, there is another layer.

Vice President Harris represents the Black pearl.  Always significant,  the color black represents love In the midst of the new administration wrangling out the challenges, made processes, ready to transform, love is personified.  If we have the opportunity to start with love, we are destined for limitless potential.  This symbol, the pearl,  is for all of us to remember who and what we are as individuals and as a nation. 

So why did I give the pearls my deceased husband gave me to my daughter, Camille?  I guess I knew/know her destiny. (She is also an AKA).   It’s OK though; I have my mother’s fresh-water pearls, symbolizing faith, truth, and integrity. I’m non-phi-non, but I’m just as fierce.  What?!

I hope you have your pearls and wear them on January 20th, even if you are in your PJs. In this representation of a new reality, pearls are not gender-specific. Remember, no limitations.  They mirror a new day

Congratulations, Vice President Kamala Harris and the USA.

© 2021 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.


Joy Juice

Take a holy breath, I think we are on our way.  Wearing pearls, we affirm Mother God is working.  This symbolic gesture can serve as a reminder of the true treasure we possess within each of us, accessible through the One, the ability to love.

“.6who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it,” Matthew 13:46

Buddhist tradition “Śarīra is a generic term referring to Buddhist relics, although in common usage it usually refers to pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects that are purportedly found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters. … Sarira are also believed to ward off evil in the Himalayan Buddhist tradition.”

Pearls carry a significant tradition throughout the continent of Africa.  Origin and History of Pearls in Africa

It’s all good/God/Love – Victorine


Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!


Scroll down for news about Patreon.

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.


NEWS FLASH!!

We appreciate you reading, laughing/crying with us.  If you enjoy the content and wish to support us, please become a member of PATREON.   It’s a way to receive benefits from Garden Spices Magazine and from Spicy

 

For Rosa

Her spirit has no frame.

Her smile

     opened her home, with her Sam,

     to family and friends, made family.

Her generosity

     packed Beautiful Sisters into her suitcase

     to travel far-off places

     and kept us safe through looming hurricanes.

Her joy

     always vibrant and willing,

     danced “my jam!” and knew “how low (she) could go”

Her reverence

     opened hearts with her prayers

     affirming God’s work within her blessings.

Her spirit has no frame.

It/she remains with us

     overflowing,

     through love,

     with our gratitude.

Rosa.

1/15/2021

Love,  “Sister,” Vicki


 

Rosa and her Sam
Cherished memory with Rosa Roberts (sitting) and Indria Perilloux in my home.



	

Wait…

I have never been much for waiting.  I used to feel that some folks did/could not value time, that they would go into the crevices of their psyche and conspire to make me cringe. These days in this season, I can’t afford my previous behavior while waiting. When someone is late, I no longer pace the floor or scratch a blackboard.  I no longer stand in front of the bathroom and loudly sing because it TaKEs FOreVER FoR SOmeONE To GrOOm AND GO!  No, I don’t; ‘can’t have my ‘pressure go up.  Instead, I just pick up my phone and browse all the mellie (“juicy news” in Caribbean jargon) on social media.  What?!

Awaiting a person is one thing, but let’s look at America waiting for Amerikkka to grow up and stop acting a fool. Since the inception of this country, we have been waiting.  In 2021, this baby is still a toddler with tantrums, storming the Capitol of these United States.  Why?  Just ’cause Black folks voted and their votes counted?  Child, please!

Black Lives Matter, GW Harper

We have serious growing pains.  If you didn’t know, now you understand what privilege looks like.  Riled up and supported by Baby T and his gang, big bawling terrorists climb, crawl, and walk loud and proud up in the Big House, defying, killing the law, defecating on the Capitol floor, and sitting on the desk of the Madame Pelosi.  Officer Eugene Goodman had to step up to stop Amerikkka from entering the House Chambers.

Except for several, the terrorists are alive, and unlike protesters for racial justice, no spankings,: not many are jailed.  One big baby with face paint is eating organic food in jail. Baby musn’t go hungry.  As grown folks, we have the charge to punish the petulant demagogues and anarchists.  Expel Amerikkka.  America is not its playpen. 

The adage goes that if enough time passes, good things will come.  But we don’t wait for our children to become adults; we groom them to be mindful, and if they act out, they are reprimandedAmerikkka will never learn unless we recognize and handle it now, take action now. We have been waiting too long for this shift to occur.

While we know waiting requires patience,  whatever we do, we don’t pray for it.  We will be tested over and over.  God be like, “Y’all got it?…do y’all need some more practice waiting?”  We don’t.  We’re done!

Flag roots by Ronnie Phillips

Featured photo: leeann-cline-@-unsplash


Joy Juice

We learned our lesson on waiting.  Everything is coming up that needs to come out.  Time to release this craziness to make way for the new dawn, America, not Amerikkka.

For years now, I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Dr. Martin Luther King  (Happy Birthday)

It’s all good/God/love – Victorine

© 2021 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.

Please Subscribe and Follow my blog!


Scroll down for news about Patreon.

 Victorine, Bio

Author of  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.

“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”

Don’t forget to check out Garden Spices Magazine, Celebrating our differences.


NEWS FLASH!!

We appreciate you reading, laughing/crying with us.  If you enjoy the content and wish to support us, please become a member of PATREON.   It’s a way to receive benefits from Garden Spices Magazine and from Spicy…