Sunday, April 6, 2008


It's starting to feel a bit like spring here...hopefully we're just a month or so away from front porch sittin' & rockin' and singin'. Play some Patsy Cline, keep the sweet tea cold and the citronella candles lit and I'm a happy girl on my porch!

I haven't a clue when this photograph was taken (update--Mama tells me it was the early 60's, so thanks for clearing that one up!), but seeing it makes me want to be right there with them. My maternal grandmother, Ada Flora Jones Raley (simply "Mamaw" to me) is in the red dress. Mama looks just like her. To her left is my Great Aunt Lois, who died not long after I was born. Next to Aunt Lois is her brother, my grandfather, L. Levoid Raley, or "Papaw," as I called him until he died almost 13 years ago. Caroline and I got our wonky ears from him!

There was nothing like enjoying the world from Papaw & Mamaw's front porch. See that swing in the background? It fell once...with me on it. (And at that time I probably weighed around 100 pounds, so no fat jokes, please!) I was OK, and the swing recovered well enough to be moved out to my "aunt who's not my aunt" Pat Smith's house , where we can enjoy it again when visiting Meridian, Mississippi.

I love this picture...I love that my mother's parents and aunt are clearly represented. I love the awesome chairs and glider they are perched on. (So vintage in this day and age!) I love that Mamaw is dressed to the nines for whatever reason, while Papaw's chillin' in his shorts and gym socks. Knowing him, he most likely had the radio tuned to WTOK for the latest gossip, news, and the daily reading of the obituaries, which he never missed. And I'm convinced that either right before or right after this photo was snapped, both Mamaw and Aunt Lois probably had a big ol' bowl of peas or beans that they were shelling. To this day I love to shell beans...must be a genetic trait bequeathed from generations of Jones/Raley women. And come's sooooooooo southern.

Yes, can start making your daily appearances...dry out all this rain we've been having...burn a little brighter, a little warmer. Because I am ready for some porch time with my family. And while I wish these three folks pictured here could rock away with me, I have memories to do me just fine...and I have my own little family to keep me company now. Whew, God. You are good!


Kelly said...

i loved shelling peas on the porch with mame. we'd go up to the farmer's market early saturday morning and come back with a frighteningly large paper bag of crowder peas. then we'd shell 'em. so maybe i didn't know i loved it at the time, but now i miss it!

Kaley said...

love this blog, leigh anne. makes me wanna go through old pictures. oh...and swing on my front porch while drinking sweet tea and listening to patsy cline. =)

Sarah Pomerleau said...

Love this post...heritage is great! I, like Kaley, am ready to sit on the porch and think of the good ol' days. It also inspires me to make sure that my life is of such that my kids and grandkids (should the Lord tarry) have memories to look back on and smile about.

Brantley Whitley said...

Great blog!!! All those things you talk about paint some vivid pictures in my mind and bring back great memories for me. I'm plantin' some peas in the garden this weekend, so next time y'all come down this way maybe we can sit on the porch and do some shellin' while the chillen' play in the sprinkler. Ain't the Lord good to us!!!

Pinky Roth said...

Leigh, this was in the early 60s I believe. Your blog entry brought tears to my eyes as I remember all the good ole days w/my mom, dad, and Aunt Lois. I had forgotten about you falling in that swing! Sweet memories for sure...keep 'em coming. Love these stories.