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Georgia Green Stamper – Georgia On Her Mind

  • Johnny may still be there with berries and chiggers

    I used to think that grass chiggers stalked everyone’s childhood, but to my amazement, I’ve run into people from other parts of the country who don’t know about them. By rights, the chigger should be our official state insect — if we must have one. After all, the epicenter of the parasite’s international breeding grounds lies in Kentucky, possibly on our Owen County farm. But no, Kentucky bestows that dubious honor to the Viceroy butterfly, an elegant bug, I admit, but why should personality and good looks dominate every election?

  • At the intersection of life and death

    The summer I was 10, “Death” showed up uninvited at our front door and refused to leave. It wasn’t that I had not been introduced to him before. Growing up on a farm, I learned what buzzards circling in the sky meant almost before I could talk. Something was always dying, a groundhog or wild rabbit, or a ewe leaving an orphaned lamb for me to raise as a pet on a bottle. And per custom of the time and place, I tagged along with my parents wherever they went, attending more funerals in my first decade than most people do in a lifetime.

  • Georgia on her mind: Fortunately, I didn’t raise any sociopaths

    After reading a parenting expert’s column in the newspaper that makes it sound so easy, followed by phone calls from my daughters who make it sound so hard, I realized, in retrospect, that I was a mess of a mother. I plucked tacky plastic Halloween costumes off the rack at Kmart for my children. Fed them un-organic anything. Dressed them in environmentally destructive polyester because it didn’t need ironing – well, it’s a miracle my kids didn’t turn out to be sociopaths.

  • The 'badder' get left behind

    If Christians were raptured up to Heaven last Saturday as that fellow in California predicted, I didn’t know anybody good enough to make the cut.  Since I hang out with a lot of church-going folk most every Sunday, that’s a disconcerting thought.

  • Chandler’s poetry shines a light

    Ernie and I will soon be married 44 years, and until last week I’d never seen him read a book of poetry. But I’d carefully placed Sherry Chandler’s “Weaving a New Eden” on the table by his TV chair so that he could at least glance at it to say he had.
    Sherry has been our chum since school days at Owen County High, and I thought he was obliged to flip through it. He’d also helped her a little with some genealogy research a few years ago, and I thought he might enjoy seeing what she’d done with her Roots-Web digging.

  • The long Georgia line continues

    Boing.
    Boing.
    Boing.
    “What’s that sound?” Ernie bolted up in bed and fumbled for the alarm clock.
    “What time is it?” I mumbled, trying to figure out where I was. I was pretty sure I wasn’t home. Maybe in a hotel room?
    Oh no, could it be a tornado warning? Somewhere, against windows or maybe the roof, I could hear rain falling in torrents.

  • ‘Let me live long enough get bored’

    I haven’t seen her in 30 years. I doubt she’s still alive. Yet a month never passes that I don’t think about Mattie.
    We met at a Weight Watchers class in Ashland, Ky. I’d recently lost 40 post-pregnancy pounds, and fearful I’d backslide, I stepped forward to become a Weight Watchers lecturer. With the fervor of the newly converted, I set out on an evangelical mission to save northeastern Kentucky and nearby West Virginia from the demons of obesity.

  • Georgia: On her mind

    It was the week after Christmas, not the night before, and I was the mother of grown children, not a child. Still, I lay awake in the second floor bedroom of my childhood home listening to the noises an old house will make in the dark. My father had died earlier in the day. Yet I heard his hand on the back-porch door, his footstep on the basement stairs, his movement in the kitchen. Rain gusted against the dormer windows and sleep would not come. Ghosts live only in stories I told myself.

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