I’m Fixin’ to Get That

Written By: Kim - Sep• 24•11

It’s amazing how quickly we slip in to our accent and vernacular. I was watching the University of Alabama game against the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. I was multitasking in the kitchen making a pear cake and dinner, when I slipped in to my southern roots. When I said, “I’m fixin’ to get that,” my children did a double take. They had never heard me talk like that. When my husband met me 21 years ago, I had only lived in Maryland for six months. I still had a slight southern accent that most people picked up on quickly. For my friends who have never visited or lived in the south, we call it southern.

I was a military brat who grew up in Georgia and Alabama. My Dad kept getting reassigned to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, so I consider Alabama “where I come from.” I finished high school there in a small town and graduated from college. It was a fabulous experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But as a publishing professional for two decades, my speaking and writing has changed drastically since growing up in Alabama. Ain’t is no longer in my vocabulary. Nothing ends in “in'” it’s “ing.” My family doesn’t “git” anything.

I  haven’t visited Alabama since 1993. My Mom had a stroke and I flew home. My parents moved to South Carolina about two years later. I have not ventured back for any Enterprise High School class reunions. How could I so quickly launch in to speaking southern?

What made me slip in to my vernacular? A Crimson Tide football game and Facebook posts with former classmates who completely understand what football means. In the south, football is king. There are no other sports. Sure, we have other sports, but none are really as important. In the late summer and early fall, it’s all about football and marching bands, whether it’s high school or college. We eat, sleep and breathe it and our party lines are drawn: You’re either rooting for our team or you’re not. You’re either wearing our team colors or you’re an outlaw — at least during the game.

I was rather late to the Facebook game. I was active with Twitter and LinkedIn. I didn’t need Facebook. But since I joined this summer, I have reconnected with high school friends. It’s almost like we all haven’t been separated for over two decades. We all have kids; some of which are engaged or getting married. Some of us have lost a parent. We’re all working or own businesses and trying to enjoy our lives. I sincerely hope that we are living some part of our dream, if not all of it.

We all seem to be enjoying ourselves.

And, we all love our football.

Go Wildcats!

Roll Tide Roll!

I Am Turning into My Mother

Written By: Kim - Feb• 27•11

Recent events have made me realize that I am slowly becoming my mother. When exactly do women start to turn into dear old Mom?

For me, it really started when my children were younger. Things like, “Because I said so” started coming out of my mouth. Nagging them to buckle up before I left the driveway. And, no, I have never used my spit to comb my kid’s hair. That’s just too gross. Drilled in to my head were other Momisms like, “Never judge people by what they wear. The richest man in town is a peanut farmer who wears overalls and a straw hat.” “Always have your own credit card when you are married.” “When cooking, you can always add but you can’t subtract.” (Which means, add a little at a time). “The man you are in love with at 18 is not necessarily the man you are in love with at 28.” The list goes on and on.

But morphing into Mom became even more prevalent recently when I started critiquing the way the clerks at a local super store bagged my groceries. Honestly, who puts eggs on the bottom of a bag, even if you are putting the bread on top?

L-R: Emory Wickline (Dad); Carolyn Sheets (cousin); Nellie Wickline) grandma; and Marie Wickline (Mom) after my Dad's re-up in 1981.

I grew up on a military base, Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and the commissary was our main source of groceries. The commissary had grocery baggers who also took your brown paper bag purchases directly to your car. Apparently, this service still exists today in spite of all the self-service forms of purchasing that we have today.

Mom would always look for Mr. Bryant to bag her groceries. It did not matter who was at the end of the check out lane, she waved to him and he always came over. Oh, the dirty looks we received over the years from the baggers who showed up to our lane only to be turned away by my Mom. These guys and gals were working for tips, too. It embarrassed me to no end.

But Mom taught me a valuable lesson: You are the customer and you have a right to expect excellent customer service. Mr. Bryant provided excellent customer service. He knew exactly how to pack a bag of groceries: cold stuff together, heavy stuff on the bottom, don’t make the bags too heavy, and make quick witted conversation to the car. He was a dream.

My Mom had a high school education but could carry on a conversation with the most educated person in the room. She raised five children on a US Army enlisted man’s salary. Mom was never impressed with titles or labels. She could spot a phony a mile away — a trait she passed on to me. She believed in God, country and family. She loved to read and laugh.

I guess turning in to Mom really isnt that bad.