Way Down Yonder

In a couple of days we’re heading for Mississippi, land of cotton, home of the blues, and a history so rich in all things southern – some good, some bad – that all it takes is a day or two of being there, and you might just develop a southern drawl.

My in laws have a place in Holly Springs I love just like home.  If the weather cooperates (iffy in February) we’ll sit out on their back deck and wait for the deer to come eat the corn they scatter just for them, and we’re likely to see turkeys too.  Once the sun sets, it gets dark – yeah I know common sense – but I mean really dark.  Looking up is a whole other experience, and it can take your breath away if you’re not used to seeing the stars like this – i.e. not dulled by city lights.  The clarity is jaw dropping.

If I stay outside long enough I’m likely to hear coyote in the bottom.  If you’ve never experienced this before, it’s an eerie sound, a lonesome mournful howling started by one, and picked up and carried on by the rest of the pack.  When they get going, I can only imagine how many must be down there, and it makes me glad I’m cozy close to the house, as in only a few feet away from a door.

What a city slicker.

Of course the main point of this particular trip is to promote THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, and I’ve been fortunate to have two other events crop up, which means I can make the most of my time there.  It’s truly like a working vacation.

The first event is when I’ll visit The Southern Eatery in downtown Holly Springs to do an interview with the Daily Mississipian.

The Southern Eatery, it’s one of these store fronts.

Then, on Tuesday, it’s time for the event that’s been planned for months, a book reading/signing at Off Square Books in Oxford.  Be still my heart!

The collection of book stores in Oxford, Square Books, Off Square Books (for events) and Square Books, Jr.

And then, on Wednesday, I’ll be heading up to Memphis to the Benjamin Hooks Library, where I’ll do an interview for “Book Talk” on WYPL, 89.3 radio.

Benjamin Hooks Library

In between all that?  Oh, there’s bound to be a couple trips to eat a boatload of catfish, maybe up to Byhalia, or Laws Hill.  (this is a must, really)  And, I’ll want to eat a hamburger from the infamous Phillip’s Grocery.  (yes, it’s all about the eating)

Phillips Grocery. This place started off as a saloon in the late 1800’s. There might have been some other illicit activities going on upstairs too.

Hey, the place ain’t much to look at, but just like an ugly tomato – which we all know tastes the best – they have these hand patted hamburgers with a secret ingredient they WILL NOT give up that makes them uniquely a Phillips burger.  Yum.

I’ll need recovery time, and if my brain isn’t too addled from all that goodness, I’ll write. And I’ll run Old Route 4 (to work off the food so I can eat more.  Let’s be honest, it’s the REAL reason I run) and I’ll want to take several walks down to the bottom IN THE DAYLIGHT, and perhaps sit on that little hill that overlooks my father in law’s land.  It’s peaceful there and so quiet all you hear is the wind and an occasional bird.  And, hopefully nothing else.  (good to know coyote and wild pig are nocturnal.) I’ll take a pen and notepad in case I catch a thought for the WIP.

Honestly, what better place could I spend some time reflecting on writing than in the homeland of Faulkner, Welty, Brown, Iles, Foote, Trethewey, and too many more to name?

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COMMENTS

  • Beulah Pope

    February 15, 2017

    Reply

    Trip sounds interesting & fun. Enjoy ,be safe, hurry home.

    • donnaeve

      February 15, 2017

      Reply

      It always is, Beulah! Thanks, and I’ll be back before you know it. 🙂

  • lilacshoshanwp

    February 15, 2017

    Reply

    What a wonderful trip you are going to have, Donna! Have fun and tell us everything about it. <3 <3 <3
    P.S. If I ever develop a southern drawl, it will be very funny with my accent…haha.

    • donnaeve

      February 15, 2017

      Reply

      I’m looking forward to it, Lilac, although there’s so much going on at the moment, it’s really bad timing! Either way, I’ll do a rundown on it after I’m back – especially about Square Books event!

      And yes, it would sound quite unique! 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  • John Davis Frain

    February 15, 2017

    Reply

    Okay, I’m hungry now. And only a couple cough drops to eat. Gotta do something about that.

    What a cool trip, and how sweet is it that you’ve been able to add a couple stops to an already schedule journey! I hope you take a moment every once in a while and realize how cool your life sounds right now. Keep going! (But pause every so often.)

    • Donna Everhart

      February 15, 2017

      Reply

      We’re crossing internet paths, commenting on each other’s sites. How funny!

      Yeah, you definitely gotta get something more than a cough drop to eat – yuck! Either way, yes, it will be a cool trip – hopefully cool as in NOT cold. Brrrr. MS can get pretty frosty. I am pausing – a lot actually. It’s rather surreal, still, for me. My arms have finally recovered from all those little pinch bruises – but when I get to Square Books??? You can bet I’m gonna be sporting some new ones. 😉

  • Craig

    February 16, 2017

    Reply

    But Oxford is damn near in Tennessee. They do single the blues there but it tends to be with that high, lonesome sound of the hills. Not the Delta growl.

    It still sounds like fun, kind of like a Road Trip. Enjoy yourself and be careful, Mississippi can blindside you. It can be beautiful and bucolic and it is suddenly in your blood.

    Don’t forget the new camera. The good thing with digital is that you can take a picture, adjust, snap, repeat and eventually figure it out with spending all that money for film and developing. Don’t get wild yet, just dial in the basic things you want from the camera. Then you can experiment with all of the other bells and whistles.

    I’ve had a Canon DSLR for about five years and it can still do things that I don’t know how to.

    • Craig

      February 16, 2017

      Reply

      I was also going to say something about a city slicker I once met from Dunn, N.C. but it is kind of crude.

    • Donna Everhart

      February 16, 2017

      Reply

      Yes, all my travels will be in the upper part of the state, and very close to Tennessee. That said, the blues spreads throughout the state like mayonnaise on a sandwich.

      It will be fun, and I’ve been to MS many times and know you’re right about it getting into the blood. I love it there, although, as is expected, my NC roots run deeper.

      The camera is coming and I’ve only learned how to do the basics, point, zoom, click. Yay! I haven’t had time to watch the video that came with it, but like my hubby’s new truck, the darn thing is probably smarter than humankind.

      I don’t even want to know about the city slicker. LOL!

  • John Davis Frain

    February 22, 2017

    Reply

    Hope you’re making waves on your trip down the mighty MIssissipp! You catch what I did there? Of course you did. You’re a writer, which makes you a reader.

    Anyway, I hope you’re having a blast because if we commoners are gonna be jealous, you might as well be living a life that supports our jealousy! Go get ’em, Tiger!

    • donnaeve

      February 23, 2017

      Reply

      Aaaah, you’re so funny! Big wheels keep on turnin’… anywho – it has been GREAT. All events are done now and i”m on a downhill slide towards heading home. Today is my first real downtime sort of day – nothing to do, per se, and the weather here is going to be stupendous. Upper 70’s and sunny.

      I hope to do a run-down on the events after I can get back home and get my pics downloaded. I can’t believe it’s already over with!


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