On Elvis, Alabama, and Coupons
I drive to Walgreens in a downpour and listen to Elvis, who makes me cry and smile all at once. An old man looks over at me from our stoplight, and he wonders what hip minivan music moves me so. He never would guess Elvis, who reminds me of August.
August is the month I was born and the month this baby inside will be born. August reminds me of Mama Lois, my great-grandmother next door. She had a record player as big as a buffet and record after record of Elvis. She danced like Daisy Duck and had visited Hawaii once. She left the day Elvis got there, so close. He died in August. She always mentioned it.
I go to Walgreen’s because I love a deal, and I’ve taken to liking Extreme Couponing, because of people like my sister-in-law. Only three more months till the baby’s due date, and I drive to save, and I think of Elvis at Mama Lois’s, how my sister and I wore her clip-on earrings and ate our weight in Starbursts, how she saved our Summers, was the spice and the Dr.Pepper.
I never imagined minivan, a notebook full of coupons, Elvis, and the nearness of my 4th son. I never knew how fondly I would remember the childhood I wished away.
I never would have imagined hurting so badly for home during times of trouble either, especially this time while the tornadoes ripped through Alabama, using hundred year oaks to bowl down houses in the historic district.
Many still don’t have electricity. Their sink-water trickles brown. They further learn to love the grill, to stockpile more for next time, and to bid farewell to the deer meat in the freezer. Some have started the slow soak in grief.
My beautiful sister-in-law is a servant-hearted genius and started Couponing for a Cause where she’s asking for donations and your Sunday Paper Coupon Inserts, printable coupons, and any other coupons you find.
She and her home church in Owens Cross Roads are collecting to help the needy surrounding areas in Alabama, to distribute food and supplies. They met in the dark of a Fellowship hall to take communion yesterday morning, their hearts filled with gratitude among the living. You can’t serve from a better place than that.
My sister, Shannon, wrote on the facebook page: “There is no need to clip your coupons! Simply grab a few newspapers and stick the inserts in the mail to P.O. Box 217, Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763.”
That’s all we have to do!
Thanks for serving the people and the place that fills my heart with such Southern memories. Maybe by August, life will be filled with different meaning there: hope, good food, and newly planted trees – grandmothers and granddaughters pulling out the music that makes them smile.