vitamin D for the memory

the sun and the windmill by Seth HainesThe sun makes me happy today. Sometimes, in this stage of motherhood, I feel like one of those deep-cave fish who grew out of their use for eyeballs, just going about my day with much rote, all white, in my fishbowl.

When I was little, in Columbus City, Alabama, which is not a city or even really a town, but rather more like a place you drive through on your way to Scotsboro, we had a scary, old house with a big pitch black empty attic. The bathroom had long ago been built off the side of the back porch, which had been finished as the laundry room, but we never didn’t call it the back porch.If you heard, “Where are Daddy’s boots?” and they happened to be by the dryer, someone else would say, “On the back porch.”

I remember Mama sitting in the outside doorway of the back porch with her feet on the second step down. She was having contractions with my youngest brother, and it was an Alabama sort of September hot, and the sun was so blaring that she glowed and  flashed as she writhed side to side.

There was a front porch, too, and it was huge, and at one point it was screened with a porch swing. At another point, though, I remember my sister falling off (no screen) into all the roses. Our yard was full of old roses of every color that Daddy called wild roses. There was a wall of them by our driveway, too, and bees hummed so loudly there that we could hear them even over all the trucks at the asphalt plant down the road. 

I do not remember a specific rain from childhood, but I have so many memories of the sun: my Mama’s switching hips to lean into her labor, Erin’s terrified face as she was lifted from the thorns, the bees and the air oily with rose as our border collie chased my neighbor away on his bicycle.

I remember the concrete steps cracked and painted brown, where we would lie our backs down and turn up to the glow as the day slipped on and the frogs and cicadas roared in the giant oak. I remember Daddy telling me to close my eyes and listen, and my face would turn hot, and the smell of fields, potatos, and concrete got so inside me that when I miss the sun, I’m missing bitterweed and sweetfeed and that sudden halt when that frog conductor tells them all to hush.


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About me


On a Regular Day: the Terrible and the Fantastic
June 23, 2015
A Community Companion: on learning love
October 27, 2010
Vitamin D for the Memory: a reading
April 13, 2010
April 06, 2010
Perspectives: A Sermon From the Mount, Part 3
March 17, 2010
Perspectives: A Sermon from the Mount, Part 2
March 02, 2010
on the shadow and a confession: a love story
February 03, 2010
on the wild and the house trailer
January 08, 2010
just this day, a Rock Home Companion
November 09, 2009


Reply March 5, 2009

Amber, you just gave my heart a wonderful massage and my eyes stinging tears. You brought me back big time! You remember so much from when we were little. That was a great great time...
I miss you bad.

Reply March 5, 2009

I love how your share your memories ... every single detail. xo

sandy’s last blog post..Secret to Saving your Kid's Memories!

Reply March 5, 2009

Sounds like a trip home to me :)

the domestic fringe
Reply March 5, 2009

Great memories!


the domestic fringe’s last blog post..Feeding Baby

Reply March 5, 2009

annie dillard who?

Reply March 5, 2009

Pocked driveway, open windows, prickly grass on my bare feet, weeping birch and silver maple
scents of rubber - a basket ball, asphalt tiles, sweet, fresh-cut grass, grilling meats

all enjoyed for a fleeting couple of months and then snow, again.

Minnesotamom’s last blog post..Interesting, no?

Reply March 5, 2009

Amber, I'm an Alabama girl, too, and that sun you described is the sun of my childhood memories! Loved your use of "blaring" and the sounds getting inside you...yes!

Julie’s last blog post..New Mother Letter Project!

Reply March 5, 2009

I so understand how you feel. There are times when I go to the grocery store just so I can get outside and feel the cold air fill up my stale lungs. I am so lucky to be able to stay home with my kids, but boy do I miss the outside world!

Desha’s last blog post..Scary.....

Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light
Reply March 5, 2009

Oh my, y'all....she got it JUST RIGHT!!!

I lived that kind of Alabama childhood, too.... This post sang to my soul!

Wanna know something else we have in common, Amber??? I have a sister named Erin, too!

Reply March 7, 2009

Your words are vitamin D to MY soul. Do you get tired of my AmberMantra: YOU make me want to write better, smarter, more lyrically (?).

Not to blow too much air up your Alabama-born skirt, but you're destined...and you're on your way...and I get to be your friend along for the ride. It's so much better with friends.


Alana @ Gray Matters
Reply March 7, 2009

I was born and raised in Alabama, too. I have so many wonderful memories of those simple summer days. I pray for the opportunity for my children to know such simple pleasures.

Alana @ Gray Matters’s last blog post..Checking In

Reply March 8, 2009

you tell the story in a way that makes me feel it.
your memories remind me of my own, and take me to that sweet time of innocence. thank-you!

patty’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

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