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  • Joining The Parade

    It was October. The first Monday. It was damp and cold and my Girl Scout uniform was not nearly warm enough, not even with the matching sweater. My beret was bobby-pinned on or it would have flown off in the wind. Marching bands stood tuning up and tractors sat idling as the crepe paper streamers on the floats they would pull fluttered in the building breeze. Tiny ballerinas shivered even as their mamas shoved their arms into jackets that would cover their pale pink leotards. Politicians poised on the backs of convertibles, floor room shiny and driven by men in white shirts and ties. Horses whinnied with impatience. Marching in the Fair Parade was no small thing in those days and so it didn’t matter that I was freezing, that my eyes were watering. I trembled from both the cold and the anticipation. There was also a little fear that I would falter in the very important task of carrying the flag. There were no flag holsters in those days, so I would have to carry its entire weight – held against my right hip, right hand over left hand on the staff – the entire mile and a half of the parade route. Past the First Baptist Church and the Courthouse and Piggly Wiggly and the library. Past the cheering spectators filling the sidewalks, classmates and family and people who worked in the stores where Mama and I bought shoes and fabric and notions. Past my entire world. And then a man from the Kiwanis Club was waving us out into the street. I lifted the flag, tucked the staff against my side, and joined the parade. The parade ended in what some of us, after all these years, still call the Rose’s parking lot. The floats, engineered by people with no knowledge of engineering, were looking a little ragged. The fake columns leaned precariously and the beauty queens (who had naively used those columns to steady themselves as they bounced down Main Street) tottered dangerously on their high heels as they reached for solid ground. The politicians’ broad smiles had worn off completely and the ballerinas were whining. It is always odd that when I think about the parade (And I have been thinking about it for 50 years.). I don’t remember the parade proper. Except for the vague recollection of my family’s voices calling out to me from somewhere around the old post office, the images that resurface every year about this time are always the before and after. Like those juxtaposed photos in women’s magazines (or, more accurately these days, on social media), there is no record, no evidence of the period in-between, the moments after the before and before the after. It saddens me. But should it? Can a 12-year-old know anything about paying attention to the moment? Can a girl on the edge of adolescence know anything about how quickly time passes, how soon now becomes then? Can I, with all the benefit of what we call experience, predetermine what I will remember? Can any of us? That we remember at all, that somehow our brains enable us to retrieve sights and sounds and smells on demand, as well as to be suddenly attacked by them from behind, is nothing short of a miracle, is nothing less than absolute magic. The parking lot emptied out. My wrists ached from the weight of the flag. When we got home Mama gave me aspirin and put me to bed. Copyright 2021

  • View From A Birthday

    It was pure serendipity. That a meeting would actually be held in person, rather than via ZOOM, was the first indication of magic. That that meeting would be held in Statesboro, just minutes up the road from Sandhill, and that my friend Lea would be one of the attendees was the second. The final sign, the abracadabra-point-the-wand-in-my-direction sign, was that this meeting, this in-person meeting, would be held the week of my birthday. And not just any birthday. The big birthday. The one for which the government sent me, months in advance, that brand new red, white, and blue card that announces to all the world, especially medical personnel everywhere, that I am old. The one for which I would be very grateful to experience some magic. Lea and I have known each other for over twenty years. We’ve known each other long enough that we can invite ourselves to spend the night at each others’ homes. Enough to know that the self-invitation will always be greeted with a “Yes! When will you be here?” And, since between the two of us there have been 40 birthdays, enough to learn the exact kind of celebration that produces wide smiles and deep sighs of gratitude. I could not wait for her to get to Sandhill. She arrived with a smile that lit up the backyard, with a pat on the head for Owen, and with stories, lots of stories. She also brought birthday gifts including a small ivory hand-thrown pottery planter with shallow bumps along the rim that felt like Braille, like words in a language I did not know but wanted – no, not just wanted, but needed – to learn. We went to supper at one of my favorite restaurants – magically open because I thought they were closed on Mondays. We sat outside and let the conversation of the other diners, the clink of silverware, and the sound of the traffic merge into an incantation for peace and well-being. We talked and talked and talked until I understood why we use the phrase “catching up” for describing conversation between people who have not been together in a while, until I knew we were traveling abreast of each other, moving at the same pace and seeing the same things, at least for one night. Back at Sandhill, after we’d walked outside to see where I’d hung her Christmas present from last year, the sign made of driftwood and shells that says Home, and to watch for a few minutes the clouds backlit by the moon, Lea said, “Years ago – I think it must have been for a big birthday. – I texted you to wish you a happy birthday and you responded with, ‘The view from here is beautiful.’ At first, I thought you were talking about the age, the place you were in life. And I thought about what a great thing that was to say, to feel. “And, then, I realized you were talking about where you were physically. That you were standing on a balcony looking out at the ocean and the moon.” We both laughed. I remembered that birthday. Remembered it well. Remembered standing on that balcony alone and watching the moon tremble as though it, too, was afraid of what came next. I would have called the view from where I stood hard. I would have called it disappointing. I would have called it unclear and scary. I would not have called it beautiful. In retrospect, though, I would . And I do. I have lost enough, gained enough, seen enough in the ensuing fifteen years to understand that the view from every birthday is beautiful. That standing on a balcony with the vastest of the ocean at my feet, that waking to sunshine over a field of cotton wet with dew, that simply breathing and walking around is enough. Copyright 2021

  • There IS Crying in Baseball

    It was Monday night. It was the first game of the three game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves had managed to win only one game of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants and had seen their lead in the National League East dwindle to one paltry game. If it wasn't what the manager calls a must-win, it was pretty close. The Diamondbacks led 3-2 going into the top of the 5th inning and, then, as magic tends to happen, the Braves started getting hits. Not just hits, doubles. One right after the other. And then there was a home run that went nearly 500 feet. At the end of the inning the Braves led 9-3. Not much happened over the next three innings and by the top of the ninth, most of the Diamondback fans had departed, leaving only Braves fans, of which there was an unusual number, in the bleachers at Chase Field. The cameraman panned the crowd to land on one of baseball’s archetypal images: a father and son cheering on their team which, in this case, was the Braves. The little boy had a full face, a short haircut, and a body that still bore the softness of childhood. The little boy was standing close to his father and his forearm pumped repetitively even as his face, his tired little face, reflected no animation. He could have been the only one in the stadium doing the tomahawk chop, but it would not have mattered. He was locked in. The camera stalled and stayed on the little boy as Chip Caray noted, “Look at that little fellow. He’s still chopping. Bless his heart.” And with that, I burst into tears. I have found, over the years, that my tears are not always predictable or even appropriate. I have cried on meeting newborn babies for the first time and on viewing television commercials during the Olympic Games. I have shed tears over the deaths of people I loved and of imaginary people in books. I have cried in joy and in anger, in empathy and in frustration, in awe and in exhaustion. But, before now, I have never cried over a little boy doing the tomahawk chop in Phoenix. After catching my breath and wiping my eyes, it felt important to figure out why I’d found myself weeping. I realized, after eliminating fatigue and hunger and loneliness as possible triggers, that I hadn’t been crying for the little boy, but for myself. I have been the fan who stood cheering long after it made any difference at all. I have been the one to refuse to leave early, clinging to the truth that, as Yogi Berra said during the pennant race of 1973, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” I have been the one in the near-empty stadium chopping, chopping, chopping, wedded to the ridiculous idea that my arm would make the difference. It’s funny the power we think we have, the power we long to have. The Braves won by a final score of 11-4. The little boy and his chopping had nothing to do with it, of course, but it kinda felt like he and it did. It kinda felt like he had single-handedly, with his soft little arm, held the Diamondbacks at bay. It kinda felt like I had, with my tears, helped just a little. Bless our hearts. Copyright 2021

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  • The Columns | Kathy A. Bradley | Author and Writer in southeast Georgia | A lawyer by training and a storyteller by nature, Kathy A. Bradley is a writer in southeast Georgia for more than 20 years as a newspaper columnist and magazine contributor.   Kathy is the author of two books, Breathing and Walking Around and Wondering Toward Center. |

    In 1996 -- another century altogether! -- I told what I thought was a clever story to a friend and, in the circuitous way of small towns, that story made it's way to the editor of the local newspaper, who asked me to write it down. I did and he published it. Twenty-four years later I'm still writing stories for that same local newspaper. These are those stories. Website Designed by Beola Le'Shaun Consulting The Columns Kathy A. Bradley Sep 11 The Governor and the Wildflower 75 0 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 28 How To Make A Saint 259 2 11 likes. Post not marked as liked 11 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 14 Compare and Contrast 89 2 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Kathy A. Bradley Jul 31 Geraniums, Baby Wrens, and Human Failure 74 0 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Kathy A. Bradley Jul 17 Prescribed Burn 106 0 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Jul 4 Observation Post 62 0 3 likes. Post not marked as liked 3 Kathy A. Bradley Jun 20 Celebration Season 101 1 4 likes. Post not marked as liked 4 Kathy A. Bradley Jun 5 Teach A Woman To Fish 139 2 8 likes. Post not marked as liked 8 Kathy A. Bradley May 22 For Hydrangeas and Wonder Woman 70 0 4 likes. Post not marked as liked 4 Kathy A. Bradley May 8 Wrens For The Win 78 0 3 likes. Post not marked as liked 3 Kathy A. Bradley Apr 24 Apple Butter and Dixie Cups 113 1 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Apr 10 Freeze And Other Warnings 71 0 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Mar 27 Feeding The Birds 82 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Mar 14 Always Dogs 113 0 11 likes. Post not marked as liked 11 Kathy A. Bradley Feb 27 In the Company of Tire Tracks 76 1 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Feb 14 Lovely As A Tree 110 3 9 likes. Post not marked as liked 9 Kathy A. Bradley Jan 30 Of Pine Trees and Merit Badges 149 0 12 likes. Post not marked as liked 12 Kathy A. Bradley Jan 16 The Union Label 385 1 12 likes. Post not marked as liked 12 Kathy A. Bradley Jan 2 Of Hawks and Border Collies 111 2 14 likes. Post not marked as liked 14 Kathy A. Bradley Dec 19, 2020 I've Got Mail 146 2 10 likes. Post not marked as liked 10 Kathy A. Bradley Dec 5, 2020 Like A River 353 2 21 likes. Post not marked as liked 21 Kathy A. Bradley Nov 21, 2020 Falling Leaves 120 1 13 likes. Post not marked as liked 13 Kathy A. Bradley Nov 8, 2020 Beautyberries and the Sinkhole 136 0 4 likes. Post not marked as liked 4 Kathy A. Bradley Oct 24, 2020 On Being A Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes 100 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Oct 11, 2020 Falling in Love with Butterflies 64 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Sep 26, 2020 I Can Give You The Ocean 135 1 13 likes. Post not marked as liked 13 Kathy A. Bradley Sep 12, 2020 Summertime And The Livin' Is Grievin' 386 0 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 29, 2020 Would You Be My Neighbor? 163 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 16, 2020 Roots and Rainbows 124 0 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 1, 2020 Habitat for All Humanity 57 0 Post not marked as liked Kathy A. Bradley Jul 3, 2020 What Is It About Spider Webs? 7 0 Post not marked as liked - Jun 21, 2020 Mock - Ing - Bird -Yeh! 9 0 Post not marked as liked - Jun 6, 2020 Listen! 9 0 Post not marked as liked - May 23, 2020 The Yin and Yang of Pandemic 10 0 Post not marked as liked - May 9, 2020 Dancing With The Wind 3 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 - Apr 26, 2020 Birds and Turtles 3 0 Post not marked as liked - Apr 11, 2020 Clouds and Sliding Doors 0 0 Post not marked as liked - Mar 28, 2020 Meeting In The Middle 1 0 Post not marked as liked - Mar 15, 2020 Mortar Boards and Floating Names 4 0 Post not marked as liked - Mar 1, 2020 Rain Tales 1 0 Post not marked as liked - Feb 15, 2020 Half Is Enough 0 0 Post not marked as liked - Feb 2, 2020 Not Quite Auld Lang Syne 0 0 Post not marked as liked - Jan 19, 2020 Under Cover of Buzzards 0 0 Post not marked as liked - Dec 21, 2019 Room In The Manger 0 0 Post not marked as liked - Dec 7, 2019 Infamous Hope 3 0 Post not marked as liked - Nov 24, 2019 Bury My Shoes At Wounded Heel 2 0 Post not marked as liked - Nov 13, 2019 Butterflies in November 0 0 Post not marked as liked - Oct 26, 2019 Clinging To The Ivy 1 0 Post not marked as liked - Oct 13, 2019 Feeling Fall 1 0 Post not marked as liked - Sep 29, 2019 Admonition 3 0 Post not marked as liked Archive

  • Sandhill Certified | Kathy A. Bradley | Author and Writer in southeast Georgia | A lawyer by training and a storyteller by nature, Kathy A. Bradley is a writer in southeast Georgia for more than 20 years as a newspaper columnist and magazine contributor.   Kathy is the author of two books, Breathing and Walking Around and Wondering Toward Center. |

    Sandhill is a small house with a big heart. It is a wide porch with lots of rocking chairs. It is deer dancing through the back yard, pausing just long enough to eat the acorns fallen from the sawtooth oaks. It is fields reflecting the seasons and yielding crops. It is home. Sandhill Certified is a place to share the thoughts, habits, writers and artists, and, occasionally, the objects that help me in my efforts to make the world a little more like Sandhill. Kathy A. Bradley Jun 30 150 Is A Random Number 155 2 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Apr 19 Maker of Afghans 87 0 9 likes. Post not marked as liked 9 Kathy A. Bradley Mar 26 I Wisteria You Well 85 0 3 likes. Post not marked as liked 3 Kathy A. Bradley Mar 18 Someone Else's Trust 70 0 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Kathy A. Bradley Mar 12 Department of Corrections 148 0 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Kathy A. Bradley Jan 22 Recognizing Voices 153 0 10 likes. Post not marked as liked 10 Kathy A. Bradley Nov 27, 2020 Happy Congealed Salad Day! 91 1 9 likes. Post not marked as liked 9 Kathy A. Bradley Sep 27, 2020 The Making of Sandhill: Heirlooms 70 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Sep 19, 2020 The Making of Sandhill: New House, Old Mantel 69 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Sep 16, 2020 The Making of Sandhill: Before the Build 52 0 4 likes. Post not marked as liked 4 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 31, 2020 The Making of Sandhill: Answer The Door 68 1 10 likes. Post not marked as liked 10 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 23, 2020 The Making of Sandhill: Coloring My World 69 0 7 likes. Post not marked as liked 7 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 20, 2020 The Making of Sandhill: The Beginning 90 0 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 14, 2020 Hot Sauce, Raisin Bread, and Pimento Cheese 196 0 6 likes. Post not marked as liked 6 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 4, 2020 Pesto Change-O!! 52 0 4 likes. Post not marked as liked 4 Kathy A. Bradley Aug 3, 2020 Catch A Falling Star 34 0 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Kathy A. Bradley Jul 10, 2020 Casting A Shadow 22 0 Post not marked as liked - Jun 9, 2020 My Favorite Poem 27 0 Post not marked as liked

  • Kathy A. Bradley | Southeast Georgia Author | www.KathyABradley.com | A lawyer by training and a storyteller by nature, Kathy A. Bradley is a writer in southeast Georgia for more than 20 years as a newspaper columnist and magazine contributor.   Kathy is the author of two books, Breathing and Walking Around and Wondering Toward Center. |

    Beauty is everywhere. Join Thanks for subscribing, stay tuned! Let's Keep in Touch! ​ Subscribe to our newsletter. Kathy A. Bradley A lawyer by training and a storyteller by nature, Kathy A. Bradley has been writing from her family farm in southeast Georgia for more than 20 years as a newspaper columnist and magazine contributor. Kathy is the author of two books, Breathing and Walking Around and Wondering Toward Center, for which she received Georgia Author of the Year Awards in 2013 and 2017. She has also received the Will D. Campbell Prize for Creative Nonfiction, was a finalist for the Foreward INDIES Book of the Year Award in Essay, and was a nominee for the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA). Meet Kathy Book Kathy Books "Beauty is everywhere. Simple is better. Quiet is a gift. Let’s embrace what we already have, where we already stand, and who we already are.” Website Designed by Beola Le'Shaun Consulting Website Design by Beola Le'Shun Consulting

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