Those two chairs that sit on the dock at Tula hold more than weather and cedar needles. The weather goes away and the cedar fallings get wiped off. But they always hold a memory. A memory of mine. Many memories of mine and my children, my brother and his, and my little sister too. I’ve got a brother-n-law and a sister-n-law that can tell you just as many stories as we can. I have best friends and close friends that can match our stories. I have people that I don’t know well tell me about stories of this place. My Mom holds memories from here more than any of us do. It’s easy to make them here and we do. I wish those chairs could talk. I guess they do…
I have finally made my way back around to the dock and I sit down in one of the chairs. I grab a cigarette from my pants pocket and light up the end. I blow smoke out my mouth into the tree tops that rise above my eyes. I lean back in the chair and think of some memories. Memories with vision surround me and I am caught in the moment. The moment of peace and time lost. And the time lost is not a bad thing. It means things slow down here. Things are easy and life is good. Time hasn’t a number here. It never has, nor will it ever be taken.
I haven’t been down here on the dock in awhile. The weather was finally nice enough today to walk around and check on some things. The sun shines through towering white oak trees and kisses the pines. The dock and chairs grabbed my immediate impulse but I checked on a few things before I get to enjoy my final destination. The bullfrogs and crickets have enjoyed this nice weather too. They are loud with excitement. Maybe not excitement but this weather change tend my mind to that believing. Birds are flying above my head and whistling. They glide between tree limbs and land on an edge. They watch for moving bugs skimming across the water or ones that are floating through the soft blue night. The sound has gotten louder with each motion of day turning into night. Cars go by and I can’t hear their tires or motors from the road. I do start hearing the sound of a Diesel engine with mud tires go by. I lift and turn my head to see an old friend drive by. He finally got some work done today from the sunshine we were given. The winter’s weather has turned pastures and ground into muck. It’s made men work harder and some not at all.
I start gathering things to leave and I sit back down. It hasn’t gotten too dark to leave just quite yet. I don’t need a flashlight or my phone to find my truck parked at the top of the drive on the driest spot. I can walk up through the mud and water that make up the driveway later. I wanna sit here a little bit longer and miss out on some time. I wanna see how closer these bullfrogs get to each other and me. I wanna watch the stars float on the water and in the sky. It’s a memory. It’s A Place Called Tula.
Shane Brown is a HottyToddy.com contributor and the son of noted author Larry Brown. Shane is an Oxford native with Yocona and Tula roots. Shane is a graduate of Mississippi State University and works as a salesman for Best Chance. He has two children — Maddux, age 9, and Rilee, age 7 — and makes his home at “A Place Called Tula.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.