Paige’s Plantation, Part Two

Paige’s Plantation, Part Two

by Jacqueline Patterson @jacpatterson

Paige's Plantation

Paige’s Plantation

Haven’t y’all been holding your sweet breath to find out how Paige’s plantation adventure ends? I know I have. Okay, not really, because I read it a month ago ~ the perks of being the editor and post curator. But you haven’t.

And it just wouldn’t be right for me to keep you waiting any longer. So here you are, alligators and all.

~ ~ ~

Rhene grabbed my arm, whispered, and pointed. “Look. See it? Out on that little island?”


My leg was about to be claimed.

“Where?” My gaze dropped to a gator hole on the bank, checking frantically. Rhene’s hold tightened on my arm until I was forced to look up, following her gaze until I saw it, almost hidden in the high grass of the island.

Paige's Plantation - Hidden Alligator

Paige’s Plantation – Hidden Alligator

The baby alligator turned its head toward us for an instant before returning to sunning himself on the bank, completely unconcerned about our presence.

A baby gator. I stared at its tiny scale-tipped body and enormous eyes and the sudden swell of emotion inside me was frightening.

Because I. Wanted. That. Gator.

Paige's Plantation- Baby Alligator

Paige’s Plantation- Baby Alligator

“Whoa.” Rhene released my arm and pulled out her phone. She snapped several pictures in quick succession. “You don’t see the babies very often. Everything wants to eat them.”

Apparently the old gators are tasty only when fried like chicken. I wasn’t about to find out.

Rhene zoomed in through the grass in an effort to get a clear shot on the baby’s level. “Ha. Looks like we’re being watched.” I turned in the direction she was pointing, just in time to see a full-sized gator sinking below the surface until his eyes looked like bubbles floating in the water. Obviously he could smell the deep fryer heating up.

“See what I mean?” She said. “The old ones are cowards.”

The adult gator’s eyes completely disappeared under the water. The baby remained where it was, tilted between the shallow water and the grass like a discarded toy.

I swear it wanted to come home with me.

“It’s illegal, but some people keep the babies as pets,” Rhene confided. “They grow —or don’t grow— according to their environment. Keep them in a cage, and they will remain the size they are now, stunted even though they’ve reached adulthood.”

OK, so keeping one was completely out of the question. But I still found myself looking back as we left the marsh.

Paige's Plantation - Alligator on the Ceiling

Paige’s Plantation – Alligator on the Ceiling

Twilight found us on the porch of the overseer’s cabin, the wind setting heavy branches creaking above the roof. In the distance three bald eagles circled above an enormous nest in a nearby pine, their wings ghostly in the dimming light. Always flying, but never landing.

In my heart, I too was flying the skies.

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear . . . :Paige’s Plantation, Part Two

Paige's Plantation - Marsh Birds

Paige’s Plantation – Marsh Birds

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!




by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68

I really, really want to dance in a fountain with my girls. Y’all know what I’m talking about: The opening credits to that wonderful, iconic TV show FRIENDS. Three guys, three girls. Dancing, playing, having fun.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Dance in the Fountain

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Dance in the Fountain

Some weeks ago I was enjoying conversation with my Mississippi bestie, whom we’ll call SuperGirl, and my Georgia bestie, whom we’ll call Paige. Yes, that Paige, of Paige’s Plantation Part One.

In the course of conversation, guided heavily by our love for all things coincidental and identifiable, I happened to mention my current binging of FRIENDS on Netflix. In particular, after choosing to #EmbraceTheCrazy, I celebrate my affinity for Phoebe and her near-Bohemian/Gypsy character. Okay, maybe those aren’t exactly demonstrative of her character. But, you know. Whatever.

So, we haven’t known each other as long as, uhm, they have. You know, the original FRIENDS. But we do know each other as well, and that’s gotta count for something, right?

So here’s the fun part. This year at Blue Ridge is the first time we will all three be together. #truestory! SuperGirl and I met two years ago before Paige attended. Paige and I met last year when SuperGirl couldn’t attend. And this year, hello! The cosmos smiled and here we are. All three. Together. Smashing, isn’t it?!

It’s been a little unsettling for some of us who are the introverts of the group (I won’t say who, but, uhm, not me), who are nervous about meeting the other one they haven’t met. Oops. Did I just give it away? My bad.

So, anyway. In less than a week we’re hanging at Blue Ridge, learning to be better writers, and we even have our daily coffee hang out: Clouds! How perfect is this ~ our own version of Central Perk!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : FRIENDS and coffee.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : FRIENDS and coffee.

But back to the dancing thing, because this is about all of us, not just me. We also have a motto. Or is it a mantra? Whatever. It’s in three parts. Which is kinda neat, cuz there’s three of us. So, it’s Deal with it. Let it go. Dance it out. I bet you can’t guess which part is mine.

Oh, and you want to hear the best part? They totally identify with Monica and Rachel, too! SuperGirl thought she could hide it, but please. Everyone knows she’s a neat freak and loves to cook. She’s so obviously Monica. And Paige? Paige is the one getting ready for a major life move. She’s so Rachel. Could I be any more right?

And me? Well, I’m still Phoebe. In fact, I’m now Penny-Lily-Scarlett-Phoebe. I’m pretty sure you can figure out the Penny and Scarlett, but Lily will have to wait for another time.

Call me any of the above. I’ll answer. Just don’t call me Smelly Cat.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : New FRIENDS

Frankly, My Dear . . . : New FRIENDS

So, okay. Now it’s your turn: Which FRIENDS character are you most like?

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear . . . : FRIENDS.

With an intimate group and a great coffee hang out,
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!