Yesterday my first cousin got married in my home town.  We really wanted to go but, well, it’s 900 miles away.  Sometimes I don’t mind that distance; sometimes I do.

You hear stories about small towns and how, “everyone knows everyone” but you rarely see real examples of that.  Sometimes, after you’ve been away for a while you even forget.

I was frustrated with not getting to go to the wedding and at the last minute decided to send flowers so I called up the local flower shop and the conversation went something like this:

"Hi, this is jinksto; my first cousin is getting married tonight and I’d like to send flowers.”

“Sure!  Do you want to send them to the house or to the wedding?”

“Well, I’m not sure.  I know that she’s getting dressed at my aunt’s house so…”

“Yeah, but she’s sort of missing right now.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Jill.  She’s missing.  We are supposed to go try to ninja some Bridal bridal wreath spiraeaWreath for the wedding but I can’t find her!”

Now, realize that this is almost an exact transcript.  I hadn’t told her WHO was getting married.  Just that it was my first cousin and I forget that it’s a small town so I said, “Jill?  You know her?”

“Of course I know her!  Jinksto, this is Nisha… Jill is my *BEST* friend.  I’m going to the wedding anyway!”

Right… ok.  I’ve met Nisha a few times.  She’s one of those people that you know because of a connection to the family but you really only get to see at funerals and weddings. Or, at least, “I” only get to see her then… others, see her more often I hope. Smile

“So where do you want them to go?”

“I have no idea. Maybe the wedding?”

“I’ll just call Ms Jessica [My aunt; Jill’s mom] and find out where she wants them to go.  How’s that?”

“Umm… Great!”

“Ok, what do you want to send?”

“I don’t know.  I‘d like for them to match her other flowers so if you could do that. It would be great?”

“I’ll think of something.  What do you want to spend”

So I give her a budget and a credit card number and we hang up.  I know that Nisha will do things up right so I go back to work.

A couple of hours later my office phone rings and I answer it without looking at the caller id.

“<red, white and blue company> this is Jinksto”

“Hi Jinksto!  This is Nisha from the flower shop!”

Uhh oh…

“Hi Nisha.  What’s up?”

“I’m working on those flowers for Jill and I thought it would be really neat to add some of your mama’s favorite flowers.  Do you remember what they were?”

Mom died several years ago now but she and my girl first cousins always had a special relationship.  Mom REALLY wanted a daughter but ended up with three sons.  She loved us completely of course but she sort of adopted my girl cousins and loved them just as much as she loved us.  Mom was like that.  She had enough love for everyone and didn’t mind letting people know.    My uncle Butch, Jill’s dad, lived close enough to us that they got to see each other regularly.  Mom, to some degree helped raise the girls.  I’m pretty sure that she even invented Ms Jill’s nickname when she was just a baby.

My mother was a very special person.  She could fix pretty much anything for anybody.  She just had a way about her that was decisive and somehow… sweet.  She could convince the Pope that it was in his best interest to convert to a Reformed Southern Baptist and make him happy about the fact if she thought it would solve a problem for someone that she loved.  Ms Glenda could fix any problem.  Even after all of these years I can still get out of a speeding ticket in Vernon Parish if the cop remembers that Ms Glenda was my mom because, well, the cop knows there’s just no point.  Maybe I’ll write another post about her some day but it hasn’t been quite long enough yet.

“I really don’t Nisha.  I guess that makes me a bad son…”

“Nope.  Not at all.  Look, don’t worry about it; I know someone who will know!  I’ll take care of it.”

She did.

Here’s the chatter from Facebook this morning:



I love North Carolina but sometimes I dearly miss my home.


Best wishes Jilly Bean Leonard and Jamie Johnson.  We love you.

Jilly Bean…

15 thoughts on “Jilly Bean…

  • March 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    By the way, the flower shop is “Expressions of Love” in Leesville, La at 337-239-2378.

    Awesome work.

  • March 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    We love you so much and you have such a wonderful gift of eloquence to always know just what to say and how to say it. You were missed. Our parents were missed. We are blessed to have each other. Come home soon.

    • March 20, 2011 at 12:29 am

      There are actually more than two of you. Ms Kay had a picture on the wall right next to the rest of us. 🙂 I had a whole tribe of you for competition.

  • March 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Ok I cried again – this small town and the people in it Miss you

  • March 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Lovely, Tommy. I tried so hard to express to Glenda how, as your girl cousins’ mother, just how much everything she did for my girls and Tom was always (I don’t like using the word “appreciated”)__________ (fill in a good word) by me. I know Glenda did what she did because of her great love for my girls, Tom, and Butch. She lingers in my memories for her kindness, generosity. and “I can do it!” spirit. God bless you, Tommy, for your thoughtfulness and Jill’s flowers.

  • March 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    My niece, who has moved on to ‘the big city’ constantly says she is glad she grew up in a small town. She loves big city life but her roots are small town.

    Lovely write up, Jinks. Congrats to your cousin. May they have a happy life.


  • March 20, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I almost liked living in the big city CJ. For about 6 months living in Chicago was really cool. The next nine and a half years were tough though. 🙂

  • March 20, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Jinksto, I was blessed 17 yrs ago when my father married Jill’s mother. I’ve gotten to know and love Jill as a sister. As I’ve listened to stories about Jill growing up the name that continuously come up is Aunt Glenda. I’m sorry I never got to meet the woman that helped mold Jill into the fine woman she is today.

    • March 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks TJ, she was certainly special. Almost as special as Ms Jill. 🙂

  • March 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I am sooo very pleased to hear you enjoyed our brief moment together ;)~ Glad I could help ya out !!!! Espeically since it was for My Jilly Bean. Southern Hospitality is a trait that needs to be preserved and if I can help in the matter , I surely don’t mind a bit . Until next time……. Your an awesome cousin and I appreciate your kindness!

    • March 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      You did a fantastic job on the flowers.

      Honestly, I always worry about calling a flower shop just because you never know what you’re going to get. In this case though, Expressions of Love came highly recommended and you seemed to be all over getting me what I wanted.

      I agree. Southern hospitality needs to be preserved. It’s more than traditional, it’s just the right thing to do. I don’t understand why most people don’t make the time. Especially small business owners. A few extra minutes of taking care of my needs made a huge difference for both me and for Ms Jill on a very special day. That little bit of extra effort has put you on the “must use” list for flowers in CenLa. That’s not to mention the fact that we’ve all been going on and on about how great they turned out on Facebook. Many of my FaceBook “friends” have moved away from Anacoco but still have family there. Hopefully our unreserved recommendations will drives a little business your way. You deserve it.

  • March 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Oh and by the way……. I had to Ninja that Bridal’s Wreath by myself but I guess that’s why they call me “Master Ninja” a.k.a. Fiery Red Feather! Thought I’d leave ya somethin’ to smile about =D

    • March 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      Yeah, those darn brides on wedding day. Can’t trust them for anything. 🙂

    • March 23, 2011 at 3:30 am

      There should actually be a “like” button right under the last picture. Small little thing. 🙂


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