The correct way to say this is very fast and it is baby-talk for Steve, our youngest brother. This is what we called him when he was little. I still call him Baby when we talk on the phone.
He called me this morning to check on his big sister. He has begun putting logs (siding, I think) on his house he has been building for some time. He said his son and his family (which includes little Kiley Annette, 16 months old) are probably going to move/transfer with his job to Florence. The cost of living in Ft. Worth is pretty high, so moving is probably worth the, well, move. Andy works at Best Buy in the computer department or on the computers, I'm not sure which. (We, unfortunately, don't stay in touch that closely. We do, however, try to keep up with where everyone is!) Mama gave Steve her car (1996 Lumina, which she always said was too big for her) and he is trying to sell it; almost had it sold and the prospective buyer didn't return the next day. I think they'd agreed on a price after haggling over it some.) He had a little Ford Escort (Mama loved the two she'd had) and he traded it in for a small Honda, I don't know if he said what model. (Steve is on the left; Mike, right.)
I told him Jordan had moved to Florida, that Sher had been to Melanie's in Pensacola last week, and that Paul was in Iuka today to see his mother. (Mama Nick is fine; we just have not been home since Mother's Day and he felt he should go see her. It's only a one-day trip. Everything is too hard for her to do now and he didn't even tell her he was coming because he didn't want her to try to cook.)
Steve was my baby. I was 12 when he was born and I took care of him quite a lot when he was toddling around on the farm in Cloverdale. In fact, he and Mike were my babies, and Sher was my baby, too. I have always felt a keen responsibility for them and how they behaved and lived their lives, and if they were happy, eating their spinach, and the Border Collie of sisters when it came to herding them into the Christmas-picture pose on Mama's deck. I have mellowed somewhat, fortunately for them, in the last twenty years.
Florence is only about 40 miles east of Iuka, set in the rolling hills of north Alabama, on the Tennessee River with Wilson Dam and all that beautiful water nearby. We lived in North Florence (Sher and I the only kids) and Sheffield before Steve was born. (Mike was born at the time of Sheffield.) Steve was born at home in Cloverdale, the easiest of all us kids, Mama said. (I didn't know until years after we lived in the Terrace Apartments that we were practically living on the river bluff! It was not a half a mile from our apartment!)
There are things that I associate with our childhoods that Devie will never know about, and that seems odd. I think of that sometimes - I remember back at least to 1951 or 1952, my first memories of anything, and when the sibs were born. But they don't remember me when I was their age. I guess that's silly, but their memories, of course, have taken their own course in family history and they remember things I wasn't there to experience. I married when Steve was only 8, Mike 11, and Sher 15, but as scattered out in years as we are, we still remained very close, especially in the years since Mama moved back to Iuka and we all were pretty settled down by then. Sher came back to the states about 10 years ago, having lived overseas most of 20 years in Civil Service jobs with the Air Force. I can hardly believe sometimes, that those little boys, that little blond girl and I are old brothers and sisters now!
Funny how one little phone call triggers so many memories...
Love you, Devie.