M. SCOTT MORRIS: Cleaning with music and memories



We’ve been cleaning house in anticipation of a spend-the-night party for sixth-grade girls.

I’m expecting squeals and giggles, along with deep, philosophical discussions. You know girls these days.

I’ll survive, and my son’s been farmed out to another family, so he’ll be fine.

In a few years, he might not want to miss such a gathering, but yesterday, he wore a dimple-infused grin and described the horrors he’ll narrowly avoid.

But I’ve gotten off track.

We’ve been cleaning house, and I’m the official DJ of the Morris Manse. It’s easier to buckle down and get the job done when music’s blaring, even if we have to yell to make ourselves understood.

Morrises are fantastic yellers. If I close my eyes, I can hear my mother’s voice reach decibels that would burst a lesser creature’s eardrums.

Don’t tell her I said that or it’d start an argument. Our memories from 35 to 40 years ago don’t always align as well as one might hope.

I’m not saying she’s wrong about everything. My recall has let me down enough times for me to tread lightly.

I just wish she wasn’t so all-fired sure about some of the things that she’s so all-fired sure about. Her memory can’t be that much better than mine.

Where was I?

We were cleaning, and I’m the DJ, so I picked “Willie and the Poor Boys” by Credence Clearwater Revival because of the song “Cotton Fields.”

It’s about being a little, bitty baby and getting rocked in the cradle by your mama in them old, cotton fields back home.

“There were no cotton fields when you were young, Daddy,” my daughter said.

It was all sorts of annoying for my daughter to think she could remember back 35 to 40 years better than I could.

“We had cotton fields near the house,” I said, but didn’t add that I never picked cotton, and those fields were converted into housing developments so long ago as to be ancient history.

She didn’t offer a follow-up, so I felt like I’d won a tiny victory.

“I picked this album for your mother,” I said. “She was brought up down in Louisiana. More than a mile from Texarkana, but not far.”

My daughter didn’t have anything to say to that, either, but my wife said, “Aauuhh,” the way girls and women do.

I wasn’t expecting it. The sound usually signals that I’ve done something kind of good, kind of sweet.

It was as if somebody laughed at a comment you made, but you didn’t think what you said was all that funny.

Did you deserve the laugh?

Did I deserve the “Aauuhh?”

Then I figured, hey, I was stuck cleaning house, so might as well count it as another win and move on.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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