Too Close for Comfort

Jeanne and Mama in 1964

My sister Jeanne with Mama in 1964

Writing sent me into the world of social media and it’s pushing me back out there again. I found it easy to fall off the grid and back into my life on the farm. We had a nice crop of foals this year, an abundance of tomatoes, and the hens are continuing to lay, even in July’s oppressive heat.

Summer nights are my favorite. When the light softens near sunset, I walk for an hour or two. Until the chickens roost and coyotes appear near the tree line. Night reminds me of childhood games of kick-the-can. Mama calling and calling for me to “get in the house.” And like a coyote, I’d hide until she’d find me behind a tree or a bush and order me inside.

Speaking of Mama, her health is declining. She needs my daily care, and I’m happy to give it (though she can be exasperating at times). Writing about my childhood reminds me that she was once young and energetic—an ambitious businesswoman who thrived in a man’s world. The men are all gone now, so she spends her days in her pajamas. And she sleeps and sleeps and sleeps.

Today, I’d like to page back to October 1962. My family had recently moved to Louisiana from McAllen, Texas. And my big sister Jeanne (pronounced Jean) was terrified of our new landscape, our stepfather Roger, and Cuba. So click here and follow me over to Tweetspeak Poetry if you’d like to read, “Too Close for Comfort.” And come back next Friday for “Sweet Talk.”

About Darrelyn Saloom

Darrelyn Saloom co-wrote My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of a Girl who Yearns to Box (Glasnevin, 2012) with world champion boxer, Deirdre Gogarty, but her pugilistic passions are confined to a keyboard. Darrelyn lives with her husband and various critters on a horse farm in south Louisiana, where she is working on a collection of personal essays and stories. To learn more, visit her website at or follow her on Twitter: @DarrelynSaloom
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11 Responses to Too Close for Comfort

  1. cynthia says:

    Lovely to read your words this morning. Just like that, we see you then and now.

  2. If “Sweet Talk” is anything like “Too Close for Comfort,” then I’m going to stay tuned indeed! Great piece!

  3. Thomas E. Guilbeau says:

    As you know I am a huge fan of your mother, Mary. Please let me know
    how and when I can visit her. She meant so much to me, when I was
    struggling as a young lawyer…always made me laugh….what a gift to
    you being her daughter!

    I loved reading the piece by you that came with this email. Your
    writing style and word pictures all flow so perfectly together. I look
    forward to reading your autobiography.

    Tommy Guilbeau

    • Tommy, it is so great to hear from you. Mama and I keep up with you on the local news, and she entertains me with Tommy Guilbeau stories. I’ll get in touch with you when she’s up for a visit. Might be fun to surprise her. xoxo

  4. Carolyn says:

    Enjoyed getting another glimpse into your childhood.

  5. Thanks, Carolyn. I hope you’ll drop by next Friday for the story that follows this one called “Sweet Talk.” And drop by the farm one of these days. Danny and I would both love to see you.

  6. Debra Marrs says:

    So good to be able to read your blog posts again, Darrelyn. Your topic is so timely. From one of your biggest fans. Love.

  7. Rachel says:

    Falling off the grid sounds like a great thing to do.

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