I just have a lot to say.
September 9th, 2014 by

Snippets of Starla

The hypothesis for Starla’s 7th grade science project at Young Jr. High School was “Adding food dye to chicken feed causes hens to lay colored eggs.” Daddy built a chicken coop for the backyard on Decatur Street, and Starla set about dying chicken feed. Day after day, her chickens laid the prettiest brown eggs, not like the white ones from the grocery store–until the morning that they didn’t. Like a farm girl, Starla went out to gather eggs before school. She came RUNNING and SQUEALING and DANCING back into the house. “IT WORKED!! IT WORKED!!” Mama and Daddy were awful curious, but sure enough, she was holding vibrantly colored eggs.

When mama opened itty bitty Starla’s car door, she slammed it back. “I do it myself!”

No human on earth can out shop Starla. My friend Jordan learned this when Justin was a baby, and she agreed (for the first/last time) to go shopping with Starla to look for a pair of tennis shoes that were appropriate to wear both to Mamaw’s house for a visit AND to watch Steve play church league softball. Jeremy doesn’t like to shop with Starla, because she is so short that she gets lost behind the racks of clothes. But that’s probably just her excuse to disappear at the mall. Jeremy knows what it’s like to disappear, though. He was one of the first boys in his grade to get a cell phone, because when they moved to Mamaw’s house, there were so many great places to hide from his mama when she was in a mood for him to be WORKIN’! He could be up in the man cave that he built in the attic or down by the pond. She would tell him, “Take your cell phone with you—and TURN IT ON!”

Starla: “Tuck your shirt in, Justin!”

Justin (1st born, currently an MBA) “Yes Ma’am!” (Tucks in shirt.)

Little Granny lived with the Spencers for three years. She had been in the kitchen since she could walk. She loved to “help” Starla prepare their meals. One Thanksgiving, Granny was determined to assist. Starla had gotten Granny all dressed up for dinner. She told Granny that she didn’t want her to get her pretty clothes dirty, so she was going to put this pretty apron on her. She said, “Mama Byrd always wore aprons. You’ll look like her!” She tied the apron on Granny and—accidentally—tied her in the wheelchair. Oddly, Granny worked on that knot until about the time dinner was ready.

Starla was a cheerleader at Young Jr. High School. She was also in the marching band. She cheered the first half and sneaked away a little early to put on her band uniform. She marched at halftime and then sneaked back a little late to cheer the second half. The only problem with this plan was that she didn’t take time to tinkle. So, she did a herky and wet her bloomers.

Starla: “Tuck your shirt in Jordan Lee!”

JL (middle child, only girl, currently mom to her own baby girl): “I’m not tucking my shirt in. Nobody tucks their shirts in. This shirt was not made to tuck in. I’d look ridiculous.”

When my girls were potty trained but still needing help in “sanitation,” Emma hollered from the bathroom, “I’M FINISHED!!” I went in to clean her up. She said, “Aw, I wanted Daddy to come. He doesn’t wipe as hard as you do. But you don’t wipe as hard as Starla. She wipes like a pine cone.”

Jordan Lee had a friend over one afternoon. Starla said, “Jer-re-mee is at Driiive-ers Ay-eh-ed.” (Interpretation: “Jeremy is at Driver’s Ed.”) JL’s friend said, “Amazing. Two letters, yet three syllables.” Nobody can stretch a word like Starla. Abby was at her house recently when Starla told Siri to “Te-ext Jer-re-mee.” Siri said, “I do not understand.”

Starla: “Tuck your shirt in, Jeremy!”

Jeremy (baby boy, currently in sales): “Yes ma’am!” (Tucks in shirt; gets into car; drives to school; gets out of car; untucks shirt.)

Steve told his athletic sons, who were also in show choir, “I think you need to take ballet.” They stared open mouthed at their daddy and asked “What has she done to you?!”

Mother’s Day was approaching, and I mentioned to my kids that we needed to get cards in the mail to Mok and Nana (Chuck’s mother and grandmother). Phillip was struggling to learn how everybody was related. I told him that Mok was his grandmother and that Nana was his great-grandmother. He said, “Nuh uh. Starla is my great-grandmother.”

Back to the chickens, Mama immediately knew what had happened. Our mischievous backdoor neighbor thought plain brown eggs were boring and thought Starla deserved to prove her point. After all, she had worked so diligently on her project. Mama gently let Starla know they weren’t real; but for a few minutes, Starla knew just how Jack felt after he climbed the beanstalk and stole the goose who laid the golden eggs from the sleeping giant, for she was the only girl in the world with chickens who laid Easter eggs.

In the spring of 2013, after eight years as the AU Singers Mom, Starla was made an honorary Singer. Only four people in the history of Auburn University Singers have been awarded so: David Housel, Bodie Hinton (long-time head of the music department), Dean James Foy, and Starla King Spencer. Those other three folks are walking beside some little footsteps made by a Mighty Woman.

Bossy Bride - Copy


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