Important Update: My Toes Are Not Cold

Today was filled with wonderful moments and stressful ones.

Which really isn’t that different than any other day I suppose.

Except that today the things that brought me joy were the simple ones I often lose sight of in my day to dailies–a shared laugh, the perfect color of blue-green, the smiles of friends reflected in the light.  And the things that brought me stress were things that are also nearly always present–the ever growing dust bunny population, the inside of my pantry, my spider problem (okay, to be honest, even ONE is a problem, but yes, this is a thing), and the lack of action by my people the first time I ask them to do something.

I got to the end of the evening, having just sat down here to write, and I noticed Miss Sophie panting.  She ran around and had the best time outside this evening, and she just enticed two of us to play her twisted game of Fetch.  She’s worn out, but I also realized she is probably warm.

Warm.

In that moment, I did a quick assessment and realized, my toes aren’t cold.

My toes are NOT cold.

Well, hallelujah and color me ecstatic!

While some may claim we’ve had a mild winter or that I’m a wimp, I still have to say that my toes have been cold for months.  I’VE been cold for months.

And, no offense to Winter or anything, I’m over it.

Tonight in the hustle and chaos that comes with even the best of things, I had slipped in and out of my sandals several times, and it didn’t fully register with me.

Y’ALL, I WORE SANDALS FOR THE FIRST TIME AGAIN TODAY.

And this wasn’t the “flip flops are the only thing by the door, I’m only running out to the car, surely my toes won’t fall off frozen in those three minutes” kind of wearing sandals.  This was no kidding, this is the attire of choice AND weather appropriate.

WEATHER APPROPRIATE.  I don’t know if Spring is really here, since my Granny always warned about the Easter Cold Snap and we have two more weeks until Easter, but what I can tell you is TODAY WAS GLORIOUS.

And yet, in the midst of it, I was totally oblivious to my toes’ joy.  I wasn’t fully appreciating that this was what they’d been waiting on for months, until I sat down and reflected on it tonight.

 

Y’all.  We wait on something.  We hope for something.  We think on it and, in the middle of a cold season, we dream of what it might be like for that thing to BE.  And then one day it is, and so much is going on, we have a hard time recognizing it and really getting that, WE MADE IT.  All the good has come that we dreamt of, and we are so distracted, it just slides right in there as our reality and we don’t even notice it or fully appreciate it at first.

Here’s to the moments of realizing the joy of being warm, of finding light, of wishes and hopes becoming reality.  Here’s to all of us who dream in winter of longer days and laughter and love and toes that aren’t cold.  And here’s to those realities that just slip in the back door and surprise us so much we laugh out loud and wiggle our happy toes.

Love to all.

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Happy toes.  Unpainted, yes.  But Happy.

 

Pumping Gas in My Pajamas…..

I put on my purple plaid “silly pants,” aka pajama bottoms, and I got in the car.  It was as I was backing out of the driveway that I realized I needed gas if I were going to get to my destination.  There was no time to go back in and change.  So it happened–I pumped gas in front of God and everybody in my pajama bottoms.

This wasn’t a dream.  It actually happened Friday afternoon.  Fortunately, I am over the age of 40, and I just about didn’t care if folks stared at me in my silly pants pumping gas at the gas station next to the only traffic light in my little town.  These things happen, right?

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I was invited to be a part of the 14th Annual Storytelling Festival at Wesleyan College, my alma mater, and we were encouraged to wear our pajamas.  It was an honor to be asked to come back home and be a part of it, but it was bigger than that.  It was a chance to share stories.  Stories about the people I love, where I come from, why I am who I am.  And all of the laughter and tears that go with that.

Despite the traffic-stopping gassing up, the littles and I were only a couple of minutes late.  The attendees–students, professors, staff, and their children–were getting snacks and playing with the balloons spread out over the blankets under the half tent made of sheets.  It was such a fun setting, and here’s the cool thing.

This event?  This evening of storytelling?  This was the FINAL exam for an education class.

How awesome is that?

I was so impressed when I learned that.  The fact that the professor values hands-on application of the learning instead of mere regurgitation of the facts–that is huge.  Once again, I was overwhelmed in a moment of gratitude that my daughter chose this college.

The evening was delightful.  The students shared their stories–from personal and true to tales from homelands to fables.  Funny, magical, exciting, and intriguing.  A staff member told a story impromptu, because when students all team up and beg you, well, what else can you do?  He did extremely well, and his story was in Cooter’s Top 2 pick.  Another alumna told her story, one that she said her own students ask to hear regularly.  Absolutely hilarious.  The one shocker of the evening was when she asked for songs you listen to, no one said, “Let It Go.” Considering the age range of the young girls there, well, I was very surprised.  Especially since it is still our Princess’ favorite.  The woman who shared her story about her brother and “got to get the enemy”–she had us all interacting and saying the right thing on cue–it was adorable.  She was adorable.  And her story alone made Cooter, only one of three or four males in the entire room, very glad he went.

Just after the intermission, it was my turn.  I learned many, many years ago when I was in 4-H not to write out what I’m going to say in public.  Outline, yes.  Work it out in my head, absolutely.  Write it down word for word–epic FAIL, guaranteed.  This was what happened when I was headed to Rock Eagle for our District Project Achievement.  I had my whole presentation written on note cards, word for word.  Only when we prepared to leave from school–I could not find my cards.  I spent much time after our arrival trying to rewrite the thing.  The words were gone.  Once I put them down on paper, I couldn’t recall them at all.  From then on, whenever I was planning on public speaking, I just made notes in a semi-outline form, and winged it from there.

So the day before the festival, I sat down and jotted down the main parts, a few key words, of the stories I wanted to share.  I even copied them on yellow paper, in honor of the senior class, in the hopes that my “class spirit” would distract the audience from the fact that my memory isn’t what it used to be, and I needed a crutch–just in case.

Turns out, when I got up there, I didn’t need the crutch.  I put the card on the chair with my props (yes I am a sucker for bringing the story to life with visual aids–goes back to my storytime days with the library), and I never looked at it again.  The stories from years past at Blackberry Flats came to life in front of my eyes, as I told about the cedar trees and cutting the grass and our old school lawn mower and the snake in the tree and my Mama.  Oh, Mama.  I wish she had been there.  She could bring a storybook to life like nobody else I’ve ever heard.  My Daddy though–I can recall long afternoons of sitting and listening to him and my Granny telling stories about our family.  Friends.  Folks in town.  It was a sharing of the history.  Of how things used to be.  As I grew older, I loved even more to hear Daddy share with us the tales of folks like Grandma Jane from so many years ago.  And about the old high school.   And the Easter baskets he and my Uncle dug for themselves out in the yard on Easter Eve.  So many great stories.  So many words released into the air to wrap around another’s heart and be locked up tight for later reflections, time and time again.

I come from a long line of storytellers.  I didn’t really think about that until later last night, sitting in the quiet of the memory of the evening.  I love putting the words together and recording them for my children to read at their leisure later in their lives.  But what I realized last night is that stories are alive, and they beg for breath and to be told and heard and felt in a way that only sharing aloud can make happen.

In that moment, sharing the stories with people–some whom I knew, some I had never met–we shared something else.  Our hearts.  Our quirks.  Our hopes and fears and what we find funny.  We shared a moment of togetherness, of connection.  And in that moment, I was home in a way I’ve never felt before.  My folks and their stories and the very essence of who they were swirled around me in the room, and for a moment, they were there.  The stories gave them life and breath once more, and it was exhilarating.

As the evening came to a close, I saw where my Fella had texted in response to my simple text: “Here.”  He too used one word: “Fun?”  As we got in the car to head home, I wrote back: “Beyond fun.  I now know what I want to be when I grow up.”

When I walked in the door from our wonderful evening of sharing stories and laughter and fun, my Fella looked at me and said, “So what is it you want to be?”

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Lisa at My So-Called Glamorous Life: The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer introduced me in her blog as a “master storyteller.”  To be honest, I was gobsmacked.  And honored.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I wasn’t sure that it fit just yet, but I knew when I read those words that I want to be just that–a master storyteller.  My Daddy and my Granny were two of the best.  They could weave a tale that would capture the imaginations out of one strand of yarn.

And last night only served to validate that desire.

I want to be a master storyteller.

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Tonight I sat around the fire pit with Mess Cat and Aub while our Princess, Cooter, and Shaker chased each other around the yard.  We caught up and talked about what had been going on in our lives.  We shared memories of years past, and we laughed until we just about cried.  While sitting there, I realized that deep down inside all of us is a master storyteller.  We all come from folks who used to sit around the fire swapping tales.  And for the past two evenings, I’ve rediscovered the joy of doing just that–fun, entertaining, meaningful, and connecting folks–all without a device or gadget in sight.

Last night when I arrived at Wesleyan, the young woman who had invited me told me they were being graded for their final.  I had a horrible flashback to all dreams I’ve had, like one does, of showing up in class in my pajamas not ready for the test that was about to be handed out.

That makes me laugh.  I was in my pajamas, back in college, and there was a test.  But you know what?  I think I am ready.  For the next step–for becoming a storyteller and giving life to the things I write.  I am not sure where the journey is headed, but I know I’m ready.

After all, it’s who I come from.  A long line of storytellers.

Love to all.

Words of Wisdom Waiting To Be Found

This evening we had the joy and honor of attending a service in the brand new Pierce Chapel at my alma mater, Wesleyan College.

This was only the second service to be held there.  It was quite lovely.  The music whirled and echoed throughout the hallowed hall, and it was beautiful.  The words encouraging us to be the hands and feet and eyes and ears of the One who taught us best how to love were empowering and challenging all at the same time.  Instead of foot washing, we washed each other’s hands.  It was a precious moment when our Princess grabbed my arm and said, “Mama, I want to wash your hands.”

Oh my heart.

Such a lovely service during this week of weeks.  I am thankful for the invitation and that our own Wesleyanne welcomed us coming and being a part of what is now her home, her alma mater.  It means the world to me that she doesn’t turn her head and wish we weren’t there.  She could, you know.  She’s nineteen, so it could go with the territory.  But instead she seems glad to see us.  Again, my heart is full to bustin’.

What I enjoyed most I think was realizing something.  As we wandered through quietly before the service began, reading the plates on the back of the seats (Cooter: Are ALL of these seats reserved?!), I looked down and realized that wisdom can be found most anywhere, if only one is looking.

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A legacy of wisdom: “Keep your blood pressure down and your chin up.” –Morris Beller

 

Out of all the chairs and the dedications and memorials–there is, tucked amongst them, this tidbit of wisdom.  I laughed a little (quietly of course) and gave thanks for Mr. Beller and his wise words of truth.  I don’t know him, but I find it wonderfully fun and delightful to find these words in the midst of all the others.

Very cool.

Tonight I leave you with these images of the long-dreamed of and much-anticipated Pierce Chapel.  Welcome.  And may you stand tall and remind ALL who enter that dreams can and do come true.  In time.  And may ALL who want to enter always be welcomed.  And loved.

Love to all.

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A view of Pierce Chapel from the loggia when we visited for the Party on the Green Sunday evening. Beautiful, isn’t she?

 

Pierce Chapel shining brightly when Cooter and I attended "Ain't I a Woman" two weeks ago.

Pierce Chapel shining brightly when Cooter and I attended “Ain’t I a Woman” two weeks ago.

And one more shot, simply because I love it.

And one more shot, simply because I love it.

 

My Daughter is Also My Sister

Yesterday was one of the biggest days of the year.

Right up there with Christmas and Easter and birthdays in our family.

Huge.

It was STUNT weekend at Wesleyan College, my alma mater.

My second home.  The place of many joyful and wonderful memories.  The place where I figured out what I believed and tried it on for size for the first time.

Where I became a Psychology major and experienced great internships at places like the Methodist Children’s Home and Macon Outreach at Mulberry UMC.

Where I made friends for life and promised to be loyal and true to this place that built me.

And where I had the great privilege and honor and pure-tee fun of being a part of this great tradition, STUNT.

This is the 119th year of this event, which was begun to raise scholarship money for a sister who couldn’t afford to return to campus by a group of students all those years ago.  They would not let that happen, so they started this competition between the classes where each class writes and produces their own comedy musical.  The winner gets the coveted STUNT Cup.

That’s what the sisterhood at Wesleyan is all about.  It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve last seen each other or talked, if one of us needs something, we are there.  I’ve had my sisters sit with me in darkness–be there when I was grieving, show up at my Mama’s funeral, send me messages of encouragement, and challenge me to step outside my comfort zone.  I’ve had my sisters remind me to give myself grace, and show up to cheer on my daughter and her class.  They’ve even been known to wear a class color other than their own, just to encourage another.

And that’s huge, y’all.  Once you enter as a Purple Knight, Golden Heart, Green Knight, or Red Pirate, you spend the next four years and the rest of your life pretty much embracing that color.

It’s all about the sisterhood.

And so was yesterday.  I took our Princess up for the day, as this is her favorite day of the whole year–when alumnae bring prospective students to campus for fun and friendship–some are their own daughters, some are not.  But all enjoy and have the time of their lives, which might explain why our Princess had her bag packed to go since she got back from last year’s STUNT.

It was a day spent with people I have known and loved for a long time.  Familiar faces etched onto my heart, almost as though they are a part of me.  My PirateFriend and her OnlyFriend, who shared the story of their friendship that began the first day of their freshman year, with the comment, “Hey, I like your pants.”  Y’all this is the friendship of a lifetime–I’m going to start telling people I like their pants.  If that’s the kind of lifelong sisterhood and love that comes of it, we should ALL be telling someone we like their pants.  They played a trivia game with the young girls visiting, and we laughed and had such fun.  We even sang and danced to the original number written by the group, “Rosie had a little puppy, and it’s okay to love puppies.” (sung to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”–a future hit, I’m telling you)

I loved hearing the years the daughters of my friends will be there.  I look at my baby girl and know she will be there on campus with some of these other legacies, and I smile.  We will be attending STUNT for many, many years, and I like the sound of that.

As the day went on, we were joined by more friends–sweet faces that haven’t changed one bit since graduation.  We took pictures and hugged and laughed that we had become those “old” alumnae who show up for things.  And we loved every moment of it.  One of the most precious moments was when my oldest, a sophomore at Wesleyan–more importantly, a Red Pirate–came up and met members of my class.  They embraced her as one of their own.  My favorite photo is one I’m not in–it’s my girl with my Purple Knight sisters.  Who stepped out of their knighthood for the night and cheered on the Pirates.  Auburn was the chair of her class’ STUNT committee for the second year in a row.  She and a committee of three other women from her class wrote the 30 minute comedy musical–they wrote the script, the songs, cast and directed it.  They have only been rehearsing for the past two weeks.

It’s tradition.

As the classes marched in one by one, each class sang their cheers.  “Night of the Screaming Women” is a well deserved moniker.  We’re loud and we’re proud.

Yes. We.  All of us alumnae were cheering along too.

And when the lights went down, my last glance back behind me showed me faces I have known for almost thirty years.

I was glad the room was dark.  I may or may not have teared up.  Ahem.

There were Purple Knights, Green Knights, Golden Hearts, and Red Pirates there, all with anticipation and beauty and joy etched into their faces.

And my girl’s 84-year-old grandmother was in the audience too.  There because of love.

But then, weren’t we all?

Yes.

The night was a good one.  The STUNTS were all good, and the Pirates won.

Well, in my book they did, but the judges saw it differently.  The Golden Hearts won the STUNT Cup and the Spirit Cup.  As seniors that was especially poignant.  They were thrilled and the night ended with lots of laughter and hugs and encouragement. With goodbyes and promises to see each other soon.

Before the Cups were announced though, there was a passing of the hats.  The Co-Chairs of the different committees will be Chairs next year.  It was time for them to name their Co-Chairs who will be the Chairs in 2017.

Since shortly after Aub set foot on campus, my girl has hoped to be tapped for this.  She’s spent years poring over my yearbooks and looking at the pictures.  She knew I loved STUNT and that I served as Executive STUNT chair my senior year.  “Mama, I want to do that too.  Wouldn’t that be cool?”

Well, only if you really want to.  I wanted her to do what she wanted to do at Wesleyan and not relive my years.

Long story short.  (or maybe a little shorter)

Last night her dream came true.  Auburn was named Co-Chair for 2015-2016.  Her junior year.  In the words of my daughter:

I.  Can’t.  Even.

As the announcement was being made, my classmate who is now an amazing member of the faculty at Wesleyan came up behind me and wrapped her arms around me.  She held on tight, and–

I.  Can’t.  Even.

See, she’s not one of my daughter’s professors.  It’s likely my girl won’t ever take a class from her.  But my friend has found her and loved her and–

Well.   She didn’t have to.

But that’s what the sisterhood is about.  And it lasts beyond the four years.  It lasts through generations.  And beyond.

It’s forever.

My friend whispered in my ear, “I’m so proud of our girl.” And she hugged me again.

Through my tears, I said, “Thank you for loving her.”

She waved her hand, “Don’t thank me for doing something that easy.”

Oh, my heart.

Today there have been so many pictures and posts on social media from my friends sharing their joy and happiness over being together yesterday.  One GreenKnight friend has said on more than one occasion, “It’s like going home.”

Amen.  And yesterday I sat upstairs in our “house,” and watched my girl and her sisterfriends SHINE like the stars they are.  I stood on stage with my sisterfriends and sang a song that another professor wrote, “Wesleyan is my school, Wesleyan is your school…..”  And my own daughter said she bawled.

She once told me that her friend who was STUNT chair last year was my special sister because we had a lineage between us of women who were tapped by the one before her, and it eventually was traced back to me.  And the one who tapped me and so on.

Well, huh.  I never thought of it that way.

And so now my oldest and much loved girl is a part of that lineage.  And I couldn’t be more tickled–because she’s happy.

My girl and me as the evening came to a close.

My girl and me as the evening came to a close.

So yeah, my daughter is also my sister.

It’s a Wesleyan thing, y’all.

And I’m a Wesleyanne for life.

I’m thankful for that and for all the treasures which that has brought and continues to bring me.

Love to all.

 

Riding the Bus With Rosa Parks

This afternoon I rode on the bus with Rosa Parks in 1955, with Hugh Hollowell as the bus driver and David LaMotte as our time machine travel director.

He guided us back to the year in which Ms. Parks stayed in her seat, dispelling myths and helping us to think about what it must have been like–as the ones at the front of the bus and the back.

He shared with us about hero versus movement narrative.  While Ms. Parks has been labelled a hero, this protest was a part of a movement–a community of people who set about to make change with their actions–together.

As we sat there, and Hugh took the money from the “folks” boarding the bus, the scenario played out.

And then David asked the question, “What bus are you on?”

And we sat.

And thought.

Not the most comfortable few minutes of my life by any means.

What bus am I on?  What in this world troubles me?  Makes my heart ache?

What injustice do I feel so strongly about that I’m willing to take a stand?  (Or a seat?)

I think perhaps the most grace-filled thing I heard today was it’s not about fixing the world or saving the world, it’s about changing the world.

And these two great thinkers and champions for peace shared the good news that changing the world can take place right here, in our own communities, in our own homes, in our own hearts.

You don’t have to get a passport and board a plane to change the world.

You can do it in your day to dailies.

They didn’t say this, but I daresay it’s not 100% what you are doing but in part, the attitude you have–the why and how you are doing it–that can make a huge difference in how you change the world.

So much yet to process and think about from the past two days of listening to and sharing stories with these two very smart, very kind, and very real people.  But I couldn’t let the day go by without marking it and sharing with you all this very good news.

You are changing the world right now.  In the choices you are making.  In what you decide comes next.  In your attitude and in your relationships.  You are changing the world.

Go and be awesome today. Do something kind.  That’s a beautiful start to changing this world for the better.

 

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I have long admired, respected, and been inspired by the work, words, and writing of David LaMotte and Hugh Hollowell.  I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. LaMotte last March.  It has been a hope of mine that I would be able to meet Mr. Hollowell in person (in meat space) as well.  Yesterday that wish came true.  I have spent the past two days in great conversations and being inspired to be a better me by these two men who are constantly working on being “better” and living more intentionally.

To learn more about their stories, click here:

David LaMotte

Hugh Hollowell

Love Wins Ministry

Facts about Rosa Parks and What Really Happened  and also here  (I recommend you research this for yourself and read more about it.  Very different from the story we were told in school many years ago.)

Tonight I’m thankful for safe journeys, soul tanning, food for thought, and sharing stories.

Love to all.

 

 

A Night to Celebrate!

Original Artwork by my young'un

Original Artwork by my young’un

Tonight this is how I feel!

Today the weather has been beautiful.  Here it is the first day of summer and I must say, June, you are behaving yourself just fine.  The breeze, the sun, the clouds, the less than normal temperature.  GORGEOUS.  Today I was treated to some unexpected visits with people I love–the crew and I made an impromptu visit to my Aunt’s, where, in the shade of the pecan trees, the littles played on the swings and Aub, Aunt, and I laughed and talked about a little bit of this and a whole lot of that.  As the breeze drifted through the leaves I watched the pattern of the sunlight filtering through the trees change and move.  Ahh, said my soul, I’ll take a double helping of this today.  And everyday.  Please.

I also ran into my sister at the doctor’s office complex where we were all well but just taking care of prevention business with different doctors.  She is a beautiful sight to see and her smile brightened my day.  Our time together doesn’t come often enough, so this was a real gift–the hug I had needed but not expected.  Later this evening I had a visit full of laughs when I ran into some of my favorite folks at my favorite coffeehouse.  I am so thankful that all of these people were interruptible and had time for visiting, laughing, and hugs.

Add into the equation our planned visit with some dear friends who are moving soon.  We celebrated with a trip to the pizza place.  Yes, that one.  But both dads were in charge of the Game Room tonight, so one more reason to be happy.  After we all got home the party continued as the children played between our yard and theirs, and my neighbor friend and I played “who’s older and had it harder growing up” game.  Ha.  His wife said we both sounded like a couple of old people.  Ahem.  Well, if the shoe fits…..

So yes, a good, good day.

But there’s more.

THIS IS MY ONE HUNDREDTH POST!!!!!

Yessiree, I am beyond happy happy happy.  When I started back writing again in April, I set a goal to write something each day.   I  guess I didn’t think I would really do it, because I couldn’t believe it last night when the site said 99 posts published. Wow.  I am doing this.  I have surprised myself.  It’s not just a dream anymore, I am writing.  Whoo hoo!  My soul is soaring, and I am overjoyed.

So tonight is about laughter and stories and you.  If it weren’t for you, would I still write?  I hope so.  But the encouragement you give me, the times you comment on what resonates with you and what doesn’t, that makes a world of difference.  The times I see you out and about, and you say “Hey Girl” or “That thing last night?  I heard that!”–those times give me the motivation to continue on.  And for the special ones who say they usually start their mornings with their cup of coffee or tea and this blog–well, I am humbled and I thank you.  When I’ve thought, well, missing just this once won’t matter, I thought of you and I got it written and I was glad I did.  Thank you for the support and motivation.  Love you. You know who you are.

Thank you also for sharing your stories with me.  I love that you do that.  My Daddy could tell great stories, but I remember so many sunny summer afternoons, sitting on my Granny’s couch listening to Granny tell Daddy stories.  Daddy knew how to listen too, and I’m working on being as good as he was.  Mama was also a good listener.  Family lore has it a wrong number called in the middle of the night, said she was sorry, hung up, and then called back to tell Mama her life story.  For over an hour.  And Mama listened.  So please, I love hearing your stories.  Your dreams.  Your joys and your sorrows.  Thank you for sharing them.  I look forward to hearing more.

Before I close tonight, in honor of 100 posts, I thought I’d share with you a few miscellaneous things just for fun.

Facts about me:

I’m the oldest of four–three girls and a boy.  Daddy told me I was named after my Aunt, the baby sister whom he and my Uncle called The Little Terror.  They both thought Tara (a twist on the pronunciation) would be a nice name and agreed the first one to have a girl would name her that.  My cousin was a boy, so here I am.  I don’t know how true this story is, but I like it, and I like it just fine that I’m named after someone so special.

Peaches paid my way through college and during a small portion of my life put food on the table and a roof over my head.  So I’m kind of a peach snob.  Most folks choose to forgive me for that and move on.  I don’t get peaches until after the fourth of July and I prefer to get the ones picked straight from the orchard.  It just is what it is.

I’m backroads and homegrown and a homebody.  I’d rather bake than cook.  I love old things and I have an obsession with blankets, bags, and sweaters.  Mostly either handmade or from the GW Boutique.  I think I may have warmth issues. (I’ve been known to “rescue” handmade blankets from the GW.)  I learned to crochet from my third grade teacher on the playground at recess, and I learned to knit over a year ago from my friend Casey.  I think crocheting is much easier than knitting, and my cousin, who is truly a talented artisan, thinks knitting is easier.  Whatever.  I love her anyway.

The first thing I read in complete sentences was a note my Mama wrote me on pink paper that said, “IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU MAY HAVE A GLASS OF COKE.”  That was no joke.  You didn’t get Coca-Cola very often in my house.  I’ve been reading ever since.  And I’d rather have a book in my hand than on the Kindle, but I’ve read both and been quite happy doing so.

I’ve been to the movies by myself.  It was empowering, and no, I won’t tell you if I ate all the popcorn all by myself.

I love my family, the ones I live with and the ones I don’t.  One of my favorite places on earth is Blackberry Flats, where I grew up.  I love laughing and country music. I grew up on Elvis and the Beatles and John Denver.  We called Willie Nelson “Uncle Willie,” so I thought we might be related.  I also like pop music.  And I think Taylor Swift is pretty much a philosopher–“You don’t know what you don’t know.”  Come on, that’s brilliant truth right there.

I thought about closing out with a video of the song “Celebration” because that’s what I’m doing tonight all by my big girl self, sitting here at the counter with the laptop.  But that would be predictable, wouldn’t it?  And I try never to be predictable if I can help it.  Life’s so much more fun that way.  So I thought I’d close with a video that makes me happy every time I see it.  (Thanks to my brother for this one.) And later tonight or tomorrow?  When you can’t get the song out of your head?  Well, you are very welcome.

You’ve got to keep on keepin’ on…..

Thank you all for coming along on this journey with me!  I can’t wait to see where the next 100 posts will take us.  Love to all.