Crush: Addendums and Furtherances

I love Chipotle.

There, I said it. I’m not sorry. I remain unfazed in the face of norovirus and rat reports.  I would eat there every day if given the opportunity.

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This ^ is a Chipotle Chicken Bowl

 

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This ^ is some guacamole

 

Woney loves Chipotle, too, maybe with the same zeal that I have. This is convenient because soon she and I will strap ourselves in a plane to meet in Detroit, and we are hopeful to find a Chipotle. What, you don’t fly to Detroit to have lunch with a friend?  Just me?

Below is a list of my friends who like Chipotle:

  • Woney
  • Squash
  • Nurse Bananahammock
  • Felix
  • Kindle
  • Freddie
  • Quan
  • Javier
  • Martie
  • Madre
  • Pooh
  • Tigger
  • Coach
  • Daisy

I feel like Daisy is the one I have to most persuasively convince that we won’t die of Ebola if we consume some guacamole on top of delicious spicy chicken, but despite her affection for reading the news, I can usually manage to drag her in there. That’s because I’m bossy and she is nice.

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I don’t know how long her patience with me will last once she reads the below, though. I may lose her.

A story, by Daisy:

“I bet I saw Star Wars 52 times when I was a kid. I don’t know how my parents could afford it but my brother and I saw it every week for months.  Brother had Star Wars posters in his room, tons of them, and I would stare at Luke Skywalker all the time. I loved him.  I was eight, and this was real.  I knew that he lived in California because I read it in Teen Beat, and I knew that when I got to California and he saw me, he would love me back.  He would just know I was his and he was mine, I was certain.

“I asked my parents for a plane ticket. They were in the kitchen cooking spaghetti for dinner.  When I asked, they laughed, a parents’ affection for their baby child.  It took them too long to realize I was serious, that I was not going to be placated.  They put down their stirring utensils and explained that I could not go to California. That was not possible.  They probably touched my arm and looked me right in the eyes with love.

“I weighed maybe 60 pounds but I flung every bit of that 60 pounds down the hall and into my room where I planted my face into my pillow and wailed. I was devastated.  That was my first real heartbreak.  All of my dreams were dashed at age eight by my mean, mean parents who never let me fly to California to meet my love.  I know exactly how Pooh feels.”

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A story, by Jimmie:

“I bet I saw Star Wars 28 times when I was a kid. Madre would make plans to go to the movies with her friends, and she would drop me and Martie off at the Luke Skywalker show and then go see her grown up movie sans children.  It was the 70s; people did that back then.

“I loved Luke Skywalker. I always preferred blondes.  I felt like if he had less nose and fewer ears, I could really fall in love with him, but he was still pretty cute. I’d have married him if he asked.”

I’m sorry, Daisy, but I loved him, too. Do you think we will come to blows over him?  I never told you because I want to keep you as a friend, and everyone knows once you have a catfight over a man, you can’t be friends anymore.  Sadly, I’d bet on you to win.  You are scrappy and I’m a marshmallow.

Daisy is driving me to the airport so that I can meet Woney in Detroit. I might have misled you when I said we were meeting for lunch.  We are meeting for lunch, but then we are going to strap ourselves into a plane to travel to Amsterdam and then do it again to travel to Bergen.  That’s in Norway, bitches!

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Bergen ^

 

Why Norway, you ask? Let me just tell you.  Woney and I were planning our next big trip and we made fancy lists on Excel spreadsheets detailing our travel bucket lists, the money we’d need to get there, and what we could do there.  Norway was not on the list.  Spain was, though, and that was mostly because neither of us would have to drive and because it’s pretty.  We were both gung ho about it until I found myself on Instagram following Pooh and Tigger and also some hot Norwegian guy named Lasse Matburg.  Also gung ho about it until Madre and I took Pooh and Tigger to Key West last year and then decided to stay a week in JULY which is HOT and also FIERY and also HOT.  I could not breathe, so when Woney called to yap, I opened with this:

“Oh, hello heifer, we are not going to Spain, FUCK THAT, it is hot as you-know-what down here and Spain is worse and I am not, I repeat, AM NOT going anywhere near the Equator, Woman, we are going to Norway where is it not hot plus there’s this Instagram model hottie named Lasse and I’d like to get a gander at those Nordic men, hey.”

And Woney said, “Well, hello to you, too. I could do Norway.”

So basically we picked it because it’s not hot and Lasse Matberg. Woney doesn’t like him at all which leaves more for me, yay! Plus I am bossy and Woney is nice.

I was lamenting to Daisy that I didn’t lose all those extra layers of fatty cushion I needed to so that I could look frail and cold in Norway and perhaps be comforted by Lasse or similar as I shivered on a fjord. Have any of you noticed that it is harder to find hottie hot hot men that that prefer squishy, white, middle aged women anymore?  Anyway, I guess I lamented too much because this exchange happened with Daisy last week:

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Is Daisy still being nice to me? Or is this a sick attempt by her to play upon my affections, my very 13-year-old teenage hormones/ heart longings in an effort to trick me into dying a horrible noro-Ebola virus death so she can have Luke Skywalker all to herself?

I still didn’t lose all the weight.

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^Hot

 

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^Fiery

 

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In case it wasn’t clear, this ^ is fiery hot Lasse Matberg

 

I stole all these pictures from the innernet, Lord, please have mercy on my soul.  And my ovaries.

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Online Dating: A Nashville Woman’s Perspective

Women’s biggest fear in online dating is that they will be harmed in some way, that they aren’t safe. Men’s biggest fear in online dating is that their date will be fat.

~astute observation made by someone whose name I cannot recall

In the interest of fairness regarding Wednesday’s post, my last bout of online dating resulted in dates with five very nice gentlemen. It didn’t seem that any of them cared about my fat although one of them did dump me right after he asked for a second date.  It was my favorite way to get dumped, though!  He explained that he had a great time, that he wanted to do it again, and asked if he was tall enough for me.  I enthusiastically replied with all positive answers and then a few days later when I texted him, he wrote back, “Oh.  Hey, girl.”

If ever I find myself on the dumpee end of a budding one-date relationship, I’m using that! “Oh. Hey, dude”.  Effective, ain’t it?

Y’all, I don’t even know why I thought I wanted to date men right now. I feel like I’m an amazing person, not in an ego way, but in the way that I’ve worked hard to have a nice life, a good attitude, joy, and peace. That makes me pretty special, at least to me, because I’m as close to the person I want to be as I’ll ever get. Then something gets squirrely and I find myself hopeful with a dash of wild hair and hop online to peruse my selections, like in a grocery store aisle.  Most of what I see is a huge disappointment.  I mean, I’m always going to select Vlasic pickles over some generic wimpy-looking pickle, but at least in Kroger there are entire shelves devoted to the many variants of the Vlasic pickle and I can make my selections accordingly. In Nashville, the men selections are becoming increasingly the same, the wimpy-looking generic pickle, and those generic pickles are a pretty pathetic substitute for my really nice life full of joy and peace and contentment.

I’d like to paint a picture for those of you who have never online dated but are curious about it. I feel like doing some quick math here will demonstrate my point.

Conservatively speaking, I’ve swiped either yes or no on about 1,000 men. I’d say that 88.2% of those men’s profiles said one (not more) of the following:

  • *crickets*
  • I’m just me.
  • If you want to know anything, just ask.
  • I’m fluent in sarcasm.
  • I work hard and play hard.
  • I’m looking for my partner in crime.
  • Oh, and add five years to my age.
  • Facebook made my age younger than it really is and I can’t change it.
  • Looking for spontaneous and adventurous (note: this means hookup).

You are probably thinking, “I see nothing inherently wrong with any of those sentences.” I would agree except our reasonable math here will explain my dilemma.  88.2% of that 1,000 equals  882 men, which leaves 118 men who did not type out one of the above phrases.  Or non-phrases if we are being picky.  When you read the same phrases 882 times, you begin to see a pattern, and I’d venture to say it becomes tiresome after reading it the first 200 times.

Now, of those 1,000 men, roughly 60% of them are in Nashville to pursue some kind of career in music, or if not career, then at least fame. That means that they post country music rock star pictures of themselves on a mountain with their thumbs hooked in the pockets of their tight Buckle jeans and wearing hemp choker necklaces, usually with a hat of some sort pulled low over their eyes which are looking pensively off into the distance.  Actually, that’s picture one. Picture two involves the instrument or mic of their choice and also usually involves someone’s arm in the right-hand corner raised up with a lighter.  The amount of fame increases the amount of arms.  Note I said fame, not skill.  To continue our math, and to make it easy, let’s say that of those 118 men left who wrote more than one original complete sentence, 60% of them are pursuing some sort of music fame.  That is 71 men.

It is relevant to note here that I will never date a musician. I have a thousand reasons for that, not least of which is the significant other is so far down on the priority list, after fame and fans and instruments, and groupies, and roadies and so on, that there might as well not be a significant other.  So my pool of potentials now drops from 118 to 47.

Going back to our original numbers, I’d guess that 30% of the men online are either A) married (you can tell by the lack of photos or the lack of non-dog pictures) or B) in a polyamory relationship (most of them say their wives are okay with it, but call me skeptical.) I, for one, don’t share.  No thanks.  So using our math skillz, let’s say 30% of the remaining 47 men are not available for a single monogamous relationship.  That leaves us with 33 men.

Now we must factor out my dealbreakers:

  • If I can’t see your eyes, I swipe no
  • If your name is Fred, I swipe no
  • If you have used every available filter readily available to you so that all of your pictures have BEER THIRTY emblazoned on the bottom, I swipe no
  • If you are an atheist, I swipe no
  • If you say your children are your entire world, I swipe no because clearly there is no room for anyone else in your life
  • If you say that at 50 you are hopeful to still start a family, I swipe no

I forgot to add in the scammers, all of which claim to be military men who have been stationed in a foreign country, because everyone knows that all lonely, sad, single women are patriots who cannot wait to send their money to the Nicaraguan claiming to be Army in Lebanon. For the sake of easy math, let’s combine them in with all of the above and give that group a conservative percentage of 20.  That leaves me with 27 men from whom I can make my pickle selections, and 20 of them are terrified that their dates will be fat.  So I got seven, five of whom I had at least one date with.  And of those five, I am terribly afraid to report that not one of them is my person for one reason or another.  Every single one of them lovely, a Claussen at the very least, but not mine.  And typical for my experiences with online dating.

The funny part of me wants to say, “I’ll just move to Alaska where there are .2 women for every 100 men and I’ll be wildly popular!” But the real part of me wants to say, “You know what? I’m okay.  I’m happy.  I’ve worked hard to be this person and I like her. I like her friends.  I like her family, and mostly I like her life.  So thanks, generic pickle, but I’ll wait on my Vlasic because a squishy wimpy soggy pickle is no substitute for the real thing, and honestly, I’m pretty happy with this bowl of olives that is my current life right here in front of me that includes no pickle at all.”

Photo Dump

Man, what a lazy cow I have been lately! I had all these intentions for writing excellent stuff, really scintillating material that would wow you, and then Madre and I took a vacation.  Since we have returned I’ve read eight nine books (finished another last night).  I’m guessing that lazing around in a hammock chair for six days really did me a lot of good as far as relaxing me but it also put some kind of lazy haze on me and I can’t seem to snap out of it.  Oof.

Anyway, I was scrolling through the photos on my phone the other day because somehow I have used up most of my storage and I can’t figure out why. I play no games.  I have maybe four songs I listen to on a rotation.  I don’t Facebook anymore, and I’ve posted seven pictures to Instagram.  I wanted to see if I could delete anything, maybe some pictures of some meals I already blogged about here or an accidental 3-minute video of my floor covered in cat fur, and it so happens that I found about 62 pictures similar to this:

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Pooh

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Tigger

Turns out if you give your phone password to your nieces and then leave them in the same room with said phone, they take liberties. I miss those children.

I’m not one to really miss people. I enjoy you when I have you and I look forward to seeing you, but I’m not going to miss you, not really.  But Madre and I flew down to Key West with Pooh and Tigger a few weeks ago to deliver them to Aunties Anne and Susanne for a three-week European trip, and I MISS them.

(Also, do you like how I casually just threw “Key West” and “Europe” in there? Very blasé, like this happens to us all the time.  These kids are in EUROPE!  And Madre and I were in KEY WEST!)

(To be fair, I suppose Key West isn’t really that big of a deal because we do have open access to the aunties’ house any time we want to go plus it’s hotter than is healthy or fun for any human down there. I do believe it is currently too hot for even the iguanas and that is saying something.)

The girls come back home tomorrow. I am beyond ready.  Their parents are frantically beyond ready which is really the only word I can think of to describe what it must feel like to be a parent of children that you miss more than I do.

In honor of their return, and in honor of them in general, I’ll share this picture and then tell you the story of how it came to be.

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About a year ago I headed down to their house for my monthly babysitting gig, although babysitting sounds very juvenile for two girls who are already shaving their legs. Let’s say that I headed down for my monthly hangout with some preteens and we decided to go on an adventure.  We set off for the woods, in the fall where we were certain to not run into any ticks, and kicked rocks along the dirt road as we walked.  After a few good kicks, Pooh kicked a clod of dirt off of something round and sort of smooth and suddenly we were on the ground digging at it with rocks and twigs trying to see what it was.  I had to scurry back to the house for a shovel with which to dig it up and only after quite a lot of work did we discover that tortoise shell.

Pooh said, “I knew it! I knew something exciting would happen today!” We unearthed it, liquid dead turtle poured out in a chunky, vile-smelling stream, and suddenly it seemed less exciting.  I was not one to crush the excited hopes of a preteenager, though, so I excitedly placed the shell in the scoop of the shovel and excitedly carried it hobo-style back home. We placed it on the rail of the porch for the parents to exclaim over upon their return which they did with hands clasped over their noses and faint traces of nausea on their faces.

I think what I really want to focus on here is the hopes and dreams of these girls, the exciting opportunities available to them. I’m such a selfish person, or maybe an indulgent person, and while I want good things for everyone, truly, it is very hard to be as enthusiastic about your hopes and dreams as I am about my own.  I think that is human.  These children have forced me to be different.  They have forced me to face the fact that I am not the most important person to me anymore, the spinster, the person who gives herself everything she wants because it is clear that no one else will. Now that indulgent person wants every good thing I ever had or never had to be theirs, whether it be a stinky tortoise shell or a trip to Europe or a boy to just stand in front of the girl and say he really, really likes her.  I want them to have it all.  I’ve never felt so selflessly about anyone in my life.

Perhaps I will have stories to tell about their adventures when they return.  I hope I hear them all.

To sign off, I’ll deliver more of my photo dump to you so that I can delete this mess off my phone and save more room for teenaged selfies.

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Jimmie and Pooh

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Tigger and Jimmie

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Groundhog who actually posed for this photo

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And then turned the other way for another shot.  Not joking.

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Seamus, just because

Trying Something New?

There was a day last week when I got to work that I discovered our office temperature was 15 degrees colder than our already “I have to wear a scarf and fuzzy socks to work” kind of temperature.  I tapped away the day at my keyboard with blue fingers and with my coat on, which is not a good look for me because my coat is one size too big and quilted.  It makes me look fat and my extra hips can do that for me without the coat’s help.  After a while I put my gloves on while I worked thinking that my dexterity would not be affected and incidentally, it totally was.

You might think this sounds moderately uncomfortable but nothing that deserves an entire essay.  You’d be right.  But that was the icing on the cake of an already weird day which began when I got trapped in my garage in an effort to leave the house.  After hacking my way out of the ice wall with a spatula, big fun by the way, I merrily drove down the interstate, tootling right along until I got stuck behind a lavender Crown Victoria for 45 minutes whilst a Greyhound bus expired in the only open lane off my exit.  The lavender Crown Vic was equipped with a sound system that produced bass of unbelievable magnitude, and I watched Jay Z shake the license plate nearly off the car.  For 45 minutes.  The grand finale before the arctic office temperature grand finale was the heel of my new boot falling off in a snow drift in the parking lot.

I don’t know about you, but when I have a day like that my normal response is to:

  • Holler “BAD WORD, BAD WORD, BAD WORD, EXCLAMATION POINT”
  • Give the single digit finger wave to life in general
  • Huff around the office
  • Eat cake

And that is exactly what I was planning to do once I got inside the office except Daisy texted me and while I was telling her about my No Good Very Bad Day, I kept saying positive stuff.  Like I said:

  • Blah, blah, blah, dead bus, but it’s sunny outside and that is nice
  • Lavender paint, blah bass is rupturing my eardrums, but the car is pretty
  • So desperately want to be a grouch but no one likes that, so I won’t, word vomit, hee!

Daisy accused me of being a Miss Positive Sunshine and sent me a flower emoji, and I quickly and huffily typed out a message calling her a liar.  Right as I poised my finger over the send button, I had a thought.

See, I have a friend that I haven’t talked about much – his name is Sean – and recently Sean was telling me the story of how he got a speeding ticket.

“I was in a school zone so I slowed down,” he said, “and as I passed the last cone, I sped up ever so slightly.  I was at 21 miles per hour when I saw one more cone and realized I hadn’t made it out of the school zone yet, so I tapped my brakes to slow down. That’s when the cop got me.”

I was all indignant.  “Surely he didn’t give you a ticket for going six miles over! Surely he understood what happened, right?  Did you give him the single digit finger wave?  I would have!”

And Sean, bless his heart, said, “Well, I did ask if he could just give me a warning but he didn’t feel that was right so I got the ticket.  And I know that getting mad doesn’t do any good, so I pulled into a parking lot and read over the ticket.  I just wanted to think about it and understand what my responsibility is in all of this.  I put weekly reminders in my phone for the next month until the ticket is due so that I won’t forget about it and so that I can make sure I have the money to pay for the ticket.  I want to do this right.  After a while I drove on.  It was fine.”

I sat there in silence, my mouth hanging open and swallowing every word that tried to squeak out of it.  Kind of like those baby birds that just sit there, beaks open, waiting for their momma to bring them a regurgitated worm.  Helpless and weak and wheezy.  Kind of like that.

Finally I choked out a, “I’ve never met anyone like you.  How on earth do you find it in you to be so positive?”

“It’s just better that way,” Sean reasoned, and in the time I’ve known him, he’s always maintained that.  In four years’ time, I’ve never known him to throw a fit, get righteously angry over something ridiculous or smear anyone’s name, even if it is well-deserved.  I think if someone stole his dog he’d find a way to spin it happy and the annoying part is that he isn’t even Pollyanna about it.  He’s just matter of fact.

Now I want to be clear – ninety-five percent of my life is spent being happy.  Really, I spend very little time in the kind of anger and snarkiness that involves me hollering bad words and giving single digit finger waves, all dramatic with head weaves and snapping in a z-formation.   But a sizable chunk of that remaining five percent truly is spent in bad behavior, cultivated and cherished and primed for a visit to the cookie doctor or to the mammogram center or when a Greyhound bus expires in the middle of my lane as I’m trying to get to work and I get stuck behind a lavender sedan with the bass causing me arrhythmia.  My unhappy five percent is bad, I tell you, and it does no good.  Not one whit.

That message that I tapped out to Daisy, in which I called her a liar, all huffy and snarky?  I didn’t send it.  I hovered for a moment over the send button and then moved my single digit finger wave finger over to the delete button and deleted it all.  Instead I sent this message:

Daisy.  This is a day.  Thanks for the flowers.  Those flowers are the nicest thing that happened to me all day.

And with that, my day was saved.  It was a good day.

P.S. Sean read all of this before posting because I promise to never write about my friends without their permission.  He said, “I really was upset about that ticket.  Truly, I was pretty mad.”  That may be but where did he put it, that mad?  Where did it go?  Because when we talked about it there was no mad in him, just calm quiet and maturity.  Ima try that on for a while, see how it fits . . .

 

A Bit Of Prose About My Greenway

“An Ode to my Greenway” sounds so much nicer but we’ve already covered the bit about my talent not extending that far.  I’m just not that good, so today I have titled this correctly.  I shall write prose for you about a walking path.  And I shall include pictures.

Today I went for a walk on my Greenway.  I remembered that I wanted to share it with you because it is one of my happy places and lately, I’ve thrown a lot of negative at you.  That isn’t me, not always, so today I’m giving you a positive.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Today is was misty and slightly messy.  Isaac has done his work on Tennessee.  Some twigs are down and a few plant stalks are bent. That’s it really, that and the rain.   When I began my walk, the sky was gray and the mist was coming, so I was hopeful that I would miss the most of the bad weather.  Unfortunately, by the end of my walk, I was rain damp and my hair was a giant sticky mess. I didn’t care. 

I’ve been walking this Greenway for maybe five years now.  I’ve met lots of fantastic people there.  Remember, there was the woman with the giant corkscrew curls who prayed all the way up that one giant hill.  Speaking of that hill, I took Madre to the Greenway once and I warned her about it.  I told her it was rough.  “It can’t be any worse than the one at home. I’m fine.”  I kept my peace and when we walked up the first section of that hill, we were both huffing and puffing pretty good.  “That wasn’t so bad,” Madre said, and then we turned the jack-knife corner and she saw the rest of it.  “Damn,” she huffed and we trudged on. One of these days at the top of that hill I will suddenly notice that I have a Beyonce booty and I will know that I got it because I drag myself up that hill far too much for my liking. 

There is a Mexican man that I see on the Greenway often.  He wears the exact same outfit every time he walks, a white polo shirt and khaki shorts.  When he sees me, he places both hands over his heart and throws them out to the side like his heart is growing.  He doesn’t speak a word of English.

There is a giant slab of a man named Jeff, who is cu-u-u-u-t-e!  So cute!  He’s nice, too, and he walks the Greenway literally every day.  He never misses, even in the rain.  One day he saw the Mexican man give up his heart to me and he said, “Be careful, Jimmie.  You are an easy girl to have a crush on and I don’t want you getting hurt out here.”  Jeff is happily married, as far as I can tell, so no big ideas anyone. 

There is a man I saw today who was doing this strange giraffe-like walk, kind of stalking and jerking his knees backward with every step.  It was weird.  He was puffing air in and out of his cheeks, like a locomotive and I couldn’t help but think that he was doing far more damage to his knees by walking in such a stiff manner than doing any good for his body.  On the other hand, there is a woman I see who runs like a gazelle, kind of on her toes and hopping.  I’ve seen her body change over the years and her figure is quite nice.  This is why I want to run, people. 

My favorite Greenway person is the 70-ish year old man who does this shuffling run for six miles or so.  He blows past me whether I am running or not, which is always a surprise as from a distance it really does look as if he’s just slowly shuffling along and next thing I know I’m left in a cloud of aftershave.  It is disheartening to know I will never get as fast as him.  He wears his trucker hat perched on top of his head, his striped athletic socks pulled up to his knees and his shorts just as baggy as a teenaged boy’s.   I admire him.

I’ve seen more deer, rabbits and snakes than I can count.  The path meanders along the lake and when the sun hits the water just right, you can see fish floating near the surface.  I’ve seen an otter doing the backstroke.  I see turtles paddling around all the time. 

In the summer, the honeysuckle is potent.  Everything is so GREEN.  In the fall the leaves are gorgeous.  You can hear the deer rustling around in the morning.  When I was going through the heartbreak, I would walk on that path, watching my breath puff in the cold morning air, and a doe would come out of the woods and just stare at me.  There was no fear. I could get almost close enough to touch her.  There was comfort in that although I’m not sure why.

A walk on the Greenway was a lovely way to begin my Labor Day.  Afterwards I went to the gym and nearly broke my legs doing lunges and squats.  I’ll have a night out with friends later.  And in the middle of all that, I, glamorously, spent the afternoon on my hands and knees cleaning the grout in my kitchen.  Nice, no?  But I really wanted to share my Greenway with you, my happy place. 

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Memorial Day

Saturday was one of the most gorgeous days of my life.  Sometimes you just get one of those days that has so many perfect moments you just don’t know what to do with yourself.  I don’t mean to make any of you jealous, but I’m going to share that day with you. 

Memorial Day weekend brought lots of plans for me.  I’m nothing if not a planner.  I had the whole weekend mapped out by Thursday afternoon and took off down south to the homestead on Friday evening.  Madre and I planned to ride horses Saturday morning.  We also planned to pick blueberries.  Later that evening we were invited to a cook out with Martie and family.  After that, I was going to drive back to Nashville so that I could make my Sunday morning run.

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of dawn and drove from Martie’s house where I had spent the night to Madre’s house.  I got there early and was ready to go.  After running some errands, we saddled up the horses and launched our journey.  You’ll see a separate post about that later, but now I can tell you that it was a gorgeous ride.  The sky was exquisitely beautiful as it often seems to be after big rain storms.  The weather was perfect, breezy and warm.  We rode for about three hours, just kind of leisurely and slow.  I last rode a horse in September and can’t say I have any great skills but I can plod along just fine.  My butt now hurts.  I thought you’d like to know.  I also got a really sweet farmer’s tan. 

 After we gave the horses a bath and turned them out, we picked blueberries.  Several years ago, Madre and Poppa decided to plant a few blueberry bushes.  Now a family of 6 can have all the blueberries they want for a year out of just a couple of blueberry bushes, maybe three or four.  Madre and Poppa planted 14 of them not knowing this, so every year they extend the invitation to pick blueberries to everyone they meet.  Everyone.  I’m more than happy to do my part in weeding out the excess. 

Later I whipped Madre’s arse in a couple of games of Spite and Malice.  That’s okay because she will whip my arse next time we play.  It all comes out in the wash.

Saturday evening we were invited to a cookout at Coach’s parent’s house.  (Does that sound complicated?  Let’s call them my sort of in-laws.)  Granddaddy and Grandma are nice people and I’ve always enjoyed them.  Granddaddy cooked ribs and chicken and the rest of us brought side dishes. 

The girls played outside like children are supposed to do.  They played hide and seek, tag, and rolled down the hill in the grass over and over again until they got so itchy they had to stop.  It gave me so much joy to watch them run around the yard with no shoes on in their dresses, cheeks flushed and hair blowing back in the wind.  Their tinkling laughs and giggles were good for my soul.  I love that childish abandon when it comes to having fun.  We ate watermelon and had a seed spitting contest.  I won.  That’s what having a big mouth is good for, apparently.  I also won the affection of every single mosquito in the county.  I have the bites to prove it.

Martie sang for us and played her guitar. She has the most voluptuous voice, full bodied and rich.  It fills an entire room, and being outside and listening to it expand was amazing.  Coach watched her, enraptured, which is very special to me.  I love seeing those moments between couples.   Martie sang a song or two for everyone until we exhausted her voice and her good will with our requests.  It happens when you’ve got that kind of talent. 

When it was getting dark, we made half-hearted attempts to catch a few lightning bugs, then we piled up in our respective vehicles and headed for home.  I just sighed all the way to Madre’s house.  It was such a perfect day.

I felt and commented so many times throughout the course of the day, “I’ve got such a nice life.”  I really do.  I’m very fortunate.  I’m so thankful that I’m aware of it as it happens so that I can send up my gratitude and really squeeze every bit of loveliness out of it that I can.  I enjoy my family.  I’m so blessed to have a good one.  I love you guys!

I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day!  I say a big thank you to everyone who serves in our military, for our country, for us.  I ask for blessings for the families who have lost loved ones during that service.  I ask for blessings for the men and women who have served and who still serve.  My heart is filled with gratitude for all of you.   Thank you.