Jolly Good Show

 

 

I am in recovery mode today. Recovering from copious amounts of food. Recovering from laughter. Recovering from sending my most excellent vibes to the Denver Broncos. And what joy! They won the Super Bowl!

 

So today I’ll tidy from yesterday’s jolly good show, get to some work that slipped by me over the weekend and maybe go on a salad binge. Chicken wings are good and all, but a gal needs some fiber, yo. And carrots don’t count.

 

I’ll catch you up tomorrow, on all the fab moments from the weekend. Sure do hope yours was grand. I can’t even believe how much I enjoyed mine.

National Dance Day

 

 

Today is National Dance Day here in America. And I support the heck out of that.

 

I’m not a dancer myself, mind you. In fact, over the last few years I’ve come to understand that I am fairly awkward when it comes to dance moves. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever been any good at dancing, but I’ve always had such fun trying! It never occurred to me to judge my dance ability, as any time I was in the act of dancing, I was filled with joy. Now that I know how bad I am, I hope I can continue having fun, as I’d hate to deny myself that happiness just because I lack talent.

 

I have no plans to hit the clubs tonight. I won’t be tripping the light fantastic in any elite establishments about town, either. But I may put on a few records and shake what the good lord gave me, in my own living room. My foot is tapping and I’m smiling – just thinking about it.

Why Yes, I Do Speak Squirrel…

 

 

 

This little guy was on the steps when I arrived home at the hotel. He was not happy to see me, and didn’t hesitate in expressing his dissatisfaction.

 

He looked harmless enough, but I snapped this just as he turned to hiss at me, like a cat. He had already charged me on the steps, then proceeded to follow me down. Seriously, I was a-feared he had the hy-dro-pho-bie.

 

Now as it happens, I speak squirrel. I don’t go around blabbing about it, because it’s pretty much a useless skill. But the fact remains, I do speak it. There is a problem with my squirrel-speak, however, and that is this: I don’t have any idea what I’m saying. The squirrels do, and in general, they don’t like it. I have yet to figure out how to speak squirrel in a more kindly fashion, but I am open to learning.

 

 

Anyhoo, after this bugger charged me one last time and hissed again, I decided it was best not to speak to him. Instead, I got in the building as fast as I could. If I’d attempted his language, I’m pretty sure I’d be nursing a major wound and foaming at the mouth right now.

 

Hy-dro-pho-bie ain’t pretty, y’all.

Bond, James Bond

 

 

So I was at the grocery store yesterday, standing in line to check out. I heard a rather quiet voice behind me, “Are you ready?” It was so quiet, in fact, that I paid no attention to it. “Are you ready,” the voice repeated. I looked over my shoulder. And there he was.

 

Y’all, I swear, it was like I was looking at the James Bond of checkers. He seemed posed, and ready to either toss back a martini or stock some shelves. Either way, he was confident and suave.

 

I’ve never described a grocery store checker in this manner, and I’ve never seen this particular store employee before. But if I’m ever waiting in line there again and hear a subtle voice behind me, asking if I’m ready, I plan to twirl around quickly and say, “Well, well, well. So we meet again, Mr. Bond…”

Gwendlyn

 

 

Today is my friend Gwendlyn’s birthday.

 

It’s hard for me to put into words how amazing she is. But let me try…

 

She is a tremendous source of light in the Universe. Her soul is an inspiration. I aspire to her levels of curiosity and wonder. She has been there through laughter, and she’s been there through tears. I know from experience that when I reach out my hand, she is there to take it. And because I love her so, I pray I am there should she reach out to me.

 

Loving another person is a beautiful thing. I am blessed to love Gwendlyn. So very, very blessed.

 

Happy Birthday, Gwendlyn! Here’s to a beautiful year!

Chili John’s

 

 

I’ve mentioned Chili John’s before, as it’s my go-to chili joint. When it’s cold or rainy out, it seems to be everyone’s go-to.

 

 

Yes, the Black Keys are fans.

 

 

When I’m there, I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. But not by myself. It’s as if all the patrons have group-stepped back, and we clearly like it. Because y’all, we keep coming back. Sometimes there’s a line, but that doesn’t deter us. Sometimes it’s a super-hot day out, but that doesn’t scare us off.

 

 

There’s just something about this place that draws some of us in. Maybe it’s the building, or the decor. Maybe it’s the family running the place.

 

 

Then again, maybe it’s the food. That chili can produce a mighty craving. And rightfully so. It’s a beautiful plate of goodness…

 

Nap-Head

 

 

I don’t take a lot of naps. I take naps, sure, but not on a regular basis. And that’s a shame.

 

I love a good nap. Not too long and not too brief. I love the revitalizing effect. I love the sheer frivolity of it. I mean really – a nap! In the middle of the day!

 

In the summer, I love a good golf nap. For those who don’t know, a golf nap is what one enjoys while watching golf on the old telly. There’s something so soothing about the announcers’ voices. And because a round of golf takes quite a while, one can usually watch a little golf, take a little nap, wake and watch some more golf. It’s one of my favorite napping routines.

 

But there is no golf right now, and I’m not one for re-watching old matches. So I guess I’ll just have to forgo the routine and come up with a new one.

 

Football nap anyone?

Rain, I Mean Fall, I Mean Rain…

 

 

It rained yesterday and last night and I was quite happy about it.

 

It cooled the air. It washed my car. I got to wear a sweater, and a hat.

 

It won’t last, but I sure do love it.

Mr. and Mrs. Melvin

 

 

When I was about 4 or 5, I lived out in the country in Monroe, Georgia. The house we were renting sat on a huge plot of land, with a cotton field behind it and a swamp beyond that. Getting to the house across the road required quite a trek. And though there were no neighbors on one side of the house, there was an old house on the other side, though it, too, was quite a ways off.

 

There weren’t any kids living anywhere near us. I had two younger sisters, but they were no good for hanging out and playing. My youngest sister was a new-born and my other sister was completely occupied with being a boy. (She insisted we all call her “David.” I don’t know what to tell ya on that one.)

 

Anyhoo, in the far-away house to the side of ours, lived Mr. and Mrs. Melvin. They were both born before rocks and I think they may have had great-grandchildren older than me. I wasn’t allowed to cross the road alone, but I could wander all over our side of the road by myself. Mr. and Mrs. Melvin’s house became a natural destination.

 

They were typical country folk, and spent most of their time just sitting on their front porch, watching the day go by. When the occasional car drove past, they would wave, as country folk are wont to do. They didn’t talk a lot, unless they had something particular to say. They ate when they were hungry, and never out of boredom. They probably had a television, but they didn’t turn it on unless there was a program they wanted to see. When it was cold outside, they sat in their living room while the day went by. Their life was simple. And for some reason, they accepted me as their friend. Which was good, because they were the only friends I had on that lonesome road.

 

As it turned out, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin were good friends for a little girl to have. I learned a lot from them. For instance, they taught me to keep my distance from snapping turtles. I learned that on the day they had two giant turtles in their front yard. Friends, I do mean giant, as I could have ridden those monsters. I watched Mr. Melvin place a hoe handle in front of one of those big boys, and wouldn’t you know it – the turtle snapped that piece of wood right in two. In the end, those turtles ended up in a delicious stew that I remember to this day. Nobody in my family thought turtle stew was a very good idea, but Mr. and Mrs. Melvin showed me the light. And it was good.

 

On many a hot afternoon, Mrs. Melvin gave me Vanilla Ice Milk as a cool treat. It was “ice milk” and not “ice cream” because ice cream was too expensive. These were poor people (just like us), and they lived within their means. And while I wouldn’t buy “ice milk” for anything now, I loved it then. I associated the taste with my old friends. And I accepted that gift each time Mrs. Melvin offered.

 

Their old front porch was also the sight of one of the greatest learning experiences of my kid life: tying my shoe laces. On a still summer day, I sat on the edge of the porch, swinging my legs over the side. Mr. Melvin was in his rocker, about 5 feet from me, near the front door of the house. He never got up to come over to me, and I never got up to go over to him. He just sat there, patiently, and told me what to do. Over and over again, I followed his directions. He didn’t lose patience with me and he didn’t talk down to me, either (no “the rabbit jumps over the fence” sort of talk). Maybe that’s why I stayed calm and didn’t lose patience with myself. I just listened and learned. Listened and learned. Listened and learned. And in the end, I got it.

 

By the time we moved away from Monroe, I was 6 years old. I don’t really remember my goodbyes with the Melvins, but I’m sure we shared words. Truth is, they weren’t just my friends. I was also theirs. All those hours I spent with the Melvins provided company for all of us. They got to teach me about life, and I got to teach them about, well, I suppose, a little girl’s mind.

 

I won’t lie – all this reminiscing has gotten me choked up, so I’ll close this post. But know this: I always carry with me the memories of snapping turtles and cold vanilla ice milk. And each and every time I tie my shoes, a part of me is on that front porch – watching the day go by – with two old people who were my friends.

 

I’m still listening and learning…

Voting Hangover

 

 

So I was up late last night, following the U.S. elections. I’m dragging this morning, friends. Can you say, “Champagne?”

 

Our Democracy is one of the beautiful things about America. One of many.

 

I’m going back to sleep now. Sweet dreams…