Sense of Direction or Sense of Adventure?

 

lti state park

Kat, my adventuring daughter – Little Talbot Island State Park

 

“Your grandma always had a terrible sense of direction. She could get lost on an escalator.” – – from And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

 

It’s funny that this could describe me and my mother, yet it never stopped her and doesn’t stop me from having adventures. Mom would pack her pistol for protection and her machete for whacking away grass and weeds in the cemeteries she visited and she’d hit the road for Georgia. She would get her sisters and they would visit court houses and cemeteries and woods in search of long lost ancestors. This was all without GPS and, in the beginning, without internet. Finally, the last time she visited my Aunt Betty, when Mom was 81 or 82, she got lost because Aunt Betty had moved to a new place. She decided then that she would not go back again alone. But she was never able to go back again at all after that, anyway. I know my Aunt misses her and her visits terribly.

I , however, have the technological benefits and I still get turned around. I’ve taken much longer then intended hikes and made many an unnecessary U-Turn because I second guessed myself. I am not afraid, usually. but there was this one time when I got a little panicky because night was coming on and my daughter and I were out in a kayak and heading in the wrong direction. We passed some fishermen on a boat who looked familiar (we’d passed them once already) and shouted out to them. They pointed us in the right direction and we paddled like mad to get back before dark and before the kayak rental place closed. We made it, but just barely.

So, even without a sense of direction, my sense of adventure is still intact. And for that I’m glad.

 

Petit Jean

With my adventuring cousin, Paula – Jean Petit State Park

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I have been purging papers from my old trunk and elsewhere the past few weeks. I can’t believe all the stuff I’d saved. I took pictures of some things and sent them to people who I thought would appreciate then or get a laugh out of of them. I sent my friend (junior high, HS, college, still) pictures of sorority articles, the napkins from her wedding, newspaper clippings, thank you notes, shower invitations. My kids got pictures of pictures they drew in first grade and poems they wrote in high school. And I’m not finished yet.

In the process I reconnected, via facebook, with my sorority big sister and a former student who is now about 30.

One humorous item I uncovered was written by Elizabeth, a fourth grade student from my earliest years of teaching. She had evidently heard something in church. (Some punctuation and capitalization added)

 

Once there was a man named Jonah. He woke up and a voice came out of his window. It was God. God wanted Jonah to build an ark. It was going to rain 40 days and 40 nights. They were going to build an ark but Jonah hided from God and everywhere Jonah went God was there. He was sending men to build the ark.

“The rain is going to come in five minutes,” said the men.

Everybody was coming to the ark. People were coming and people were packing their stuff. The rain was coming. The rain finally came. There were floods. The floods were like an ocean. God made waves and a big fish came out of the ocean and swallowed Jonah. 

Tell the Truth

Word Art 14

TAB

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”- Chief Joseph, Nex Perce, from  The Wisdom of Native Americans, compiled by Kent Nerburn

 

So I have listened to The Avett Brothers new album Closer Than Together over and over, and my favorite song keeps changing. Tell the Truth has been a fav for a few weeks. I feel like there is a message in it for me. So I keep listening.

“I wanna make amends, but where do I start?
Tell the truth to yourself
And the rest will fall in place” 

“The Scott Avett-penned Tell the Truth, is a song about, ‘Well, where do I start? How do I start to change things?'” he muses. “The only thing I can do is with me.” –The Boot
“It’s one of these songs where one phrase is like the thesis statement. I think it’s a powerful concept that if you will just tell the truth to yourself, the rest will fall in place.” –Paste Magazine

 

 

Pet Sins

I’m not talking about sins that pets commit. Pets can be bad and do things that are mighty inconvenient, but they can’t sin as they have no soul. Sorry, Virginia, but all dogs don’t go to heaven.

I’m also not talking about those sins that are our favorite little secrets. That’s for another day.

I’m talking about the ones that are the favorite ones to bring up in church. The ones we can mention over and over because we don’t think we’ll be stepping on any toes in the process. We can talk about how horrible abortion is, because surely there isn’t anyone in our fellowship that has ever had an abortion, right?

Homosexuality is another favorite, for surely there are no homosexuals sitting in our congregations. So, lets just make examples of those two horrendous sins so we can all nod our heads in agreement while patting ourselves on the back. Of course, we can occasionally mention gossiping and envy because we all agree we are a little bit guilty, you know, like, everybody does it. And it’s okay sometimes to bring up drunkenness because drunks are just plain funny, you know?

Just don’t go talking about divorce or gluttony because you might just offend too many people.

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I guess it’s a natural thing

mamaw

 

I discovered Sean of the South this year and when I see see his name in my inbox every morning  I know I’m in for a good read on his blog.  He writes about everything, but a recurring theme is the loss of his dad when he was 12. He even mentioned that someone has said he talks about that too much. I don’t think so. It’s a part of him.

Grief touches us all in different ways. When my Dad died I grieved, but so much was going on in my immediate family that I didn’t really have time to stop and grieve. It hit me about eight or nine months later. Like a knock down punch.  Mom had been grieving in her own way. I remember she wasn’t eating enough at one point, then later it was the opposite – she was eating a lot of sweets which was unusual for her.

She also could not listen to music for a long time, because it always made her think of Dad. It was quite a while before she began playing the radio again.

This year for NaNoWriMo I’m attempting the family story once again. Last year I wrote about 23,000 words. This year I’m trying to redo it in the forms of verse and letters. So I’m reading/rereading the tons of letters I have here, from 1925-2015. Today I read a letter Mom wrote her sister, Billie, a month after their mother, my Mamaw, died in 1983.

“Seems like for the last couple of weeks I’ve had a delayed reaction to Mama’s dying. Can’t explain it, but I guess it’s a natural thing, I don’t know.” 

It really struck me all over how much I miss Mom. Lately I’ve found myself tearing up with an overwhelming feeling of loss. It just comes over me and I can’t control it. In three months it will be two years that she’s been gone. I know I’ve talked about it a good bit here; forgive me.

An afternoon in the woods

Yesterday I got off work early and was able to hike around at Moss Rock Preserve with Ruby before the sun set. At 4:51 pm. Blasted Daylight Savings Time.  The fall colors were absolutely  magnificent. The weather was perfect. The company was amicable.

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I came across two brothers who were rock climbing while their mom took pictures and video. I watched a minute from the top of a boulder opposite the activity. The older boy was hoisting the younger one up with a rope and pulley system of some sort. My path crossed theirs a little later and they were still having fun.

As I approached the waterfall area I came across a man, younger than me I think, helping an elderly couple in their seventies to get down the rocky path along the waterfall. Which could hardly be called a waterfall, more a water trickle But, I digress. I could tell from the snatches of conversation I heard these people didn’t know each other. Just one person giving a helping hand.

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Moss Rock – sun hasn’t set yet but moon is up

After I wandered around above the “falls” and crossed over, I sat a few minutes to just enjoy the scenery and let Ruby lap up some water. She started a little low growling as a man approached from behind, taking pictures. When he came into my sightline I saw he was wearing a Georgia Bulldogs shirt. I told Ruby he was not the enemy and then I told him I liked his shirt. That opened the door for a little conversation. He graduated from the University of Georgia ten years ago. We talked about different places to hike in the area and then I went on my way.

I came up on the elderly couple again and slowed my pace to stay behind them. Which was pretty slow since my pace is already slow. The man turned to me and began a conversation. His name is Bo, hers is Joan. He asked me where I go to church, then proceeded to tell me all about his.

Ruby and I then tried to get ahead of them by taking a different path but ended up right behind them again. No matter, we were almost back to the entrance.

Usually when I hike it’s pretty quiet. I hardly ever engage in a lot of conversation. But you never know. I’d much rather run into someone who wants to talk than to run into another copperhead snake.

 

 

 

Thanks for the Memories

Word Art 74

So, the Avett Brothers concert last night was great!  I’ll write more about it later. They played a song that I wasn’t real familiar with: Distraction #74.  There was a verse  that took me back to my freshman year of college.

So give me a try at describing just how difficult it is.
When you kinda love two girls to figure out which one you miss.
Stumble away from your stairway with your perfume on my clothes.
Well I kinda loved two girls but now I’ve kinda lost ’em both.

This could have been sung by Jack, though he didn’t really love me. He came to school on the heels of his high school girlfriend, Kathy. But, she was having none of it. Kathy and I lived in the same dorm, same floor, and were familiar with each other.

So, Jack and I met and started dating. His fraternity “Big Brother” and my sorority “Big Sister” were engaged, and that threw us together even more. By and by he and Kathy began dating again, also. Around Valentine’s Day he had the bright idea to send us both flowers. On the same day. To the same dorm. The girls at the front desk figured out what was going on and called us both down to get our flowers. Instead of the expected cat fight, we talked it out, decided he was an idiot, and we became friends. Jack did not like that one bit!

The following year (1978) I got married and Kathy was there to help serve the cake and punch. The last time I saw her was in 1985. I would love to find her now. I haven’t seen Jack since I left school in 1978. All that hilarious drama came flooding back last night when I heard that song.

Thanks, TAB.  🙂