Monday Music #4

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. This is my second song about Georgia. It’s been sung by numerous artists, but Box Scaggs is my favorite!

 

Rainy Night in Georgia

Hoverin’ by my suitcase
Tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night
A heavy rain a fallin’
Seems I hear your voice callin’
“It’s all right”

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Neon signs a flashin’
Taxi cabs and busses passin’ through the night
The distant moanin’ of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

How many times I’ve wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it, think of it
You just got to do your own thing

I find me a place in a box car
So I take out my guitar to pass some time
Late at night when it’s hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I’m all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Rainy Night in Georgia lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Originally published @ Carry Me Home on 7/31/17

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Step Back in Time

Last year I read some wonderful books set during World War II. Besides being drawn in to care for the characters and having to google location images, I learned a bit of history along the way. The following is a brief review on my selections.

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All the Light We Cannot See

Set mostly in France, this heart-wrenching story follows two main characters: blind Marie-Laure whose father works for the Museum of Natural History in Paris, and Werner, an orphan recruited into the Nazi army. “Seeing” the war through blind eyes was interesting. Marie Laure’s father made a model of their city so that she could eventually earn her way around unaided. Later, he had to do it all over again in a new town, but this time his model was more than just a way to help his daughter. It also held a secret.
Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s paths eventually crossed, as I hoped they would. But it was a bittersweet timing.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This story was a little more light hearted, yet still contained moments of sadness that can’t be avoided in war. Written in the form of letters between the main character, Juliet Ashton and others who were a part of her life, this one has an element of romance sprinkled in with the courage shown by those who faced wartime with tenacity and tenderness. The “society” was a cover story made up on the fly, but one which led to a community coming together under the bond of reading. This one is a book lover’s delight!

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Suite Francaise

Written in 1939, it was the last work of Irene Nemirosky, who met her untimely death in a concentration camp before she finished this work. It’s almost too full of characters, so it needs to be read carefully. I often found myself backtracking to pick up storylines or remind myself who the characters were. Still, it is an interesting take on a side of war that we don’t often see. It shows what happens to those who aren’t on the front lines, but at home, forced to house the enemy. Yet, sometimes the enemy seems like a friend.

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Once There Was a War

The only non-fiction work on my list, it was easy to read Steinbeck’s collection of his news articles. Sometimes I breezed through the technical military aspects, but I got the jist of them. There is something about his style that makes you feel like he’s sitting across the table telling you about his day.

If you want to brush up on your history and lose yourself in a good book, any of these would make an excellent choice!

Red Mountain Is Calling And I Must Go

After  wonderful online Kindred Spirits Book Club chat about Lassoing the Sun, a chat that included the author, Mark Woods, I was inspired to come up with  my own take on John Muir’s quote: Red Mountain is calling and I must go. And go I did, for a little hike on a beautiful Alabama  morning in May.

I headed towards the Smythe trail, labeled “difficult”, and  yes, I was breathing a bit heavy  on that portion of my hike. Then I hooked up to the north trail. I am a terrible map reader, so even with the map and signs, I ended up in a different spot, but mainly because a portion of the north trail was closed off. So, I only hiked 2.2 miles, but it always takes a while as I stop for photos along the way.

 

On my route I met with people running, biking, hiking, walking the dog, and segwaying.

Red Mountain has a lot of lovely pieces of the past, bits of buildings left from the mining days.

This is Muir’s full quote, which appears in an 1873 letter from Muir to his sister: “The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.”

 

I didn’t like what I read about Muir’s view of Indians, so I decided to do a little research on the man. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Muir founded the Sierra Club
  • He often expressed the idea that humans had no more intrinsic value than any creature of nature; this is known as a bio-centric view.
  • “All in all, there seems to be in Muir some grudging respect for Indians, but it is often masked behind the institutionalized racism that underlies his writing.” –
  • John Muir could not see the Indians for the trees. – Roy Cook
  • Although Muir claimed to oppose the oppression of Native Americans, he fully supported the extraction of Miwoks from Yosemite, referring to them as “dirty,” “deadly,” and “lazy.”
  • Muir was more concerned with human perfidy toward bears (“Poor fellows, they have been poisoned, trapped, and shot at until they have lost confidence in brother man”) than with how Native Americans had been killed and driven from their homes.
  • In his writings, Muir said the squirrels he killed on his ranch in Martinez, Calif., were disgusting pests out to ruin the orchards. But he described the squirrels living in his beloved High Sierra as hard-working creatures like those later popularized in the Disney classic “Snow White.”

 

So, after reading around the internet a bit, I have come to the conclusion that Muir, like the rest of us, is flawed. Yes, he did some great things and he had some noble goals. As for his view of Indians, it seemed to changed over time and not for the better. My takeaway is this: Be aware of others. Love and protect God’s creation, but not at the expensive of man, God’s highest earthly creature.

 

Monday Music #3

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. Though I grew up in Florida, Georgia has always been that other home I dreamed of. The land of grandma and cousins and summer vacations.

Midnight Train to Georgia

L.A. proved too much for the man
(too much for the man)
(he couldn’t make it)
So he’s leaving the life he’s come to know
(he said he’s going)
He said he’s going back to find
(going back to find)
What’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so very long ago
Oh yeah

He’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ll be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreaming
(dreaming)
That one day he’d be a star
(a superstar but he didn’t get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don’t always come true
(dreams don’t always come true)
Oh no
(uh uh no uh uh)
So he sold all his hopes
And he even sold his own car
And bought a one way ticket back
To the life that he once knew
Oh yes he did
He said he would

I know he’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on the midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He’s leaving
(he’s leaving)
On a midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
He said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine

I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
Ive got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go
(her man, his girl)
I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
I’ve got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go right now
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)

Written by James D. Weatherly • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

*originally published @ Carry Me Home on 7/24/17

Dream On

 

“Cancel subscriptions to Southern Living, Veranda and Southern Lady magazines”

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– I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

In Flagg’s book, the main character, Maggie Fortenberry, is making plans to kill herself, but she just can’t leave the world without putting everything in order first, including canceling her magazine subscriptions. I am familiar with all three of these magazines; in fact, Southern Living and Southern Lady are both published right here in Birmingham. In another fact, I worked for Southern Lady for two whole weeks. But, that’s a long story for another day.

The bad thing for me about magazines like these is the desires they stir up. Everything is lovely and perfect… and usually expensive. Granted, there is a lot of good information between the pages, such as gardening tips and recipes. But, then again, I don’t have a green thumb and don’t cook like I used to. Maggie Fortenberry didn’t really garden or cook, either. So, why do we get these magazines?

Sometimes it’s fun to just dream. We think about houses we’d like to live in one day, places we’d like to visit, clothes that are lovely. Others of us get inspired: I could make a table like that; I could paint my room that color; I could visit that town on a budget. There is a lot of potential good if we peruse the pages with a little common sense. Or, we can just cancel those subscriptions altogether.

Monday Music #2

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. Jacksonville, Florida is where I grew up, and I planned this post long before Irma was a household name. My heart breaks for friends and family with cleanup to face and losses to deal with.

 

 

Jacksonville

It wasn’t even in my plan
A week in the sun and some fun in the sand
I was really only passin’ through
It all began on Ocean Drive
Standin’ in line for a burger and fries
Coincidentally, so were you
We took a quiet corner booth

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

I’m givin’ up my walkin’ shoes
While the wind and the waves wash away my blues
And you help me lose track of time
Rock and roll, you’re holdin’ me
Rockin’ in your arms by a rollin’ sea
It wasn’t easy makin’ up my mind
I can see forever in your eyes, your eyes

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

Songwriters: Pat Mclaughlin / Joshua Otis Turner
Jacksonville lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Ole Media Management Lp/

*originally posted @ Carry Me Home on 7/17/17

The video below  from the Weather Channel, where you can see “Winged Victory” surrounded by water from the St. Johns River.

 

 

 

 

This is video

I’ve Been Set Down

 

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Birmingham, Alabama

 

This post was originally written three months ago. I was  ruminating on friendships past and future; looking for words of wisdom from scripture and finding nuggets in unexpected places. Surfing the net sometimes provides providential words of encouragement and exhortation.

There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. We are not to run from it on a whim or sudden notion, but we should serve the Lord in it by being a blessing to those among whom we live.  -Alistair Begg

I have been set down in Alabama; deposited in this south deeper than Florida. Here the grass is softer and the roads hillier; the accent thicker and the seasons more varied. Tornadoes have replaced hurricanes and I have discovered white BBQ sauce. But, God is the same. No matter how much I vacillate, He is the same.

And to quote a fictional character:

 God will put you in the right place. Even if you don’t know it at the time. –  Alec Hardy (quoting his mother)  in Broadchurch

So, I believe I’m in the right place, no matter how I “feel” about it. Maybe I have not yet seen why. But, in our pursuit of becoming foster parents, I think perhaps this is our right place. In taking the steps to follow our desire to foster, it’s been like “going down the chute”.

You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. – Tina Fey