Snowzilla 2016

We got walloped the morning of Jan. 22. The forecasts had all predicted the white stuff would gear up after noon, but it started in earnest around 7 a.m. and blanketed the city with upwards of 8 inches some places. My commute to work was treacherous, and took me more than an hour. Part of that hour was spent idle on Rosa Parks, stuck behind a procession of cars and trucks that couldn’t get up an icy hill. People were out of their cars, pushing. I waited under an overpass (strategically, so I wouldn’t get buried in the snow that was still falling around us) until finally there was enough room between stalled cars for me to give it a go. I made it. My other option was to abandon my car, which I considered briefly. Not a great feeling.

Anyway, for as scary as it was, it really was quite beautiful. I was so excited to get Holden from his dad’s so that he and I could play in it, but he was not all that into it. “Let’s play in the snow!” I said. “And build a snowman!” He scrunched up his face. “Maybe later. I want to go inside where it’s warm.” And just like that, my 4-year-old turned 40.

Here’s a gallery of photos, taken over a couple of days.

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You probably would expect to see a tumbleweed roll through here before you’d expect to see an actual, substantive post from me. That’s fair.

However, I want to stop and take note of something. It’s this weird feeling I haven’t felt in a long time. I almost hesitate to acknowledge it publicly for fear that speaking it to the Universe will prompt its evaporation. Poof. Gone just as quickly as it appeared. But I’m going to chance it, because I want to give thanks for the two things I’ve been feeling a lot of lately:

Love and happiness.

This year has been brutal in many ways and the hard stuff isn’t over yet. It probably won’t be for a while. But I have lucked out and landed myself some unexpected good stuff too, somehow. Stuff I haven’t felt in a long, long time and in some cases at all. So I want to keep it to myself and hide it under a blanket so no one will take it away from me. Selfish? So be it.

Let me savor this, after years of starving.

The other Savannah

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Amber and I had talked for a long time about taking a ladies’ weekend trip somewhere since we don’t get to see each other too often during the year. We finally made that happen in September. Back when we were brainstorming a trip, we considered all kinds of mid-size cities across the country, but we both ultimately were charmed by Savannah, Georgia, thanks to the rave reviews from our friends who’d been there and tons of random internet strangers.

And you know me and my thing for Southern gothic. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

So, we set off to meet in Savannah in mid-September and had a really lovely time. The weather cooled off just enough in the middle of our trip to make our numerous walks around downtown pretty spectacular. We both were hit with some pretty gnarly allergies while there (is it the junk hanging from the trees or what?), but we just Kleenexed our way through town and met lots of ghost hunters and seekers, and encountered more fantastic folk art than in any other place I’d ever traveled. I love a city whose inhabitants so obviously love and value the visual arts. And I love a place where the living residents cede so much of their narrative to the stories of the dead.

Here are some photos from the trip. Full album can be viewed here.

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Savannah GA The river

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Friday Flower: Nostalgia edition

I’ve been in Nashville three years now and I still miss growing my own flowers. There’s nothing keeping me from it, really, except time and money. I’m real short on both these days. Some day I hope to get back to having my own little flower beds and array of potted beauties that will collect the morning dew and sit still while I point my camera at them in the early morning light.

At least I get to hang out and get close to the lovelies in my mom’s garden when I visit. Remember the Friday Flower feature I used to post here ages ago? Here’s an honorary addition, thanks to a trip to Saltillo last weekend:

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Keep on rolling

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“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

— Corrie Ten Boom

Magic hour

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This is the kind of thing the sun does to the trees round about 6:30 in the spring in Tennessee.

No filter. No editing.

This is about to sound a lot like bragging, but…

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Goddamn, this state is beautiful.