Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ten, I mean four

Ten great things about a couple of trees falling in your family’s yard:

1. You were thinking of how you needed to get in shape. You already included your dog in the
    program. Now you find other people with the same goals and dreams.

2. Those people were trained exactly as you. In fact, that’s a great thing to have in common.

3. Big trees mean massive piles of debris.

Okay. Only three things.

Because number three reminds me of that time my Dad drove to North Mississippi and cut up a tree in my backyard and that tree nobody wanted to touch. A company quoted $2,500 the day after the storm. (didn’t even have to call those people. they came directly to my door. handed me an official quote)

And I was all, “Whut?”

And they said it again.

And I just started explaining that I wasn’t from those parts and not so accustomed to the customs and

of such.

Where I am from, I explained, was the land of pine and timber and if you had some wood which needed to be cut there would be someone who would be needing it for heating.

Dad found a family, a guy, who was much obliged and removed it once

my Dad
with chainsaw in one hand and
a lightening bolt in the other
took that tree apart piece by piece.

It is some of our best time together, I think.

4.     You can have some of the best times in your life with people you love once trees fall in your yard.

Is it 2015 yet?
It sure feels like it.
Aren’t we ready to get this one started?

Cue the fireworks, the band, the pompoms.
Let's do this.

Today I am grateful to know what had to end before we began.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

somebody stopped smoking

Little Bird. That was awesome what you did.

I told you we had to go inside, and at first you nodded. So I started walking toward the door and you started following until that moment you realized Billy Sue was staying in the car.

You give warning.
I'll give you that.

It's like a quick burst of beh, but more pronounced and increased volume from what you typically use. Your Dad does the greatest impression.

You gave me the warning and I did hear it and already knew you were not going to get what you wanted so my response, of course, was, No, Little Bird. I'm sorry. We have to go in. Billy Sue has to stay in the car. It's cold out here.

Let's just say I am amazed by the strength in your legs, and yo, solid punch, chic. Who knew you had that in your fists? The headbutt, we won't talk about that. You seriously are going to have to consider your brain at this age, young lady.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to have fun with a kid who will hopefully one day laugh at this. And I'll get to hear her do it.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Because you.
You see the world as a series of grand adventures.
So I want to take you on them.
(or follow you as you travel)

The road moving below you.

That look you give me like “Whatup?”
It’s magic. 
Isn’t it?

I’m so grateful that I don’t depend on this for income.
For me it feels more like love.

(Thank you for
reading/stopping by/putting up with/being cool/giving any attention to someone who doesn’t quite fit in
to many expectations
or hopes for self.
But ohboy, can we dream of beautiful things.

And that’s nice)

one place leads to another

in the world we attend

crazy has places to hide in
that are deeper than any goodbye.
Leonard Cohen

Today we picked up a pinecone.
This place is littered with them, and we forgot one at the place yesterday.
We could pick up one here, but it has to be authentic.
More driving.
It's still cloudy.

It's not that far away.

Justin's camp is just up or down or over the road.
We will pick up a pinecone and take it to him.

I'll tell you why on the way, but I'll whisper it to you.
Because this is shame.
Shame it's been over two years since I've seen him.
Shame in the shape of a pinecone from a tree which grows on a place he loves.
Shame I haven't done more with our lives.
Shame I can just walk away.
Shame that seems to be a talent of mine.
Shame. I wear it.

But it doesn't have to be.
I think Justin came to teach me in the form of he needs us.

Today I am grateful to be confronted with the chance to help is not only at the house but to the left or right outside the door, up over or down the road.

The call of the day comes from caller number one.

Well with your soul?

I may never get well with my soul. None of us may. Maybe that's the risk we take and how forgiveness became.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

rainrain, don't go away

Justin's place

Today I am grateful for a candle, a front porch swing and a little mystery.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

what would be really cool

would be to follow Ben Carson on a campaign trail as if I was David Foster Wallace following John McCain. (except I would have to be in my car with my dog)

and it was a Rolling Stone article.

and photographs.

and dream.

Disclaimer: For any David Foster Wallace appreciators out there, I understand you don't think I'm near as good. I don't think so either. But I sure love what he did in this world. I know you always wanted to see some type of peace here, man. I wish you could have.

music of up

The sweetest couple in the world reminded me of

(take a deep breath)
this song.

And, well, I want to thank them for that and the example they set.

Sometimes you can't help but fall in love and surely that's okay.


I have to tell you something.

This drive, I need it.

The Quick Stop.
The I shoulda stopped.
The reservoir.

The creek is up.
And so are more limbs.

Mrs. Carolyn’s tangerines.
From Louisiana, I think.
Straight off the tree, I know.
Somebody needs to be selling something like that. It’s gold.

You .
You are funny with this change in life.
You don’t even want to get out of the car when we get home.
Our life was on the run before.
You went everywhere I did.

We stopped.
I don’t know why that is.

But here’s what I love. We’re starting again.

Today I am grateful for this drive. You and me, we need it.

Today's call of the day goes to caller number one.

Do you have to have someone?

Of course, more someones make it even better but then you can have too much.

Too much or too many?

You're right. Sometimes it does feel like that when you're trying to mother the world.

Why would you mother the world?

Well I guess I think it needs it since it sounds pretty insane from what I hear.

What are you going to do?

I think I'm doing it.

Is that all?

No.           I know I could do more, but here's what I'm doing for now. Coming soon to a community near you is a chance for service after a study in history. This is what happens when your cohorts are grand philanthropists. Education is a service industry manned by people who want to save the world.

You'll meet Lynnita.
And we'll definitely continue to go on these rides we need.

Of course you know the blogs I'll be visiting.

Find the Starlight.
Seth Godin
Chantel (if she'll ever write again. don't you miss that?)
A Thousand Fragments
I'll see places with Trey Ratcliff.
And study photography through Joe McNally.

There will be some magazines. Legends and eat.drink.Mississippi and Desoto because of Karen. Kim will still be around taking calls. Dad will be walking. Mom will be taking care of Wyatt and cooking and beaching it and we're going to both start walking. Slater and Shelbs, we are going to try and keep up because those two are living beautiful lives. But community, too, is way up there on the list.

Friday, December 26, 2014

feral dog meet house cat

The day Mr. Fox met Gizmo was not necessarily the greatest day.

He was a dog without a home. I don't know how long it had been that way.

Gizmo has never known anything other than here.

Dug, in his infinite wisdom, tried to protect both of them.

I think it will work out in the end.

Today's call of the day comes from caller number one.

I think I made a breakthrough.

A breakdown?

Sweet semantics. Oh how we love you. Breakdown. Breakthrough. Maybe it's about direction.

Which way is up? I've been thinking about that.

Can you walk away from people? People who need?

I don't see how you can live without doing that. Everyone needs something. How much time do you have? When was the last time you took care of yourself?

But when do you know it's time to turn and walk away?

I know this sucks, but the answer is in the question.

love no matter what

on Netflix.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

the day we saw the pines

Aunt Marilyn's laugh is the best.

Hey, you. Good morning.
How ‘bout a ride?
A shower?
A nail clipping?
How ‘bout we go real slow?
See some cows?
Listen to some Christmas music?

How ‘bout taking your old seat?
What if
is our new adventure?
It’s been a while. Right?
Just today. We’ll see tomorrow at that time.

You remember that time we heard what we heard?
That everybody we meet is somehow a mirror of us.
And every question already has an answer attached.

That’s just crazy.
Don’t you think?

Today I am grateful for the look in her eyes when I said, “How ‘bout a ride?”

The question of the day comes from caller number one.

Caller, go ahead.

Will you never learn?

Learn what?

That you keep repeating yourself.

Oh, yeah. For sure. I know that. Does it look so bad? What if today was a love story? Did you need to see it? I did.

researcher storyteller


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

legacy (in all seriousness)

…had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap...
Clement Clarke Moore, A Visit from St. Nicholas

Dear Santa,

Thank you.

The peanut butter Oreo proved victorious.

Subject Two.
Could maybe buy a bag of Oreos if she really wanted them, but more likely than not she would just get an adult to buy them for her. Who could blame her? It's awesome being a kid and she rocks.

The milk (2%, that matters for this experiment) is in a glass. She is unsure of what is happening but had nodded tentatively and at the same time wild eyed while kind of whispering, Uh huh. I'll do your experiment, while we were cleaning up limbs. 

When we went in to take a break she had already had lunch and a whole you know that cup she uses with the straw in it. She drank that whole thing. Do you know which one I'm talking about, Aunt Shea? 


Then I say, Alright. You have to sit in the chair at the table, and you'll be given one Oreo.

She sits but seems nervous since this is looking serious. Her Grammie sits to her right and her Dad to her left. I pull up a chair between she and her Dad. She faces us. She holds the Oreo in her left hand, in front of my face and looks at me even more wide eyed than she was before as she nods her head and shrugs her shoulders.

Go. Do it.

She starts to dunk the cookie.

You don't have to do that. (It's the one part of the experiment I regret)

Because that's when she slowly, one third watching me one third watching her Dad and one third watching Grammie, brings the cookie to her teeth. And crunches from outside to center and the nodding begins. Then a quick look at each of us when I ask, So. What do you think?

It's good. More nodding. Not too much smiling. She's taking this seriously. I think yes.

ohmygosh. Yes. Yes what? The other Oreo with the white center or this one with peanut butter.

This one. She is sure of herself and that cookie.

Test Result: Peanut butter Oreo rocks.

Her Dad took his with sweet tea and was serious, but sweet tea please. He liked the original better. Something about the chocolate (the best chocolate in the world) required the compliment of the sweet white you know what we're talking about.

Subject Three Test Result: He's going with the original. Even after I tried to convince him that no, he was wrong. Hence, solid result.

Which leads us to Subject Four.

Grammie. (Worth ten votes because let's get serious here. It's Grammie. What she says goes.)

She took no drink with her cookie. Did not, as with all previous subjects, take the cookie apart. Rather she took one solid crunch of, about one eighth of, the cookie and nodded.

Yeah. I like this one better, she said.

Subject Four Test Result: Ten votes in favor of peanut butter Oreo.

Subject five refused to participate, because there was that year he got on the double stuff and gained ten pounds. That's okay. Testing is not mandatory.

Today I am grateful for our Christmas miracle.

How when a swirling wind uprooted two, you gonna have to use a wood splitter, trees

my brother knew how to use a chainsaw,

and Subject number one sings when she picks up sticks,

and Jess, what we have here is a Christmas miracle.

Why do you say that, Aunt Shea?

Because, baby, if it hadn't been for this we couldn't have helped Grammie. She's always busy helping everybody else. You know how she is.

She nods.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Clement Clarke Moore (over 150 years ago)

The echo of those same words is here today.

What does up mean?