If You Like Old Stuff Like I Do

Visiting my family in Charlotte, Brett and I went to the mall today. It was like being a fish out of water.

Me: Um, what is this?
Saleswoman: A shrug.
Me: Really? What are the holes for?
Saleswoman: Your arms.
Me: I don’t get it.
Saleswoman: Are you from another planet?

Ok just kidding she didn’t ask me that. She just walked away.

After escaping the mall, we spent the day salvaging a few usable items from a house that is being torn down.  Everyone’s trash is another person’s treasure…especially if you like old stuff like I do. Brett found some old hardware and fixtures, and I found some old newspaper articles in the attic.

salvage

Tonight we went to a new friend’s house for dinner, and I warned Boo ahead of time: we are going to a fairytale house, with a garden just like the Secret Garden, gargoyles and passageways, and the library looks just like the Book Thief and it has a staircase just like the Biltmore house. And you should have seen her face when we walked into the library…it was just like when Liesel sees the library in the mayor’s house in The Book Thief.

Boo on the stairs being followed by a Bengal cat:

library

We ate dinner with our friends Nick and Suzie and Boo asked if she could be excused from the table early, so she could spend time in the library. I’m not sure I’ll ever hear that again. She found The Boxcar Children on the shelf and she was told she could borrow it. Suzie also had this old mail order catalog she’d found and it was in perfect condition. Circa 1915 this catalog would have been right around the time of the Titanic.  The mail order form was still in the center of the catalog, making me want to fill it out and send it in with my 89 cents.

catalog

And yesterday we spent some time with my brother and his family. It was my nephew’s birthday. And I actually have a photo of me and my brother for once, although it does look like I’m trying to get away from him, but that was only because I was trying to take a photo with my nephew Carter:

brother

And since we are staying with my sister we’ve spent a lot of quality time with my little niece Leighton.  I get to bathe her each night and we all take turns feeding her and she’s just the sweetest baby. I might just steal her..because I’m pretty sure I’m her favorite person in the whole wide world:

leighton

Speaking of old stuff I picked up this really old metal globe last week while thrifting/antiquing. Even my thrifty hubby thought it was a find we couldn’t pass up. Not that we have the space for it right now.

globe

 

And then there’s just this:

tree

 

And this:

leighton

It is a Beautiful Thing to Have Hope

My friend Tahnie of A Happy Girl wrote this. I thought it was beautiful. I shared it on Instagram months ago but never shared it here:

It's a beautiful thing to have hope via A Happy Girl #quote

 

From Tahnie’s blog:

I am amazed to be 1 of about 10 women with cystinosis who has survived pregnancy. Our odd defying daughter gives me crazy, potent hope for all aspects of life. I was blessed with a kidney transplant 19 1/2 years ago when my mother gave me life for a second time. I am a huge organ donation advocate. This blog is about life, overcoming challenges, motherhood, embracing the beauty of right now and celebrating conquering your own impossible. -A Happy Girl

How to Make Sharpie Owl Pumpkins

 

sharpieowlmain

I am a big fan of Mexican art…especially sugar skulls.  I used black and silver Sharpie markers to turn these faux styrofoam pumpkins into owl sugar skulls for my Halloween decor this year.  Michaels is challenging customers to “trick a pumpkin” this year and post the creations to Instagram. Make sure to read more at the bottom of this post on how to enter your own!
owlpumpkins15

If you do a google search for “sugar skull” you will come across a variety of images you can pull ideas from. I make up the doodles as I go along, but starting with the round eyes first:

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas without Carving - Sharpie Doodle Owl

Tip: If you mess up, use a damp Magic Eraser to lightly wipe the area until the mistake lightens or disappears completely!

I used 4 different size pumpkins and made them all their own unique version:

How to decorate a pumpkin without carving it ideas #diy #pumpkin

 

I used a silver sharpie on the black/chalkboard pumpkin:Decorating a chalkboard paint pumpkin with sharpie

 

The large pumpkin took around 30 minutes to complete: [Read more...]

Official Used Book Store Business

Last week it was my first morning opening up the used book store in downtown Bryson City:

Wake up lovely books….

Friends of the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City #brysoncity
The large room was silent. I hit the light switches and the lights blinked and flickered a few times before turning on.  Fluorescent lights always remind me of the book Langoliers by Stephen King, when the world is catching up to time and waking up. The buzz is the first thing that’s noticed.

I rolled out the book cart, which used to be the most dangerous job at the bookstore because it is extremely heavy and the grade at the front door is not very forgiving.  But this was a new book cart, the old one (with the wheel that like to fall off and dump the books alongside Everett Street) has been demoted to the back of the store.

And then I turned the “Closed” signs to “Open” at 10am.  Open for business.

I sat there most of the day wondering what it used to be like. The bookstore used to be part of the old Bennett drugstore, one half of it to be exact. The hallway in the center has been walled off making it now two spaces.

Bennett’s Drug Store dates back all the way to 1905 and operated up until 1990 in the same family.  A big red Coca-Cola drink cooler used to block the door of the soda fountain so that you had to enter through the drug store entrance. Early marketing genius.

drug store

 

You can see the arch of the soda fountain in the back right of this old photo, tucked behind the first four sets of shelving: (click on the photo to enlarge)

Bennettdrugstore

(I cannot find a source for this old photo…anyone know?)

“The antique marble soda fountain remains from an earlier time when the store was part of the old Bennett’s Drug Store. The fountain has a marble topped counter from Italy with six stools; the lighted back bar with stained glass murals and marble columns is also from Italy.” -Postcards from the Smokies

I would just love to know how a soda fountain from Italy ended up in a Bryson City drugstore.

Donna, my friend and a cook at the inn, used to flip burgers at the soda shop years ago. More than one person has told me about the peanut butter milk shakes.  I drool. Teresa, the manager of the book store, has told me what history she knows of every building surrounding the place.

Last Thursday was a typical day.  It was cool so I left the front door open and customers drifted in and out. I ate a Krispy Kreme donut and drank a fountain diet coke from the Hot Spot. When the book store was quiet I read through a book of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and a book of letters from the Carpathia regarding the Titanic.  I ended up buying the Titanic book for $4.00. I thought my mom would like it too. Throughout the morning  I met customers from Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama and Charleston, SC. I had a long conversation about midwives and Amish communities with a woman I’d met at the Hemlock Inn a few days prior. Three people dropped off book donations. One had two boxes of encyclopedias which the bookstore doesn’t take in anymore because there just isn’t room. And I guess no one wants encyclopedias these days.  I took the encyclopedia donations.  I’ll figure out what to do with them at some point. I just didn’t want them to end up in a dump somewhere. I love encyclopedias.  There must be a huge encyclopedia retirement home somewhere right?  At one point during the morning I could hear Ivan, the owner of the Calby’s Antiques (the other half of the original drug store), playing the pipe organ next door.  A customer and I both had our ears to the wall listening.

I probably shouldn’t tell you about the scary trap door in the floor that supposedly leads to the basement of the bookstore.  I bet there’s some really old stuff down there. Or maybe just a secret racket ball court? (you have no idea what I’m talking about unless you’ve seen the movie Door in the Floor with Jeff Bridges). The trap door used to have a lock on it at some point, which makes it even more mysterious.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this either, but the first day I worked the bookstore by myself and closed it…I accidentally took the cash register key home with me.  I’m going to get fired from my first retail job, I thought, even though I work for free. I went really early the next morning to drop the key back off so it would be like nothing happened, and thought for sure I wouldn’t see anyone. As I got to the back door, and started to unlock it…I heard someone yell “Hey there Ashley!” It turns out the old mayor (not old like old, but old like ex) likes to wash his deck at 7:45am. For 5 seconds I pretended to be invisible. Then I turned and waved like a boss:  “Hey, yeah, um, just doing some super-important-official-8am-used-book-store-business!”   

And a few weeks ago, to shake things up a bit I took my 1954 Hermes Rocket typewriter (the one featured in my Dear Friend letters) and set it on the counter.  I put a piece of paper in it and typed:

leave me (the typewriter) a message….

Then I even typed a fake message to get things started:

hey typewriter. 

And no one would type on it.

So I left another fake message:

is typing writing?

Granted it was a slow day, but I couldn’t convince one single person to leave a message. It’s like they were scared of a typewriter. Or me. But they did buy books, so maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe it was the typewriter. I’ll try again sometime soon.  Hopefully I get a few brave customers.  And my first fake message will be:

BE BRAVE AND TYPE.

 

P.S. I was invited to the volunteer appreciation dinner next week….so I’m still employed at my free job.

 

 

More info:

Friends of the Marianna Black Library Used Book Store
32 Everett St, Bryson City, NC 28713
Raises money to help with the rising costs of Free Library Services in Bryson City, North Carolina.
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Sunday
More things to do in Bryson City, NC. 

 

Life Is Not Rocket Science

I spent the morning in the Hemlock Inn kitchen with George, one of the cooks, and helped make peanut butter pies. I combed through an old box of handwritten recipes collected over the years from guests that have come and go. Coated in years of cooking:

Old Hemlock Inn Recipes - Inn located in Bryson City

I washed the dishes and George dried.  We concluded that I am not the greatest dishwasher because I like to “quietly” wash dishes. I don’t like to clang them around.

Washing Dishes at the inn

I spent the afternoon working on some writing projects. When school was out, as a family, we visited our friends Wally and Donna (who I always call Wonna and Dolly on accident). Boo wanted to meet their chickens:

Raising Chickens

And as I looked back on my day I thought about how George had broken almost every bone in his body after falling off the side of a mountain when he was a younger guy.  He has all the visible scars to show he’s been through more than I could ever live through. Add in a brain aneurysm and a stroke and he’s pretty much a walking miracle.  And Donna is a cancer survivor and a survivor of a lot more than that too. And Wally had a stroke a while back and can’t do everything he used to.  But Wally started painting gourds…and here’s one he made for me, a buff orpington. She’s the most beautiful gourd chicken I’ve ever seen:

And she will be named: Hatsy

Chicken Gourd - Buff Orpington

And these are just a few of the people who are so generous with their lives.  They invite us into their homes. They make pancakes so we can freeze them for later. They fix nail guns. They smile when the door swings open.

“Turn left at the EGGS sign” I told Brett earlier today and “make sure you gun it up the gravel driveway!”  Feeding a stale biscuit to a group of chickens is delightful and humorous and basically-the-best-thing-I’ve-done-all-week. I cock-a-doodled so maybe Rufus the Rooster would grace us with his presence and he did.

Me: You know those teeny tiny gourds called Tennessee Spinners?

Wally: Yep.

Me: How can I grow those myself?

Wally: Just plant a seed…

Just plant a seed?  This is not rocket science!  A year ago I would have just ordered them off Etsy!  Even talk of gourds stretches me to places I never even knew existed. The thought of growing gourds myself! Tennessee spinners can be used as toy tops, and I know this because I learned how to spin them at a farm festival a few weeks ago.

Did you know: a gourd takes 90 to 100 days to grow to maturity.  Good grief.  That’s like 400 years. 

Last night at dinner a woman said: if you lie flat in the middle of a cornfield, you can hear the corn growing. It crackles as it stretches upward.  What?!  How am I 37 years old and just now learning this information. Sometimes I watch the kudzu here carefully because it grows a foot a day but I’ve never seen it actually grow.  This is all scary but incredible news.

Sometimes, when people ask me if I’m local I want to tell them I’m related to Wonna and Dally.  And it wouldn’t really be a lie because we are all connected in a way I think.  Maybe I can just be related to everybody.  But I’m not great at remembering names, and birthdays, and I don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner…just putting that out there ahead of time.

 

 And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.

-Shel Silverstein, from Colors

 

P.S. Life is a verb.  One of my favorite books.  I would eat it if I could.  I’m going to Life is a Verb camp in November.  An early Christmas present. Because it’s right near here…and I can’t stop thinking about all the seeds that will be planted from it.  Time to explore, out of context. And I signed up to room with a stranger. To feel a little fearful and do it anyway. 

 

A Year of Doodles

I saw a few friends signing up for this and I jumped on the bandwagon.  My friend Stephanie Corfee is an amazing artist and I thought this could be a monthly, no-pressure activity that Boo and I could do together in our art journals:

A Year of Doodles by Stephanie Corfee - Kids activity #artjournaling

 

I know Boo will love it….but I could always use some doodle skills too.

Click here to read more about signing up. 

I do have plans to start up some more journal prompts this winter too (a good snow day project!)….so stay tuned. I know you have been asking for them and I’m sorry it’s taken so long. All prompts so far can be found here of click image below:

TLJP_button-long_whitebackground

God is Kneading Me Like Clay

It’s been five days since the accident and I only feel a little bit of whiplash in the right side of my neck.  Thinking back it was like I was in zero gravity and the car was spinning around me.  I keep having flashbacks to that moment. But it feels like it didn’t even happen.  I mean, did it even happen?  Last night as I tried to watch a movie from my laptop, I found a piece of the rental car’s airbag stuck in the DVD drive.  So I guess it did happen.

Four days ago, as I took a taxi back to the airport (a $192 taxi ride) the young female driver never stopped talking. I wrote down every word as she spoke because I hung onto every one:

See that pier over there? Those are my customers. I drive their Escalade when they need me to. They pay me to drive them around town. They invite me over to drink on the dock. I love what I do.  And my husband, well, he sells timeshares just to people who already own timeshares.  Basically my husband tells you that you bought shit and then sells you more shit. And what the hell is a timeshare? Just a hotel room that you share with other people. It’s not even really yours.  There is this one lady who bought a time share from him years ago and now guess what?  Her house got foreclosed on.  She can’t even afford her own house. And now she’s living with her daughter. My husband just shrugs and says that he helped bring the family closer together.  He’s just an actor! They are all just actors! Selling a scam! Hey, take a 4 hour tour of the property with me. Oh and I just got you the best deal. You have to jump on it now. I called the president of the time share company for you. They say the exact same thing to the next person! They didn’t talk to no president! I tell him: how can you live with yourself. And he hates that I drive a cab. Look babe, I’m hustling just like you! I go to work in sweats and a t-shirt and he goes to fancy-brunch-mimosa-shit. And I so don’t fit in with the people he works with.  I can go to work whenever I want to! I can make money TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY!

I got out of the taxi reeling.  And walked into the concrete jungle of the Houston airport, thinking: if we all descended from Adam and Eve, wouldn’t there be inbreeding?

Three days ago I had been getting into hot bath to soak my jolted body and as my head went below the water and all sound was drowned out except for my breathing I began crying and thanking God.  For keeping me in that place of zero gravity in that rental car. And at the same time jolting me back to life again, because maybe I’d been asleep the past few days.

Two days ago I had been on the plane with two crying little boys behind me, whose mother did not speak english. And I made little paper airplanes to swoooosh along the opening between the two seats and they giggles and pointed and laughed when I made dive-bombing crashing sounds. And I briefly made eye contact over the seat and the mother smiled with the kind of gratitude I understand.

plane

Four days ago, it was Saturday night, and it was late as we drove up to the Hemlock Inn. All the lights were already off because 10pm is mountain midnight.   Three days ago, we woke up early for Sunday breakfast and as I walked onto the back porch a group of guests were there.  The Millers who I had met earlier in the summer and Ron and Eugene from  Washington, DC.  After asking how I was doing from the car crash, Eugene jokingly asked if I’d mentioned them in my presentation at the conference and I told him that I had.  He beamed.  And I really had….it’s not every day that you meet someone that worked at the Watergate Hotel for 28 years.

One day ago, we went to the local library for the first time as a family.  Brett and I sat and flipped through magazines. As I flipped through a random WNC magazine I fell upon an article about a project called Funk and Wag by artist Mel Chin.  I had just randomly met Mel in the Atlanta airport, where we were strangers but had a very awesome conversation about roadkill.

One day ago, after dinner, Brett had gone to hang out with some friends to watch football. And I watched 12 Years a Slave, and the scene where Salomon was almost hung from a tree was too much and I had to get up and walk around.  Falling asleep I was woken up by the sound of a large animal on the roof.  I listened carefully and determined it was probably a raccoon or a possum.  And I wanted to be brave enough to go outside and figure out which one it was but I don’t like confronting things when it’s cold.

And today, the air is getting crisp and the leaves are just starting to exhibit some colors.  It’s starting to get pretty cold at night and I’m learning to use our baseboard heaters.  We got out the down comforters yesterday.  My wardrobe has picked up a few flannel button downs that remind me of my love for Pearl Jam back in the day. This morning I was so happy to crank up Ruby this morning for the first time.  I love the gasoline smell and her rumble. I can keep her from stalling on a cold morning because I know how much time she needs to warm up. And I drove along the river and listened to her engine rumble against the mountain.

Row, row, row your boat. Gently down the stream. 

It all sounds so mundane but I can feel something bigger in it all.

There are little reminders everywhere.

This is not all there is.

I can be really stubborn sometimes. And I can then turn around and not care at all.

And I’m really good at forgiving and forgetting which some people view as being delusional.

And sometimes my insides feel like they are on a roller coaster.

And there are so many big life decisions always presenting themselves.

And Boo says: I want to be 11 years old.

And I tell her: Grow up as slow as you can.

I wanted to buy a box of Krispy Kremes today but I didn’t trust myself not to eat all 4.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a box of 4 Krispy Kremes, and I’ll eat all 4, just spaced out throughout the day.

God is kneading you like clay
molding your stubborn will to be supple in his spirit
let him shape you

there is coming to you
the grace of a new self understanding

perhaps even the peace of a new self-acceptance

you will be learning who you are
all by yourself

-Robert A. Raines, Living the Questions

The Secret to Writing

I spoke about writing from the heart this weekend in Galveston at the Blog Elevated Conference. Yes I actually did it, despite being knocked silly and unable to turn my head after the car accident. And despite my being a deer in the headlights, the crowd laughed, and cried, and they were right there with me. And the genuine “thank you’s” afterward shook me to the core and made it all completely worth it because there is always that doubt: why would anyone want to come and hear what I have to say about writing?  I have no certified expertise.  I never did well in English and literature classes when I was in school.  I thought I’d share a few things that I shared with those that attended my session because it’s all so very close to my heart right now. This is what I know today:

1. A writer actually has to WRITE.

This is a work in progress for me. I’m always thinking about writing, but not always actually WRITING.  The book Page by Page by Amy Sellers is one that I love to read over and over, and never in order:

The secret to writing, books on writing

 

2. A writer has to disconnect every once in a while. 

I am the QUEEN of excuses when it comes to writing: I’m too busy. The phone is ringing. It’s too hot . It’s too cold. I have to organize my space first.

I have to find a quiet place to really write. Maybe it’s for an hour a day, maybe for an entire weekend.  Since we have such a small living space right now, I cleared out a section of my daughter’s room that I can use as an area for writing each day when she is at school. It isn’t glamorous but it’s all I need. It’s quiet, and without distractions.  Stephen King used to write in his laundry room.  It was a place where he could shut the door and show the world he meant business.

Sometimes I go to the library. Sometimes I just sit in my car in the library parking lot. Sometimes I ride the train by myself.

anne lamott quote, on writing

 

 3. A writer needs input. 

Just like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit….”need input”….who consumed books: I think a writer needs to consume books. I took this photo over the summer of Carl Sandburg’s house in Hendersonville, NC:

carlsandburg

It was like walking into a time capsule.  Incredible. Every square inch of his house is covered in bookshelves, to house the 14,000 books that he stored there.  He had twice that but he donated half to a university. And in each book were tiny pieces of paper where he had marked things to come back to.  He devoured anything he could get his hands on. When he died they found his jacket pockets full of newspaper clippings and phrases.

I am never without a book. I sleep with books. Books stack up next to my bedside. Magazines. Wikipedia. I live in bookstores. The more good stuff I put in, the more good stuff that comes out.

Also, input isn’t just about books. Dayna Steele who was the keynote speaker at the conference gave some great advice:

Never stop learning. Google everything. Google everyone. Look at the morning news. Know what’s going on around you. Continue to learn about things you know nothing about. Teach yourself stuff. Get out and meet people. Talk to people you don’t know. 

I love to wander because I never know where it’s going to take me. It also give me a chance to observe and write about what I would never notice otherwise:
quote by maya angelou

I think to write from the heart you have to live from the heart.  They are undoubtably linked.

Live to write, not the other way around, right?

 

A few books that I recommend:

Page by Page by Heather Sellers

“Writing a book is exactly like love. You don’t hold back. You give it everything you have. If it doesn’t work out, you’re heartbroken, but you move forward and start again anyway. You have to. You don’t hold some of yourself in reserve. It’s all or nothing. There are no guarantees.” 

page-by-page

 

 

On Writing: Memoir of a Craft by Stephen King

“So okay― there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You’ve blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want.”

on-writing

 

 

Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott

“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” 

bird-by-bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Will all End Well

I had a dream that I was in a crash 2 nights ago. I assumed it was a plane.  As I was hoping on a plane to Houston yesterday I literally even texted my friend Jay before traveling so that someone would know:

planecrash

I gave up my seat on the earlier flight thinking it was kind of like Russian Roulette.  And on the second flight, I think I realized early on that I probably gave up the safer seat. (I have a deeply warped imagination….) As we neared the approach to Houston I wrote in my journal to document the passing time, just in case….I guess assuming my journal would survive impact:

The plane always gets eerily quiet as it starts to descend. Like this dampened hush.
Ears pop. Hush gone.

I have to pee. It would be nice to die without having to pee. 
Ever notice how the clouds always move by quicker than the ground does?
Houston looks like little collages of circuit boards.
Except for the pretty aqua cesspools.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have been cleared to land.”
[Insert long, boring spiel about tray tables.]
Good grief. That was a really steep turn.
Something just doesn’t sound right. No one else seems to care.
What if we just dropped out of the sky? I’d pee. That’s what would happen.
There goes the landing gear. I choose hope.
The cars look like little ant cars down there. Where are all those people headed?
Aww…little ant-sized school buses park all in a row in their little ant-sized parking lot.
Horse farm.
Runway.
Landed.
Awesome.
Not my time to go.
Thank you God.

 

So…the plane didn’t crash.

But my rental car did.

It’s totaled.

I snuck out right before lunch today to pick up a few gifts for the directors of the conference I am at, and to get some books to hand out for the breakout session I am speaking at tomorrow.

I’ve never been in a car wreck before, and it was exactly like it is in the movies. It took a few seconds to realize what was happening. All I saw was a white hood coming straight towards me. Time slowed down to a halt. And I vividly remember thinking: This is not going to end well.

And then: I don’t want to die in Galveston.

(no offense Galveston)

And: You are wearing your conference name tag for easy identification.

Then the car slammed into the right side passenger door. Then everything was in slow motion: airbags deploying, car spinning uncontrollably, diet coke moving in a slow wave across the floorboard…

Then silence. What seemed like a silent forever.  Zero sound.

And then suddenly I was being sucked in reverse back through the black hole.

And then there were people yelling. I looked up and my car was inching forward slowly, my foot wasn’t on the brake.  My eyes hurt from the powder of the airbags. And there were feathers flying around like I’d had a pillow case fight.

Did I hit a chicken?

People yelling through the window: Are you okay? Stay put. We called 911. No, leave the car. Leaking fluids everywhere.

I got out and made my way to the curb.

I don’t remember seeing any cars when I made the turn. It must have been a blind spot. The lights at eye level in the intersection were covered by trash bags. Tattered trash bags flapping in the breeze and enough to pull your attention away for a brief moment.

One of the officers said that he wasn’t surprised….that it was the most dangerous intersection in Galveston.  He said there used to be a “no left turn” sign but businesses complained and the sign eventually came down. The accidents still happen.  That kind of makes me a little mad.

One of the police officers offered to take me back to the hotel.  He had a ride along. Nothing like getting dropped off at a blogging conference from the back seat of a police car. Only a few hours earlier and woman who had a murder warrant out was sitting in my same seat. It will probably be in the local paper.  Thanks Officer McNeill. It’s awesome riding in the back of a police car when you aren’t in any kind of trouble.

Life can shift so quickly:

10:00 am

selfie

 

1:00 pm

police car

 

I can tell my right arm is jacked, maybe I tried to brace against the impact.

My ears are still ringing.

I can feel my whole body stiffening as the adrenaline leaves.

But I walked away.

I always have a deep gut instinct about things. My mom and grandmother too.

Like the premonition about trying to outrun a tornado. …and then that happened:

kansas4

Premonitions are supposed to be warnings.

Although I never really seem to heed them.

Because, if I DID heed them:

I’d never leave the house.

I am speaking tomorrow morning at the Blog Elevated Conference here in Galveston, TX about blogging with heart.

I might not be able to turn my head, but my heart still works.

It will all end well.

Praise God.

 

 

 

Small Town USA

I really do live in Mayberry. i.e. Bryson City

This is Buford’s Barbershop. He waved at me each time I walked by today.

Barber Shop in Bryson City, NC - Buford's Barbershop  - just like Mayberry

 

A store that sells guns and ice cream:

donsicecream

 

The view from Main Street and Everett Street:

Visiting Bryson City, NC

Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering, or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.

-Maya Angelou

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