Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Portrait of a Lady of Sorts

Memories are often filed away with more than just flash images and mental clips of yesterdays.  Smells and sounds, like dusty stacks of Atari games and vehicles crunching up gravel driveways, or emotions as those involved with preparing for the first day of school, tend to wrap themselves up with many images associated with them.  For myself, the strongest memories I have are wrapped in excitement with the adventures behind constant change as my family moved from city to city, state to state, country to country.

As often is the American way, my parents divorced when I was young, but I was lucky in that I had at least one parent on either side of the divide who was active military.  As a result, I had the privilege of being introduced to many cultures, traditions and lifestyles I otherwise would not have became familiar with.

And though I sometimes envy those who have been allowed to remain comfortably stagnant in life for having the opportunity to make childhood friends and maintain those friendships throughout the years, I also sometimes pity them for having never been given the chance to try something new, to step out of their comfort zone and see life as it exists beyond the woods or across the pond.  And to them, I might suggest a new hobby.  Surfing, for example.  Er, couch surfing,,,  I will do this one day.  And I will likely be found abandoned in a ditch for it, loosely wrapped in tarp and twine and missing several internal organs, but I can't help but hear in my head the words of Miss Frizzle, "Take chances! Make mistakes!..."

And now I share with you my list in pictures of places I've lived. 



It all started here.  Meridian, MS.  Things I remember: A cardboard box and a fuzzy, stuffed beach ball.  And the sensation of my head wobbling heavily upon my neck.  There is also that memory of my mother playing 'Hide-and-Seek' with me, pretending to have left for the store but really laughing at me from around the corner where I stood crying over her abandonment.  So I suppose it was more along the lines of 'Hide-and-Torture-the-Baby', but at least she was having fun...
                             Dear Mother, I will never forget, and I will never forgive *crosses her arms dramatically*



And then there was Knoxville, TN.  It has been my home off and on throughout my life, and the one place I know I can always run to when I need to catch a breather from what ails me.  The things I remember most are too many to list, but there's the fog that hugs the hill tops in the morning, the golden globe of the Sunsphere Tower that winks at you as you drive by, shopping for bread at the bread store and then traveling across town to buy fresh meats from the butcher with my pappaw, smelling the freshly bathed moss upon the stones that covered the drive's hilldside as it dried from the dew in the early morning hours, the shuffling of house slippers as family moved across the wooden floors throughout the house, and the taste of apple butter accompanying anything I could slather it on, to name of a few.



Lemon Grove, Ca followed.  This place was magic.  Trolly cars, giant lemon statues, garden swings and fish ponds, thick shag carpeting and beds built into walls with hidden doorways, saluting the American flag with Grampy as we raised it above the front yard's water well, banana seat bicycles and giant sheep dogs with giant dog houses, and orange marmalade--the marmalade of the gods.



Barbers Point, HI, where we were never out of sight of the shoreline.  I learned to swim here, and Grover taught me basic math..  Also, Dad bought me my first computer and taught me how to operate it using only the F keys like a boss.  I was the hula hoop queen.  Don't believe me?  Just ask my PE teacher...  And I had two goldfish: Pamela and Fred.  They weren't as fancy as Dad's exotic collection in the ten foot salt water tank downstairs, but they were mine and I loved them.  I destroyed a multi-thousand dollar, white suede couch with a single cup of grape Kool-Aid, and spent the weekends with my dad at an old airfield flying RC planes until sundown.  I also met my all-time-favorite food here--lumpia.  (FYI <--that is one lucky one year old)




Yokosuka, Kanagawa in Japan.  Where hotdogs are considered exotic and locals would gladly trade boring cheesy crackers at lunch time for gummy candies of the foreign gods.  The beaches were black and the skies were often gray, but the people were beautiful.  Classes were taught with both an English and Japanese speaking teacher, who would take turns explaining the day's curriculum. And we were one of the only families to live in a house, with the neighborhood being primarily built with tall apartment buildings and flats.  I took a cab to school every morning, which cost a quarter, and would store it with the rest of my lunch money in my yellow, plastic change holder, which I remember smelled like syrup and copper and not like plastic.  My best friend was the daughter of an abusive alcoholic, and I always had to abandon what we were doing and return home once he started popping caps off beer bottles for adult reasons I did not yet understand, despite the pleas from my friend to stay.  This was also the place I first experienced a train ride, when our school bus broke down on the way to the zoo.  The tracks stretched for miles between the shoreline and the highway, and it would be the moment most remembered from that field trip.  Well, that and being attacked and bitten by a bunny at the petting zoo.  But mostly the train ride.



Whidbey Island, WA.  I always said I would one day move back. I spent my time there in the Girl Scouts learning how to build fires and dig holes in the woods to fill with bodily wastes during survival trips.  It was here I learned how high trees can grow and how wide their trunks and be.  And how deep their roots reach.  I fell in love with books here, inhaling Number the Stars, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and innumerable volumes of The Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew.  I also died here.  Three times.  But I learned my lesson to not play in open windows again.  I was also introduced to the Northern Lights on Whidbey, which I plan to see again, and earthquake warnings.  And instead of learning about sex ed, we were taught about the three R's of recycling.  Rinse, Reuse, Recycle.







Dallas, TX.  Bluebonnets, pecans, triple digit summers with triple digit humidity readings, the state fair with fried...everything.  Steak.  So much steak.  And the Cowboys.  Not to be confused with cowboys, who weren't usually found within city limits. 

Mesa, AZ.  Where lawns are built with lava rocks, where the temperature remains the same in the shade as that in the sun.  For a city built in the middle of the desert, it had a great selection of sushi bars, likely in part to Phoenix being such a college town.  Everything was so symmetrical there, as though cities were built in the shapes of boxes and streets could only run north, east, south, or west.  Everything was cramped, as though the city was afraid to grow too far into the sands, and people would complain about having to travel five miles due to traffic. I was introduced to a lot of garage music here, which only a few made it to the big stage, but it was a carefree kind of time filled with music and movies and weekend road trips to the mountains for photography lessons with Dad, followed with late hours of film developing in our makeshift studio.


And now here we are in Columbus, GA, where history is almost under-appreciated.  Where I'm surprised pigs are not placed on the endangered species list.  Where adventures are just beginning and memories are currently being made.

Overall, I've lived in twenty-five different homes and attended class at thirteen different schools, not including colleges, and it's been nothing short of exciting.  I collect friends just as easily as I collect memories and accept change just as easily as I accept a new day.  Such is life.  So for those of you who continue to be a part of it, thank you for loving me.  Even as I move so far away from you all. 

-Bennett

Friday, September 16, 2011

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

I wish I could say the reason for my delayed post is due to extreme excitement.  I wish.  Honestly?  I've been finding a new routine and settling into it, which mostly involves working and saving.  Exciting, right?  Don't I know it!

But I am comfortably adjusting.  I have a job which includes revolving doors and cubicles, daily catered meals and security guards, and I'm enjoying it.  It sometimes feels like I'm trapped in a corporate version of The Stepford Wives...with sticky notes and swivel chairs, where everyone walks around like programmed robots with a smile on their face and a kind word to say to anyone in passing.  I keep waiting for one of them to scowl angrily and crash through the guarded doors to release carnage upon the earth in a show of absolute horror and destruction unlike any witnessed before.  But that's life here.  These people offer a smile as quickly as folks back west offer a middle finger during rush hour traffic. Southern hospitality is everywhere.  Even at work...


Things that I've become accustomed to:

--front porch storage; if it won't fit in the back, there's always a porch in the front.
--to-go boxes; good luck cleaning any plate served in these here parts...
--college football.  Three letters come to mind: OMG! The trick to surviving the season, I'm learning, is to avoid wearing articles of clothing in the following combination of colors: 'crimson' and white or red and black.  Especially on game days.
--too convenient convenience stores.  Like Computers and More, where More is served in the form of kinky, leather riding gear.  I conveniently got a VGA cable AND leather pasties all in one go!  They obviously saw me coming...
--hugs from strangers.  Empathy is often repaid with lovin' here.  Also, if you're just meeting someone who is friends with your friend, or a friend of a friend who just met you stumbles into one of their friends or family members of a friend and politely introduces you to them, you will be hugged.  You have been warned.

The temperatures are cooling now, and most days children can be seen with fishing poles in hand at the riverside.  They rarely keep what they catch, choosing instead to toss their crawdads back and take away the satisfaction of another beautiful day well spent at the water's edge with good company. 

Even E-boo has a more laid back air about him and is making greater efforts to adventure beyond the  bedroom's door.  And he's on speaking terms with most of the house now, though his kitten Tourette's still kicks in from time to time when tossed onto the porch and forced to socialize.   I'd imagine his conversations going something as, "Hey, Gigi, what's happening, my cat friend?  Here, let me help get that spot behind your-- Dammit, Kingston! I said to keep your filthy nose away from my tookus, you animal!" *runs to bedroom and flings self onto bed*  Progress, however, is progress.  It's good to see him slowly adjusting as well.

I've been casually house hunting.  Which is never fun.  Almost never.  The idea of it is fun, but there are so many factors to play in the final decision.  Is that a foundation crack?  Are the neighbors serial killers?  Were those gunshots?  Are you sure this is the best I can do?  So many things to consider...

I'd like to get a feel for Atlanta, too.  My good friend, Sarah, will be here in January to stomp through the big city with me, and I intend to take advantage of that time to look around at the housing opportunities there.  I am lovin' this state, and I can't imagine not lovin' its capital as well.  Also, more schooling opportunities are further north.  Though at this rate, I doubt I'll be able to legally teach a class of budding students before the age of fifty.   Still, progress is progress.


I suppose, for now, this shall have to suffice as a decent update.  I could continue to ramble on about the small details of life.  Like how those giant cockroach things that hunt men and eat cats are becoming the bane of my existence.  How we leave the front door open in the evenings to welcome in the cool breeze and only manage to welcome in the flying Kamikaze cockroaches of doom.  Or how the old school building that hides our cul-de-sac from curious eyes has been converted into a training building for local police officers to chase/rescue criminals/victims with toy guns all day.  There's also my new found respect for green beans and pork and bone-in chicken and blue cheese and Spanish rice to mention.  I swore them off, but Dad isn't just a cook; he's a god of the kitchen (minus the dishes), and he's made it his personal mission to fix what others have broken with my taste buds...one meal at a time.  Or maybe I could mention my efforts to learn Russian.  I'm still working on the alphabet, which is from A to Я, and its pronunciations, but progress is progress.  I'm sure to be singing the A,Б, B's in no time.

But I wouldn't want to bore anyone who might still be reading this.  I'll spend an afternoon with my camera and post an update, which might actually entertain a few, another day.  For now, however, routine is the name of the game.  But I'll gladly play it. 












Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Southern Pride and Prejudice

Georgia.  Day 71.

                  Hour 1,680.

                            Minute 100,800.

                                     Second 6,048,000.

                                              Two months, 9 days in and counting...


And I'm adapting well.  So many unspoken Southern rules and necessary Southern survival techniques to learn.  About driving, eating, conversing with strangers, surviving the zombie apocalypse.  (Thank you, Kristal.)

Unspoken Rule #1:  The light isn't red unless someone is looking.

Unspoken Rule #2:  All senior citizens must stop before entering any highway from an entrance ramp.  Especially entrance ramps with long merge lanes lesser, ignorant states  use for accelerating-to-speed in.

Unspoken Rule #3:  Thou shalt not refuse 'to-go' tea from restaurants.

Unspoken Rule #4:  Turning left on red is optional.


Survival Tip #1:  Avoid convenience stores on Sundays between the hours of 8p and  2a.  Quite possibly earlier and/or later pending the store's volume of beer...

Survival Tip #2:  If approached by a person dressed in leather, especially leather chaps, with POW MIA stitched across every inch of their ensemble,  and compliments your butterfly headband you recently purchased at the friendly, neighborhood Target, asking you where you got it, LIE.  Or you could be shot--or severely lectured--for not supporting your troops and veterans.  Because Target is evil.  Apparently.

Survival Tip #3:  Assume all citizens are packing heat.  Because they likely are...  Especially the children.  So mind those P's and Q's!

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tip #1:  Read the manual.


I am absolutely loving life here.  Sure, starting over has its moments of sheer panic and random bouts of anxiety. It's easy to forget how much is involved with the ABC's of life.  There's you, A.  And your actions, B.  And your goals, C.  And between them all of life's little forgotten bullet points and numerical cause and effects directing your ABC's from one end of the alphabet to the next.

                             Ex:  A: Me
                                         a. Who I Am
                                            1. who or what motivated me to be
                                            2. who or what has created me to be
                                            3. who or what dissuades me from being
                                         b. Who I Think I Am
                                            1. who motivates me to be
                                            2. etc, etc, etc...
                                         c. Who Others Think I Am
                                            1. and so on, and so forth...

But overall I remain mostly excited to be here.  Lately I've been held prisoner by the weather, forced to keep my camera zipped safely away in its bag, my adventuring to a minimum and my stories home to friends and family work related.  It storms.  Every day.  


                                          The storms as they sweep southeast


Not that I'm complaining.  Because I love storms.  Every day.  I'm bummed to have missed out on the improved tornado sirens I single-handedly argued into existence.  Or installment...?  You're welcome, Burleson.  Venus?  Sleep easy now.  At least until the sirens blare.  Then please, PLEASE, at least sleep UNDER the bed...  Venus, Texas is barely considered a 'speck' on the map, Mother.  Any tornado determined to visit town will likely knock right on your door.  So, please do mind the siren.  I say these things because I love you...


 E-Boo is also settling in just fine.  He refuses to leave my room most days and has developed a good case of Kitty Tourette's.  Everything is "Hiss that!"  and, "Hiss you!" and, "Get the hiss out of my room!" but he cuddles when no one is looking and continues to guard my feet at night.  He also prefers the step-monster's lap when she's near and tolerates the pops' friendly pats in passing.  I guess some cats like leashes and harnesses and traveling diapers and fifteen hour road trips more than others, with E-Boo, sadly, being an other...

                  (Can I just add, this video is all my happiness right now...?)

Complaints?  I haven't many.  The local 'news' here is kind'a sad and/or embarrassing.  Watching/reading it makes me feel smart/intelligent, like Corporal Joe Bauers/Luke Wilson in "Idiocracy"   For example, in today's news one could read about--a missing monkey being sought near a Ga. research station.  And that's big news, folks.  Or maybe one would rather read about the Pope tweeting from his iPad...  Oy. I'll say it again, Oy.


And I miss Whataburger.  And Central Market.  But, on a lighter note, I finally found me some Gold Peak Tea!  And some of those Seneca Apple Chips I love so much.  So I can't really complain.


The people here laugh easily.  The neighbors remain neighborly-- even when you don't want them to be...  And despite their driving habits, Georgians HAVE to have driver's insurance.  Or they have their licenses revoked.  Unlike some people I know.  *cough* *Texans* *cough*  So, go ahead and hit me.  I dare you.  I double dog dare you.  Just keep in mind Survival Tip #3, you pesky red light runners...
 
Love to my friends and family back home.  Be safe and mind those tornado sirens!



Heather
                                                                             Toodles!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How 'Bout them Canadians, Eh?

Dear Canada,
        Thank you.  Thank you for maple syrup, for Superman, for Jim Carrey and Ginger Ale.  And now...for Jeremy Fisher.  If ever I find myself on the run from the law, I will most certainly now consider running north.  Especially since running south would likely only result in decapitation...  And no one likes losin' their head...

Gratefully yours,
Bennett





Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird. Or Two.

Day 17: Our sanity is starting to slip.  The end is certainly near.  But whose?

Georgia is known for many things: juicy peaches, Gone With the Wind, Paula Deen, the fantastically fun FX show "Archer", and... mockingbirds!?

Come again?

That's right, Texas-- mockingbirds.  The kind Texas should be known for.  Territorial, aggressive, loud, fearless, and proud.  And wiiiide awake at two in the morning.  Every morning.  Until just before sunrise.  Like a screaming car alarm just outside your bedroom window, with a fully charged battery and a busted 'disarm' button.

Every night he taunts us, hiding in the shadows and screaming his way through the bird kingdom's top 40 chart before hitting the bottom, clearing his throat and starting all over again.

Neighbors started complaining-- shouting and spitting profanities from their porches, flashing branches with industrial grade spot lights, tossing rocks or empty barbecue bottles at anything that moved.

Something had to be done.  Someone had to end all the madness.  And that someone was Mr. Stu Miller.

A good man, Stu, full of knowledge and wisdom.  Why, I love him as though he were my own father.  *nyuck, nyuck*

And he wasted no time with putting an end to everyone's suffering.  Following a quick briefing with a few of the neighbors, a game plan was soon created. We'll call it: Operation To Kill a Mockingbird.  Or Two.

The briefing led to a hasty trip to a local Dick's Sporting Goods, where we soon discovered that Remington air rifles and mockingbirds are a match made in birdy heaven:




I wanted to take it a step further and construct a city of tannerite bird feeders in the side yard as well, but Pappaw stepped in, directing a metaphysical megaphone at my inner conscious to say, "Well, sh*t in one hand and want in another and see which one fills up first."  And I suppose the other birds, who are just as equally tormented as we, wouldn't appreciate accidentally nesting in a house made of explosives....  So just air rifles, it was.

That evening we sat in silence as we waited for the fevered bullfrogs to wind down, which usually signals the calm before the storm. Even the neighbors sat quietly upon their porches, limiting their alcohol intake for a better aim and silently willing the condemned critter to pass into view. 

And we sat.

                         And waited.

                                                 And waited.
                                    
                                                                        And two hours later...

...nothin'.  Like a man on the run, he remained hidden and silent in the shadows, as though aware of our combined forces to stop his nightly tyranny. 

The night passed and day came, and with it the mockingbirds.  They flew down in waves, chasing away wild life and screaming at pets and small children, as though outraged by their ring leader's inability to speak his mind.  They perched atop light poles and roof tops and fence posts, threatening all within range to take their best shot. 

Stu Miller didn't even hesitate.  Anyone seen those news reports lately about birds just falling from the sky?  Thousands of them just dropping from the clouds, dead on impact?  Stu did...

Day 18:  It's down to just us and the ring leader now...

He sits hidden in the shadows of a cedar tree, watching as the lights click off one by one by one, waiting for the neighborhood to sleep.  And then:


 *twitches nervously*





SO, aside from helping rid the neighborhood of most of their unwanted pests, my first month here in the Deep South has been filled with marching ducks, all happily stepping into place and directing life back into order again.  I have a job, I have new hobbies, I have a new-found respect for green beans and pork.  And I can't wait to start traveling.  Savannah, Atlanta, local events and historical hot spots, I have these places scribbled down on my "to see and share" list for future posts and updates.  So don't be a stranger.  And rest assured, I still miss my family and friends back home and think of y'all often and even hope to see some of you soon.  Keep me in your thoughts, as I keep you in mine.  -Heather-

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Secret Life of Killer Bees

Nothing like a dozen or two near death experiences while driving a beast of a moving truck cross country to make one appreciate the dawning of a new day.

It was my second time driving a U-Haul truck.  I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I wrecked/destroyed the first one, BUT thanks to something called insurance U-Haul was willing to overlook my first strike against them and decided to give me a second chance in the form of a set of one-way keys for a haul from Central Texas to Southern Georgia, and it went something like this:

-killer bees
-helping paws of doom
-loud profanities
-separated shoulders
-drunken GPS systems
AAAAND
-food poisoning

After being tricked by U-Haul to rent a much larger truck than originally reserved, getting behind the wheel of a fourteen footer didn't help with easing me back into a comfortable zone of confidence with driving any of their beasts.  It's one thing driving across town, which I wasn't really good at anyway.  It was an entirely different kind of terror and adrenaline laced horror getting it from one part of the country to the next.

But I survived.  Likely in part to having planned my travel time through Alabama perfectly, I'm sure--in and out before the sun fully sets...

         (Dear Mom, if you move to Alabama, I will never visit you...)

The dealer also tricked me into paying for extra miles.  Tip: Research EXACTLY how far it is to your destination before picking up your moving truck.  They're sly, those dealers...  I ensured him, however, that I had absolutely no intention of joy riding through town in a U-haul and only settled with an extra twenty miles for any unexpected detours or gas stops. 

Somewhere between Louisiana and Mississippi, I gave in to the sad eyes peering up at me from their cage of shame and made the poor decision to let Edgar out of his carrier.   Road trips, much like tubs of water, are rarely found on a cat's bucket list of top 100 things to experience before they die.  E-boo (as his friends call him) had lost his voice from singing "Highway to Hell" from Dallas to the Louisiana state line and was, at that point, only interested in hugging my hip.  So following yet another gas up at yet another Love's, I cracked the window, turned up the radio and continued on with Ed at my side.

That is, until I was shanked by a honey bee...
                                         honey bee^


He may not look threatening, but zoom in a bit and his intentions are made much clearer...



Straight up gangst'a!

Little bastard swooped out of nowhere, flashing a blade and threatening to cut me if I didn't cooperate.  It was sometime at this moment when Ed decided to take his chances and clawed his way across my lap to wrestle it to the ground.  As in....the floorboard.  The battle lasted long enough to earn me confused glances from two passing vehicles as the U-haul went from sixty to forty to sixty again before Ed pulled himself back into the sunlight, victorious. 

Following a few spatted profanities on my part, he stayed on his side of the truck for the remainder of the trip...

It wasn't until after my next stop at the next Love's to gas up and grab a bite to eat (which is really a tale for another paragraph), as I reached for the handle to pull myself back into the driver's seat, that I realized I had separated my shoulder during the battle.  I had just reached the Alabama state line and wasn't looking forward to passing through the towns of Where the Hell Am I!? and Is That a Hooker!?, especially since their construction projects were still forcing people to crawl through them at twenty miles per hour...

                                  (Dear Mom, I meant what I said.)

The pain in my shoulder quickly went from 'Ouch' to 'JUST CUT IT OFF!' before I could get to Georgia, forcing me to drive with one hand.  Now, I know that most of you kids like to set the seat back and drape a wrist over the steering wheel in an attempt to look good at what you do.  But trust me when I say, you don't.  It's ten and two for this chick.  I could be driving a puttering golf cart, and it'd still be ten and two.  Which is a reference to what I feel is a funny story, actually, for I've thrown a grown man from a moving golf cart before.  My grandfather.  Into a holly bush.  Just because I was gettin' comfortable.  So, ten and two, folks.  Ten and two.

Unless you've separated your shoulder...  Then it's ten and a pinky.  That's all I could sacrifice.  I made it to the Georgia state line as my legs started quivering.  Why they would have anything to say about my shoulder, I haven't a clue.  The sun had set, my shoulder was threatening to evict tears from their ducts and my legs were causing the cab to shake.  My GPS was leading me into the final lefts and rights and exasperated reroutes and frustrated u-turns (she was just as tired as I, apparently) of the trip, as she guided me onto a random street and just left me there!

Claiming that I had arrived at my destination, she patted herself on the back and passed out.  Looking around, I realized I was nowhere near my destination.  There was a man in house slippers pushing a complaining shopping buggy across my headlights and a cat with half its tail missing diving out of his way and under a porch of a nearby house.

Three words came to mind.  Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot.

I didn't type in the street address but rather just the city and state, and I was lost on the other side of town.  And then I heard a voice.  My voice!  Mocking me!!

I have absolutely no intention of joy riding through town in a U-haul...

Damn.

So I arrived a little later than intended.  No big deal.  I had twenty extra miles to spare!......

And here I am.  New home, sweet home.  Where I spent the first two days with my face in the toilet screaming for Ralph.  Mississippi's Love's, apparently, had no love for me...

To my friends and family back home,  I love and miss you all.  Wish me luck, and I'll see you all again.

                                                            ---The Beginning---

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Midnight with the Blog of Good and Evil

It is in my opinion that there comes a time in every young adult's life when they should create a blog to rant or 'list' or ramble on about one thing or another, whether or not blogs border on extreme narcissism.   I myself have chosen to build mine around and ramble on about my time spent in the Deep South. 

I’d like to say that my decision to head south for a few winters wasn’t impulsive.  That there was at one point a logical conversation I had with myself weighing the pros and cons of such a decision.  To drop everything I knew and start anew in a land relating to the West as much as forks are to spoons, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that somewhere within my subconscious self is a voice who is quite outraged at their being completely ignored and  shut out of the happenings in my life.

I had two months to pack.  Two months to tie off loose ends and set fire to bridges.  To embrace loved ones and throw together a year’s worth of doctors visits and checkups.  Two months to get my fill of Whataburger, Gold Peak Tea and Deja Blue bottled water.  Two months to brace myself for phase two of my adult life.

 Georgia.

Land of peaches, swarms of lightning bugs, rolling thunder, and a people ready and willing to warmly embrace any stranger they brush shoulders with.  Where it’s almost a crime to refuse a free refill of sweet iced tea before heading out of the local barbecue joint.  Where pickles and onions are served with just about anything that can be spooned onto a plate.  Where country gravy is a major food group.  Where history is found in more than just reading material.  And where neighbor isn’t just a word describing the persons living on either side of you.

These next six months I shall reside at my parents’ house, hidden within a cul-de-sac, which is itself hidden behind a historical, nineteenth century school building.  It is a modest house, whose porch swing points west towards the Chattahoochee River.  One wrong step and one could find themselves rolling down hill and splashing into the waters below where history and modern times meet.  The house rests high enough to challenge the summer’s lightning bugs to a slow climb but close enough to the river bank to catch the bull frogs' song in the evening breeze. 

I think I’m in puppy love.

I’m committing to making this a three year move.  Three years to finish with the majority of my schooling, to rinse out the bad taste the West has left in my mouth, to embrace the change, to line up a few more ducks to help me better march towards my ever drifting goals, and to allow the puppy love to fade.  And then?  Who knows.  Perhaps this is permanent, the South and I.  Only Father Time can tell, for Father always knows best…

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gone With the Wind



Half way through my twenties, and here I am tripping over my big kid shoes and stumbling into the Deep South.  This shall be the first of many upcoming posts chronicling the adventures to be had in the land of lightning bugs and bullfrogs and, naturally, grits 'n gravy.

And I promise to miss the West.  Just probably, most likely, not right away.  I'm excited to see what Georgia has to offer, and I can't wait to start sharing.  So keep me in mind, friends.  I'll be back and posting in no time.

--Heather--