Friday, May 29, 2009

My Life in Mayberry

For the first time in a while, I was able to experience small town charm. Listen to this:

After eating a quick lunch on the edge of the courthouse lawn, I walked over to the bank (only across the street) and withdrew a little money. I crossed the street without even worrying about any passing cars and wandered over to the farmers who sell their produce every afternoon. I walked down the street, and every step of the way an older farmer or his wife warmly welcomed me to their stand. I finally ended up at the last one and bought an apple tart and a small jar of homemade strawberry jam. After paying the old man in overalls, I started crossing the courthouse lawn to head back to my truck. I was suddenly taken aback that I was walking in the shadow of a building that held the likes of William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. As I looked up to the top floor where the famous trial was held, I saw a policeman standing in the window. I suppose I was staring a little long, for he finally spotted me and waved. I grinned and waved back. The smile that I shared with him could not leave my face. I opened my door, turned my key to make my little red truck jump to life, drove up the hill, and went back to work.

I felt like I should see Barney Fife step out of the police station while Aunt Bee gave me a recipe for biscuits. It was absolutely perfect, and it made me fall in love with small towns all over again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

13 Days and Counting

In exactly thirteen days, I will go (along with my love) to pick up my parents from their long flight into town. I haven't seen them since we said good-bye in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel. I ate at Cracker Barrel for the first time in roughly six months yesterday. Maybe that's my small way of readying myself. Either way, I am very ready to see them again.

Today is my first Memorial Day away from family. I hardly know what to do with myself, for there is no one to let me know that I need to help with some project or help get ready for a picnic. All I know is that today is another day I do not have to work, and therefore I am thankful. Is absolutely everything closed on Memorial Day? Some things MUST stay open. Funeral homes. Ice cream shops. Parks. Those things have to be open. And hopefully Rafael's down in Soddy. They have THE best Italian food this side of the Atlantic.

I should probably go ahead and get my day stared. Oh, funny story: that bird house I mentioned? It was supposed to be enough wood for two, but we need to reuse different pieces so many times that we could only make one. While Taylor and I were driving past Lowe's, looking at numerous weekend warriors of home improvement, he asked, "Why don't we have a Memorial Day project?"
"We made birdhouses! That was project enough for us! We can just say we built a house!"

Have a good Memorial Day; thank you, veterans.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Board Games and Other Thoughts

After watching a Monopoly game continue for roughly five hours, I cannot begin to describe how much I love being the first player to go bankrupt. Not too many feeling can compare to the joy of watching two other folks wiggle in their seats because they are too prideful to quit playing. Just in the past hour I've watched little baby birds sleeping in a nest, taught a friend how to play backgammon, and win a game of Connect-Four. 

I also built a bird-house today. I painted it "Water Flow" blue . . . it is beautiful. It's hanging on a telephone pole so that I can see it every time I drive to work. I know it's too late in the year for a bird to nest in it, but there will be plenty of time for nature to break it in. By this time next year, I should see a mama bird popping in there to feed her babies. 

While building the little home for my winged friends, I began to remember how blistering Tennessee heat is. I had been spoiled by tame Michigan summers, but now I am back in the wild heat of the South. I was only painting the house a few minutes before I my hair was sticking to the back of my neck. They say women don't sweat; they glow. That's a huge lie. I've spent a good deal of time trying to be a proper woman, but it's rather impossible sitting on a front porch in the  blazing heat. I suppose the "proper" thing to do is excuse yourself and wander gracefully into the house. I wandered in and made a crash landing for a nap. 

All in all, it has been a fantastic Saturday. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This is a Start

I never pictured myself as someone who would sit down at a computer, pick out a few thoughts that swirl around in my mind, and end up throwing them into the humming world of the internet. I also never thought that I would work for the IT department at my college; after all, it's not common practice for a student to put down a Western Lit book in order to help with a computer problem. None of those things really matter, though, for the point of this blog is to glean more experience and try something new. I will doing quite a bit of traveling this summer, so I though this would be a tranquil venue for capturing the places and people I bump into along the way.

For now, the most interesting thing I've done all day is plug in speakers for a woman who happened to be too confused to find their little electronic home in the back of her modem. Not too stimulating, but it is still rather satisfying. Maybe it's the teacher in me longing to experience that moment when the light-bulb suddenly turns on. Or maybe it's the boredom screaming for me to leave my desk. Either way, it was still satisfying.

I get off work in exactly 3 minutes. Then the day is mine! The end of the work day is the beginning of my own little adventure. How will I spend this "time between the times"? Where will I find myself when the sun dips behind the plateau?