“Choose joy! Don’t wait for things to get easier, simpler, better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now. Otherwise, you’ll run out of time.” ~ Unknown
The ever lovely Rebecca Brereton-Farr graduated from Northern Kentucky University last week (pictured here with mom Catherine Brereton). She went straight to work on Monday, and today, her family threw a party to celebrate her many accomplishments. I’m super excited to see what Rebecca accomplishes next. She has a great head on her shoulders, so whatever it will be, will be awesome just like her.
Last week, at JC’s graduation, I felt somebody tap my shoulder. I turned and he grabbed me into a big bear hug. I bet it had been nearly 35 years since I last saw Terry Van Cleve. We grew up in church together and played a lot of music there. We played a lot of secular music, too. I had a big crush on him back then, but he was a little older so he moved on while I was still coming up. We talked a good while at the graduation. He hasn’t changed at all, just a little more grey. He’s just as sweet as he ever was; and he’s always been one of the nicest guys I know. He’s still playing music. It would be a load of fun to play with him again just to see what we could remember after all this time. I remain forever grateful for his friendship. Running into him made my day.
Sweetest dude ever, Mark Cornelison, was the official photog once more at the Library’s annual Spring Gala last night. I snapped this selfie with him in between shots as we talked about his baby, who actually isn’t a baby anymore. If she turns out to be as kind as her dad her life is going to be nothing but roses. Let me just reiterate what a fantastic photographer Mark is, too. UK is so lucky to have him on staff, and I’m thankful to run into him from time to time. He always brightens my day.
Tonight was the Library’s Spring Gala where yearly awards are presented. I’ve been privileged to work closely with almost everyone who took home an award. How lucky am I? Danielle Gabbard was one of those awardees. I work with her every day and she is amazing. She took home one of three Dean’s Award for Outstanding Performance for the work she does. I couldn’t be more proud. Congratulations, Danielle! You deserve it.
The Stacys (minus Travis here) have treated dad like family for as long as I can remember, even before he started working at CK’s bank. Mom and Vicki worked together at the welfare office when I was a child. I’ve probably told this story before, but I’m going to tell it again. One of my most vivid memories is Vicki stopping by Mamaw’s one afternoon just after she’d come home from the hospital with Jodi. I was nine or ten years old. Mom went to the car to talk with her and I followed. There was tiny, tiny Jodi all wrapped up in baby blankets with her signature white tuft of hair. Vicki has always smiled, but her smile that day was different than I’ve ever seen it before or since. She was so in love with Jodi. We fell in love with Jodi that day, too. Now here we all are nearly forty-five years later and there’s still love and respect, Vicki’s sweet smile, and the whole Stacy clan flocking to mom and dad. Warms my heart so much.
I don’t get out of the office very often – I get off campus even less – but today was a great day to do both. I had the opportunity to visit the Scott County Public Library with whom we have a partnership to produce oral histories. Their assistant director Kathy Vaughn-Lloyd, adult librarian Mike Key, and I all went through graduate school together. I hadn’t seen them since graduation over a decade ago. They, along with librarian extraordinaire Julia Taylor, gave me the five-dollar tour, and what a tour it was. Few public libraries are as well run as SCPL. I can’t say enough great things about the programs they have or the facilities they’ve put together for the community; from a recording studio to the awesome faux barn and trees in the children’s section. They’ve got it all. Plus, because Kathy went through Bill Marshall’s archives course, she had a good foundation to provide a processing area for their local records and ephemera. Bill would be proud. Shoot, I’m proud and I’m not even from Scott County! I didn’t think to do a photo while I was there, but I managed to snap their entrance on my way out. Awesome day with awesome people.
This is one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen of my mother. It’s hard to catch her being natural, but catch her I did when we stopped yesterday to photograph the covered bridge. She was enamored with the gorgeous purple wildflowers growing near the road. By the time I got to her, she was trying to pull a bunch up by the roots to replant them at home. She thought better of it when they didn’t pull up with ease. They quickly turn to be a lot more trouble than they were worth. (If anyone knows what they are, tell me!) Even without the flowers we had a great Mother’s Day weekend.
The whole day was such a great time. We all slept late, then took to the roads for nearly eight hours. We ended our day by celebrating all-in-one Janet’s birthday (Monday the 13th) and Mother’s Day (today). She loves anything with peanut butter, so we snagged an incredible peanut butter pie from the Amish Store in Flemingsburg. The four of us ate the entire pie! It was a 9″ pie mind you. Despite how Janet looks in the pictures, she really did have a great time. She’s gotten so she doesn’t like the camera. Really, she never did, though she has humored me a great deal over the decades. One advantage to aging is that you no longer feel compelled to humor anyone, not even your niece. Meanwhile, Dad has taken to photo-bombing as he’s aged (see below). We ended our night by attending church service with Janet. Local preachers take turn about holding service every night for the residents, and we finished our pie just in time to join in. It was a… spirited service. We left feeling thankful to enjoy one another’s company for another Mother’s Day/Birthday celebration, and it’s always a blessing to spend time with Janet.
Hero, Shero, and I had a Mother’s Day weekend adventure today. We traipsed through four Eastern Kentucky counties, saw lots of people, ate lots more food, and visited one covered bridge. The Goddard White covered bridge in Fleming County sits off highway 32 between Morehead and Flemingsburg. It has been photographed a great deal because, well, look at it! The delightful Methodist Church nestled in a picturesque valley sits near center of the bridge opening making for a serene photo, a nod to the old times. Too bad my photos have a redneck pickup truck in them. At least you can’t see the ball sack hanging off the back bumper. Little else can ruin a moment like that sight, let me tell ya. Plus, it just ruined my compositions.
According to the signs, it’s unknown when the first Goddard bridge was built, but this bridge was “reconstructed” in 1968. It reminds me a lot of the Switzer bridge reconstructed after the 1997 flood on the Elkhorn. I’m now inspired to go back to see the Colville Covered Bridge in Bourbon County I discovered with Stacy, Greg Davis, and Sandy Davis in 2013. I think covered bridges are good for the soul. They sure are good for mine.