“What flatterers say, try to make true.” ~ German proverb
After a day of adventuring, we found our way to Maysville. There, we came across a great restaurant situated beside the railroad tracks and the river. The restaurant sits beside the Amtrak station that isn’t actually open anymore which is pretty sad. The tracks, the station, and the restaurant are on the outside of the flood wall like sacrificial lambs. The river has been rising from all the rains upstream since we got here. I don’t expect it will raise above the tracks, but it’s happened more than once, and I just can’t imagine what it must be like to have a home or business that’s a sitting duck for floods. Disasters aside, we’ve spent a lot of time beside the river today and there’s just nothing more soothing than flowing water. What a beautiful day we’ve had.
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” ~ Thomas Merton
I’ve been doing some fun work the last two days. As you know, I’ve had a hand in a literary journal called Solidago. I threw together the website in a hurry last year, so there were some things we – myself and co-editors Catherine Brereton and Susan Stewart – never really liked. As we opened the submissions window for the Spring 2017 issue, it seemed the right time for a make-over. The grooviest part, I think anyway, is that header images revolve, and their titles change to highlight whatever we want, such as featured artists and past issues. I really love doing this kind of work. I hope you like Solidago’s new look, and if you’re a writer or artist, I hope you’ll consider letting us bring your work to a wider audience. It’ll be fun. It pays nothing but it’s fun!
“I think anyone who has a passion for what they love to do, and who pursue it, is inspirational for me.”
~ Colin Morgan
Earlier this week my boss walked into my office and asked, “What is this thing everyone’s congratulating you for on facebook?” I didn’t know what he was talking about until he mentioned Jen Bartlett. The night before, Jen and husband Bryan had each posted pictures of Bryan and daughter Abby posing with the inaugural copy of Solidago. I mentioned this literary journal venture at the end of October. True to our word, the first issue was released the day after Thanksgiving. I just got my copy today! We used Createspace at Amazon for printing. It’s a print-on-demand service that allows start-ups like ours to get moving with little capital investment. Having someone else print my photos always makes me a little queasy, because you never know how they’re going to look. Createspace did a decent job. For $6 bucks it’s pretty darn good in fact! I’m so proud of our first issue, and I’m anxious to get started on our second. 2017 is going to be a great year for art. I can feel it!
“Don’t give up. Great things take time.” ~ Unknown
A couple of weeks ago Annie Bassoni dropped by with the last of our CSA load. I’d just gotten home from a trip, so Wally was super clingy. I finally picked him up, and this is what he did. Annie instantly grabbed my phone. I love this little dog so much. Kinda looks like he loves me, too. How lucky am I?
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
~ Lucille Ball
Remember the post from two days ago and Sunken City when I mentioned that parts of Point Firman had sank too? Driving from our lookout near that overlook to Point Firman felt a lot further than it actually was. When I took this shot I felt I’d seen this tree before. I had. It’s the point between Sunken City and Point Firman. That drive was deceptive because they’re really very, very close (and, yea, that’s Long Beach in the background with tops of mountains peeking through). Plus, I think it’s hysterically funny that these grown men climbed this little tree. Never grow up completely. It takes all the fun out of life if you do.
“Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.” ~ Zig Ziglar
In April, Aunt Janet marked the third year in her new house. Soon after she moved in my colleague and quilting artist, Sarah Vaughan, created a beautiful wall hanging to hide the hideous grey electrical panel the builders put in the living room (why they thought that was a good idea is beyond me). The quilt was several inches short so that the panel was still visible. She offered to fix it. I got a huge surprise today when she walked into my office with – not the altered original – a whole new creation. It’s based on her original design except I think this one is even better. While Sarah was busy praising my patience, I was busy praising her artistry. These pictures really don’t do the quilt justice, but believe me, it’s as beautiful as can be. From Janet, my folks, and myself, thank you, Sarah, for your tenacity and big heart.
“To believe in something and not live it is dishonest.”~ Gandhi
I love Lexington Diner. Their food is exceptional, and the wait staff are the kindest in all the land. I’m pretty sure I’ll never eat here without thinking of J. Wendel Cox. We had such a great conversation over breakfast last time he was in town that it’s seared into my mind as a Wendel place. Stacy Yelton and I dropped in for a spot of brunch today. It was, of course, fabulous, and the only thing missing was Wendel himself. As we left, we came across a group of people in front of the courthouse wearing florescent T’s that said “Stop Heroin.” We circled the block, parked (again), and made our way into the crowd to see what it was all about. Since Ryan Bick’s passing in January, more and more articles have been written about the heroin problem in Kentucky (and Ohio). Sadly, there was no media at today’s Walking for Wellness gathering. So, Stacy and I stood in for them. If Wendel had been with us, he would have gladly gone along. Heroin is not a killer of derelict drug abusers or low-life bums. It’s an accidental killer of young, smart, often fortunate, people who, for whatever reason, take a wrong turn. Heroin is often cut with things far more deadly than the drug itself, with unpredictable dosages. The combination is dropping users at an alarming rate. Many speculate the rise in heroin use is a result of Kentucky’s well meaning, but totally not-so-smart, pill mill solution laws. Whatever the case may be, I support any action to stop the death toll from rising; to stop the pain and suffering of user and family alike. I’m thankful to the folks that organized this walk, and allowed Stacy and I to attend their kick-off. Lunch at a favorite place and people trying to make a difference: it does a body and soul good.
“A lot of people over emphasize ‘talent’ & ‘skill’ when talking about art, when really, it’s about expressing your story; & everyone has one.
Tell your story. However you wish to tell it.” ~ Tal Wilkenfeld
This Fall the colors are stunning. I see trees turn voluptuous shades of red and orange that I’ve not seen turn anything but dull brown before. When I pulled out of my driveway this morning I was so taken by the glory of the moment that I stopped in the middle of the street and whipped out my phone (because the big camera was too far away with traffic coming…and I was late). All day I marveled at tree against sky: colors so perfect they didn’t look real. Did I mention how beautiful it was today?