“Start by doing 1 pushup.
Start by drinking 1 cup of water.
Start by paying toward 1 debt.
Start by reading 1 page.
Start by making 1 sale.
Start by deleting 1 old contact.
Start by walking 1 lap.
Start by attending 1 event.
Start by writing 1 paragraph.
Start today. Repeat tomorrow.”
“I hope there are days when your coffee tastes like magic, your playlist makes you dance, strangers make you smile, and the night sky touches your soul. I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive.” ~ Brooke Hampton
The most beautiful part of a sunset may not always be the sunset itself but the glorious colors cast to the east. The 2-Pony Ranch is beautiful all the time and I find it especially beautiful bathed in long shadows of golden light. Plus, long shadows are slimming and I’m all for that.
“Stop criticizing yourself for everything you aren’t and start appreciating yourself for everything you are.” ~ Unknown
This old house, somewhat restored at least on the outside, sits between Upper Street and Morris Ally. Its closest neighbor is the old Antioch Christian Church that I talked about back in 2014. I’d love to know some history on this place. It’s on a large lot that clearly once had a larger building on it. Or perhaps this is what’s left of a larger building. Whatever the case, I hope to learn more about it eventually. I love these old places.
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
~ John Wesley
Since moving into my little house I’ve called it The Lodge because it looks and feels like a tiny urban lodge. But with the enormous crow’s nest now situated high atop the backyard fir tree, I feel like calling it The Crow’s Nest. The outside always looks best in spring. These shots were from two weeks ago before the dianthus along the drive bloomed and the redbuds were still flowered out. I feel so fortunate to live in such a sweet little neighborhood.
I’ve shown you snow shots from the President’s yard. I’ve even shown you summer, spring and fall shots from the President’s yard, but I don’t think I’ve actually shown the President’s house. Here it is in all its snowy glory.
It’s called Maxwell Place (good luck not calling it Maxwell House), and I believe it was built by (or for) a former president’s son. Preservationists saved it from the wrecking ball many years ago when the University was on a search and destroy mission that claimed the Carnegie Library in 1967 (that’s right; we had a library built in 1909 by Andrew Carnegie funds, and then torn down for the Patterson Office Tower and Whitehall Classroom Building). All University President’s are given the keys to the house for their private use. Some have not lived there, opting instead to use it for parties while living off campus, but some Presidents, like Eli Capiluto, do live in the home. I prefer the latter, frankly. A home this beautiful should be lived in.
Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.
~ Helen Keller
Over the course of a decade, give or take, I lived in three of the four apartments in this house on South Upper Street. Some of my fondest memories happened when I was living there. When I was still traveling with Stealin Horses I lived in the apartment that faced the alley. I wasn’t there much, but my cat and Danny Thomas were. Later, most of my college years were spent in this house. When I lived in the upstairs apartment there was a window that opened to the roof. Sadie and I used to sit out there and get some fresh air. When I was gone to class, she’d go out on her own and watch for me. Folks in the neighborhood got to know her as the dog on the roof. We used the house as a backdrop for a blues band I was in called La Vida Loca. You can see Sadie on the roof in a few of the shots. My secret fantasy is to buy the place and restore it as a single residence, if in fact it was ever a single residence. If not, I’d still restore it however it was meant to be because, of all the places I’ve lived in Lexington, it remains my favorite, no matter which apartment I lived in. Of course, that will never happen, and that’s okay, too. I smile every time I pass by, and that’s good enough for me.
“Every moment that you spend upset, in despair, in anguish, angry, or hurt because of the behavior of anybody else in your life is a moment in which you’ve given up control of your life.”
~ Wayne Dyer
They tore down Angie’s old house today. She posted a photo with the top floor ripped off. It was all I could do not to cry. I went to work depressed. I thought about it all day. Worst of all, I wasn’t there. It was like someone had died. I came home and had myself a cry. It really was like someone had died. That house, with an Angie in it, was like a second home to me. We had a blast in that house. We laughed, we cried, we argued, we watched Katie grow up, we played music, we saw so many people we love walk through that stubborn front door that I can’t count them all. When I talked to Angie later in the evening, we talked about how it felt like someone had died (glad it wasn’t just me). Jerry proposed to her in that kitchen. She had to turn away when the front came down. It must have been so hard for her to watch, and that broke my heart, too. On the other hand, I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to have been in that house for the last 25+ years for all the money in the world. It gave me shelter when I was feeling low. It made me feel loved and necessary and appreciated. It welcomed me home every time I returned, no matter how long I’d been away. I will be always be grateful to that little house. And, now, the making of new memories begins. As Ang pointed out, I already broke in the new 2 Pony house for her. It’s time to get started on those new memories.
“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate.
We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.”
~ Desmond Tutu
Wally and I often walk to Stacy’s house after supper. On beautiful days like this one the wave goodbye is like a tiny glimpse of dreamland. It’s an awesome house, and this was a beautiful day in the Bluegrass.
“Learn from nature: See how everything gets accomplished and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Last night, as the full worm moon was rising, I walked outside for a few shots. The sky was beautiful. The surroundings glowed. The snow and stars twinkled like a mirror images. My home looked so warm and inviting from the outside. That must be one reason why I enjoy it so much. I wish I could have gotten out to the country for some evening shots, but I’m awfully grateful to get what I got.
“Erase from your vocabulary the word “someday.” Do not save things for “special occasions.” Take into account the fact that every day is special. Every day is a gift that we must appreciate and be thankful for. Wear your attractive clothes, wear your nice perfume, use your fine silverware and dishes, and drink from your expensive crystal glasses … just because. Live every day to the fullest and savor every minute of it.” ~ Rodolfo Costa
I don’t think the second of March will ever pass again that I don’t feel a hole in my heart. Here we are, three years after the F-3, and to me, it feels like it just happened. There are some days I just ache for my grandmother’s home, my home, and my hometown. I miss them as if they were people, not things, but living, breathing human beings. The town; she’s so very slow to come back. What little has cropped up feels devoid of character somehow. It’s not as if West Liberty was a picture postcard town before the tornado, it wasn’t, but it did have that small town, all-American Mayberry something about it. Main Street was lined with a mix of stone and wood buildings, shutters and porches and worn flat sidewalks and people. There were homes, real homes, dotting the landscape, each different in color and texture and more people. I feel like I won the lottery growing up in that little town. We left for Arizona for a time, but all I ever wanted was to go back. It’s where I knew I belonged. A place and its people – those people at the time of my growing – were a mighty force. It wasn’t all perfect, but it was perfect for me. I suppose I will always yearn for the West Liberty I understood, and for as long as I live, I will be grateful for what I had there for as long as I had it, warts and all.