january 29, 2017

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“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” ~ Paulo Coelho

 

it exists!

 

Pam Kingfisher was in town for her annual Ag conference, and just like last year, we had breakfast together before she flew back to Oklahoma. Pam loves stories. During this year’s conference, she ran into a couple of locals who told her all kinds of stories. One of those stories was about the now defunct Springs Inn and its role as a brothel during prohibition (I think that was the story). However, I don’t think it was actually that old. It seems the Springs Motel, as it was originally known, was built in 1948. So, I’m not sure what motel the brothel story was about, unless it was the old Yoakum Motel. But that’s another story for another day. I told Pam the Springs Inn was named after the natural spring beside it, which happens to be one street over from my house, and a stone’s throw from Stacy Yelton’s backyard (seriously, a good throwing arm would do it). We drove by the spring on the way to breakfast. I did some digging to find out more about it. There’s not a lot out there, actually. It’s called Kay Spring. It’s a perennial spring that feeds into the Wolf Run watershed. It sits on private property. So, yea, we pulled up in the driveway and just walked into their backyard. We’re rebels that way. The look on Pam’s face when she saw this large, deep spring in the middle of town made my day. We’ve resolved to have more adventures like this. I’ve had a lot of adventures with Pam, and I’m looking forward to many more.  

may 28, 2016

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“From love the soul learns a thousand lessons that can never be learned in schools.”
~ Rumi

 

tres amigas
tres amigas

 

Before Angie and I had dinner with The Rickeys on Thursday, we spent the day with Pam Kingfisher. You might recall Pam was in Lexington back in January for a Field to Table food conference. I always have some of the best conversations with her and I was afraid I wasn’t going to get to see her this trip. But she made it happen and I’m grateful to her for that. She also brought Angie a beautiful birthday gift along with an old photo where Angie was glowingly beautiful. It was a picture from a time we spent together many years ago. I have known and loved these women a very long time. They’re such a blessing to my life.

 

breakfast club
breakfast club
 

We started our day at Jimmy’s Egg (of course) where we met up with Robin Jackson, Steve Kirkpatrick, and Jean Havens. I would have breakfast with them every day if I could. Robin (top) is a grandma several times over now with one on the way. Those grandchildren are incredibly lucky because she and Steve make great grandparents. Robin is a helper, and the older she’s gotten, the more I’ve watched her rise above any expectation anyone could ask of her. She has handled a lot of heavy emotional burdens with such poise and grace that I can only hope to do the same when it’s my turn. It’s no wonder Lance Hughes and Carol Hart – and the rest of us – love her so very much. I told her those shoulder blades are really just her wings tucked out of sight. My phone buzzed as I was driving home yesterday and there was Robin’s text, “I will be your invisible friend with wings sitting on your shoulder to guide you safely home. Safe travels my sweet sister. I Love you.” My heart is full. I can never have a bad life with all this love surrounding me.

 

when the waitress takes the picture
when the waitress takes the picture

january 31, 2016

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“There is more wisdom in tenderness than cynicism, but tenderness is much more demanding-
-it requires you to live bruised.” ~ Jonathan Martin

 

new friends
new friends

 

I had breakfast with Pam Kingfisher before she flew back to Oklahoma. I took her to my favorite breakfast joint, Winchell’s. Stacy joined us. They had never met before today. Of course, they were instant friends. I learned a lot about Pam during our breakfast, and as a result, we’ve made some significant plans for the not-to-distant future that I’m very excited about. In the meantime, introducing Pam and Stacy was fulfilling. I love connecting the dots (the dots being my friends), and I take great joy in watching good people meet one another. It makes the world a better place.

 

Pam loves gifs
Pam loves gifs

january 28, 2016

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“Be a nice human.” ~ Unknown

 

surprise!
surprise!

 

You met Pam Kingfisher last year when I was in Oklahoma. We go way, way back, Pam and I. This week she’s in Lexington for the Southern SAWG (Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) conference. She does so much good work in bringing farm to table programs to communities and schools around the country. She loves her job, and I’m very, very proud of her for getting down in the trenches to make America smarter about our food sources. It’s important work she’s doing. We were supposed to meet up for dinner last night, but you read how my day went. I knew she would be on campus today touring the Fresh Food Company in The 90. We made a plan to meet there, but her tour group was late. Perfect. I staked out my spot and watched for her. Pam walked into the place with camera to her face (it was a bit like watching myself, really). It made stalking easy. This series of photos make me laugh. She didn’t realize who was behind the camera at first. In fact, I’d been snapping from far away but she never noticed. Oh, but when she did, it made up for missing last night. Her big warm hug was exactly what the doctor ordered. Seeing her smile, just for a moment, made my day. Truly, it made my day. We’re doing breakfast Sunday for a real visit before I put her on a plane and send her west. Old friends are so good for the soul, and I am blessed beyond measure to call her friend after all these years.

 

old friends
old friends

july 6, 2015

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“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.”
~ Unknown

 

spiritual growth
spiritual growth

 

Meet Pam Kingfisher. She spent the day with me and Angie running the dirt roads of Cherokee County. We found a multitude of stunningly beautiful places; places even they had never seen before. I’ve talked to Pam at length about Native American spirituality. Long ago she made a conscious decision to embrace her Cherokee heritage, and carry on its traditions as much as possible. The sanctity of water is at the top of the list, and not just for Cherokee but many other tribes as well. All water is sacred. Prayers for the water – our life force as human beings – is one way to thank The Creator. But prayers at water’s edge aren’t always about the water itself. Prayers can be about anything one feels the need to pray for, or about, or perhaps to just give thanks. Pam allowed me to be part of such a prayer ceremony at the edge of the Illinois River; The Creator’s cathedral if ever there was one. To say I was honored would be an understatement.

 

four and seven
four and seven

 

Our day was filled with many a happy moment. One of those was meeting the new Cherokee Nation Principle Chief Bill John Baker at breakfast (pictured here with Diane Rickey, Pam Kingfisher, and Angie Bliss Fanning). He’s super kind, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s been to West Liberty, KY! In fact, his parents were professors at Morehead State University, so he actually lived in Morehead. It is a small, small world, and I really enjoyed talking with him.

 

one of the good guys
one of the good guys

 

A small world, and our spiritual connections in it, was sort of the theme of the day. Before our prayer at the Illinois, Pam told me that Gurney Norman – yes, that Gurney Norman – had said something powerful to her a long time ago that has stuck with her all these years. He said, I’m paraphrasing of course, that “we are part of the water around us. The water we come from, wherever that might be, that’s who we are.” No wonder Eastern Kentucky is such a strong pull for me. Those are the waters I come from, just as the waters of Oklahoma and Washington State helped make Pam who she is. It is, indeed, a powerful thought. One other thing that helps shape us is the company we keep. There is no finer company than the women who gave me such a hilarious, blessed, special day. My gratitude for them is endless.

 

the screened in porch
the screened in porch