“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin
It’s been almost a week since we convened to hug Sandy Davis’ neck. I wish we could meet every Friday for dinner, or just laughs. Jeanne Marie’s phone says all that needs saying about my Kentucky tribe. I love them all so much, and I’m so lucky to have them as friends.
“The key to happiness is to focus on what you can control and make proactive choices for joy every day.”
~ Tiny Buddha
Just in case you missed the fact that we had a lot of laughs at the annual Derby Day BBQ yesterday, here are two reminders. Three radio personalities and one Annie Bassoni guarantees you’ll laugh until you cry. I’m so lucky.
“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” ~ Karen Maezen Miller
It was Derby Day and this year’s Springridge Derby Day Garage BBQ almost didn’t happen. First, time got away from me, so by the time I sent invitations, almost everyone had other plans. Then, the weather was absolutely horrid. It rained up until about 2 pm, which wasn’t so bad, but an Alberta Clipper dipped into Kentucky overnight and made it a very cold, dreary rain. A few people bailed last minute, and who could blame them with conditions like that, making this year’s crew small. A small but mighty crew we were. We had a blast. We moved the party indoors where John Lumagui managed to make us laugh until we had tears. I don’t get to see him nearly enough, and I’m reminded of that every time he comes around. Not only is he sweet as can be, he really might be the funniest man alive.
Wally and Lilly (the black blob behind the couch) joined in the fun as John spun joke after joke. I snorted and laughed so much my throat hurt by the time everyone left. We still grilled out. The clouds broke long enough for us to soak up a few rays before moving into the house for the race. I even managed to figure out how to set the self-timer on the camera so I could catch us all together doing jazz hands. I love these people so very much, and their presence in my world today was just what the doctor ordered.
“May your heart be light and happy,
may your smile be big and wide,
and may your pockets always
have a coin or two inside!”
~ Irish Proverb
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Let us give thanks that ‘ol St. Paddy ran all the snakes out of Ireland and that, today, we have the chance to embrace our Irishness, even those who aren’t Irish. Erin Go Braugh! (or Éire go Brách as the translation tells me)
“Are you living your life afraid of what could go wrong or excited about what could go right? It’s a tiny shift that makes a big difference!” ~ Timber Hawkeye
On the eve of the Ides of March and the eve eve eve of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it fitting to post a photo of our mostly Irish friend in a shamrock tiara. Her eyes nearly match the emblem. The tag, however, was not optional. At least it was green. Happy early St. Patrick’s Day!
“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” ~ James Thurber
It’s heartening to see the joy and hope new lives bring to a room. Just yesterday the girls (Annabell whom I call Apricot, and Lucy) were exposed – so to speak – to me and my camera. They weren’t quite as enthusiastic as the boys. In fact, they weren’t amused at all. On the other hand, Jackson AKA Cincinnati Red and Grier are becoming increasingly enthralled with the camera. This bodes well for future images I think, and it also means we’ll have a blast along the way. The girls may never warm to the camera. I’ll take my chances.
“Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.” ~ Walt Whitman
Day two of mini-vacation proved as perfect as the first. Though many shoppes were closed for the season there was plenty still open to peruse. And peruse we did. We happened into a used bookstore where I scored a beautiful leather-bound copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Over lunch of local brewed stout and smoked pulled pork BBQ, I opened the book to read the above quote. It spoke to me so deeply I gasped aloud. It was a day filled with splendid coffee, gorgeous weather, and dreams of the open road. Oh, and the Hobnob Restaurant is where we’ve eaten supper the last two nights. Perfect food in the most quaint atmosphere with a waitress headed to Grove, Oklahoma this weekend, home of Pam and Gary Thurman and Barbara Plested. I’m going to bed with a full and happy belly.
“Be happy. You never know how much time you have left.” ~ Unknown
For years Stacy’s been telling me about two things: Richard Mellencamp and Nashville, Indiana. She and her sisters used to go to Nashville every October to start their Christmas shopping. It’s very near Seymour where her mother grew up with Richard Mellencamp. I’ve been stressed the last few months, and Stacy invited me to go to Nashville for a mini vacation this week. Stacy has known Richard for several years, but she had never been to Seymour. On our way to Nashville today, we stopped off in Seymour to visit with Richard and his totally hilarious friend Kim Williams. Richard is exactly as Stacy described him: just about the sweetest man ever. A handshake wouldn’t do, he insisted on hugs. He took us to lunch, and then he and Kim drove us around Seymour showing us all the places where he and Stacy’s mom used to live and hang out. It was an extraordinary day in so many ways, and it’s always a blessing to be in the company of fine people. Richard Mellencamp is one such person.
“Never forget yesterday, but always live for today, because you never know what tomorrow can bring, or what it can take away.” ~ Tiny Buddha
Stacy, Annie, and I were invited to Susan and Catherine’s for brunch in their new house. PJs were optional, but as you can see, we all showed up in casual wear. What a treat it was to spend a few hours with these smart, witty, funny women. The C&S team cooked some truly remarkable vittles, too. Susan had warned us about Catherine’s homemade cinnamon rolls, but her description didn’t do them justice. They were ridiculously good. We laughed, we talked, we shared our love of grammar and gravy. It was as gorgeous around that breakfast table as the bright blue sky outside. I’m so grateful for their friendships.
“This week: Stop stressing over shitty people.” ~ Unknown
The lunch ladies had special treats today. Mama Heis (Elaine) was in town and wanted to have lunch with the lunch ladies. She drove by campus to pick up Crystal, Marie and I, and we met Stacy at Ramsey’s. We enjoyed a few laughs, lots of hugs, good talks, and we all walked out without having pie in solidarity with my diet. I love my lunch ladies, and we all love Mama Heis. A good time – and full bellies – was had by all.