Riding Shotgun at the Nashville Symphony

Day 278
Listening to:  Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5
Thought for the day:  With music in my heart and snow in the air, my late-night walk with Pearl (my dog) was magical.


Tonight, thanks to Vanderbilt and my BFF Sabrina, I got to sit in the front row of a Founder’s Box at the Nashville Symphony.  I felt like I was riding shotgun through a Copland/Tchaikovsky wonderland.  I now know what it must be like to be a dog hanging its head out the car window.

This concert featured Aaron Copland’s El Salón México and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. I enjoyed the Copland, but the Tchaikovsky yanked my heart out of my body.  I don’t know what it is about his music that lends itself to ballet, but I choreographed the entire piece in my head.  I should have never quit dancing.  Sigh.

What a way to end February!  Thank you Sabrina!  Love you!

Thirty Years Without a Phone?

Day 277
Listening to:  Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Thought for the day: An amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one? ~ Rutherford B. Hayes after making a call with Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone


DuPont is installing a new phone system which means we all get new phones.  My office neighbor, Kathy (seen in today’s photo), was kind enough to pick up my old phone on her way to take her phone to the designated old phone graveyard.  As I handed my phone to her, I felt really sad.  I’ve had the same phone for 15 years.  It was like saying goodbye to a frenemy!    Last night, Mrs. Jenkins, the 95-year-old woman we interviewed revealed that she didn’t have a phone in her home until she was in her 30s.  Thirty years without a phone!  Can you imagine?  Though I hate talking on the phone, I cannot imagine life without one.  Saying goodbye to my old office phone along with Mrs. Jenkins revelation made me wonder what invention hasn’t happened yet that will make us say 10-20-30 years from now, “How did we live without that?”

The 71 Years of Marriage Fog

Day 276
Listening to:  Dream (when you’re feeling blue)
Thought for the day:  A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.  ~Andre Maurois


Tonight my merry band of friends and I embarked on our second journey to capture the story of another elder in our village to add to the historical project we’ve embraced.  We interviewed 95-year-old Earlene Jenkins. Today’s photo is of Earlene and her husband, Billie Joe, when they got married.  The year?  1932.  She was 14 at the time.   Their marriage lasted for 71 years until his death in 2003.  SEVENTY-ONE YEARS.  I was the one who asked her the question, “How long were you married?”  When she said the 71, I sort of went into a deep fog.  All I could think about was how I would never know what it would feel like to be married for that amount time.  Then again, I’m not sure I’ll know what living to be 95 will be like either.  My brain was so lost in the foggy woods of marriage that I missed her talking about the death of her husband.   She was talking about his death and I was still thinking about 71 years of marriage when I said, “That’s awesome.” God help me.  I was useless for a good 15 minutes afterward.  Thankfully, I wasn’t alone.  I’m glad I’m not embarking on this project alone.

I love old photos like this.  I just can’t imagine my wedding photo from the 80s with my mall hair and divorced status invoking the same kind of nostalgia as this photo does.

I Made A Phone Call – GASP

Day 275
Listening to: You’ve Got A Friend
Thought for the day: Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm

Lent Day 11: Call an old friend


No one pass out. I, me, KB initiated a call today. Call an old friend? I decided to call the one person who has been my friend the longest, my mom. For some of you, calling your mom may be routine. Not for me. In fact, when my mom answered, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Nothing is wrong!” She laughed. We just don’t talk to each other on the phone. She’s not much of a phone talker either. Two seconds into our conversation she said, “I won’t keep you long.” We’re emailers. Typically, a call from either of us to the other means someone is sick or has died. Like best friends, we “get” each other when it comes to talking on the phone.

It was good to talk to her. I’m grateful to still have my mom in my life and grateful to know she loves me as much as she does.

Today’s photo – my mom and I circa 1968 – I think you can see the resemblance

A War Hero’s Ring

Day 274
Listening to: It Is Well With My Soul
Thought for the Day: MISSING! Somewhere in Germany there is a ring, a very special ring.


My friends and I have begun the process of editing the interview we recorded this past week with Red Dean, the 93-year old who lives in our village. There is one story that keeps jumping out at me. Red’s division was captured during WWII by the German Army. Upon the initial capture, the Germans marched Red’s division for 19 days straight. They marched the first four days without any food. Many men died. The march ended at Stalag 4B, a prison camp on the Elbe River. At some point during the march, Red decided to discard his high school class ring for the sole reason he didn’t want the Germans to take it from him. He never saw the ring again. Several years ago, his daughter had a replica of the ring made (today’s photo). Red is extremely proud of this ring and swears it is identical to the original that he lost in Germany.

Here’s the thing. In my heart, I know the original ring is still out there somewhere. It is entirely possible the ring is in a pawn shop somewhere or on Ebay. It is also entirely possible that it is buried somewhere deep in the German landscape awaiting someone to discover it years from now. I really wish there was a way to start a search for it. I’m documenting it here in case someone starts searching for the owner………… even if it is hundreds of years from now.

Note: Red’s hand is behind my hand in this photo. :-) I just noticed he still wears his wedding ring. His wife has been deceased for a long time.

Brother Can You Spare a $5?

Day 273
Listening to: Who’s Johnny
Thought for the day: “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11


Day 9 Lent – Buy a few $5 fast food gift cards to give to homeless people you encounter.

I altered Day 9 a tad………..

The Nashville Contributor Newspaper is produced by and for the homeless people in our town. Vendors, who are homeless, sell the paper on street corners throughout the city. The intent is to provide homeless and formerly homeless newspaper vendors with a source of income. The cost of each paper is $1 (or whatever a customer chooses to pay). Today instead of giving the homeless I encountered $5 gift cards, I gave every Contributor vendor I encountered $5. When I went to give one of the vendors my $5 (instead of the requisite $1), he looked at me as if I’d given him a $100 bill and said in a surprising voice, “Do you need change?” I said, “ummm no.” He said, “Really?” I said, “YES!” He said, “ARE YOU SURE?” I said, “Of course I’m sure.” He smiled really big and said, “WELL GOD BLESS YOU M’AM.” Do people really only give these vendors $1 each time?

FIVE MEASLY DOLLARS. WHAT THE HELL? I was in total shock. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at a $5 bill the same again.

What the Hell? A Little Lint For Lent!

Day 272
Listening to: The Reflex
Thought for the day: My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance. —Erma Bombeck


Day 9 Lent Assignment: Do someone else’s chore

To accomplish today’s assignment, I headed to the maintenance shop where I work. All the characters listed below are mechanics in the maintenance shop.

Me: Cliff, do you have a chore I can do?
Cliff: What the Hell?
Me: No, this isn’t about Hell, this is about God. (I then explained my Lent assignment).
Cliff: Well, you can sweep the tool storage area (aka “The Crib”).
Me: Perfect! Where’s the broom?

Cliff handed me the broom and I started sweeping.

Jim walks in and sees me sweeping: WHAT THE HELL?
Me: This is about God, not Hell (I explain Lent).
David walks in and sees me: WHAT THE HELL?
Me: Dude! Not about Hell! About God!
Chris walks in and sees me: WHAT THE HELL?
Me: Okay, what the Hell? Can’t a girl just do a little work for God?
Cliff: Hey KB! I didn’t realize The Crib was this dirty! (Points to the floor) Now THAT is some lint for Lent. Thanks for sweeping for me!
Me: Thanks for helping me fulfill my duty to God!

This Lent assignment thing is turning out to be an adventure. Photo is of Cliff helping me sweep up the lint for Lent.

What No Bitching & Adult Toys Have In Common

Day 271
Listening to:  Carry On (love this song – by Fun)
Thought for the day: Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.  ~Proverb

Day 8 Lent Assignment – No Bitching


I suppose begging the question; “Do you know how difficult it is not to bitch?” would be a form of bitching so forget I wrote that.  Still.  Do you know how difficult it is?   I spent most of my day, like Pearl in today’s photo, in search of my own sliver of positive light.  The best test/reward happened later in the day.  Sometime around 6, my phone rang.  It was my 83-year-old neighbor, Tom (the one who gave me Pearl).  I didn’t answer.  He called again.  I didn’t answer.  He called again.  I didn’t answer and started feeling the bitch in me seeping out.  After the fourth time, I reminded myself to stop being a bitch and picked up on his fifth time to call.  I didn’t go unrewarded. Here is what happened.

Tom:  (shouting)  UPS delivered a box to my house and they have the wrong address.
Me:  What’s the address on the box?
Tom:  ### 14th Street.
Me:  hmmm… There’s not a house on 14th Street with that house number.
Tom:  Tom:  That’s not all.  It’s a box full of #*&%* dialdos AND I CALLED THE UPS PEOPLE AND TOLD THEM TO COME GET THESE @($*)(%* DIALDOS OR I WAS GOING TO TOSS THEM IN THE YARD.
Me:  Wait.  What is in the box?
Tom:  Dialdos, honey.
Me:  WHAT?
Me:  (silent for a moment)……………….  OHHHHHHHHHHH ….ADULT TOYS!!

I can’t stop laughing about it.

You Did What in the Sink?

Day 270
Listening to:  I Believe in Miracles
Thought for the day: You did what in the sink?

Wednesday Night Dinner Club:  The Southern


If you’re a fan of the Loveless Café, then you’ll love this place.  It’s as if the Loveless Café’ moved uptown and became sophisticated.  The Southern is owned by the same peeps.  I mostly noshed on happy hour food (oysters-slurp-yum) and other appetizers.  In my estimation the coolest thing on this menu is the “choose your own steak size” option.  Each night, they feature a different cut of steak.  You get to go back into the kitchen and show the chef how much you want and you pay the market price per pound.  So if you’re Fred Flintstone, HOLLLA…………  Steakasaurus Rex the size of Texas.

Today’s photo was taken in the bathroom.  This photo isn’t about me although I’m in it. I’m standing in front of the sink.  Do you notice anything different?  THERE IS NO SINK-HOLE-PLACE-THINGY!!!! I have to be careful here or someone will toss out the “that’s what she said” comment.   This sink is cool and all, but sinks are not just for washing your hands.  I’m not going to take this blog down that road, but those of you who know what I’m talking about…………….. KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.  A SINK CANNOT BE FLAT!!!!

In the end, The Southern is now one of my faves, slightly behind Eastland Café and City House.


Each Age, It Is Found, Must Write Its Own Books

Day 269
Listening to: Stardust
Thought for the day: Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Photo: Brandon Jackson, Red Dean, Kris Trolinger Brummett, Wendy Fleenor Jarvis & Jerry Barnes (not pictured)

Tonight, several of my neighborhood friends and I began a project to capture the histories of those who live among us that grew up in our beloved Old Hickory Village and experienced what it was like to live in a company-owned town (DuPont owned Old Hickory Village until 1947). I’m not quite ready to share the fruits of our labor, but stay tuned. Tonight’s session involved an interview with 93-year old Red Dean, aka the unofficial (but official in our hearts) mayor of Old Hickory. Our time with him moved from the innocence of childhood to the horrors of a POW camp during WWII. He made us laugh. He made us cry. In the end, it is an experience that I won’t forget. I look forward to sharing our project with you when the time comes. You won’t be disappointed. YES THIS IS A TEASE.