Celebrating the End of the Holiday Parade

Day 309
Listening to:  Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
Thought for the day:  I am now an official Dr. Who junkie.  I may need an intervention.

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Though I like what the holidays that fall between October and April represent, I struggle with most of them in one way or another.   From shoveling mass amounts of holiday chocolate in the pie hole at Olympic speeds to being smothered by the giant armpit of loneliness, there are emotional hurdles to leap.  It’s not all gloom and doom. I promise.  Each of the holidays is also served up with a side of some form of happiness most of the time.  Still.  I’m always relieved to see Easter bringing up the end of the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day parade.  In honor of this end, I decided today to partake in a mini Dairy Queen blizzard and a sunset.  Oh……. and, no, I do not eat Oreo Blizzards!  SHOCKER I KNOW!

Happy Easter to all!
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

The Last Family Easter

Day 308
Listening to: Hearts Afire
Thought for the day: Sometimes the world’s greatest mystery is the person right next to you. ~Dr. Who

Easter1974

I’m a little sad tonight. I hope you will tolerate my sadness. The photo? This is the last time my parents were together for Easter. It’s the last time my mother, father, brother, and I were a family. I was 7 years old. My mom had taken me to the nicest store in Tullahoma to buy me this dress the Saturday night before Easter (Small World for my fellow Tullahomians). The dress haunts me in my dreams. I was so excited at the time. I had no idea my parent’s marriage was about to end.

Both of my parents have gone on to find other partners and are happy for which I’m grateful. Unfortunately, I still have scars. The scars are healed, but occasionally they hurt. Tomorrow I will go to church, smile, thank God for what it all means, and then I will come home to an empty house. There will be no Easter dinner or egg hunt. I want to be a kid again.

blpo980piuaoisd;afj -> How You Write About Puking

Day 307
Listening to: Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Thought for the day: For God so loved the world………..

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Today Christian and I drove to Murfreesboro to see Wes. We let Wes choose where we would eat lunch. He chose an all you can eat sushi place. I’m struggling to even type the word susblllllllasa9809r8uo#*&$*………… I picked up a tad bit of food poisoning. About an hour after lunch my body began raising hell. I kept telling the kids I needed to puke. It didn’t happen until the ride home. As I was hanging out of the car in some unknown parking lot hurling up raw fish, the following conversation happened.

Me: blpo980piuaoisd;afj (that’s how you spell someone throwing up)
Christian: EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW !!! OH MY GOD!!! EWWWWWWWW!!!
Me: blpo980piuaoisd;afj
Christian: I NEED HAND SANITIZER!!!
Me: I didn’t even get any on you! Not even close!
Christian: I don’t care! After seeing that I feel germy!!!
Me: You know how many times I’ve seen you puke?
(silence)
Christian: I took your picture while you were puking (shows me the photo).
Me: OMG!!!

My thoughts? Drive to Murfreesboro? $5. Lunch with my kids? $40. Getting food poisoning & my daughter taking a photo of me puking? Priceless.

I won’t be eating sushi or anything even resembling it anytime soon. Today’s photo is pre-hurl.

While you Were Drinking Ospritinis……

Day 306
Listening to: Ooh Child
Thought for the day: This here is the living area, where we does our living, and this is the dining area, where we does our dining, and this is the kitchen area… ~ George Jefferson

march28

There are two Osprey couples that make their home on my employer’s land every spring in two very visible nests. My friend and coworker Brian White, aka the bird whisperer, aka the guy behind this beautiful photo, always check in with each other when the Ospreys arrive every year. I had named them Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty. Brian had named them Fred, Ethel, Lucy, and Desi.

For years, we’ve watched them return to the same nests. Occasionally (but rarely) a bad storm would obliterate a nest while the Ospreys were away for the winter. They’d always return and rebuild in the same exact spot. One of the nests is on a large tower that hosts a security camera and overlooks the lake. The other nest was on a large tank a short distance away from the other nest. Notice I said “was”. This year, while the Ospreys were in Miami drinking Ospritinis (shaken not pecked) and rubbing beaks with Birdashians, my employer decided to demolish all of the tanks along the lake. This demolition meant one of the nesting spots was removed permanently. In the long run, the demolition is for the best. In the interim, Barney/Fred and Betty/Ethel were evicted.

Brian and I watched anxiously as the Ospreys returned this year post tank removal. Eventually, Brian found the new nest (featured in today’s photo). It’s a happy ending! I almost cried when I saw the photo. The new residence is an upgrade. I told Brian we needed to start calling them George and Weezy ‘cause THEY ARE MOVING ON UP (nicer/higher crib). What on Earth made them choose this spot? Did they fly around like the TV show House Hunters on HGTV considering the locale? It’s incredible to me and inspiring. These birds definitely are not taking our shit. They’re persevering.

A Giving Wish

Day 305
Listening to:  Don’t Bring Me Down
Thought for the day:  I was so happy to see the sun today I could have kissed it. I wouldn’t have cared if it burned my lips.

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Note: This is a peep into a continuing project.  My friends and I are interviewing our elders in Old Hickory village to document what it was like to live/work in a village mostly owned/operated by the DuPont Company.

Last night my friends and I spent time with Jimmy Lawson.  Mr. Lawson is in his early 80s and a bit younger than our previous interviewees. As expected his experiences growing up in Old Hickory were a little different than what we’ve heard so far, but no less interesting/entertaining.   Today’s photo is of Mr. Lawson in front of an Esso gas station he opened in 1957 on the corner of Hadley and Donelson Ave.

At the end of each of these interviews we always ask the question, “What do you want to be remembered for?”   Mr. Lawson’s answer was, “I want to be remembered for helping people.”  As a life-long member of the Old Hickory Church of Christ he’s had multiple opportunities to achieve his wish via community work and mission trips to faraway places.    What stuck out in my mind, however, in relation to his answer is how young his work began.  His family was the first on their block to have a telephone installed in their house.  During WWII, one of the few options a soldier had to talk to a loved one back home was to call the Lawson house.  Whenever a call was received, Mr. Lawson was dispatched into the neighborhood to notify the soldier’s wife that she had a call waiting for her.  Can you imagine the excitement a “war widow” must have felt at the site of young Jimmy walking up the sidewalk unexpectedly?  He would also run errands for these women and help them when he could.  You know, I don’t think Mr. Lawson realizes it, but he fulfilled his desire to be remembered for helping people a very long time ago.  Thankfully, he never quit helping people and he still helps today.  It’s something I admire with all of my heart.

This Person Above

Day 304
Listening to:  Cupid Shuffle
Thought for the day:  You’re never too old to be hip.

Tonight my friends and I interviewed Jimmy Lawson, an 80+ year old who has lived most of his life in Old Hickory (more about him tomorrow).  Throughout the interview I kept hearing a cell phone ringing in his pocket.  By the end of the interview he revealed he reads Facebook and sends text messages on his cell phone.  HE IS TOTALLY HIP!  It’s inspiring.

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What does this have to do with today’s photo?  I’d like to think I keep up with technology.  If you don’t understand Twitter, you may not understand what I’m showing you.  This is an image of my friend Jane’s Twitter feed on her cell phone. She sent it to me in a text message tonight.  I’ve had a very busy day filled with some smattered, covered, and smothered stress.  When saw her message, it’s like she pushed the toilet flush handle on my body.  I let go of the day’s stress and giggled.  It made me reflect on the interview my group completed tonight.  I hope I am like Jimmy when I grow up.

A Glowy Snow Flower

Day 303
Listening to: Laughter in the Rain
Thought for the day: No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb

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I swear. I had no intentions of posting a photo to say IT IS SNOWING! It just happened. A funny thing happened. I took this photo to capture the snow and when I looked down at the image captured on the phone I suddenly saw an image depicting the scene as a beautiful snow flower growing in the dark. My perspective changed immediately. Maybe my choice to see it this way is a sign there is a positive person inside of me. Maybe it just means my camera phone sucks. Either way, IT’S SNOWING Y’ALL AND IT IS FREAKING MARCH 25th!

The Double Chin Cover-Up Shot

Day 302
Listening to: A Little Help From My Friends
Thought for the day: Your encouragement may be the only good thing someone receives. Be aware of who God puts in your path. Nobody is there by accident. ~Joel Olsteen

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Someone that I shared a ton of mutual friends with but only knew through Facebook died this weekend. I’ve watched him pour out his struggles via Facebook status updates over the past year. Several times I have started to reach out to him, but withdrew every time. I have regrets. Thus, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching today. I ache for my friends who knew him.

The experience makes me want to be a better person and friend. Typically, I don’t answer my phone but when my caller ID told me David was calling today something inside me knew I had to answer. He knows I don’t answer my phone, so he sounded beyond shocked when I said hello. Turns out he was stranded at the airport without a ride home. He’d exhausted his options and I was his last chance to get home. There was no hesitation on my part. I went and picked David up and took him home. His gratitude washed over me like a tsunami comforting my inner turmoil. The win/win of it all is I had a very enjoyable time catching up with him on the ride home. Of course a photo was obligatory. He was worried about his double chin showing up in the photo, so we did a double chin cover-up photoshoot!!!

Hello. My name is Inigo Peeptoya. You killed my father.

Day 301
Listening to:  Ride of the Valkyries
Thought for the day: Hello. My name is Inigo Peeptoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. ~Purple Peep

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Earlier in the week, a friend of mine posted a meme on Facebook stating that if you equip Peeps with swords (toothpicks) and place them in the microwave they will duel.  I couldn’t resist.  I bought the Peeps and prepared for battle.  With Ride of the Valkyries blaring in the background, I armed each peep and placed them in the microwave. As the door was closed, I imagined the purple peep saying to the yellow peep, “Hello. My name is Inigo Peeptoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”   The purple peep, however, would be denied.  The peeps did not duel.  They blew up like giant sumo wrestlers.  I decided to try again, and again, and again, and again only to fail each time.  I basically killed an entire peep army trying to make them duel.  The best part is I only ate 3.   I think I need a peepchiatrist now because I have PTPD (post traumatic peep disorder).

Dissecting a Building Like a Frog

Day 300
Listening to: I Could Write a Book
Thought for the day:  DAY 300 – HOME STRETCH!!!!! 65 Days to complete this writing project.

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Like a high school biology class frog with its soft belly ripped open and its entrails exposed to a curious teenager, the architecture of the building being demolished where I work is being exposed for all to study (today’s photo by Brian White).  The first day I walked in into this building in 1989 I was mesmerized by the roof.  It was truly beautiful.  It is called a saw-tooth roof. The steeper roofed surface faces the west while the windows face east.  At one point I fantasized I’d build a house with a roof like this one  (my saw-tooth roofed house would be equipped with a fireplace too).  This building was built in the late 1920s before air conditioning was main stream. The planning was truly brilliant. It’s odd to see my beloved roof in this shape and it prompted me to do a quick Google search of this design.  Ripped straight from Wikipedia, here is what I found.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saw-tooth_roof

A roof comprising a series of ridges with dual pitches either side. The steeper surfaces are glazed and face away from the equator to shield workers and machinery from direct sunlight. This sort of roof admits natural light into a deep plan building or factory.

British engineer and architect William Fairbairn is sometimes credited with the first designs for what he termed the shed principle possibly as early as 1827. In his, “Treatise on Mills and Millwork”, of 1863, Fairbairn states that, ‘Contemporaneous with the architectural improvements in mills [from 1827], the shed principle lighted from the roof, or the “saw-tooth” system, came into operation. It was chiefly adapted for power-weaving…’[1] It was rapidly adopted during the industrial revolution for the many new daylight factories where good natural lighting was essential in the manufacturing process and large areas of enclosed space were required to house the machinery. The first documented example can be found on the Weaving Shed (and perhaps also the Combing Shed) of Titus Salt’s Saltaire Mills near Bradford, which were founded in 1851. [2]