Sunday, March 24, 2019

A walk in the woods

The temps were in the 70s here today. Last night we had the heat on, but by lunchtime, it was almost warm enough to swim.

Each day as we walk we find more things blooming. Today, we saw this tiny bouquet nestled between the roots of a giant oak.

In the hollow, a small dogwood had blossomed out. The flowers were too high in the branches to photograph. I made a mental note to look at the other dogwoods around our property in the coming days.

If you live in the south, keep an eye on the sky tomorrow. We could have some nasty weather.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Early morning call

Today has been a good one. It started out early with a ringing phone.

Jilda's father always called her at the crack of dawn every year because he wanted to be the first to wish her a happy birthday.  He died in 1993 a few months before her birthday.

The morning of her birthday that year, the phone rang. The call was unexpected. We weren't asleep, but we were still lying in bed. The phone rests on a table on my side of the bed. She lunged across me and answered the phone.

The caller was her younger brother Ricky. He knew how much that early call meant to her and he decided to continue the tradition.

He's never missed a birthday since that day.

Below is a picture of Jilda and her dad at the beach the summer before he died.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Happy birthday, Jilda

Tomorrow is my lovely spouse's birthday. I could tell you her age, but that might cut my life short.

I first met her when she was in junior high school. She was dressed as a pilgrim and playing a pump organ for a fall festival.

Her cousin introduced us.

We've celebrated a few birthdays since then.

Here's the thing – her pilgrim dress was yesterday.

Even if you live for a long time, life is brief. 

Do yourself a favor and be here now.

Burn all your fuel.

Celebrate at every opportunity.

Happy birthday, Jilda.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Beauty is ephemeral

Fluctuating temperatures have not been kind to the camellias blooming by the backyard fence. When they first bloomed, they were hard to miss.

But beauty is ephemeral. This morning when I walked by earlier this week, most of the camellia blossoms had fallen.

This morning, this one was splayed out underneath the bush. It was as if she were saying, I gave it my all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Pollen munchers

One of the best things about living where we live is the fruit. The peaches, apples, pears, and figs make living in the sticks more palatable if you'll excuse the pun.

They've been popping out more and more each day. Today, the pear tree was showing out. The bees were down with this latest development. You could hear the buzz.

I tried to shoot pictures of one of the little pollen munchers but they didn't have time to pose. The picture below is from our morning walk.

I wrote my column for Sunday today. It's about the bees. That's probably a shocker to you all.

Here's hoping your Wednesday was a good one.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


I did something yesterday that I haven't done before. I missed an appointment for an interview. Actually, let me be more specific – I forgot that I'd made the appointment.

I'd somehow put the appointment down on the wrong day so my reminder was waiting to remind me. 

The photographer sent me a text asking if I was OK. It was embarrassing to tell her that I'd messed up.

Later, I called the gentleman back and told him that I'd screwed up and asked if he would consider rescheduling. He's my age and chuckled a little and asked if we could do it today. I told him I would come at his convenience. 

I met him at the small airport in Jasper. We talked for over an hour. He was a Vietnam veteran who flew combat missions. 

The story will go in the quarterly magazine that will be published in April. I will share it then.

This evening, I got home as Jilda was leaving for work. There were several stories that I needed to write. After the first one, I took the dogs for a walk.

Not far from our front steps, I noticed tiny white flowers on anorexic stems. The looked beautiful in the shade of the sweet gum tree. I snapped a picture.

It's getting beautiful here. The temps will be near freezing tonight. I'm hoping all the blooming things have a sweater.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Movie biz

I knew it was a long shot, but I thought I'd give it a try. The mayor called me over the weekend to say that a movie company was shooting a few scenes of a movie in Old Dora.

I dug my press pass out of the bottom of my camera bag. Most everyone here where I work knows me and I never have to show the pass so I've never actually used it.

Heading my truck into the gates, I eased up to the edge of the parking lot where the crew was assembling.

I casually got out of the truck as if I owned the place. Strolling around, I shot several pictures. When I started toward the carts with the cameras a young man approached me. I showed him my press pass, but he wasn't impressed. He asked me to leave.  I did.

A few minutes later my phone buzzed. The mayor sent a text with the phone number for the publicists. She gave me the scoop and apologized for the closed set. But I understood. They didn't want a thousand locals coming to the set wanting to be extras.

I got a story and the few pictures I'd taken would be OK.

On the way home, I drove on through the old town. I've written about this tunnel in the past. I've never driven through it without blowing my horn.

Today, as I snailed through it, I stopped in the middle. School kids have spray painted their names on this tunnel ever since spray paint was invented. Apparently Ben loves Alexia. And Bro did something disgusting with XXXXXX. The "with" name had been sprayed over.

There are small towns all across this country. All of them are full of history. If they could talk (or write screenplays), there would be thousands of compelling movies.

I smiled at that thought as I headed home to write my story.

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