Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Posts tagged ‘Like’

Welcome to My Backyard, the Alley of the Angels

Welcome to the alley of the angels

Hey, they say your eyes can gleam

When you can a just tell the truth all night

(And you can chase them dreams all night)

Welcome to the alley of the angels.

 — John Cougar Mellencamp

Places–I love the poetic resonance of that word. Some places are special; you had them growing up, of course you did. And do now. Magical places. Special because of their cocoonishness, or their broad openness. Their smell, or their connection to friends or family. Their lightness, or darkness. Their safety, or risk.

So I was aghast a few years back when I attended a writing conference at the Sea Turtle Inn in Atlantic Beach, FL, and one afternoon decided to skip the meetings and drive down memory lane. I headed south to Jacksonville Beach to find the motel where my family and I vacationed from about the time I was six or seven till I went away to college. It had those wonderful beds where you inserted a quarter into the headboard, and the mattress vibrated! For fifteen minutes! My mother, father and brothers would all hop on. Who needed the Ritz?

I knew exactly where the Horseshoe Motel stood. I had been there SO many times as a kid. But I started to doubt myself when I passed the lifeguard station and came to the ridiculously sharp turn in the road far beyond my memory motel location. I can be dense, so it took me at least three to-and-fro trips before I realized (admitted?) that the place had been demolished for a condo. Sad. A childhood place gone for good.

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I live in beautiful downtown Savannah, smack-dab in the middle of the nation’s largest historic district, to be exact. I can hear the huge freighters blowing their bass notes at night …

freighter2

… as well as the clatter of horseshoes as carriages tour past Colonial Park Cemetery across the street.

Horse1

I love walking the Savannah streets, breathing history.

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I don’t really have a backyard, in the traditional sense of the word. But, boy, do I have a backyard! It’s really a small alley, which runs behind the building where I live.

Even though it is communal, and somewhat small, there are hidden crannies where one can sit and read, or laptop, or daydream. It exudes a trace of otherwordliness, a fragrance of excursion. I step into my “backyard,” and suddenly I’m in Europe–Florence, Italy perhaps, trying to decide on which trattoria to frequent. I sit to read in its botanical wealth and am lost, not just in the book’s maze, but in the place, the green, the leafyness, the nowness of nature.

This place calls me to look up, to pause and see.

To view from unfamiliar perspectives and angles.

A tremendous perk of having place appreciation is that windows appear, and open (or shut), and allow you to see just what you desire to see. Or simply, and deliciously, to dream.

There’s power in place.

Both growth and potential growth. Both static and kinetic.

Sometimes sitting is all that’s needed in life. To embrace “is-ness,” accept “am-ness.” Breathing in, breathing out.

A sense and celebration of place, our place, they gift us with calm assurance that we are where we are, for good reason. That rhythm and movement take us (or keep us) where we need to be.

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My backyard invites me to …

And such encouragement affirms the heart of this attempt at blogging.

Four Things I Pretend to Like; Four Things I Like but Pretend Not To

Here are four things I pretend to like:

1.  Baked Lays.  I really want to like them because they are supposedly better for you, but to me they taste a little like very thin cardboard.  The next time I’m at Subway, I’m thinking about buying a bag of Baked Lays and a bag of regular Lays, switching the contents, and from then on keeping the regular bag with me as my cover.

2.  Wal-Mart Greeters.  I know, this is so mean of me, but REALLY, come on.

3.  Green Tea.  I drink it, but I don’t like it.

4.  Elves.  I don’t care if they’re from the North Pole or not, elves are creepy.  I know I’m a fine one to talk, with my ears and all, but still.

And here are four things I like but pretend not to:

1.  Susan Boyle.  She’s the best thing that’s come along since The Beatles.  I love this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSnPqKZEFw8

(Maybe the outfits are a bit much for the English countryside.)

2.  Gold Bond Powder.  You don’t want me to get started.  Let’s just say that if I can’t find my GB, everything this blog stands for disappears.  EVERYTHING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Pork Rinds.   Barbequed, the kind they peddle at the Statesboro Fair in that little back alley where all the locally made food items are sold.  I buy one BIG bag for immediate consumption and another for a midnight snack.  The barbequed variety are really pretty hot, and I can’t feel my mouth for a day or two after the gorging, but they are worth the temporary inconvenience.

4.  The Greeters at Moe’s.  Like everyone else, I make fun of them: “Welcome to Moe’s!” I jokingly yell occasionally.  But when I rush in for the Ruprict Nachos at lunchtime, and the workers behind the sneeze guard greet me with such enthusiastic passion, I get a little choked up, like they really care, and that I’m, well, “home.”  (Now, if the Wal-Mart greeters did the same thing, the first list might just have three instead of four items.)

Now you know.  And you’re smarter because of the knowing.

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