Posted in Encouragement

The Car’s Blessing

So HR and i were driving home from T.J. Maxx a little while ago, after shopping for a new Gratitude Journal for me …

I’m not sure what the “A” stands for, but it was only $2.99.

Robert‘s attitude, when I found the little journal, indicated that he thought it was kind of too tiny for a journal and sort of sissy-ish. I took that as a great compliment and immediately purchased it.

But that’s all off the subject. So we were driving home, stopped at a red light and saw this …

Wait. Let me get a little closer.

A little bit closer.

Isn’t that gloriously cool?

A blessing from the car in front of us!

I receive it!

And pass it on to you. So look for the good!

Posted in Holiday Joy, Savannah Joy

Neal’s Post from the Past: ”A Savannah Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration”

A post from about a decade ago. What was I thinking with my outfit for the day?!

************

Anyone who has been to Savannah on or around March 17 knows that Saint Patrick’s Day is a pretty …

Big Deal

… in this city! From the Greening of the Fountain and Tara Feis onward, Savannah embraces its Irishness, shamrocks growing and showing up everywhere, an already diverse and fesitval-driven city photosynthetically converting excited energy into green Gaelic joy. And since 2013 St. Paddy Day was Sunday, Savannah opted to hold its primary celebration on Saturday with the parade (the nation’s second largest), River Street revelry and other merrymaking events.

Since Yours Truly lives DIRECTLY on the parade route along Abercorn Street, and since some green Irish blood flows through my veins (Saye =”one who lives by the sea”), I decided to host a little parade-viewing party.

Party Prep Notes For some reason I will never fully grasp, I decided to make Cabbage and Ham in the Crock Pot (or as I call it, Beverly Hillbilly-ishly, “the Slow-Cooking Pot”).   

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-935-AM.jpg

Now cabbage sounds fine, and even a bit Irish, until you understand that my place is a little under 800 square feet, positioned at the front of a beautiful old building completed in the 1800’s.  Well, the slow-cooking cabbage produced a Rather Strong Aroma (try not to imagine it), first in my apartment, then wafting across the hall to my next door neighbor and fellow party hostess Audrey’s place, then throughout the entire old building, and probably up and down the parade route and on to the South Carolina border across the river.  People were so nice and pretended that the smell made the party more “Irish authentic.”  But a bunch of folks had drinks in their hands, so I’m not at all certain their sensory perception was on target.  AND I noticed they would get a bowlful of steaming, fragrant cabbage and then quickly run out the door to see the next band or float they “had been waiting on.”

Here’s me helping to set up the area for guests to sit and watch the parade outside my building (my windows have the St. Patty tacky shamrock cutouts and green garlands).

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-905-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-906-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-819-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-819-AM.jpg

Before the parade started, I made a quick tour of the squares close to me.  A few sights:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-913-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-926-AM.jpg

I met some cool green-clad new friends:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-917-AM.jpg

I found this pretty lady pirouetting in front of my apt, so of course I had to get my pic with her:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-904-AM.jpg

Here’s across-the-hall stylish neighbor Audrey:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1111-AM.jpg

And here’s party guest/good buddy Ellie and her brother encouraging the crowd:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1154-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1124-AM.jpg

I wish I was brave enough to dance in the street!

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1116-AM.jpg

Hip green-haired son/father duo Ethan and Kevin:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-137-PM.jpg

Former Everyday Creative Writing Student Jaymes stopped by for a while.  (He knows what’s rocking in Savannah.)

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1046-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1120-AM.jpg

Buddies Rich and Edward (who brought party-hit basil lemonade):

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1113-AM.jpg

Cool St. Patty Baby:

wpid-Photo-Mar-17-2013-341-PM.jpg

Made great new friends with some folks visiting from Maryland and staying in the vacation rentals in my building (so of course they were party guests too)–Kathy and Karen with their husbands.  And don’t they look SO Saint Patricky?

wpid-Photo-Mar-17-2013-341-PM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-17-2013-341-PM.jpg

Preparing to kiss the parade marching men:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1114-AM.jpg

(Public Service Announcement:  I think I will rent out my place next year for St. Paddy Day.  Is $2000 for the holiday too much?  I plan to include a HUGE bowl of frozen-but-on-the-table-in-a-jiffy Authentic Irish Cabbage and Ham.)

New kayaking friend Tom with Edward, Rich and me:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-237-PM.jpg

Church buddy Diane with Rich, Edward, Robert, Jaymes and me:

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1113-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1115-AM.jpg

Good friend Zach and brother Josh marching in the parade (marching, that is, before I ran out into the street and made them stop).  Their Irish family has been in the parade for something like 1000 years.

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1200-PM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-1139-AM.jpg
wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-928-AM.jpg

What a wonderfully fun Savannah Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration!

But sitting here after the parade, I started to worry:  “What if my Crock Pot Cabbage Smell keeps those hundreds of thousands of visitors from coming back to Savannah next year?  Can they trace it all back to me?”

wpid-Photo-Mar-16-2013-926-AM.jpg
Balloons
St Pat pic
Posted in Throwback Thursday, Neal’s Post from the Past

Neal’s Post from the Past: “A Label-Free World”

Hello out there. I did this blog post quite a while ago, but thought in today’s adversarial political and cultural environment, it might be relevant. We (okay, I!) judge others much too quickly.

************

Let’s try, in this new year with relatively few mistakes in it so far, to give each other the benefit of the doubt, to refuse to label somebody or some thing based on initial interactions or our preconceived notions.

L5Ie986ry3EyihjO.jpg

What an incredible truth!  (And, oh gosh, how it indicts me.)

nl2

I LOVE this short video about labeling:

*

nl1

Let’s try to make it a label-free year (at least for you and me).