For my recent suxteee-seckth birthday, I celebrated with my big ole’ modern family …
… at Savannah’s Tequila’s Town restaurant in Sandfly.
(Seriously? Can you believe they come hooting “Happy Bday” laden with tequila for the celebrant! Even though I had my large head prepared for an oversized sombrero and some flan.)
Post-tequila I received some neat gifts, but perhaps my Favorites came from five-year-old grandtwins Madison (inappropriately pictured above next to the tequila) and Matthew. Their mom let them pick out their gifts for me. Madison gave me a pink unicorn in a love mug …
…while Matthew opted for a brown bear that actually smells like chocolate when you rub it vigorously!
(Matthew is in an over-smiling-for-the-camera stage.)
Oh, they also each got me a large skein of yarn–yellow from Madison and green from Matthew. Not that I knit (who has the patience for that?!), but because they like to unravel the yarn, make giant spiderwebs and throw it all over the furniture and each other.
Thus, inspired by the tequila, when I got home I opted for a quick photoshoot to document my suxteee-seckth.
Moral of Story: the strangest little gifts ofttimes make for the biggest shots of … Joy.
Last evening I went to a fun but bittersweet farewell party for good buddy Ellie Covington (who is Texas-bound, Galveston).
After a torrential downfall forced the party onto the carport, the late-stayers ventured out onto the dock by the marsh and saw this …
(Do you see the second one to the right?)
Of course, we all had to get a little silly.
I quickly texted the pic to my fam and got this response from daughter Emily (mother of grandtwins Madison and Mathew) from the other side of Savannah:
“We can hold it too!”
The joyful promise of a rainbow!
May the excitement and happiness of children be with us all, especially Ellie as she makes her move to the next successful stage of her life!
Have you done so this holiday? Blessings come in SO many forms and dressings. I urge you to take a sheet of paper and number your joys. Here is a sampling of mine:
1. I had to miss my seven year-old grandson Daniel’s first piano recital earlier this week. (I was SO frustrated.) Tonight at my family’s early Christmas dinner, I walked in the door and daughter Amy had arranged for Daniel to dress back up in his Calvin Klein suit and play Jingle Bells (as he did at the recital). It melted my heart.
(Okay, I’m not sure about the sunglasses either.)
(Absolute grandfather joy.)
Here’s Daniel at the actual recital:
2. The ability to smell Christmas.
3. Enjoying the power of silly.
4. Hosting a Holiday and Hot Toddy Chili Party Saturday night.
Good buddies Ellie, Jamie and Brennan.
I read “A Cup of Christmas Tea” to the twenty-something guests–and asked them to think about a person important in their upbringing to toast at the end of the story. I urge you to do the same. Who encouraged you along your way?
“Let’s raise a cup of Christmas cheer, to family and loved ones far and near.”
So take a few moments, and with Bing, count your blessings:
5. Tree shadows on a wall during a walk the other night.
What are a few of your Holiday Blessings? Come on, share a few.
It’s All Hallow’s Eve! (Wasn’t it just July 4th last week?) And I am spookily happy. Seriously. Here’s why.
1. Yesterday going to my grandtwins’ nursery school and carving a Jack O’ Lantern. Here it is:
Okay, that’s a lie. I took that pic near my place in historic district Savannah. Here’s the one I did:
Sorry but that’s a lie as well. (Is that a bat?) Here’s mine:
For more decades than I care to mention, my Jack O’Lanterns have looked EXACTLY the same. But what fun with Matthew and Madison and their little classmates.
2. Speaking of pumpkins, here’s my dinner Wednesday night–Butternut Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls.
Oh. My. Goodness. Gourmet heaven.
3. The Savannah Film Festival this week, hosted by my SCAD–Savannah College of Art and Design.
What incredible films I saw, including a fascinating documentary about Summerville, GA artist Americana Howard Finster and a mesmerizing selection of short films from Ireland.
4. Singing with James Brown in Augusts, GA.
We’re belting out “Papa’s Got a Brand new Bag,” followed by “Make it Funky.”
5. The joy of holidays.
Happy, Happy Halloween to you all!
Fabulous Friday. What a beautiful day of the week. I hope you’ve had an Incredibly Happy One. I have. Here’s are five reasons I’m hooting.
1. Just sitting around, minding my own business.
2. Grandtwin Matthew (age two) shaving with Dad Travis.
What a joy to be a fathergrand!
3. Having feet to walk on.
4. The last rose before the frost. It makes me both sad (“Summer’s over!”) and happy (“Man, that’s a determined rose!”).
Today I drove up from Savannah to Augusta. Near the city’s beautiful Riverwalk sits (preens?) incredibly beautiful St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Their rose garden is at season’s end. But still singing, “I’m not finished yet.” (I’m gonna steal that song.)
5. My honest-to-goodness belief that We Were Created to Be Joyful.
Sing this weekend! Sing that you ain’t finished yet. There’s more–much more–to come. (That’s the tune I’m humming.)
Okay, I know I haven’t done the Happy Bringers the past couple of Fridays. Sorry! I’ve been traveling up a storm, first to New Orleans and then to Atlanta.
Here’s a Bunch of Stuff I’m Happy as a Lark About Lately:
1. Laughing and saying, “Seriously?!” every now and then.
(If you decide to get them for me for Christmas, I want the sky blue. Thank you.)
2. Carving Jack O’Laterns with grandchildren. (Part of my job description.) First with Daniel and Gabriel.
Then with the grandtwins Matthew and Madison.
3. Discovering Jonathan Adler (and his beautiful homegoods) in Atlanta’s hip Westside Provisions District.
(With the hat, I was going for an older, white man version of Pharrell.)
4. Doors that won’t open. [We (okay, I) don’t need to go through every door.]
5. Happy little bathrooms.
6. Delicious breakfast sandwiches. (Fried egg with tomato jam at MetroFresh in midtown Atlanta.
7. All things New Orleans. (I went to make a presentation at the 2014 Popular Culture in the American South Conference.)
Have a joyful fall weekend!
(P.S. I forgot to stop at FIVE.)
Summer is slipping away. Can you believe that Sept 22 is the First Day of Fall?! Would someone please tell Savannah’s daily temperatures that bit of info?
1. Even though it caused a catch in my throat, seeing the pics my daughter Emily sent of the grandtwins yesterday morning — September 11.
2. Actually borrowing an egg from my next door neighbor. (Is it okay to still do that?)
(Of course she put the egg in a cute tiny bowl she found in Italy.)
I paid Vivian back with some Werther’s Originals–Chewy Caramels in the same bowl. (Is that normal?)
3. This green lion who (which?) lives nearby in Savannah’s historic district.
4. Taking four-year-old grandson Gabriel to his first-ever tennis lesson.
Looking back at me, “Abu,” to make sure I’m watching.
5. And speaking of Gabriel, when I picked him and brother Daniel (7) up from school yesterday, G told us that he made a BIG picture of Batman in pre-K art class. When we got to his house, of course we hung it in the dining room.
After a few minutes, big brother Daniel, after pointing out that Gabriel had spelled Batman with an M (Matman), said to me, “Matman sure looks like a monkey to me.”
Gabriel screamed, “IT’S BATMAN!”
Happy Friday Folks!