adventure, family

My Photo Reel – AL Edition

Sweet. Sassy. Sporty. Special. Sisterly. Silly. Spontaneous. Sneaky. Smart. Strong.

The S words above describe some of the photos I see on my reel of A/L. The silver lining of their relationship is captured in the many adventures they shared over the years. The photo reel speaks 1,000 words about their bond and adventures together. Two amazing souls brought together by a sport. The game of lacrosse. A game I coached for many years. The girls who I coached for season after season. Two of my favs.

I have watched them grow. I watched them shed tears. I watched them glow up. I watched them conquer fears. I watched them lean on each other. I watched them team up in other sports and dabble in outdoor activities whether it be water skiing or snowboarding. It’s been a blast for me. I watched them have so much fun on and off the field. Sometimes miles separated them. Sometimes age groups separated them. Sometimes schools separated them. Sometimes teams separated them. No matter what they found their way back to each other. Time and time again the duo reunited without skipping a beat. It might also happen their moms are friends too.

Mountains of memories. From grade school to middle school. Then on to high school. Through a pandemic. From cross country trips to out of the country travel. They developed a thick bond. Now it’s time for college for one. New experiences on the horizon. They will have another shift of time and distance. It’s my hope that their bond will endure the shift of time, the distance, and barriers of life but only time will tell. So far they have been constant for each other but may have periods of drifting. As one leaves the sport does that mean the bond breaks or takes a sabbatical?

My photo reel is real. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My reel captures life memories and experiences over time with special people. This post is dedicated to my two girls who have grown up in many ways together. Enjoy the glimpse of the duo. I know I will.

As the holiday season is upon us I know my gift this year is recognizing the special bond these two have and how much joy it’s been to watch them shine together. Whether their relationship changes tomorrow or not they have so much to be thankful for in each other. 

Sports can provide a team but also a sisterhood. Many may not understand the value of the team experience if they never played sports. Leaders rise in sports. Camaraderie is fostered in sports. Lessons are learned in sports. Win or lose is temporary on a scoreboard. The scoreboard of life show the winners who emerge from sports and conquer their life dreams, fears and so on.

Hopefully my photo reel shows the power of a sport and how much one can gain from a team or even one person on a team. Maybe this duo will continue to grow in the years ahead and create their own photo reel of new memories from college to adulthood.
This holiday season the duo was able to add two more states to their travel book. Nevada and Arizona. Many photo ops. Many adventures. Plane rides. Car rides. Dirt trails. A sweet way to wrap up 2021. I heard giggles. I saw smiles. I heard snide comments. I saw a sisterly love. A bond brought together by a shared team experience and sports connection built over time. Adventures with your partner in crime are always good.

No mountain too high for these girls to climb. No adventure they can’t conquer together. No substitute for their relationship. A new age band is ahead for them to traverse but hopefully they will find a way to make an annual trip together in the years to come.

Cherished memories celebrated herein as we roll into the 2022 lacrosse season which will officially be the last time these two knuckleheads play their main sport together with their peers. Tears will come but so will the smiles.

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

Sense of Direction

It’s true, I’m getting older.

As I age, I notice that certain things are starting to deteriorate. Today’s example: my sense of direction.

When I was young, I would read Atlanta’s Creative Loafing newspaper every Thursday or Friday. I’d check out the list of festivals, events, art openings, even new music releases, and make my weekend plans. I’d pull out my mom’s Atlanta road atlas and set on my coordinate spree to map my weekend adventures. From these jaunts week after week, year after year, I got to know my way around Atlanta inside and out.

These days, I can hardly find my way around my little suburb without waze or google maps. If I’m somewhere without service, I get nervous and often guess the wrong direction. Such a change. It may not just be due to aging. Maybe more a combination of getting older and over reliance on technology. Still not a change I like, no matter the cause.

I spent the past week in a confusing condo building. Actually there were two buildings connected by bridges and corridors. There was also a parking garage. None of the connecting floors had the same number. Walk through a hallway from one building’s first floor and suddenly, without stairs or elevators, you’re on another building’s third. The garage was a totally different mess. I felt lost and disoriented much of the week.

After a couple of morning condo workouts, I went to the gym one evening to make sure I could find it from our room. The next morning I spent a half hour with dumbbells in the gym. After I was done, I decided to test myself and make my way back to the condo from the gym using stairs instead of the path I already knew.

I walked into the stairwell. When I opened the door, I was surprised to find an old man, slightly hunched over, standing at the bottom of the stairs. He was short with groomed gray hair. He wore a cotton t-shirt, athletic pants and tennis shoes. He was there to exercise. He smiled at me.

Good morning, I said.

Are you still moving every day? he said,

Yes sir, I replied. I want to be sure I can move for as long as I can, so I try to do it first thing every day.

Good for you, he replied. I do the exact same thing. Keep it up. It’s so important.

And with that, one floor up, I walked out of the stairwell. He kept walking up the stairs. Up. Up. Up. Moving. Ascending.

It was like the (living) ghost of Christmas Future. Letting me know that taking time to move, for me, is what will keep me moving long term. I can feel confident when I get up and make my physical and mental health a priority each day. What others think of it is none of my business. My approval is what is required.

Did I find my way back to the condo? Happily, yes. And taking that different path gave me unexpected landmarks and signs. I’m heading in the right direction. It was a roadmap to the future I am heading toward, nimble and purposeful.

balance

New Spots or Spaces

I have a few new spots or spaces to find peace and recovery. These spots and places all have a purpose to me in their design but also in the usefulness over time.

A bench seat tucked in the woods. It’s not a fancy spot by any means. A resting place while taking the dog for an adventure. A place to sit and reflect on a crazy day. A peaceful spot away from others. The bench in the woods. 

The bike erg set under cover outside. A place to ride stationary for a secondary workout. Nestled in fresh air. Where you can hear and smell the rain and see and smell the flowers. A new scenery of sorts. Why not move the bike outside instead of staring at a wall. Maybe the miles on the bike will be less taxing based on the surroundings.

The gathering spot. The open air venue where I can bring people to gather. For a picnic. For cocktails. For community. Large enough to accommodate a big group yet small enough to be intimate. An eclectic place that is a quirky as me. This is a shared space or spot. A space I choose to share with others to offer to others what they may not have in their life. A spot or space that is as unique as them.

The thinking chair. The chair with a cozy and soft blanket. A place to write in the notebook or take notes on the digital device while others sit nearby in their own peaceful state. The thinking chair can be any chair. Mine is just where I choose to gather my thoughts and think about endless possibilities. 

The big top. The circus tent in my mind. The desert oasis type of tent. Set in a rustic wonderland. Cool breezes flowing through the netting. The smell of fresh wood, animals and water, a comfy bed to nap in. Chairs just outside should I dare to leave the comfort of the tent. My little writing nook. My special place to write new chapters. The place to imagine new endings or maybe even new beginnings.

Spaces and spots are important to me. Spaces and spots provide change and opportunities in my life. Rest in one place. Work in another. It’s a balancing act of sorts. Many will not understand and that is perfectly fine with me. 

I have a swing to add to my spots and spaces in the future as well. Another story to tell I’m sure. Stay tuned. This list is not all inclusive. I have many more spots and spaces but this blog isn’t a tell-all-be-all information site. These blogs represent a glimpse of life. A tidbit to upcoming books and so much more.

I wonder which chick wrote this post? Another question for readers I suppose. Author identity may or may not be shared in a post. You the reader may think you know but you really don’t know unless you ask.

Drop us a line whenever you are curious.

dare to be different

A Fahn Suhthun Lady

(A follow up to the recent post, Redneck Sweetheart. Check it out!)

I was born in Jawja.

Lived here all my lahf.

Except for that ill-advised detouah to Ohio for a few years round college time. They made fun of me for walking too slow in that infernal endless snow and saying y’all when I shoulda said, ahem, “you guys” all nasal or something else inelegant like that. Suhthun ladies roll sweet and slow off the tongue.

Before I go on, let me translate some of this for y’all, lest you find my Suhthun accent a distraction.

I don’t have a hoop skirt. Sweet tea is not my thing but there is no other soda (pop!?!?) than a Coke. I’m still a Suhthun lady through and through.

I blush at the mention of unmentionables. I am steely and will give you the side eye while saying “bless your haht.” I fan myself when I am flustered. Well I nevah would be so vulgah!

I am polite and don’t show up to a gathering empty-handed. To knock at a door without a casserole or even a simple mason jar filled with fresh picked blooms? Why my dear mother, rest her soul, would have been simply mortified!

I’m not all lace and doilies, mind you. I am gracious and refined at times, but will dig my hands in the dirt and grime. Just be sure I have a proper apron and brimmed hat. My fair Suhthun complexion demands protection from our hahsh climate.

I will bring you a snack when you’re hungry, refreshment when you’re pahched. I can quote the Bible, Flannery O’Connor, and Dolly Parton in the same afternoon chat. I am as well read as my farmily is well fed.

Many times I smile when I am angered. I’ve mastered the gentle art of holding my tongue when others try to ruffle my ruffles. Howevah, do not test my resolve. Do not mistake my quiet for ignorance or lack of passion. Do not confuse my kindness with any sort of weakness. I’m wise enough to realize most irritants are not worth my energy. But poking the bear too many times will bring her roaring to life. On that you can depend.

I will raise my voice at the right time. What comes out of these cultured and cultivated lips will surprise you. I don’t share my sharp and critical mind with just anyone, but if you earn yourself a piece of that mind with your vahl behaviah, well, bless your haht.

Back to minding my own business in my own hospitable way. Smiling politely. With a wink and a twinkle in my eye.

Don’t cross me.

challenges

It Was So Quiet

It was just so quiet one day at the house. You could hear the cars pass by on the road. You could hear the creaks in the floor. It was just quiet.

Then there was a fart. A long fluttering fart sound. Like a machine gun that was firing multiple rounds. It was loud. Like a series of firecrackers. It caused a big disturbance. The dog barks. The dog growls. The dog smells the air. The dog barked at the air. The dog sniffs the air again with discontented look.

I was in awe. The dog left the scene in pure disgust. Will the dog think about returning? I have no idea but this was so amazing to witness.

The sheer sound effects of the fart and its longevity in sound effects was probably one for a record book, but the reaction of the dog was absolutely memorable. 

The lingering hang time in air was flattering from an accomplishment perspective but the stench was just awful. I guess eating healthy has its benefits but sometimes can cause a gassy reaction.

But who actually farted? Why did I recount the story? How many will literally die laughing when they read it?

Well I read it back and laughed a good bit. I hope you enjoyed the fart encounter. It was a real life scenario. I experienced it first hand and I am happy to say I lived to tell the story.
Smell you stinkers later.