Lunch with my Cousin and a Night in LaGrange

Drive, drive, drive! That’s about all I did on Friday the 13th. I left my friend Nicky’s home in Kingsport, Tennessee, around 9:45 yesterday morning and drove to Knoxville to meet my cousin, Peggy, for lunch. Peggy is my second cousin. Her father and my grandfather were brothers. Both were handsome men married to attractive women.

Peggy and her two older sisters were the young women I looked up to as a child. All three were beautiful and well-mannered; whereas, I was a plain little girl with a tendency to rebel. Nevertheless, Peggy, who is three years my senior, was a sometimes playmate, and I have great memories of times we spent together in our younger days.

I’d lost track of Peggy for at least a couple of decades, maybe more, until a few months ago when she friended me on Facebook. After I’d accepted my friend Nicky’s invitation to visit Kingsport I began making plans to have lunch with Peggy in Knoxville on the way home.

Now I’m kicking myself because I forgot to get a picture of the two of us together. Damn. You’ll have to take my word for it, but Peggy is still beautiful and well-mannered. We did our best to catch up in the limited time we had to visit, but I need at least another week with her.

Once we parted ways I set my GPS to avoid major highways and the city of Atlanta on my trip home to Doright Manor. The resulting route took me on a scenic, yet curvy, roller coaster ride through Tennessee and into Georgia. I figured that once I’d gotten far enough south of the aforementioned Atlanta I’d reconfigure my settings to find the fastest route.

Back roads are fun, yet exhausting, and around 7:00 p.m. I decided to stop for the night in the town of LaGrange, Georgia. Now, I might’ve found the most perfect town in the world quite by accident. After checking into the brand new Courtyard by Marriott, I had a nice dinner in their bistro before setting out to explore the downtown area.

Directly across the street from my hotel was a park with a statue in the midst of a fountain.

Curious as to the identity of the statue, I crossed the street for a better look. I’d expected to see some Confederate war era general, but to my surprise and delight I discovered it to be a statue of General Lafayette.

According to GeorgiaInfo, an online Georgia almanac,

“Born at the Chateau de Chavaniac, Auvergne, France, on September 6, 1757, Gilbert Motier de Lafayette became at age 19 a major general on George Washington’s staff. He played a vital role in the defeat of General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, October 19, 1781, ending the American Revolution.

Later in France Lafayette was commanding general of the National Guard. Leader in the movement that gave France a republican form of government, author of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and designer of the “Cocarde of Liberty” which he holds in his hand.

LaGrange, Georgia, was named for Lafayette’s home, the Chateau de LaGrange, on motion of Julius C. Alford, when this city was chartered on December 16, 1828…”

The statue and the surrounding park are a fitting centerpiece for this lovely town.

The First Baptist Church on the Square:

This is a museum of some kind. I’d have visited it if it had been open. Maybe on my next trip through the area I’ll have better timing.

Lots of interesting shops called to me, but again, I arrived too late:

I don’t think I’d ever seen a “Keep Off the Trees” sign before. It kind of made me want to climb them, rebel that I am.

I MUST visit this shop:

What a day, am I right? Lunch with a long lost cousin followed by a trip on scenic back roads, culminating in a stopover in LaGrange. I’m ready to be back home with Studly Doright and the cats, though.

Peace, people!

“Steel Magnolias” at the Barter Theatre 🎭

My last full day visiting my friend Nicky in Kingsport, Tennessee, was a doozie. We slept in until 9 a.m. and then drove to Abingdon, Virginia, where we had a wonderful lunch at 128 Pecan before checking in at The Barter Theatre to watch a production of Steel Magnolias on the Main Stage.

The Barter is the state theatre of Virginia, and many well known actors have performed there, including Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ernest Borgnine, Larry Linville of MASH fame, along with a host of others.

A young actor named Robert Porterfield founded the theatre during the Great Depression. He’d returned to his native Southwest Virginia from New York with the idea of accepting produce and other goods as payment to see live plays. Thus the name, “Barter” Theatre!

The theatre opened on June 20, 1933, with the proclamation, “With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh.” The price of admission was 35 cents or its equivalent in produce, meat, or live animals. The playwright, George Bernard Shaw requested spinach for the right to produce his plays.

Read more about the Barter here. It’s a great place with a rich history:

https://bartertheatre.com/

Steel Magnolias was absolutely wonderful. Of course I cried all of my makeup off during the final act, but left with a smile. What a great way to spend an afternoon.

We started back to Kingsport the way we’d come only to find there was a traffic jam on the interstate. Nicky directed me down a curvy backroad route, though, and we made it back to Kingsport in time to meet friends at Cheddar’s for dinner.

We were both worn out from our Dollywood adventure on Wednesday, coupled with our trip to Abingdon yesterday, so we didn’t linger long after our meal. We said our goodbyes and headed back to Nicky’s where we retired to our respective beds before 10 p.m.

I’ll start home today (Friday), but I’m planning to stop in Knoxville, Tennessee, for lunch with a cousin I haven’t seen in many years. I can’t wait!

Peace, people!

Hooray for Dollywood

I won’t write much this morning. My friend Nicky and I explored Dollywood yesterday and had so much fun.

We got home late thanks to road construction on two lanes of the busy interstate. It took us about 45 minutes to travel 3 1/2 miles, but we made good time once we were free of the traffic cones. We talked non-stop, though, so there was no wasted time.

Today we’re going into Virginia to see a theatrical production of Steel Magnolias at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon. I’m proactively packing extra Kleenex for the event.

Gotta go take my shower so we can get going. Peace, people!

Tuesday in Kingsport

My super hostess, Nicky, treated me to a wonderful day on Tuesday. We talked non-stop for most of the morning, taking breaks only for our respective showers and makeup rituals. We had a great deal of assistance, though, from Sodie:

And Linskey:

Neither of whom are quite sure how to feel about my presence in their home.

Nicky and I had a stellar lunch with friends at The Mustard Seed in downtown Kingsport. These are all women Studly and I have become friends with through the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA). That’s Nicky in the foreground. Behind her, starting from the left are Mary, Ann, me, and Nancy.

After lunch we went over to Nancy’s home and later spent the afternoon swimming at another friend’s house on the lake.

The adorable children are our friend Tammy’s granddaughters, while Tammy is wearing the pink swimsuit in the middle photo below.

After dinner Nicky and I returned to her home where we talked well past my bedtime. I slept like a rock. Lovely!

Today we’re heading to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. Try as we might we couldn’t convince any of the other ladies to come along. They all think we’re nuts. I’m pretty sure they’re right, but we don’t care.

Peace, people!

In the Beginning…

I’m on the road this week, visiting with my friend, Nicky, in Kingsport, Tennessee. When I arrived at her house on Monday afternoon the last thing on my mind was writing a post for this blog, but then I received this notification from WordPress:

Four years of blogging! Wow. That’s either four years of time wasted or four years of growth and engagement. I choose to embrace the latter.

In honor of this auspicious occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to link to my first piece. I remember being frozen with fear before pressing the “publish” button that first time. Would people laugh? Would I get angry “how dare you pretend to be a writer!” comments?

Those were wasted worries. Hardly anyone bothered to read the post, thus there were no comments. Nowadays I just write and publish without any worry. I’ve come a long way, baby. Well, maybe.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2014/07/10/praying-for-eyebrowz-begin-the-beguine/

Peace, people

I’m Driving

I’m driving, or I hope I will be at the time this piece publishes at 7:05 a.m. on July 9, 2018.

Destination: Kingsport, Tennessee.

Purpose: Girl Time.

My dear friend Nicky invited me up for a visit, and she has planned a wonderful week of shopping and dining, theatre going and more. We’re even going to spend a day at Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. I’m pretty stoked.

Studly Doright, should be fine now on his own, having passed the worst days of his post-surgical experience, and I’m sure he’s ready for me to stop hovering over him. I’m a terrible nurse. All I know to do is check for a fever and offer aspirin and worried looks. None of those seem to be effective treatments for nerve pain. Hopefully, my absence will be.

I’ll post as I can this week. There’s no telling what trouble Nicky and I might get into. We might need bail money.

Peace, people!

Confluence

Currently I’m reading Stephen King’s novel, The Outsider. I’m about 4/5 of the way through the book and had to stop and catch my breath. The man certainly knows how to build to a thrilling denouement. I’m sure nightmares are forthcoming.

Somewhere in the pages I’ve already read one of the main characters uses the word confluence. The details of a gruesome murder in one small Oklahoma town and those of a similar crime in Ohio led those investigating the first to discover the second due to a confluence of events.

I began to wonder if I’d ever used the word confluence in a conversation or in writing, and I can say with almost complete certainty that until this day I never had. It’s such a mellifluous word, and fairly rolls off the tongue. Sort of like mellifluous does, come to think about it. I wish I’d used it at some earlier time in my 61 years on this earth.

Yesterday Studly Doright and I went for breakfast at the Broken Egg in Tallahassee. As we waited for our orders to arrive the Neil Diamond song, Thank the Lord for the Night Time, played over the restaurant’s sound system. We’d just heard the same song on Sirius/XM’s channel 6 on our drive across town. So would that be a coincidence or a confluence of events? Or is it just sad that I had to listen to that song twice within a twenty minute period?

The photos above show the confluence of the turquoise blue Havasu Creek with the Colorado River. Neither has anything to do with Neil Diamond.

Peace, people!

A Golf Widow’s Lament

My husband, Studly Doright, is a Golfer. Note the capital “g.” Normally he plays golf every Saturday and Sunday with an occasional Wednesday evening thrown in unless the weather doesn’t permit. And in Florida, the weather permits roughly 98% of the time.

When I was a younger woman I detested the many hours his golf habit kept him from home. I felt like every couple in the world was out strolling with clasped hands at farmers’ markets while Studly and I were separated by a chasm comprised of eighteen holes. I complained a lot. He ignored me.

Then one day about a decade ago I began to enjoy those times when he was on the course. I took myself places he wouldn’t enjoy like public gardens and parks, tea rooms and chick flicks. I went to local nurseries and learned about butterfly gardens. I roamed the aforementioned farmers’ markets and attended art exhibits. In short, I happily cultivated my interests.

Then eight weeks ago Studly had surgery to repair an extrusion of his sciatic nerve. He was in excruciating pain prior to surgery, but managed to play golf right up to the day they cut into him. Golf allowed him to focus on something other than the pain.

The weeks after the surgery have been tough. While his pain has lessened, he has jumpy nerves and restless legs that keep him from sleeping well and reminding him that he’s still recuperating. Worst of all, he won’t be cleared to play golf until the second week of August. That’s about to drive Studly, and me, nuts.

Perhaps if he felt better we might enjoy a few couples’ activities like I used to dream of us doing. But nowadays I really prefer doing things by myself. He’s my favorite guy, but he isn’t a farmers’ market aficionado. Still, if he was up for some outings, I’d gladly include him in my plans

Last evening Studly said in his saddest voice, “I’ve missed at least 16 rounds of golf, but who’s counting?” Broke my heart.

Maybe I can cajole him into going out for breakfast this morning, and we can browse through a motorcycle shop. That’s about as close to a farmers’ market as he’s going to get. Never thought I’d say this, but I am so ready to be a golf widow once again.

Peace, people.

#SecondCivilWar

American propagandist and ranting radio host, Alex Jones is all about spewing lies. Somehow he still has followers, and some of them believe every word his vile mouth says. Last weekend Jones decreed that he had first hand knowledge that the Liberals (he calls us Libtards or Snowflakes) were plotting a second Civil War to begin on July 4th.

Well, Twitter had a heyday with Jones. The hashtag #SecondCivilWar went viral and won the day:

Above is just a meager sampling of the hilarity that ensued from Jones’s declaration. I didn’t enter the fray, but I thought I’d add my own take here:

June 4, 2018

Dearest Studly,

My darling, I know you were hesitant to let me take my place on the front lines, but I knew my role was here at Fort Chick-fil-A on N. Monroe. After many minor skirmishes we have the place surrounded.

The red army has been launching waffle fries laced with ketchup out of the drive-through window to make it appear as though we have sustained significant injuries. Two of my soldiers have received hot grease burns requiring the application of cold compresses.

Currently our resistance fighters are dressed as chickens while clucking strenuously and carrying signs that read “Eat Mor Beef! Eat Mor Beef!” as the enemy sobs.

It pains us so to use poor spelling, but it seems the only way to reach the poor ignorant bastards.

I’ve been awarded a field promotion, and hope to be home soon. War is hell.

Love always,

Lieutenant Nana

People for the American Way

I listened today to a Neil Degrasse-Tyson interview with famed writer/producer Norman Lear, who gave us the groundbreaking television shows, “All in the Family” and “Maude” among many others. At the time of the interview, Mr. Lear was 92, so the interview is three years old.

Norman Lear, then and now:

In the interview Mr. Lear mentioned a public service ad that his People for the American Way Foundation produced in the 80’s. It sounded pertinent to today’s issues, so I went in search of the ad. Thanks to google, it was a snap to find. Well, once I remembered the actual name of the foundation, it was a snap. I approve this message.

https://youtu.be/xEyIrGM0K6g

Peace, people!