I want a black eye

we're all in it together…

New Life Verse

Came across this in my reading this morning. It’s my new life verse:

“If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.”

Proverbs 27:14

See, even God isn’t a morning person… talk to me after my coffee

Remembering

As a kid I remember hearing adults say they knew exactly where they were when they heard that President Kennedy was shot and thinking, “I want to live through something that historically significant”.  I had no idea what I was wishing for.  Eleven years ago today was that day for me.  I so vividly remember so many parts of that day.  I remember watching the news before going to class and thinking there’d been some terrible accident, getting to class and hearing about the second plane, walking between morning classes and hearing on the radio that a plane went down in Pennsylvania.  I remember the fear, knowing that my Dad was traveling on business and having no idea if that was his plane.  I remember seeing a girl in front of the dining hall crying hysterically.  I remember talking to my mom later in the day, after the towers had collapsed, and sobbing just asking over and over again “what is happening?”.

It says something about how blessed my life has been that I was 21 the first time my world was shattered and I couldn’t comprehend how the world had changed in those few moments, or what it meant for me and how it fundamentally changed the world I lived in.  I wasn’t in New York or D.C. or Shanksville that day eleven years ago, and I can’t imagine how much more vivid the memories have to be for all of the people who lost loved ones.

Eleven years later it is striking how much things have changed.  I read an article today about what 9/11 would have been like if there had been Twitter.  It probably would have crashed, but it is interesting to think how technology changes the way we experience life.  Every year on this day I get wrapped up in the tributes.  It’s the nature of my job that I watch a lot of news, so I’m just naturally exposed to a lot of it.

Today I came across John Stewart’s monologue on Sept. 20th, the first day that The Daily Show went on air after 9/11, you can view it here.  He speaks so eloquently about grieving but not despairing and finding hope in American ingenuity and ability to fight back, rebuild, and not give in to hate and evil.  As I think about how divided our country has become in the last 11 years it makes me think that even the great ideals of freedom, democracy, and the American spirit aren’t enough to sustain long-term hope.

Hope that is sustained has to be in something bigger than America.  It has to be in God.  He is the one who has ultimately defeated evil and death, not democracy or any other American ideal.

May we never forget 9/11 or where our true hope lies.

 

 

Mumford Gentlemen of the Road pt. 1

A few weekends ago I drove down to Bristol TN/VA (the town straddles the state border!) for the Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road tour.  It was hands down the best weekend I’ve had all summer.  We left Friday morning and made our way down to the southwestern corner of Virginia.  Thanks to the advent of technology we found a road side BBQ place for lunch, which reminded me why I love the south so much.  It was so so good.

Due South does lunch right.

 

About 5 hours after leaving DC we pulled up to the farm house we had rented for the weekend.  A slightly more expensive option than a hotel, it was also one of the better decisions we made all weekend.  The time spent on the front porch was well worth it.  After dropping our bags and chatting with Clara, the lovely woman managing the property we drove into Bristol to look for food and a liquor store.  Obtaining our supplies we returned to the house and spent the remainder of the day sitting on the front porch sipping drinks, enjoying good conversation, and marveling at the peace and quiet of the country side.  It was good for a bunch of city girls to slow down the pace!

our farm house for the weekend

waking up to cows mooing outside of your bedroom window, a new experience!

Sunset on the farm, photo credit to MP

evening walks in the country do city girls hearts good.

The following morning we got up and made the short drive back up to Chilhowie, VA.  Gwen is from Chilhowie and had invited us to her Grandmother’s house for breakfast that morning before the show.  Her Grandmother lives in this amazing farm house stocked full of antiques, the house I believe has been in her husband’s family for many generations.  We enjoyed breakfast and coffee on the front porch while Grandmother regailed us with an oral history of the area and her family.  Perhaps it’s because I no longer have any grandparents alive, but I was in heaven.  Grandmother is a treasure and I could have spent all day just listening to her talk about her home and family, which she clearly loves dearly.   After a couple of hours we reluctantly left to head to the concert… which was so amazing- I will write it up later this week!

The girls with Grandmother and her beautiful barn quilt

I learned that there’s such a thing as Chilhowie brick…

life goal: have a front porch on which to spend long hours in good conversation.

Haines Point Country Club

The weather has been unseasonably fantastic for August in DC this past week.  I’m beginning to think we need to move Congressional recess to July, which was unbearably hot and come back in August.  One of my favorite post work activities on beautiful nights is to head down to the Hains Point Country Club driving range nd hit a bucket of balls.  (It’s not a country club at all, but the public course here in DC, we call it the HPCC so we can feel as fancy as all those folks golfing at Congressional.)  Mols and I made our way down there last Thursday night and enjoyed a perfect evening.  Added bonus: I was hitting the ball pretty well, I’m ready for my trip home later this week which will hopefully include a round of golf at some point.

It seems crazy to me that next weekend is Labor day.  August in DC is slow, Congress is out of session and thus my work schedule is fairly relaxed.  I had big plans for a productive August, and all of a sudden it’s over.  Here’s to hoping we ease back into the swing of things as DC will probably remain pretty quiet until after the elections in November!

Yes we bring our own beers, what else is that cooler pouch for?

Mollie is particular about how her balls line up. As she would say, this isn’t ‘Nam, there are rules!!

I Will Wait

I’m working on writing up the weekend I spent at the Mumford Road Show.  It was so good I’m having difficulty capturing it with words.  But in the meantime listen to this new cut off their upcoming album.  If this song, along with the others they played are any indication, it’s going to be a hell of a sophomore album.

So break my step

And relent

You forgave and I won’t forget

Amen?  Amen.

Beach Babes

Beaches up here all have boardwalks… not something I’m used to from the beaches of North/South Carolina.

While we are on the subject of great summer weekends, a few weeks ago I took a day trip to the beach with some girlfriends.  My dad always calls us (his daughters) his beach babies.  We grew up vacationing at the beach and it’s developed a deep and abiding love of the sand and ocean in all of us.

The great thing about DC is that it’s a major city that is essentially close enough to make going to the beach a day trip.  It’s a long day trip for sure, but doable.  We left the city at 7:30 am and were spreading out our towels in Rehoboth, DE by 10:45.  While the beaches in this part of the country have nothing on the beaches of North and South Carolina that I grew up visiting, they definitely work in a pinch.

We spent the morning reading/ sleeping in the sun and then walked down to Dogfish Head Brewery for lunch.  It was just far enough off the board walk that I was concerned that they wouldn’t let us in in our beach wear, but it turned out not to be a problem.  Taking a break in the sun with a 90 min IPA (or a 120 if you are Lezlie) was the perfect afternoon break.  It’s certainly the only time I’ve sat at a bar without pants on, but hey, anything goes at the beach!

We capped off the day spending 20 min. or so jumping off a deserted lifeguard stand into the sand.  It’s the little things that enable you to feel like a kid again.

lots of beautiful kites flying on the beach

There was a huge sandcastle building contest… there were some impressive entries!

The beach road warriors!

This is just one of many ridiculous photos we took while jumping off the lifeguard stand. (this is also the outfit I wore to lunch at Dogfish)

Nats!

This has been a weird summer.  One that hasn’t actually felt like summer at all.  How is it August?  I feel like life for the last six months has moved by in a haze and I’m moving a long with time, but not really experiencing life.  Weird, no?

There are some experiences that regardless of the haze can always makes it feel like summer. Baseball games fall into that category.  I have fond memories of growing up and going to see the Pirates play at Three Rivers Stadium.  During my childhood I didn’t know the joys of baseball games as an adult, when it’s less about the baseball and more about beer and hot dogs and spending time with good friends.

I’m lucky enough to occasionally have access to my company’s season tickets to the Nat’s,  and a few weeks back I took some of the roommates with me to enjoy a Sunday afternoon game.  The Nat’s are enjoying a season that includes more win’s than losses and it was great seeing them beat the Braves while enjoying a cold one.  Hopefully I’ve got a couple more games in my future before the end of the season.

Having good seats makes it much easier to pay attention to what’s going happening on the field.

playing with camera filters

Why doesn’t Teddie ever get to win?

Roommates

1/2 birthdays

Yesterday was my 1/2 birthday.  I celebrated by taking the day off of work and treating myself to an ice cream cone and a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch.  Unclear if I’m 32.5 or 12.5.

I’ve always wanted to have a summer birthday.  I think party options are far better in the summer than in the dead of winter.  Celebrating my birthday at the wave pool has always been a dream of mine.  As an adult I think it would be so fun to rent out a wave pool with a bunch of friends and have the whole thing to yourself for a day.  I know I’m weird, but wouldn’t it be fun?

Alas I’ve never actually gotten my act together to plan it.  I guess ice cream and CTC will have to continue to do the trick.

Hanks on the Hill

One of my favorite things about living in the city is that there are always new restaurants to try out.  I met my friend Emily for dinner last week at a the new Capitol Hill location of an already established DC institution, Hanks Oyster Bar.  Hanks on the Hill has done a fantastic job of renovating the space  to make it feel like when you walk out the front door you’ll be right on the water instead of Pennsylvania Ave.  (Of course I was too busy taking pictures of my food to get any good pictures of the restaurant).  I used to live only a few blocks from here and have seen this space turn over many times in the last few years.  I think Hanks might be the one to make a solid run in this location.

I give it two thumbs up.  Food was delicious, and the cocktails were outstanding.  I had the crab cakes and Em had the fish tacos and we split the buttermilk battered onion rings.  It was all delicious.  I  enjoyed it so much I decided to come back with a friend on Friday evening!  For those of you in DC I highly recommend visiting this little spot on the hill.

Buttermilk Battered Onion Rings!

The crab cake was delightful

Emily shared one of her fish taco’s with me. Delish!

That time my life was like Tommy Boy

When I was in college I loved the movie Tommy Boy. Classic Chris Farley kind of dumb humor, but hilarious in my mind. I discovered though, that sometimes when your life mirrors the movies it’s not as much fun.

The year after I graduated from college I moved to Oregon to work at a camp. As far as first jobs out of college go, it was awesome. I lived at camp, worked with high school kids and went mountain biking almost every day, new and exciting adventures were the norm. At the time I was driving my beloved Jeep Wrangler, the car I passed my driver’s test in and somehow convinced my dad to let me take with me when I went to Oregon. The thing about the Oregon high desert in the summer is that it rarely if ever rains. So I spent that whole summer with the top of the jeep down.

At the end of the summer camping season a friend and co-worker and I decided to drive up to Washington State and do a short camping trip in the Enchantments in Washington state. We took off in the jeep and as we transitioned out of the high desert and into the mountains it started to look like rain. No big deal. We pull over in a parking lot of a Target (or some such store) and start to put the top up for the first time in probably 4 months. At this point I notice that the seam where the front of the top connects to the windshield doesn’t look so hot. Remembering my dad’s advice that duct tape solves most problems I sent Ryan into the store for a roll and continue putting the top up. He returns with the duct tape, reinforce the front seam and get back on the road.

At this point we are way behind schedule and are never going to make it to a camp site before dark. No big deal, but we are hurrying to make up lost time. As we drive up a mountain pass maybe an hour from our final destination I hear the dreaded ripping sound. The front seam rips from side to side and the top is just flapping in the wind as we drive up the dark highway in the rain. It kind of ended like this, minus the deer:

Alas, we pulled over on a random logging road, set up a tent for the night and in the morning headed back home without doing any actual camping. We did drive the rest of the way into Leavenworth that next morning for breakfast, which is this really cool Bavarian town, and worth a visit if you are ever in that part of the country.

Moral of the story: I don’t even know- I guess don’t drive a jeep with the top down in the desert for months on end.

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