It’s a gorgeous, hot summer day in Gulfport. There’s always something going on at Jones Park, named for entrepreneur and city co-founder, Joseph T. Jones, but the pace definitely slows down when the sun is working extra hard.
Keeping vigil at 13th St. and U.S. 49 in downtown Gulfport is this gorgeous stainless steel creation by Jim Collins, an artist from Signal Mountain, Tenn.
One of the things I love most about living in the U.S. is the vast diversity of geography and climate in our 50 states. Among other things, it guarantees that weather is always an appropriate, informative, entertaining, and reasonably safe conversation to have with strangers.
“You’re from Minnesota? What’s the most snow you’ve ever seen?”
“You live in Louisiana? Is the humidity down there as bad as they say?”
Sometimes there is this tendency, especially on social media, to try to “outdo” uncomfortable weather conditions with someone living in another part of the country.
“Oh, you think 100 degrees is hot? In Phoenix, we consider that mild in June.”
A hearty Dakotan might say: “Wait until you have to function at 30-below … and that’s air temperature, not wind chill. Wind chills are for wimps who want to think they know what real cold is like.”
And so it goes.
As a recent transplant to Mississippi, I find myself hesitant to comment about balmy weather in December, for fear that my friends and family in colder climes will think me insensitive or obnoxious. Having arrived in Gulfport the end of August, I am all too aware that the proverbial shoe will be on the other foot come the dog days of summer that extend into November.
Truthfully, the only thing I’m really prone to gloat about, and it’s not really gloating more than weeping with gratitude, is the price of gasoline down here right now. ($1.82/gallon for Pete’s sake!)
The fact is: I am fascinated by the change in climate, and consider it an integral part of getting to know my new home. So, when I post photos of Christmas pansies, or comment that “here it is a few days before Christmas and the swimming pools down here are still full,” … it’s not meant to rub anyone’s nose in the snow outside his window. Like every time I drive down Beach Boulevard and see the Gulf of Mexico, it’s just a reminder to pinch myself: “Yep, I’m really here.”
Being self-employed actually means working for more people than I can count on most weeks. I like the fact that, usually, no two weeks are alike, but I’m also glad when some aspects change very little. Case in point, these three friends.
Maddie is in the foreground. She is a miniature Australia Shepherd/Poodle. Behind her is Macy, a blend of Pomeranian and Bichon-Frise. I usually walk these gals four days each week. They are fun, only infrequently infuriating, and sweet as can be.
The little guy in the hero shot above is Smoochie. His person took a tiny cable-knit sweater and crafted this coat/cape. Smoochie is Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher. Whenever he goes outside, he adopts the posture of a great explorer stepping into the savanna. (He needs a pith helmet.) Every bird, breeze, footstep, and door slam is fraught with possibility for this little guy. He’s really smart, and I’ve never met a dog who enjoys squeaky toys more.
And here’s my best boy, Chip. Yes, he makes four dogs in this post, not three, however, he is actually in a class all his own. Unlike Maddie, Macy, and Smoochie, Chip is stuck with me pretty much 24/7. He is a unique blend of Chihuahua and some kind of terrier. He loves people, and is very curious about the goings-on of the bipeds. He is always up for making a new friend. Unlike “reindeer” Chis, Chipper is very close to the ground. Yesterday, we were taking a stroll past a construction site when one of the workers saw him and said, “Hola, Shorty!” That was followed by comments about my dog’s excessive cuteness. I couldn’t agree more.
These are my closest canine companions. I’m a lucky gal.
If you live in the Metro Louisville area, and need a dog walker and/or pet-sitter, you can find me on Rover.
The highlight of my summer was an unseasonably cool day in July gathered with family in the North Georgia mountains. I wish everyone would have the opportunity to spend a day in this setting …
With an ice cold beverage …
With individuals such as these …
Labor Day weekend is a great time to revisit this little piece (and peace) of heaven on earth. So long, Summer 2017, you were a good one.
I grew up just a stone’s throw, pun intended, to Kentucky’s cave country. U.S. 31-W must have been a magical route back in the day when the original Wigwam Village was new, Mammoth Cave was privately owned, and every community had its own roadside attraction complete with jewelry made from “real cave rocks.”
Obviously, Mammoth Cave remains a huge draw to the region, and tourism is extremely important. And as much as I’d love to have a peek at the way things were, I cannot imagine how dangerous cave tourism likely was back then. But on those rare occasions when I travel the old roads, I try to visualize what it must have been like before I-65 was built.
I bet this fence post standing sentinel next to the sign would have some tales to tell.
This time of year in the Ohio Valley two types of alerts are guaranteed to keep the mobile phones abuzz: stormy weather and pollen.
For this writer, the latter seasonal affliction is less about sneezing, although there is some of that, and more about headaches. The best way to describe this unique pain is that I feel as though someone has wrapped one of those lead-lined blankets (like the kind they put on you when you’re having dental x-rays) around my head.
The OTC pain killers are always close by right now.
But, oh the beauty that comes from that pollen!
It wasn’t all shades of gray that November day on Tybee Island. The clouds diffused the sunshine but enough broke through to create lovely gold and silver bursts on the waves, like sprinkles on cake frosting. I looked through the viewfinder for a long time, clicking at the waves as they grew, broke and and came to rest on the shore.
Winter is a gray business in the Ohio Valley. It has led me to cherish even more the memories of Christmas in Georgia last month. Of course winter, quite often, is a gray (or gray/brown) business in Georgia, too, but there was abundant sunshine at my sister and brother-in-law’s home in Toccoa. The photo above was taken from the front yard.
Since returning to Louisville I have pretty much altered my routine on the spot whenever the sun has managed to break through the gloom. My dog, Chip, is on notice that walk-time could be at any moment depending on the presence of shadows outside.
As I’ve longed for sunbeams, I decided to select the best sun worshipping photos from our Christmas vacation in North Georgia. I love, and long for, these and other shadows to come.
Fatigue, nagging concerns, a long to-do list, it all gets shoved to the back burner on days such as these.
My sister and I grew up in the country but we have been suburban dwellers for decades. Our parents were both country kids. This place in Toccoa, built in 1922, is fairly new to my sister and brother-in-law, and there’s really no way to overstate how wonderful it is to hear cows instead of sirens and have stars as the primary form of outdoor lighting.
To really get an idea of the restorative and languorous properties of our solar system’s greatest star, just observe its magical effect on the canine members of the family. I call it being “sun drunk.”