Old School

Do y’all think I go away on purpose just to see if you’re paying attention?  It’s not true.  I know you’re out there, waiting, hoping, pleading with the gods that I’ll return and bestow some great wisdom and insight into your lives.  Unfortunately for you, it’s just the same ol’ crap, recycled, post after post.  I’m surprised you keep reading…but maybe you’re masochists, which is fine.  It’s a free country, unless you live in Arizona, Texas, certain parts of Nebraska, and the occasional tiny place in Pennsylvania Aside: states listed were valid at time of printing.  Your mileage may vary. To that end, I thought I’d do this post up nice; give you a little itinerary update the way I used to back in the day.  Also, you should know that is the 3rd time I’ve said/used the term “back in the day” this weekend, so I suppose I’m feelin’ a little old school.  Which, by the way, is hilarious since I was never old school, even when it was just school.  I guess I just like the way it rolls off my tongue.  So…sit back, relax, enjoy your Monday (because I know you’re reading this instead of doing real work) and pray that I don’t disappear again anytime soon.

MONDAY – I headed out to Pine Mountain State Resort Park on fall retreat with the new job.  It still feels like the new job even though I’ve been at it for over 6 months now.  Part of the perks of this job is driving a 15-passenger van full of young people around.  Seriously.  I love driving a 15-pack.  There’s something cool about driving one.  Now, I hate the fact that it gets less than 14 mpg, but they’re just fun to drive.  They’re smooth, I get to ride up high and you can move a lot of people/stuff with one.  Anyway, the day ended with a visit from Daniel Boone and Carla Gover.  I didn’t get to see the Boone presentation, but Carla was outstanding, as usual.  I could listen to her sing and play banjo all the time.  I think the students enjoyed her as well.

TUESDAY – A lot of PowerPoint slides.  O.M.G.  I’m not gonna get into it, but I drank a lot of coffee today.  Plus, as part of the entertaining portion of the afternoon, I flirted with death AND unemployment by poking fun at my boss.  Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor.  And, I’m not gonna lie…my spiel got the most laughs, so I’m thinking of hitching my wagon to comic writing out in Hollywood as a moonlighting sideline.  Gotta pay the bills, right?  Hiked out to Chained Rock and lounged around for a bit.  Took the precaution of bug spray which, I’m certain, paid dividends since it was ultra muggy.  Also, did my part by picking up some trash on the trail on the way out.  Plus, any time you get to visit “roadside attractions,” it’s been a good day.

WEDNESDAY – Hiked through Cumberland Gap today.  I love this portion of the state.  For some reason, I feel it’s a part of me.  I don’t really know if my ancestors came through the gap, though I like to think so since many of them settled near the area as recently as the great-grandparent generation.  I know that most of one side of the family came through St. Marys, Maryland via various parts of England.  But, the other side of the family came up from SE Kentucky, near Harlan, KY.  Still, I love to walk through the gap, particularly by Indian Rock, and just feel the history, as it were.  After lunch, and an informative Q&A with Senator McConnell which was enlightening, we headed out to the dubitable Thomas Walker House for a hilarious extemporaneous “lecture” and Q&A.  If you’re looking for a historical site to drag your kids to for maximum boredom and sheer ridiculousness, make sure you pick this site.  Mostly a complete waste of time, and I don’t say this lightly because I really think that Kentucky history, particularly in this area, is important…but honestly, this cabin could be placed anywhere and have the same value and effect as it does here on the back end of Barbourville.  It’s almost a shame really.

THURSDAY – Headed home after a discussion of the novel River of Earth by James Still with Herb Smith from Appalshop.  It was good to be headed home since I seem to be recultivating that nasty allergy that I lived with all last winter.  Seriously, this shit needs to just go away and stay.  Cough and congestion are the worst of it.  By no means will I let it take hold of me again.  I’m fighting it hard this time.  I’ve had enough with the allergy and cold ridiculousness.  Good to be back in the arms of my girls again.  I missed my wife immeasurably, and kids grow up so fast, so 4 days gone was practically an eternity with a 15-month old.

FRIDAY – Off work which was nice, but I still had things to do.  Ran a few errands, visited some folks on campus with IvyCat.  But, the worst is the heat.  It is ungodly hot.  I really know better than to complain about this, but it’s been in the high 90s for a month or more now, some days were 100 or better.  The heat index well into the 3-digit arena and that makes for some cranky people.  I know that come February I’m going to be wishing that there was at least some of this heat around to make me feel better, but for now I’m hot.  It will be nice not to stick to the sheets while I’m trying to sleep.  Note that I said trying to sleep.  When I can’t sleep, you know something is wrong, because I can sleep with the best of them.  Short dinner with J. and C. at the Irish Rover.  Cranky babies can make it a hassle to eat at a restaurant.  Still, I like to think we handled it with some measure of aplomb.

SATURDAY – C. and I had a mini-date this afternoon wherein we did little or nothing except have lunch and do a few errands.  Ate at Fleur-de-Lis which was decent.  It seemed like the kind of place that could be hit or miss depending on the day and the attitude of your server.  Fortunately for us, it was a good day.  After our date, we took IvyCat to a friend’s first birthday party which was enjoyable.  Always good to have beer at your baby’s birthday party.  Also smart not to schedule it during a televised Red Sox game.  Thanks to S. and S. for both…and happy birthday little A.  I missed my haircut earlier in the day due to an ill-timed extended nap, but I was able to reschedule for next Saturday, so I won’t look like a “grunge” reject for too long.

SUNDAY – Rough day for us.  IvyCat’s been off schedule all week due to her school being closed for professional development.  We did have an abbreviated lunch with J. and C. and little baby C. due in no small part to IvyCat not wanting anything but to be held by C. and go home.  Still, the reason I started this post is for the end of today.  I went back to church today to sing and while I didn’t look forward to it, I enjoyed it on some level. It was peaceful.  It was nice to relax into a small groove and I enjoyed singing even though my throat was not really up to it.  I haven’t been to church since early June (SHUT UP, I’m a heathen and I know it!) but it was good for me to return.  Plus, when I got home, I got into playing with IvyCat on a level that made me extremely happy.  She was giggling and running around and I was down on all fours like a good playful father should be, making her laugh.  It was the way life should be and it felt really good.

That’s what prompted this post…I needed to share how great life was over the last 7 hours.  Naturally, because I’m a wordy sumbitch it took me 1400 words to do it, but ‘fess up, you needed this today.  You needed me to talk about my life so that you could get back into your life.  That’s what I’m here for and don’t you forget it.  So, the message for today is enjoy yourself, enjoy those around you, and when your goddaughter calls you to give you her Chewbacca impression while she’s watching Return of the Jedi you just smile and take it all in, because life is good.

See you in the funny papers!

4 thoughts on “Old School

  1. Monday – I love Pine Mountain S.P. It’s beautiful, down there. Who doesn’t love Carla Gover? I’d love to be party to a visit from her (that sounds dirty, but I don’t mean it to be).

    Wednesday – We are probably related, in some way, because of the whole Maryland Catholic Migration to Kentucky. Also? I could not have restrained my anger and vitriol if I’d had to sit through a Q&A with our state’s leading cancer (a.k.a. Mr. Mitch).

    It sounds like a good week, all in all, though!

  2. Have you tried Tioga Falls? Nick and I aren’t super hikers, but we always enjoyed going down there for a quick recharge. It’s nothing too strenuous.

  3. Lydia, Carla was really great and aside from the heat Pine Mountain was amazing. As for the good senator, as he is the benefactor of my current employer, I’m privy to his insight on an irregular basis. Also, in order to maintain my “do not blog about the job” rule as much as possible here, that’s all I’m going to say. I will say, however, that I do not work for the senator and I’m not beholden to him in any way due to my employ. Regardless, I’ve said enough.

    Carrie…I have not been to Tioga Falls. I’ll have to look it up. It might be great for a weekend trip.

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