Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Traveling Misanthrope

I do a lot of driving. It always brings out the misanthrope in me.

I go on a lot of recreational drives, like into the mountains of north Georgia or up U.S. 441 toward the Great Smokey Mountains National Park (one of my favorite drives in the world) or on various backroads that seem like they might be interesting. The roads on these drives tend to be twisty and turny and I don't always know them that well, plus I'm trying to enjoy the scenery, and I'm on the lookout for any thing or place worth stopping at to visit or to take a picture of.

So I don't drive especially fast.

Oh, most of the time I'm driving the speed limit, sometimes a tiny bit faster – I may go 50 in a 45 MPH zone, but that's usually as fast as I'm willing to go. But that never seems fast enough for most of the cars that end up behind me. When I'm out there driving, trying to enjoy the scenery while also keeping my eyes both on the road and on the car's mirrors, it seems like all the other cars want me to drive faster than I am, and they sure as heck don't like it when I slow down to look at something that I might find interesting enough to take a picture of. I get passed or tailgated by just about everybody. The only scenery the other drivers care about, it seems, is the trees and mountains whizzing by in a blur as they speed off towards…wherever it is exactly those other drivers are going.

And it makes me hate them, every one of them. Stupid tailgating cars! I drive like I have a sense of self preservation. The other drivers seem to think they're immortal. They drive as though when they're around, all laws, including those of driving, the road, and physics, are suspended. My driving is informed by the knowledge, like Mr. Flood's gentle handling of the whisky jug in that Edwin Arlington Robinson poem, that "most things break." And that includes people who drive like idiots, or who drive too fast on twisty, turny roads they aren't familiar with.

It's pretty much the same on the roads I travel regularly, the roads I am familiar with. Even when I'm just heading to work, I still drive like someone who knows you should exercise caution when piloting a ton of metal down the road -- which is to say, I don't drive fast enough for everyone else.

I don't really know what the people in the cars behind me are thinking. Probably I spend a lot more time thinking about them than they spend thinking about me. There's probably nothing personal when they zip by me at 100 miles an hour. I doubt they really think, "Oh no! It's that Chris Burdett guy who always drives so slow," when they see the hind end of my Hyundai Elantra on the road ahead of them.

I doubt they enjoy passing me.

Do they?

Friday, February 9, 2024

Vines Park

Today I went for a walk at Vines Park. Here's a picture of the Whimsical Garden:

Shortly after I took the picture above, half a dozen Canada geese flew noisily in and landed on the lake:

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve

Here are four pictures from our Christmas eve dinner at Granny and Pa's house:

And here is Elyse posing in front of the fireplace (at our house) in the dress she made for Christmas eve:

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Six Winder Pictures

Today, Gabriel and I went to Winder to go to a used bookstore; while we were there, we also ate some ice cream, and I took some pictures of Winder's old and beautiful buildings:

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Tame Adventure: Wynne-Russell House Holiday Open House

Today, Gabriel and I went on a tame adventure, first going to the historic Wynne-Russell House for their holiday open house, and then to nearby old-town Lilburn to look around for a while at Antiques in Old Town. Here are some of the pictures I took on our outing:

And here are a few pictures that Gabriel took:

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving Day Portraits of Elyse

Here are three portraits of Elyse made today by Gabriel, two in Granny and Pa's backyard and one in Granny's craft room.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Feeding the Ducks at Meridian Park

Quacking and waddling
hurriedly in our direction,
the ducks seem to intuit
that the containers we cradle
contain cat food meant for them –
though cats they are not.

They don't care what the food is called,
or what animal is depicted
eating it on the bag,
or about the therapeutic value
we find in feeding them.
They gobble down
the food we toss out
and waddle away when it is clear
the containers are empty.

I doubt they think about us
at all when we are not there.
But I – I have pictures
and this poem.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Ducks and Geese at Rhodes Jordan Park

Today, Gabriel and I went to Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville to see some turtles and ducks. We didn't see any turtles, but here are some pictures I took of the ducks we did see:

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Pictures From a Road Trip--Hiawasee, GA, and Sylva, NC

Today I went on a drive north into the mountains. Here are a few of the pictures I took, the first three in Hiawasee, GA (including where I had lunch!), and the last two in Sylva, NC:

It was closed when I drove by it a little after 6:00pm, but looked good enough to prompt me to turn around and stop and take some pictures!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Sun Puddle on the Stairs

The cats love the sun puddle so much that I can't even get by!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Westchester Elementary School

Today I took Gabriel to meet a friend of theirs at Hidden Cove Park in Decatur. The park doesn't have its own parking lot, but it's right behind Decatur's Westchester Elementary School, and, when school is not in session, park visitors can park there.

That's just what we did. I intended to take pictures of the park, which I did, but my favorite pictures from the day were taken at the elementary school: