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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
I may not be a dog person, as I wrote back in July in musing about the dogs I had growing up, but I do like to hear people sing about their dogs.
In something I wrote for Instagram a couple of months ago as a commentary on a Peanuts cartoon, I referred to Grandpa Jones and "The Banjo Am the Instrument." Ever since then I've been listening, nearly but not quite completely exclusively, to a Spotify playlist of songs by Grandpa Jones. Among my favorites are those about dogs.
The dogs in these songs have names like Towser, Rattler, and Old Blue (maybe more of a description than a name, or a name that came from a description; who knows?), they all are dearly loved, and they are all used in hunting (mostly of racoons and opossums). I didn't even know there was a tradition in country music, or folk music, or wherever it came from, of songs celebrating dogs, but there seems to be, and Grandpa Jones carried on the tradition, singing about "good old Towser," and "Old Blue, you rascal you," and the rest.
So, while I myself don't have a dog and am not remotely interested in hunting, I love to hear Grandpa Jones sing about both.
As I write this, we are in the midst of a heat wave, with temperatures all around the country approaching, in many places exceeding, one-hundred degrees. This picture is a reminder that it hasn't always been hot; sometimes, in fact, despite what Elyse believes, it even snows here in Georgia.
This is our house and front yard in Lilburn covered in snow. I'm not sure exactly when this picture was made, but it looks like probably the late 1970s or the early 1980s; I'm going to call it 1980. The car you can see most clearly in the carport is our 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and I'm pretty sure the car beside it is our 1977 Toyota Corolla; we had both of those cars, but not yet Dad's company car, the Cadillac, by 1980.
There's a pair of tracks in the picture, very near the bottom of the frame, in what would have been our neighbors' yard. They're very regular tracks, like a car's tire tracks, though I of course have no idea if they were made by a car or not. Our neighbors were the Winterses: Beverly, the divorced (I think) mother of two boys, Jeff and Kevin, who were enough older than me that we never went to the same school, but not so much older that they were already out of school when I started school. I found what I think is the mother's obituary online; if it is her, she also had an older son, Alan, of whom I have no memory; he may have already left the nest (as it were) by the time I became aware of the family next door. In any case, she, Beverly, lived until a little over two years ago. I have no idea when she moved away from Lilburn.
There's also visible in this picture a figure walking by the car. At least, that's what I think it is; it's hard to tell. It might even be me!