Thursday, July 31, 2008

so we've been a tad bit lax on the posting

The truth is that I don't think either of us wanted to put up a post saying our summer is over. While we may be back from our epic road trip, our travels continue. Jeana and I drove back to Michigan after one last stop off in Greensboro to visit Justin, meet his family and have some more of that sickening waffle house food. Pictures from all of these lovely events will follow shortly.

After our last push, which Jeana will have to tell about (I was passed out asleep) we parted ways in Fenton. Where she is and what she's doing, I can't say. She'll have to.

For my part, I spent a relaxing (cough) week up north on Torch Lake with my family. We boated, got sunburned, boated some more and amused ourselves with the dogs. After the vacation with my family I immediately headed out to Chicago with my father. What was supposed to be a two or three day trip turned into a week long jaunt with some other friends who were in town for Unity. Since then I've been bumming around in East Lansing, spending time with good people and being generally relaxed.

Saturday Jeana and I move into our new apartment, which I haven't yet seen but am assured is gorgeous. I'm excited to be back in town, to see old friends, to start hosting parties and to TA at MIPA next week. Things here are much as I left them, and while that's comforting to have a place to come back to, I find myself wondering what the farm kids are up to, or what weird thing is happening to Justin. The mountains have forever a place in my heart.

I love traveling. The experiences I've had this summer have been life changing, and the people beyond words. It's good to be back in East Lansing, but I don't really feel like this one place is my home anymore. As cliche as it is to say, home really is where your heart lies.

So let me say I miss you all. Thank you for being my home.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

my two cents

I haven't been posting much lately, but here are a few shots from our date to help Lydia move out of her trailer. Enjoy.

Dancing in the dark

When I met Lydia she was wearing a dress that looked like a red picnic table cloth with lace strung around it and a red hat with a wig attached inside. She told me she was a 65-year-old gospel singer and she wanted to teach me how to flatfoot (it's like tap dancing meets riverdance, check it out). "C'mon girl," she yells as she grabs my hand, and with her 4'8" body pulls me onto the floor with more force than a lucha libre wrestler. We danced and I was exhausted after the first song... But, we stayed for many.

After the evening was over I offered to help her carry her belongings back to her car. I slung her bright white guitar over my shoulder and carried a bag full of framed 8x10 photographs with me. (She loves to take pictures of people and blow them up - whether or not they are good - and give them out framed and matted. I have a few now, including some Polaroids.) In the parking lot she told me I was a sweet young lady. "I love you, honey," she said. "Can I play you a few gospel songs?" I couldn't refuse such an offer.

She pulled a new-in-the-box electric mandolin out of her trunk and slid a cartridge inside it to provide a back up beat. "This is for all the veterans," she whispered into the red darkness of exiting taillights.

As she sang, she swayed back and forth and played with so much passion I thought her skinny fingers were going to pound through the black plastic casing of the mandolin.

She played three songs and by the middle of the third, she was crying and dancing. It was just the two of us in a nearly empty parking lot. I, in my bright blue dress and she in red and white. It was beautiful.

By the end, I too was crying and dancing.

This is how I met Lydia.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Puppet Circus VI

The two Patricks and I crashed a 6-year-old's birthday party. We offered armfuls of asparagus and berries in exchange for entertainment. Although complete strangers, we were welcomed like family.

Under a willow tree in the backyard of a small Floyd farm was a time machine, a 12-foot tall paper mache elephant and an odd assortment of puppets handmade from bone, paper and pieces of trash. Besides being an excellent gardener, Wesley (the 6-year-old's father) is a puppet master.

The puppet show lasted about 30 minutes and included pyrotechnics, time travel, dumpster diving, global warming and the police. And, the whole thing climaxed with a homemade, 15-foot tall papier mache dinosaur descending from the hills to give rides to the children.

The whole performance was accompanied by a three piece band, made more fabulous by a drum kit pulled out of an old leather suit case. After the show, the band set up near the fire and continued to play Tom Waits, David Byrne, and 14th century Spanish songs.

I would have been happy to just have conversation, a potluck, and the handful of sweet pea pods in my pocket, but this will probably be the best birthday party of my life.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm back

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

32 hours into food poisoning

I should have stayed on the farm. One day back in the city and I'm ill out of my mind. I equate this to a bad spirit quest. Last night, while dreaming in delirium, I met my spirit animal. It's a wolf, and not a pretty one either. It's gnarly and its coat looks like shredded tree bark. It lead me through yellow and orange caverns into the dark.

I hope I'm never this sick again.

Thank you Justin for letting me set up a bed inside your bathroom. Thank you Katie for being awesome.

I am under the weather, but hope to be back up again soon.