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511 Mamie St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401

 

 

I realize my posts lately have been brief, and rather…topical.

Sure, this is a blog.  That’s sort of the point.  But recently, I haven’t had much to say. 

Maybe it’s because of the hectic reconfiguring of time management and job scheduling. (I forget that Monday isn’t everyone else’s Friday too). The breaking-in period of a new environment and potential career.  The realities of being so green in the industry, and seeing this year’s grand adventure morph into a new kind of normal. 

Maybe I feel Skype and texts and emails closing a little gap between loved ones and me, and this is a redundancy.

Maybe October wasn’t my best month, for so many reasons, and that has been sorely reflected in my distracted half-presence here.

Or maybe, though I rarely admit it, I just sort of (really really) miss home.

I keep busy.  Too busy sometimes.  But from over here I’ve been missing out on so much. 

Homes and bridges being built.  Children growing up.  Aging and illnesses.  Coffee shops and margarita nights. Seafood and road trips and laughter and late nights talking. How the evening turns from yellow to green in summer. Big celebrations and little moments. And hugs…  

The concept of home is such an oddity, isn’t it?

For some people it is a place – a city, state, neighborhood, house. Stomping grounds on which a significant period of life was lived.

Or specific seasons or times with which feelings and memories are associated. 

For some it means people. Family, friends, loved ones, even stressful relationships and personal strain.  But always a familiarity of emotion and reaction.  Of dynamic and definition.

Home isn’t always a positive.  It can bring with it obligation, recurrence of a past that takes a lifetime to overcome.  Reminders of things that should be – or are wished to be – forgotten.

It so often becomes wherever we happen to be, and what we make of it.

It changes for each of us over time.

I recognize within myself both the desire to be closer and the truth that I don’t know if going home in any permanent sense is a viable option for me.  I know I can go home. That doesn’t mean I should.  I also know very well how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful place to consider mine.

These days, I swallow a little harder at the phrase “all the conveniences of home.”  Home is not convenient anymore.  I think that’s the hardest thing about it.  We all have lives of fully occupied time.  Lives in which we find each other scurrying across the days trying to make a little headway on our lists and survive those glitches we can’t see coming right for us. 

To all of you I call home, thank you. For being there, no matter the capacity. For sharing your lives with me, and sharing in my undertakings. For a lifetime of contexts, lessons, perspective. I guess I just want you to know – in the midst of your moments and mine – I’m pulling for you.  I’m thinking about you. I need you. I value you more than you can ever really know.  And I love you.

 

 

Here’s hoping everyone who stumbles across this eventually finds their own definition of home and fills it with greatness.

AWOL

It’s been a while, my 2 semi-interested readers. 

Shame on me.

When last I blogged in earnest, I was sussing through my educational decisions and dilemmas.  I have also done a lot of existential dusting and sorting in the last month and have come out a  more enlightened and satisfied person. So there’s that.

As far as school is concerned, it seems our ever dwindling class of (for now) 6 is a bona fide bunch of culinary badasses. Who knew?   We knocked out a kickin’ spread for our grand buffet day this week

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and are pushing our way through the sustainable block.  From here on, it’s all about doing what we now know we can.  The one drawback we seem to have?  Baking.  As evidenced in a previous blog, I am well aware baking will never be my strong point.  As it happened, our decorating day in the last baking block fell on my birthday.  I frosted myself a Dr Suess inspired monstrosity (sad and laughable – but I’m ok with that)

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then went on to plate some fairly passable desserts.

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Outside school, I’ve indulged in several noteworthy live music experiences lately. They include the Will Callers at Waterloo, The Wheeler Brothers and Whiskey Sisters at Blues on the Green,[loved the music, fought the crowd and heat]  Symphony In the Park on the Long Center lawn,

 

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 The Taming of the Shrew [hilariously well done with period music] and my favorite of the bunch – and birthday present to myself – The Tedeschi Trucks Band at Austin City Limits. A friend came along, and I managed to control my impulses well enough to keep my panties on all evening.  The band was exhausting, dancing at every possible opportunity, throwing one big, musically miraculous stage party.  I love Derek Trucks… sigh… He is the great guitar god of my generation.

 

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My parents were back in town after the melee, visiting for a quick post-birthday weekend, during which my air conditioning was on the fritz and I was suffering from overheated crankiness. (Hello, Walley World). Nevertheless, it was, as always, great to actually see them and visit, and we managed to squeeze in some shopping, art perusal, a museum, and good food.

The Austin Art Garage is exactly what it advertises – a warehouse style housing of local art.  But they are pleasantly displayed and the artists up when we visited were all appealing in different ways.

mail (335)The Natural History Museum had super cool information and thematic floors. Some of my favorites included

Dinoturtles

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Meteorites

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And this guy

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Now that the AC is once again functional, I’m thinking of things to cook and to do the next time I am lucky enough to entertain guests.  Any suggestions out there?  Throw them my way! And tell me, friends, family, bloggers, what’s shakin’ in your world lately?

 

 

 

 

Some Family Traditions Never Change

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The last time my parents were in town, the house was full of boxes, the walls were bare, the gas wasn’t on. Life was in limbo. 

This time, my act was much more together. But what’s a family outing without a little adventure?

Their first night here we visited Perla’s for dinner. Not a flaw could be found with a single item on the table. It was everything a dining experience should be.  When I asked the waiter to say “Hi” to a classmate of mine who happens to work in their kitchen, we were told she’d “like to send us dessert, if that’s ok.”  Um…nah…dessert after perfection sounds TERRIBLE.  Little did we know it would be a sweets smorgasbord of indescribable scrumptiousness.  Three sizable, irresistible delights, any one of which we could (and should) have comfortably shared.

From there we perused Uncommon Objects, home to a most interesting hodge podge. It is more intriguing, more pleasant and entertaining than the typical flea market experience.They have everything from typewriter keys and road signs to taxidermy and handmade lighting.  One of my favorite objects:

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Yesterday we hit the Farmer’s Market, Zilker Park and Umlauf Sculpture Garden (one of my favorite spots)

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Along came lunch time, and disaster struck.  The place I’d planned to visit was closed. No big thing, we’d find somewhere else.  Except… Google searches, college row “day parties”, and an hour of driving later, no luck. We were hungry, tired, and more than a little cranky. This, my friends, is what our family has always referred to as a Wally World adventure.  For us, no family outing is truly complete without one. Other favorites include cold showers in Yellowstone, Atlanta hotel family reunion weekend, and many unpredictable weather wardrobe predicaments.  But those are different stories.

We finally landed at a nice authentic  Mexican restaurant, filled our bellies, and set about our way.

For those of you wondering, no, I did not produce a fine Easter spread for my family, but did manage some experimental recipes- shrimp risotto, cream biscuits, and bacon baskets – all of which are well worth revisiting and tweaking.

 

When I dropped my parents at the airport today, I think we were all glad to have seen each other, verified we were each alive and well, and respectful of each other’s lives, 10 hours apart.

 

Mom, Dad, thanks for being you. And thanks for rolling with it all.  As if any of us have a choice, really…