Moving Monday?

There has been an offer on the house; the light at the end of the tunnel might be getting brighter. I miss being on the road. Even though I’ve been still, my mind hasn’t stopped. 

Nostalgia can’t help from lurking at every corner. Memories both tangible and intangible are all over this place. The “what ifs” are starting to creep in now. What if I had done this in August when I was first asked? Would I still have Mizzou? Would I have seen my grandmother more? 

There is no point in what ifs, that doesn’t mean they don’t run rampant through my thoughts. 

It hasn’t been all sad. I found a tent and a sleeping bag in the garage attic. I’m sure there has to be others…I’ll think of them eventually. 

From here, there’s the world. I’ll pack back up and head off. Before that I’ll pack up the memories both tangible and intangible. This was the last semblance of home and my purpose of being here is to get rid of it. 

There’s no looking back now, the world awaits. 

Swans of Hyde Park

For all those who have seen my attempt to clap “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” you’ll understand the depth of what I am about to say: my musical ability is just above my artistic ability. I am extremely creative, I lack the execution. Mostly, I’d put glitter on every surface available. 

Knowing this I’m somewhat amazed that my mother gave in to my pleas to let me tag along with my high school’s art class trip to Europe. You would think the high school art teacher would have been a little wise since I had never taken a single art class with no intention to ever do so either. Turns out the art teacher didn’t speak any foreign languages (well, maybe Spanish but we weren’t schedule to visit Spain) and had never been out of the country. How this didn’t come up in one of the parent meetings prior to the trip is beyond me. For sixteen year old Muffy, this was lining up to be the trip of a lifetime. Man, was it ever. 

Back then airlines gave you free alcoholic beverages in flight and once you hit international waters drinking age was eighteen. Close enough for me! The adventures of underage underage drinking will be for another time. 
Among the museum tours and lots and lots of cathedrals, there was even more free time with even less supervision. Full abandonment of any delusion my chaperone had any control over us was lost in Paris, only our second stop. That I’ll save for tomorrow’s Tuesday Travel Tip. 
Always the heartbreaker, of course I met boys; even an American in Switzerland who I dated after returning to the States. After all, I am enchanting. But, there was one in London. 

All this time later, I’ve lost the memory of how we met. Before cellphones and Tinder, it would have been simply by chance. Packed away in one of the two storage bins I have stored away there’s a photo of us together. He was gorgeous and I was a sun kissed bubbly teen. If only you could savor that kind of carefree for when you are older, beyond having it as a memory, for days when the stress is too much. 

We took a bottle of wine and snuck into Hyde Park after dark. He laughed at my accent and I soaked up his as he tried to explain to me their version grades in high school. We looked for the stars and I told him at my house you could see them all since I didn’t live in the city. He told me how much he loved American Dr. Pepper. We told stories about everything, secrets about nothing, and whispered into the breeze until dawn. Minus the whole breaking into a park, it was an evening of innocence that seems like more than enough when you’re sixteen. 

Eventually, the sun came up and the swans started to wake. As the flock began their way to the water, I started to make my way to the hotel. Curfew was long gone and I was supposed to catch a ferry for Paris. They may have missed me at bed count, but I had a suspicion someone might take notice upon leaving the country. 

He could come with me, no he couldn’t. Even at sixteen, I knew he was going to be a better memory than reality. Now more than twice my age then, that still holds true. When I gave back his hoodie, he gave me his ring. I thought my heart might break when he kissed me goodbye. It could have been a movie. This was a movie, maybe something about a train?

There had been a trio of us and he had a pair of friends with him. They made us laugh, we all had drinks. We were at the age that all we wanted were for boys to talk to us, cute boys with British accents? Yes, please. We paired off. 

Who knows who he grew up to be. All those dreams we planned that night, I couldn’t even tell you what mine were back then, who knew if his came true. Mine were either plans to go to one day become a lawyer (I was really close) or something completely outlandish (which I am doing exceedingly well with). 
It is a different time and a different place. His name was Amid, he was Muslim. Or maybe, I guess he is Muslim. There are many, many reasons now why I wouldn’t wander off in another country with a man (especially not to break the law by breaking into a park). Even in my own country I would not wander off with a man. There is more darkness lurking in the dark when you’re an adult.

It is a different time and place, in this day and age…I probably never would have met Amid. My exploits would have a snapchat filter lost in technology, not a photo for me to hold and remember. I’d never have been unconnected from my parents or chaperones long enough to make a memory. I worry that if we had met this day, this age in this time and place that him being Muslim and me being an American would not have just been tiny parts of us that didn’t factor into our story. I worry it would have been all of our story if we even got that far. Mostly, I worry that instead of him being amazed that back in America we say “y’all,” he’d be amazed at how back in America they say “terrorist” without even knowing him.

It Is My New Theme Song

So I’m buying a sailboat. Do I know what I’m doing? Of course not. In my defense, there have been tons of things I’ve done when I had no clue what I was doing. Tons of stuff before google, YouTube, and smartphones. Like, my car. My car is a stick shift. I didn’t know how to drive a stick when I bought it. 10 years later, automatics throw me off. This will be fine. 

This is absolutely going to be fine. I’ll take some classes. On the east coast it is $1500 for a sailing course, $2500 in the Bahamas, and only $500 out west. Obviously, I’ll go west and take some classes. If I hop from California to Hawaii then I’m debating keeping going on to Asia. In my head, I’m already over that way…I should just go on over to Australia…take all kinds of sailing classes! Not actually sail to those places. Take sailing classes in those places. 

The particulars will have to wait until I get dates. I’ll need warm weather for learning (no mas winters!), but no sailing during hurricane season. It would be my guess that buying a boat in the summer is probably a bit more expensive than the winter months. Again, I have no clue. And that’s the point. No, not that I’m winging it. The point is I think I need a boat broker. Does that exist? Big, huge red flags start waving anytime I find a boat that I like in my price range. Since I’m not keen on dying, bringing in an expert is probably the better plan. Research begins. Adventure awaits! 

Monday 

I like Danville. I just never liked any of the feels that I had to deal with in coming here. I didn’t even know my mother wasn’t living here. That would have made the last couple of times I came through much less awkward. 
A few years back when my family moved from the house to the farm, I was traveling home for Christmas except I didn’t know how to get there. No one was answering their phones and I had no clue how to get home. Later I discovered that even if I had the address, it wouldn’t have helped. GPS doesn’t pick up the farm. 
How do you not know where your home is? That’s a lot of what I’ve got going on right now. 
I kind of feel like I missed the boat. When did Danville stop being my family’s home? How did a whole family and life leave without telling me? 

Now I’m here closing up our home by myself. All kinds of feels on top of feels. 

The same reasoning is why I had kept telling my grandmother no when asked to come back. I wasn’t ready to deal with this yet, I had other things on the list to deal with that took higher priority. Time ran out. 

I get it. I sound like major Danville Debbie Downer. Probably because I am. That’s just what we’re dealing with out here. 

The other day I got mad at my mom and hung up on her with the reasoning I could just call my grandmother for the answer to whatever I was asking. But, I can’t do that anymore. I’ve lost my center. 

So I’m out here going through all the feels without any distractions. This could be really good for me or I could go completely insane. Jury is still out. Upside, I’m not losing my stance on what I believe in, I found hangers, and I’m going out for a bit this evening. 

Let’s all expect long, waxy prose for the next little bit. 

It’s Harder Being Still

Who knew that being off the road in a normal lifestyle would be such an adjustment? 

Things have started to be sort of normal again. I’ve unpacked my car, which is insane on so many levels. My emotions keep bouncing back and forth between “look at all this stuff I have!” and “this is really all I own in the world?” Either way that branch swings, I’m still in awe of myself for rolling with 7 days worth of clothes for all climates for months on end. This kiddo doesn’t do jeans and t-shirts either. Talk about packing on the layering!

After sleepless nights in a big empty house, Sunday brought rest. It could be that I finally mentally settled in, these last few weeks have been a roller coaster. Maybe there really was a gang of robbers keeping me up each night that finally caught a glimpse of the interior and abandoned their plan, leaving me to a silent evening (when I say empty, I mean there’s no furniture, there’s no people, nada). It could be the normalcy that a television brought, breaking up the silence. 

Personally, my money is on Maverick. Who is that you ask? Maverick is the silver lining of being off the road. Maverick is my foster dog. He’s a good boy. Smart, super sweet brindle pup. He’s living it up with so much love, it makes me wonder what his old life was like. Maverick is going to be such a good dog for someone. You can find out more about him from Lexington Pit Crew. 

Sleep calls and I’m thrilled I left the ringer on, this is one call I’m ready to answer. More mountains of laundry tomorrow, internet will be the last piece of the puzzle for home. 

Here’s to a goodnight sleep. After all, I need my wits about me to finish off our fictional tale! 
We’re still rolling on the iPhone and running with first drafts, as always excuse the typos. 

Muffy Monday: Let Me Whisper Some Southern In Your Ear

We are just going to breakdown this learning curve right here with a breakdown of “Southern.”

By the grace of God, I was born and raised Southern with a powerhouse trifecta of an upbringing split among Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina. I don’t know how to answer “yes” or “no” without a “ma’am” or “sir” behind it.

I have my own hoopskirt stories that are a hit at DAR teas. I feel naked without my pearls. I pick a dress with flops over pants any day of the week. Asking me if I want a Coke covers all beverages, while asking me if I want a pop makes me concerned I’ve offended you and you might stat swinging. I’m proud to wear my letters just never while I have a drink in my hand.

I come from the land where football dynasties are made and “Roll Tide” covers hello, goodbye, hell yeah, or even an entire conversation.

Born a Kentuckian and a degree holding Wildcat, I will always be finding my way home. I will always bleed blue even when I’ve had too much bourbon.

All of this makes me Southern and not just geographically (which is the only way Florida really counts). Sweet tea sippin’, glowing not sweating in 105 degree heat & humidity, SEC rooting Southern.

Let’s clear some things up:

  • KFC is not like Starbucks. There isn’t one on every corner in Kentucky and we’re not all lining up to see what color bucket they’re doing for the holidays. Now if you replace KFC with basketball in that assumption, you’d be on point. The world stops in Kentucky on game days.
  • Depending on your side of the state line, when you say “Carolina” you either mean South Carolina or North Carolina. Those are the Carolinas, plural. They are not the same. It amazes me how many people are surprised I am not used to snow, don’t I get that all the time? No. North Carolina has mountains where it regularly gets cold. South Carolina not so much (except at the moment where our Southern winter has been hijacked). I lived in Charleston. I lived at the beach. Ocean not mountains. They are two completely different states.
  • There is Southern, there is country, and then there are people who are both. When it comes to country, I’ve only got a weekend in me. I’ve got a kill shot, I just don’t do sitting quietly, no matter how big a buck. Mudding sounds fun if there is a cabin nearby to clean up. My Saturdays are for tailgating not tailgates and I’ll take grits over gravy at brunch every time.

Don’t get me wrong, plain and simple, I’m not badass enough to be country.

I guess being Southern is just cream of the crop and that’s why all y’all are so fascinated. Or maybe it’s the lack of a Southern upbringing to blame for the manners. But y’all don’t see me out here in the desert asking people if they live in wigwams.

Class it up people! For the love of biscuits, embrace my manners! Be impressed with my historical knowledge! Just because I am polite does not mean I am naive. Just like me not calling you an asshole, doesn’t mean you aren’t one.

When encountering new people, use the good sense the good Lord gave you. I may love Him, but I say f*ck a lot and so help me, the next time I get asked to say something again so you can get a good laugh or if I eat possums or have a Confederate flag bikini, this belle is going to flip her shiz over more than tonight’s ballgame.

Now, if you excuse me, this Bama girl has a game to get ready for! Clemson, I hate it when we are up against each other. You won a place in my heart when you wooed this barely 18 year old girl tailgates, lake houses, beer, boats, and boys. You’re the only orange I like. And I sure do thank you for that shut out against Ohio! But, tonight, on live the SEC!

Roll Tide Roll y’all!

Muffy Monday: Big Girl Flamingo Pants

Exciting! We’re growing and going to be a real deal blog! The converting starts the moment after this post, which makes me extremely nervous. Already they’ve hit me with a couple of bumps. What would this be if there weren’t bumps? That’s just how I roll.

For that reason, this is not the post that was planned or written. Skeptic I am, it just might be lost in the world and no one wants that! On top of that, flipping Chromebook just randomly feels the need to restart. Digging into that next. Anyone with any heads up would be greatly appreciated.

If you’re not following along on Facebook or Instagram, you probably have no clue where I am. Maybe you do? Who knows, it all seems a blur these days.

In a whirlwind, I ended up at Lake Arrowhead Resort. Just as my Lilly pants don’t go with Uggs, Muffys don’t belong in the snow. It’s my last night on the mountain, tomorrow I’ll travel down and catch a bus to Vegas! It was the same price to grab the bus to Vegas then Tucson instead of straight on to Tucson. Why not get a little sun in between?

Let’s hear your Las Vegas tips and tricks! Still unsure of which hotel, darn resort fees have me all confounded. My heart is screaming for The Flamingo! It is my spirit animal after all. The room is a steal of a deal, the resort fee costs just as much as the room. Tonight, I’ll investigate.

Alright y’all, let’s cross our fingers and have high hopes….time to convert it all over. Here goes!

 

 

 

Muffy Monday: Can You Help Me, I’m Lost

My first trip to New York City, we stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria. If  ever I get lost, I was told, find my way to the Waldorf. Go to the concierge, he will take care of you. When I was older and began to travel on my own should I ever get lost, I was told again, find my way to the Waldorf. Go to the concierge, he will take care of you.

It is a lesson that has always stayed with me.

My fall from the gilded tower was more of a stumble down a mountainside over a course of years. The somersaults of a head over heels tumble probably played a large part in me tackling this adventure. The scenery was always changing on the way down, you get used to the unsteady. Let’s be honest. If I was going to be poor facing an unknown future, might as well be poor facing an unknown future out experiencing the world. It wasn’t hard to walk away from life in a box without electricity or indoor plumbing.

Do I miss it? It’s hard to say. We’re talking about the charmed life, not the box. Damn box. This version of my life is pretty exciting. I am seeing the world in a completely different way than that life would have ever allowed me. The thrill of the hunt to find a deal on airfare, connect the dots on the map, plan a day of intrigue…I love it. I love the challenge of piecing it all together to make it work.

Do I miss a regular life with a home? I am not sure yet, it has been weighing on me. That is something I am going to have to start thinking about. Arizona has always been the final stop. Today I am in Chicago, tomorrow I fly to Los Angeles all of this a part of the way to Arizona. That final stop is just around the corner.

Where do I go from there? That’s the question. It isn’t rhetorical. Suggestions welcome, opinions will be heard. There is no concierge to help me out this time. There is, however, a very nice bellman at The Palmer Hotel.

When the bitter wind was whipping off the lake, I made my way down Michigan Avenue. Following the advice from a lifetime ago, I’ve been tucked away in a corner booth in the lobby with my notebook debating a brownie. The Palmer Hotel is the origin of the brownie.

Story goes that during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Bertha Palmer asked her pastry chef to create a treat smaller than a slice of cake that could fit into box lunch. There the brownie was born. The term “brownie” didn’t make it’s first documented appearance for a few more years though. The Sears Roebuck catalog, published here in Chicago, it gave credence to the name in 1898. The Palmer Hotel still serves that creation topped with walnuts and apricot glaze from the same recipe now.

As I am asked to move along from my cozy booth for the reservation behind me, I get that the Waldorf was a different lifetime ago. Maybe sometimes I am a little too lost for the help of the concierge. It doesn’t mean I have forgotten. You never know, these things have a way of coming back around.

WAIT! That’s not how it really ends!

Being ushered out of my cozy booth for a reservation, I closed my laptop to run to the restroom before publishing the post. While I was in the restroom, I found a woman’s corporate American Express. She works for this hotel. I asked the front desk for her. No, no time for me. Go check with the concierge. With the help of the concierge, I think the card is making it’s way back to it’s owner. I’m only not positive on the status because I didn’t tell them what I had found of this woman’s or how I knew she worked at the hotel. Figured it was bad business to let work know you randomly left your corporate card in a bathroom. Here’s hoping it all works out.

Good deed and identity not stolen. Seems like someone was sending me a sign.