How good it is to be home. Last week I was in Alabama and Mississippi on business missions as a business strategist. I love to drive across country, meet folks and hear their stories. We are in season I wish I could haul us all on my road trips so we could understand that folks are not just what media shows us to think. I meet hard-working families, kind families, and unique folks every time I travel. There is kindness every trip I take and stories that make you proud to be among them. I love to learn and listen to the stories God puts before me.
I love to study the homes and how yards are kept. The cuisine of a region and the crops that they grow. The stories of how they came to live where ever they are and often the opportunities to meet their folks and know their town comes as such a privilege.
Personally I love Oxford, Mississippi. I first visited when en route to see my Aunt Betty, my Grandmother’s sister, who moved to Tupelo. Oxford is such a stately small town, many beautiful Southern homes that are adorned with gardens that are decades if not a century or older. .There is a look to time in space in a garden that you cannot replicate with new. I love how many homes in the historic neighborhood have added new pergolas or plantings to refresh classic grounds. It’s so good when families and communities appreciate how their town looks. It’s appealing to businesses and newcomers alike. College towns always have such a buzz feeling of energy and creativity. I simply love the energy of Oxford, Mississippi. If I manage to make my cottage half as pretty as these, I’ll have done right by them.
Decatur, Alabama was one of our destinations on this trip. I lived there for almost a decade, and it is another Southern city. Decatur is a historic town but is also also on the cutting edge of technology with rocket plants and military offerings. The Rose Garden at Delano Park is one of my favorite places. It’s a quiet, cool breeze on a hot Spring day. I love how the paths just wind through the park and how the longer you walk them the more I relax as I walk. I love the antique homes that surround the park and often dreamed of claiming one as my own when we lived there.
Coming home was a joy. Feller had put up a new mailbox and planted a few flowers at the mailbox. I am through and through an Oklahoma girl this season. Who knew that would happen? I miss the prairies and the tall hardwoods when I am not here. I miss our ridiculously in-process cottage and all that live within it. The kittens have grown while I was gone and they are pouncing everything. Bitty officially doesn’t see the kittens for she snooted her nose at them them early on and the Mama Cat smacked her silly. Now Bitty doesn’t see kittens at all and she is wary of the cat. Coming home I had a treasure, my friend Jeanne had laundered all my clothes on the trip when we were at her home, so Feller was so surprised by the thoughtful gift. Feller does all the laundry at our home to keep me from splashing anything in my eyes. A few years ago I had a serious eye injury and we just don’t take chances with chemicals or soaps. Besides, Feller appreciates no one messing with his laundry system. (that’s another way of saying he isn’t about mixing clothes in the washer…after a season of pink underwear he seemed to not think I should be in charge of sorting any more)
I brought in the china buffet this week. The floors are in so it was time. Now we’re choosing fencing for the cottage and for the grounds. It’s been a little along as we create all renovations as our budget allows. This is a year we’re carrying two homes in two other states after Les came home when the company he worked for released many workers. A one-income family, in a new state, we are more aware of our budget and to be careful to not overextend. A family-owned business means that we are in charge of our workers and we always have them on payroll first, so sometimes our own may be different than planned in Covid times. We’ve been extremely blessed this season, but its better to be cautious than cash poor…so many events are still canceled and though we are not an events company, they drive often the book sales, product sales and engagement of our authors, speakers and small businesses.
The rain lulls me to a beautiful peace this morning. I hear the rain plopping on the deck and the birds are calling to one another. It enchants me to hear their songs each day as the sunrises. I am so enthralled with the beauty of their arrival throughout the morning outside my window. It’s a magical thing to see wildlife allow you to be part of their world. When I first started opening my doors they scooted back about 20 feet but now they come within 2 feet of the open door and look in and sometimes the cardinals stop on my stoop to say good morning and then fly away. So fun!
I hope you have a grand day, and take a moment to enjoy your spaces too!