So Where Have I Been Lately

 Culture, Family, Friends, Fun Stuff, Holidays, Kings Mountain, Places, Travel  Comments Off on So Where Have I Been Lately
Dec 292008

CollectingIf you’re a regular visitor (or you receive the digest email) I suppose you have noticed a decided lack of activity here lately. I have to tell you, I’ve just been tired. I think that’s the best way to describe what’s been going on in my life lately. It’s not that feeling of “being sick and tired of being sick and tired,” but more a general malaise that came over me during the last months.

I’ve certainly tinkered with this site, and I’ve kept up with work, but things around the house have been left undone, and I have not written much on this blog nor in my journal. I didn’t send out Christmas cards this year, and didn’t even decorate the house. I came into the season with a good deal of the shopping done, and combined with some upcoming time off, I was actually looking forward to the holiday, but somewhere along the way, I just sort of lost that holiday spirit.

I did travel home to Kings Mountain, and the whole family crammed into Mom’s house for Christmas dinner,It was great fun. I now have a step-grand-nephew. He and I became fast friends, and he’s a real cutie.  Jackson has grown a lot in height and temperament, and we had fun over the holidays with Lay’s nephews. We punked them on their gifts by wrapping a goofy dollar store toy and presenting that to them first. It was a good test, and they passed by being (though somewhat reluctantly) grateful.

We went to only one holiday party this year, and I have felt very out of touch with my circle of friends. Both those here in Tampa, and those who live away. I truly value friends, and this is an area that will get special attention from me this year.

I suppose a psychologist reading this from afar might get a sense that I’m experiencing a bout of depression. He/She could be correct, but it is certainly not a debilatating depression, and I wouldn’t classify it that way. I don’t feel sad, just spiritually and emotionally tired. It’s not a sense of panic or impending doom. I think I do have anxiety attacks sometimes, but that’s not what’s going on here. I’m guessing work is reasonably steady for the next six months at least. We’re having some financial pressures here at home, but nothing exceedingly great at this point, and much less than many people.  Continue reading »

Jun 052008

I’m from a small town, Kings Mountain, North Carolina, just across the South Carolina state line. It’s right off Interstate 85. Recently my Mom sent me a clipping from the local paper. It was mostly about a church event (I maintain their website), but the main article on the clipped page was about an effort to restore the downtown local theater. This started me thinking back to the downtown where I grew up, and considering how it’s changed.   

The old Joy Theater is right in the middle of downtown. The main drag through downtown is bisected by a railroad track…so we sort of have two main streets, one on each side of the tracks. The Joy is on the corner of Mountain Street and Railroad Avenue. The other main street is Battleground Avenue.

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Thanks And Giving

 General, Kings Mountain, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Thanks And Giving
Nov 272005

Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home. -Wilbur D. Nesbit

I suppose it is almost obligatory to write something about Thanksgiving around this time. Like many of you, I traveled over the holiday. I drove up to Kings Mountain, NC Tuesday to spend the holiday with my mother and sisters. We returned to Tampa Friday in an effort to miss traffic.

This is a time of reflecting and “giving thanks” for our blessings and one of the things I’m most thankful for is that my immediate family remains intact, and that I still have a home and hometown to which I can return. The parents’ of an old high school friend of mine died some years ago. He now lives in Asheville, NC and his sister in Charlotte. He made a comment a few years ago about how sad he was that for the first time, he really had no reason to go to Kings Mountain for the holidays. Because of the tight relationship I have with my family, and the love for the small town in which I grew up, I thought that was very poignant, and that is not a feeling I want to experience any time soon. So I’m thankful for home and family.

Thursday night, Lay and I went out riding around, and I pointed out so many of the local landmarks that were part of my growing up years. Being that it’s a small town, I could tell him who (at least) used to live in nearly every house in town. Not coming from a small town, he doesn’t have the same frame of reference to understand that, for all the drawbacks of growing up in small town, there are many benefits to knowing nearly everyone in town.

With a twelve-hour drive home, I had ample time to reflect on Thanksgiving and what this time of year means. I personally have had an OK year. There are things in my life that I wish were different, but on the whole, I am very blessed. So it seems almost curmudgeonly to think about what a bad year it’s been from a societal perspective.

The first thing that leaps to mind is the storms of the Gulf Coast and destruction they wrought. Then there is my disagreement with the federal government position on so many social issues from Gay rights to funding for social programs…and there is the on-going conflict in Iraq.

But for all of that, most of us in America have much for which to be thankful, especially if you consider our situations as compared to so many around the world and here too.

So I think the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving is the easy part. It’s the “giving” part that is often a little more difficult.

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