Archive for October, 2013

Word-Filled Wednesday. Without Pictures.

David Foster Wallace was a brilliant writer and a troubled man. His 1996 book Infinite Jest was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 best English-language novels, and he was called “one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years” by Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin. He fought clinical depression his entire adult life, and during a particularly severe episode, he tragically ended his life at the age of 46. I discovered his work several years ago and was amazed at his versatility and style– and he was dang funny, too. I especially enjoy his essays and magazine pieces.

Today I stumbled across this little video put together by a company called The Glossary, in which they put visuals to a now famous commencement speech David Foster Wallace delivered in 2005 at Kenyon College. I think I appreciate it more now than the first time I read it, because in some weird way it kind of encapsulates one of the great lessons I am discovering since we have moved to a place that has a little bit slower pace. Turns out I now have enough breathing room to take a step back and realize that I CAN MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO CHOOSE to step out of my ‘default setting’ and decide what I think is important and what I will pay attention to. And for whatever reason, whether it’s the town itself, the people in it, my age, or where I happen to be in my life, living here has awakened a sense of community, connectedness and compassion in me, for which I am astoundingly grateful.

So take a few minutes and watch this, then tell me what you think…


I’ll Just Apologize In Advance For Writing Yet Another “Things I Love About Living Here” Post

Well, I have to say, I really didn’t see this one coming.

As I may or may not have mentioned, moving to Bell Buckle has been a really good choice for us.

(YES, I realize I am constantly yammering on and on about that, but I am not even done yet. Sit back down. And if you want to accuse me of being an insufferably annoying one-woman Chamber of Commerce for this dang town, now would be a good time.)

ANYWAY, ever since we got here, it’s like the planets aligned and all of us (and trust me, the fact that I can type the words ‘ALL OF US’ there just made a pretty, pretty rainbow magically appear over my computer screen) have not only settled in at an alarmingly fast rate, but we are all unilaterally happy about it. That is no small thing, considering once you sell your old house and buy another one it’s kind of a moot point if someone on the team suddenly decides they’d rather not move after all– which I believe is the real estate equivalent of the old adage, “You can’t put them biscuits back in the can, Junior.”

To be completely honest, when we moved to the ‘burbs of Brentwood from our home of 21 years in the heart of Nashville, our sweet Madi Rose never really settled in. And by ‘never really,’ I mean for the next seven years she basically took every opportunity to A) totally trash-talk the B’hood and B) remind me that this whole re-locating thing was SO not her idea! Granted, she was also a card-carrying teenage girl at the time, so even though she is truly a completely remarkable, delightful person and I love her with all of my heart, let’s just say that around 14-15 years old, angst-ridden drama was not exactly wild, uncharted frontier for her. However, I took it all with a grain of salt because having once been a teenage girl myself, I fully realize that the adolescent tsunami of hormones often temporarily cuts off the blood supply to your personality.

But you know what? It kind of hurt my feelings.

One of the deciding factors in making that move was that it would put us closer to her school at the time, thus making access to her friends easier.  And according to all of the “How To Be The Perfect Mother” manuals, stuff like that is important. But as in so many areas of parenting, sometimes doing what you truly believe is best for your child doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to understand and appreciate it, much less suddenly go all happy Von Trapp-y on you and start dancing around singing about a few of their favorite things. At least that has been my experience. Anywho, we all survived, Madi found a school she liked even better than the one we moved to Brentwood for, then she moved on to college, and we are now at the point that she sometimes even (grudgingly) admits there were *a few* things she actually liked about living there! So maybe now you can see that this time even though everyone SAID they were on board about moving to Bell Buckle, I had a few concerns that the reality of it all might not match their expectations…

Thankfully, as you dear readers well know, our expectations have been wildly exceeded in innumerable ways.

But one of the most unexpected gifts that came with moving to Bell Buckle, that aforementioned ‘thing I didn’t see coming’, is that I have found myself plunked right smack down in the middle of a bunch of really extraordinary women. Seriously, it’s like an embarrassment of riches around here– they are all different ages, from all walks of life, and every last one of them has proven to be ridiculously interesting. I feel like I hit some kind of estrogen-filled jackpot! I’ve made friends just walking around town, and by serving on the Arts Council, and from being included in a supper club. I’ve met women I aspire to be like, women who make me laugh until I get the hiccups, amazingly creative women, genteel Southern ladies and rowdy girls. They are writers, mothers, business women, farmers, lawyers, singers, homemakers, educators and artists. They are married, single, church-goers, partiers, high school educated, multi-degreed, flashy and low-key. And they have welcomed me so thoroughly and so well, that I can’t wait to bring all of the fabulous women in my life here to experience them!

(And you know who you are…)

(I’m lookin’ at YOU, Calla Lilies!)

(Also every female member of my birth family and extended family.)

(Don’t forget my Nashville friends)

(And my internet lades)

(OK, I’ll stop now.)

So, every Tuesday there is a standing reservation at the Bell Buckle Cafe for our Ladies Lunch. We’re never completely sure who or how many will be showing up, so we always leave room at the table. If you’re ever in town on a Tuesday, you oughta come join us– or at the very least, get a table behind us and scootchie your chair back so you can shamelessly eavesdrop…

I just love these women. I belong here.



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