Hello Dear Readers! As many of you know, I’m all about supporting State Parks and Historic sites as well as National Parks and Historic sites. I love them and think they are important, as well as being a great way … Continue reading
Hello everyone. Welcome back. I apologize for my last couple posts being about how long I’ve been gone and hollow promises of getting back to this blog. Life has threw a couple wrenches in my gears lately, but I’ve been working hard to get all those cogs freed up and running smoothly. I could tell you all the sad, frustrating, hair pulling, banging my head against the wall stories that have kept me away from this blog and many things in general, and I might, but not today.
I know, as well as anyone, that life can get in the way. It’s a machine. It keeps chugging along, regardless of the parts falling off, needing greased, or repaired. It is a machine to be admired for its unwillingness to quit, regardless of how it falls apart. People are much the same. That is how I have felt lately, like a machine in need of a serious breakdown and rebuild. But I don’t have time for that, so I make small repairs where I can – on the side of the road, in the rain, in the gas station parking lot – because on this journey, you don’t always have time to stop. You have to evaluate the priority parts and make sure you keep those on par, everything else? Well, it just depends on where it is on the priority list.
Sometimes we think certain parts of the machine are important when they really aren’t. That is a problem. It leaves us blindsided when a part that is actually important blows up. This has happened to me a few times lately. So, I am trying to shave off some unnecessary parts and focus on the core of the machine. Because unfortunately, when some of those really important parts blow up, there’s no fixing them or replacing them. You must simply move on without them and readjust the way the machine works.
In my re-evaluation, I have decided that I have neglected some major components of my machine called life for far too long. And I have lost some parts that cannot be replaced. So, I am changing the oil, lubing the chain, changing the air filter, and moving on.
When is the last time you re-evaluated your life? There is never a bad time to sit down and make a list of the people or things that you love but haven’t seen or done in a while. Our excuse is usually that there isn’t enough time right now, I’ll do it later. I promise you that the most important thing you can do is make time. Right now, before your machine blows, locks up, and leaves you stranded with a part that you’ve lost and cant’ replace. As a quote by Buddha says, “The problem is, you think you’ve got time.”
As my favorite band, Pink Floyd, says, “Welcome to the machine.” Be sure to take care of yours every once in a while.
“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.” – Anonymous
“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything.” – Anonymous
“There is a kind of crying I hope you have not experienced, and it is not just crying about something terrible that has happened, but crying for all of the terrible things that have happened, not just to you but to everyone you know and to everyone you don’t know and even the people you don’t want to know. A crying that can not be diluted by a brave deed or a kind word, but only by someone holding you as your shoulders shake and your tears run down your face.” – Lemony Snicket
“Until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket
“February is the shortest month of the year, so if you are having a miserable month, try to schedule it for February.” – Anonymous
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” – Lemony Snicket
“There’s a history of heartbreak, Tucked in the creases of her eyes, A museum of the moments, That she’d watch just pass her by, And each tear that escaped her, Held the things she’d left unsaid, So the words she’d never spoken, Stained her dampened cheeks instead.” – e.h.
“I think there are two kinds of forgiveness, the kind that when you forgive you’re also giving then another chance, or the kind where you forgive, but move on without them. Use them both wisely.” – s.b.
“You told me that you had my back, And I thought that it was true, Now my shadow’s still behind me, But where on earth are you?” – e.h.
” ‘Love me slowly,’ she whispered, like the love I had for her, had limits. Like it could run out as easily as a grain of time. I could tell, by the sound of fear in her lungs, that she had a terrible past. The kind that no one talks about, the kind that remains bottled up inside of you, slowly and quietly, killing everything in your bones.” – Christopher Poindexter
“There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.” – unknown
“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” he said. – Rachel Wolchin
“Le beau est toujours bizarre. (The beautiful is always bizzar.)” – Charles Baudelaire
“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.” – unknown
Hello Dear Readers, I apologize for those personal posts if they weren’t for you (which judging by the feedback, they weren’t). We’re back to travelling today. Our destination is one I absolutely cannot wait to go to. It’s Old Car City in White, GA.
Old Car City is the world’s largest known classic car junkyard. The vegetation that we’re famous for here in the South intertwines with cars that have been left there for good. It started as a family run dealership in 1931 and is still family owned and operated in its current state. It’s like a museum and grave yard all rolled into one. As someone who values classic cars (and owns a semi-rare one) it breaks my heart a little. However, I also find it fascinating.
There are over 6 miles of trails and 4,000 cars in Old Car City. They are open Wednesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are two separate admissions prices, depending on whether or not you want to take pictures. Having never been, I assume it works on the honor system now in the age of camera phones? But I would pay the second price anyways so I could take all the pictures I want. It’s $15 for no pictures, $25 for making or taking pictures. If you are not making or having pictures taken, then it’s $10 for children 7-12. Active military members get half price on either option. They do ask that all commercial photography contact them ahead of time.
It is interesting to mention that the city of White, Georgia is relatively small itself, with a total of 618 acres and a population of only 670 (2010 census). White acts as a stepping stone between it’s urban (or urbanizing) neighbors to the south and the rural towns to its north. Who knows how long it will be before places like this are swept away to make room for more high rises, malls, or parking lots? Places like this are special to me because they represent a different way of life that is unfortunately being passed by for more modern conveniences. Pretty soon, the only place to see cars like this will be in books (hah!), on the internet, and in museums.
To me, road side attractions like this ran by families and “characters” are just the bee’s knees. They’re what I grew up on and they are something that I love. They’re so different than the mass produced theme parks and tourist traps that are turning every town that was touristy because it’s different (had something unique to offer) into the same mega-mart kitschy place. I’ve watched this happen to towns I grew up loving that you know can’t tell apart, except in name. So please, when you find places like this, stop in. Slow down. Enjoy them and enjoy life. Get to know the people who run them. And help them hold out in their little corners of the world.
I know that this probably doesn’t appeal to everyone. “Who wants to walk SIX MILES through junky old cars?” That’s ok. Stick with me for a post that does show things you want. I can’t please everyone all the time but this one hits close to home for me, seeing as how my “day job” is in the automotive industry. If there is somewhere you would like to know more about, please leave it in the comments or message me!
“It was winter when he left, Her heart stood shivering with the trees, Afraid unlike that mighty forest She’d never get to bear new leaves. But branches know a thing or two About needing to let go, That even with no audience You never cease to grow. So when spring seeped though her skin (As spring is always wont to do), Her heart sent out its roots And like the world around she grew. Stronger than she thought she could And braver than before, She left her former self To rot amongst the forest floor. It was summer when he came searching Back to the place where she had been, Feeling small beneath the forest And its brand new coat of green. She smiled to know he’d never find her For the person that he missed, Was a version of herself That long ago ceased to exist.” -e.h.
“It’s said she’s made of storm cells And a wild wolf’s hungry heart, That she’s learnt the lightning’s secret To ripping darkened skies apart. The power of her presence Can bring the mountains to their knees, Her song is one of chaos As she stirs the angry seas. But if you’ve met you’d be no wiser For she is also born of light, Another face amongst the crowd; The hidden hiding in plain sight. Great power doesn’t always come Inside the forms that you’d assume, But you would never down her strength When she is howling at the moon.” – e.h.
“Sometimes the most beautiful people are beautifully broken.” – r.m. drake
“I promise you these storms are only trying to wash you clean.”
“I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love what until I knew what love was not.” – P.T. Berkey
Life is a funny thing sometimes. It always has a way to bring us back around to a lesson that we learned before and may have, somehow, still forgotten. When I was little, I heard somewhere (either from my parents or read in a book) that you’re better off to learn lessons from other people because you don’t live long enough to make them all yourself. I took that to heart, but there are still lessons that I have to learn for myself, the hard way.
I’ll be turning twenty five soon. An “official” quarter lifer at that point. I think it is a testament to the stresses of my generation that I had never heard that term used before we came into adult-hood. Some of us have been forced to grow up fast, due to circumstances beyond our control. It’s a testament to the lessons we’ve learned the hard way and the stress that we are under to be adults who are respected instead of looked down upon as “entitled”. It’s a testament to knowing how many of my peers are on anti-depressants and in therapy (neither of which they can afford, so it just gets stacked upon the thousands of dollars of student debt they have). It’s bad when there’s now a name for it because we are having “quarter-life” crises instead of mid-life.
One lesson that has been the hardest learned for me, and that has recently come back to remind me just how I learned it, is that while love is unconditional, relationships are not. This requires a little bit of back story, so bear with me.
My last relationship (as you’ve heard me mention over the last couple personal posts) was very abusive. He was a compulsive liar and very good at gaslighting. I was young and naive, and he wasn’t (naive, that is, he’s younger than I am). He knew exactly how to manipulate me to get what he wanted. This lasted for three years. Three years. The result was that during this, my already low self esteem dropped lower, I became even more withdrawn and anti-social, and I was more lost than ever. I was a teen. My parents were going through a rough time. It was, I thought, the love of my life.
I had only had one other guy before this ever tell me that I was beautiful and that he was in love with me, but that relationship wasn’t meant to be. We never even dated. So, when this guy came along, I took a chance. In some ways, I regret it deeply. I lost a lot of friends and missed out on a lot of experiences (including enjoying experiences like prom and graduation) because of this guy. At first it was great, but then every thing changed and I found myself in a situation that I knew in the back of my mind, was not safe and was not healthy. However, like a lot of people who find themselves in abusive relationships, I loved him hopelessly. As much as any 15-18 year old can know love. I was convinced that I could change myself to be that person he loved again. I was convinced I could change him to not be so quick to anger.
I convinced myself of a lot of things that still make me cringe and turn red with embarrassment. Please believe me that hind sight is 20/20, a lesson taught to me by one of my favorite history teachers. It was his response as to why people see things more clearly or differently after the fact than in the heat of the moment. Somewhere, another quote came to me when I needed it the most. It took a lot of time for it to sink in, and a lot of courage for me to finally cut him out of my life. I had tried before, just to go to being friends with him. This was a false hope. The only way to break that cycle is complete cut-off. The reason I can’t remember where this quote comes from is that I have literally dozens of notebooks, scraps of paper, journals, and files on my computer filled with quotes gathered over the past ten years of my life.
That quote was this: Love is unconditional, relationships are not. It rattled around in my head for a long time as I wrestled with exactly what it meant to me. And what I took from it was this: Yes, love is in fact unconditional. We don’t get to decide when it happens, where it comes from, who it applies to, nor how deeply it runs. It is something that exists beyond us, on another plane. Relationships are not unconditional. Ask anyone who’s ever been in one that has ended, from lovers to friends. They will all give you a reason. And most of the time will tell you that they are still in love or still love that person. Sometimes there are just parts of a relationship that we cannot handle. While this does not mean that we no longer love the person, it just means that we now realize it is not healthy for us to be a part of their life anymore.
From dirty socks and differences in politics, to lying and unfaithfulness, there are many conditions that define what you expect in a relationship. We all think that a failed relationship equals no longer loving that person but that is not the case. I think that line of thinking is what makes relationships, especially long ones, hard to walk away from. But it’s not love that has failed. There are some things that even love cannot change or conquer. You can love someone and realize that you can no longer live with them. You have to choose to let them go and love them from afar. And it hurts. Damn does it hurt. Usually. It hurt me to realize this, but the more he hurt me, the easier it made it. That breaking point is in different places for different people. I was lucky to realize mine before I fully committed my life to his.
Now, it has been nearly 7 years since we split. I do not talk to him, I have only seen him once (in a failed attempt to get my things back). I do not friend or follow him on facebook or any social media. His number is blocked from my phone and, to be honest, I no longer remember it though I once knew it like I knew my name. Now, I am seeing a pattern of a toxic relationship develop with someone close to me who I thought new this lesson. Unfortunately, they’ve been blinded to it by the beauty of the “honeymoon phase”. It frightens and angers me for this person because they’ve been through this before and deserve so much better. But that only served to remind me of another lesson. One that is just as hard for me to accept and follow.
“You cannot save people. Only love them.” I’m a nurturer. The Mother Goose. I want what’s best for the people I love and it’s hard for me to accept that sometimes I have to step back and let them make their own decisions and deal with the consequences that follow. My boyfriend actually reminded me of this one, which was slightly humbling because I’m the one who taught it to him. There comes a time when you are really going to hate a decision someone close to you makes. You’re going to think that you know that this decision is only going to get them hurt. But it is not our place to make decisions for others, it it only our job to love them. Sometimes you get presented with the ultimatum of accepting their decision and loving them, or losing them from your life. I learned a long time ago you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be, or think that they need to be, saved. You’ve got to let people go their own way and just be there for them.
Simply another reminder that love is unconditional but relationships are not. Relationships are full of not only conditions but compromise. You have to decide, in every relationship, what compromises you are willing to make and what conditions are hard lines. Pick your battles. This is always complicated by love. It’s pretty good at blurring those lines. There is always going to be someone that comes along that you love so much you turn into a pirate, going, “Rules? I thought those were more guidelines…”. There’s always going to be an exception to your rules for some people. Trust me, I’ve met one that just broke every rule I’ve ever had about a person and I fell in love with him anyways. I was willing to throw everything away for him, and he knew it. I am lucky enough that he loved me enough to not let me do that.
So,thanks for hanging in there with me and letting me ramble on. I’m not really sure where I hoped this would go when I started, but I’m ok with how it turned out. And, dear readers, with all your loved ones, just remember that love comes in many shapes and forms, and just because you might not have a great relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can’t love them.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”
“Your heart is surrounded by cobwebs and dust, it hasn’t seen the light of love in years. your skin is painted with blue and green circles, and red lines going in all directions. this is the aftermath of strangers, of friends, of family, who are tyring to claw their way into your cobwebbed heart. they tried knocking first but you slammed the door in their faces, as if they were a door-to-door salesman. it’s time. time to let them in, time to clear away the cobwebs and the dust. time to let the light in.” – a.y.
“you can always find something beautiful in something destructive and now I finally understand why I’ve always been so fond of you.”
” ‘The trick, kiddo,’ his mom replies slowly, ‘is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own.’ ”
“Darlin, forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.” – Big Mama The Fox & The Hound
” ‘You,’ he said, ‘are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.’ ” – Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
“I would have loved you with everything I have. But you didn’t want to be loved, turns out you just wanted to be fucked.”
“People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to ignore the truth they cannot accept.” Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing
“You can never really know someone completely. That’s why it’s the most terrifying thing in the world, really—taking someone on faith, hoping they’ll take you on faith too. It’s such a precarious balance, It’s a wonder we do it at all. And yet..” – Libba Bray
“I love you for who you are, not who the world thinks you should be.” – Libba Bray Beauty Queens
“He admired my melancholy madness and said that it was graceful and beautiful. But it was neither of those things. I was a hurricane at the centre of a collapsing, burning, building; and I wasn’t someone to be admired at all.
“If there’s a thing I’ve learned in my life it’s to not be afraid of the responsibility that comes with caring for other people. What we do for love: those things endure. Even if the people you do them for don’t.”“I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don’t stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” – Allegiant
“I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, built straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can’t bear to take his hand away, I don’t wish I was any different.” – Insurgent
“The worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves just by standing up.”
Hello again, dear readers. I apologize for being absent for a bit and not updating like I should. I know we’re right in the swing of Spring/Summer and people are getting the travel bug, even if it’s just for a weekend. I will try to get back on my regular blogging train this week (I’ve already got my post half written 🙂 ) but today is going to be a more personal post. If these aren’t your favorite, I do apologize but this is my blog. Feel free to skip this post and rejoin us Wednesday.
My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly six years. We’ve both had our share of shitty relationships before, just like anyone else. But together? We don’t really have any issues. Small fights, like what to have for dinner. Ya know, the same as any other couple. We also aren’t big into P.D.A. It isn’t my thing, and it isn’t his. We are comfortable in our relationship enough to not need to rub it in anyone faces. Sure, we kiss and hold hands in public, but we don’t paw all over each other like hormone crazed teenagers.
Now, this being said, I feel like we are unlike most couples in one way in particular. We have managed to see each other, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, every day since we started dating. No joke. While that can sound overwhelming, it really isn’t. There’s a comfortableness there for us both. We are at a point in our relationship where spending time together can mean he’s watching t.v. while I’m reading a book. We’ve been together for nearly 6 years and have been living together for nearly one year.
However, this weekend has changed that pattern. He was invited to go to Talladega with a friend of ours for his (our friend) bachelor weekend. So it is my boyfriend, our friend (the Bachelor), another mutual friend of ours, and a friend of the bride (and now the bachelor). All of the guys except the mutual friend have ladies. Please don’t think that this is going where you think it’s going. The guys left Saturday and are coming home Monday. They are staying in the Bachelor’s pull behind camper in one of the quieter campgrounds (from what I understand).
Now, in my past relationship, my ex was very possessive. He would have caused a huge blow up and ultimately broke up with me if I went to something like that with 3 of my friends. And if he didn’t (or probably even if he did), he would have texted and called me every few minutes. I don’t want to be like that. I want my boyfriend to have a good time with his friends. So, I kept my texting to a limited yesterday (unless he texted me first) and only called him when a slight family emergency arose (and only after texting asking him if it was ok to call because I didn’t know if he would be able to hear me, ect.) I don’t want him to feel like I’m trying to keep tabs on him.
However, it does mean that I had to stay alone last night for the first time in this new house. Now, I’ve stayed by myself before at my parent’s house when they were out of town, but I have not stayed in this new house alone. I thought I would be more ok with it than I was. The boyfriend had convinced me to borrow one of his father’s hand guns ( a .22) that would be easier for me to handle than his (a .45). After getting me to shoot it once (never fired a handgun before) he felt better about leaving me here alone. His dad sent me with 5 magazines, as if I was going to get into a shoot out at the O.K. corral!
That being said, last night was rough. I finally passed out in the living room around 2:30 this morning. I miss him terribly. I’m so used to him being here when I am, or at least just a text away. Now, he has told me that I can text him whenever, or even call him. Especially if I feel like I need him. I’ve been experiencing really high levels of anxiety for some reason, lately. While he doesn’t quite get it (he is NOT an anxious person) he does know that it bothers me badly and he doesn’t want me to deal with it alone. He said not to feel bad about texting or calling him because the other two guys’ phones were blowing up.
But, I’m not going to bother him. One reason is, those guys already give him a hard time about not being able to do anything without me (mostly because we go everywhere together). I’m not going to give them another reason to give him a hard time about having a girl friend who can’t leave him alone for a few days. He is nice enough to call me in some down time, and I’m ok with that. It means that even though he’s having fun, I’m in the back of his mind. And not because I can’t quit texting him.
The reality of relationships is that while we get attached to that other person, we do not own them. We do not own every minute of their day, nor every thought that crosses their mind. And that’s ok. You aren’t supposed to be someone’s everything. They should be complete on their own, and so should you. This makes both you, as an individual, and your relationship stronger. I think in a world of such advanced technology, we forget that. Having cell phones and social media makes it easier than ever to communicate with someone, as well as keep track of them. However, it also distracts that person you’re communicating with from what they are actually doing.
He has never been to a Nascar race. If I were to constantly be texting or calling him, or messaging him on facebook, it would pull his attention away from enjoying not only the race, but the company of his friends. He doesn’t care about Nascar (neither do I) but he went because of his friend. And it doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t get to enjoy and have the full experience while he’s there and I don’t feel like that would happen if I were constantly distracting him.
Trust your significant others. Trust them to go have experiences with friends other than you and trust that you are in their mind somewhere. Chances are they will thank you for it. They will have a much better experience, reconnect with friends (that they may not be as close to because of your relationship), and probably miss you more. Not to mention, it gives you time to do the same. Just trust them and trust yourself.
“A glass full of hope On a search for silver linings, Seeking meaning in the madness Of the things that dodge defining. Lifts the blindfold to find worth Depends entirely on yourself, Happiness is not the standard On which to judge everything else.” – e.h.
“And if we’re truly one, how will I breathe when circumstance pries us apart? You are my oxygen, my sustenance, the blood inside my veins. When we touch, you are my skin, hold all my joy inside of you. When you go, I wither.” – Ellen Hopkins Tricks
“Soul Mates I don’t know how it is that you are so familiar to me – or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper, brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before – in another time, a different place – some other existence.” – Lang Leav
Hello again Dear Readers! Today is a bit of a two-for. I wanted to make brief mention of one thing and then I’m going to cover something near and dear to me.
First thing, everyone loves free stuff, right? Well, I know I do. April 16 thru April 24 is National Park week. What does this mean? It means free entrance to ANY National Park! April 16th is Junior Park Ranger Day and the parks will have badges and activities just for the kiddos. April 22nd is Earth Day. April 23 is #InstaMeet at the National Parks. There will be designated times and places to gather to take photos and videos just for your Instagram, if that’s your think. April 24th is Park Rx day with a focus in the parks on encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
National Parks have always held a special place for me. My parents have been taking me and my brother to them to hike and enjoy nature for years. I have been to most of the major National Parks all across the U.S. Please, take advantage of this FREE Park Week and get outside and have some fun! Find out more information here.
My next post, and our actual “destination” for this week is a seasonal event. This event starts April 16th and runs through June 5th. I am talking about the Georgia Renaissance Festival. For those of you who do not know what that is, it’s a really big festival celebrating life like it would have been in Medieval England. Specifically, it is set in the reign of King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn. There are “cast members” who are officially employed by the festival and will be in character at all times. There are craftspeople who demonstrate older ways of doing things, such as the Weaver’s Guild, Glassblowing, and Fencing.
There is food everywhere (yay!) and tons of things for kids to do. This is a very family friendly place and it is also very educational. I actually went here for the first time on a field trip in 8th grade. There are demonstrations, gifts to buy, and fun times to be had by all. There are also “theme” weekends such as Pet Friendly, Highland Fling, and Kid Free. My favorite “theme” weekend is opening weekend. Adult tickets are buy one get one free. Every year. It’s the best time to go if you aren’t sure that it is your thing. You get to experience the entire festival for half the price.
Be sure to get there early. Traffic tends to back up and the later you get there, the further away from the gates you will be parked. You also don’t want to miss the opening ceremonies. It’s just a taste of what you will find inside. The jousting is always a good time, as are the side shows. I personally recommend the Washer Women. We laughed so hard we were in tears. Seriously, I cannot recommend this festival enough. You can find directions here. If you go, please post some pictures or stories of your trip in the comments!
“it’s not the endings that will haunt you But the space where they should lie, The things that simply faded Without one final wave goodbye. Like a book with torn out pages, Forgetting things you’re sure you knew, A question with no answer And a song stopped halfway though. So when your mind attempts to store them, Their crooked shape will never fit, And forever in the corners Of your consciousness they sit. Jagged edges made from moments You can’t be quite sure were the last, Slicing open thoughts that healed As they attempt to slip right past. You see, not knowing is what haunts you, The memories that never mend, For they are puzzles missing pieces, Of all the things that didn” e.h.
“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana
“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – Charles Bukowski
“Integrity is making sure the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.” – Katrina Mayer
“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.” – unknown
Well friends, my wanderlust got the better of me for a moment and I forgot my blog. I have a nice entry to share with you about this lovely hike the bestie and I took the Saturday before last. But I’m going to save it for a night when I have more time to blog. Things, as always, have gotten a little busy for me lately. I made my first trip to the dentist in over 6 years, but that’s a post for another day.
Today my wanderlust isn’t as much a destination as it is a question. I try my best to give you destinations every Wednesday, but wanderlust is about so much more than that. I usually tend to gravitate towards places that I’ve been so that I can recommend things to do, see, and eat while you’re there. However, I also LOVE road trips. Would you, my dear readers, be interested in me showing you some of my favorite road trips? These would include destinations, stops along the way, side notes, restaurants, and hotels.
I do enjoy making road trips for people and I’m lucky that my parents took me on some pretty neat ones when I was little. If you guys are interested, I’ll incorporate them every now and then into my Wanderlust and Wordy Wednesday series. Variety is the spice of life, right?
“The only thing standing between you and your goals is that bullshit story you keep telling yourself.” – unknown
“She was a shooting star, Her smile so bright and rare, That by the time you had blinked, There was no sign it had been there.” – e.h.
“What if the grass is greener on the other side, Because it’s always raining there, Where the ones who never fail to give, Hardly have enough to spare, Where people with the broadest smiles, Have pillows filled with tears, And the bravest ones you’ve ever known, Are crippled by their fears, It’s filled with lonely people, But they’re never seen alone, Where those that lack real shelter, Make you feel the most at home, Maybe the grass looks greener, Because they’ve painted on its hue, Just remember from the other side, Your grass looks greener too.” – e.h.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you something great will come of it.” – benjamin mee
“The most dangerous woman of all is the one who refuses to rely on your sword to save her because she carries her own.” – r.h. sin
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – Shakespeare
” Be the same person privately, publicly, and personally.” – Judah Smith
“You need to understand that life isn’t what you’re given. It’s what you create, what you conquer, and what you aim to achieve.” – unknown
Hello dear friends. I apologize for being away. Things around here have yet to slow down but again, I promise I will try to do better! Today’s destination is James H. Floyd State Park in Summerville, Georgia.
James H. Floyd is also known (and mostly referred to) as Sloppy Floyd. I’ve been here many times but amazingly enough, I don’t have any pictures so these will be pictures pulled from various sites. Sloppy Floyd covers 561 acres near the Chattahoochee National Forest. There are two stocked lakes, three miles of hiking trails, and it’s only 1.6 miles away from the trailhead of the Pinhoti.
No boat? No problem! You can rent paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes. There are several picnic areas, two playgrounds, 4 cottages, and 25 cabins. The lakes themselves are BIG. They cover 51 acres. There’s also a really nice board walk. It’s also a great place to geocache, if that’s your thing.
There is one part of this park I’ve never been to, but heard about recently from some friends who live in the area. There is a short hike called the Marble Mine Trail. It leads to an absolutely beautiful area with a shelf overhanging a reflection pond. There’s a cute little waterfall that cascades over the shelf. If you would like to learn more about the mining history of this area, the Georgia State Parks offers Hidden Gem: A Walk Through the Mining Industry and I suggest you visit it for tour times and info.
They also offer a First Time Camper program if you’re an urbanite looking to teach yourself or your kids the basics of camping with the guidance of a ranger and gear that you can borrow instead of buy (Just bring your own sleeping bag or blanket and pillow).
This park is not far from Rome. It’s an easy day trip if you’re in Rome staying the weekend or some such. Have you been here? Show me your pictures!
“She folded her life like origami, Made what was large into something so small, Bending and creasing her edges, Until she filled almost no room at all, She’d learnt to always say sorry, That she was a burden for taking up space, And so into herself she was folded, Locked in her own suffocating embrace, The world tore at all of her edges, Once sharp corners had started to fray, Now so tiny that nobody noticed, As she slowly began to decay, Reduced to just ashes of moments, The wind swept her up off the floor, And her pieces were scattered in places, She’d not dared to inhabit before, As her eyes took in all of the beauty, Of a world which she’d lived life deprived, She learnt there’s no need to say sorry, Taking up space simply means you’re alive.” – e.h.
“Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.” – Dodinsky
“one day you’ll make peace with your demons, and the chaos in your heart will settle flat. and maybe for the first time in your life, life will smile right back at you and welcome you home.” – r.m. drake
“She was a shooting star, Her smile so bright and rare, That by the time that you had blinked, There was no sign it had been there.” – e.h.
“I want to apologize to all the women I have called pretty. before I’ve called them intelligent or brave. I am sorry I made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is the most you have to be proud of when your spirit has crushed mountains. from now on I will say things like, you are resilient or, you are extraordinary. Not because I don’t think you’re pretty. But because you are so much more than that.” – rupi kaur
“strong woman accepts both compliments and criticism graciously, knowing that it takes both sun and rain for a flower to grow.” – unknown
” “How do you know when it’s over?” “Maybe when you feel more in love with your memories that with the person standing in front of you.” ” – Unknown
“You’ll meet her, she’s very pretty, even though sometimes she’s sad for many days at a time. You’ll see, when she smiles, you’ll love her.” – Pan’s Labyrinth
“I don’t know how it is you are so familiar to me – or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before – in another time, a different place – some other existence.” – Lang Leav
“She sent me just one postcard From the place she now called home, Spoke of the things she wished she knew Before she left her life to roam. That she had always felt the weight Of the whole world against her lungs, Heard the silence left by sentences No one had ever strung. And so she did the only thing That she knew how to do: she fled. But looking back, the only place, That needed leaving was her head. For in its nooks and crannies Was where her whole world did reside, And when you’re the one who’s seeking There is no where you can hide. She wrote of climbing mountains, Crossing rivers, swimming in lakes, But with distance came a feeling That each distraction failed to shake. (Here her writing started wobbling Like she was fighting not to cry, And as I read her final sentence I think I understood just why.) ‘I thought I’d left it all behind,’ she said, ‘But I have never been so wrong, For it is only now I realize That I have brought myself along.’ ” – e.h.
Hello again dear readers, friends, neighbors, and lurkers (yes I see you there in the shadows, it’s ok). I (once again) apologize for missing last week. Things around here got a little crazy and then I fell under the weather. Still am, actually. A sinus infection and an ear infection. However, we are moving forward! As promised, this destination would make a great addition to my previous destination.
Today takes us to Desoto Falls State Park. It is 8 miles north of Fort Payne, Alabama and covers over 3,500 acres. Desoto Falls (104 ft tall) is the state’s highest waterfall and is located 6 miles north of the main park. It was named after Hernado de Soto and was developed in the 1930’s be the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park has 25 miles of hiking trails, 11 miles of mountain bike trails, a CCC built lodge and cabins, restaurants, camp sites, chalets, motel, swimming pools, and a nature center.
The boyfriend and I went here after stopping at Little River while out on the bike one day. It’s a beautiful drive from Little River to Desoto State Park and the park itself is lovely. The drive in the park up to the main falls is one of my favorite. You go on the edge of the mountain and wind up above Mentone, Al.
Waterfall chasing seems to be a big thing on the Facebook lately and I promise if you are anywhere close to DeSoto, it’s worth the trip. We also browsed the store and nature center while here. We didn’t have time to eat but the restaurant menu sounded delicious and we really want to go back and try it. We did find a geocache while here. It was right under our noses but I’ll be darned if it didn’t take us a good 15 minutes to land on the right location.
There are so many trails and waterfalls to see here that you need to spend more time here than we did. I highly recommend making a solid day or two of it. I hope to update this post more later, once we go back. Have you ever been to DeSoto? What’s your favorite part?
“There is a fable in the forest Whispered by branches as they blow, A tale about the truth of leaving Things that no longer help you grow. For on the surface it looks simple; Like you need only lace your boots, But there is nothing quite as painful As untangling your roots. And proof is found in tree stumps Of the price some pay to flee, That they would cut their lives in half To cut the time before they’re free. Yet from the little left behind Life has been known to grow again, For unless you take your roots A part of you will still remain.” – e.h.
“How is it so easy for you to be kind to people he asked Milk and honey dripped from my lips as I answered cause people have not been kind to me.” – rupi kaur
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.” – Dalai Lama
“Be the person you needed when you were younger.”
“She was a forgiver. Her heart was so large she didn’t know hot to give up on people, because she always believed the good in those she loved. It was until she was walked on so many times, she had no choice but to let go of those who burned holes in her heart.” – C.R. Bittar
“Learn to say “No” without explaining yourself.”
“she woke up every morning with the option of being anyone she wished. how beautiful it was that she always chose herself.” – tyler kent white
Hello again dear readers, I apologize for missing last week. It’s been super busy at work. But we’re back at it this week! We’re crossing the state line into Alabama! This has quickly become one of our favorite trips on the bike. Next week’s destination ties into this one in what can be a lovely day ride or a fun weekend trip.
Our first destination for today is Little River Canyon. It’s also on Lookout Mountain but is in/near Fort Payne, Alabama. It’s a 15,288 acre preserve that protects what is said to be the nation’s longest mountain top river, Little River. The canyon is said to be the deepest east of the Mississippi. Prior to being handed over to the National Park Service, it was actually the southern-most part of Desoto State Park.
It’s said to be one of the cleanest and wildest waterways in the South. It’s undammed aside from a small and derelict hydroelectric project at Desoto Falls. The sandstone walls are up to 600 ft tall in places and can be seen from the 11 mile long Little River Canyon Rim Scenic Drive (AL176) which I HIGHLY recommend. We made a trip there just to drive the scenic parkway. It has many great pull offs with great views of the canyon and the state’s highest waterfall, Grace’s High Falls.
There’s a nice boardwalk from the pull off on the right side of the bridge you see here. You can walk around it down to the rocks where you will see people sunbathing and playing in the water. Just beware that you aren’t supposed to get within 100 ft of the top of the falls. This doesn’t stop people but be aware that if a ranger sees you, it’s a hefty federal fine, as this is a national park, not a state park. You can also walk across the bridge, as there is a fence diving off the walkway from the road.
There’s a pull off for Martha’s Falls (Hippie Hole) a little up from here that is a really popular swimming hole. I haven’t been there but from my understanding, it requires a small hike.
Have you ever been here? I’d love to see your pictures or hear about it!
- “one day you’ll make peace with your demons, and the chaos in your heart will settle flat. and maybe for the first time in your life, life will smile back at you and welcome you home.” -r.m. drake
- “I made my life an arrow, The tip a deadly sharpened point, So people never came so close, That I may disappoint, I’d sit and watch in silence, As the world would pass me by, Wondering how far I’d fall, If I ever tried to fly, You watched me with such interest, Like it was me you tried to find, As though you knew all of my secrets, And the thoughts within my mind, You looked like all the others, But what I did not know; Was while I’d made myself an arrow, You had made yourself a bow, And apart we’d both been useless, But we’d finally worked out why; Since you need someone to pull you back, If you ever want to fly, So you aimed me with precision, And I flew straight from the start, Until I landed with a solid thud, On the target of your heart.” – e.h.
- “Watch carefully, the magic occurs, when you give a person, just enough comfort, to be themselves.” – atticus
- “Books are many things; lullabies for the weary, ointment for the wounded, armour for the fearful, and nests for those in need of a home.” – Glenda Millard The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk
- “She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana
- “do you remember the first time you were called annoying? how your breath stopped short in your chest, the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze? the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue? Your eyes never left the floor that day. you were 13. you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long”, apologies littering every other sentence, words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years. i could listen to your forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious. all i was you to know is that you deserve to be heard. for 3 minutes. for 10 minutes. for 2 hours. forever. there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart; mostly because they can’t handle their own. but you will never be and have never been “too much”. “- unknown
- “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead. Some come from behind. But I’ve bought a bat, I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.” – Dr. Seuss
- “Every time they’re at sea, The oceans start to weep, wishing they were half as wide, As his love for her is deep.” – e.h.