Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

Good Friday service is one of the most solemn, sad and holy. I've gone to Old St. Paul's for the last two years in a row and will have this hymn in my head until Sunday. 

Vs. 3 gets me every time:
What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? Oh, make me thine for ever! and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love for thee.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Memphis: Tayloe Paper Company Paper Works Tour

The fairy godmother's and I took a little tour with my Momma while in Memphis. It was hilarious. I seriously could NOT stop back seat driving. Looking back it's funny annoying to see how much I tried to control EVERYTHING. When I get stressed or sad I lash out with over planning, over pointing, over suggesting, over annoying, over wineing, over whining and just not taking enough time to breath. I'm a planner. I think I need to plan for everyone. I don't. Thank the Lord. Let me repeat it for myself, I don't have to plan for everyone. Wish I had said that BEFORE this trip. Lordy. Thank goodness my people still love me. We had a wee bit of trouble sleeping. The first night the sound of the train, comin down the tracks, was charming as all get out. By night three none of us slept and it was pure, ever living torture. Seriously. Like a bad drip in a faucet. There were too many of us to stay at family homes, and we all wanted to be together, but lord love a duck. I'm glad the not sleeping part our our visit is long gone.

During the tour of Memphi Momma drove us past the Tayloe Paper Co. It's kind of our tradition. 

This time there was a new fire escape on the south wall. I wish I could find photos of me pointing up to the sign. I know there are a few. What the hell did I do with all of my old photos? They are stored in a bunch of different places. Does anyone have a photo storage solution for this picture junkie? What is your favorite way to store photos? This blog has been my photo album of sorts. God forbid something were to happen to Blogger or Google starts charging more to store. Knock on keyboard! Eeeck. I digress.

We took our classic photo outside of the building...looking like an LSU float...we are Ole Miss fans for heavens sake. Immediately afterwards, a resident of these new condos rolled into the parking lot. If you can imagine, I asked the woman if she lived in the building...and then geeked out telling her that my mother's grandfather started the paper company that was originally in the building. She asked if we wanted to see the lobby and opened the door for us. 

Once inside the lobby we met the nicest woman named Kelly. Kelly, if you read this for some strange and wonderful twist of social media fate, thank you so much! I geeked out and told Kelly about the family connection and she geeked out right back and gave us a full tour of the building. I just love strangers! She had even done research and knew that Grandfather Tayloe's sister was the first woman governor of Wyoming

I'm convinced my love of paper comes from my great grandfather owning this paper company. Momma said he would be flipping in his grave from the amount of paper that we used at my wedding. Her own father, who also worked there, used every side of every piece of paper in his home. The process in which to make paper is so precious that he knew it and respected it in every piece. 

Sleep deprived and still laughing are godmother Candy, Momma and godmother Mary T.

Kelly took us to the basement, with her precious dog, to show us where the ramp to move the paper is still intact.

She even gave us a tour of her apartment and apologized for it being messy. What a champ! It looked great to me.

E and I are such huge fans of factory reuse buildings as seen by our own neighborhood.We would totally live here if we lived in Memphis!

Then she showed us the door to the roof deck and was off to walk her dog. 

I've been to Memphis a zillion times but this was the first time I'd ever seen it from this perspective. 

I've always loved this rusted out bridge over the Mississippi River.

Memphis was named for the city in Egypt and the pyramid was added to the skyline in 1991. It was the best tour of the city I'd ever been on. 

Thank you so much Kelly! You made this very sad trip so special.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Baby Nephews in Memphis

If anything good came of my Uncle Robert's funeral it was getting to meet Baby Nephew II in person. Matthew was just two and a half weeks old and so tiny when I finally got to clap my eyes on him. It was such a gift to be able to hold him, and love him and see him face to face. I couldn't get enough of him, but didn't get enough of him. Don't babies just have the best smell? It's a miracle I didn't squeeze him to death.

I mean, look at his little hands just put together in prayer. We gave Andrew this little outfit he's wearing in our mirror selfie! 

I also had the best time with Baby Nephew. We took a walk one afternoon and it was so fun seeing him just play and run. Elise took this of us and I think I'll frame it.


My brother really is the best Daddy and Elise is such a good Momma. Ugh, it makes my heart hurt a little bit that we aren't all closer together.

I finally finished this teddy bear that I had been knitting Andrew since BEFORE he was born. One of my goals for the year was to use my hands creatively more often. I totally messed up the arms...they are WAY too long...but who cares. Andrew sleeps with this little bear every night. Mac said I had "Francie" powers. Maybe the best compliment I've ever received in my entire life. Francie was our grandmother who passed away last year. Coming back to Memphis for the first time with her gone was another blow. 

These little munchkins made up for all of the loss we were feeling.

I love you kids!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Walk in Stoney Run #reLent #RIPhomeboy

A few weeks ago, March 8th, I had a Saturday off and the only thing I really wanted to do was go for a long walk with my Charlie. I set a goal of being able to walk a mile by the end of March. I've exceeded that thankfully and sometime forget that I had surgery in December. My foot has healed so well I can do cartwheels. I've been participating in a Photo a Day Challenge called #reLent and that Sunday they encouraged us to go for a real walk. I couldn't wait until Sunday. The word of Day 4 was Listen. I wanted to hear the water, hear the birds, hear the crunch of leaves and be still. 

We are so lucky to have this trail in our back yard. It feels like a special place for us. During our first Christmas Day together in Baltimore we woke up and went for a walk in Stoney Run. I've always loved the grafiti. I'm curious. Who are the artists? Do they sneak in during the night with lights? Are they MICA art students? Neighbors? Are they happy? Bored? Rebellious? Or just letting out creative juices? 

I love what The Cosmo in Vegas has done with graffiti in their parking garage. How cool would it be if Baltimore commissioned works in all of the downtown garages?

The patterns and colors are beautiful. Banksy is so popular that a building's value goes up if one of his (or her?) murals is outside it's walls. The modern Van Gogh.

The frozen earth looked beautiful and cast its own patterns and light that day.

It was the first time I had stopped to listen and be tranquil, in a very long time. Sure I've spent hours and hours being quiet in the house over this long, dark and lonely winter. But this quiet walk felt restorative.

We even met a dog along our journey that looked like he had a run into a graffiti artist. Only in Hampden. 

I had my phone turned on silent, no vibrate, so I could totally turn off the outside world. I happened to look at my phone just at the time my mother was calling. It was here we learned that my precious Uncle Robert had died suddenly in Memphis. He had celebrated his birthday just the day before, had been suffering from lung cancer, but we thought he was on the mend. I couldn't have wish for a more beautiful place to learn of this sad fact. We found a bench and continued to be quiet and thank God for all that Robert brought to our lives. It is such a loss. His wish throughout his six months of suffering was that he would glorify God. Very truly I tell you, he did just that in his life and his death.

All throughout the graffiti scene in Baltimore you can see "RIP Homeboy" with the date of the departed. I was able to go to Memphis for the funeral and will share more soon. Loss is so hard. Being with family helped so much but Robert will be missed so very much. 

RIP Homeboy Uncle Robert 3/8/14