Ode to Fall

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Albert Camus

 

Fall is my favorite “bestest” season.  Spring comes in at a close second when nature renews herself and comes “out of the closet” from winter’s chilly embrace.

Love the changing of the leaves, Halloween right around the corner with goblins and witches, ghosts and ghouls.

Growing up in the country, the fields and little hills of Southern Indiana, I feel blessed that my childhood was a-washed in nature’s splendid colors.

 

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I feel bad for those living in cities where sadly it seems (unless you have a well-kept park) the only sense of colorful style comes from clothing shops and television monitors.  Come out here to the Midwest or head upstate to Maine or down South to Tennessee..immerse yourself in all of God’s wondrous creation.

 

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“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cezanne

 

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Spring has sprung and I don’t like it…

Well….I love the blooming flowers and greenery.  But these storms, Jesus Christ. Mother Nature can keep ’em!!  In the past 3 years I’ve had two come knocking on my door. One landed less than 5 miles away and the other not much further. And this was just in the past couple of years.

I have become a hysterical blubbering mess. Maybe it’s Midwest Tornado PTSD. Who the heck knows? But when the thunder, lightening and hail hit you may find me cowering under the covers in a corner somewhere.

Mind you, I grew up in southern Indiana. I’ve experienced my fair share of tornado activity.  I’ve lived through tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, and typhoons. I think I can honestly say I’ve seen it all….and then some.

There are people who prescribe to the global warming effect, others to El Nino and El Nina.  There’s no doubt we are having extreme weather.  Now, it could very well be bad weather like this has always been here, just our reporting techniques and social media has it in the forefront. Either way I don’t care. What I do care about is surviving another Midwestern Spring.

 

 

Severe Weather(source:  accuweather.com)

 

 

Country roads…take me home

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I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin’ down the road I get the feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

Heading out to the country fills me with indescribable feelings of contentment and peace.  I recall many times spent on my bike winding through many a tree-lined road, my young legs pedaling ever faster as I took in some breathtaking scenery. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by life events my mind drifts back to idyllic times of endless contentment which primarily took place in the backwoods of Indiana.

My retirement is more than a decade plus away….I wish I could leave the rat race behind and with my dear husband head out to our dream home and simply allow the world to pass us by but that’s not to be…not yet——————so dream on I will…………………………

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
Leo Tolstoy, Family Happiness

From boots to heels

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis understands my backwoods passion.   I grew up in the good ol’ Midwest.  I had a Southern twang due to my proximity to Kentucky.  Everyone I knew had it. However, I felt a little quirky and got rid of it. Now and again when I am around my “homies” I regress back to that southern comfort style.

 

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I was always more comfortable around guys.  The military pretty much cinched it.  All the hard core training, getting dirty, weapons qual…none of that really fazed me.  I rather enjoyed it.  I have to say am far more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt than wearing a DKNY dress with two inch stiletto heels. Why…I don’t know. I’ve always been that way.  Never quite had the same comfort my beautiful model sister had for fashion though I do enjoy dreaming about it.

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I confess….I’m a country gal at heart.  Always have been. Don’t get me wrong I  the big city but my heart belongs among the gentle rustling of the trees, getting lost on a backwoods country road….taking deep breaths of freshly cut hay…..forgetting about the troubles of my yes…rather hectic life.

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I’ll never apologize for how or who I am.  I just know that when it comes to comfort…give me a good man and a nice broken in pair of jeans any day.

It’s about to be a winter weatherland….

img-portfolio-I270Our 1st snowstorm is about to hit and I don’t trust our local weathermen and women too much because they’ve got things wrong in the past. Albeit, weather, especially Midwestern weather can be quite scary and temperamental.  With that being said, you would honestly think St. Louis drivers would know how to maneuver in such challenging conditions….I think not!

Ever since moving here from Indiana I’ve noticed the blatant disregard towards other fellow drivers on the highway systems here.  There are daily accidents and at least 1 fatality (if not more) on our highways.  Coupled with our murder rate…it’s a dangerous town to live in.

Am praying that here in the Midwest things get better and people practice good common sense behind the wheel but from past experiences….I think not.

Take a look at the following jibes against my fellow St. Louisans to get a good laugh…(source):

If you’ve ever lived in St. Louis, you’ll enjoy this. If you’ve never been to St. Louis, consider this your “Visitor’s Guide.”

1. There are 75 “official neighborhoods” in the City of St. Louis. St. Louisans commonly give directions based on these neighborhoods. No neighborhood is on any map not from the tourist board, the AAA or even MapQuest.

2. There are 54 school districts on the Missouri side alone, each of which has its own school bus system and scheduled times to block traffic.

3. There are 91 official municipalities in St. Louis County. Each Municipality has its own rules, regulations, and police department.

4. Each municipality has its own snow removal contracts. It’s not uncommon to drive down a road in winter and have one block plowed, the next block salted, the next block piled with snow and the next block partially cleared by residents trying desperately to get out of their own driveway.

5. Snow plowing is never a problem in the City of St. Louis because they plow nothing. If the forecast calls for snow, they just close everything, except on “The Hill” (see #1 above) where each homeowner goes out to the street and shovels out one car-sized rectangle and then stands guard over it.

6. Any car parked longer than 4 hours in the city is considered a parts store.

7. The City of Ballwin actually proposed that drivers use connecting strip mall parking lots to get from place to place instead of driving on Manchester Road to reduce traffic.

8. Laclede Station Road mysteriously changes names as you cross intersections, as do McCausland, Lindbergh, Watson, Reavis Barracks, Fee Fee Road, McKnight, Airport Road, Midland, Olive and Clarkson. Gravois Road, Spoede, and Chouteau can only be pronounced by a native.

9. Many St. Louisans from South County have never been to North County, and visa versa. West Countians have everything delivered.

10. No native St. Louisan knows that Lindbergh Blvd. runs from South County to North County! And, if you tell them, they will not believe you.

11. Lindbergh Blvd. belongs to every neighborhood except Kirkwood, who had the nerve to change its name to “Kirkwood Road.”

12. Two interchanges exit Highway 40 onto Clayton Road and two more onto Big Bend.

13. If you need directions to O’Fallon, you must specify Illinois or Missouri. This is also true for Troy, Maryville, St. Charles, Springfield, Columbia, etc., etc.

14. The Page Avenue extension and airport expansion projects took over twenty years to get approved and St. Louisans lost track of how many political figures claimed them as their own ideas.

15. St. Louisans were aghast when the federal government required them to redo the highway signs to indicate that the Federal highways went to cities in other states instead of local municipalities.

16. Drivers now make their own license plates rather than go through the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles. You can also purchase tags behind most QuiK Shops. They’re cheaper, the clerks nicer, and the service faster.

17. Lambert Field and St. Louis International Airport are the same place. The East Terminal, however, is a different place.

18. Highway 270 goes all four directions: North and South in West County, East and West in South County, and East and West in North County. Confused? So is everyone else!

19. The outer belt is Highway 270 which turns into Highway 255 in South County. The inner belt is Highway 170. Highway 370 is an outer-outer belt. Highway 40 is the same as Interstate 64 (but only through the middle part of St. Louis).

20. The morning rush hour is from 6-10 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3-7 PM. The Friday rush hour starts Thursday morning. Never cross a bridge during rush hour without a sack lunch and a port-a-potty.

21. Yield signs are merely for decoration. No native St. Louisan grasps the concept.

22. If someone uses a turn signal, it’s probably a factory defect. Or else it’s been on for the past 17 miles.

23. Construction on Highways 40, 64, 70, 255, 270, 44, 55 and 170 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment.

24. All blue-haired old ladies in Cadillacs, driving on Olive west of 270, have the right of way.

25. Most St. Louisans don’t know that you can enter Illinois without a passport.

26. If it snows or rains, stay home.

 

MIDWESTERN WEATHER

….is nothing to scoff at. Yesterday we in the St. Louis area experienced strong straight-line winds. 70mph gusts in some areas.  We lucked out this time.  Earlier this year a tornado touched down close to my home and have experienced 3 such instances in the span of 5 years.

My heart goes out to the tornado victims in Illinois and especially Indiana, my home state.  You can never quite fully prepare for such devastation.  I don’t know if it’s just me but it appears storms all across the globe are getting fiercer.  Numerous tornadoes and the typhoon overseas have really taken my breath away.

Unfortunately, I also heard on the news that looting went on in Illinois right after the destruction. Now how in the hell can people try and gain illicit profit from such misfortune stupefies me.  I am shocked over the callousness of such individuals.  How dare they steal from their neighbors during such time of agonizing need?  Not only am I shocked but appalled there are individuals like that with absolutely no scrape of humanity left in them.

Here’s a novel idea…..Instead of stealing how about lending a helping hand? Come together and try to bring some semblance of normalcy to your fellow American.

I pray that these types of storms will disappate but unfortunately I think they are simply going to get worse as the years pass.  😦

 

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DEER SEASON WIDOW

Being newly married it can be difficult accepting separations. Well, we were separated for a little bit during deployment and now again during hunting season.

For some it’s a hobby, for others it’s a lifestyle.  I grew up in Indiana so am a little familiar with the lifestyle. I feel hunting is appropriate to bring down deer numbers so the ones that are left, aren’t competing for the scraps left during winter season.  I think it’s appropriate if you come from a struggling family and the meat is used to supplement what you already have (or don’t have)…whatever the case may be.

Of course there will be individuals who think hunting is cruel…it can be if you aren’t a good shot and the animal is left to suffer. However, if you’re a good shot then I don’t see an issue.

The most difficult part is when your husband is away for days on end.

 

I don’t participate in the sport but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to go out with him once in a while because well, it’s something he likes.

We all need to venture out of our comfort zone…(husbands included) to try something different.

Country vs. City living

I was having a conversation with my significant other about said topic and I have come to the conclusion am spoiled and wish for the best of both worlds.

A country girl in Paris, moonlight on the Seine
Memories of Tennessee, Nashville in the rain
Its such a contradiction, a heart thats filled with pain
A country girl in Paris, dreamin Nashville in the rain

I desire the safety of the country yet the convinience and relative ease of city comforts (such as taxis, buses) stores….in the winter time it can really bite when you have to make a trip into town so it’s best to stock up on supplies unless you have a nice 4×4 to get you around.

With my country roots a part of me yearns to return to my past…(growing older wiser can do this to you)….I simply miss it.

One thing I cannot stand though about city living is the noise and oh yeah..smell and everyone seems to be so impersonal. Yesterday I went on a bike ride (read Harley) on the back of my S.O. and have to tell you it’s one of the best feelings of the world with the wind whipping around me, watching the sun go down and smelling the fresh cut grass of homes speeding pass.

If I had to choose which, I would settle on the country only because I enjoy (crave) nature’s beauty and I  desire safety— and am quite the private person (despite this blog)…and if I get a “hankering” for bright lights I can always hop into my car and check out the night life.

I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin’ down the road I get the feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

Spring is almost here!

I am not much for winters (except for enjoying the ocassional hot chocolate and cable knit sweaters) but Spring is definately my time of the year because color returns to Nature. I can venture outdoors and enjoy such places as Creve Coeur Lake and Forest Park

The sensation of life renewing itself hangs in the air. Birds singing, flowers blooming…

I bought my dog last year to help me with my shyness in venturing out to the parks on the days my daughter does not want to accompany me.  Having Wendy as my companion is wonderful.  I can go on these walks/runs and actually enjoy them because I have my companion and she don’t ask me to “slow down” or “hurry up!”  Dogs are faithful friends simply content to be by your side, enjoying the outdoors with you.

I guess without Winter one cannot truly appreciate the colors of Spring.

The massive clean up

I have been catching up on the oil spill at the Gulf and how thousands of gallons are being dumped….what an environmental disaster.  BP am sure are at their wit’s end trying to come up with a solution…but something has to be done soon or this oil spill could see its way towards Florida and the East Coast. See CNN Article

To be honest, I feel that off shore drilling is far too risky.  Where were the precautionary measures for the oil rig?  Shouldn’t there have been a contingency plan of “what if?”

Such irresponsibility….if we can spend billions of dollars on these wars and coming up with the latest technology on killing then money from BP needs to be used (and other oil companies which are saturated with $$$) to ensure another environmental disaster like this never happens.  What gets me is that HOW could these companies NOT foresee such a disaster?  HOW????

UPDATE:  MEPS still has to review the potential waiver. They are behind on reviews. Ay!