Wednesday, August 31, 2011


   what is it about the sea that fascinates?  isn't it the same sand, the same sounds, the same salt air and water that have been around for thousands of years?  when people go to the sea they do the same thing that every body else does at the sea. they walk on the shore, splash in the waves, stand in one place as the tide comes in and feel the sand wash away from beneath their feet. they swim out and let the water carry them up and down. they get salt water in their ears and nose and mouth and sand everywhere else. it's nothing new, and yet, it draws.  over and over people visit it and every time i do i am struck with its grandeur and ability to captivate.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

i am glad i'm alive. i am glad i am chosen. there are so many beautiful things in life and in mine, i feel i've been given a double portion. rarely have i ever felt alone. my family, my church, the friends i've been given have surrounded me my whole life and though there have been moments when i've felt that loneliness, i have known that underneath are arms. everlasting arms. so much to love and so much to be thankful for, i cannot imagine why God loves me so much.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

last day and home.

so slightly a lot delayed.  let's just say...i was detained.  but to sum it up,  yep. we had a blast. and then we went home and daddy had the kitchen clean, dishes washed, supper on and he made dump cake.  amen. so there we go, blog. your first road trip.

Friday, August 12, 2011


day six: i zone out easily. the bad thing about that when you're in a house with lots of other people who have to go the same place you do that night and who all need to take a shower before then, is that when you easily lose track of time you may lose as well any chance of a shower...  when mercy and i realized it was time to get ready there was a long line for the downstairs' shower and we only had 30 minutes to get ready [hey, for a girl that's a blink].  the good thing about houses, though, is that they generally have a spigot. we made good use of it.  the event we were getting ready for, by the way, was deborah's graduation from radiology school.  she finished strong from an intense program, making 2nd highest grade in her class - woohoo!

house and town

day five:
   tyler is a charming place.  i wanted to go for a long walk. but they wouldn't stop the car.

i'd just like to say that joseph is a prison guard and goes to work every day at 6.00, but he stayed up with me and watched Star Wars Episode One with me.  yes. he's a hero. not only did he stay up, but he answered all my questions, and explained the reasons why people were or weren't doing something and why the 'little planet naboo' was actually huge.  it was my first time seeing it, and i am now able to check it off my list. only two more star wars episodes to go before i am able to check it off the list for things to watch this summer. thanks, joe.  but then, after we finished that, the girls decided they wanted to watch one about Hawaii (abe! that's fo you!) so we did, but mercy was perplexed the whole time because it wasn't even set in hawaii the main portion of the movie and in the end the guy didn't get the girl, plus all the good people died, though they had some pretty sweet hawaiian jigs.  still, we were mad at Clive for leaving the poor princess on the beach.  she had to throw away all her shells and that was tragic.  we went to bed and slept as fitfully as possible for a pack of girls who have just witnessed such pitiful injustice over a screen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

la vida buena

  Day three:  My uncle is 1.5 spaniard, as are the rest of his siblings.  Not only is he dark with thick brows, black hair, and calves that looked like a stone cutter sculpted them, but he also inherited the peculiar pep and gusto of that culture.  (can one describe it as pep and gusto???)  Mama missed out on the olive complexion, but she got all the spirit a body could wish for.  (My mama knows how to make a party out of anything and she can do anything.  I promise.  I saw her once drive a stick shift while having a phone conference with a client, and drinking a sonic drink, then also answering some questions for me.) You can imagine then what it is like when we all get together.  A while back, Mama and Anne and I watched "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and throughout the whole thing we would point out different things 'yep. we'd totally do that.'  By the time we finished that movie, we felt so bonded to them we felt like we'd been at a family reunion.  Loud, dramatic, animated, you can't beat it. With supper at nine, shouts of laughter and talks that go on long into the night, the family being together is not merely a nice event, but a reason to celebrate.  The Machiavellos 'kill the fatted calf' as it were and treat everyone like kings. I don't suppose anyone in that situation could help but feel contented and rich,  knowing we've been incredibly blessed.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Day 2: 'Oh I get it,' Dawn said. 'Louisiana is one of those places like Alabama. It's right in between where you need to go and takes forever to get through. Little Beka says she wishes an earth quake would absorb Louisiana. Everything would be simpler that way. I mean, it's not even pretty.' That seems to be the prevailing sentiment among the people I've talked to about Louisiana. What is it with that state and Alabama? But despite Dawn's initial distaste of the place, we discovered some interesting and beautiful things in Louisiana. It was flat and dry and all the corn was dead. We drove past a field of golden something and far across the field we saw a train chugging the same direction as we and decided that the blue of the sky, the rust and black of the train against the gold somethings was one very pretty sight in the long state.
The disadvantage of being a photographer who is driving is that you have this *almost irresistible urge to whip out your camera and get just a few - because this place is really cool and the way the light is bouncing off that thing and we're going seventy miles an hour and there's only a little window of time to get it - but.
You're driving. So you can't. Handily, though, I happen to have a few extra pairs of hands and one of them was in the Co-pilot seat. All the pictures you see of the city and bridge were taken by Moriah Dawn, and if I do say so myself, she did a fine job.

With all of Louisiana's trains, fields, cities with murals on the walls of buildings and mentions of Bayous by far the most memorable sight in that state was at a McDonald's. We had stopped and were filing back towards that blessed sign with the letters 'WOMEN' in bold when, as I passed a line of booths, I saw two pairs of feet hanging off the side of the seats, longways. Slowing down, I passed that booth deliberately. Inside, I found a couple who forever changed my views of a good time at McDonald's. Pillow and book in hand, the woman stretched out comfortably while the man did the same with his nook. 'This' I thought to myself, 'Is how every person should enjoy a date to McDonald's.'
When we finally got to the Mach house, Uncle Dave waved from the deck and yelled to us that he had the remnant of the water from Texas in his pool. And the rest the day was wrapped fantastically day with swimming, running [I find I can only run half of what I do in Ga as it's 100+degrees here, but Jacob told stories to me about his crazy football coach, so we managed to make it further than expected]. We had hand churned homemade ice cream and watched 'Signs', during which I clung to poor Joseph who bore it like a saint, but I suspect came out with a few bruises. What I couldn't understand about that movie is why two grown men with little kids who they were supposed to be protecting did nothing in self defense! I mean, don't stand there waiting for the things to beat down your door - go get a kitchen knife or something because the ONLY thing they had in their hands were the kids, and I don't think you're supposed to use a kid as a weapon of self defense. I was glad when that movie was over, and I never plan to see it again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

to there, one.

Poor forsaken blog. I haven't looked at you for a long time, but it's not that I don't love you. I do. It's just life. Maybe you'll understand when you get older. But for now, I'm going to tell you about road trips. Do you like road trips? Here's the goal. Make an entry every day and post a few pictures, but not edit the pics.... I know, but I'm going to try. So here goes. Your first-ever blogged road trip.

First day: Vicksburg - where Liz keeps vases of gerber daisies and gluten free muffins. She lives in an apartment where, if you look out the side window, you could imagine yourself in some forest cottage. There's a giant fig tree growing in the neighbor's yard and if you were to open the kitchen window you could easily snag a few. Hattie has an amazing straight fro and raises a quizzical brow but grins when her daddy comes home. Liz hangs clothes from a line in her kitchen, her towels smell like lavender. She says 'I'm all about dead sea lotions now,' and tells stories of neighbors who are subtle enough to question and strange enough to endear. This whole morning has felt like a sea morning. Early grey, wind and patches of white sun coming through green. Vicksburg has a lot of tree tunnels, and the most hobbit-like church I've ever been to.

Moriah kept me awake last night while driving. She said 'I feel it's my duty, Gabe. And also, it's not my nature to fall asleep on trips. Do you want to know my life goals? Finish reading through the Bible, go to Dreamland, oh - and I've always wanted to do this: go hot air ballooning.'