early bird

Sorry, I can't stop taking photos of food in the kitchen.
Or as the kids are saying these days, hashtag sorry not sorry.

The natural light is just so good in my kitchen around the time I'm preparing supper most evenings.
I laughed upon realizing this is because I eat supper so early.
You know I keep geriatric time.  
Hellooo, early bird specials!

This realization led my train of thought to the last time I really ate in an establishment that is favored by our senior citizen population or those who just love an early suppertime... 
And I'd have to say it was waaaaaaay back when I was in First grade under a set of really unusual circumstances.

Pull up a chair, won't you?

Guys, it is well-documented around this space that I tend to be a klutz.
Maybe I haven't mentioned so much the fact that I was also EXTREMELY accident-prone as a child.  I won't go into every incident, because frankly that would be endless.  But what you need to know about First grade is that I fell out of a tree whilst climbing it and broke my arm around the elbow joint.  This led to a night in the hospital, what seemed like months of living in a full arm cast, more X-rays, and concerning doctors' appointments that made them think I might have damaged the growth plate in my elbow. Further examination would be needed.

So here goes my mama, carting me off to the big city to have a CAT scan done on my arm in one of the hospitals there.  And for whatever reason I can't recall now, my Granny {my mama's mom} went with us.  This seems unusual to me due to the fact that she lived in North Carolina, so I can only imagine she and my Paw-paw were visiting us in Alabama at the time this appointment was set. 

{I'm so sorry... I know you are drowning in these details.  Here's a cookie for making it this far in the post.  Wake up!}

In 2015 you may not think anything of going to the hospital and getting a CAT scan.  Standard procedure, right?  Well thirty years ago {Gulp!}, this was far from standard.  In fact, my arm would be the first one on which this hospital had ever done a CAT scan.  Brains, sure... all day long.  Arms, not so much.

We made it there and the nurse came to get me from the waiting room and said "Tell Mommy we'll see her later," to which I responded:

So once again here goes my mama, walking back to the CAT scan room with me and being made to wear a heavy lead apron while she stood beside the machine during my scan.  Let's back up to the fact that this was the first time they'd performed one of these on an arm.  That meant they didn't exactly know what the best position was for me to be in the machine in order to get a clear read on my elbow.  So I was flipped around in many different configurations until the technicians were satisfied... and I had to lie there completely still {not easy for a squirmy 6 year-old} for what seemed like HOURS while they got the images.  All the while, my sweet Mama stood there with a lead apron on and sang songs with me and recited the alphabet and anything else she could do to keep my mind distracted.

The whole ordeal eventually ended, and it was very late in the afternoon by the time we regrouped with Granny in the waiting room and left the hospital.  We'd been there since the morning and had missed lunch, and thus were really hungry and tired.  It was decided we would get something to eat before heading back home, and I can now only assume Granny picked the location because we ended up at Morrison's Cafeteria.  If you've been around long enough, you know exactly why this may be humorous.  You can click on that link and see that even Wikipedia describes it as "particularly popular in Florida, with its high proportion of retirees."

Morrison's doesn't exist anymore, but if you spent any time in a mall during the 1980's then you probably remember seeing this dining establishment.  I found this photo online to illustrate:

In typical cafeteria style, you went down a line and picked what you wanted to eat like this:

I remember three things vividly about being in Morrison's that day:

1. I was tear-soaked and felt very drained after being in that big, scary machine for half the day.

2. There was faux greenery everywhere as part of the restaurant's d├ęcor. {Early signs of my attention to interior spaces, no?}

3. My mama let me have a hot fudge sundae as my meal.  Period.  I can only attribute this to the fact that she was probably 8,000 times more drained than my 6 year-old self. 

Now that I have almost reached the age she was then, I can see how stressful that day must have been for Mama.  She was trying to appease both my grandmother and me... and the day's end brought her to a Morrison's Cafeteria.  To eat buffet food.  In a mall.  BLESS HER.

Good news!  Turns out my elbow has been just fine for the last thirty years, save a huge knot where it was reset after the break.  Now I only contend with some arthritis in that joint every once in a while... just like a true early bird.


in bloom

I fully admit:  I tend to post a lot of photos of flowers and plants.
Honestly, it's because they are easy subjects.

But more than that, they are sweet reminders of God's thoughtfulness.
He created so many varieties, in such brilliant colors... all for us to enjoy.
I think that's awesome.
And I don't want to forget it.

So here are some more flowers, captured over this past weekend...

And this last one just sums up what a beautiful, sunny day it was...



David Letterman is saying goodbye to late night television this month.
It's the end of an era!

Did any of you catch the primetime special earlier this week highlighting his career?  It was really good, and I'd forgotten how funny and random of a human being he can be.  Admittedly, I haven't watched 'The Late Show' in quite a while.  {If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know my loyalties lie with Jimmy!}  I used to watch Dave a lot -- he was always my go-to in late night TV, but I just couldn't hang when he started doing "Will It Float?" every. single. night.  And I started going to bed at 8PM.  {That was all before Hulu existed, people.}

Seeing the primetime special brought back a ton of memories for me, and I realize what a fixture Dave was in the development of my pop culture appreciation.  I can actually remember one of the first times I watched his show with my mom... I may have been 12?  He had this older man on who was showcasing his collection of potato chips that he was convinced resembled different celebrities.  {No, I'm not making this up.}  You could tell Dave was kind of making fun of the guy and egging him on to really talk up this display like it was one of the great wonders of the world.  It bothered me at first, and I asked my mom why Dave was being mean-spirited?  She explained that Dave was just in on the joke, so to speak... and he let us all in on the joke with him.  And that's what he's always done -- be it through Stupid Human Tricks or giving a hard time to Biff or Rupert Jee at The Hello Deli.  These folks didn't care if they looked silly... they were just happy to be on the show with him!  {And, come on... if you're willing to go on TV with your curated potato chips that you think look like famous people, you gotta expect some jabs.}

From then, I was sold.  Top 10 Lists were my favorite by far.  I loved the segments with his mom who was hilarious in her own right and always seemed to get the last laugh on David {as she calls him}.  And Dave always had the coolest musical acts on his show... he still seems genuinely interested in plugging new artists, which is refreshing to me at his age.  This CD of some of the best performances on The Late Show from the 90's was in constant rotation in my car during college.  And I even had this t-shirt in high school that I wore to pledge my allegiance to Dave:

Yeah, guys.  I was that dorky.  And I wore that shirt A LOT.  But, hey... Dave also gave me some powerful insight in those days.  I remember vividly cutting out a quote he said in a magazine and pinning it on my bulletin board in high school -- I can't recall his exact words, but it was something to the effect of "Who you are in high school is not the be-all end-all, believe me.  Life goes on." I read that quite a few times heading out the door to school on some mornings... and Dave was definitely right on that one!

Bye-bye, Dave.
It was fun!