Tag Archives: news

Have I Changed?

4 Dec

My mom asked me a couple visits ago if I thought our move to Asheville had changed me.

It was hard for me to answer because I think I’m always changing all the time. I am nowhere near the person I was 10 years ago or probably even 10 minutes ago. Even though many times I feel like the same person I was at age six. These thoughts are both comforting to me and a source of anxiety at times.

But maybe what she was really asking was, “What do I feel Asheville has changed in me so far?” This is a question which I had no good answer to give her when she asked, but I’ve been thinking about it every day since then.

I think the best way to put it is, retreating to the mountains has made me retreat from the rest of the world as well. It’s amazing to me that after almost 33 years in one city, four months in another one makes me see Atlanta in a whole new light. While it is a pretty Southern town, it is also a busy, bustling city and part of the rat race. I think a country girl has always been inside me waiting to be let out. I am drawn to the Laura Ingalls Wilder/American Girl Doll (when they were about history)/Janette Oke types of stories, and now I’m trying to live a little bit more like that. I dream of heading more towards the ideas the Amish have, where mechanical technology is preferable to electrical. A deep rooting into the earth, a connectedness.

While my fondest memories of my childhood were running wild throughout our neighborhood with my friends, I didn’t have the stars. The city is so absorbing that even in the suburbs it is hard to see what’s going on in the universe. Here, I look up at the sky all the time and am falling in love with everything astronomy has to offer. Star myths of the past and space explorations of the future…

I’ve definitely been unhappy at times during this transition. I desperately miss my people in Atlanta. We had developed a really solid home base in Marietta the year that we were there in terms of homeschool and the YMCA and of course the friendships that we garnered throughout our years in ATL. Some of the things I’ve tried to replicate here so far have only disappointed me. But I’m not giving up. I gave myself a year to feel at home and I’m not even halfway there.

I worry about the boys not growing up in a neighborhood, especially since we homeschool, and if I can provide all that they need to have satisfying childhoods. But growing up in the country has its perks too, and I’m so excited for all the plans I have for our land. We planted some rose bushes yesterday, and it filled me with happiness to see our family work together to add beauty to the incredible nature that surrounds us here.

One step at a time!

IMG_20171203_181728_824A cute little bear we found in our front yard.

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A note on the news… and kudzu bugs.

18 Feb

A couple weeks ago I succumbed to a door-to-door salesman. Unfortunately it wasn’t a Girl Scout selling delicious cookies but was actually a kid trying to earn some scholarship money for college. Commendable. He had sold 300+ newspaper subscriptions so far and his goal was 500. I’m not sure I’d like to even go up to 300 houses and knock on the door let alone try to sell that many people something. I hope he was figuring out some good sales techniques. I imagine he had his work cut out for him selling newspapers. They can barely give those away these days. The AJC really should be offering more money to the poor guy. At least I already wanted what he was offering.

He was selling 3 months worth of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and an accompanying coupon booklet for stuff around Atlanta. The coupon book had several Braves tickets buy one get one free (up to $35 each) so I figured that alone was worth it. And I had been thinking how it would be nice to have a paper delivered to our house. It would only be the Thursday and Sunday paper, which is better because a daily paper would mean lots and lots of trash and not much reading.

There are two differences between reading the news in the paper and scrolling through my phone’s news apps.

One: my phone doesn’t make my fingers dirty with ink. I need a Downton Abbey footman to iron the paper for me before I put my delicate hands on it. But it does give me a sense of nostalgia for my childhood when I would spend summers filling out the crossword puzzles every day and looking at the headlines in bold to see what was going on in the world. You could leave the news on the kitchen counter and go about your day, rather than have the world’s news send instant pings to your phone so you’re never ignorant of any catastrophe for long.

Second: the AJC is clearly not as well funded as the other news sources (even though I’m sure it costs more to make and distribute). One section’s front page said “Payphones on the decline” as if we, as a society, forgot to notice that it’s actually hard to find a payphone anymore. And that maybe this change happened ten years ago and not this week.

But I did really like the article I read on Kudzu bugs. Kudzu bugs are the bane of my existence. They are ugly little bugs that make you think you’re looking at a lady bug until you look closer and see no spots just brown. They’re easily squished (on accident or not) and emit this sickly sweet smell that stains your fingers and whatever else touched the bug. I will accidentally vacuum them up in the house and pop that smell is in the air. They are attracted to white, so don’t go outside in a white t-shirt during mating season or god forbid have white washed porch railings — oops. They eat kudzu and other ivies like soy (currently they’re destroying the state’s crops, yay). The little monsters showed up here unknown four years ago and apparently had hopped an international flight from Japan to Hartsfield Jackson. Wanted to take in a bit of new scenery?

kudzu-bug
They look so harmless, don’t they? Apparently they procreate like crazy.

KudzuBugDistributionSoutheast24June2011
Look at that epidemic distribution (this was just 2009-2011). Next think you know the AJC’s last article will be about the kudzu bug apocalypse. Except no one will be around to read it. Was that my phone chiming in the other room? I’ll go check.