An Old Friend From The Shelf

The other day, wanting to be outside and sit in the beautiful sunshine of a perfect day here in Nashville, I was  glancing thru my shelves of books, when I noticed an old friend. I pulled Jimmy Buffetts “Tales From Margaritaville”. According to my Mothers inscription, my parents gave it to me for Christmas, 1989. This was 5 months after my oldest son, Paden was born. I was living in Atlanta at the time and the book became a wonderful refuge for me as the weather was cold and I was missing the beach and all that goes with it ! I was missing slivers of an old life.

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Do you have any books like that? Ones that you pick and read for a little bit? Just to kind of check in or maybe get a little fix. I have tended to visit that book in the cooler months and when I’ve been living away from the coast. It doesn’t have to be a deep read, sometimes it’s better not to be. For me it’s just reconnecting to things I miss. The longer it goes on, the more it becomes reconnecting even to the “memory” of all those years of re reading those passages.

So I sat in the yard in the late afternoon sun with old friends, the coast running thru my memories and the autumn Tennessee sun on my face. I didn’t need a long time. Just a bit would do. Later that evening we sat down to a wonderful Gulf Coast supper of Shrimp, Grits and Scallops. Not  a bad way to end the day, and create another layer of memories with the folks of Margaritaville.

I hope you have something, a book, music, something that you dust off every so often, that takes you somewhere special.

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To Do Or Not To Do

Pardon me while I crack the door a little to shine a light on a part of life that I struggle with from time to time. Doing. Being motivated to do isn’t always easy for me. Sometmes it’s downright hard. I can drift into a funk and not know I’m headed there. Once I am there, I sure know it and it’s hard to dig out of. It’s not like a bad mood, it’s more like moving in slow motion.

It’s not that I can’t think of things to do. There’s always plenty of household chores to do (yuk). My truck always needs a bath (whatever). I could exercise (right). I think it’s sometimes attached to the weather and that ties to my creativity or in these cases the lack of. I could write a song, work on some dreamcatchers, read, or a host of other things that are good for my soul.

When I woke up this morning, it was 48 degrees. That’s just too damn cold for Nashville in October ! So I had the day off, home alone, and it was cold ! I did manage to pull off a few things, some accomplishments, but I feel like I blew the day. As I get older, I have that sense of mortality, and I hear too many stories that remind me that I’m not promised anything, much less another day. I guess it’s that tension between not wanting to waste a day and being comfortable just hanging out.

Maybe I need a more hectic life to make me appreciate the quietness of a day doing nothing. I don’t really believe that and it’s just not my way of living. I want to make the moments count more. Do you ever have those days? Do you sense mortality and the understanding that time is always ticking?

By tomorrow it will be 70 and sunny here. I plan to be on the water in some fashion. I hope to be more aware and I hope to grasp the thought that being busy isn’t always productive. Sometimes folks are just running in circles. I can’t base my journey on anyone else’s. I have my own walk here and must be busy about finding and holding onto the balance.

I hope you have a good day, more moments where you are really connected to the moment, and that you hope the same for me.

Gutsy Teens

This comment was a big surprise to me. I read that more people have been on the moon, than have sailed around the world unassisted. Now, there is alot of space in that sentence for manipulation, but in essence what it says to me is that very few people have sailed by themselves around the world. Last year Zac Sunderland, http://www.zacsunderland.com, left California on a 36ft sailboat and made that journey.

This past week, Jessica Watson, http://www.jessicawatson.com set out from Australia to do the same thing. Amazing yes, but what makes it even more amazing to me, is that they are both teenagers! I would have been light years away from something like that, and probably still am.

I think they will find out more about themselves on this journey than many of us find about ourselves in a lifetime. You can follow Jessicas daily blog to see how she is doing. Zacs blog is also on his site and is really good. I really admire these kids in their search. They are not trying to conquer the seas, yet learning as sailors do, to take and use what is given, to find harmony. Good Luck Jessica.

The Tale Of Ace Blevins

Ace Blevins was born as the song “Biloxi” says, “down around Biloxi”. Ace was a Gulf Coast cracker, amongst shrimpers, hippies, preachers, tourists, in a very colorful place. As a child, Ace knew there was something bigger, something that made him feel wonderfully insignificant and at the same time as important as anything on earth. Within that thought, he felt connected and a sense of peace that was hard to explain. As Ace grew older all of that would be challenged.

The Pentecostal fever that was riding high on the Gulf Coast in the late 60’s, waging war on “them there hippies, and all their love and acceptance”, was a hellacious thing on young Ace. He just couldn’t quite wrap his young mind around the “us” and ” them” thing. It seemed to him and although he never said a word for many years, that the Christ he was reading about was not the same Christ he heard about from the pulpit at the “The First Come First Saved” Holiness Church on Rue Magnolia. Aces Grandmother, Gernie, was the churches’s piano player, and had the ear of God at all times, and you didn’t even have to ask her. She was telling Ace what God liked  and more importantly what God disliked at every turn of his life. Her belief system worked kind of like when our Mommas used to tell us to always wear clean underwear in case we were in an accident, that folks would think good of us. Well Gernies belief was that you had to get saved constantly in case  you met death unexpectedly. That was a lot of pressure on young Ace, but the preachers weren’t the only influences in his life.

Around the time that Ace turned 15 he kinda made a shift, unconsciously, but a shift anyway, and threw his lot in with “them hippies”. He thought they had it all figured out, but even if they didn’t they seemed like they were having a hell of a lot more fun ! Well, you should have heard the fussin’ and the hollerin’ around ole Aces house when all of that came about. The prayer chain at “First Come First Saved” was red hot and going all thru the night. Ace was dragged to every tent revival from Lake Charles to Pensacola, where the “us” and “them” was alive and kickin’. “Be in the world, but not of the world” he heard over and over again, but Ace saw it as if anyone out of the church loop had the cuties, so don’t touch ’em !! As Aces hair grew and the fringe on his suede vest blew in the wind, he hit the road running. Running to or from was not the question. He was escaping, clearin’ out of Dodge! The towns and the experiences were a blur….New York, San Francisco, Miami, he wandered everywhere that his thumb would take him. In Isla Mujeres Mexico,  Ace fell in love and got his heart shattered so fast, he still isn’t sure she wasn’t an apparition. Through Aces life tho, his spirit gnawed at him. He needed meaning, and more he needed to be connected to some basic truths about life. Ace was a searcher, sure enough. Some folks thought Ace was a lost soul. Ace just knew he hadn’t found his harbor yet.

Ace worked odd jobs, kitchen work, ranch hand, but his favorite was something he’d seen all of his life. Ace was living in Corpus Christi and went to work on a Shrimp boat, named “Stand Up Seven”, after the Captains favorite band, the Mysticqueros, a bunch of run n guns from Austin. The “Stand Up Seven” captain was Clyde Boudreaux, who had fled his hometown of Timbalier Bay when he was 15 after a little misunderstanding with the local constable. Something about a missing tug boat and the constables daughter. It’s all a bit foggy still, but thing one thing Clyde knew was that he and the law didn’t see things the same way. Clyde was a seasoned man by the time he crossed paths with Ace, and he had learned a few things out on the water. Through time and example, Clydes favorite way of “preaching”, he showed Ace about God. Somewhere in those years shrimping in the Gulf with Clyde, Ace learned not to divide, but to bring together. He learned to love not hate, to be slow to talk and quick to listen. Ace found God in the waves, the Gulls, the Shrimp, the laughter. He found God in his mistakes and his successes. Always God, always there. He found room in his heart for everyone, and prayed they would do the same for him.

One day not too long ago, Aces Shrimper “Open Arms” was found aground just off of Mexico Beach Florida. Ace had suffered a heart attack.  That day, the world went on about its business and Ace was wonderfully insignificant and the most important thing ever, all at the same time. Aces ashes where scattered in the Gulf waters, “down around Biloxi”, not far from the “First Come First Saved” church on Rue Magnolia.The Gulf was calm, the sunset was especially spectacular, and God was everywhere.

Feeling Like Summer

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Summer is more than a season for me. It’s a state of mind, It’s a pace of life. It’s a way of being. I think my life has always led me in the perpetual state of summer !

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Summer is carefree, relaxed, and worry free. It’s sun tans and good waves, cold beer and sunsets.  It’s fine tuning the art of ditching responsibilities  that can be ditched without severe repercussions.

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Any why not? Really, what is the rush? To go where, to accomplish what? I’m all for productivity, but working yourself to the bone all day, all year, to find your worth. Well good for ya if that’s your path. I’d rather live simply, I guess, and try to be in the moment as it happens. As the truly good stuff is unfolding. When I’m with my children, I try my best to be in that moment. To watch them, soak them up. They are among the greatest of blessings.

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I don’t have any answers for mankind. I’m doing my best to ask the real questions that will help navigate my life to a place of relative happiness and connectedness. Trying to pause long enough to notice what I had spent my younger years blowing by.

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Before you click off this page relegating yourself to what you may already you think of me, hold on, just for a second. I know we have to work and I’ve been around long enough to know there’s a great deal of satisfaction in work. Lifes work. Something good for the soul, not just the pocketbook. I’m in for all of that good stuff. I guess maybe what I’m talking about is balance,. That gentle point of where all seems good. Hawaiians would call it Aloha. Navajos would say it’s Hozho. Harmony and balance in life.

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So if you don’t dig summer, give her a shot. She is warm and cozy, and will let your troubles slide right off her back into a wonderfully warm breeze that will remind you of what you really need to be happy.glenn and k 2

Ahhhh Water

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When I was a kid and was maybe home from school sick, laying around feeling crappy, my Mother always told me to take a shower. She promised me that if I showered I would feel better. That there was just something about water! Cleansing, healing, rejuvenating !! As usual my Mother was right. I’d guess that most kids loved playing in the water. My first swimming lessons were at Bayview park in Pensacola, and thru the years I have skied and been canoeing in those waters.

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Here are a few little facts about our old friend, Mr. Water.

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*”There is the same amount of water on earth now as when the earth was formed”. I’m not sure who was doing that measuring, but I guess it’s true.

*”Americans use 5 times the amount of water that Europeans do”

*”Ground water can take a lifetime to traverse one mile”.

*Human brains are 75% water. 75% of a chicken is water! Wonder how much water is in a tortilla?

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The love of water is mentioned in many of our favorite songs. Remember “Singing In The Rain”, “Up On Cripple Creek, “Cool Water”, “Splish Splash”, one of my favorites is  Jackson Browne’s “Rock Me On The Water”, and the first 45 I ever bought was B.J. Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.

It takes me back to Pensacola Beach every time I hear Jimmy Buffett sing “Mother mother ocean, I have heard you call…wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall….you have seen it all” from Pirate Looks at 40.

Here’s one for the books…The Oak Ridge Boys…”Baptism Of Jesse Taylor

So what is it? Why this love for water? Maybe it’s the pureness of its beauty, and possibly mixed with its very real danger. I will always be a child of the water. In my head and one day maybe even in my body, like a Jimmy Buffett song, I will sail away to some island to live out my days.

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What are your thoughts on water? I’d love to hear. In the meantime, “Mother, mother ocean, I hear you calling”……