Well, I guess we didn’t have the time for blogging I thought we might! Instead we had many beautiful memories. But first, this post is some memories from further back in 2011. Since I spend so much time driving, here are a few thoughts from the drives. And a few pictures that illustrate them.  With some scenery from The Porch.

Warning: there are no pictures of Kinsley!

June 15. Here is an oak tree outside our house on our next door neighbor’s property. We love to sit with Kinsley on the porch and watch squirrels.  I grew up with an oak tree in our back yard, and multitudinous squirrels.  It mystifies me how many little things like this from my childhood our son is growing up with.  Growing up, I subconsciously thought I’d be somewhere where the trees and rodents looked different, maybe not have any of either.  My childhood oak tree suffered lightning and was put to rest, but the view from our porch now has the exact same kind of oak and squirrels!  Kinlsey loves the acorns, which are still on the sidewalks – which I remember loving also.

July 27. Below are a couple views out the front of the office in Choctaw, MS, taken by a friend ours, John Boyd.

First, if you look a bit left you see the Golden Moon Hotel and Casino.  The golf-ball looking thing is the moon, in case it stretches your imagination like mine!  I drive right by it coming in.  One morning when I arrived, the fog attempted to eat the golf-ball-moon.  My turn off the main road runs only a few feet away from the moon. I could just see it. It actually looked like a moon, majestic.

This is looking straight out the front door of the office.  As stressful as work can be, I’m so glad we have green space so close. Random: the word for a small woods like this in Choctaw can be ahayaka – similar to the Japanese word, which is hayaka.

July 31, above. I am constantly amazed at the variations in the clouds and atmosphere – as many variations as there are days.  I’m so glad John stopped to take this one (on a road near the Jackson airport, I think) – I need to stop a little more I think, I haven’t taken any photos, just stored up memories.

August 12. One of the things I’ve loved beginning learning from the Choctaw is ‘oski’ or river cane – what the Choctaw use to make baskets.  This is young oski, by their main mound, Nani Waiyah, taken at the celebration of Nani Waiyah Day – this year on August 12. It doesn’t look too intimidating here, but when it grows, it can grow into a thick cane break that could be impossible to get through without cutting it down – I know where most all the cane breaks are on the road between here and the office – these various cane breaks make an incredible design for the journey. I never tire of seeing it.

September 6.  Every time I drive to the office I drive by a lake.  Often I pass by just when the sun is coming up or setting.  Again, I have no photos, but I do have this photo of a bayou just outside New Orleans – taken by a friend, Joshua Lewis.  I had just picked him and his brother up from the Amtrak station there.  Greeted by beauty.

September 8.  Can you guess what the white is?  I couldn’t believe my eyes.   It startled me with this weird sensation that I didn’t know what season it was – ‘can’t be snow, not winter yet, it must be spring?!’  I pulled off on the shoulder and stopped the car.  No flowers – the trees were already bare for the winter, so early in September.   No snow, birds.  Birds.  Covering the trees. Making lots of noise.  All I had was my phone, but I had to take pictures anyway. Next assignment – discover what kind of birds they were.  They looked like egrets, but I’m not certain.

September 30. I started out the spring of 2011 nurturing plants a bit – I planted basil (we enjoyed lots of pesto). And put in a strawberry plant for the fun of seeing a “distressed plant” (read: 75% off) flourish with leaves (and some tiny fruit!)  But before I did anything with our flower seeds I started driving to the office so often I simply had no energy for plants.  Imagine my surprise and joy when I found these in the neglected backyard!!

October 12.  The second time I stopped the car for scenery this year.  My irrational thought when I first saw it, “That can’t be a wolf? It looks like a wolf!” Knowing at the same moment the thought was irrational.  I’ve seen a fox on my drive before – low to the ground, reddish brown.  This road kill didn’t look right for a fox, but it didn’t have the face of a dog.  But if it was a dog, I wanted to see better that dog that made me think wolf. So I turned around and pulled over to look at it before passing it the second time.  I’d never seen it before, and it still couldn’t be a dog.  There are no more wolves in these parts.  The only thing left was coyote, and outside sources – coworkers, internet – seem to confirm that assertion.  It was a foggy morning, sadly so for the coyote.

Road kill is one of the saddest parts of the scenery of my commute.  Usually it’s chickens.  Fallen off a chicken factory transport.  The rest of the animals at least escape the confined, suffocated half-life. Racoons. Possums. Armadillos. One day there were 3 of some strange thing I couldn’t identify – all near water, the Pearl River, which I cross twice. Muskrat maybe? I wished later I’d stopped and taken a picture.

This past Saturday when Cal, Kinsley and were driving back from a meeting at the office, there were pieces of a deer in the middle of the road, and cars on each side of the road facing their respective directions both with mutilated front ends. It’s one of the most dangerous parts of my drive too.  Traffic always is,  While I hope I manage to keep myself at a safe distance from my traffic, I love to see them.  I’m privileged to share traffic space with foxes, birds, muskrats, raccoons, possums, armadillos, deer, coyotes.

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