Rock. Gardening. Rock. On.

What once was a rocky knob in the landscape, too hilly for farming, a higher point on the landscape traversed by deer and other animals, (some of them hunted by thousands of years of our human presence), full of fossilised seabed, converted to suburban estate tract, with a small backyard patch of mowable grass, became an herb garden….

…then a flower garden…

…and slowly but surely returns to its forest roots…

The frogs remain the same…from 2004…

…to today!

Can we tell you with these images how happy we’ve been, living the childhood dream of a full-length adult life centred on a cottage in the woods near a town full on intelligentsia?

Would you understand we’ve too often let others temporarily convince us that two people quietly living their lives for each other and no one else can’t possibly be true happiness?

On this, St. Patrick’s Day, whilst we wear a Munster rugby shirt, drink Earl Gray tea and burn a bit of peat turf, our wife at a friend’s house handcrafting note cards, we recall this day 12 years ago when we and our spouse stood on O’Connell’s Bridge in Dublin with work colleagues, snow falling, and watched the Americanised version of the Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We drank quite a bit in those days.

We don’t consume fermented beverages in the quantities we used to, giving our set of states of energy the opportunity to live and die without the poisonous effect of alcohol pickling.

In our mid-50s, we’ve survived our midlife crisis years that extended from age 39 (when we jumped out of an airplane) to age 55 (when we bought a motorcycle).

Now we settle down, childless, free of the pursuit of a reproductive mate that included seven years of dancing, drinking and sleepless nights.

We return to our core set of beliefs that include this cottage and the near celibate life of a woodland hermit monk.

We give up pleasing others, reduce the need for chameleon personality traits, disregard our adolescent contrarian ways and meditate on relaxing, no expectations, no deadlines, nothing but the pure joy of meaninglessness.

We’ve written the text we needed to form our own personal creation myths — poems, short stories, novels, skits, plays and sketches, including photographic essays (“a picture’s worth a thousand words”) — removing the need for creation myths and organised religions of others.

We wonder, other than this ongoing set of dispersed blogs, if we’ll write a fictional narrative tale that’ll take on the traditional book-length novel form.

Should we? Do we need or want to?

What if being here is all we want?

Food for thought…just in time for lunch!

Cool ride

We know why we prefer riding our motorbike in cold weather.

Today, local outdoor temp is 20 deg C and every dirt bike, crotch rocket and cruiser bike rider is on the road.

We own the road pretty much by ourselves at zero deg C.

We admit we don’t like to share. 🙂

We ride solo, not in groups, avoiding the big bike gatherings, preferring cold wind biting our wrists and ankles, frost inside our helmet shield, no insects smashing into us.

You know, like it’ll be on Mars. Best to prepare now. Never too late or too early to practice!

Hardware, hard life

Today’s historic photo stop:

J. C. Brown General Merchandise

Jesse Charles Brown was a native of Falls Mill, Tenn., near Huntland. In the late 1890s, he came to Huntsville after the deaths of his parents.

He was brought here because someone saw him perched on a fence post – the universal symbol at the time that someone was in need.

For a year or so, he worked for P.F. Dunnavant, the legendary owner of Dunnavant’s Department Store.

In 1898, he opened his general merchandise store in west Huntsville, where business was thriving with the development of the textile mills.

Located near a row of microbreweries…

With an interesting brick building across the street…

This corner has potential for something, but what? The neighbourhood has many Hispanic businesses. Perhaps a Latin music dance hall with a bar that serves Cuban food?