Declared a Good Day

I’m up extra early this morning doing prep work and hosting lunch for my mom and aunt. It is quiet here at Tranquility Base at 4:30 and even though it’s still dark outside, through the blinds I see a heavy fog flowing like ribbons and creating its own currents across the White River channel. We’re not in the fall season yet, but it’s coming soon, and it will be glorious out there. Autumn brings me alive.

Drinking coffee in the same chair I sit in every single morning I am overwhelmed with gratitude almost to the point of tears. I have felt the constant presence of peace and joy for a couple of years now, and am further working on learning how to rest and just be. I have an amazing family.

Thinking about Dana just yesterday I reflected back over our years together and realized that as much as anything, she just loves us being together doing things. Now, this may come as a great shock, but I’m not the easiest guy to live with. She loves me still, and us together is what she cares about most. I’m not sure what a man could want more. It’s a joy to host my mom and aunt for lunch today. Mom will be a part-time resident here at the Base soon and I’ll feel good about that. We are friends, partners, and kin. And friendship with your adult children is a further joy. I love just sitting and talking with them. Watching them maneuver this tricky world in their twenties, I am confident of their bright futures. There is no pride in legacy here. I just love them.

I get to write for a living, and I write a lot these days. Between this ongoing and aspiring book career and my small role in community journalism I’m professionally fulfilled. As we produced our weekly paper yesterday I thought how great it was to be both competent and confident at something that makes a difference.

Recently, a friend asked why I live in Arkansas. There is so much out there in the world, he said, and I completely understood his question. Honestly, I was at a rare lack for words. I can only say that in recent years, and perhaps as part of that peace and joy, I have gained an all new appreciation for all things rural. I am truly “from the country.” I love dirt, tractors, a great home-cooked meal seasoned with love, and watching the Canada geese fly in perfect formation over my property honking and honking, searching the landscape for a spot to glide in, wind over wings, and gently settle down.

I spent so much of my time as a young adolescent lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and wondering what my future life would be like. I’m not sure I’ve walked a perfectly straight path to get here. I suppose all the detours and moments of being completely lost are what add the seasoning to all the stories, and the color to a grateful life.

I declare it a good day, and I am thankful.

Speed Vacationing: Our 2,100-Minute Dash to Fun

A cabin near where we stayed was called “Lonesome Dove,” named after my favorite movie with characters Augustus McRae and Woodrow Call. We came upon this sign featured in one of the movie scenes. I’ve always thought my best friend and I (Brady Cornish, right) had a relationship much like Gus and Call.

With Dana and Brady in the hot tub.

Keeping my promise to myself never again to turn down a good photo, we turned back so Dana could get a pic with the Pizza Inn guy.

A wooden sawhorse still lodged in a tree from the White River’s great flood in 2008. It was called the “hundred-year flood.”

My best friend’s sister, Cindy and her husband, Danny were our hosts for our White River retreat. Thanks Boo!