Ephemeral

The Grays at Pollak
Pollak Vineyards, this past weekend

(I never have any good ideas for blog post titles, which is why they are always so inscrutable and senseless.)

I am looking forward to being with the family this week, but I also feel a lot of anxiety and sadness about the pending visit. I keep crying in public when people ask me about my grandparents (so, fair warning if you see me). I cried yesterday at work, in our department meeting, when our boss asked us to go around and say what we were thankful for. “My family,” I said. “And how dependable… and loving… they are…” And then I dissolved into ugly tears over free bagels.

The US political field is so ugly right now, and I am so ashamed of the surge of hatred, fear, and bigotry that the GOP candidates have inspired among the public. Whenever a candidate says anything, I visit FactCheck.org, which has become one of my sole barometers on the validity of political pronouncements. I have been astonished at how many blatant lies are circulating.

I am thankful for

  • the opportunity to be with Mom, Dad, Kelsey, Alex, Sam, Ma-Maw, and Da-Dan this week;
  • starting a Five-Year Diary;
  • sweet friends;
  • cataloging photo archives;
  • Guion, always;
  • my calligraphy studio;
  • kind colleagues and perceptive managers;
  • This American Life keeping us awake and inspired on road trips;
  • dogs who patiently wait outside the door while I nap off a migraine;
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus; and
  • a clean house.

Hope those of you in the US have a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday Snax

Dead orchard
Spooky peach trees.
Afternoon in Crozet
Guion on a Crozet farm road.

A peaceful, efficient weekend. Back to the book sale again; ran a lot of errands; Guion was on tour with Nettles, the Hill and Wood, and Camp Christopher in D.C. and Princeton.  One of the highlights of the weekend was a photo session with the incredible Kristin Moore, who took us out to Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet for a fun afternoon among the spooky/awesome dead trees. Kristin is so sweet and encouraging and she made us feel OK about being in front of the camera, despite our overwhelming awkwardness.

My paternal grandfather passed away this weekend. He was a happy man who flew helicopters and told jokes, but I did not know him very well. It is a strange feeling, to acknowledge that you feel so empty and detached about your grandfather’s death, but my heart is heavy for my father and his siblings. They feel something for him that I never got the chance to, and for that, I am sad. Rest in peace, Papa John.

Snax with a box of clementines, which are easily the main reason winter is passable:

Faroes. Good friend Ross McDermott went on an adventure to the mystical and hidden Faroe Islands and his photographs of the trip are just incredible. It looks like such an enchanted place; I want to go! (Ross McDermott’s Flickr)

Palmetto Bluff. Meredith visits this amazing inn in South Carolina. I’m a sucker for hanging moss; it makes me want to go read a dozen Eudora Welty stories. (Meredith Perdue)

LIFE Magazine’s 20 Worst Covers. You have to respect a magazine with the ability to make fun of itself. These are pretty horrendous. (LIFE)

Our Bella, Ourselves. As a self-respecting woman with a functional brain, I have a lot of disdain for all things Twilight. But this is a very interesting perspective on Bella Swan–the weak, useless, defenseless, and indecisive “heroine”–as a mirror of her fanbase. Teen girls love these books, because they see something of themselves in Bella. Sad, but maybe true? (The Hairpin)

2011 Holiday Card Roundup, Part 4. If I were a rich woman, I would spend an unforgivable amount of money on cards like these. (Oh, So Beautiful Paper)

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kathryn Murray. So pretty and whimsical. To have such control over one’s nib! (Oh, So Beautiful Paper)

Joan Didion’s Packing List. That is very efficient, Ms. Didion. I approve. (English Muse)

Reading 1Q84: The Case for Fiction in a Busy Life. A sound and compelling argument for reading thick novels even when your life is insane. (The Millions)