Monday, December 6, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Every year, hundreds of people migrate to Philadelphia, MS, for the week-long Neshoba County Fair. They come in trailers, campers, pick-up trucks, and cars of all sorts to set up camp for the festivities. Many, many of these people have come every year since childhood. It's just one of those things you do.
Alleys of the fairgrounds are lined with colorfully painted cabins. From what I understand, the real estate for these cabins is intense, and they are very expensive (especially since they are "vacation homes" you only use at most two weeks of the year). I don't think people are allowed to build anymore, so oftentimes the cabins are passed down from generation... or at least the property is. Most are two-storied, with a big kitchen and living area downstairs, and sleeping room for up to 20 people upstairs! Wild!!
And all of them have big ol' porches for the masses to sit and hang out and chill in the heat. With an atmosphere like this, it's no wonder it's nicknamed "Mississippi's Giant Houseparty"! Walking down the dusty, lit-up alleys is pretty magical for an innocent outsider like me.
Of course, the Neshoba County Fair isn't just about the cabins and campers. There are a few rides and food booths, too. As far as rides and things go, I'd prefer the Jackson State Fair, but the State Fair doesn't have horse races or chair races! Ha!
We had three main reasons for going to the fair on Friday afternoon: first, our dear friends from church, the Warrens', go every year with their camper, and we wanted to see them; second, we were going to Philadelphia anyway to see family on Saturday; third, there was a concert! Haha! Country singer/songwriter Phil Vassar was performing, and he was actually good!
I'm not a huge fan of country music (that is, I don't listen to it on the radio) but I used to be, so I knew most of his songs. And sometimes it's just one of those fun indulgences, you know? Country music equals summer, and Phil Vassar's concert on the Neshoba County Fair horse racing track was just what you picture summer in Mississippi to be -- hot and dusty, with people sitting in metal lawn chairs waving paper fans frantically, listening to upbeat country music about girls and life and hanging out. It was a pretty family-friendly environment, but it still had a bit of that frat-party-meets-family-reunion feel.
I like the juxtaposition of the bright lights and the old-fashioned "...County Fair Assn." sign in this picture. :)
Saturday was spent with family. Oh, how I love them! After our continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn, we made our way over to Mom's Aunt Peggy and chatted with her for an hour or so. Then we headed over to Williams Brothers, a local Philadelphia grocery/clothing/shoe store that's been around for ages.
Here's a picture of the hustle-and-bustle around the bacon and cheese cutting area. It's fun to watch. :)
George Road is named for my relatives! Yeah! Let me tell you, it was so much fun hanging out with Uncle Robert and Aunt Coweela and second-cousins Mike and Diane. And we had some goood food, too! Mmm...
To wrap up our weekend away, we dined at Newk's with my cousin and her husband who live in Clinton, and then went to see my great-aunt in the same town! Seriously, I love my family. I wish I could retell some of the stories second-cousin-something-removed Mike told us, but those retellings--especially written in blogs--never have quite the same effect.
Also, I wish I could give a more profound analysis of the Neshoba County Fair, but being outsiders as we are, and unfamiliar with customs and attitudes, anything I said would be mere assumptions.
Now! I have only 12 days before I go back to school... and only TEN days till Jane Shibley makes a brief appearance in Mississippi!! Hooray!
Monday, July 26, 2010
This particular vacation was a bit unorthodox, because for the first time, it was only a partial family summer vacation. Mom and Emily weren't able to come! (Although last summer the rest of my family came to visit me in Yellowstone... so it was partial to them.) Em had her big state swim meet, unbeknownst to Mom and Dad when Dad made the flight arrangements. Anyway, it felt a little strange, and we missed them very much, but we were definitely able to have some adventures of our own!
I read "The Sun Also Rises" as the sun actually rises (but all you can see is the bright morning sunlight...ha!)
SO! All in all, a delightful vacation.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
- We had to get gas in Clinton, and the nearest Starbucks just happens to be in the same parking lot... which means we definitely wanted to make a stop. I got a soy strawberries and creme, 2 pumps hazelnut, 2 scoops java chips frappucino. I'd heard this concoction tastes exactly like Cap'n Crunch berries, so I decided to give it a try! For being so full of stuff, it was surprisingly good.
- We watched Avatar on Em's portable DVD player. What a good movie! I think we probably missed some parts because the volume couldn't go up too high, but I got the gist. It obviously is not a Christian movie, but it always amazes me when secular movies have a big spiritual theme. We are created with a "God-shaped void" that only Jesus can fill, but movies like Avatar seem to create religions in an attempt to fill it themselves. We long for something. I could say more.
- After we got in late last night, I was able to hang out with my friends David and Jo in the apartments on Covenant's campus! Oh, I was so thankful to see them!! I love, love being with Covenant friends, and actually being on campus, sitting in the same type of apartment where I'll be in the Fall, was really refreshing.
- Not a new experience (for me), but very fun: Mom and I ate breakfast at Niedlov's bakery in downtown Chattanooga. Our heirloom tomato-three cheese quiche and cranberry pecan muffin were fabulous. And Mom had never been there before!
We encountered a GIGANTIC FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS after going through Tuscaloosa, AL, on the way home!!!
Also on the way home, I finished The Grapes of Wrath. Oh my goodness. What a powerful ending. I was dumbfounded at the strangeness of it when I finished. Seriously, I just sat back in my seat in awe... trying to figure out how it fit, why any author would end a book that way... but after a little more thought, I realized it was entirely appropriate, and even beautiful.
Friday, July 2, 2010
"The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief, that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each new excursion of the essayist, each new "attempt," differs from the last and takes him into new country. This delights him. Only a person congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays."
-E.B. White, from the foreward of "Essays of E.B. White" (I am not reading it now, but I think it's going to make it to my summer reading list.)
I like this quotation, and I like how he's honest about his profession. It's true! But the good thing for him is that other people have taken interest in his essays and "attempts" as well. Is a blogger the 21st century version of an essayist? There are parallels, no doubt.
What got me on this E.B. White kick was my boss letting(/suggesting/recommending) me read Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style." It is SO good! Sometimes -- I know this is a little bit nerdy -- I am just fascinated by grammar.
Here are some "elements" I really liked:
"A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses"
Ask me my favorite punctuation mark, and I'll tell you. It's the dash.
"Unique. Means 'without like or equal.' Hence there can be no degrees of uniqueness." Thus, the sentence, "It was the most unique eggbeater on the market." is correctly written, "It was a unique eggbeater."
I remember learning this from after-school Latin classes in 5th grade, but I'm still guilty of saying, "Whoa! That's really unique!" from time to time. And I also like the example sentences.
I used to collect these magnolia flower droppings and I called them rabbit skins. Believe me, these things feel just like 'em. ;-)
The Lord really blessed me yesterday. I have been craving and missing so much the unique fellowship with friends from Covenant. (Some of this might come from the fact that even my parents were out of town this week, but a lot of it is just being away from the other people I love so much.) Anyway, it "just so happened" that I was able to have a great talk with Jane, get a wonderful email from April, and even have a really encouraging chat with Josh! Oh man! Guys, I love you!
Happy Fourth of July weekend!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Today, though, I did. Today I went on a brief photography adventure with a friend from work who lives out of state. People who live in Vicksburg know that about 5 or 10 minutes north of town in Kings there is a wild-looking yard/church/sculpture with signs and towers and words all over. The truth is, I know very little about it -- only what the dozens of signs say. Most of the time I just think it's a spectacle that all who visit Vicksburg should see. I sort of laugh at it because it's so darn shocking.
But today I read some of a newspaper article posted among all of the cinderblocks and sculptures. "Lack of vision, understanding ails state, but leaders can turn dreams into reality." A preacher apparently created this display to raise awareness, to shake up some passion. Hmm... Well, it's not quite my style, but I definitely understand wanting and needing to change the complacency of the area (and not just the Kings). I'm guilty of it myself.
"God dont have no white church and he dont have no black church- only one church. Rev H.D. Dennis"
I wish I knew more about this! I wish I knew what to think. I'm pretty sure it's not doctrinely sound -- there are a few signs that don't quite make sense biblically, and there are some freemason symbols on the main wall -- but it makes a striking and bold display for Jesus! That's another thing, though. The display is such that people drive by and gawk at it. I'm guilty of chuckling at the bad grammar and improper word separation. It's great for taking pictures, and for showing folks a unique part of Vicksburg, but my gut reaction is to shake my head and laugh a little. But is this right? Am I right from brushing this off as the creation of a probably-uneducated, charismatic radical? Ah! I don't think so. Not with that attitude. I just wish I knew more!
This is just for fun. I kind of like the grey telephone pole and wires against the cloudy sky. Looks industrial.
Friday, June 18, 2010
One very nice thing about my work is that I can begin at any time between 7 and 9 am. Because I value my afternoons, I usually go in at 7. Today, however, I went in at 7:35 because I was working on a very special and very urgent projectThis shirt is for my dear brother Daniel, and my shirt you shall see tomorrow. I'm going to be wearing it proudly because Holland is playing game #2! I rarely get excited about sports games. In fact, I usually avoid them unless friends are participating or going to watch as well.
In this particular case, I am excited because I have a pretty significant amount of Dutch pride. This is harder to do in Mississippi (because most everyone in Mississippi is from Mississippi), but definitely not impossible.
Squash Casserole (Bell's Best 1982):
Tonight was the closing ceremony for my church's Vacation Bible School! I wish I had been able to help, but alas, work got in the way. Anyway, the kids in the program tonight were so cute. VBS is always a blast.
In fact, I think it's time to go read right now.
Hooray for Saturdays! And brothers!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
At my stained glass workshop today we started adding the copper foil around the edges of the glass. I'm not finished with all of the pieces, but I think it's coming together nicely. Next week: soldering! (By the way, I just now learned how to spell that word. I guess I've never had to use it before.)