Instagram


12
Feb 19

What are you going to take from today?

In the considerable series of incredible things that happens to each of us, even on a “normal day” something has to stand out. This evening I watched some television being produced, and then watched some other television at home. I saw highlights of two of my students calling a dramatic wrestling meet. I read about some promising medical breakthroughs. In no particular order, I did a little work, had a weird dream, ate lunch with my lovely bride laughed at a joke, made someone else laugh, learned something new, talked to a graduating senior about his upcoming plans, passed along some good news, recommended some people for scholarships and on and on and on.

But even on a normal-ish day, one thing or another is going to be the moment of the day. This, for me, is that moment:


21
Jan 19

Traveling again

We’re traveling back into the barren and cold northlands today, after a fine weekend that was capped off by a fourth visit to Clary’s, a little time in the park, a massage and watching Savannah’s Martin Luther King Day parade. (It was two hours long and still going when we had to leave.)

It was a great visit to a lovely city that we enjoy a great deal. We discovered a fine little Mexican restaurant out of necessity today for our late lunch-on-the-go. Today’s Uber driver had just moved to the low country from the Smokies. She’s still getting used to the entirely different weather patterns, which is funny considering she’s only about 300 miles from home, but that’s an important 300 miles. That was a retirement 300 miles for her and her husband, she said. Our Uber driver on Thursday night had a similar story, but for a lifetime in the Navy and then retiring to coastal Georgia. Neither of them looked old enough to be even semi-retired. Maybe that’s the autobiographical aging process, or maybe its just the latitude.

Anyway, I mentioned Our Tree. Here it is now:

That’s The Yankee reading under Our Tree on Saturday. The weather was so perfect that day we spent most of the day in that spot. Coincidentally, that is about the same view I had in December of 2008 just before I proposed. We’d been sitting under that tree and I was waiting for The Sign. You know, the one you sometimes find yourself asking for. Eventually a leaf fell on me and I took that as the requested sign. My plan involved me leaving, so that I could come back. I excused myself to visit the restroom and, right about where I’m standing to take that photograph above, a man intercepted me and we started talking about families and marriage and biblical passages and I said, “OK, fine, that is my sign.”

So I went back to the tree, hung her engagement ring on some of the bark and called her over to scratch our initials into it. And there was her ring. She was there, I was there, it was Savannah, there was a ring and I didn’t even think up a speech. Which is odd, because this is me. I asked her if she would like to keep having adventures with me, and then another guy came up and “What’d she say? What’d she say?” as he offered to make us one of the little bamboo flowers they sell to tourists here.

I knew he’d want to be paid for that, and he should. It was ornate and involved and quite nice. We had eight dollars between us. He was disappointed, but gave us the flower and she finally said yes. Now here we are. I have at least nine dollars in my pocket today.

Anyway, we enjoyed our Saturday beneath Our Tree. It was bracketed by breakfast and a nice run, but that was pretty much the day, and it was perfect. That night we also went out for crabs on Tybee Island:

We also saw some birds:

And from the It’s Been Too Long Department, we saw Wendy!

Something like 17 years I’ve known her now. She’s even more wonderful today than she ever was.

Sunday the weather was a bit dank and I was tired and sore and still trying to overcome a few days of fun with my sinuses, so it was a low key thing. Today the parade, a spa trip and then the car ride to the airport. We made one other stop, but I’m saving those pictures for tomorrow. Be sure to stop by for those. It’ll be lovely.

More on Twitter and check me out on Instagram as well.


18
Jan 19

We skipped town for the weekend

There’s going to be snow at our house. But we are not there. It is several degrees warmer here. And we will see the soon and clear skies for a few days. It is a glorious thing.

Guess where we are. This is your clue:

Any further visual clues would give it away.

We’ve been here many times. It was the first trip The Yankee took together, in fact, as a grad school bit of tourism. We were going to go elsewhere on our second trip, but the chosen place was under threat of a hurricane. So we came back to this place, and had another great time. And then, for a long time, we visited once or twice a year.

Finally, we got engaged here. Well, not right there at that sign. I’ve always wondered what made steps historic. Did something happen at these steps? Did they play a role? Or are they just old, and un-square? Solid, but unevenly spaced? We got engaged a mile up the road, in a historic park, where things did happen, which is square and old and evenly spaced, as laid out in the town’s grid system and carefully delineated in its modern incarnation by surveyors. It was 10 acres when it was first created in the 1840s, and became 30 acres in the next few decades. Today you’d see it as a rectangle on a map. It’s an easy mile around the perimeter, 1.3 million square feet. Just across the street was where we got married.

In the middle of that park, on the spot where this picture was taken, that’s where we got engaged:

That picture was from three years ago, which was the last time we’d been there, which was another great trip, but it’s obviously been too long in between visits.

Do you know where we are yet?

We’re in Savannah, Georgia.

We are staying at an AirBnB right across the street from our favorite little breakfast cafe. We walked down to the touristy area for a few things, then just sat in a park, enjoying the weather and the views. And I sat beside this note:

We went for a jog around the park this evening. A quick three laps make for a quick three miles before dinner. Here’s a wide and long shot of the big fountain in Forsyth Park:

And later in the evening, we tried this:

View this post on Instagram

Status.

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

So, yes, it was a good day.


14
Jan 19

It snowed

At least it was on the weekend, making it the best kind of snow. We stocked up, hunkered down and got about four inches.

View this post on Instagram

A snowy Saturday.

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

The roads got cleared, the sidewalks got warm and then it rained on Saturday night. It’s style around, and a little bit crunchy and icy, but pleasant enough. And this is why: It didn’t slow anything down, but also allowed us to slow down.

Only, she goes fast:

It was a brick workout. So she road her bike, indoors of course, and then had to head outside for a short run. It’s all about challenging different muscle groups in your legs. Me? I simply shot a few photos as she raced by.

Later, she made banana bread.

So the snow can’t be too bad, then.

We went out for a longer run yesterday afternoon. This was at the very beginning, still in the neighborhood, because running when the ponds are frozen seems like a sensible idea.

Somewhere along the way I started taking accidental photographs. This would have been before the “Why? This is cold.” And the “This hurts in more ways than one.” But it was well after the triumphant feel of running. It was a 10K, which leaves you just enough time to get in your head too much.

So I guess that’s my new art.

Here’s right at the end of my run. Most of the roads and sidewalks and roads I enjoyed were perfectly dry. But this was another new kind of thing.

I do not know what is happening.


12
Sep 18

The sun can set in any direction when you’re gassed

It is funny how you can have different emotional responses to the same thing. It doesn’t even take much to change things, either. I got home Monday, ready to ride my bike. Had to ride my bicycle. Couldn’t get out of the door again fast enough.

I didn’t ride yesterday because I couldn’t drag myself away from the pillow early enough. I was in the studio until dark, so that wiped out that day, which is fine.

But that meant an evening ride tonight! Which was great! I was happy to do it, and I had a nice ride after my legs started moving. But it didn’t have the same level of zeal as two days before. I did the same roads and same kind of roads. The weather was warm and grand on both days. So what makes the difference?

Anyway, this was me when I set out for a quick evening ride:

View this post on Instagram

‪Let's go ride bikes!‬ ‪#TheMilesAhead‬

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

We’ve been doing a lot of small ring workouts lately, because you can always improve cardio, they say. (This is a terrible thing to say, for several reasons.)

Not pictured was about eight miles in when a guy on a bike came screaming by and tossed two syllables at me, his air at a premium. (He should do more cardio.) I said something almost as intelligible, ground mostly in the problem that I had no idea what he was trying to tell me. And then I looked over my shoulder and there was a whole angry pack of young riders. Fit, young, in their big rings, going fast. And suddenly I was swallowed up. And they pretty quickly spit me out the back.

So there I was, all alone, enjoying the sun and shade and little hills and quiet of an almost-country road, reminded that I really much prefer small or solo rides to big group efforts. There’s just not enough courtesy or regard for safety in packs.

If I’d been in the right gearing, though, I could have stayed in the group and hated it for a few more seconds, of that I’m sure. But, instead, I got 43 kilometers of good cardio work this evening.

(I’m supposed to use km, I know, when it comes to riding, but I haven’t memorized the conversions or the formula and it sounds awfully pretentious. Though the numbers are always higher … It was 27 miles and change tonight, and my top speed would have been 47 km/hour. So maybe it isn’t that pretentious.)

On the way back to the house:

Do you know how many times you have to see that before you realize the perfect shot will always be perfect right there? Three. At least three times I’ve been through there and thought, Oh, what a great place for a sunset shot. I should get one of those one day before I can’t. And then I finally realized it was an east-west road and that should be a fairly predictable photograph.

I blame the cardio training for lack of directional cognition and thought processing.

So, that covers my bike ride and today’s Instagram offerings. If you haven’t been on Twitter, there’s a bunch more there today. A lot of sports, somehow, in fact. Please do give me a visit there as well. Thanks for stopping in, and come back tomorrow for another adorable picture of the black cat and probably another thing or two of passing interest. It’ll be the regular iffy Thursday smorgasbord, and you’re always invited.