Well, yesterday was my 31st birthday. I really did not want to make a big deal about it. My daughter actually had a friend over for part of the day, so we played on the swingset and got out the slip-n-slide for a while. In the evening we ate at Cracker Barrel. I know it’s far from fancy, but when the kids get bored we can just take them over to the toy section, plus it’s good Southern food for cheap! Then we went over to Opryland Hotel (Now Gaylord Opryland actually – stinking Gaylord has to have their name on everything.) and got ice cream and walked around. Opryland Hotel holds a lot of memories because it was my favorite cheap/free date in college. If you’ve never been there, they have these beautiful conservatories full of plants and flowers and fountains for you to walk through. My favorite is the Garden Conservatory because it has a small waterfall you can walk behind and there is a little bench near it too – very romantic! My other favorite place is this fountain that’s sort of under a canopy or gazebo thing – and the canopy is covered in flowers. Also, in all these conservatories, the ceiling is made of glass. It is gorgeous – very beautiful at night. We even caught a little fountain show which the kids loved. It was a happy, relaxing birthday.
Another note on this week: I got to see the director of my MFA program, Squire Babcock, read at DavisKidd Bookstore! He has just published a novel called King of Gaheena. It was great to see him and hear him read. He said the book took him 20 years to write!
We are winding down our second week of summer break, and the past two weeks have been full of activities. Next week is VBS and our vacation!
I am reading Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours right now. It is some of the most beautiful poetry! Here’s a section of a poem that really hit me as I continue to develop my writer self:
“Just give me a little more time!
I want to love the things
as no one has thought to love them
until they’re worthy of you and real.
I want only seven days, seven
on which no one has ever written himself –
seven pages of solitude.
There will be a book that includes these pages,
and the one who takes it in his hands
will long sit staring at it,
until he feels you holding him
and writing through him.”
The lines “love the things . . . until they are worthy of you and real” makes me think of the Velveteen Rabbit. I love this story! The thing that made the rabbit real was the devoted, intense love of the boy. I also like the comparison to the seven days of Creation since writers are creators, too.
Aaahhh – I miss Opryland. Gaylord Palms in Orlando jut isn’t the same. 🙂
These are great pics! — Happy Belated Birthday!!