For several weeks I’ve been wanting … no …. NEEDING to get out of Dodge. I’ve had stuff going on every weekend, and I couldn’t swing it. But last weekend I realized that I had a perfect opportunity to get away for a day trip today. I tried to think of what I wanted to do, and it took me nearly a full second to decide on Bay St. Louis. Let’s see … coffee at the Mockingbird Cafe’ … sunshine … dog-friendly outdoor bars …. serious bread …. hmmm … what’s not to love? All week I’ve been thinking about it … dreaming about it … hoping that the weather would hold out and it would actually happen.
Bar-Hopping in the Bay
So, I went to bed last night and told Ashok that we were going to the beach in the morning. I could not wait to get to sleep so I could wake up and go … go … go … go. I woke up around my usual time at 5 AM, washed my Devacurls, packed a little bag with a jacket, a swimsuit and shoes for walking. I had no idea if it would feel cool or warm, but I knew it was going to be sunny. That’s all that mattered. I was hoping for a little bit of a sunburn before the sun set this evening.
Serious Bread … but not for Doggies! She had a hitching post outside.
I don’t like to plan these things too much. I sent out a text to several potential partners in crime to let them know I was going and would welcome company. I expected at late notice no one would make it, but I always trust that if someone needs to be there, they will show up. So, as the ‘nos’ came rolling in , I eagerly anticipated a day that could very well be a solo adventure with my girl. Last night, I had a conversation with a friend about the plane crash in Germany. I wished I had never read the article about it. I began obsessing about the moments that those poor passengers faced right before that plane hit the mountain and what kind of moron would actually take the lives of so many other people on purpose. My heart started palpitating, and I started getting anxious about the state of the world and the sickos that are in the news everyday. I was finally able to sleep by saying the Serenity Prayer a million times and telling myself that God is the only thing I have to trust in to be safe. He holds me in the palm of His hand just as He held those poor people in their last moments. I fully trust in His love. I told Him that I really wanted to believe again that people are inherently good like I used to believe. And I asked if He could help show me that. With that, I fell asleep and slept like a baby for about 7 hours.
A Stroll Around Town
On the way to Bay St. Louis, I listened to a Ted Talk about the StoryCorps. I will let the Ted Talk and the website tell you the whole story, but it is a project designed to help people have important conversations with the people that they love. They are interviews – thousands of them – that are facilitated enable people to share who they are with people that they love and care about or even with complete strangers. It is so important to be heard, and many people go to their grave without ever being truly known. StoryCorps is designed to give them an opportunity to tell their stories. It has been limited to a physical location, but now they have an app so we can all conduct our own interviews for the archive. I found the talk to be emotional for me. And, he said that what they learned after listening to thousands of these stories is that people are inherently good. All I could say was ‘thank you’ to God for his listening to my story and telling me what I so desperately needed to know.
The Ted Talk on StoryCorps. It is VERY Interesting!
Beach Scenes – It was a tiny bit chilly but not too bad.
On a whim, I called my old friends John and Gwen who live in Waveland, and they were getting dressed to go eat at the same coffeehouse where I had planned to land first thing in the Bay. I got there first, ordered one of their fabulous chai teas and started writing my Morning Pages. A fellow named Phillip walked by and inquired if I was writing my Morning Pages. We started talking about the Artist’s Way and the difference it has made in my life the past couple of months. He is an unpublished novelist and was there for the morning to write. John and Gwen arrived, and we all chatted about writing and art and running and Katrina. The StoryCorps came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina to collect their stories! I was so thrilled to hear that. It was a great morning, and I left with a promise to John to schedule some sprint workouts with him in the near future. He started sprinting in competition sometime in his 60s, and he’s still sprinting today in his mid-70s. He’s an inspiration to me.
My friend Jeff from Watson pinged me about that time and said he was going to join me. While I waited, I went to the Serious Bread Company and bought some of their amazing flatbread, a Bay St. Louis muffin and a loaf of their Sunflower Bread. Jeff came along and bought some of the same and then we headed over to the Blind Tiger for sunshine and hamburgers. Ashok had a blast posing for pictures and accepting hugs and pats from other patrons. We then barhopped over to the Buoys Bar before strolling around town to look at the sights. It was a beautiful day, and I felt like I’d been on a mini-vacation for 8 hours. Around 4 PM, I started making the 2-hour drive back.
Breakfast at the Mockingbird Cafe’
Ashok is tired and so am I, but it’s a good kind of tired. I sliced up my flatbread and bought some hummus from Whole Foods for dinner. I plan on unplugging this evening before I head to bed early. I leave for Oklahoma tomorrow on a business trip, and I’ll wait to pack at the last minute like usual. I looked in the mirror at my wind-blown curls, and I noticed that my shoulders and my chest were slightly burned. Mission accomplished … Y’all have a great week.