All posts tagged Gibbs

It’s a Starbucks Day

The downside of moving to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a pristine 66-acre-parcel of land is that the nearest Starbucks is 35 miles away.


It keeps my adult children away. Or when they visit it’s only for a few days.

Because Starbucks represents civilization–the emblem of America.

Even Gibbs shows off his java on NCIS.

So my question for the day is; Is there life after Starbucks?

I’ve wondered that over the last 21 months.

Here are my conclusions…

Yes, but it’s way different. At Starbucks, people carry designer bags and wear grown-up clothes. They speak Starbuckian–an alternative coffee language involving 17 syllables to order one coffee drink. They conduct meetings around said coffee and order fancy pastries while composing spreadsheets on their computers and texting clients.

On the farm, I pull on the same clothes each day appropriately designed with red clay and often laced with chicken manure. We drink black coffee and conduct our meetings on the front porch, on the way to the dump, or at our rustic pine table.

It’s a simpler life. Presented with fewer choices of what to wear, (Tom and I share a small closet and my dresser sits in our living room since our bedroom is too small to house it.) clothes become a tool–useful or not useful. My Livestock Guardian Dogs don’t care what shoes I have on when I visit them. They are equal opportunity shoe ruiners. Their large paws often step on my feet, swipe my jeans, or end up planted on my shirt.

It’s a harder life. During the winter our schedule slows down immensely. It has to since our bodies couldn’t stand up to 16-hour-out-in-the-field-days. I gain weight but Tom doesn’t. (I’m kind of bitter about that.)

But when the time changes, our lives change, too. More light means more work. There are weeds to pull, animals to feed, crops to plant, markets to attend, eggs to collect and sell, and jellies to make.

Sometimes I long for a 9-5 job. Especially one with benefits. With lunch dates and coffee breaks.

So once a week I make the trek to civilization and drink black coffee. Starbucks isn’t the only reason I come since I attend a Bible study and visit possible customers. But it’s important to me.

Right now, I’m sitting by a gas fireplace writing and people watching. And I realize something, people are the same whether in Mayberry or Winston-Salem.

They work hard but long for a connection with others. Sometimes, it’s over a lunch date or movie. Or sometimes, it’s just over a cup of java. Whether it’s in a trendy shop with a gas fireplace, or my front porch.

Come visit. The view is marvelous! But could you bring the Starbucks?




Where is Waldo? Michael’s Replaced Him

Is it just me, or is Michael Strahan–like Waldo–on every channel at all times of the day or night?

I don’t watch a lot of TV. My mom owns our only one. It’s mounted in her 10 by 13 square foot room. So to watch the TV, Tom and I have to sit on her wheelchair, or wall hugger, or hospital bed.

Sports are our favorite and when I mention sports, I mean American football and American baseball. Rarely do we watch an entire game since we’re usually busy farming. So we satisfy ourselves with snippets of this and replays of that.

We commit to NCIS and reruns of it. Gibbs is timeless and Dinozzo is a hoot.

But since Mom has been weaker and needs more care and company, I’ve tuned in to Kelly and Michael. I have to admit, I love them. If I were on their show and took the quiz of identifying other actors and actresses for $50 a shot, I’d have to declare bankruptcy since I’m clueless.

But I can identify them. Especially Michael.

I enter Mom’s room while her other caregiver is there. Who do I see but Michael, happy to have a good tasting laxative bar. Or he’s chowing down on a footlong. On Sundays, he’s commentating on the game–giving his opinion about this player and that team. And he’s good.

In the evening, I peek in on Mom and there’s the spot about St. Jude’s hospital. Michael’s smiling with the signature space between his teeth. He makes me smile.

Smiling is important.

So is laughing. Kelly and Michael make me laugh. And laughing is essential. Especially if you’re caregiving. Or at a difficult job. Or in a hard marriage. You may be coming to the end of your life, like my 94-year-old mama and need a good chuckle. Kelly and Michael will give it to you if you still have your hearing.

Today is New Year’s. Since it’s below 30, farming has come to a screeching halt except for feeding the chickens, pigs, and dogs. So TV is on my to-do list.

I’ll begin with the Rose Bowl Parade, then I’ll flip to college football. Michael might show up on the screen. And then there’s NCIS reruns all day. So I might catch a few episodes of those. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael becomes the fourth member of Gibb’s team.

The man is everywhere! Michael, do you sleep?

Kelly and Michael, keep it clean, and thanks for making America smile.

We need it.