A "love" list in the New Year's liminal space

A quick wrap-up of what I’m really loving at the end of 2019…

  • The amount of time I got to spend connecting and re-connecting with friends this Fall by spending several weekends in College Station. I definitely missed a few folks during my crazy travels, but home is always home, and it’s ALWAYS good to be among your people. #youcantakethegirloutofTexasbut…
  • Outdoor bike rides in December. 2 of them, to be precise. I’ll never turn down a chance to be in the sun and on two wheels. Never. #cyclingisactuallymyfavorite
  • For Christmas my mom (or our animals?) signed me up for my second year of the Weiland’s Market Cheese Lovers’ Club. Every month I get three cheeses, along with their stories and recipes. If you know me at all, you understand why I think this is pretty much a perfect gift. #cheeseisanexpressionoflove
  • The New Yorker re-published this Ian Frazier column (Coyote v. ACME) in this past week’s edition. If you’ve ever watched Wyle E. Coyote and the Road Runner, it’s irresistible silliness. #laughterisgoodforthesoul
  • Garden and Gun magazine released their “Best Southern Albums of 2019” list, and I was pleasantly surprised at how many of them I already love (The Highwomen, anyone? And this time last year I couldn’t get enough of Maggie Rogers’ “Light On”). I’ve also found some new-to-me music that’s rocking my world, particularly Caroline Spence. Don’t make me pick a favorite song from Mint Condition…just give it a listen. #musicislife
  • Confession: Dolly Parton’s “Heartstrings” is my not-so-guilty pleasure TV of late. The woman is a national treasure, the show borders on sappy sweet in many ways, and some days that’s just what my soul needs. #positivevibesonly
  • Ingrid Fetell Lee’s book Joyful was one of my favorite reads of 2019. I’m reminded of why through following her Instagram account and all of the color (and messaging) she shares with the world. #findjoywhereeveryouare
  • If you haven’t gotten around to reading Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad ( I’ll admit I’m wondering what took me so long), I’ll make a very strong recommendation for it. Yes, parts of it are challenging for the violence and the racism. The story is ultimately transcendent, though, and provides a magical realism spin on an important part of American history #somanybeautifulwords
  • Tucker the Cat and I are rolling up on 14 years together in a couple of months, and he’s about to turn 16. His jumping skills aren’t what they used to be, but he remains a Zen master in a cat suit, and he can snuggle like no one’s business. No, I’m not getting him a car for his birthday. #snowshoeboysarethebestboys
  • While my always-and-forever brand of joy is grace (because how could there NOT be joy in getting to start over again, every single day?), I’ve been working through my 2020 “word of the year” for the last several weeks, and have honestly been stuck between two. After a little Facebook crowdsourcing and some review of word origins (darn Classics education!), I’ve arrived at “transcendent”. It fits well with grace, it’s got a little mystery to it, and it doesn’t deny the role of hard work. Here’s to a transcendent year, friends! #transcendentgrace