House Hospice

Hurricane Irma, September 2017. PC: ABC News

My house is a rental. I haven’t lived here very long, just a little over four months, and there are zero sentimentalities about this place in my catalogue of dearest memories ever. On more than one occasion, in fact, as I got to know my condo on the beach a little better, it has occurred to me that this place has seen its share of terrifying storms. The scars are everywhere. There’s a little lean to the floor in the hallway upstairs, and the whole place literally moans when the wind is blowing. Long story short, if The Big One Named Irma were to decide she was coming to Pensacola, I would pack up a few Rubbermaid bins of pictures, put my renter’s insurance policy in my car, and drive away happy and content with my kid and my dog, never looking back. This place has days that are numbered, and I’m okay with that. Read more

Best Worst Weekend Ever

PC: Instagram @patrice_dior

In 2010, our high school baseball team went to the State play-offs. I didn’t care much one way or the other about the baseball but I was quite fond of South Florida so I volunteered to escort two 17-year old girls (members of our school’s media journalism program) to the game so they could film the excitement for our Student Body.

Two young girls from a really, really small country town, Lindsey and Bekah, plus myself… one mature, supposedly well-traveled adult. Reservations were made, plans were finalized. Piece of cake, right?

Next stop: Miami Read more

My City By the Bay

PC: Instagram @frankabbottphotography

Y’all!! It’s 4th of July weekend. There were absolutely perfect grand finale fireworks exploding over the bay behind Wahoos Stadium last Saturday night as Cat Country belted out the Star Spangled Banner and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” for the whole town, songs we know by heart because we’ve heard them, literally, hundreds and hundreds of times growing up here. Our townsfolk serenaded each other up and down the coastline as they sprawled out on blankets laid on pelts of damp grass downtown in the historic district while their kids twirled sparklers in the air screaming, “Look, mama!” We drank ice cold canned drinks plucked from sloshy coolers doubling as benches and we grilled big fat hotdogs, sitting on the hallowed ground of five hundred years of European history as kids hit baseballs and men planned offshore fishing trips for next weekend. We ate truckloads of chilled watermelon. We drove our big lifted trucks to get down there, or maybe our convertibles, or our Jeeps, because the climate of this area just begs for you to ride around with the top down, the twang of a Luke Bryan country song blaring out your window, talking with your passenger about the excitement of the Blue Angels Show coming up the next weekend. We complain about the traffic…and the heat…my God the heat, but yes, we love it here. The pride we have in our military, the confident air of superiority we have in all things USA…well, it makes us walk a little straighter and push our shoulders back just a smidge. It’s gooood to be an American. Really good. I couldn’t be more patriotic right now in my red, white and blue hangover if I’d signed the Declaration of Independence myself.  We love our country. Read more