September

We vacation with friends the first week of September. We go to the Outer Banks, rent an ocean front house, and spend a week with people that we don’t see often enough. I think of this trip as the end of summer. It’s often followed by hurricane drama, except when we’re unlucky, and it’s interrupted by hurricane drama. After this trip, the holiday season starts and my social calendar gets filled up, although usually not with all the same people. Not the same way. There is no other part of the year that is filled with lazy hours of casual conversation with opportunities for spontaneous discovery, the kind of conversations it was so much easier to have when young and unencumbered. That’s the real beauty of the beach. It’s an opportunity to roll back the clock, in a weird way, for a fleeting glimpse at a less responsible time. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of it, but it sure is nice for a little while.

Like Anakin Skywalker, I don’t like sand, but I love these people and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to spend time with them every year.

Names

I spent Saturday afternoon in Loudoun walking through historical cemeteries looking for names to use in my next novel. I never lift anyone’s entire name from a gravestone, but it’s a good place to get a feel for realistic local names. The history of African American cemeteries in Loudoun isn’t the best, but there are a lot of people trying to rectify past mistakes and make sure they don’t happen in the future. I love doing this kind of research. It really gives me a feel for the county and its history.

Sopacdi

Y’all this coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo is so delicious I could weep. It’s sweet and fruity and so delicate. It makes morning better. It makes walking the damn dog at six a.m. better. It’s a revelation paired with Sweet Thai Chili almonds. Shut up! You eat weird stuff for breakfast. Go to¬†Lexington Coffee Roasters right now and order some before they run out. You will thank me in the morning.

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An Open Letter to the Rabbits in My Neighborhood

Dear Rabbits,

I know the indoor/outdoor cats in the neighborhood have gotten old and have allowed you to proliferate in larger than normal numbers this year, so let me give you a few survival tips.

  1. If you squeeze past a barrier and find yourself in an enclosed space, turn around.
  2. If that enclosed space has a whiff of dog pee, turn around faster.
  3. If you see an actual dog on a leash in that area, and you don’t die right then, consider yourself lucky and leave.
  4. If you see the dog again on a leash, please understand, he will not always be on a leash in the enclosed area. Leave immediately.
  5. If you see the dog a third time on a leash, remember, this is not a permanent state. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY.
  6. If you’re still in the enclosed space after dinner. YOU ARE DEAD.
  7. Pro-tip: When the dogs come to kill you, try and angle your head toward the basenji and not the miniature pincher. You’ll have a much quicker, much less painful death. The mini-pin’s mouth just isn’t big enough to kill you in one quick blow.

No love,

Me

Morning walkies

Notice the leashes. This is not a permanent state.