Hey I bet you missed me when I didn't post yesterday.
Well the reason is, I have a bad cold. But it vexes me to type that because I usually don't blog about my health, since it couldn't be of remotest interest to anyone.
I have been known to stop following really nice bloggers with cute blogs because they natter on endlessly about their aches and pains.
Give me a break.
But see, I was driving home from Knoxville on Sunday when this threepenny-nail-like pressure began to invade my skull somewhere above my right ear.
Since I despise road trips (especially the part where you go home) and I quadruple-loathe road trips that take place on Sunday, I thought I was simply stressed out.
By the way guess what? I love to go places but hate to travel. When I do travel, I refuse to fly so it has to be by car, and I don't like that either but if it must be on wheels, I prefer to be the one behind the wheel.
Only, I really don't enjoy driving.
If you can figure all that out, call me up and tell me what it means. But bear in mind, I don't like talking on the phone.
And don't mention my meds -- or lack of same -- because I won't discuss that either.
Anyway back to Sunday when my head started hurting and traffic around Asheville was a hairy yellow-fanged beast and I became annoyed.
A few minutes later I realized I was also stuffed up -- as in, my nose felt funny -- but honestly, I put that down to the altitude. I was after all in the mountains.
What do I know? I haven't had a cold in nearly eighteen months. One tends to forget.
But by that night, I knew I was in trouble. Yesterday came the incessant sneezing. I've been sleeping a lot.
My head does not seem to want to come up off my pillow. It feels like a buzzy bowling ball.
Oh! Have you seen the Puffs softpack tissues? I love those things. LOVE THEM. The packages, I mean; a tissue is a tissue. But the soft pillowy packages! They're so so so so so so cute I can barely stand it.
But I digress.
On my trip to Knoxville I took lots of pictures. Consistent with my personality (don't ask but if you do, the word Oppressive Obsessive will come up and yes with a capital O) I'm not a very organized photographer; I tend to go by emotion rather than rely on any sort of established method or system.
Even so, I began to notice circles. Now, I LOVE circles. Don't ask me why! I just do.
That picture of Rambo up there at the top has a circle and I hope you see it because to me it simply glares. I'll give you a hint: It's on Andrew's Weber grill.
On which he fixed us hamburgers on Saturday night last. Smoky circles of beefy joy on soft round buns!
I ate mine before I could memorialize it with a burger selfie but use your imagination.
You already know that on Wednesday my son showed me around the Tennessee Air National Guard base where he works as a boom operator.
The double circles of the KC-135 Stratotanker engines made for an interesting subject.
Then there was the round graphic on the plane's nose, which circle featured a gas pump and the Rat Fink dispensing Fink-O-Lene. You've already seen it but we can't leave him out of the loop.
On Thursday, Erica and I walked the campus of one-hundred-ninety-five-year-old Maryville College, absorbing the ambience of southern academia in the sweetly cool East Tennessee autumn.
Can you spot the circles in my picture of the cupola atop postbellum Anderson Hall?
The building is one hundred forty-four years old and, as part of a comprehensive renovation that's nearly complete, has been fitted with one hundred forty-four brand-new windows.
(Although as a rule I dislike math, four is by far my favorite number and forty-four? Or one hundred forty-four? Shut the front door.)
I don't gamble because I don't believe in it but if I did? Well. You know.
And then there were the circles I found in downtown Knoxville on our wanderings, maybe even in a big circle, around one of the most charming small cities in Dixie. Delights abound everywhere you look.
There were circular windows reflecting the October sky, and round signs, and O's in names, and circles built into metal fences, and a ring-shaped parking lot marker.
There was a circle within a square embedded high in the wall of a Victorian-era brick industrial structure.
There was the exceedingly fetching Gay Street Clock, its face a circle within which nestles a circle of neon.
The next day -- Friday -- my children indulged me in a visit to Knoxville's Old Gray Cemetery, a historic marvel. We walked the lanes and again there were circles, like the tightly-wound concentric ones on tombstones furry with moss.
At least one grave figure seemed to be offering a wreath to someone, anyone, walking by who may need a circle of stone flowers.
Here: Take it, she seemed to beckon.
The wrought-iron gates of Old Gray are a profusion of curlicues and circular patterns.
Eventually I came full circle: I arrived back home in Columbia, with a cold riding shotgun.
I humbly accept your prayers and wishes that I will get well soon.
Meanwhile I hope you are not sick or hurting, but that your eyes are round with wonder.
And that is all for now.