“You can’t stop this love”

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Where else could I possibly have been on a chilly Saturday evening?

In the upstairs of an old antique shop in Mutual, OH we gathered on a motley collection of chairs and benches to listen as Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band filled that room to the creaking rafters with their playing.

I think it was the rawness that made it wonderful, the fact that the cracking plaster and weather worn window panes weren’t there for a trendy vintage look, but because the building has seen a hundred of these winters. It was the sincerity of the people on stage, bundled in their hats and sweaters, who play because they love the music and the stories of these songs.

Anyone could have come to the show and felt like family. A bowl of hot food and a cup of coffee from downstairs helped with that. Taking a seat on one of the benches along the wall surrounded by the smell of kerosene heaters doing their best to keep the chill at bay could only have added to the feeling. The easy, familiar interaction between the band and their audience would have topped it off. Until, at the end of it all, circled around the last heater, under the gritty glow of bare bulbs strung across the stage, you felt the fellowship and joy of honest artistry and story telling among friends.

A Feast of Fancy

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Dishes were being prepared, lights were being strung and candles lit.

In a tiny kitchen off the dining room eager cooks and taste testers are packed as full as the oven brimming with food. In all our finery we bustle.

“Hoers-devours? Cheese?”                                                                                                                   “Most certainly, good sir!”

The friends and food continue to arrive as last (45) minute(s) preparations are finished. Our dinner is quite fashionably late. The first course, spinach salad and mozzarella green beans, is served no earlier than . We fill our glasses, pint jars, mugs, etc. with sparkling grape juices and off brand soda. The food continues to appear in dizzying array, chicken, sweet potato fries, rice, mashed potatoes, more chicken! Until finally with cleanly scraped plates we sit back.

Such romance and charm!

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Such feast!

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And such fancy!

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And after our small pleasant play of elegance we clean up, nibbling on delicious slices of lemon meringue and cheesecake.  Or scarfing with gusto in some cases. The evening dissolves into a happy ending of sleepy goofiness and goodbyes.

Fancy Feast 2014: Success!

 

A string of colored beads

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Within the first year of our marriage we have experienced and learned a great number of things. From snowy backpacking trips, to lonely evenings filled with the moving, unbearable and beautiful story of Battlestar Galactica we are taking in life one day at a time, sometimes with an apathetic sip and sometimes with a gulp that is so much and so clear it is a little overwhelming. Over an uncharted course of hesitant decisions and sudden changes we have stumbled into a new school, new (but familiar) jobs, and the third new apartment of 2013. And we have learned more and more what we have suspected for a long time: this is life as we love it best, unexpected and simple.

Plans are tricky, and when we make plans we often find ourselves changing our minds halfway through because Levi is really craving Taco Bell, or the laundry room flooded or we are suddenly summoned to watch an episode of Sons of Anarchy right when we are climbing into bed. So plans don’t generally work well for us, but maps are cool. When you look at a map one of the fun parts is seeing how many different ways you can take to get to the same place. It all changes depending on if you’d rather take the scenic route, not pay tolls or arrive at your destination A.S.A.P.

Well, we are people who like to take the scenic routes (we also like to not pay tolls, a sadly inevitable part of life). We hope that these scenic routes help us discover new adventures, tell new stories and keep us always exploring our surroundings.

So here we be: a $200 car, less than $100 to our names, a lot of bills and enormous dreams but we are off to find and experience the most interesting life that money can’t buy.

Hooray 2014!