I never thought I'd be back in Tennessee willfully. I never imagined being in Tennessee, at will, and being relaxed. Whelp, here I am.
A wonderful friend of mine moved just outside of Nashville a few years ago and I actually scheduled a family-free trip to visit. Yesterday was my first full day without kids, work and any level of responsibility. The lack of ties just about killed me. I can't recall a time in which I had been so relaxed. We chatted for four hours at the kitchen table while drinking cups of coffee and tea. After an afternoon of lunch, pedicures and a quick stop at the grocery store we headed back home to grill some delicious steaks. I hurried up the stairs to my room to grab my glasses and pop out my contacts. I believe that the lack of responsibility and deadlines forced a dull headache. I needed to pull it together before we head out the door to a bluegrass festival. After a few orange mint mojitos to take the edge off, I took the last little bite of steak and wiped it across my plate. My word, what a delicious meal! I needed that. Within thirty minutes, my girlfriend, her husband and I piled into the car for the short drive to the festival. Sixteen dollars per person includes four beers each (!) and live music until 11 pm. The unseasonably cool Tennessee air kept us bundled in sweat shirts and a heavy blanket; our tailgate chairs were positioned in a horseshoe on the grassy field which was riddled with groups of people sitting on blankets, chairs or a combination of the two. Kids pranced through the darkness led only by their glow sticks while their parents staggered behind as beer sloshed over the rim of their plastic cups. All around us, musicians of all ages gathered in small groups to collectively crank out tunes familiar to the even smaller group of bystanders. The sweet smell of kettle corn paired with smoky BBQ and undertones of beer seemed to push the clouds aside, revealing a heaven of stars.
I decided sometime yesterday afternoon that I'd be taking Drew to a yoga class. She's not new to yoga, but she isn't a regular practitioner. I found a studio, close by, that offered a mid-morning All Levels class. Being 'in the know', I wasn't sure how 'All Levels' friendly a 'Vinyasa Flow' class would be for a beginner, but I was willing to roll the dice. I woke early today, again sans alarm. I tiptoed down the carpeted stairs and hobbled over the gate (to keep the dog on the first floor) towards the kitchen. Without making too much noise, I set up the coffee maker to brew a strong pot of butter pecan coffee (delicious, BTW). I spent close to an hour in my Health Coach book (cert exam on May 28th!!!!) before anyone else woke up. DJ, dressed in his fatigues, emerged from his room first; Drew followed ten or so minutes later. I took a shower after a light breakfast and dressed for class. Thirty minutes later, we went to class. I pre-paid for the class; all we needed to do was check in and lay out our mats. The studio was WARM. I knew within no time we'd be sweating buckets. I grabbed a few props (blankets, blocks) to place by our spots as the instructor sauntered into the studio. The door clicked behind her and she immediately started talking. The music was a little loud and 'unconventional' (Fleetwood Mac, The Cars...), but I eventually tuned that out. I found the occasional Southern lingo, mindfully interjected into the script, distracting, but I learned to just smile through that commentary ('Those Warrior B's look beautiful, y'all'). Savasana wasn't as long as I prefer (less than 5 minutes), but after the vigorous flow it would have taken me at least ten minutes to zone out. We rolled up our mats and placed the props in their respective cubbies as we bid farewell to the group.
And now, sitting in 'my' chair, feet propped on the ottoman, I am reeling off a tasty lunch and a HUGE Ranger win. I could pass out, but I opted to surf the webs and write this post. Soon we'll head to East Nashville for tasty food and well, whatever the hell we can do in East Nashville. I do miss being home, but Mamma needed this break.