Although New Years is long gone, it is never too late to reflect on the precious times of a previous year. Though 2021 may have felt like an unpleasant repeat to the pandemic year prior, I must testify that last year for me was not without its pleasant highlights.
I’m happy to share this first highlight, as it is Black History Month.
This past year my wonderful fiancée Courtni and I went on a much needed trip together. By much needed I mean that we both work a lot. Our destination was Memphis, Tennessee. As we journeyed across the backroads and highways on root to Memphis we listened to a playlist Courtni put together just for our trip. It was a nice mix of music she loved and music I loved. Quite interesting how are our tastes in music are. She actually snuck a Prince song in there just to make me smile. No guarantees they’ll be any of his songs at our reception this year when we tie the knot. Lol
Courtni is not a bad person to travel with at all. We can enjoy one another just by riding in silence; laughing at our favorite podcast; listening to music; or just talking about anything that comes to mind. As soon as we got back home I immediately started thinking about our next vacation.
If you ever have the chance to visit Memphis like we did you absolutely have to visit the Lorraine Hotel. While this was the place where reverend and civil rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr was silenced with a gunshot, this hotel has become a museum for black history. I was immediately mesmerised by the exhibits. Everything from the empires of Africa-such as the Asante and Mali- to the struggle and progression throughout the years for people of color, all the way down to the hotel room where MLK stayed on that fateful day.
This is not a museum you can finish in a day. So much history is laid out all around you. I can still hear the recorded singing of the Freedom Singers and the words of MLKS famous “I Have a Dream” Speech. MLK isn’t the only thing you’ll be enlightened about. Be prepared to hear about Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat; lawyer and first black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall fighting for integration in public schools; the Freedom Singers demonstrating power in music; and much more.
Not gonna post too many photos, as I want to encourage you to check out this wonderful museum on youre own. I had such a wonderful time away with Courtni. If I hadn’t had to be back on work the following Sunday I totally would have spent another day away with her. If you ever have time to get away with your significant other by all means go for it!
What I love most about Christmas isn’t the sparkling light displays; the cheesy Hallmark movies; or searching frantically for the best gifts. It is being surrounded by the people whom I love. My family is part of who I am- from my grandmother blessed to be with us in her 90s right down to my youngest, energy bursting nephew. This past December I told myself that I wanted to have enough money to spoil all these good folks. Though we may not always agree and verybe opinionated, at the end of the day I am reminded that these are people who love me. Seeing all the glowing faces of everyone as they pealed back wrapping paper to behold their gifts was a gift for me in itself.
It’s not often that I get to have all my immediate family under the same roof. Me and my siblings all have jobs; people to tend to; and we are spaced out. It seems like it was just yesterday we were all packed up into our black Aerostar moving from one place to another: Dad driving; Mom navigating and dozing; teenage Mike & Chris riding in the middle seat checking on me in the back as I sang to our radio, along with our literal baby sister pitching a fit on the long drive.
It’s so easy to get caught up in silly social media trends. But every now and then I’ll find one worth my attention. One trend on TikTok I leaped at last December was a trend called a book tree.
If you are a book lover this is the thing to do from here on out every December. Stack up your fictions and nonfictions; adventures; contemporaries; dramas; sci-fis; romances; horrors; fantasies however way you’d like until you’ve got yourself a nice Christmas book tree. Make it as high as you’d like. Deck it down with ornaments; garlands; or lights.
For the first time this past holiday season, I did a couple seasonal greetings for people who I felt moved by; felt needed to be checked on; or neighbors who just put up with me living next door or above them. Writing Christmas cards gave me the chance to reflect on why I hold such individuals who aren’t related to me so close. It was also a good way to see how my cursive writing game was. To the current generation and generation to come- don’t let cursive writing become a lost art. Another holiday tradition!
My Cousins Come To Town
The last weekend of last October I had a wonderful family visit from my Cousin Jan; her husband Greg, and their daughters Iesha and Evonna. That Saturday night we all went out to dinner. What I love about family dinner outings isn’t the cuisine, but moreso just getting to sit down with everyone and congregate. I can expect anything- from laughter to words of wisdom.
It’s not every Sunday that I’m able to be free from work, but weeks prior I arranged to be off work on October 31 just for them. It was totally worth it. That morning I showed up to my parents house dressed up like Prince to get a good laugh out of everyone. As I sang, danced ans air guitared I thought back to the time I volunteered did all this for the employees at my old job. The wig on my head was just as warm on the head as I remember.
After having a nice Sunday breakfast, my cousins; Mike and his wife Simone; and my parents all came over to my home so Evonna and Iesha could check out my apartment. Cousins Jan and Greg were the ones who assisted me in assembling my bookshelf the last time the two of them were in town to visit. Speaking of book shelves Evonna was impressed with what books I had on that shelf. Turns out that not only is she a book lover but she’s read many of the books that I had read as well. I’ll have to get back into doing book reviews.
After we left my apartment we ventured out to Nashville to show our cousins around. It was an experience for me as well because though I drive through Nashville nearly every day, I don’t take as much time to walk on the side walks and behold the scenery. We listened to live music; walked inside stores; bought souvenirs; and admired the city from the top of a rooftop restaurant.
As I reminisce on my pleasant times of an otherwise endearing and unpredictable year, I notice that in all of my highlights that I was around family- people I love. It is a reminder to me that we are not meant to walk the earth alone. If you are an individual who thinks they are better off by themself with no human interaction let this post encourage you to someone in- from God Our Heavenly Father who is bigger than any human bond to a person whom you can love who is family beyond blood.
Thank you for reading!