Gravy Trainin’

GRAVY

I am finally in Boston! YAHOO!

The journey to Boston was a disaster, I woke up at 4 am to catch a 6am flight, flight was cancelled at 6:15. After standing in the wrong line for an hour and a half, Delta ended up paying for a taxi to take me to Cincinnati so I could catch a direct flight. It was smooth sailing once I got to Cincinnati Airport.

Traveling Tip: Never ever fly out of Louisville, every time I have flown through there it was a mess!

So, Mul’s Diner in Boston was my first real local Boston dining experience. The waitresses had awesome Boston accents and were quite friendly.However, I do have to mention that breakfast food is inedible for me unless it is smothered in gravy (especially eggs!). Naturally, I ask for gravy….it’s a breakfast diner, should be a no brainer that they have gravy by the train load. “We don’t have gravy” the waitress replied, I’m sure my jaw dropped and my eyes glazed over. How in the world can they serve breakfast without gravy on the menu! It is super easy to make and super delicious, cheap and loved by all…..right? Apparently, gravy really IS a southern thing…I don’t understand what yankees dip their chicken livers in or what they top their biscuits or toast with. Surely they don’t replace gravy with boston pudding and ketchup?!?! I tried to top my eggs and corned beef hash with ketchup (breakfast food is dry, yo!) it did not soothe my gravy craving….Don’t get me wrong, the food was GOOD, quality breakfast for a low price….but damnit breakfast just isn’t the same! Next time, I will make a small container of gravy before I go to breakfast in Boston.

Within my first 48 hours of being in Boston I find myself (at times) paralyzed with fear and almost immediately after being struck with fear, I feel excitement and freedom. This journey is bittersweet. It is super sweet that I get to be with my AMAZING partner(who inspires me in so many ways), live in a big city, cycle and PT it up (instead of driving), do great community work and be involved in larger social justice events. However, the bitterness I am experiencing is leaving my home, family, friends, work. I also find bitterness in the guilt I feel for leaving my parents at such a medically intense time (for both of them).So far, I have cried, laughed and freaked the fuck out over this change but I really must say that I am SO excited to continue feeling all these wonderfully strange emotions. Learning how to express and manage these emotions is going to be a great learning experience for me.

On a lighter note: I am announcing a ten year plan to bring gravy to Boston. This needs to happen, these Yankees just don’t know what they are missing!

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Spaghetti noodles.

I am three years old, sitting in my father’s lap. Dad and I are almost done eating our spaghetti by the time mom brings her meal to the living room. Television laugh tracks hum in the background, I fidgit joyfully and slurp up the last noodles into my mouth. My dad’s recliner squeaks with every move i make. I would probably ask him to do his “magic” tricks or copycat his every move.
This day was different though, after my plate was empty,dad got up and walked the dishes to the kitchen. As he reached the threshold to the kitchen he staggered and dropped to the ground. I cried and ran to his side, my mom quickly followed. We both cried as mom shook him.
She frantically reached for the wall mounted phone,I remember the long spiral cord that could stretch half way through the living room and past that kitchen.

Normally, i would bat and tug on the phone line,as if i were a playful kitten, but like i said, today was different. The phone line dangled by my knees in peace, mom slammed the phone down and immediately called our neighbor, a physical therapist for special need children. Her and her husband ran over and performed CPR. I remember Mom trying to push me behind her so I wouldn’t see, i remember the sound of my father’s chest crackling from the compressions and the confusing sight of our neighbor blowing in his mouth.

My father was gone. No pulse,no breath, no magic tricks. Gone. Not the kind of abandonment my siblings suffered, but abandonment none the less. At some point, my neighbor’s breath and relentless compressions brought him back, by then the darkness of the world had revealed it’s ugly existence to me. I was forever changed.

Finally, the lights and uniforms arrived, mom climbed in the ambulance with my dad as my neighbors took me by the hand and walked me to their house. As I watched the ambulance speed down the long gravel driveway, I flt utterly alone and as the lights faded into the trees, i wasn’t sure I would ever see
them again.

Bucket List

Greetings!
In my previous post I mentioned a bucket list, I am a fan of lists. I have a few things I want to experience before I kick the bucket- In light of this blog’s theme (my transition to Boston), I thought it would be fun to start a list of things I wanna do/see while in Massachusetts. No particular order is given to the list and I am also open to suggestions! Photos will be shared throughout the process!

Go to an IMAX theater
Freedom Trail – nuff’ said
Hide 20 painted rocks throughout the city(KY themed-of course!)
See some fancy art
Visit the Public Garden (1st public botanical garden in U.S)
Take a selfie fist bumping every statue I see
Order a meal using a Boston accent (If I am successful I get 50 Bonus pts)
Kayak Tour
Have a date at every MAJOR Boston library

….to be continued….

Introducing….

In a little over a month, I will be moving from Lexington, Kentucky  to Boston, Massachusetts. I was conceived, born and raised in Wilmore, Kentucky. Wilmore has a population of about 4,000 and is home to Asbury University and Theological Seminary.Needless to say, it is a small southern christian town. I was raised outside of Wilmore city limits in the palisades of the Kentucky River,a holler called High Bridge. I learned skills in agriculture, hunting, tracking, fishing, construction, any out door, or tomboyish activity my parents would let me do. I grew up learning to work hard and dream big. If i wanted a go-cart, four wheeler, horses, play stations or wood for a club house, I earned it by working . I like to say that I was spoiled ripe but not rotten.

Any who, fast forward to 2014. I met a woman at my cousin’s wedding and about 5 months later (remaining persistent for a Skype date) I fell in love with her. She is in Boston,I am in Lexington, KY (pretty much a paradise in my book) and May 18th will be the end our long-distance relationship. I got this nifty summer internship at an intentional community in Boston, I will be gardening and cooking. I am leaving my home state of Kentucky. I am leaving behind a state full of people that I love, a city, Lexington, which is full of vibrancy and diversity. My parent’s will be missed the most. My mother is a strong, loving, and caring woman, she just celebrated four years of sobriety and will be celebrating her 64th birthday tomorrow. My father is a hard headed, stubborn-willed man that has many health issues, and is a purple heart Vietnam veteran, he turned 68 last month. I am a sufferer of “Borderline Personality Disorder”, personally, I think the labels of disorders are bullshit and medication (especially at the YOUNG age I was) is more harmful than helpful. Sigh, it is not for me to question why, it is for me to do and die.

Calling Boston health care professionals really sent me into anxiety.The accents were high-pitched scraggly sounding on women and what I would imagine to be a drunkenly stammered corner speak accent from the men, either gender sent my blood pressure soaring. However, I found to be that most of them were just assholes, except two or three helpful operators. You see, I realize now, they probably weren’t being assholes. Direct and blunt are associated in the south with an infectious disease known as “douche-syndrome”.Naturally, their accents and the direct nature of their dialogue had created a fear in my mind that Boston is just a polite way to say “Doucheville”. In Kentucky, small talk is considered a social must and to neglect that social rule, you would look like an asshole, when I try to practice the southern “small talk” culture in Boston I look like an asshole.

For instance, my first time in Boston, I thought that this lady forgot to pay for a ride on the bus and me being half deaf, I thought the bus driver told her to go up front and pay. I didn’t know you could pay as you got off, like a nice southern lad, I got her attention to remind her she hadn’t paid, I thought I was being helpful, really I was just being an ass hole.  Pretty excited to learn about a different culture, not excited about culture-shock though.

Item to check off of my bucket list:

Exchange Southern Comfort for Southern Misfit.

So let me officially introduce myself,

I am Cee Byrd (Southern Misfit)