Psst, Wanna Join the Friends of a Long Year?

Say what?

Friends of a Long Year is a private mailing list bringing stories to your inbox like it's still 1995. It's written in the spirit of Mary Austin. It was originally called Place Without a Postcard, which does a better job of summarizing what I like to write about. Friends is delivered roughly twice a month.

Archive

The Poison You’ve Been Dreaming Of

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Everyday we go to the store and blithely buy things without ever thinking about how they got here or what the cost of these items might be. We trade our time (all we have) for money to buy things that are killing us and the people we love. And we consider this totally sane.

Down The River

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Rivers make the familiar foreign in an instant. For the entirety of this trip I almost no idea where I was in Athens. I floated through an area that I have lived in and explored off and on for almost 20 years now and yet all it takes to make it utterly unknown is looking at it from a waterway rather than the land.

Pig Roast

Athens, Georgia, U.S. I was headed downtown about a week ago when I noticed a sign that said, "free pig roast". There are two types of people in this world, those who go to free pig roasts and vegans fools. Sign me up.

Schoolhouse

Oconee County, Georgia, U.S. Something called touch-a-truck that rolls through town, or just south of town at a place call Heritage Park, every year. It turns out to be pretty much what it sounds like: a place where kids can touch trucks — semi-trucks, fire engines, ambulances and more.

Ice Storm

Athens, Georgia, U.S. I love storms, preferably summer storms with plenty of warm humid wind, lightning and the attendant thunder, but winter storms are nice too.

Walking in the Woods

Athens, Georgia, U.S. It’s always struck me as strange that we have a separate word for walking in nature, hiking, as opposed to just walking. Is walking just too mundane?

Purcell Wooden Toys

Athens, Georgia, U.S. The evolution of toys in my opinion starts with what is still the greatest of all toys -- the stick. After that, I suggest my friend Chris's handcrafted wooden toys.

Sunrise

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Watching the sun rise, coffee on the stove, light in the world.

Hoppin’ John

Athens, Georgia, U.S. New Year's cynics are boring. What they miss is that, sure, the only meaning in New Years is what you bring to the table, but that’s true of every day you exist on this planet. So bring something to the table damn it.

Our New 1969 Yellowstone Trailer

Athens, Georgia, U.S. There are no real blank parts of the map anymore, to misquote Conrad, but there sure are a lot of empty spaces left. We intend to see some of them in our new (to us anyway) 1969 Yellowstone travel trailer.

The Night Before

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Every voyage has a night before. We tend to remember the excitement of the next morning, when our senses are on edge, hyper-aware and it's easy to be anchored in the now. But me, I like that night before. I like when you're still imagining what it might be like. Still trying to picture it all in your head, fit yourself into your own imagination.

Bourbon Bacon Bark

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Searching for what the Danes call Hygge in the sugar deliciousness that is Bourbon Bacon Bark. Because you rarely go wrong with alliteration.

Creamed Corn

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Creamed corn doesn't lend itself to showy food photography, but then neither do most Thanksgiving dishes. Strange holiday that one.

Colors

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Autumn in the South is never as spectacular as is in New England. The colors here are neither as intense nor as long lasting. But still, it is our autumn, our season, our reminder. And this is by far the most colorful year of leaves that we’ve seen in 15 years.

Muffins

Athens, Georgia, U.S. When you're two years old everything in the world is new every day. Even things you saw yesterday look different, feel different, *are*, inexplicably, different today.

Memorial Park

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Loons, Maine, Memorial Park. *What that sound is?*

Halloween

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Halloween with three owls, a Theremin-wielding ghost band and a zoo full of ghouls.

King of Birds

St. George Island, Florida, U.S. Watching birds teaches you to see the world a bit differently. You're always alert to flittering movements in your peripheral vision. After a while you start to scan the tree line, the edges of the marsh, the place where the buildings meet the sky, the borderlands where movement begins. You quite literally see the world differently.

Oysterman Wanted

St. George Island, Florida, U.S. The world of oystermen and local fishing industry is doomed. Even the people resisting the transition know they’re no longer fighting for their way of life, but avoid watching the death of everything they know.

All the Pretty Beaches

St. George Island, Florida, U.S. St. George is just off the Gulf Coast of northwest Florida and offers a seemingly endless amount of gorgeous white sand beaches.

Things Behind the Sun

Athens, Georgia, U.S. My grandparents left the home they lived in for 60 years today. I don't know how much of my life was spent in that house, probably well over a year if you added up all the holidays and family gatherings. And now I'm thousands of miles away and someone is clearing out the house.

Street Food in Athens Georgia

Athens, Georgia, U.S. Cheap food, made fresh, in front of you. Served hot, wrapped in newspaper. Street food is the people's food, it removes the mystery of the kitchen, lays the process bare. It's also the staple diet of people around the world.

We Used to Wait For It

Los Angeles, California, U.S. When we first came here, there was nothing. Downtown Los Angeles was an empty husk of a place fifteen years ago. Now it's reborn, alive and kicking. Yet there is something in the older buildings, something in the old walls, something lost in the bricks, something in the concrete, the marble. Something you don’t find anymore. Something we need to find again.