Last month, I slept in my bed 30 nights, whereas in October we were on the road more than half of the month, spending 15 nights in hotels and Airbnbs. In general, I’ve felt very safe when traveling, particularly in short-term rentals where we’re not around people at all beyond those we’re traveling with (so, each other or my family).
The only time I felt icky was in a hotel with three high school soccer teams flooding the lobby, not a one of them in masks. It goes without saying that we don’t go anywhere in public without a clean mask on, and we take social distancing very seriously. Traveling is definitely an odd experience, I’m not going to lie, as we thrive on meeting people, and the new norm is staying as far away from others as humanly possible.
The crazy thing? I still haven’t been on an airplane in 248 DAYS, since Feb. 25. I used to fly every week or two, and now it’s been eight long months. We have some travels planned for early 2021 that would include flights, but are holding out making any firm plans with the virus numbers spiking significantly again. I’m curious how you’re all handling it: putting your entire future on hold or going ahead and making plans you might have to cancel?
October was a great month all around, though, with excellent weather and some fun new projects:
I VOTED. I was in line behind 100+ others the morning early voting opened up in Tennessee, and I’ve never been happier to wait in line for an hour. I’ve voted in every major election for almost 20 years but never gotten emotional about it until now. I teared up as I voted for change, equality and unity in this election. I hope you’re all exercising your democratic right and head to the polls on Nov. 3, as well.
Speaking of, we’re co-hosting a Get Out the Vote party with Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery on Monday! Want to join us on pre-election night for stories about suffrage and art and a live cocktail demo, plus the world premiere of our Walls for Women documentary trailer? You can RSVP for this free event via Facebook.
We spent nine days in Mississippi. Remember how we started the Natchez Trace Parkway this time last year? Well, after a lot of pandemic-related delays, we finally completed it a week ago! 444 miles, 357 days, 3 states, 18 communities. It’s been such a fun project, and I can’t wait to recap all on the blog soon!
We went on vacation. Mom and I had a vacation to Charleston with Charlotte booked for April that we obviously had to cancel. We decided to rebook for a week in October with Kari, Josh, SVV and both kiddos. We basically moved our pod from Tennessee to Folly Beach and have had the best time ever with the most amazing weather. Beach time with Charlotte is my new favorite pastime ever.
I was in Parade magazine. Last week’s issue posed the question “If I were president…,” and had 100 people—from Drew Barrymore to Tom Hanks to ME—weigh in. You can read my full answer here.
We produced a TEDx event. In July of last year, I had a dream in which my friend Robin and I were doing a TEDx event with puppets. I messaged her the next morning, and she responded immediately: “Funny, I’ve been wanting to do a TEDx event in Tullahoma. When can you meet?” We wound up getting together with SVV a few weeks later and starting the brainstorm process, came up with the theme “Change” (well before COVID!) and started assembling a crew of bad-ass speakers, one of whom included a puppeteer. Robin took over with the licensing and logistics and brought a few others in to coordinate, while I handled communications and ticketing. We had to push back our original date in April till October, but we got it done! It was such an empowering event with some awesome speakers, including two of my nearest and dearest: Sara Beth Urban and Matt Willey.
We painted the Cedar House. Well … sort of. We’ve spent a whole lot of days in between work and travel finishing up the eaves and foundation and prepping the deck for paint. We’ve got about two more days of that ahead of us before we start brushing out the cedar. We’re now racing against the calendar, so fingers crossed we have another solid month of this balmy 70-degree weather before winter arrives!
We landed our biggest grant to date. I can’t really give any details just yet, but our nonprofit recently was awarded a HUGE opportunity that I can’t wait to share more about.
October was a good month personally, and though the world is a mess right now, I’m just going to choose to focus on the positive over here.