When I started Such the Spot in 2008, blogs looked a lot different. They were more like front porches and less like storefronts. I liked the porches better than I like the storefronts. I’m totally guilty of going storefront–not that I have anything to sell but for a time now I’ve published with more concern for ad/affiliate revenue and partnership opportunities than for storytelling. The problem with the storefront blog–for me, at least–is the lack of motivation; my heart wasn’t in it. I am a writer. Without question. Storefront blog posts require writing, but not the kind of writing I’m all about. I want to write words that stir. I want to write words that stick. I want to write words that churn emotions and inspire action. I feel, now, like I’m out of practice at the storytelling and it makes me sad. I don’t want to let that go.

I’m working outside the house now. Since mid-April. Quite possibly what I miss most are the quiet mornings when I could wander to the keyboard and type first just a line and then maybe another and see where it went. Gramps inquires less and less frequently about the blog; I fear he’s given up on me.

I hope to make more time for some front porch storytelling (less storefront) in the months to come. Starting now. It took everything I had not to assign Pinterest-friendly alt titles to these photos. And just look at that title! So not Google friendly.You can expect that my posts are going to feel mostly throwback from here on out. I’m going to tell you stories. I’m going to share my favorite recipes and trip adventures and probably some pictures of house progress (sorry, Gramps). Speaking of trip adventures…

We made a trip to Arizona last month. Because this.


In ’13 we made Torri heads on a stick and so we, of course, had to make Kennedy-on-a-stick, too. It’s become tradition.


She finished her high school credits in December so that she could start college in January. She stayed behind, piecing together the cutest little nest in the dorms, when the rest of us headed east for Alabama. I hardly got to see her before she headed off for Colorado and a big Europe trip. Post diploma, I stood wrapped around her neck bawling like a baby near the twenty (thirty?) yard line. Confetti was strewn and the caps and the gowns and the flowers and balloons and then there was me with so ugly a cry face and heaving shoulders and I didn’t give a lick because I thought everyone was too busy to notice.  But then later Jeff said he saw. And Torri too. And mom. Apparently I wasn’t as sly as I thought.

We took Jayce to Grand Canyon after. We used to camp there for Memorial Day weekend but that was before Jayce. He couldn’t very well have been born and partly raised in Arizona without ever going to Grand Canyon so we went. But first there was Sedona where we they held snakes at the visitor’s center. I’m being quite literal when I tell you that I would rather scrub a stranger’s vomit splatter off my bare legs than hold a snake but if I could avoid both unpleasantries it would be my preference. Luckily, I can and I did.


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We learned something as we drove through Sedona at a snail’s pace on Memorial Day weekend. That is: if you choose to drive through Sedona on Memorial Day weekend, it will be at a snail’s pace. I would caution against it. It’s a two-lane road with bumper-to-bumper cars both ways so once you commit there’s no going back. You can, however, turn off for some great photos every once in a while.


After Sedona we continued on to Grand Canyon. The pictures fail but–really–I could stare at it all day.

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We hiked the Bright Angel Trail down about three miles into the canyon. It was dusty and hot but really not all that bad, well, not all that bad on the descent. Coming back up was a you-know-what.

It was a good trip. Odd because in many ways, going to Arizona seemed like going home for a visit. I was on Facebook on the plane and I kept seeing posts from my California friends and family and I had this feeling like I was going to be seeing them when I got off the plane. Only I wasn’t going home home so I of course wouldn’t be seeing them. I explain it like this to the people who ask: we moved from Arizona but I’m from California and Jeff is from Texas. We lived in Arizona for eleven years and there are certainly parts of it we miss, but I haven’t once looked back in regret. Arizona has a piece of my heart but it was never home.

The place we are now–this is home. I can feel it. It’s like a long exhale. Like a soft place for my soul to land. A foundness. It’s more home than I’ve been in a long, long time.


  1. Great post! Glad you are going back to these type of posts!

  2. No, I hadn’t quite given up. I knew you would eventually return when you got time from your “church lady” duties. Keep ’em comin!

  3. Thanks for writing. I really enjoy your blog and I’m glad you’re back, too. So many blogs I used to enjoy have turned to “storefronts”. I understand why but I don’t want to read them anymore. Loved reading this.

  4. As always a beautiful heartfelt collection of thoughts, Btw, why don t I remember Kenni on a stick?

  5. You make me want to move to AL.
    I’ve been missing your posts. Nice that Kennedy participated in graduation. Not that she wouldn’t, but now that she is a big college girl, I didn’t think of that.

  6. I’ve been checking and was so happy to see your post. Front porch is way better than store front. And your writing is excellent.

  7. Hooray for a return to storytelling! We’ve had so many conversations about this and you know I feel the same.

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