• ISO: 800
  • Shutter: 1/30 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

There is something about living in an 85-year-old house that slows things down, takes you back to another time when life was harder yet so much simpler.

Closing doors requires a certain amount of finesse, just the right jiggle of the knob, just the right amount of pressure — somewhere between a thud and a slam. There is the dipping of hands into soapy water again and again as the crickets sing their evening song. No dishwasher here — no need. My hands are sturdy and strong, and I am reminded of the centuries of women before me who have cared for their families in this way. It’s good work. Honest work. I like it.

There is the scrubbing of windows, the polishing of floors. There is the drawing of the bath, the squealing clang of the pipes as the hot water rushes from the spigot into the claw foot tub, a ceremonious end to a full day.

Time has little meaning in this house. The days are measured by sunrise and sunset; the nights are measured by kitties snoring softly beside me and cicadas whirring in the trees.

But still I find myself drawn to my PowerBook, stumbling to its warm glow before I have even brushed my teeth in the morning. How many nights have I fallen asleep with my BlackBerry in my hand? How many mornings have I been awakened by the ding of an Instant Message?

It’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and disconnect — for the weekend at least.

I have plans, none of which involve staring at a computer monitor. There are doors to re-screen and porch railings to paint and mildew to remove. There is grass to cut and flowers to repot. There are hamburgers to grill and an Alabama football game to watch on television with one of our dearest friends. There is a life to be lived.

Sunday night, I will return to my beloved keyboard, hopefully with new pictures and a better outlook on life.

Meanwhile, if you want to reach me, you might try the old-fashioned way — telephone. Or better yet, drop by for a visit, but be forewarned — you might end up with a hamburger in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

Music: Let Go by Frou Frou (lyrics)

Favorite Pic: “Deep Atlantic Sunrise” by Ocean at Tidal-Pool-Reflections.

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