Hi all, Derek here, your very favorite curmudgeonly columnist. At the moment, I’m slammed with work as PRIDE gets ready for Girl Talk 2 (Apr. 7! Tell your friends!) – so I’d like to introduce Megan Princewill, who was kind enough to step in for me this month. I’ll be back and bellyaching next month.  

I’ll be honest: I am someone who rarely doesn’t have my phone within arm’s reach. It’s my alarm clock, my morning radio, and it even plays white noise while I’m falling asleep. I literally use it day and night. I check emails for work, text friends and co-workers, and call my husband to discuss what’s for dinner. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to using it way too often to check Facebook and Instagram.  

Spring brings creativity to life, in the ground, on the trees, and with flowers bursting forth to get us out of our winter rut. In Northport and Tuscaloosa, the first weekend of April brings artists out to share their creativity. Galleries pull out all the stops with catering, bands, and cultural stimulation.  

Readers: PRIDE has a very important event coming up, so I’ve asked Nicole Hall, Prevention Coordinator for PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, to tell you about it. Enjoy! – Derek 

What happens when you have an event that gets incredible feedback and multiple requests to do it again next year? We do it again.  

I was lucky enough to take several local students to camp this summer in Georgia. Most of these girls went to different schools and had not met before piling in my van and leaving for camp. We watched movies, laughed, and tried to bond during the four-hour adventure to the middle of nowhere in central Georgia.  

I was headed to school recently, and for the first time in a while, I realized I wasn’t rushing during my half-hour commute to collect my son. You see, I like to ensure that Im in the pickup line before the principal conducts her mandatory inspection of the “on time” parents before sending out the children whom she knows matches the vehicles in line. My child will not be the one traumatized by being the last kiddo picked up from school.  

What caused me to slow down?  

So far this year, it feels like we’ve all been in hibernation longer than usual. March, however, often comes in like a lion – and it’s a month full of huge breakthroughs (some explosive and some peaceful).   

As a kid, swim team was my jam. I loved having friends on the team separate from friends at school, getting to travel with my mom for weekend swim meets, and I even loved practice, because I knew it was the reason I won many of my meets and could generally find a write up about myself in our local newspaper. I remember my mom being surprised when I took up swimming as a sport. She never enjoyed it, and we didn’t know anyone personally who took the sport to a competitive level, so it was new territory for us. 

If I hadn’t grown up with a father, two grandfathers, a barrage of crazy uncles, and a cousin who were all from Alabama, and all insanely nuts about stock car racing, I’m not sure that I would be a NASCAR fan.   

But I am. Or at least, I used to be.  

We recently visited the “Love Park” in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. Couples and families there gather to relax in the grass and view the ocean beneath El Beso – a giant statue of two lovers embracing. 

The experience got me thinking about love… how we yearn to express it and embrace it, despite the consequences. In other parts of the world, people seem to embrace love more openly than we do here. 

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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