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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

And then I saw Jupiter




Road weary.... and its only Tuesday. I left home early yesterday, drove to Mount Airy, then up to Bristol Va, spent the night in a skank motel, it was free with my Choice Hotel points, good thing because it sure as hell wasn't worth paying for. There were holes in the carpet, holes in the shower ceiling, it had an odd odor.... I'm just so tired of these "economy" hotels. They suck!

 I have a minimal travel budget that does not allow for Marriotts and Hiltons, which I am used to staying in, and I am not enjoying these stays one damn bit. In Charlotte, the desk clerk gave me a room that was the one and only room in the entire hotel that had construction going on literally right outside the window, the construction guy was looking right in at me when I entered the room and he watched me as I turned right around and went back to the desk clerk. Honest to God, how could she not have figured this one out!??  I'm going to have to talk to somebody about this. I am gone for the next three weeks and I can't take many more nights in these toxic chemical boxes. 

I ended my day today in Asheville NC and my listed hotel was a Quality Inn that I am familiar with. The hotel just direct bills my company so it is nice to not have to pay and turn in expenses. This place was fine, but the smell of the cleaning chemicals in these places is killing me. My allergies go into overdrive every time I walk into a room. I left the door open in this room and turned the AC way down, ran the bathroom fan and it went away. I had to go and get something for allergies, my head just completely closed up. WHY!?!?!?!? 



I needed some real air, so I went down the road to Whole Foods, got some good fruits and salad and a six pack and drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and had myself a little picnic, watching the sun set. Heaven.... I have sat at this same spot so many times with Wesley and Gerry, homesick now....


And then I met Jim from the local Asheville astronomy club. While I ate, I watched from a distance as he fiddled and fiddled with this gigantic telescope and wondered what he was going to look at. He walked over after a bit and said if I would like to see Jupiter, I was welcome to come over, it was just coming into view. Well now, why not? Beer, Kale and a Jupiter viewing....

I saw Jupiter and three of its moons, the same ones Galileo saw years and years and years ago. Jim lives five miles down the road, travels alone in his little RV there and hangs out with the local astronomy club. I admire his contentment with his solitude. He said he comes to this spot nearly every night when its clear and sets up his telescope. What a life.... he was very kind.


Then, when I got back to my hotel it was lit up like.... well, like I don't know what! I just burst out laughing at this sight. What in the world?!  It was like they were waiting on the Wizard of Oz to show up or still celebrating St. Patricks Day. Sure was festive and an interesting follow up to the mountain solitude and Jupiter with her moons.


Life on the road is good and bad. Lonely sometimes, but never dull when you just look around. I'm ready to get back to my bed though!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Whites only.... wtf?


We met with our realtor today to have a beer, get a check from her and discuss where we are with our new buyers. We have come up on one small glitch. Of course.... it couldn't be all smooth sailing. The buyer's attorney uncovered a covenant from the 1950's for our neighborhood that says only caucasian people are allowed to live here...... WTF! In that case we have several neighbors that are in violation because our neighborhood is a mix of races. I wonder how we missed this when we bought the house.... our realtor is African American and our buyer's realtor is lesbian, so neither are very amused by this new information. I am just ashamed for whatever fool declared this covenant to begin with, and thank goodness it is in reality, unconstitutional.  It also says our house has to be so many feet off the road, we measured, it is, but our plat is wrong. Can anybody get anything right?! Like this covenant would really hold up anyway, but still....

We are in a holding pattern, while new inspections for our new buyers take place. They have been very pleasant to deal with, unlike the devil's children we finally got rid of. Last week they had the house inspected, septic inspected, a contractor came, mom and dad came. I was out of town all week so poor Gerry had to deal with keeping the house up for all of the traffic in and out.

I have been home two days, head back out tomorrow for Tennessee, the next week back to the eastern part of NC then the next week to South Carolina. I'm tired, we are living out of boxes, we are still living with uncertainty, though not as bad, we think this contract will stick. I really just want my life back.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

23rd year


Yesterday was my beautiful daughter's 23rd birthday. The first one we have not celebrated together. I'm sure the first of many to come. Ironically I was in Greensboro working at one of our stores which just happens to be a few miles away from the hospital where Wesley was born.

I was very busy yesterday and had little time to be melancholy or sad. This morning there were some pictures in my email from Hannah McAndrew and her new baby girl, Pippin, and they reminded me so much of the little girl I once held so close to me. I miss this girl so much. I miss her laughter, her love for simple things, her compassion, her wisdom, her gentleness.

The pain and tears are mostly gone, but in their place a knowledge that she will not be coming back to live with us, she is moving on with her own life and we play a tiny role in that life now. She is excited to be living in a new house and having a big adventure in California. And for the most part, we are excited for her. Just wish she could be a little closer.....


Time is fleeting, memories are very precious things...... Happy Birthday my beautiful child....
may you have many many more!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Power of Positive Thinking


The endless saga with our house continues. We are hopeful the demons that crawled out of hell and tried to buy our house are in our past. Friday, we put our house back on the market. I sat on the porch in my grandmother's swing Saturday morning, and said a little prayer that the right buyers would come along in the two weeks we were given to get our house under contract. Literally ten minutes later our realtor sent an email with an offer attached. Saturday morning we had two offers and a couple more interested parties. In less than 24 hours we accepted an offer and are excited for the young newlywed couple that wrote us the sweetest cover letter ever. This one feels right, we feel like a huge weight has lifted and for the first time in over a month we had a day where we weren't answering hateful accusations and contacting lawyers.

Gerry and I went in to Chapel Hill and had dinner at our favorite restaurant, Tallulah's. It was a spur of the moment celebration. We haven't felt like eating in so long, we have both lost weight, we are both stressed out to our limits. If felt good to eat great food, just sit and breathe a little easier and then we took a walk around UNC campus.


We have been so caught up in real estate hell, I forgot there is a lot going on around town right now. It's graduating time for many of the students and campus was buzzing with kids taking photos and laughing and hugging, so full of excitement and promises of futures to come. At graduation time, it is tradition to gather at the Old Well and make photos. We did this years ago with our niece. It was joyful and lifted my mood greatly. I felt this odd thing I forgot I had.... a smile.


We sat on a bench near a stream in the Coker Arboretum. watching this young couple talking photos in their graduation gowns. They were adorable. We have sat on that same bench so many times with Wesley, talking and laughing and it was bittersweet to sit there in the cool evening air, watching these two.

At the same time, my child was across the country moving into her own little house on the Russian River. Also filled with excitement and heading out into a new journey.

Throughout all of this, I have tried to stay positive and believe that we would eventually get into our dream house. It has been a very hard fight, but I just kept believing that this house was meant for us and we would live there. I would just imagine myself in that space every day and I knew somehow my prayers would be answered and it would all come together. Today I feel more positive than ever and I know that this is right and come June we will be in our new home. I have faith!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Four months.... two weeks


Its amazing what can happen in such a short period of time. I haven't seen Wesley in four months, seems like four lifetimes. But really a short time when you consider.... This photo might have been one of the last really happy days I have had in the past four months...... thrift store ugly Christmas sweaters, penguin pj's, Christmas tree twinkling. Could I go back there for one minute and get my life set back right?!

In four short months, Wes went back to California, we got a contract on our house with people that the Devil spawned from hell, we found our dream house, we lost the contract with the demon folk, we may lose our dream house. I have a new job that is pushing me to my very limits, but in an interesting and challenging way. I am so out of my comfort zone it ain't funny!  I work with some of the nicest and most interesting people, my boss is demanding and kinda scary, but fair and kind.

Some days I just look in the mirror and say to myself, "you really don't know what the hell you are doing, do you?" Some days I say, "you are pretty dang smart, girl, you go!"  Some days I cry, today I laughed out loud screaming down Hwy 17 towards Jacksonville, NC.  I was listening to a song on the radio, the only station I could pick up, country 101 or something like that. And this song came on:

Buy Me a Boat
I ain’t rich, but I damn sure wanna be
Working like a dog all day, ain’t working for me
I wish I had a rich uncle that’d kick the bucket
And that I was sitting on a pile like Warren Buffett
I know everybody says
Money can’t buy happiness

But it could buy me a boat, it could buy me a truck to pull it
It could buy me a Yeti 110 iced down with some silver bullets
Yeah, and I know what they say,
Money can’t buy everything
Well, maybe so,
But it could buy me a boat

This song cracked me up. You should check it out. If you saw the people I was with today, you would understand. I was sitting at a table at the Comfort Suites in New Bern enjoying a free breakfast this morning, and a fellow with almost no teeth sat down with me. Long gray hair, a military jacket on, veterans ball cap. He was a Vietnam vet, he liked my boots, you know, the American flag ones I bought with the money my mom gave me for a new dress? He wanted to tell me about how mink oil would care for the leather. He was an old guy, as they say around here, he weren't quite rite.... but very nice and polite as he could be. He told me about his goats, and his donkey, and his mama, and his war time. And then his buddy came up and told me about what he liked for breakfast that they didn't have at this place, a banana sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise and bacon, with the bacon grease poured on it.... he told me it would make you want to slap your mama it was so good.

There was another woman in the area, looking at me in the most peculiar way, like how was I really sitting there with these two and having this odd conversation. I live for moments like this!!   I know NC is looking stupid as anything right now in the news about where we can all pee, but God bless the South anyway. There are some good people here! Where else can you find someone that eats banana mayo bacon grease sandwiches on wonder bread!?

This is military country where I am right now, and every jacked up truck on the road with a warrior from Iraq driving crawled up my ass today. So I turned on the country radio station, rolled the windows down and just went along with it. My life is so surreal right now, I just get up, put on some clothes and see what its gonna do to me today. I'm about delirious from coughing and blowing my nose and trying to breathe, and talking to realtors and lawyers and trying to remodel 57 stores with managers who "don't want my store changed", don't like change..... our stores are run by a bunch of good old southern boys who like whiskey and trucks and go to church on Sunday and say yes ma'm and hold the door for you. They are mistrustful of change. But my daddy was cut from this cloth and I know how to be with these people. My boss sent a group email last week and told them all to ease up on me. He said, "she is one of us, she gets it". No finer compliment could I receive. To be accepted by a mistrustful bunch of southern good old boys will carry you far.....

Well, the point of all of this was really no point at all, I'm just alone in a motel room procrastinating a bunch of computer work I still have to do.  But I will share one last thing. The seller we are dealing with for the elusive log home is one of God's angels, and has agreed to give us two weeks to try and get our house back under contract.  GOD BLESS HER...... we hold our breath and hope and pray someone will hear our plea and come get this house that we need to sell so badly to move on with our lives.

My life has turned upside down in four months, what's two more weeks?.... I might just try one of those banana and bacon sandwiches before long HA!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Holding on ....


My blogger friend Hazel (Handstorie) posted this little boat on her blog the other day, and for some reason it just reached out to me, the way art does. I feel just like that little boat. I feel so all alone on a raging sea and no one is sending out a rescue. I am a boat.... alone..... and I am refusing to let my boat sink!

It arrived in the mail this last week and for some reason that little piece of cloth is a talisman and travels with me now. It is hope...

Thanks to all of you for your emails asking how things are and expressing words of hope. Nothing has changed, we are still trying. I just hold out hope that the seller of the house we want to buy has a kind heart and will see our plight and rent to us. No one has made a decision. I reached out to them in desperation, apparently I broke a code, our realtor has gotten very quiet, she might be mad, or maybe just sick of our situation, I don't know. No one but our attorney seems to want to help us at this point.
I am a boat, floating in endless water with no direction......


Monday, April 11, 2016

Prayers are answered in the strangest ways


I took some stuff to Seagrove Sunday for my pal Meredith to share with her grandkids. Mostly Wesley's old Barbie stuff and a chair my daddy made when I was a little girl. It was a beautiful drive, gave me time to ponder the situation we find ourselves in.

There is a Methodist chapel on the way to her house. I'm a Methodist, grandmother was a Quaker, then a Wesleyan. I like churches, I find peace and comfort there. I knew this little place out in the country is left unlocked so I went in to say a prayer. I prayed as hard as I ever have, been a long time, but still. When I pray like that, things happen.


So, today, quick as a wink, things started happening. Our stupid buyers have asked for a termination of our contract. They found one little tiny loophole in the messed up county system that lets them out free and clear as far as I can tell. So these toxic idiots can get the hell out of my life now. Gerry and I are done with them. I fought and fought, and then today, there was no more fight in me. I gave it up, gonna let God have a go at it.

We are beat to pieces. Both of us are sick, we have been sick for weeks now. Gerry is losing weight, we are barely coherent. I find myself making mistakes, not focused, it has just been the worst experience of my life. I even wrote them a very heartfelt letter, hoping they would agree to a resolution. Nope. So after spending hundreds of dollars, packing all of our worldly belongings into a Pod, we have a house to put back on the market. I am heartsick!


But in some odd way, I feel like that chapel gave me the strength today to give up. We are offering and asking the owner of our dream house to possibly rent to us. I am hoping that by giving up the toxic people in my life, it will open a door to new possibilities and somehow we can make this work in the end.

All I can say to those hateful buyers is
Karma is a bitch.....

NOTE: UPDATE- our brilliant attorney just sent the most amazing letter! Hold on, it ain't over yet...

peace ya'll, say a prayer if you are inclined!