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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Work Week



I got home late last night from a week working in Asheville, NC. I went up as part of the design team for Fifth Season to help set up our newest store. It is going to be a really great place to shop once the doors are open for business. I stayed at an air bnb with three other women, so I got up super early each morning to get the shower first. The plus to this was every morning I saw the sun rise over the mountain peaks and the town of Asheville in the distance went from twinkling dawn lights to pink sky and then the day began. Not a bad way to spend a week. We worked hard, but had some nice meals, got a lot accomplished and had a lot of laughs.

I started this job one year ago with the hopes that it would work into something fun and creative and it has. I am still the lowest man on the totem pole, lots of egos and power hungry folks in front of me, but it's been my experience that if you stay the course, you outlast those types and then you can prove your worth. I'm not interested in the ego struggles anymore, so I just keep my head down, work hard and try to smile and laugh and make the work fun. It's much more enjoyable than wanting to be the important one in charge. Much less ass kissing has to be done that way, ha!


The store will have a coffee bar, coffee courtesy of Carrboro roasters, beer on tap, wine, kombucha,  and healthy small plates.  It's going to be a fun place to hang out.

The outdoor nursery has a beautiful fountain. The tables made from reclaimed wood will display planters, outdoor plants and garden decor. There will be live music on weekends, the store is participating with local artists and will have art on display, and they hope to really support and become a vital part of the community.


There is a brew room where you can come and rent a kettle to brew your own beer, there will be classes on home-brew and workshops.


The first shipment of plants came in the first day I was there and it was mind blowing trying to check all of that in. It seemed like the boxes of plants went on forever. It took the better part of a day to get them unpacked and checked in. Everything brown you see in the background was a box of plants or a plant with brown wrapping, and where the green plants are, there had been even more boxes of plants.    Soooooo many......


Our small house was on the side of a mountain and had spectacular views. These houses were on steel beam stilts and seemed really precariously perched to me. Don't think I would want that for a permenant residence! But the sunrises were spectacular.



Our morning commute to the store was very pretty. Our first morning driving in this sweet little bear cub ran across the road in front of us and we almost hit it with the car. Where was mama bear!?!?!



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dreams of dying


I woke from a dream about Doris Brunson Thursday morning. I dreamed she was very old and she was with her mother, there were tubes going into her nose, her mother was holding her hand and telling her she was going to die.

Doris Brunson was the mother of my best friend when I was a little girl. Beth and I played with our barbies, she was going to marry Peter Tork and I was going to marry Davy Jones (The Monkees, remember?). We had sleep overs and Mrs. Brunson took us to school every day. We were the best of friends for a long time. Then high school... Beth was the smart girl, National Honor Society, scholarships, awards, clubs kinda girl. I wanted to go out dancing at the discos and buy clothes and I worked. I didn't study, I didn't practice piano. Her mother was more strict than mine. We grew apart. But I have thought about her from time to time and remember our friendship fondly. He mother was kind and I imagine had a pretty good idea what was going on behind the closed doors of my house. When we were a part of the initial integration of schools, Beth was the first person I knew to invite a black friend home. Carol. The neighbors talked. I was proud to know her.

My mom sent an email Thursday night saying that Doris Brunson had died..... I have not thought about this woman in years and the day before she died, I dreamed of her. I can't shake that from my mind.....  So I am heading back to the beach for two funerals on Saturday.

22 years ago, my dad was buried and now I will sit through two funerals on the anniversary of that date. A dear friend of my mom and step father also died this week, also a mother of childhood friends. Mary's son taught me to swim. Her funeral is just hours apart from Mrs. Brunson's. I feel like I should be there out of respect for my childhood friends and their beloved mothers.

I don't want to go. My dad died twenty two years ago today and the pain of his loss just never goes away. They say time heals, but it does not heal the pain of a girl losing her daddy. I think of him and miss him every single day. I don't know how I will get through these funerals, but I'll put on my big girl pants and manage I suppose. It will for sure be a mind fuck, being with my mom on this day. The long ride home on Sunday will ease my mind, those cotton fields and farm stands and the leaves just turning their golden fall colors. And I will remember the countless times I rode in the backseat of our car, snuggled under an old quilt as my dad drove with his right hand, left hand holding a cigarette, flicking the ashes out of the cracked window, singing along to whatever country music 8 track tape there was playing, the corners of his eyes crinkled in a smile.

Always a smile......
     life is for the living ya'll, so get out there and live, its a short visit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

More change coming


 While Gerry has been chasing news stories in South Carolina all week, I have been signing papers and meeting with realtors and now our house is for sale.

We don't ever seem to do anything the easy or normal way. Gerry is taking serious risks covering the floods in SC and I am selling our house. What great timing!
 Docu-sign is a marvel, he has signed all the contracts electronically while floating around on flood rivers...

He told me some stories of places he went and people he got in boats with on flooded rivers...... and it was worrisome. Glad he is heading home tonight!

I've been looking through old photos on my hard drive for some nice photos of how my studio looked before I started filling it with boxes and boxes and boxes. It was such a soothing place to work and now it stresses me out just to walk by it. I came across this one. Wesley and Tyler having lunch on the foundation before the walls went up. What a very special day that was..... now neither are here with me. 


 In fact, no one has been here for days. Its been pretty lonely around here, but I have had a lot of last minute staging to do to get our house ready for listing, so at least I was busy. I haven't stopped from morning until night. Painting, taking things to storage, grouting, carpet cleaning, moving furniture around, packing. Oh my God, the work it takes to sell a house you have lived in for ten years! If I have to clean up one more hair in that white bathroom of ours I am going to come unglued!

 I sold my kiln yesterday. I seem to only be saying goodbye to things. I'm sort of ready for some new things to happen that I can say hello to.


Gerry worked like crazy covering the flooding in SC. He made the front page of the New York Times the other day. Very proud of him, those don't come along every day, but he has had a few of them. He said several times how nice the people are in South Carolin and how much he liked it there. Well, duh, you married a girl from there, haha!


Another one bowl lonely meal...... at least I have beautiful pottery to eat out of. I sure miss my family sitting down to a meal with me at night, talking about their day, sharing stories. Wesley is liking her job, liking California, so I suppose I should be happy about that at least.

I do know this. I am so very grateful to have a house that is clean and dry and cozy. I was fussing about how dirty the bathroom was the other day, then remembered all the folks that don't have a house right now and I remembered to be grateful. Prayers for those in the floods, my heart is heavy for my fellow South Carolinians......

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I didn't want to change


 Things change. People change.
That's what they say......

Well I didn't want to change. I didn't want this hole in my heart, this eternal empty space that a mother gets after her child leaves home. This nothingness. It just fucking sucks, and I don't like it.

I turned 55 September 23rd. I didn't really want to be this old either, but I am, so bleh. It was a nice day. Quiet..... Gerry and I did dinner and a movie. It was fun. He took me to get a new iPhone so my photos will be a bit better now.

Every year since I turned 40 I will say "well, I'm at the halfway point in my life now." Ha, now I am planning to live to 110? Guess I have to stop saying that on my birthday now, more than half over.....

The photo I am standing in front of is at our favorite Chapel Hill bar. Its a picture of what Franklin St. looks like when the Tarheels win a basketball championship. Gerry has shot a few of these. Mayhem.


I love this photo Gerry shot at the theater before the movie. We were the only two there. An empty theater on my birthday. It might look a bit bleak, but those who know me will know that this is heaven for me. A theater without other people. I hate being in a movie with other people. They all get on my last nerve and distract me. This was great!


This was sort of bleak, but I had to just laugh. I went down to see my mom at the beach for a few days, obligatory visit and all that. Now that Wesley is gone, I understand more the pain I'm sure my mom felt when I left, and I am trying..... really I am. But they went and got me a birthday cake at Sam's Club.  I texted Wesley a picture of it and she said "they spelled your name wrong".
Yep. They did.  For crying out loud......
t.r.a.c.e.y.

 The usual....money for my birthday. That's fine.... whatever. I bought some new chairs at an antique store for my dining room farm table. I will enjoy them. I am grateful.


My mates at work give me something to do with my mothering instinct these days.   J,  (Jeanette) (Jason) is wearing dresses only,  as he/she transitions from male to female. I watch her struggles, her joys, her tears, her frustrations, she confides in me. I listen, I don't judge.  I have never known a transgender person before, I've had many gay friends, but this is a whole other world, where only the brave and determined can go.  Ethan confides in me as well. Both look for advise/ support regarding things that only a mother would understand and I feel humbled that they trust me with these things. It fills a very empty space for me now and I appreciate their trust in me.  I try to honor that trust and think carefully about what I say. Today, they helped me set up my first hydroponic grow at the store. I am growing Tom Thumb lettuces which will be a small head of lettuce the size of an apple. My plan is to harvest them, make an insane bleu cheese dressing with toasted walnuts and have lunch for everyone at the store. I think that will be really fun.


There has been no art making in quite a while, but much learning. Hydroponic gardening is a beast to understand and I am just now comfortable trying to sell it at the store. Next week will be one year at this job and I learn something new every day that I work. I'm starting to write a little bit for our blog. If you care to check it out it's here:  www.fifthseasongardening.com
I have been asked to help set up our very large new store in Asheville, NC, which I am very excited about, getting back to my career roots. Baby steps, but hopefully this will lead to even more fun stuff. Full circle.


Lettuces are looking good. At least I have some tiny sprouts to nurture. That's about it these days...... Wesley is doing it on her own. I know I should be happy, but really..... I'm not...... I'm not even trying to feel any better about all this, just gonna wallow in it for awhile  :)   bleh.