“Oh, you’re the best friends anybody ever had. And it’s funny but I feel as if I’d known you all the time, but I couldn’t have, could I?” Wizard of Oz
“What’s this blog procrastination all about?” I ask myself. Life is moving so fast that sometimes it is difficult to capture the essence of what transpired since my last post. Life, after all, is only a series of snapshots seen through my perceptions, so I’m choosing to write a friendly to my friends.
In mid-June of 2016, I circled back again to Lynchburg, Virginia to house sit for my third-grade best friend. It was especially nice to settle in to a familiar house in a familiar community. I know the grocery stores, mall, church and the best route to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I even have a hair stylist and a chiropractor. Against the ever-present roar of the presidential election, my life revolved around watering thirsty plants, working with my editor and new illustrator on my children’s book, Corey’s Peaceful Heart, and enjoying the changing seasons. It was a summer and fall especially rich in relationships, as I reconnected with old friends and found new ones.
I reestablished connections at the Unity in the Seven Hills and had the pleasure of a warm welcome and deepening connections at Jolly Stickley’s Tuesday Night Group, as well as, lunches, workshops and meditations with Lynchburg and Appomattox friends.
In August I joined my sisters and four maternal first cousins for a week in an amazing vacation home in Hendersonville, North Carolina. We enjoyed fabulous views, lovely meals and exploring charming Asheville.
We were all surprised when one cousin arrived with a baby bird – a Cedar Wax Wing she had rescued from a rest stop parking lot. Our biologist and birding cousin guided her care.
She lived in a large paper bag and trained us to feed her blackberries when she peeped. Before we departed, she was safely delivered to a wildlife shelter, where she will be introduced back into the wild. Perhaps one day there will be a picture book about her adventure in “human land.”
I made a new friend, Kaye, unexpectedly, while shopping for shelving material at Home Depot. As I was cutting it to length, she came over to hold it steady. We soon exchanged contact information and enjoyed a number of excursions while I was there.
Via the Blue Ridge Parkway I made two visits to back Floyd, Virginia to reunite with soul sisters, Jody Minnich, an amazing massage and cranial sacral therapist, and Lisal Roberts of the fabulous Bella La Vita Inn.
When my friend, Carolyn, returned to Lynchburg in mid-September, I moved to a spacious basement apartment of another new friend. This busy, open family included a middle-school teacher, her physician husband, visiting grown children and granddaughters, an elusive cat and friendly dog, Sally. Patty, the mother of this family says “Yes” to life, asks for what she wants, and expects the very best.” She was an amazing model of another way to approach life.
Staying on in Lynchburg after Carolyn returned gave us two special months of actually living in the same town – the first time since 1954, when she moved away from New Orleans at the end of the sixth grade. We took full advantage of the time for outings including an overnight trip to Floyd to experience the Friday dancing, visiting the Lynchburg Market, attending a restorative yoga class, visiting the Lynchburg Design House and attending the Race, Poverty and Social Justice Conference at Lynchburg College. On other days we had long talks over tuna salad sandwiches or gumbo at my place. We have always been able to pick up right where we left off and this gift of concentrated time gave us the opportunity to see each other through new eyes, to share secrets on a much deeper level and to risk letting our vulnerabilities really show. We felt safe enough to open up and trust more deeply. Our friendship is an amazing gift.
In mid-November, after a slowly unfolding autumn, a burst of winter arrived as I was packing to head south for the winter. On the way, I stopped in Hendersonville, NC to join my sisters and our families for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed the terrific location, marvelous food, amazing people, and a visit to see the Biltmore Estate dressed in her Christmas finery.
Hugs to all. Next post from sunny Pensacola, Florida.