Friday, May 22, 2009

Dolly Hawkins

Dolly Hawkins, my friend, died a few days ago. I’m still in shock because it was so sudden. She had a burst aneurysms in her brain and a few days later she was gone. All of us who knew her grieve today for this woman, so full of life, who left here much too soon.
Dolly was my age and she followed her dream to live in Costa Rica when she and her husband retired.
She lived in Georgia when I first knew her probably 13 or so years ago. She was a creative designer of homes and rooms and her husband was a builder. The last several years she lived in Costa Rica with her husband, George and her mother, Dory. They ran a B&B from their spacious home and I had the privilege of being there last year and this year as well. First was a trip with friends who also knew Dolly and this second one, one year later, was with my brothers and sister’s in law. We had a wonderful time staying at their place in Alleueja and meeting people they knew and touring the country.
Dolly was also responsible for helping Bill and I to plan the graduation trip for Brian to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Her advice and suggestions helped to make it a perfect vacation.
Dolly wrote beautiful poetry about nature and her philosophies on life. We were in the same writing group, The Skywriters, for probably 10 years.
She was at my house this year for a writing retreat with other women in the Skywriters, I’m so glad I had that opportunity to be with her. I can hear her reading her poetry to us so clearly and see her sitting yoga style on my couch listening or composing poetry.

I feel her presence in her home state, Georgia, in many states where we traveled along with the other HCCer‘s as a group, in Las Vegas which is a place she loved, in Costa Rica, and in my home in Florida. So many memories flood in as I think of her not being here any longer to enjoy these times with. I hope the essence of her will always be in my mind as I envision or walk in these places. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Poetry and Coffee

I took a trip to Hayesville where the Netwest Writers and Poets meet for coffee and poetry reading at their local bookstore. What a perfect combination, coffee, and the written word, especially when you add some yummy little desserts to go with it. Brenda Kay Ledford was the guest poet who read her poetry. She is an amazing poet from that area, the kind of poet who lived in the same type places that I did and she knows how to say it so you can see, feel, and be right there with her. I really enjoyed this whole group of women, just reading and enjoying the comradery of other poets and writers. After Brenda Kay Ledford read, there was an open mic and many of us read a poem. I read one about my Grandpa Sid and everyone laughed at the right places and were wide eyed at the right places. LOL When I was through, a couple of the women told me they wanted to know more and wondered if I thought about writing a short story about Grandpa. I have thought and am working on a chapbook of character sketches. Now I’ll have to call it family character sketches because that’s what they have turned out to be so far.
The bookstore in Hayesville is a dream. They have arts and crafts (all local) as well as many wonderful regional and local writers books. I couldn’t get out of that bookstore! It’s a long drive to Hayesville so I won’t go often, but every now and again, I will look forward to the trip over to meet with this group of poets again. I want to walk into every little shop on the main street as well. There’s a wonderful knit shop, a bakery that I did try and is out of this world (Annie’s Natural), and lots of places to eat that I want to try as well.
Being with other writers always inspires me and this was no exception. What fun!
I have so many books and ideas for books that never get much further than that but they are all there, waiting to be put in order or written when I get around to it. As long as I don’t run out of things to write about, I guess I’ll be fine and my passion for writing will stay with me, even if nothing ever comes of it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

I had a nice trip to SC to spend Mother’s Day with mom. It was wonderful seeing her flowers and seeing her. She looked older and more frail than when I saw her last, not that long ago. I feel good for spending this time with her and doing for her for a few days and I hope to spend more time with her. Her body and hands are cripled and bent by arthritis and she tired more easily than before. Thankfully, she still likes to shop at Wal-Mart and we spent quite a long time there while she got groceries, and other things. She just becomes another person when she is going in the car somewhere but I can see a time when she won’t even be able to shop any longer. I want to enjoy it with her while she still can. She has a pink rose bush that is the most incredible I have ever seen. It's so full and heavy with roses. She loves her flowers and garden. I'm so glad she has a passion for them and it shows. Jasmine is around everywhere; up in the trees,all over the woods. They give off a heavenly scent and the whole area in SC is just beautiful.
On the way there I stopped at Sharon Harris’ home and spent some time with her catching up and finally, I met her husband after knowing her for probably 13 years now. Jerry is a handsome man and he put up with our chatter and laughter and even spent some time outside with Lexi. Of course I know how nice Sharon is but it’s nice to know how nice Jerry is, too. I saw photos of her kids and grands and learned something new about her . She goes all over with a group of women to Alan Jackson concerts. She’s a real groupie. LOL Anyway, she explained that Alan Jackson was irrelevant to her traveling all over. The big deal , though she does love Alan Jackson’s singing AND his looks, is that she does get to travel with this great group of women and she keeps meeting new people. Well, I would no doubt be a groupie now that I understand that. She sure has fun traveling the country and I’m glad to learn more about it. Distressing news is that her local bowling alley closed and Sharon is an avid and good bowler. This is a funny photo because I still don't know how to use my new camera and when Jerry tried to take photos of us it didn't work but I pointed the camera at us and there was that green light so I got the shot myself LOL
On Mother’s Day, I was going to take mom out for brunch but she was pooped. I understood because I wore myself out as well. LOL So we just had coffee and talked. Mom talked a lot about her childhood and she kept repeating stories but I listened to them and realized that the hardened arteries were probably a factor to her slight dementia. I say slight because I don’t believe it’s Alzeimers. I can see a time when she won’t be as self sufficient but for now, she is doing well and enjoying life. She has a small garden planted and takes care of her flowers , those things are her love. Her flowers were beautiful and spring time is definitely there in her area.
I’m very glad I have a mother this year to celebrate.
Jeni and Tom said they will celebrate mother’s day with me when I get back to Florida so this Mother’s Day is not over yet. They had Bill over for a steak BBQ today and they had a really nice day.
Bill sent me photos of Harley, who is our new dog that isn’t weaned yet and we won’t take home with us until the end of June. He’s a phatom poodle and he has a lightening bolt in white on his chest. Unusual and I think pretty coloring. Bill spent time out there with him and says he’s really cute. He has his eyes open and his hair is getting longer with more distinct markings. I can’t wait to see him and I am so curious about how Lexi will be with him.
Lexi had Leila, my brother’s dog, to play with at my Mom’s and she just loved that. Laila is much older and bigger but she is really good with Lexi. I’m dog crazy I guess. I would never have dreamed that we would ever have two dogs. I hope it works out well for us. He has to be a good traveling dog like Lexi or he won’t work out for sure. Lexi is the best traveler. I put her in her car seat and she’s a happy girl.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Since I added my long stem red roses to my blog on the mountain house, I thought I should give these roses equal time, at least.
Bill and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary on May 2. It's been a ride and most of it wonderful. The bad didn't have to do with our relationship but we do believe the bad times made ourmarriage stronger. Even the horror of the death of our son didn't change the way we felt about each other or the love we share. Again, it made us stronger. Our thinking is that if you can make it through that, you can make it through anything.
This man is the love of my life and all the sappy phrases and thoughts apply here. I really am blessed and am thankful every day of my life that I met and married this man.
This anniversary we are taking a cruise to Russia and Scandinavia. We go in June and really look forward to it. In the mean time, he sent me roses and they are still gorgeous one week later. It was a nice surprise since I knew we weren't celebrating until next month.
Life is good and I'm hoping for another thirty-nine years with this man.

Monday, May 4, 2009

North Carolina Sunrise

I woke up to an orange and yellow sunrise over the mountain tops. A bird was outside my window on a tree with leaves the new green of spring. The weather is cool and a breeze makes the thin branches look like mobiles swaying; the bird song gives the mobile it's chime. I'm overcome with the beauty of it all. The mountains are so rich with the color of green in a thousand shades. It takes my breath away.
Speaking of birds, I have a cardinal here that keeps running into the window...crashing really. It's been going on for days and I don't know how to stop him. I've opened the window, really thinking that would be a better alternative to the bird dying.
So then he goes over to the patio window and starts crashing into that. I can't put cardboard or something outside on that window because it's one I can't reach for the decks. I've had a few talks with this self destructive bird, tried shewing him away, and Lexi had a good talk with it last night and I thought that did the trick until he started crashing again this morning. There is a bird house store in Waynesville and I'm going to stop in there to see if they have any suggestions. What a phenomena. I've never seen or heard of anything like it before.
I'm thinking about making it a little crash helmet but, you know birds, I can't be sure he'd wear it. sigh I'll figure this out somehow.
It's glorious here with spring coming to the mountain. The dogwoods are blooming thick and dotting the countryside with white.
I've had my cup of coffee so will be off into town to run some errands and get set up for a few of my classes. I'm not going to get too involved since I will only be here a month at most. I'll come back in July and really dive in.
Yesterday I went to Wordfest in Asheville. It was the last day of it at Malaprops Bookstore (my fav!) and I'm so glad I was there. I heard the poets Paul Allen, Jr, Landon Godfrey, and Debora Kinsland Foerst read their poetry. It was wonderful sipping a capachino and hearing their words from their mouths. I am still singing one of the songs Paul sang today. (Wish I could get it out of my head!) LOL
I love the thought expressed on the Wordfest t-shirts. "Poetry Changes Things".
Off for more adventures today.