Fidgeting/Not Settling/Waiting

When the house is being shown I need to disappear. So I go off to a parking lot and read a book or try to write thoughts down. I still start the day with a walk. Twice to the river in the last few days.

The river is rising and is covered with pollen.

It is all so lush now. …like the leaves and blooms are shoving each other out of the way to show off how much bigger and better they are. I wish they would have taken their time and not be so rushed to bury the details of of what is behind and under them. Full on summer is what we have now.

The other day I sat in a parking lot writing about a homeless man I saw along the pavement of my river walk. I saw him up ahead, arms loaded with filled plastic bags. As I approached he started lamenting how wasteful teenagers are with their food. He pulled french fries from a food container, proceeded to toss them to a pair of ducks and tell me that at least they weren’t completely wasted. Not once did it occur to me that he might have eaten some of them himself. He took such pleasure in feeding those ducks.

On my return I saw him up ahead, right where I left him. The ducks had moved on but he did not. As I kept walking toward him I saw him take a comb out of his back pocket and slick it through his hair. When I was next to him he asked if I knew about the bank in town giving away free tomato plants. I did not. So he told me where it was and reminded me to take advantage of their free plants and get myself some home grown tomatoes. I thanked him, said I would, knowing I wouldn’t. But what struck me then and has stayed with me is how he combed his hair to talk to me. It was such a beautiful gesture.

And while I was writing this down in my pad while waiting for the hour to be up…the hour I need to stay away from the house, I thought more about hair. There was a woman at the river walk this morning. She was walking her large French poodle. Her hair was shaped just like the dogs…a puff on the top and the rest hanging down the sides of her face similar to her dog’s ears. I tried not to notice her white blouse with puffy sleeves matching the white fluffy shoulders of her dog. I wondered if the dog is an influence she is aware of. Then thought about my own hair and the influence of negligence.

I don’t comb it. Wash it once aa week. Squeeze the curls in as it feels the heat of the dryer…best done bending over so the thinning hair does not dry flat to the scalp. Once every five weeks I get it trimmed. And as soon as I am out of sight of the hairdresser, I run my fingers through her perfect placement to move things around. ANYTHING to make it look like I did not just come from the hairdresser’s.

It is like bouquets of flowers from the florist. Each one selected and placed in a position of formulaic beauty. None of them look happy to be there in floral arranging positions 101-110.

When I wanted to bring flowers to someone I would go to the florist and ask to go through the coolers to pick my own bouquet. All they needed to do was place them into a paper, wrap and tie a bow after assessing the cost. I wanted flowers that looked like I wandered through a garden or down a road selecting just the right ones for that person. Not those that are forced and shaped and stuffed into yet another glass vase I would need to store in the garage.

I wonder if florists let costumers do that anymore.

Now when I want flowers for myself I pick through the ones on sale (3 bunches for $10) in the grocery store. Most of them look like what they are – unwanted. But on a good day there will be a good reason to take not just three but six bunches home to spread on the kitchen counter. Trim their stems and prop them willy-nilly in a large clay pot. Find some greenery in the yard to get them all comfortable with each other. Put them on a table in a room seen from all directions. I have given them the last home they will know and as each one dies off, they are tossed over the bank to join all the remains of other flowers, rescued, appreciated and flung into the wilds of down below.

This morning I was back along the river. For awhile I had company to walk with.

The river was higher and there was a fetid odor as the path got closer to the water.

There were at least fifteen ducklings in this group on the water. So much fun to watch.

And always the beautiful details along the path.

I watched a man coming my way drop to the ground and begin doing pushups. He had grey hair and was also carrying dumbbells. He was serious about his morning workout. I waited until he finished by taking pictures of the river. When we were about to pass, he apologized if he was “over stepping” but wanted me to know that there were homeless men further along and since I was a lone woman, perhaps I should consider not going as far as where these men were. I thanked him, said I was at my turning point anyway and watched him raising his dumbbells in alternate strokes over his head til he was way out of sight in front of me.

And I thought about the homeless men under the overpass and how they likely were not sharing leftover french fries with ducks.

So that’s it for now…..


Time Is Slipping Past

The signs are up. One showing last week. Two scheduled for today, more tomorrow and Friday. Good thing I just put fresh mountain laurel in the vase.

I need to leave the house each time it is shown, so I have about two hours to get this posted.

Walks this week…the river, the dam and this morning over to the house.

I like this rock pretending to be a vulture looking for prey out on the water.

And the river flowing toward the power plant below the dam.

And the view from my porch here.

This morning I walked over to the new house. I met a man with a dog who will be a neighbor. He is a retired law enforcement officer from Atlanta. The neighbors seem nice and more diverse than where I live now.

My house is now painted grey.

It will have white trim. I did not bring a tape measure but found string there I could knot to take distances from walls out. I decided that I really need shelves built in on each side of the fireplace for those things I love looking at. So I met the builder of those shelves and explained I would like him to make them deeper than he had planned. I told him a house is all about the things in it, so making correct spaces is important.

This past weekend I had time to catch up on my sketchbook about the new house.

Now I will post this and check all the rooms, apartment, shop and wipe pollen off surfaces on the porch.

More later….



Lots Happening

Yesterday I walked along the river.

Even saw my first Muscovy duck swimming with Canada geese.

And a beautiful bloom from the Tulip Poplar.

When I came home I readied the house for the realtor’s photographer who came today. He did a splendid job and enjoyed shooting the rooms and grounds. Now I just need to keep it looking this inviting until the right person comes along.

The deck and door to the apartment and the shop below.

The rooms that don’t have boxes stacked in them.

The porch above and the terrace below.

And the dining room table with the magazine featuring our house open on the table per realtor’s request.

This morning I walked from the gym through the sunlit meadow over to my new house and was pleasantly surprised to see the driveway and walk paved and the rough plumbing finished. Today they will paint the exterior.

Finally more things to draw in my sketchbook.

I decided that I should spend the extra money and have each side of the fireplace shelved. If those shelves are kept 25″ apart then most of my artwork here in the living room and studio should fit. Some spaces shall have hand pulled prints hanging behind sculpture like Lee’s turned bowls and small groupings or families of things. It will be fun to fit the pieces in.

Maybe the next week will be filled with showings of the house. Tomorrow the window washers come. The yardman and pond cleaner arrived two days ago. Someone needs to come along and love the house as much as Lee and I have.

Til later….

Packing Up Studio and More

The river is filling up and the rose bushes have started to bloom.

And this morning choppy waters at the dam.

A pile of rocks with grass and the lake beyond just when I thought there was nothing else to see.

After the walk at the dam, I stopped to see the builder. He told me it might be a good idea to put off the closing on my house here until the end of August. That gives him another month to make sure any complications with sub contractors can be solved. My realtor is fine with that and asked if I was still ready for the photo shoot in two days. Of course I am!

Today the ceiling fans were washed, porch cleaned several times to get all the collected pollen off the surfaces, cluttery bits stored away or just plain tossed. Some things are just easier to throw in the garbage bag than wonder where to put it. And to be honest I have never reached in the bag to retrieve anything I tossed there.

The grounds look really nice for photographing, and so does the living/dining/kitchen space. Bedrooms and den are okay. But boxes of cookbooks I am handing down to Amy and Patrick are piled in the laundry room. The studio books and some artwork and copious journals are packed up.

Packing books is back breaking work! But seeing the empty shelves makes me feel I am accomplishing something.

Books don’t look like much when they are lined up with others on a shelf. But when you separate them from one another, they put on weight and expand. And what is worse each one of them knows they are indispensable. All of those wooden shelf units have places in the new house. Shelves are like drawers…extremely important for settling into a space.

Tomorrow I will look over the apartment and shop to make sure it is looking presentable. But today I am exhausted with the cleaning, tossing out, blowing off the deck, getting cobwebs off very high light fixtures, washing fans, vacuuming and tossing things out. My favorite was dragging off a scrappy looking cat scratching post/bed/cat toy holder to the garage where the things too big for a garbage bag are being held til help comes.

The first of the artwork is coming off the walls. I started in the kitchen with photos of Lee cooking his favorite things (they are packed in a box for Patrick because so much of that was done together) and three small egg temperas I did that were near the knife block. Funny how empty the kitchen looks without those small pieces. I even cleaned out some kitchen drawers and ended up packing all my hot pads. Good thing I found something usable below the range because once a box is packed it is not to be opened til it arrives at the new destination.

I carry around my peanut butter jar of wall paint to brush over holes left behind where I pulled nails. Some will be dreadful to cover as when I needed to find a stud to support a heavier artwork, I just guessed and kept on banging a nail in til I found it! My rule was every half inch til you found it.

Yesterday friends took me out for Mother’s Day. A terrific brunch of shrimp and grits, Then we toured my new house and decided to spend the rest of the day sitting on my porch drinking bloody marys and talking. It was such a nice day!

Til later….