Celebration Of A Life That Changed Mine

Happy Birthday, Honey!  How is it that you entered this world on a windy day in March of 1947 in the hometown of Elvis Pressly, followed 12 and a half years ago by a baby girl born in the pine-needled, sandy flatlands of North Carolina, thus beginning and a circuitous trajectory that mysteriously and surreptiously began to move through crossroads, stopsigns, people in the past, career turns, friendship and finally delivered us here 14 years later.  The very best 14 in my 55 years of life.

Although it has not always been easy, it has never once failed to be awash with deep, spiritual growth; unfailing love; surprises – both wonderful and challenging; a deep and abiding trust that has taken my fearful heart a while to accept. Trust being a concept that by nature takes me so much time to build.  (And here is an extra nod to those of you- and you know who you are – exactly – who have helped me with that little side journey of mine).

The Adventures of Trey and Crissy could fill a number of books.  Consider the anals that Carl Sandburg wrote on Abraham Lincoln. (Okay, so maybe I am stretching it just a tad).  But thinking of Carl, whose home we love so much in Flat Rock, NC, He did love his “Paula” as he called her and he wrote her poem after poem to let her know so – as you have done for me – even as you adapted his quote, “I don’t know where I am going – but I am on my way,” for your very own life.  So ain’t that the truth, Dear One?

We’ve been places and we have seen things we never dreamed of – Budapest dancing off the Danube River on both sides on Christmas night.  Kindred Spirit and the mailbox full of letters on Bird Island where we have spent hours drafting notes to the Divine, thanking Her for our good fortune.  A restaurant and bar that we found in San Francisco by accident one night and spent hours listening to music and wondering how we found the place.  Watching the holiday bonfires in New Orleans.  Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving with adopted families.  People with love and cherish to fill our home on holidays.

On Saying GoodBye: Part Two


Add Hearth

Light and Love

Nestled together


George Maynard, III (Trey)

Noted today on Facebook, a friend of mine moving.  Pictures of a house –  empty, floors bare and sleek as a baby’s bottom without a diaper and cupboards and closets bereft of the pots and pans and clothes and games and junk drawers and doodle pads and old Southern Living magazines and pet hair and clocks that tick, tick, tick, tick away precious, fleeting time.

Those clocks that make the seconds that make the minutes that make the hours that make the days that make the memories of our lives.  The houses that make the homes that hold those memories.  Oh!  My Grandmother Honeycutt’s house was huge, I remember!  Places to hide with (and from!) my cousins playing hide and seek, an expansive lawn on which to turn flips and cartwheels (yes, I can STILL do both!) and extravagant, heaping, warm platters of homemade biscuits, red-eye gravy, collard greens with vinegar and chicken fried in Crisco and flour in seasoned black iron skillets – except it wasn’t. Huge, that is.  Huge in the square footage style anyway – but huge in my memory.  Clapboard, white and small. When I drive by it now, I wonder how it can possibly contain the extraordinary memories that I can feel, smell and still long for.

My first home as an adult was a place filled with the makings of bridal showers – gifts of best wishes and gratefully received by needy, innocent, unconscious young people.  Small, gray and concrete block. It passed into the shadows of yesterday and remains a place where I remember planting marigolds in dire hopes of cheering it up and watching  them rise crooked and unsteady in a brilliant cautionary yellow line, YELLING  “Best for you both if you leave this relationship now.”   Which was not heeded until more than a couple of decades later.

Many, many years later, long after my marigolds were gone and Honey and I were together, we built this house with great thoughtfulness, sticking love notes and a poem for every room on the framework before the sheetrock went up, placing our own best wishes on plywood before the hard wood floors were laid, saving Gracie – the tulip tree – from being rudely chopped down by one of the workers who thought she was not beautiful (She is), and having the house ceremoniously and quite spiritually blessed.

One day, this house, too, will become a dreamy, outrageous memory – the parties and laughs with our friends, the daffodils (Did we really plant so many?  Oh! They just multiplied!). I thought the house was so much bigger, we will muse.  Do you think we could knock on the front door and ask to see Faith, the maple, we planted in the backyard?  And, by the way, we saved Gracie, the tulip tree, for you.  Do you remember the night, we will query each other, the time our friend played the guitar on the back porch or when Roberto, our Italian chef friend, cooked for us? And all the nights we chased fireflies and Finlay, the Westie, around and around the yard throwing balls and playing go fetch. Remember, he was such a great puppy! Oh, us, too! We were such young sprouts! 🙂

Whomever comes next, whenever, surely will build on this beautiful karma of those who were here before. Our homes are our homes only temporarily. Because life is and will, one day, move us on, move us on.

Best of luck, my friend, moving on.

In due time, we shall all join you.



On Saying GoodBye

If life has taught me one thing and one thing only. And if Oprah feels called to ask what a Southerner like me has learned most specifically in my life, I know the answer, life is impermanence.

We can fight it. We can set up bank accounts, retirement accounts, go to the gym, be nice to our friends and our relatives, show up at work each day, work hard and long, be nice to others, follow the golden rule, eat our fruits and vegetables, meditate, pray, be kind, wash our face, floss, wash and walk the dog, drive carefully, pay our taxes, not cheat a thing.

We can pay it forward. Be kind to strangers on a street. Go out of our way to help a stranger and a loved one.

And still bam! Life changes on a dime.

And then. There we are leaving our sweet nest.   What we have known forever. Goodbye. It is heart wrenching. And it happens to us all. Usually more than once.

Today I spoke with a beloved friend saying goodbye. And I was reminded of the times I wept leaving each home. The primordial, yanking, sadness and fear and excitement, too, and I celebrate her bravery. And I love her spirit. And I join her in the tears and the courage she has behind her and before her.

And quite honestly, I hope she remembers me on the greatness end of her scale, (She will do great things),  but I have not doubt she will, because that is who she is.

Godspeed…My Dear Friend.  I love   you.