Friday, June 26, 2015


From New York we headed to West Virginia with a specific purpose in mind: to visit the Fiesta Dinnerware Factory in Newell, a town in the uppermost reaches of the state across the Ohio River from Ohio.  Truth be told it would have been easier to find if it had been in Ohio.  We got turned around in East Liverpool and asked directions of a AAA tow truck driver who offered to lead us to our turnoff.  We thanked him and headed up the hill.  We didn't know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't this~

There were bins and bins of Fiestaware in the parking lot.  We went into the outlet store to see what was what and learned that the manager decided to leave the leftover "seconds" from the weekend's tent sale out for people to peruse and purchase.  Oh, my~

A salesclerk handed me a list of items with their prices, which was all well and good until I realized the items were not labeled.  I had no idea what anything was called!  There were a few other people there so we talked to each other as we looked and called out if we found anything matching a description.  It was a beautiful day on the Ohio River and a lot of fun~

Ken and I each had a crate to fill and managed to find the right sized bowls and platters, and a pitcher I've had my eye on for years.  Though these "seconds" were a fraction of the retail price,  I wanted to find pieces I would really use.  It was late in the day and we had just a half hour to shop, which was a good thing because the amount of dishware was overwhelming~

It will feel like Christmas when I get home and unpack the boxes~ 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hey, Wealthy Californians

I have a suggestion for all those wealthy people in California who are complaining about their brown lawns:  move to the state of New York.  No, I'm not kidding.  I have just traveled across the state and I can tell you there is no greener, more lush place in the country.  There are thousands of square miles of green.  Here are just a couple examples of what you could do if you decide to make the move~

You could own a vineyard on a lake, like this place on Seneca Lake, in the famous Finger Lakes Region~

You could own a farm overlooking miles of green~

There are roads to get you where you want to go~

And more green just over that hill~

The magnificent skies are an added bonus~

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Begins

I knew last week would be busy.  It was the last five days of school with all the normal busy-ness of that time of year.  The added stress was that the classroom needed to be entirely packed by noon Friday ~ every book, file, activity, and piece of paper needed to be in a box, file cabinet, or crate because everything is being moved to a room-not-yet-determined.  Final count: 53 boxes, 7 file cabinets, 10 crates, and the assorted odd-shaped large items in trash bags and labeled.

So I did something smart ~ I took myself to the movies after school on Monday.  I saw I'll See You In My Dreams and have been thinking about the movie ever since.

Blythe Danner stars.  Blythe Danner is the embodiment of grace, poise, beauty, understated emotion, and she can sing.  The story is of a woman named Carol who has crafted a life.  She has friends who want her to move to their retirement village, but Carol likes living alone.  She has a routine and has tried to shield herself from further heartbreak. 

Then she has a conversation with the guy who cleans her pool, and her world expands a bit.  Their talks are about real life questions and willingness to keep trying.  Carol sings.  She meets a man.  She makes small changes.  Carol is my new role model.  Through the losses and the gains she keeps going.

I was crying within the first ten minutes.  Later I laughed out loud.  I sat entranced as Carol sang.  At one emotional point Carol tells her daughter that she still has two boxes in the guest room she should go through before she leaves,  and I was crying again.  That is how it really happens, this thing about life moving forward.  People leave.  Others are left behind.  We take a risk because we think we finally found the thing missing, and then it doesn't work out.  Relationships change, sometimes in ways over which we have no control.  Friends rally.  Maybe we take a trip....

I am traveling this week.  The timing is only because this was the biggest chunk of time we had this summer to take a road trip.  I am channeling Carol as life keeps happening in spite of my desire to push the pause button.   Maintaining a sense of calm is always a good choice.

Friday, June 5, 2015

I Am Not Invisible

Dear Hair Stylist,

I appreciate the phone message you left at 4:24 on Tuesday to apologize for running late.  I do not plan to reschedule.

It had already been a bad day.  I stood outside in the cold rain for 50 minutes on recess duty and wasn't able to get warm the rest of the afternoon.  As I left the building for my 4:00 hair appointment I passed the library where staff had gathered to interview for the two positions for which I applied but was not invited to interview.

When I arrived at the shop there were others waiting.  By 4:10 everyone else had been attended to, so I confirmed at the desk that I had a 4:00 appointment.  Yes, they said, and you were running late.  I watched you chatting and laughing with the woman in your chair.  I calculated the minimum I could ask you to do so I could meet my later commitment.  At 4:18 you and she walked past me into another room without acknowledging my presence.  If I was in the chair by 4:20 I'd be okay; I had 30-40 minutes for a haircut but not 50-60.  But you didn't return.  I asked myself what I needed to do to feel okay.  At 4:20 I told the woman at the desk I had to leave.

I do like the way you cut my hair.  I do not like the way I feel in the shop where you work.