Saturday, September 21, 2013


Sacred Grove by D.G. Womack
I checked my car thoroughly.   Except for two very small dings, the car had not been damaged.  I brought my purchases in and put the floor lamp together.  Thankfully, the three socket light cheered up the dark room.  After washing my hands, which I always do after any outing, I plopped down on the sofa, propping my feet on the antique chest.  My wandering for the day was done.  I called a few folks and relayed my storm adventure.  After a supper of scrambled eggs, I opened my laptop.  Upon my arrival the day before, I discovered that there was no Wi-Fi at the cottage.  Facebook would have to wait until I could get to the library.

My days continued, very quietly and simply, at the pace of my choosing.  As soon as the sun woke me up, I would work on my writing.  The morning of the Royal Wedding I set my alarm to wake me up, bringing back memories of watching another royal wedding thirty years earlier.  Cate called and we chatted back and forth, as if we were in the same room together.  Photos of Prince William had been taped to the back of her bedroom door when she was younger.  When I was her age, David Cassidy had been the center of my photo collection.  If she couldn't be the princess bride, at least they shared a name and a love of Saint Andrews.

One afternoon, I took an easy stroll up to town.  An old hotel sits in the center of the oldest part of town.  A gazebo and a wrought iron fountain stand in the crescent shaped plaza next to the hotel.  Long, wooden and iron benches, painted green, are generously placed in this cool cove, a welcome respite after walking along the cobbled sidewalks placed long ago, unforgiving of the hilly terrain.

I have three favorite galleries - one is located at the edge of the plaza.  My favorite galleries have a good mix, especially local artists.  My parents and grandparents always favored something original.    Usually, the piece that speaks to you is not the latest model of whatever the Jones' are purchasing.  Cost may affect what you can afford to pay but it is not the jury and the judge for what is true art.  There are some items on Antique Roadshow that were ugly when they were first purchased a zillion years ago.  Time and rarity may bring value but ugly doesn't change.  Buy the notecard set from a museum and frame a card.  Use your sense and cents wisely to surround yourself with art you love.

When I walked into the gallery, it was love and amazement at first sight.  One of life's pleasures is to be stopped in your steps, your attention riveted to a painting, a print, a melody, a sculpture or piece of literature that stops the cogs in your brain.  Where did that idea come from?  How did they master the medium?  For a moment, to be all about the wonder and the beauty.  The color and unique style caught my eye.  The title, Sacred Grove.  Painted the year my Daddy died.  I was hooked.  But I was just looking.

The cottage had a little patio area where I liked to sit and drink coffee and write.  I started an outline of a book already in progress.  I submitted a couple of pieces to a writing contest and reviewed pieces I had written in the past.  One day while I was sitting there, the manager nicely asked me to move because the lawn needed mowing.  He introduced me to the yard man.  They were both distinctive looking, reminding me of the description of Ichabod Crane, twisted scarecrows with bad teeth.  Nice but kinda' creepy. 

Thursday morning had hardly begun when both mothers started calling about the pending weather, headed for my part of the state.  Burt's mother is good to keep us updated on the weather but for my mother to call, well.  They weren't sure I got the Weather Channel on my television.  I did.  Don't worry.  If there is any weather pending, I have a sixth sense and I am high up in the crow's nest checking it out.  And then Burt started calling.  Three calls were okay but by mid-afternoon I was receiving county by county updates.  Early notice is good, but when you are in the county where everything is headed, what are you going to do?  Move?  I didn't even have a good hidey hole anywhere.   

The weather station had this storm system pegged.  Whenever the sky turns green-aqua, it is not for photographic purposes although it does make for dramatic pictures.  Here I am, Miss Independent Writing Lady, knowing not a single person in this town I love so.  Nothing like a good storm, ha.  With no where else to go, I stayed put.  Which was really my only choice but in the middle of the storm, the sweet little marble library built into a cliff side came to my mind.  Next time.

Living on the fence line of Tornado Alley, spring storms are like the green pollen that covers everything just before April bursts.  This is how life rolls in the South, and April is always one big stormy ball bouncing across, and up and down, and finally bouncing into Mississippi and Tennessee.  For me, this Thursday was unique for the amount of lightening inflicted on an area I was hiding in and also, for the hail.

My little protected hidey hole was nothing more than a glorified garage, albeit, a lovely, glorified garage.  Of course, there was plenty of parental warning.  When Burt called, the thunder and lightening were shaking the ground so badly that I had crawled under the bed, not into the bed but under the bed, for cover.  I was afraid a bolt would come through the ceiling.  He stayed on the phone, trying to calm me down. 

At some point, the hail started.  Now I had to worry about the car, again.  There had been nowhere to take it for safe keeping.  I was in the garage, remember.  And then the hail started falling so fast and at such an angle that it was naturally attracted to all the windows in the cottage.  I can still hear the pings and cracks.  I stayed under the bed until the storm passed.  Then I grabbed my umbrella to check my car, with fear and trembling.   Once again, I thanked Ford Motor Company for their quality craftsmanship.  Just a tiny, little dent or two.

I was exhausted.  Eleven panes of glass had been pocked or cracked by the hailstones.  Two hail storms in four days was almost too much.  Anxiety is an issue.  A good, hot meal would help and it would be good for me to get out.  A Chinese restaurant called my name.  Enjoying old standbys reminded me of Burt.  Our first date was Lobster Cantonese.  He was coming up at the end of my stay, to spend the weekend.  But this weekend I would be on my own.  I had already picked out a church to visit on Easter Sunday.       

Tomorrow I would pack up for the weekend and move into a house managed by the same owner.   I knew this when I made my reservation.  The manager would help me move out and back in on Sunday night.  But as Sister says, "We don't know, what we don't know."


the owner of the beautiful painting, purchased at a later date

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