Throwback Thursday: Remember Glamour Shots?

obitpicRemember Glamour Shots?  Yes, I succumbed to the nonsense.  On a blistering hot summer day, my mother and I went to the JC Penney’s and got all gussied up.  There was a ton of makeup involved not to mention the wardrobe of bustiers and boas.  It really was a lot of fun.

I decided early on that this was going to be my obituary picture.  I think it suits me.  I’m not in any hurry to die, but it’s good to have plans!

So, this is my Throwback Thursday offering.  I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did the outing with my mother.

It’s mine and I love it and I’m never moving and you can’t make me.

barnI’m busy procrastinating so I’m watching home remodeling shows.

Whenever I watch these tv shows, I see my house as others might see it.  I see all the problems and the dirt and the projects.  I see the mistakes.  I see my bad taste.  I see all of its flaws.  It’s like plucking my eyebrows with a 10x magnifying mirror.

But I love my house.  I can’t imagine selling it.  (Never mind actually finding someone to buy it.)

It used to be a barn.  Well, not even a barn.  It used to be an outbuilding used to store animal skins and drying herbs hence the name of West Virginia Fur & Root.  The Ex and I began turning it into a home.  We gave up after a decade and hired a pro, but ran out of money.

It’s a mess, but it’s my mess.  There isn’t one like it anywhere on the planet.  It’s quirky.  The layout is downright strange.  It’s mine.  I love it.

I watch these shows where people destroy the charms and quirks of their home to install the latest trend in home design.  Almost invariably, by the time the renovation is done it looks like every other project I’ve seen on these shows.

I think one’s home should be a reflection of the people who live in it.  I think every home should be infused and steeped in the character and quirks of its inhabitants.  I don’t like cookie cutter design and that’s what all these shows seem to showcase.

Since I have always planned this house as if I would die in it, I’ve never been concerned about its resale value or if someone else likes it.  Oh sure, we all want to hear nice things about our home, but I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that folks either “get” the barn or they don’t.

Of course, there are things I’d change if I could. There are projects I hope to get to when time and money appear in droves.  All in all, though, I’m quite happy with where I live which is a good thing, because I’m going to live here happily ever after.

Carruthers

Photo by Roy Welburn

Photo by Roy Welburn

I’m snuggled on the couch with the puppy drinking coffee.  After complaining about the heat for days, I’m enjoying the storm waging outside The Barn.

I promised myself I would not complain about this summer’s heat after last winter’s cold.  I meant well.

But there’s nothing like feeling safe inside while the rain rages outside.  I feel snug and loved as the puppy is using this opportunity to cover me with sweet puppy kisses.

I joke that Carruthers should be here.  Whenever she visits, West Virginia is dowsed in torrents of rain – tropical monsoons the likes of which we all marvel at.  But Carruthers is turning 25 while doing fieldwork in Indonesia.  I bet it’s more tropical here today.

Her birthday isn’t technically until tomorrow, but it’s tomorrow today where she is, so I wished her Happy Birthday as she ate Mexican food and listened to salsa music in an Indonesian restaurant.  Isn’t it a wonderful world!

One of the greatest blessings I received from Doug is his daughter, Carruthers.  I would never have gotten through this past year without her.  I hope she knows how much I love her.

Hot times in the bedroom

006Those of you who hang out with me on Facebook know that I’m still in the seemingly-endless pursuit of organizing The Barn.  I go in fits and starts with this, but lately my fervor has been renewed.  I love an orderly, clean house.  I’m just not very good at it.  (But I’m getting better!)

For all of my short-comings in the house cleaning arena, I’m pretty good about keeping my bedroom orderly, in part because I love my bed.

I have a grand bed.  I think everyone should have a bed so imposing it is reminiscent of a throne.

I bought the bed along with the Beloved Vanity and other pieces a good 8 years ago.  The furniture is so big that they couldn’t bring it up the stairs, but had to lift it to the top of the truck and then from there hoist it through the French doors in the master bedroom.

003I decided that since I spend a third of my life, more or less, in bed, that bed should be a haven, a sanctuary, a symphony of hedonism.   The bed is appointed with luxurious coverings including very high-thread count sheets.  There is a mound of pillows that I remove each night, but leave in place for afternoon naps.  I love sprawling among the pillows and watching the sun come through the French doors.

I love my bed.  It’s king-sized in keeping with my throne desire and I can sprawl all over the thing without body parts hanging off.  The animals sometimes join me in the bed, though not regularly.  There’s room for all of us.

In the winter time, I love keeping the bedroom cold so that I can burrow in the bed like the cocoon it is.  It’s simply delicious to wallow.  It’s only when it gets blazing hot outside, as it is now, that my bed is not quite so wonderful.  The bed linens are heavy especially so with the goose down-filled comfortor.  While I have central air, the construction of the barn is such that cooling the upstairs when it’s 80F at midnight means keeping the downstairs at freezer level.  I don’t want to pay Appalachian Electric that much.  So, tonight I will lie on top of the covers and let the ceiling fan swirl air over me.

I realize this is a first-world problem and that I have no reason to whine.  I’m not whining,  not really.  I think I’m marking the entrance of Summer to what has been a very strange Spring.

Doug – One Year After

fieldwork dougBy the time this posts, it will have been a year exactly since Doug died.

The picture to the left is one that his daughter just posted on her Facebook page.  Carruthers noted that her love of fieldwork was inherited from her dad.  I believe that to be true.

Doug told me he was a nomad and expected to journey throughout his life.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t true in the last years or maybe it was.  His death was a long journey, so much so that when he finally left us it was accompanied by not just sorrow, but also some relief.  His end days were everything he didn’t want.  It had been awful to watch the vibrant, healthy man I knew and loved become an invalid whose days centered on medical appointments and care instead of fieldwork and intellectual discussion.

Even so, I miss him.  I miss his sweet spirit and optimism.

It’s been a rough year.  Intellectually, I’ve known about the grief process since Psychology 101 way back in 1977, but until you go through it. . .   I had thought that by now, I would be easy with the idea that Doug is dead.  I’m not.

I loved him.  I still love him.  I think that’s the hardest part of the grief process — love continues even when the person is gone.  I can’t tell him that I love him.  I can tell the people he loved, the same people I’ve gotten closer to since his death, that I love them.  So, I will.   KT, Martha and Roy?  I love you.