The Rear View Review
~ The following is a year end review using Loose Leaf excerpts that were taken from each month of 2006. Click the link if you want to read the post in its entirety or to view accompanying photos.
January – A Neighborly Visit: I returned to the humble hand-built studio home of my recluse friend Acourt in October to return the farm journal I had borrowed from him. The property he lives on was once a popular 60’s-style commune, and the journal is a large leather bound book that holds drawings and written entries from 30 years of the farm’s history. Always interested in human nature and social science, I borrowed the journal to learn more about the farm’s history and, apparently, to reminisce. I found myself and my son, Josh, in it, from a 1986 entry, when we first moved to Floyd. ~ Read more HERE.
February - Your Place or mine: I used to think something was wrong with me, but now I just accept it. I’m not your hostess type. Burning pots on the stove and letting the housework go while being distracted by poetry is something I’ve always been upfront about and even confessed to in my wedding vows when my husband and I got married ten years ago on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My close friends know that if I attend a potluck, I’m more likely to bring a bag of corn chips than a homemade casserole or a pie. But I make it up to them with my yearly Christmas Eve Open House. With one fell swoop and a platter full of cookies, I get my hosting out of the way for the year. ~ Read more HERE.
March - Open for Funny Business: It was noon when Mara and I set up our makeshift office and scrabble game station in the corner of the Café Del Sol. The last time we played we did so without a net, which meant that neither of us brought a dictionary. On this day, we not only had a dictionary but our notebooks, pens, books, and eventually our plates of food, were spread out in all directions. Mara’s daughter, Kayla, who sat at the table next to ours, was doing a home schooling assignment in a workbook. We kept an empty chair nearby for visitors, some of whom were scheduled to drop by. ~ Read more HERE.
April: Friends in High Places: A day spent in Floyd – the one stoplight rural town I live in – can be as exciting as time spent in any big city, as far as I’m concerned. On Friday I had lunch at Oddfellas Cantina with two amazingly accomplished women, sold 10 books (The Jim and Dan Stories), and got invited to go to the New Orleans Jazz Festival – complete with a backstage pass – all in the matter of a couple of hours. ~ Read more HERE.
May – I Got Interviewed by Terry Gross! My Terry Gross is young, has long straight blonde hair, looks a little like the actress Laura Linney, and doesn’t wear glasses. This Terry Gross – the real one who produces and hosts National Public Radio’s interview talk show “Fresh Air” – is petite to the point of looking like Mary Martin playing the role of Peter Pan. She has short cropped hair, wears glasses, and is in her late 50s. ~ Read more HERE.
June- It’s Summer! Slipping under the black netting nailed to a wooden frame that protects my blueberry plants from birds, I picked berries for the first time this year. It was dusk and a firefly was in there with me. A slight sultry breeze offered a momentary break from the day’s oppressive heat. As I strained my eyes to see and reached for the ripest and bluest ones, I noticed that my arms were tired from swimming earlier that day. ~ Read more HERE.
July – Me and D: One of the ways I prepare myself to go through life passages is to look through my old photo albums and other memorabilia. I don’t decide to do it. It happens naturally. My youngest son, Dylan, who is 24 years old, is getting married this weekend, which is why I’ve recently been immersed in a nostalgic review of his life. Looking at his baby book, a chronicle of written entries and photos, has especially stirred up a mix of emotions in me. ~ Read more HERE.
August – Playing Hooky: Too soon, the lushness of July is over. So is the rush of activities; weddings, graduations, re-unions, and vacations. By August my garden looks haggard and bug-infested. By mid-August reality sets in. Kids shopping for notebooks and new school clothes know their summer days are numbered. So do I. Soon I’ll have to put on shoes. My husband’s chainsaw has already been started up. There’s a melancholy feeling to August that makes me want to spend the day photographing butterflies, as if storing their images before they disappear. I’d like to go to the pool, immerse myself its Caribbean blue illusion, and then stretch out on a lounge chair in the sun and read. ~ Read more HERE.
September – Do Writer’s Retire: As a writer, it seems that I seesaw between the fast-paced productiveness of writing and the dead end crash it leads to when the bottom falls out. When I’m inspired, I complain that can’t write fast enough. When I’m not, I whine about having nothing to say. I know I should enjoy what is commonly referred to as “the writer’s block,” the way a person on vacation shouldn’t think about work. I thought I had gotten over the feeling I used to get when my creative outpouring dried up: that my writing had been a fluke after all and would never happen again. ~ Read more HERE.
October – Floyd Loves Barbara Kingsolver: The line of people waiting to meet the acclaimed author, Barbara Kingsolver, wound from the school library table where she was signing books, out through the library door, into the hall, up the stairs, and into the school lobby. At the close of her talk, I rushed from my seat like a single woman determined to catch the bouquet at a wedding and discovered the fast track to her table. It involved a first stop at a book sale table, set up by the owners of Floyd’s independent bookstore, noteBooks. After purchasing a copy of “Small Wonders,” I was ushered into a much smaller line that dovetailed with the longer one. I’m happy with my personally signed copy of a book written by Barbara Kingsolver, but the book I really wanted wasn’t for sale. ~ Read more HERE.
November – A November Porch Vacation: A good book. A lounge chair. The sun makes freckles on my bared skin. A single fat fly buzzes by like a fighter pilot that doesn’t know the war is over. This one doesn’t know it isn’t summer. A clumsy yellow hornet goes down, crashes into my arm. I flick it off while sipping every color of the rainbow reflected off my cobalt blue mug. ~ Read more HERE.
December – THE SPOKEN WORD OPEN MIC WANTS YOU: Feelin’ groovy at the Café Del Sol’s third Saturday open mic. Still hummin' from the Hafla the night before. My poem had a fat fly and a clumsy yellow hornet in it. Sierra returned with her sweet words all abuzz … God is a bumble bee with hyacinth desire …. I am a jar of honey… Kayla, our 9 year old MC, stood in for Sally, Café owner, again. Her shirt was awhirl with a butterfly seeking nectar and went well with the fluttering art of Sue Nees that hung on the wall behind her. She introduced me as Colleen Redman…or Redmana… or Red Ruby slippers. She let me wear hers and I tried to make them fit but discovered that it’s hard to walk in Kyla’s shoes. ~ Read more HERE.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!