Thursday, August 26, 2010

So Long, Farewell, That German Word I Can’t Spell….

Although Time Warner SWEARS I will be able to access the email account that allows me to access this blog, it seems to me that once I stop paying someone for a service, that service most likely goes away. So I’ll probably be starting a new blog someplace else and I simply don’t have time at the moment to set up a new email account to continue this one.

Yup, hubby and I did indeed buy that used bookstore on that island and are in the whirlwind of selling almost everything except the stacks of books we have, stacking up stuff for a moving sale and doing all the shutting off/turning on utility things that have to be done. It’s amazing how the Internet has made this out-of-state move easier. I can definitely understand, also, why so many choose to set up a business in states other than New York. Having lived in New York most of my life, I had expected to be much more sentimental in leaving it. Not so. I am counting the days. I had given myself much more time to accomplish what I needed to do to set ourselves up for business…..I’m basically done… I’m sitting in an apartment that’s basically packed and ready to go, counting the days until the movers arrive.

So, Island life, here we come! No more posts complaining about the snow! If life slows down and I’m able to get back in here someday, I’ll tell you how it’s going. If not, thanks for reading. It’s been fun!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Loyalty and What's Next

Often I wonder if I even understand the meaning of “loyalty”. Perhaps it more that I wonder why my understanding seems lights years away from others most of the time.

It’s difficult to witness examples of employers being “loyal” to long time employees as they hand them pink slips after years of expecting those same employees to be loyal to them as employers. Children expect parents to be loyal – in spite of what children may do – yet feel free to turn their back on parents when things may not go their way. Long time commitments such as those to a particular business, restaurant, library, craft fair, are no longer always appreciated. You may remember previous posts about the craft fair I sold my one-of-a-kind handmade knit items at, Plowshares, for the past twelve years; this year they rejected my application to their annual event, the only place I’ve ever sold my merchandise. There was a time when they were barely able to fill a gym with vendors and I stayed with them, loyal to the core because I believed in their mission to sell quality, handmade goods.

But everything changes. I can’t quite put my finger on this shift in thinking though. For years I followed the advice of various elders: always do your best, work hard, be loyal, and you’ll always be respected for that.

Somehow it hasn’t always worked out that way.

These days it’s the advice my dad gave me later in his life that’s playing over and over in my head: You’re always going to have to work hard so you might as well work hard for yourself, not to make someone else rich.

Dad owned a successful marine distributorship after my mother ran off his boss. Funny what leads us to realize whatever it is we’ve really meant to do with our lives. He loved going to work every day, kept his inventory in his head even after purchasing a computer system to do that, treated his employees as he would have wanted to be treated, and was well respected.

I’m confident Dad was happy selling boats and being in control of his headaches. The echo of his advice to me – often given to me as I’d sit on the edge of his bed the last months of his life relating yet another story of issues I was dealing with the Human Resources job I had a that time – keeps me awake nights lately. He’s not here anymore for me to mull ideas over with as hubby and I try to figure out what to do next with our lives, but I think I’m finding an answer.

Yeah. I think I’m going to buy me a bookstore on an island off the Virginia coast, take control of my own headaches, spend some time near the ocean, forget about the snow and just be happy.

Star Appeal: Donna Colton and Sam Patterelli

Late last spring while hubby and I were enjoying the company of friends at a wedding reception, we looked up to see Donna Colton and Sam Patterelli, local musicians we admire greatly, being seated directly across the table from us. Although many of our friends are musicians, I was indeed star struck by their presence that day, as I continue to be each and every time we are lucky enough to catch one of their performances. I’ve blogged about them a time or two in the past, I’m sure.

We had an opportunity to hear them again at one of our favorite spots for acoustic music, Onativia Church in Lafayette a couple of Friday nights ago. It’s the perfect venue to hear every lyric Donna sings and each note Sam plays on any one of the many guitars he brings with him. I love their originals and never tire of hearing them. Their cover of Etta James’ “At Last” would have knocked my socks off had I been wearing any.

But this post is about what makes Donna and Sam stars, why I still feel star struck whenever I see them perform.

During the Onativia performance they told their audience about attending the sound check prior to the Washington, D.C., concert they attended of two of their idols, Carole King and James Taylor. They spoke of standing right beside one or the other of these stars, chatting with them and how down-to-earth each one of them had been, how in awe Donna and Sam had been of the way Carole King and James Taylor had treated them.

Well, Donna and Sam, that is EXACTLY how we as fans feel about you!

Thanks for sharing your talents with us! The miseries of the day recede for awhile when we listen to your songs until all that remains in our heads is “Evening Ride”, reminding us that good things, too, remain in this world.

Snoooooze Alarm

It took awhile for me to identify the source of my morning alarm clock. Our bird feeder is attracting new birds this sun-filled summer. I’d thought it to be some fair feathered friend cracking open sunflower seeds at dawn. Yup, I blamed the junco who feels free to wander across the deck whether we’re sitting there or not, the one who I swear would perch on Rupert’s back if he’d stay still long enough.

Then one morning when the song seemed particularly loud, long and darn joyful – though much earlier than I welcomed – I crept from the bed to peek out to see which bird was singing such a pretty song. Atop our mailbox, standing on his or her tiny hind legs stood one of the three or four chipmunks who scoot across our deck every day. This chipmunk was just a singing away!

One of my wildlife books claimed such chirping meant a chipmunk was sending out a distress call. I beg to differ. The chipmunk I spotted, and have heard several mornings since then, curtained did NOT seem to be in a protective mode. And there was definitely no danger. These critters love to toy with Rupert, often stopping on their trot across the deck to look through our sliding glass doors at the dog before they stop to sip out of his outside water bowl, never caring if he then barks at them while they leisurely get their fill of water. No, I believe they chirp with pure joy.

I just wish they would do it a little later in the morning.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Kellish Music Barn

I have another favorite venue for acoustic music run by two of my favorite people, Rick and Kathy.

I’d worked with Rick for several years and grew to respect his gentle nature and ability to always keep the needs of a patient front and center no matter what else was going on in his world. He was the same person each and every day, a smile on his face, his passion for providing excellent patient care shining brightly. There should be more healthcare professionals in this world with Rick’s values.

Kathy and I met face-to-face about a year ago when we both attended a musical event at Onativia Church and I introduced myself to her. I felt as if I’d known her, having had phone conversations with her in my role handling employee benefits with I worked with Rick. She and I went on to become Facebook friends.

Hubby and I finally, finally, finally made it out to their amazing farm and music barn a couple of Friday nights ago for a concert. Larry Hoyt and Eileen Rose, two talented local musicians we’ve often had the pleasure of hearing at the Monday night open mic at Tipp Hill hosted by Joanne Perry and Wendy Ramsay (we often enjoy listening to Larry Hoyt’s Sunday afternoon radio show, Common Threads, on WAER, too) played the first set, a combination of cover songs and Larry Hoyt originals. Shannon Wurst, a singer/songwriter from Fayetteville, Arkansas, followed – what a treat! Check her out on You Tube! Buy her CD! You won’t be disappointed!

We fell in love with the ambiance of this venue, mostly the result of the huge welcome Kathy gives each guest. We happily returned to the farm last Thursday night for their weekly open mic, hosted that week by Mark Zane, that drew area musicians Brian Francis, Dave Gillespie, Dusty Pascal, Brad Thomas, Tim Stevens, Dan Brown, Mark Matthews….and so many more I’ve forgotten their names, including a woman from Cary, North Carolina and Dave from Hamilton, whose mandolin accompanied many and was truly the “star” of the evening.

What a time we had there! If you will, please vote for them for the Best Acoustic Venue in this year’s SAMMY Awards. Here’s the link: