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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Celebrating My Birthweek

Alas. Another year older. Year after year the birthdays come rolling around. I enjoy them. Especially when they turn in to a birthweek, as mine started doing years ago. This year I drove to Atlanta on Saturday, May 16, to visit my friend, Ellen, with whom I have spent the last few birthdays. The 8 hour drive was done in the rain and in the company of Stevie Nicks, John Denver, a little Willie Nelson, the soundtrack to Hope Floats and a couple of others I am not remembering. I arrived safely so Shawn's gift to safeguard my travel must have worked. Ellen and I visited on the back deck warding off hunger with Brie, apples, grapes, Luna Di Luna Merlot and music from Eddie From Ohio (I must have a copy of that). Ellen is a great cook. She served Vegetarian Fettucine with peas, shallots and herbs and a corn salad with feta and walnuts. Yummy.

Sunday, May 17 was a cold, rainy day in Georgia. Ellen and I enjoyed doing nothing. I finished reading Susan Richards' Chosen By A Horse. My turn-down-pages:
Page 54: "They say you can't escape your past, but I don't believe that. I believe you escape it every day, over and over again, always cognizant of the difference between past and present. ...I luxuriated in the silence in my house, in all the voices that were absent." I have been trying for 3 years now to heal from a 4 year emotionally/psychologically abusive relationship. I do luxuriate in not having to listen to the abuse anymore. I hear the silence in the aloneness of my apartment. And I love it. I love the freedom of that daily escape, every day, over and over again.
Page 121: Susan is driving to meet Hank, her first date in years. She is listening to Etta James sing "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield" when something wild in her "wanted to wear a thin dress and roll around in the dirt with a man." I am not alone when I long for that wild abandon.
You know when you pick up this book the horse, Lay Me Down, will die. You know Susan will have learned a valuable life lesson. Once all you predicted comes to fruition, the author hopes that you will be left wondering, will my heart be closed and hardened, or will it be open and giving. Will my heart still love and be loved after all the abuse that has been heaped upon it? I'm on the fence.

Thank God for dogs. While we ponder these things on this rainy day, we have love in the form of Ringo and Paisley.

Ringo had to have surgery on his ear on Monday so Ellen and I called a road trip to Dehlonega for the day. Playlist: Seal's Soul and Robert Plant/Alison Kraus' Raising Sand. I had to laugh at Ellen when she found a couple old love notes on post-it notes from a love-gone-bad-guy. She told me how she threw out a folder full of his memorabelia when moving to Georgia. As she put the notes back into the hiding place of the purse, she commented "Sometimes it's good to remember that somebody loved you." A priceless moment. Arriving at Dahlonega, we first stopped at the Visitor's Center. I grabbed every brochure ever printed so I can plan my next trip back.

Then we browsed The Humble Cafe where I bought a necklass and 2 CDs.

High Cotton was next and was one of the highlights of the trip because we met Kara Martina from Seattle. We had a very interesting conversation and she recommended her favorite CD, Acoustic Chill 2. She did not have a copy to sell me, but sent me back to The Humble Cafe. Kate did not have a copy to sell me either, but she did sell me the perfectly clean demo copy. She could tell I would not leave town without it. (I also found a great pair of earrings.) The CD is now one of my favorites and I am turning all my girlfriends on to it. Thank you Kara.

Ellen and I stopped for lunch at Wylie's.

We then headed on up into the mountains to visit Black Stone Vineyard where we did a wine tasting. $10 for 8 tastings. The view is incredible. We made plans to come back, rent a cabin and invite Kara to dinner.

Would you like a little chocolate with that wine?

Natalie and Carson were our pourers...and great fun.
On the way back, we picked up Ringo. He was ready for pampering. What a beautiful man.
Tuesday, May 19. Ellen treated me to a fabulous dinner at Maggiano's.

Our waitress noticed when processing Ellen's credit card that her last name is Mauzy. She commented that she is from a small town by that name. Wouldn't you know...that small town is a short drive north of Harrisonburg, where Ellen lived her entire life until recenlty. I keep telling ya, it is a teeny, tiny world.

Ellen doesn't usually go for the chocolate, but I do. It is a must with good red wine. This was the largest serving of cake I have ever seen.

I left happy.

May 20, Wednesay. My birthday. I had a wonderful morning with Ellen and then headed out for a 2 day drive home. Fabulous. The windows rolled down. Picture perfect weather. Scenery that takes my breath away. Great music blasting away. Sweet contentment. What a day. After a good night's sleep, I made my way the 2nd day to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I wanted to see Mabry's Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is the most visited stop on the Parkway. The property is beautifully maintained. I bought another necklace and CD in the gift shop. And I got some great photos. Some of them will turn into a painting soon.

I continued my drive on the Parkway for a few hours and then took I81 on the south end of Roanoke. Continuing this peaceful drive, I drove to Shipman, VA where my friend, Dick, prepared dinner for me.

I love Dick.

What a perfect ending to my birthweek. As I made my way home, I thought warmly about how so many people leave their mark on me. I wonder if I do the same for them. Does anyone think about me when I am gone? Pine for me? Anyone?

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