Ms Bean has treed a couple of wild turkeys just to start this morning off right! In other news, a brand new Costco store has opened up on Route 29, near Stonehenge (my pet name for a “new” shopping center in the area). It was supposed to be an upscale shopping experience, and I was hoping for a Nordstrom/or Macy’s/or Bloomies, but Costco will just have to do. All good progressives, I’ve learned, prefer this to Sam’s Club. I’ll most likely steer clear of the place this weekend, besides, do I really need a five year supply of chili powder?
If Bob were not working, we might take in The Albemarle County Fair! Some big rain and thunderstorms have moved through our hills and taken out our modem…again…and left us with some refreshingly cool air for these parts. Today is the first day of The Fair and it’s nearby, on the grounds of Ashlawn Highland, President Monroe’s beautiful estate. But going to something like this, alone, just doesn’t make sense. Meeting an 18th Century furniture maker, exploring the livestock tent, and watching handspinners in the peacock yard would be infinitely more fun with a partner in crime. Someone needs to share your fried dough, right? http://albemarlecountyfair.com
But tomorrow night I am going to a vineyard in Madison County to celebrate the life of a dear friend and neighbor, Bill Greer. We met Bill and his lovely wife DeeDee at another fair, a Fiber Festival at Ashlawn right after we moved here from NJ. They had a tent for their alpacas, and DeeDee sold some of the softest, finest yarn I’ve ever had the pleasure to knit. Bob’s arm was in a sling after shoulder surgery, which got the conversational ball rolling. Then we found out, quite by accident, that we had just bought our land less than two miles up the road from their Rivanna River Alpaca Farm.
After a long building stage, and an exhausting two day move, they had us over for dinner with the Bride and Groom. That night on their deck was perfect. We were both Yankees, they had moved here from Chicago. And we fell into a friendship that wasn’t forced or contrived. I immediately felt like I could tell DeeDee anything, like we had known each other in another life. Once you get to be an empty-nester, making new friends, the kind who know where the spoons are in your kitchen, doesn’t come easy. I’d join a knitting group in DeeDee’s studio, and bring visiting children over to see new alpaca babies. I even toyed with getting some alpacas, or goats, or chickens!
Like us, DeeDee and Bill had one of those second chance love affairs. They’d been married before, and were really newlyweds when we met, blending a large family of adult children all over the world. I’ll always remember Bill sitting out on our deck, just gazing at the sunset over the Blue Ridge mountains, telling us we had the best view. Bob would maintain that Bill’s access to the river was even better. And his face, when he saw his wife, was like a kid at Christmastime. I wish I could channel DeeDee’s zest for life, her energy is contagious, and her compassion is a thing of beauty. I know she’ll be fine, but I also know this kind of loss is a palpably heavy weight.
Bill was only 68 when he passed away this past March, much too soon. I’m hoping Bob can leave the hospital early, for DeeDee, and for me. We will always remember his glad hug, his smile of recognition when a joke hits home, and his absolute devotion to DeeDee. She lost a prince of a man, and he will be sorely missed. http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/article/20150330/NEWS/150339921