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Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Since Bob has retired, I’ve found our roles have reversed. I was always the one in the know, collecting local news and crafting interesting stories that would eventually help light up the wood stove. Newspapers still sell, but mostly online today. Without my deadline, I write whenever I please about whatever I want, and I’m no longer constantly on the hunt for tidbits of local lore.

Bob, on the other hand, has been picking up garbage once a month with a dedicated group of neighbors, and has joined a few Nashville associations; he’s become a regular social activist!

Aside from catching up on all the development going on in North Nashville, including going to those dreaded zoning committee meetings, he’s signed us up for something called “The Villages.” And no, it’s not that place in Florida.  https://www.aarp.org/home-garden/livable-communities/info-04-2011/villages-real-social-network.html

This is a national aging-in-place movement that started in the Back Bay area of Boston – which is strangely enough where I started my college career at Emerson in 1966. We have a core group of people dedicated to keeping our community informed and helping our neighbors; almost like co-housing. Our weekly ride to T’ai Chi with a 93 year old friend, who stopped driving at 90, is one small part of this plan, which also includes pot-luck suppers. Mostly, it’s a way to stay connected, stay in our homes, and combat loneliness.

I’ve mentioned many times that our generation was going to age differently. After all, we brought you the Women’s Movement and the Civil Right’s Movement, so it’s only fair we bring you the Old Geezer Movement too.

Anyway, our Village has organized a day trip this weekend to Alabama. Why, one might ask would I want to go to Alabama just when the weather has dipped below freezing? The state that just might elect Jeff Sessions again to the Senate. The state with probably more Confederate flags flying than any other state in the union.

Because it’s the site of one of the prettiest Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the country and I LOVE Frank Lloyd Wright – and it’s in FLORENCE, AL! https://www.wrightinalabama.com/

“A genuine work of art—from the floors to the furnishings to the faucets—the Rosenbaum House grows naturally from its surroundings, cascading down a 2-acre lot facing the Tennessee River. It is one of the purest examples of Usonian design (named for the USA) with open floor plans and rooms that naturally flow from one to another. Built in 1939, the same year Wright delivered his treatise on organic architecture, this significant structure is cypress, glass, and brick and still has original hardware and furnishings designed by Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright freed Americans from Victorian “boxes” and revolutionized art and architecture. He was born just two years after the Civil War and died two years after the launching of the satellite Sputnik and is considered to be America’s greatest architect. Originally built for $12,000 as an affordable, middle-class home, the house is the only Wright design open to the public in the southeastern United States.”

Call me excited! People fly in from all over the world to see this house! Our Rumson house had his Usonian style, and our home on a mountain in the Blue Ridge was designed with clean white oak floors and trim with lots of windows. I’ve been an Art Deco fan girl since forever and yet only managed to look from the outside at one of Wright’s homes in Minnesota once. Or was that St Louis?

Somehow, in all my trips from VA to TN, I never stopped at Falling Water in PA, and that’s something I’ll have to add to my bucket list now.

Note to self, don’t forget to Facetime with Aunt KiKi (my Daughter-in-Love) from Alabama since she is one super talented designer in California and working on many renovations of this vintage.

Happy Weekend Y’All! Oh and here’s an old pic of our VA not/so/big house. I do miss my little 3rd floor aviary.

snow and DC 09 004

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Today is National and International Senior Citizen’s Day. I’m not sure what that means exactly, since it’s a new holiday to me. Our generation changed the Early Bird Special to Happy Hours; maybe the cafes in our neighborhood will be having half price sales? That would make a glass of wine and a plate of wings $5! Or maybe BarcaLoungers will go on sale? I remember when our local animal shelter was giving senior dogs away free to seniors! Live out your last years together snuggling on Golden Pond.

Maybe someone will give me a flower?

The Flapper hated being called a “senior;” just when she was getting grey the term “elderly” changed to “senior.” Her mind was just fine and she abhorred being categorized like the latest marketing scheme. I remember when the “elder” George Bush started Desert Storm, she was the first to say it’s all about the oil. She never dyed her hair purple or did the tiny Queen-like curls that littered the heads of most of her contemporaries. She proudly swirled her long grey hair into a perfect chignon every day.

Great Grandma Gi (aka the Flapper) had a purrfectly beautiful cat and lived on Lake Minnetonka in the Land of Lakes. At one point, she befriended the “old” (as opposed to the “new”) Mrs Pillsbury, checking in on her during snow storms. My brother, Dr Jim, just sent me an article about “Southways,” the gracious Grand Home that sits at the point of the peninsula. It seems the Pillsbury estate is scheduled for demolition, a sad end to the Gatsby era.

“The estate, originally built as a summer house for John S. and Eleanor Pillsbury and their six children, has seen its price slashed several times in recent years. When listed in 2007 at $53.5 million, it was the most expensive house in Minnesota. After it failed to attract a buyer, the price was reduced to $24 million. Still no takers. Recently, the original 13-acre site was subdivided into five homesites. The 32,461-square-foot house and its remaining 3.3 acres and 415 feet of prime shoreline on Brown’s Bay was relisted at $7.9 million.”

http://www.startribune.com/lake-minnetonka-pillsbury-mansion-slated-for-teardown/491230621/

It’s a shame the historical association couldn’t save that home. But everything must change.

Moving Great Grandma Ada out of her home of 50 years was not an easy task. However, she has regained her strength and is moving more than she ever did in that big house on a hill. Some one asked if she needed anything shipped to her, and she realized she has everything she needs. Well, actually she does need some of her beads since she started me stringing! And her purpose in life is still the same, to help others. Yesterday, a young man asked if she’d like to sit on a panel about aging. Of course! And a few days ago she delivered a painting of a totem pole to a friend’s daughter for a birthday present! Now she is a Commissioned Artiste!

On this Senior Citizen’s Day Ada’s calendar is filling up. Today we are celebrating in Nordstrom’s, after a visit to the dentist. The next round of visitors should be starting very soon. She feels as if she is slightly sixty, maybe, and is aghast about hitting her hundredth decade! We need a new name for these seniors, maybe “Super Duper Seniors!”

 

 

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It’s Good Friday, although I always wondered what’s so “good” about being crucified. For Christians however, it’s the beginning of the holiest time, when Jesus Christ willfully died for their sins, only to be born again on Easter. Suffering and sorrow, followed by jubilation. The casket had to be closed, in order to open.

My family is currently planning a Passover celebration, hopefully in the Blue Ridge this year. If you recall, I’ve successfully passed on the making of haroses to the Bride, and since Bob has been telling and retelling the Jewish story of exile and redemption for ages, we thought it might be a good year to have the seder at our house. Cousins and friends could come from Richmond, and Southern matzoh will be enjoyed by one and all!

But first, this week, Bob and I will visit our attorney for a house closing.

Our “second” home, the little foursquare brick home in town, the one we bought as an investment property, as a hedge on our retirement plans, has been sold. We once thought the Bride and Groom might return to Cville to raise their family, and that we might sell our “country” house and move into town. It’s a wonderful, hundred year old house, with a broad front porch, and light-filled rooms with tall ceilings.

When we stopped driving eventually, our plan was to move into town, to walk to restaurants, and the theatre. We poured our hearts and souls and quite alot of equity into its renovation when we first bought it, giving its grandeur a second chance. We rented the house to mostly medical students and residents. It was like a “Grey’s Anatomy” house; one of the Bride’s roomies was actually named Meredith Gray, and more than a few weddings took place here.

It’s bittersweet to close this chapter of our lives.

But if Moses didn’t appear, if we didn’t leave Egypt, what would have happened to the Jewish people? If Jesus decided to leave Jerusalem, to not walk down the “Way of Grief,” what might Christianity look like today? There are always turning points in life, should you go or should you stay? The Clash said it perfectly!

We’ve been blessed with the best realtor, a woman who has become a friend over the years. Aly Moore I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for helping us navigate our way to this closing. I wonder what door will open to us next?    Altamont St 018FB

 

 

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We always stay put on the 4th of July weekend. One reason is because the new residents have just started their intern year and need supervising. This has been true for centuries, if not for most of our marriage. The new doctors have to learn how to write a prescription, or maybe today how to email it to a pharmacy. They need to know the complex ins and outs of  digital, medical-coding and record keeping. They need to learn when to admit a patient to the hospital, and how. And what to do when said patient refuses admission and walks out – against medical advice. In other words, all the stuff they didn’t learn in medical school…they have to learn this in the month of July. Which is why you should try to avoid a teaching hospital’s ER in July.

The other reason we stick around on this holiday weekend is because I won’t drive anywhere. Because back in 1949, after my Father had died of a brain tumor in April, the Flapper went for a ride to see the new Wilkes Barre airport. That 4th of July weekend she had her legs crushed and nearly died when a drunk driver hit our car. My Nana and sister Kay were both in a coma, and my brother Jim was sent off to camp with broken ribs. After that trip to the ER, I was 10 months old and ended up with a foster family.

This year, though Bob is working the weekend, he’s off on the 4th so that we can attend Monticello’s Naturalization Ceremony. It’s become a tradition since we moved to Central Virginia, to hike up Mr Jefferson’s mountain and watch and weep while newly minted citizens pledge to honor and defend their new country; more than 3,000 immigrants have raised their right hands since 1963.

Monticello is a beautiful spot for this, full as it is of the spirit that animated this country’s foundation: boldness, vision, improvisation, practicality, inventiveness and imagination, the kind of cheekiness that only comes with free-thinking and faith in an individual’s ability to change the face of the world — it’s easy to imagine Jefferson saying to himself, “So what if I’ve never designed a building before? If I want to, I will.”
from Sam Waterston’s remarks at Monticello, July 4th, 2007

Monticello Fourth 023FB

“Cheekiness,” I like that! We missed the year that George W Bush was the speaker, I don’t know why?

But we’ve heard actors and artists galore rave about these United States of America. https://mountainmornings.net/2011/07/02/yearning-to-breathe-free/ This year our local boy, Dave Matthews will be the keynote speaker. I used to see him working out all the time at our sport’s club (kind of like when I worked out next to the Boss in Shrewsbury). Star struck old lady on a stationary bike. It’s a bit more organized now since we first started our trek nearly 10 years ago. Now you must actually purchase a ticket, and you have to be bussed up to the old house.

I read somewhere that a woman who was taking the oath of citizenship, refused to say she would take up arms for her newly adopted country. http://rt.com/usa/doughty-atheist-citizenship-arms-012/ This created an uproar since she is not religious, but feels as a person of conscience she would not kill anyone. It seems the powers that be wanted her to get it (her pacifism) in writing from a church, before they would allow her to become a US citizen…only the Catch 22 is that she doesn’t belong to any church…Are we surprised that happened in Texas? Obviously a glitch in the naturalization process, since I’m sure Mr Jefferson would agree with her!

The wedding took place one mountain over from Monticello, 3 years ago, where Mr Jefferson grew his grapes and fruit trees. We were pretty cheeky!

J&M  0891

http://www.monticello.org/site/visit/july-4th-monticello

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