Monday, June 19, 2017

You can live forever inside a goodbye...

Galadrielle Allman has.  All of her life.

I just finished Please Be With Me, Galadrielle's extremely intimate and, oh my goodness, incredibly moving (how many times did I cry reading this book?!) story of her father, Duane Allman.  

Duane died at the age of 24, when Galadrielle was two.  So, of course, she has no memory of her father.  All she has are stories told to her by family and friends and the precious photos and recordings that she's been able to get her hands on.  I was so impressed by this girl!  Her story, their story, contains so much love, humor, wisdom and this almost unbearable, heartbreaking longing for her daddy.  I felt so sorry for her so many times.  I can't even imagine the loss, how she grew up with her daddy's face looking back at her in the mirror and how she had to tiptoe around her mother when she had questions of their brief time together, when she needed details about her father.  There was a deep hunger to know and the only way she could was to ask questions and they were sometimes painful ones.  Her Uncle Gregg helped her as did other members of the Allman Brothers Band, her grandmother (Jerry!  Such a wonderful, strong woman she was!) and people like Boz Scaggs and Eric Clapton, who were there and worked with Duane.  I didn't know that Duane does the guitar riff in Clapton's "Layla" and I certainly didn't know that the royalties for Duane's contribution abruptly ceased in the 80's and Galadrielle had to fight Clapton for twenty years in court to get what is rightfully hers.  She's a tough little cookie, that Gragri, as her daddy called her.

The story flows so smoothly and begins, well, at the Allman Brothers' beginning, with their parents, and follows the boys through their childhoods, raised at Daytona Beach by their single mother after their father was killed in 1950, through the long years of struggling to "make it big", the ups and downs of stardom, the good, the bad and the really, really ugly.

The story of her parents, Duane and Donna, is a bittersweet one.  There was no doubt to me that he adored her but the road, drugs, other women and his music consumed him.  He was a little burned-out star in no time.  Donna lived at The Big House with Berry Oakley's wife, Linda and their baby girl, Brittany and Berry's sister, Candy, while the guys were on the road.  I loved the descriptions Galadrielle gave of the beautiful tapestries and rugs and second hand furniture they collected around Macon and the pride those little hippie girls took in making a happy home for their guys.

But when he brought his road girlfriend, Dixie, to The Big House with Donna and two-year-old Galadrielle RIGHT THERE, I was like, "Now, Duane, that is too much!".  Donna thought so, too, but instead of kickin' that girl's tail, she took her baby and left.  It was as though Duane was driving her away, as though he knew something bad was about to happen and he wanted to get his wife and baby away from it.


He died nine months later, after having an accident on Hillcrest Avenue in Macon, when his motorcycle clipped a truck. 

Galadrielle tells a beautiful story of love and loss, love for a daddy she never really had and an almost haunting longing for what should have been.

I loved it.  I didn't want to put it down.  I hardly did.

If you want your own copy, you can get it here.   

Included in the book are a bunch of family photos and this one gets me every time I look at it.

A very young daddy holding his baby girl.  It's the only photo she has of the two of them together.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Day in HOTLanta!

Larry and I drove up to Atlanta this morning to go to Scott Antique Market.  We'd been wanting to get up there for years and we finally made time and went!  We had the best time!  That place is huge.  So huge that they have shuttle buses to take you from the North building to the South building and then back again.  

Before we went to the antique market, though, we hit an estate sale over in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood, in a tiny little 1,200 square foot bungalow, built in 1935, in desperate need of some TLC, but is STILL selling for $555,000!  Location, location, location, I reckon.  I'm guessing by my HGTV-watching experience, that it'll take about $50,000 to fix it up and that's just the cosmetic stuff that I can see.  I have no idea what's behind the walls and under the floor.  Anyway, it was an adorable little house and we got some cool stuff there.  We got a whole basket full of stuff for FREE because Larry climbed up into the attic and pulled down an old WWII footlocker for them.  In that basket were 43 Keurig coffee, tea and hot chocolate cups, some diabetic testing strips, a bottle of Sun-Ripened Raspberry shower gel from Bath and Body Works, a 1981 kitchen tea towel calendar (I love those!), a small Pyrex flamingo pink casserole dish with the lid (!!) and a cute little striped glass pitcher just perfect for lemonade.  I got all that and Larry picked up a vintage Navy peacoat, an old Georgia flag and an old Army/Navy helmet.  Oh!  And we found an old General Electric clock radio, one like I've wanted forever.  That sale was definitely worth the stop!  The neighborhood was beautiful, everybody was walking their dogs and babies and there were little shops everywhere.  We joked that we need to live in a neighborhood like that, if for nothing else but the diversity.  $600-$700K houses, though?  Naaaah.

Here are all those Keurig cups!  It's really funny how God works sometimes.  I had JUST YESTERDAY said I was going to get some coffee cups and bring them to work for our Keurig in the office and then, boom, the Lord brings me to these. 43 for FREE. 

This is the peacoat.  Oh, Larry looks sooooo handsome in it.  It fits him perfectly and there were even two other ladies there eyeing him at the estate sale when he tried it on.  Down, girls.

How amazing is this old clock???  And it works!

Here's the helmet and Santana's very first album.  We picked it up at Scott's for $2.

We got to Scott's about noon and we went to the North building first, not knowing any better, bless our hearts.  Don't go to the North building.  It's full of expensive carpets and expensive art and stuff you can't afford.  It's all pretty to look at but you'll leave it there.  I promise. 

See, pretty to look at.  $2,500 to $4,000.  We left 'em there.

 Freddy-the-Frog Mercury, as Larry called him.  $395

We're always looking for globes for Ami.  We looked at this one.  


I really did LOVE this vintage counter and stool set, though!!  $4,800 and they coulda been MINE.  Sigh.  We don't have anywhere to put it anyway.  Sigh.


Thanks to my good buddy, Erika, who on Facebook told me to get the heck outta there and get down to the South building, we hopped a ride on the shuttle bus and went down there.

MUCH more our speed! 

We walked around outside until we were about to burn slap up (oh, Lordy, it was HOTTTTT) and then we walked around inside, where it was nice and air-conditioned and they had fried catfish.  I found a Pyrex Daisy bowl, some political pins and oh my goodness, two sets of clackers!!!  I've been looking for clackers everywhere.  I found 'em outside, in a box, just sitting there waiting for me.  The whole clacking thing came back to me immediately and I'm proud to say that I remain the reigning clacking queen!  Larry was quite impressed.  Kinda like he is when I recite the Preamble to the Constitution to him.  What can I say?  I am a child of the 70's and I loved me some Schoolhouse Rock.

Here are the three pins I got.  Michael Dukakis was the very first person I ever voted for, in 1988, when I was 21.  I was so proud.  Been votin' Democrat ever since.

Larry actually found a lot of stuff he liked today!  Patches and pins and helmets and peacoats.  He racked up!

Here are my Pyrex bowls and that sweet little pitcher. I already had the largest Daisy mixing bowl but not the one that's this size.  Larry said I was not leaving Scott's without a piece of Pyrex.  So I didn't.

And the best part about our day??

Atlanta has NO gnats.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Li'l Bit

Our baby bird saga continues...

Yesterday a fledgling fell out of its nest and Tabbie Hoffman made a playmate out of him.  Luckily, I was able to separate the two before Tabbie killed the poor thing but by then, the little birdie had blood on his leg and wasn't flying.  He may not have been flying well to begin with and Tabbie just made things worse. He just hopped around in the grass, flapping his wings.  I freaked out, crying because it was misting rain and we couldn't find the nest and he was going to drown OMG and Larry, being the sane one in our household, gently picked him up and put him in the pretty gourd birdhouse we got at the Cherry Blossom Festival three years ago.  Just as the bottom FELL OUT.

We put a little water in there and some mealworms and hoped for the best.

Today he was still alive!  And kicking!  And not bleeding!  He just wasn't flying very well, just kinda flailing.  So we brought him inside and put him in a box.  Larry took some chicken wire and made a top for the box and he's in our mudroom, with more mealworms and a little water.  And a nice soft table napkin to lay on.  He's not bleeding at all anymore and he's pooped already so I think he just needs a few days' rest and quiet.  He had quite a traumatic encounter with Mr. Hoffman!  We're going to take him out every morning and the first morning he flies out of the box and into the trees, he's a free bird!

But until then, ain't he sweet??

I've had my heart broken already this spring with a nest full of eggs that fell in a rainstorm so I am so happy to have found this little one.  Somehow he grew in a nest in our yard that I knew nothing about. 

We're calling him Li'l Bit.  :)
***Update:  MORE heartbreak.  Li'l Bit died that night.  Larry buried him in a flower bed the next morning after I left for work.  I was very, very sad.

Friday, June 2, 2017

It's JUNE!!!

And my birthday month!!!  And I'll be FIFTY!!!  


Most days, I don't feel anywhere near 50 and I'm still getting told that I don't look 50 but there were a few days in the past two weeks that I felt every day of it and then some.

First, I had a nerve die in a top molar on the weekend and couldn't get in to see my dentist until Monday.  She did call me in some medication and I got through it.  I had a root canal that next week and toofie is fine and dandy now.  I still have to get the crown and yet another crown on another tooth, but that's another day.  

As soon as I was over the root canal, I was vacuuming last Sunday and I hurt my back some kind of way.  I was in horrible pain until Tuesday when I saw the doctor.  Larry and I had planned to go back to Andersonville to visit Gus but I just couldn't do it.  I stayed in bed for three days.  I couldn't sit up, I couldn't lay down, I couldn't stand up and couldn't walk.  It was misery.  Poor Larry, he did all he could for me, to include not even sleeping so he could watch over me.  He did all the housework and laundry and took care of Banjo and Tabbie, too. I've said it before, he's a keeper.  And I'm keepin' him!  I got some steroids and muscle relaxers Tuesday and by yesterday, I was SO MUCH BETTER OMG.  Today, I'm nearly back to normal. 

I went to an estate sale after work today over in the Eagle Springs neighborhood (we love 'em over there!  $300,000+ houses and they get rid of the best stuff!!) and I saw a few things that caught my eye and then jumped into my bag.

I couldn't leave this pretty little milk glass bottle behind.  I added a hydrangea from our yard and I think it's perfect.

I have a plan to have my own "summer reading club" and read this summer.  More books, less Facebook!  Facebook is driving me crazy lately.  Anyway, so I've been collecting Lewis Grizzard hardbacks whenever I can find them.  I got this one today.  My plan is to read as many of his books this summer as I can and remind myself of a time when the world made sense to me.  I adored Lewis and I think it'll do me good to get reacquainted with him.

Speaking of the world not making sense to me, I also found this book.  Ha!

At least in 1964, it was a no-no to be friends with the (Communist) enemy.  These days, it's no big deal.  But it is.  It's still a big deal and these folks in control in Washington are going to pay for the wrong they've done.  The lies, the "fake news" they've created or allowed to be created, the outright corruptness of it all.  There will come a Judgement Day for them.  I'll call it.  I'll call it treason and I believe our Lady Liberty will, too.

But I got me one of these just in case it takes her a while.