Though it started out in High Stress Mode, setting out at 6am to meet with someone at my Mom's bank to continue slogging through estate matters, then to the funeral home in a vain attempt to correct a numbers error, it ended so beautifully that by the time I was driving back over the Causeway bridge at sunset Sunday evening, I had all but forgotten about all the stress and unrest of the day before.
My Weekend of Magic began with meeting an old friend at her house at the seaside. Over the last couple of years, she and I have reconnected, and she has taken care of me in my heart-injured state. She cooks delicious food for me. She plies me with wine. She gives me good books to read. In fact, on Saturday, as she grabbed her board to head out to the waves, she handed me the book she was reading and said to me, "You should read the first chapter of this book, I think you'll like it."
Sarah didn't get the book back the rest of the weekend.
[And PS, one of the funniest books I've ever read in my life, You'll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein.]
Anyway. Next day - if possible - was even more magical. We drove down to my old home Long Beach Island. Sarah took me to her sister's shop: Mary Tantillo's Swell Colors.
The most beautiful stained glass pieces imaginable. Plus all kinds of other gorgeous artwork from paintings to jewelry and everything in between. I walked out with a few pieces in a bag, and a smile on my face.
Then we headed to the south end of the island and our next destination: her good friend Sandy Gingras' shop How To Live.
Was I dreaming?
I was dreaming, wasn't I?
Vintage, retro, shabby, farmhouse, seashore, chippy, metal, wood, fabrics, tranquil palette....
I wanted to drop to the floor and roll around, like a dog rolling in a dead thing to embrace the stink.
<sound of record screeching>
That didn't sound at all pleasing or even remotely resembling anything positive.
I wanted to....
I don't know, I wanted to BECOME the store.
I wanted to marry the store.
I wanted to have a baby with that store.
No, I wanted to BE the store's baby, so it could hold me and rock me and sing me to sleep while I sucked my thumb.
Am I making any sense? I don't know if I am. I still feel a little disconnected, like maybe I had a stroke or something.
OK, I just went to a mirror and stuck my tongue out and it stuck out straight, not all lopsided like they say it does if you've had a stroke, so I guess I'm OK.
Anyway, I bought a few things FOR ME FOR MYSELF that my budget would allow (restraint was exercised), and then we headed a little further south on the island to Sandy's house.
I could barely make it in the door. At some point during the tour I quite literally dropped to my knees because they got all shaky and stuff. I have witnesses.
I could best describe her house as Joanna Gaines goes to the seashore, except that this has been Sandy's own personal style since before even Chip heard of Joanna, let alone the rest of the world.
And if possible, the beauty and peace of her space was outshined (outshone??) by the view from every G-D window of her house. A view of the bay, and marsh grasses, and docks and boats and the blue sky.
It has even been in magazines.
Of course it has been in magazines.
This house has INVENTED magazines.
"Be prepared, in a minute the fliibbertjibbit" (or something like that) "will swing around and you might need to
And to prevent myself from getting beheaded, I would lickety-split prostrate myself on her boat in a very contorted position for an overweight 51 year old that doesn't even take yoga.
When we returned to the house, Sarah decided to clean off her boat because she had discovered some aliens growing on the bottom.
We flipped it over to discover millions of ( Idon't even know what to call them. Aliens.) all over the nether regions of her craft. Imagine coating a 50 gallon barrel-ful of clear black-eyed peas in an equally clear Jello, then gluing this mass to the bottom of a boat, then getting the Snuffleupagus and 30 of his closest friends to sneeze all over it.
Add to that that there were also little spider-like creatures crawling over this mass.
Add to that that when one tried to scrape these snotty blobs off the boat with a clamshell, one got squirted in God-knows-what by a million little pissed-off.... things.
I couldn't do it. I tried, honest to God, Sarah, I tried, but I couldn't do it! I have dealt with the testicles and placentas, poop and pee, worms and burs, and fleas and ticks of my animals. For the love of all that's holy, I have even surgically amputated the talons of one of my chickens. I have, right in my kitchen, I swear to you! But on this occasion, I had to walk away.
<bowing head in shame>
I took a hot shower. I scrubbed off the unimaginable filth. I will never truly feel clean again, but I scrubbed to save my soul.
Then I went and talked to Sandy for a bit, within earshot - but trying not to notice - of Sarah engaged in her Alien-Scraping.
But the more Sandy talked, the less I sensed what was going on a mere five yards from where Sandy and I stood.
Sandy -- beautful, quiet, talented Sandy -- talked to me about her writing, and her artwork, and of her store and her dreams and her home that she has built in this
And so, as the title of this post implies, I am feeling inspired.
Inspired to write.
Inspired to create more pieces.
Inspired to try my hand at painting pictures, and writing poetry, and just writing more in general.
Because why wait for that elusive time of "Someday When Things Are More Settled"?
You never know when the aliens will take over....