The house where we lived for 18 years and raised the kids, on Town & Country Drive in Charlotte, is gone now. A developer bought it from us “as is”, to tear down and replace with a McMansion, a really ugly one. This gave us freedom from inspection and allowed us to remove any attached materials we wanted to keep. There was several hundred board feet of wormy chestnut solid plank paneling in the basement, a slab of wormy chestnut as a mantle, and a copper hood over the huge fireplace. The mantle & hood hang in our house now. The chestnut paneling just made a trip to Athens, GA to be fabricated into my cremains container. It may be odd that the future occupant would plan his or her own cremains container but humor me here. Hank, a close friend of Tommy from Warren Wilson College, has a fine furniture making studio in Athens. I use the word studio because he is a true artist with wood. Following @heavyfriendsfurniture on Instagram, I saw what he could do making fine wood boxes and the idea formed of him making a box to hold my cremains. In a nanosecond the wormy chestnut wood I had labored so hard to keep, came to mind. The image of the wood being the vessel of my cremains, the friendship of Hank & Tommy, and making sure that Peggy did not have to make a decision about, or deal with getting rid of the wood made sense to me. It has real symmetry.
So, this past Sunday I hauled the wood to Hank’s studio in Athens, where he will design and fabricate a cremains box for me, and while he’s at it, one for Peggy also. There are plans for Peggy to commission something like a Hope Chest, or another item, for Leigh & Tommy, a memory of their time in that house.
Getting out of the house, rolling down I-85 for 3 days was a real treat under the virus threat. The weather was perfect, the Hampton Inns were squeaky clean, and Peggy loaded up the car with water & snacks, so I didn’t make extra stops. As I have written before, testing positive for Covid-19, and becoming symptomatic is a huge risk for me, particularly with the re-appearance of cancer in my lung. So, don’t tell Dr. B or Marissa!
With caution, it gave me the chance to briefly visit with Kirk & Carol Lee, my brother & his wife, Bill & Lindsay, our next-door neighbors on Town & Country, and my best friend Patrick George, his wife Noreen and their daughter, Julia. It was odd with the masks & no hugging, while at the same time very wonderful to see them all. It did my soul immense good to take the time to visit. On the way down Sunday, I took a short side trip to visit Skillbeck Grounds, home of The Charlotte Rugby Club. So many memories there. My experience & my love for that group deserves, and will receive, a completely candid blog post of its own.
Got home last night, and this morning started my next phase of The Long Ride. The ‘take at home’ chemo drug, Votrient, is taken in this manner; empty stomach – 4 pills – lots of water. Every 2 weeks, a complete blood panel, in 2 months, a repeat CT scan.
It gives me great pleasure to say, “the fight, as well as, The Long Ride…continues”.