This blog is such a weird thing. Although it exists primarily for me as a storage facility for narrative ideas and rambling art thoughts, I do realize it is publicly accessible. And for a hermit and a terribly private person….there is sometimes a furious balance between what I need to document and what I’m willing to let you read. If you’re reading this, I probably like you at least a little. This is not the kind of blog you read to stay up on current events or to learn new things. If you’re here, I’ve probably met you in real life or at least know who you are. Or even more likely, I’m related to you in some way. And if you are some human I don’t know, you probably came here because you were interested in sculptures or drawings. Again, it’s the art that creates the need for such a storage site. My creative work is closely tied to my everyday experiences and the narratives within them. And while I came to grips with the sharing of some personal information here some time ago, it was only recently I realized another possible use for this site. LJ checks it periodically to keep up with what is going on in our lives.
If you’re not current with my cast of characters, let me ‘splain…
In my previous life I was a graphic designer. For 16 years I worked for an oxymoron of a company. They were quite big in the international world of embroidery but their physical footprint was only a couple of acres on the edge of a peach field right between Greenville and Spartanburg counties. My drive home each day took me by the old McAbee homestead and each afternoon I’d stop by and sit with my mom and dad to chat before driving across the yard to my aunt Laura Jean’s house. There’s an entry on here somewhere about her if you want to search for it. She is/was my dad’s oldest sister. She was the queen of the Emergency Room in Spartanburg for many years, she’s beat down cancer several times, and she looks and acts about 20 years younger than most people her age. That's her in the photo in 1957.
She’s lived next door to my parents since before time began for me. She took care of my grandmother until my grandmother died and she’s spent most of her life taking care of everyone else in her life in some way or another. When my brothers and I were kids she helped make sure we didn’t die of stupidity. (It’s quite convenient to have a ER nurse living next door when you have 3 boys always thinking up new ways to cheat death.) She’s always been part of our immediate family…whether she wanted to be or not. She got dragged to every family event from Sunday lunch to Christmas morning and to this day, we’re still dragging her along with us.
As close as we all were to LJ through the years, I got even closer to her during those afternoon chats. We’d catch up on art, family, politics and we’d discuss religion and theology. I’m pretty sure we solved most of the world’s problems in those visits. We’d tell funny stories and jokes or she’d tell me I needed to start eating vegetables or she’d tell me about the 3-4 funerals she’d go to during the week and how each one rated against the other. Mostly though, we laughed. We laughed a lot.
When I changed jobs we were both thrilled about the new opportunity and we were both disappointed because we knew the weekday visits would have to end. Still, for that first year we lived in the same county so it was easier to catch up on weekends and school holidays. Then G and I moved closer to school making keeping in touch even tougher. We email updates every once in a while. I blame Steve Jobs for making that so tough. I get most of my mail now on my phone and rarely have the chance to sit down with a real keyboard. Steve’s minions made the tiny keyboard on the phone so small that I can usually only muster enough patience to email a couple of sentences.
But LJ is smart and she figured out how to find the blog and now she checks it for updates. She comes here looking to see what we’ve been up to and to see photos of Blue and Violet. I guess from her end it feels like at least half of the conversations we used to have. And since that works better than short conversations every two weeks at lunch, now I just need to figure out how to talk her into having her own blog. If she can use Microsoft Word she can use Blogger, right? That way I could keep up with her too. If I ever talk her into it I’ll let you know so you can follow her blog. She’s awesome, you’d love her. Right now she's having a hair growing contest with my teenage nephew. That's the sort of thing that should be documented.