Archives for the month of: January, 2016

OkraPickles005Twice in my life I’ve won something by chance.

In the late 70s, I scored a pepper grinder, a door prize at the Ethan Allen store in Bristol, Tennessee. That was back when I had an interior decorating business. The store was having a furniture fashion show, and one of my clients liked their stuff. I thought the prize was cheap given the cost of the furniture, and back then, where I lived in southwest Virginia, freshly ground pepper wasn’t a big deal. I still don’t know why it’s special for someone to bring the grinder to the table and put it on the salad. By the way, “score” is a word I see frequently in articles about decorating and design. People score, or scoop up, furniture and property. Seems kind of competitive and predatory. Like an eagle, or bear, scooping up a salmon.

About ten years later, I got lucky again when I won back the dollar I paid for a scratch-and-win card that I bought in Staunton, Virginia. I made that purchase at a convenience store adjoining the laundromat where I went when our dryer konked out. That was back when “our” meant the dryer belonged to another person as much as it belonged to me (I was married then). Not sovereign plural, which some political candidates use these days.

While I was Outside recently, I got into the Power Ball lottery. I thought most about what I would not do: Not tell anyone, at least not right away; not buy a bigger house; not get a face lift; not travel around the world; not stop waiting for J. Peterman to put stuff on sale.

What I would do was harder.  Of course, my children would get most of the prize, and a few non-profits here and in Virginia would get more than they could ever dream of. I would buy art anonymously, full price, from my sisters, and more from other artists whose work I covet, which I know is in violation of the tenth of the Big 10 Commandments.

Other than that, I can’t think of what to do with a lot of money. I have a hard time imagining bodacious goals and dreams. I feel lucky every time the plane lands. I feel lucky that after a 7.1 earthquake only a few pieces of art were askew in my sturdy Alaska house.  I feel lucky that I learned to type, that I grew up in an extraordinary small city in East Tennessee, that I have the children I do, which is not to say that yours aren’t wonderful.

And then today I found pickled okra, hot and mild, at Kachemak Wholesale. Stuffed with homemade pimiento cheese, there is nothing better. I am really, truly lucky.

Copyright 2016. Genie Hambrick

Advertisements

Cotton_field

My annual trip Outside this winter has taken me deep into the South–way down past where the Appalachian Mountains start, down where Spanish moss hangs from the leafy branches of big old live-oak trees and some folks still grow cotton. They wouldn’t know what to think about the way biscuits get toasted in Alaska.

Down here, cow pastures are still green this time of year. You see a lot of bony hound dogs, and some small towns look abandoned, especially when you get a far piece from the cities. You wonder how on earth anyone makes a living. I reckon you’d have to leave to find work if you wanted it, and you’d always be a little homesick. I didn’t grow up this far south, but I know you’d miss home.

Hounds

Copyright 2016. Genie Hambrick