Caught in (Charlotte’s) Web

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Asheville Creative Arts is performing a fabulous adaptation of Charlotte’s Web with music by Jonesalee. Opening night is tonight with shows through Sunday, July 28. Shows are at the Magnetic Theater in Asheville’s River Arts District. Parking is easy. https://ashevillecreativearts.org/purchase-tickets/

Trudy Campbell in Charlotte’s Web

CHANGE!

Change is hard for many people. Even the smallest thing can throw a person off her stable perch. I enjoy change, but even I get flustered at Ingles when they move things around. All of a sudden the peanut butter is not in its usual place and I have to search all the aisles to find it. One day at Hopey’s the case where the lunch meat was kept was emptied and the refrigerator for the produce was expanded into two cases. I had a tiny panic attack. If I couldn’t find either lunch meat or peanut butter, what would I use for Ron’s lunch? And was there a difference between the vegetables in either of the two cases? I was stymied.

This morning I was at Hopey’s looking for an item I had bought before. Called “Peckish,” the product is a box containing two hard-boiled eggs and a tasty seed dip, a perfect lunch for me. I asked the clerk for help, and he told me they were all gone. I was sad, but I looked forward to today’s lunch, my last Peckish box. When I opened it to eat, I was horrified to find that the seed pack was missing! The eggs just weren’t the same without the dip. This change was literally hard to swallow. 

Dragon Jacket

These days, too, it’s hard for us Baby-boomers to keep up with the constant change in the world of technology. Just when I think I have mastered  my I-Phone or a program on my MacBook, an “update” pops up on the screen, and I am back to square one. My phone is an antique at this point, an I-Phone 5C. I tried to buy a new protective case recently at the Mac Store, and was told they no longer make cases for such an old phone. The clerk called his fellow techies over to take a gander at my relic. I refuse to get a new phone, though, until absolutely necessary, because it’s scary to think of that steep learning curve. 

Then there are the changes which are manufactured to make us feel dated and out of style. This morning I was leafing through a Vanity Fair magazine over coffee and read a short article celebrating Gucci’s new designs. I like the old Gucci with its brown logo design and yummy leather. The photo, however,  showed a running shoe glitzed to the max in every color and featuring the big Gucci logo in rhinestones blazed across the top, like a buckle on a Puritan’s shoe, but the total opposite. The article praised the genius of Gucci designers to take fashion a giant step forward. So throw away your old shoes and the rest of your possessions and keep up with the latest trends, no matter how horrible, if you don’t want to be labeled unfashionable. 

Antique Chinese Soapstone

I am also confused on my (guilty pleasure) HGTV house hunter shows. Prospective homebuyers walk into a perfectly lovely home and whine about how it needs either a “total gut job” or at the very least, “updating.” 

“Oh!” they cry. “These kitchen cabinets are so outdated!” They trash these nice cherry or oak cabinets completely on “Demo Day” and replace them with particle board cabinets painted white. In just a few years, white cabinets will be considered dated, and they will have to be swapped out for something in a wood-tone. I remember back in the seventies how we struggled to strip old painted furniture to get it back to its natural state. We would exclaim, “How could these idiots paint over this beautiful wood grain!” Now “Brown Furniture” is out.

Who decides that white cabinets are in style and desirable, and wood is passe? Probably the manufacturers of cabinets. 

As I said earlier, though, I enjoy change. I’m always updating my wardrobe with new and exciting clothes because I get bored with what I already have. I swap out furniture at my house with new treasures I find and bring the old stuff to the shop to sell until I find something else to play with. Same with the shop. People walk in and remark that the shop looks different since they were last here. Of course it does. When I get bored I move everything around and enjoy how it makes things I have had suddenly show up as if they are new. 

Sloane with more Qwrky Dirt

I also enjoy new experiences or taking something tried and true and tweaking it a little. A perfect example of that is the Park Rhythms concerts that have traditionally been held at Lake Tomahawk. Those concerts are fun, people can spread out on the grass, kids can run and play, and folks can enjoy the view of the lake. The downsides are parking, goose poop, and insects. This year Parks and Rec have tried something new. Three of the concerts are being held downtown, and last night was the first in the experimental series. It was wonderful! Folks set up lawn chairs up Cherry Street, kids had a play area off to the side on Sutton, and people enjoyed strolling around downtown in the evening, stopping off in shops and eating at downtown restaurants. Those facing the stage had a gorgeous view of the southern mountains. People came into the shop I had never seen before. It felt like a calmer Holly Jolly. How wonderful that people who don’t normally come downtown for one reason or another have an opportunity to get to know or own downtown. Shop Local, ya’ think?

Predictably, many people were outraged at this change. I don’t usually have time to check in with Black Mountain Exchange, but I have been told that there was a lot of protest about the change of venue on that site. I understand that everyone has his or her own idiosyncrasies and tolerance for change, but this Park Rhythms change is something we should all give a chance. Change is inevitable, so why get excited about something this simple?

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