Perfect mug for these days

Last weekend Abby and I were invited to the ninetieth birthday party of my daughter-in-law’s mother, Marsha. She lives in New York, and her son and his partner (Danny and Tom), party hosts, also live there. Because Tom inherited a house in Spartanburg, they decided to host the party there.Tom grew up in Spartanburg and inherited the house where he grew up and where the party was held  He is very attached to the place and decided to keep it and to figure out a way to live there again and work remotely. The house was built in the fifties and stands shoulder to shoulder with other identical houses of the same vintage. When Abby and I pulled up, I thought we were in the wrong place, because I couldn’t imagine two New York hipsters loving it. Something about the house creeped me out, probably because it reminded me of my childhood. 

We have a great selection of these cropped linen tops

The interior with all the small rooms and dark furniture made me nervous and confused until the party started and I understood that it wasn’t the house but the people at the party who made it unusual. I have lost track of how many times I have moved, and the same is true for almost everyone I know. Friends and family who have been so important to me have faded away as we all play musical houses and relocate all over the place. When I grew up I lived in close proximity to most of my cousins, and we had so much fun at every holiday gathering. I loved my cousins but after college we all scattered across the country: Colorado, Chicago, New York, Italy, Truckee, California, Texas…and we stopped seeing each other. My sister and her family are scattered all over New York State and I have never even laid eyes on some of her grandchildren. It makes me sad.

Another mug by British artist D. Shrigly

At the party, however, there were about forty guests. I knew only a handful of them, Melissa (my daughter-in-law) and her family. The rest of the guests were all Tom’s friends and family. They all grew up in that neighborhood, still live nearby, are are still very close. One of the guests was the elderly man who lived next door for forty-four years. Also there were his children, who grew up next door toTom and his siblings, and the man’s grandchildren. They all clearly loved each other and were so happy to be together. It was like being with one big family. I was so jealous.

Long linen dress in Marigold a soft pink

Melissa and Seth and their children live in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s very far away and even when I fly there it takes a whole day to get there with all the changes of flights. As a result, those grandchildren grew up without me. I compare that with Natty’s children who live in Black Mountain and whom I see all the time. I so wish I had Seth and his family closer.

We have linen clothes in a variety of colors

I wish we still lived in a time when people stayed put and weren’t flip flopping across the country all the time. My friend Suzy Miles has moved at least eight times in the past eight years. Now she lives somewhere in the Hudson Valley and I haven’t even seen her last three houses. I wish I lived in a neighborhood surrounded by those friends and family who go way back with me. I am very lucky that two of my three children live here in Black Mountain, and that one of my Charlotte besties lives in Biltmore Forest, but envy Tom for his neighborhood. Now I understand why he is so attached to that house in Spartanburg.