Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fact or Fiction?

To the five of you that read this forlorn and forgotten blog, bless you. In the last ten days, I ran into two of you I seldom see and you both mentioned that you've read my blog. I was humbled, appreciative--and embarrassed--I haven't published since July.

Truth is, this falls under the 'fact' category, I have been distraught on & off (not constant, so don't worry), by the news of Fannie & Freddie in late July. That followed by four birthdays, picking 3+ bushels of peaches (the deer easily ate another three) and trying to sell Scott's store in August, and the financial economic Meltdown in September and since.

I followed the financial mess with great interest (and often complete dismay), in part because of my former profession as a Mortgage Broker, but also because I am a home owner and a tax payer like many of you.

I made my first batch of peach wine in late August and racked it in September. Learned a new skill. Wahoo! Emerson gave public school a whirl for three weeks before stating he would not return, "It was not an efficient use of my time." Back to home schooling.

We hosted a field trip to Sinkland Farms for Providers and our live-in individuals in October and went to LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) in Black Mountain, NC. While at LEAF, Scott taught a blues class to a group of third graders, performed solo, and opened for Leon Redbone. What a great fest!

In November, after some anticipation, we voted! And even better, we liked the result! Not that I believe President-elect Obama can affect change overnight, sorry to say, but it will be a breath of fresh air to have a person in the highest office who speaks in complete, intelligent sentences and does not smirk. We drove to GA to visit family the weekend before Thanksgiving. Fact(s).

This month has been crazy busy, as it usually is in December. I learned to can venison, thus getting some manner of revenge on the deer. We went caroling at Skyline Manor (nursing home in Floyd) with a group from Wall Residences and were a hit in the Alzheimer's wing, despite some of us singing off-key (namely me). That moment made Christmas for me. It was so much fun that we're going back for a command performance of sorts, Scott decided to bring several of his guitar students (and his family!) to play Christmas music and we'll sing a song between instrumentals.

My annual Christmas letter was just finished and my cards are going out late. But better late than never; though with Christmas cards, the correlation seems to be the later you send them, the fewer you receive. No matter that you've faithfully mailed cards the last 20 years and written a two-page letter for 12. [Yes, it's two pages. I have a brevity problem. The first step is to admit it.]

All of the above blurbs are fact-based, not a lick of fiction in there. We truly were a hit in the Alzheimer's wing, that's not hopeful exaggeration. Emerson really stated public school was not efficient, though home schooling isn't much better. Some days it drags on until dark.

You're asking yourself (the five of you), what's the fiction?

My dear husband called from town an hour ago with a story to tell me. A woman he had never met before came up to him in a store and asked if he was Scott Perry. He admitted he was. She said "I'm so sorry," followed by "I've heard you're very sick and your wife has left you." Wow. I did?! Holy buckets, that's not good. If you read below, you'll learn that I don't even like to pack. So he set her straight. Scott asked where she heard such a thing, it turned out this ugly rumor came from a place in the heart of town, though there was no heart or truth to it.

This stuff has been ongoing for months, but has increased with intensity since September, the month The Pickin' Porch came this close (thumb and forefinger a hair apart) to being sold. I won't go into why it didn't sell, but it had nothing to do with us nor with the Buyer. Ever since, the rumors have been flying fast and furious.

The fiction has been entertaining. Did you know we're selling The Pickin' Porch and moving to _______ ? Some rumors say Ireland, which would be my fantasy come true, I have to admit, but is still not a fact. We are getting passports so Scott can gig in Europe and because one day I hope to live overseas for a year or two, but we'll begin with a vacation. People go 'on holiday' now and then. Moving to Europe--or even to Asheville--is another ball game and we're not playing now.

The very thought of moving makes me say "Ugh." We moved 42 cartons of books when we moved to Floyd. I don't like to say the "H word" but I hate packing. Fact.

Selling in this market? It can be done, but we have fruit, fresh air & clean water, and hold your horses, a 1984 John Deere 750 tractor bought after Thanksgiving. Scott won't bush hog the fields with a push mower anymore. Fact. Two days ago, Spencer installed a mail box purposely so he would receive a package he had ordered sent to our physical address (not the PO Box in town). How's that for motivation for a nearly 19 year old son? Fact.

Between a new, used tractor and a new mail box, after 8 years of living here on our farm, it looks like we're staying put a while longer. B'gosh and begorrah!

Another: we're selling the store because Scott will quit teaching guitar students. Fiction. He has a roster of 43 students each week and when one occasionally stops taking lessons, he replaces the empty slot within two weeks. He usually has a waiting list. Fact. He loves teaching his students and finds it to be rewarding. (He also happens to be a great guitar teacher, though I may be partial). Fact.

Another: Scott is sick. Well, it's true he had a cold two days ago. And we each experienced a lovely 24-hour stomach virus before Thanksgiving, but no, gratefully, he is not truly sick. Though he likes to say, "I'm sick and tired," and shared as much with the poor woman who was a tad embarrassed after she commented on the rumor.

This rumor has variations: we're selling because we're broke, we're bankrupt or we can't pay the mortgage. Fiction. We aren't rich, we don't have a trust fund, nor do we have wealthy parents who regularly donate to our cause. Fact. We earn our money the old-fashioned way (hey, not that old-fashioned!), we earn it. Fact. We pay the mortgage and are not bankrupt. Fact, thank heavens.

Believe it or not, The Pickin' Porch is doing well. Store sales have been consistent with last year. Fact. We guess that people want to have a new banjo or guitar (picks, strings, and a music book) to play while sitting at home during the Greater Depression. [Okay, I hope I'm wrong about that last bit. I probably am, after all 'they' just announced the Recession, er, slow down.]

What's left? Oh yeah, that one. We are very happily married, as I say, 98.5% of the time. No one's perfect. There is that little issue of the 1.5% when we bug the living heck out of each other and have our annual argument. By and large, we're pretty dang lucky to be married to each other and to have got it right the first time. Our 20th wedding anniversary is on May 27. Fact.