“I have found that among others benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” ~ Maya Angelou
If I’m not mistaken, many years ago, Andrea and Erin were roomies when they were both going through UK’s undergraduate theater program. Look at this top photo. Don’t they look like they’re in the throes of some serious thespian dialog? Both women are so expressive. They’re expressive in their faces, actions, voices. They’re eat up with expression! And it’s a real travesty that I don’t get to hang with Andrea very much (because she lives in NKY raising an NBA team). Everybody loves Big A, and rightfully so. She’s one in a million, just like Erin. No wonder they’re still BFFs after all this time.
These three friends – Erin Chandler, Andrea Sayer Brooke, Stacy Yelton – go back over 30 years. I love seeing my old friends, and I take great joy in seeing other old friends reconnect. It makes me feel hopeful.
I had the honor of celebrating Erin Chandler’s trip around the sun with her and some of the most interesting women I know. Seriously: every woman at the table had an inspiring story of life. Erin, being one of these women, made her own birthday dinner and had party gifts for her guests which included a book she personally chose for each of us. I was really touched by these acts of kindness. It’s a very cool thing to do to entertain people you love on your birthday. We laughed, we talked, we ate hearty, and most importantly, we spent quality time with Erin who looked more beautiful than I’ve seen her in a long time. She inspires me every day and I’m incredibly proud of the work she’s doing these days. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for her because her light continues to shine brightly in our world. Happy Birthday, Erin. I love you from the bottom of my heart and I’m proud to be your friend.
In the first family dwelling at Shakertown, which they outgrew and it went on to be the architect’s building and something else, it’s opened today to the public with displays of various activities that took place there. The upstairs has been cordoned off, and under the stairs this moment of positivity appears.
Anthony and the Git ‘Er Done boys returned today to take down the rotten tree out front (below). Folks who’ve followed me on facebook over the years have heard me talk – curse is more like it – about a neighbor I’ve nicknamed “Chainsaw Charlie” due to his incessant need to cut firewood in his driveway with a bloody chainsaw at all hours of the day and night. Thus, it came as no surprise when I came home at lunch today to find him mingling with the guys, particularly keen to talk to the cool dude with the chainsaw (I’ve learned his name is Chris Davidson, by the way). I was silently hoping Chris wasn’t giving him pointers or telling him where to buy such a big chainsaw. That’s all I need. Bigger logs that take longer to cut even with a big chainsaw. I want to like the guy, I really do, but he needs to go live in the country where he can saw trees till he’s blue and let every wild thing in the country grow up his fence like he’s letting grow up mine. Clearly, after twelve years of this, I am no closer to seeing that day. So, instead, I will tend to my piece of heaven and prepare to plant twice as many trees I am I taking down. That’s what I did when I moved in. I took down three trees and planted eleven. I don’t think I’ll plant eleven this time, but I will certainly replenish Mother Nature’s bounty with something I can manage into my old age.
The remodeling has at last begun. It starts outside with the removal of three very mature trees. As much as I hate to take them down – I’ve put it off for twelve years – two are dead/dying and this water maple stands in the way of running a power line to a mast (part of the remodel). Plus, it’s far too close to the house. If you’ve ever seen the damage a tornado can do, then you probably shudder when you see trees too close to a building. In any case, I’ve been looking for a reasonable company for a few years to do this work. Julie Smoak recommended Anthony Conrad (below far left) and his company “Git ‘Er Done Tree Service.” Now, I ask you, how could I not love a company with that name? When I met Anthony he was everything Julie said he was; sweet, kind, communicative (a rarity for services of just about any kind), and as a bonus, reasonably priced. He brought his crew today to start this big job. I was home, standing in the safety of my kitchen doorway, cameras in hand. It was amazing to watch. Without incident, they took down an enormous 60ft tree that was over the house and the garage. Dad used to fell trees with his friend Larry Lacy, so it’s always been interesting to watch, but I got some nice snaps of Anthony and his crew. Chainsaw dude: I don’t know his name but he is all that. He did an incredible job making the right cuts, and when he wasn’t cutting, he was smiling. Guys that cut trees have a really dangerous, seriously hard job that often goes unappreciated. These poor guys were all hacking their heads off from the pollen before they even started. It’s just a super dangerous job for a lot of reasons, so I try to keep in mind why they charge as much as they do. They earn it. If you find a good tree cutter, share their name with your friends because they’re worth their weight in gold. My guy’s name is Anthony Conrad and Git ‘er Done Tree Service. Thank you for the recommendation, Julie, and thank you, Anthony, for being as awesome as your reputation said you were.