Monthly Archives: May 2015

THE Wedding Dress Act Two

Our wedding day June 7, 1969

Our wedding day June 7, 1969. Still LOVE my flowers especially the beautiful ribbon streams knotted with tiny rose buds that Bucky designed Jane. Perfection!

On June 7, 1969 Donny & I join our lives together to begin what is still the best adventure I have ever been on. It has an abundance of love, twists, turns, surprises, hilarity and, to use my much over used but appropriate on so many occasions word, fun. We have fun!

Before that day I am a working girl in Richmond living alone, dating some nice guys. Nothing significant on my radar. My job as an Advertising layout designer at landmark Miller & Rhoads downtown is a quick walk or bicycle ride from my huge Franklin Street apartment situated across from the exclusive prestigious mens’ only Commonwealth Club. The doorman and I wave to each other as I dash off, always late for work.

It’s June 1968, the store windows are decorated with traditional wedding gowns. Never much for wedding gowns, or diamonds either, I am drawn to a gown in the window by the main doors I access to then scurry up back stairs and hurried slip unnoticed, I hope, into my work cubicle where I pretend I’ve been there all along, only have stepped out for coffee.

But back to the dress. It mesmerizes me. I am in love with a wedding dress. I have no current boyfriend much less wedding plans. I have not even met Donny yet. But I want that dress. The months move on. The window displays change. My dress is forgotten.

Later in the summer my friend, Sherrie Edwards (Oliva), who is getting married in October and also worked in Advertising as a proof runner for a while, comes to town. She is wedding dress hunting. We have become good friends when I get her the job because she wants to live in Richmond but has no means of support. She moves in with me at my turn of the century apartment building on West Franklin Street across from my old dorm 909 West Franklin Street, but she heads home after she gets engaged to plan her wedding.

We start her hunt at Miller & Rhoads Bridal Department of course. She gets her Embassy Book (such a pretty tradition) and we settle in to view dresses. I swear it was the first one out but maybe not. At any rate, yes she does. The sales lady indeed brings out my dress. “That’s my dress!” I exclaim. Sherrie looks at me puzzled. I explain telling her that she can only have it if she promises to let me borrow it on my wedding day. Sherrie loves the dress too. She tries it on. I’m not sure if she even tried on any others. Most likely. But our dress is the one. She gets it. Later she tells me that our dress was custom designed for the daughter of the head of the bridal department and is even featured in a Tea Room fashion show. The story of why it is not used is lost in time. It is left hanging almost forgotten in a back corner of the department. The sales clerk must have figured Sherrie for the right customer to buy it.

Her Williamsburg wedding is beautiful. She has secretly arranged for me to catch the bouquet. I am elated and blushing. I still don’t have a committed boyfriend. Lots of boyfriends. And dates. But no let’s spend our life together relationship.

Of course that changes rapidly in November when I meet Donny. We are a match made to be. We get married six months later.

Sherrie and I keep up pretty well for awhile. She & Joe are in our wedding. Later down the road we arrange long distance play dates for our kids. Then things drift to annual Christmas card exchange. We meet at Mom’s house once. The Christmas cards become random.

Social media reconnects us. We are still Piglet and Jett. Along the reconnection way I ask her what became of the dress. In her downsizing phase she tells me that she donates it to Christ Church School for the drama department realizing that her daughter, Cary, will never use it. No one in my family will use it either but I miss my dress. My nephews go to Christ Church. I ask my sister-in-law to see if they will give me the dress in exchange for a donation to the department.

dress buttonsThe department head gives it to Julie saying they rarely use it anyway. Probably because of the 48 tiny covered buttons that close up the back. No zipper for this dress. My sister Suzanne can assure you that every button is real. She has to button each one on my wedding day. True sister love. Julie gives the dress to Suzanne who is dubious it is the right one. She sends a photo. Oh yes, that is my dress. A little aged but still beautiful as ever. Now it hangs next to my closet in full view because it really is just an ornament, a much loved lovely ornament.


Filed under family, wedding

Colington Road NEEDS A Multi-Use Path

SR 1217 Colington Road

Neil & his dog Hope walking to the beach along Colington Road

Five years ago I got tired of seeing so many bicycle riders and walkers try to safely negotiate our twisty winding heavily traveled Colington Road (officially State Route 1217) that barely has a shoulder and started an awareness group on Facebook. That group is now 1000+ strong. Without any membership drive. And actually very few updates. Admittedly I am not the pro-active leader this group needs. I have however chatted numerous times with NCDOT.

Helen Chaney (NCDOT Bike and Pedestrian Division) even once told me in a phone conversation that she could probably get me a million, yes a million, dollars.

I was so dumbstruck that I could not fathom what I would do with a million dollars without NCDOT to guide me. Not that they were refusing. She just was not coming forward with a plan and, to repeat, I was totally speechless. It was the just after the Christmas season. I was distracted. Of course, I said okay. But did not follow up with what now, or how, what do I need to do. And she did not offer a plan. So we hung up. Naive me thought that she would come through later with more details.

Ah hind sight. She never answers my emails or calls. Helen. Helen. Helen. Do over please.

I’m not even sure that Helen is in the Bike & Pedestrian Division any longer. Floundering here!

A recent email to Lauren Blackburn current NCDOT Bike & Ped Division Director (we have chatted before when she was interim) confirms that Helen is in another department. I am assigned to the low man on the totem who quickly responds that she will look into the matter and get back to me. Lauren also assures me that she will check on the status of the project as her department only made recommendations.

Quickly, maybe too quickly, Gary Lovering sends me a detailed reply saying that the project is scheduled to begin in 2018 and will have 7′ wide shoulders with a one foot painted division line. I and our group followers are elated. Not for the time delay yet again. But for a reasonably wide shoulder (the original plan called for a 4′ wide shoulder for pedestrian traffic).

Later the cynic in me begins to ponder if Gary is a NCDOT spin doctor. Especially after Donna Creef Dare County Planning Director, tells me, “The last I heard about the road/bicycle improvements for Colington Road was that the project had to be reconsidered for funding based on the criteria used by NCDOT.”

I mean property acquisition is on schedule to begin in November 2017. And construction begin in April 2018? No way all that property is going to be squared away in six months. So if that’s puffery possibly the entire thing is. Donny says that it is pretty common knowledge, even though those in power will deny it, that Dare County is to be denied help from any North Carolina government agency until further notice. We got too much for way too long. Now we must pay our wait your turn dues. Like we really got too much. Please. Amending this paragraph in case you are just now reading this post. Actual right of way acquisition is due to begin November 2016 not 2017. Still ambitious but doable if everything goes well.

Anyway while we are a real grassroots organization in that we have no formal committee, no bank account and no plan we do have Dare County Board of Commissions support, Town of Kill Devil Hills support, Colington Harbour Association support. And Dare County Planning support. In the summer of 2011 Donna assigns her intern the task of documenting every parcel along Colington Road with plotted right of way. Derek does an amazing job. He puts contact information and a photo of each parcel on an individual sheet and organizes all by which side of the road the property sits on. Donna also prints us a huge overview map of the both islands and parcel property lines.

Donny & I used that invaluable information and money from our own pocket to mail a letter explaining the need for a safe pathway to every property owner whose land fronts on Colington Road. Over two hundred. We included a stamped reply postcard with a check box in favor of or opposed to a pedestrian pathway. Of the returns we got, which were well over half, the numbers ran about 3 to 1 in favor. Several of the nay sayers want to see a plan before committing. Fair enough.

In the spring of 2012 Steve Lambert then of Albemarle Rural Planning Organization approves a mailing to every tax payer on the two islands suggesting the need for a safe non-vehicular pathway. He funds. We label (thanks again to Donna who prints labels for us) and organize by zip code over 5000 letters (envelopes thankfully stuffed by the printing company).

And now we wait and nudge NCDOT. And hope that the plan Gary outlined is real and thank NCDOT for listening to concerned citizens. We are not talking about recreational folks, although those will use a safe path in abundance. We are talking about folks that have no other means of ingress and egress to their homes on the islands.

Notice how Neil has crossed the road from where he was in the first video to be as safe as possible. He told me he does everything possible to be safe.

Notice how Neil has crossed the road from where he was in the first video to be as safe as possible. He told me that he does everything he can to minimize the dangers.

Yes, I did give Neil and Hope a ride to the beach. He says that he usually rides his bicycle but knew that Hope needed a day at the beach. He was not actively hitching as you can see by the video. He likes the walk. It’s just five miles along a dicey curving road that even at the 35 miles per hour speed limit is unsafe.

I leave you with one to the point statistic. The counter at the gate of Colington Harbour registered in 2011 over 100,000 vehicles entering the harbour monthly in the summer. That’s over 3,000 vehicles a day and only going one way. And that was in 2011.

If you have any thoughts, influence or ideas contact NCDOT and let your voice be heard. Phone numbers and email addresses are on the website.




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If We Could TURN Back Time

time turner

Lydia demonstrating Hermione’s Time-Turner at Harry Potter World Universal Orlando 2013

The arc of this story is two decades long. Seriously. Actually two decades plus. It’s a l-o-n-g arc. And a fun story. In the end.

Donny & I are at Duke Park for one of our grand grandsons birthday. The park is a nice size, not big, not small, Goldilocks just right.

At the picnic table beside ours I see another birthday party in progress. There’s yet another party down the hill alongside a smaller playground. There may have been even more because it’s a perfect party place and a perfect party day. I notice the party next to us because the tables, while not close enough to impose, are pretty close. They’re having fun too.

Our party comes to a close, we make plans to meet SSE&M for ice cream in downtown Durham. We are in the car preparing to leave. We have parked down the hill near the smaller playground in the pull in spaces. These parking places are not as close to our party table but not that far away. Most folks do the same but many park up the hill along the quiet roadway which is closer to the big play area and most tables. There are parking options. I’ve buckled up. Donny is adjusting things. I notice a dad holding his child waiting for us to leave so he can more easily get into his vehicle parked next to ours on Donny’s side. I suggest that we pull out a bit so the dad can have more room.

Donny has not noticed the dad but agrees and starts to back out. I look up and just beyond the dad is a friend I recognize. “Stop!” Donny stops, a puzzled look on his face. “There’s Lucille. I need to say hi to her.” She’s a casual friend from the Outer Banks. We are such that running into each other at an event or party and having a hey, how are you conversation is the extent of our relationship. But this relationship has longevity. And more.

I leap out of the car. “Lucille!” She looks up in surprise. We hug. She asks what we’re doing here. I do the same. We both laugh over the fact that two of our sons (we both have five children) have birthday parties for their sons on the same day. At the same time. In the same park. Right next to each other (that other party right beside ours). Lucille lives on the Outer Banks too and has been there with her husband and family almost as long as we have. Decades. They migrated from Louisiana because of off shore oil drilling. But that’s another story for another time.

Years ago when our kids, who now have kids of their own, were in public school together and Lucille and family were new to the Outer Banks a common friend suggested to me that Lucille and I had a lot in common. We should meet she urges. We both have five bright over achiever well-mannered children. We both like things slightly off the grid. We both advocate for minimal impact on Mother Earth.

To this day I don’t actually remember calling Lucille and arranging a meeting but I don’t not remember it either. At any rate it didn’t happen and here is where the story gets interesting.

Back at Duke Park, Lucille grabs me by the shoulders and beams, “I’m so glad to see you!” She rushes on. Here in the parking area of Duke Park. “I spent a lot of time in New Mexico this winter on a job and had lots of spare time to hang out with Janice.” Janice is a common friend who recently by choice relocated to New Mexico. Lucille is well into her story by now but she suddenly pauses, “Do you have time?” I nod. She tells me about admiring a painting in Janice’s house. Janice tells her that it is one of my pieces and how she came to get it.

Tulips & Bleu Bowl

Tulips & Bleu Bowl

(It with others was on loan from me to decorate Janice’s Outer Banks office. When she decided to move to Santa Fe I told her that she could have any or all of the art but if she did not feel like adding to the moving pile just say. She returned a couple of pieces the painting being one of them. She loved it. But it was big. I donated it to the Festival of Trees. Janice sees it online and sighs. She really did love it and says so in a thread. Gail Hutchison, another common friend, asks me to proxy bid on it for her as she will be out of town auction night. She wants to win it as a gift for Janice. So I end up bidding on my own piece and win. Donny & I offer to do the mailing part because we are mailing gurus. It surprises Janice to the point of tears and makes an even better story than if she had just taken it along on the move).

Okay back to the story at hand. After the painting story emerges, Lucille tells Janice that she has a confession. Confessions and life regrets have been a thread in their many conversations. As Lucille at Duke Park is telling me this I know exactly where she is going with the story. I start to protest. She squeezes my shoulders, “Let me finish.” I do have a bad habit of interrupting.

“Years ago you called me out of the blue, explained our common interests and invited me to dinner. I thought it was a wonderful idea and accepted. Then the day arrived and what with five kids doing five different things I completely forgot. You called and asked me if I was coming. By that time in the day it was too late and I apologized all over myself feeling so rotten but also so exhausted.”

I am listening to this revelation trying not to speak but having a hard time holding my tongue. Lucille goes on. “I have so regretted that day and when I tell this to Janice and ask her what should I do she says to call you up when I get back to Dare County and invite you to coffee and confess. I ask her what you will say. She says that I will probably say that too much time has been wasted on nothing.”

I laugh. Janice is right and I tell Lucille as much. But here’s where the story gets even more interesting. It’s finally my turn to talk. I tell Lucille that I too have regretted that day but for very different reasons. And when that regret popped into my head I always justified it with that was the way things were supposed to turn out and her kids probably never would have been accepted into Choate on full scholarships if we had met that day. (I have yet to tell her that part but I will).

Because I remember it this way. I remember her calling me and asking about home schooling. I remember spending a lot of time preparing to show her how our home school worked. (And maybe I did plan for dinner too but I do not recall this). When she doesn’t show up or call I am extremely disappointed. So disappointed that when she calls later I refuse to answer the phone. I finally let Andrew answer the phone but will not talk to her. She calls more than once. For days I make Andrew answer the phone (he’s usually the kid available). I don’t want to hang up on her but I don’t want to talk to her either. She writes me a beautiful letter apologizing. I never answer it. And so that is the regret that I have carried around. My awful rudeness and unwillingness to give her any room for an apology. Later when we cross paths socially I simply can not bring myself to confess how bad I felt about that day. I actually hope that she has forgotten. The best I can do is chat in a friendly manner because she really is the loveliest of people. (And she’s a midwife too, but that came later)!

The point is of course to let go of regrets. The situation happened as it did for a reason. And to realize anyway that your memory and the memory of anyone else about a particular moment is going to drastically be so different more times than not. You may be regretting something they barely remember. Or remember entirely differently. Sure many times you are more or less on the same memory path as folks around you. But you cannot count on it. What you are regretting, or conversely fondly remembering, might not even be on anyone else’s radar.

Because of that day and how horrified I was at my actions I vowed to put aside anger as a tremendous waste of time and energy. And to give second chances. Few things qualify for just one shot. Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. But not as many as we try to wiggle into that category.

Janice is going to love that the universe put Lucille and I together at Duke Park. At our grandsons’ birthday parties. In the parking lot. As we are both leaving. Universe you are so sly.






Filed under Life


hilarey get diplomaShe’s a graduate. With highest honors, summa cum laude with honors in English. That means she maintained a 3.9 grade average or better and wrote and defended a thesis. Her topic is Gender Parity in the Film Industry. She tells me when we chat about the process, that her paper is accepted on the first presentation (one student in the department needs four attempts). The committee is very impressed with Hilarey’s writing, her supporting visuals and the work she put into all of it.

Donny & I want to go to graduation. Hilarey and Lewis want us there but they know all too well that it is a five hour drive. They keep saying not to feel obligated. And we don’t. But we really want to be there. It’s the getting up at 3:30AM that stalls us. We vacillate back and forth for days. Finally Donny decides. We’re going. There are the ceremonies plus the moving. One more car will be a help. We end up with all four vehicles packed full.

As I am taking a picture of Hilarey’s surprise departmental award, she tells me that when her parents drop her off four years ago she decides that if she has to be there for four long years she will make her mark. She will do her best and make it count. And she does.

IMG_3869  graduatedadjusting the mortar board hilarey & lewis

Not only does she graduate summa cum laude with English honors she receives the departmental Outstanding Graduating English Major award. This award is voted on by the entire department faculty. After nominations from faculty members and much discussion, votes are taken and the student with the most wins. It’s not an award sought after because few, if any, even know about it. Hilarey has no clue. She is there to simply make her mark.

Hilarey’s mentor, Hannah Abrams, is determined that Hilarey will receive this prestigious award. She speaks on Hilarey’s behalf. Eloquently, she reports when she meets us as we finish our lunch at Blue Surf. In telling the story, through occasional tears as she is still so passionate about it all, Hannah explains that while set on Hilarey winning , she didn’t want to over sell her nominee so keeps things brief. The professor that follows reads a poem and more for that nominee. “Do over,” she cries. “I need to tell you more.” She is granted more time. She explains how Hilarey is the exemplary student for the award. This bubbly professor has a winning personality and I can just picture her sincere enthusiasm. “We get it,” her colleagues finally say. Hannah wants to be absolutely sure.

She continues her praise. Not only is Hilarey a scholar, she competes (and wins) in SUP races. She has a long time supportive boyfriend (now fiancé). She has a life. Yes, Hannah’s fellow professors really get it. She thanks them and leaves. The committee is seriously considering another candidate but because of Hannah’s empassioned delivery, both students receive the award. That’s our Hilarey. Anyone will go to bat for her because she is just that good. And she deserves every single accolade that comes her way.

And soon she will be our daughter-in-law joining our three other amazing daughters-in-law (and one not to be left our awesome son-in-law) that complete our family. Welcome to the family Hilarey! And congratulations!!

honor graduate

Summa Cum Laude with English Honors May 9, 2015



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Mother’s Day Mom Musings

truman and his moll

Me and Mom costumed for cousin Jane’s annual party. Truman Capote and his moll.

When I am a youngster Mom reads to me every bed time and sometimes even in between. Maybe I am sick so much because I want her to read to me more. She reads lengthy story books, endless nursery rhymes, pages of poetry. I love it all. She has the smoothest speaking voice. Very melodic and well paced. One of my favorites, and Mom’s too, is this poem by Leigh Hunt. Possibly I love it because the author spells her name like mine. But really I love it because the message is so on point.

Abou Ben Adhem by Leigh Hunt

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.
mom and em

Mom and Emily long before yoga was a western world buzz word.

During our reading sessions, I never tire of anything by Robert Lewis Stevenson. His stories and his poetry. And more. Peter Pan. Alice in Wonderland. All the classics. It’s a wonderful part of the day. Mom knows little about parenting. A teen bride and mother she learns everything on the job. Teaching me to love reading is intuitive for her. And I come to treasure hearing the written word but reading it is another matter. My second grade teacher suggests that I am slipping down the proficient reader slope. Mom will have none of that. She makes it a point to listen to me read out loud to her every afternoon for months on end until I am back up to speed. It’s a chore for both of us but she stays on task until she, not the teacher, is satisfied that I am a strong reader.

Thanks Mom for that and every other love caress you gave me.

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If the Load Gets Too Heavy Sit and Rest a Spell

heavy loadRecently we spy an osprey sitting at the top of our swing up ladder. He has a huge fish in his talon. It’s not moving. The hunting has gone well. But the trip home is arduous. This is a big fish, about a good half the size of the bird. I’m sure the catch is easy because those talons are not to be trifled with. But the trip home carrying that heavy load is another matter.

He’s not nibbling or even pecking at it. Occasionally these magnificent birds do sit on our ladder and have a treat. One does that as I write this post. An appetizer size fish. But this big catch. This catch is dinner for the family. After his rest. And rest he does. He just sits there and sits there and sits there. He looks back our way a lot. Probably checking on our cats.

After a long, many minutes long, restorative break this hawk of the sea spreads his wings and he and his mighty load are airborne. Home is just around the corner and I am pretty sure that is enough of a trip with the mother lode he is bearing. If it were a longer trip he would find another quiet haven and rest another spell. He would get it and himself home without undue risk. That is a given. He knows how to handle a load.

Your load might not be as apparently visible as this sea hawk’s. In fact no one may even know that you are carrying a heavy load. It doesn’t matter. It really is fine to sit and rest a spell when your load is too heavy. True friends will not question or judge you. They will discern that you know what you need and deem your plan a wise one.

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Filed under Beach Life, Colington Island

This is OUR North Dakota

this is our north dakota darkClicking through my iTunes library I stumble across This is Our North Dakota that daughter-in-law Terri Onstad gives me ages ago when I ask for her cd’s. iTunes and I have a rickety relationship. I add. It subtracts, or so it seems. So when I find this I am so happy to hear it again. I decide to look up internet chatter about her short lived band career. I find the band on Amazon but no conversation.

Then I find a 2003 review on Tiny Mix Tapes.

“There are many irritating occurrences at concerts: tall people, sloshing beers, hippie chick dancers, and screaming fans. An extra annoyance at many shows in The Echo Lounge of Atlanta is the presence of not one, but two opening bands. I first heard No River City as a surprising exception to the “extra-opening-bands-are-annoying” rule when the band opened for Iron and Wine at the Echo.

It’s funny, though, that the very title of the album came from an argument between members Drew de Man and Terri Onstad, who once joked they would aggravate each other when they were on tour in a lonely state, a “North Dakota.” The irritation happened in a recording studio in Nashville, not on a desolate North Dakota highway, and the album title was born when Onstad stated, “this is our North Dakota.” Maybe it was the adrenaline from the conflict that sparked the two’s first full-length release, a 10-song joyride that swings from chill-bump inducing to, well, kind of scary.

De Man and Onstad’s sweet harmonies on the lyrics, “We were born to be wild/ Born to be free/ We seek the horizon/ And head for the sea,” are sweetly convincing, melting skepticism of critics who would scoff at the insincerity of similar lyrics in an Alan Jackson song. Couched in wistfulness and admiration, this track is the centerpiece of the album.

The brevity of the album is disappointing, but then it’s a delight to play it again from the top.”

And another 2003 review from ARTSpaceGallery.

“With comparisons to everything from Neil Young to Palace to Cowboy Junkies, you might think either the band or their fans were Canadian. But No River City’s music is simply an indie folk band with a country soul and a Mexican rock-n-roll guitar hand…. and a cello. They’re not from beautiful, friendly, chilly Canada — Terri is an army brat, who hails from all over, but mainly the southeast. Drew was born and bred in Atlanta, Georgia.

terri no river cityTerri and Drew first started playing together regularly in 2000 with Slim Chance and the Convicts, long one of Atlanta’s few roots-country bands. The addition of Terri on cello and Drew on accordion took the music a twisty way beyond honky-tonk. At the same time No River City was playing their first gigs in Atlanta and Athens. For a while, the band explored Drew’s songs as a five-piece, sicky-tonk band, playing songs about syphilis, death, lost love, death…. Then, in the fall of 2001, Terri came beating down Drew’s door, saying, “You’ve been so blind! You need a cellist.” Drew said, “cool,” and the gigs just started falling in their laps.

The two still appear with the Convicts occasionally, but the release of NRC’s first single and the constant road trips around Georgia and the Carolinas have occupied most of the last six months. The venues have ranged from pool halls and coffee shops to premiere clubs, with diverse audiences happily devouring the music.

Drew de Man — acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, songwriting, accordion, pills, liquor
Terri Onstad — cello, acoustic guitar, vocals, keys, pills, liquor, lipstick”

Your talent is truly amazing, Terri. You surely would have risen higher than most. But we’re all SO glad that you quit the band!

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My Little Sunshine OBX = Success


Val beaming as she heads off to the store.

May 1, 2015 marks the grand opening of good friend and soon to be family, Valerie Netsch’s, awesome store, My Little Sunshine OBX. It’s a blend of new and may as well be new off beat items for that youngster everyone has at least one of or knows someone that does.

When she tells me of her plans I am in awe of all the work ahead. I cannot get beyond the thought of hangers and tags by the hundreds. Plus everything else that goes into opening a new store. But she’s done this before so she knows the drill. Val and Robert knock it out in their impressive to witness work ethic mode. All the while smiling. And being cleverly creative as well as economical.

My job is encouragement plus a plethora of little people SLAPBoards I create just for her shop. And some SandyBands for the younger set of course. And lastly, I need to be sure that she is launched properly. I dream that I am her first official paying customer (she is so successful at marketing she has people begging to buy before opening day). And so I set out to make it so.


My Little Sunshine OBX

I arrive a bit before 10AM. I sit a few minutes in the car and then go up to the door. Val and helper Gail are doing last minute things. Like try to figure out just where the key to unlock the iPad is so music can be played. Tiny panic when Val thinks that she has thrown it away. It’s found. Music floats through the air. I select my items and hand Val paper money. Who keeps their first dollar bill anymore but I think it’s a fun tradition and want her to have all the right karma. She takes a picture of it.

Customers are filling the store. A lady checks out. I’m not sure if she uses cash or credit, but I am next with my real purchase using my credit card. Surprise for goddaughter Haley Rea when she graduates. Donny later tells me that he thought of Haley when he saw the item too.

So I may have been first cash and credit customer on opening day. At any rate my job is done. I have brought my dream to fruition. And brought in customers for Val. Not that she needed me for that. But Donny & I are awesome customer magnets. Everywhere we go a shop can be completely empty and sheer moments after we step inside it fills up. We have considered hiring ourselves out. Customer magnet anyone? We are willing to travel.

Congratulations Valerie! You are a ray of sunshine in everyone’s life and your store beams.




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