It's goob gobs of fun collecting props for the upcoming photo shoot for the Skyline Higher cover and interior. I thank the vinyl gods I saved my old albums from that era, or maybe I should thank my husband, who still has a turntable and plays an album from time to time. He really gets the credit for saving them. I lugged them across the country to be with said husband, so that should count for something. Although he tries to take credit for them belonging to him, some of my albums still bear my "K Brig." or "Kathy Briganti" masking tape ID on them. The Led Zeppelin album also has a $3 price tag, and I know I bought it at Rasputin's in Berkeley (Skyline Higher fun fact: there's a scene in the book featuring this iconic store).
For the shoot, I also scored a pair of Dittos bell-bottom jeans — the kind that cover your feet in their entirety. Those were a staple in my younger years. When model Allyna Wilson tried them on, she said, "They're so high waisted!" Yep. But I've been informed the high-waisted pant is coming back in, so I guess those dittos are back in style!
I'd love to find a mood ring and some puca shells to round things out. Some shag carpeting would go a long way too. Maybe if I keep digging through my old memorabilia boxes, some will turn up (I seriously wouldn't be surprised!).
In the meantime, I intend to rock on — and you should too (get your lighters)!
Sometime during high school, I remember thinking my dad was losing it. He’d often broadcast his plan to move to the middle of nowhere and shut himself off from civilization. Not only would he be devoid of neighbors in his newfound wonderland, but there would be no telephone access (my father hated the intrusion of the phone, exacerbated by a teenage daughter in the house). He said if we (meaning his children) wanted to talk to him, we’d have to show up to his secluded hermit shack in person.
Ironically, now that I’ve hit mid-life, parts of this don’t sound half bad to me either. I don’t rail against society (much) or desire solitary confinement, but a little space, quiet and seclusion sound great.
I’m ready to get out of my quaint old town neighborhood and onto a piece of land large enough that I see trees when I look out my windows instead of my neighbor’s kitchens or driveways.
I’d love to have a space that allows me to hear the whisper of branches and singsongs of birds rather than the year-round drone of lawn mowers, leaf blowers and snow blowers.
It would be idyllic to experience the dark of night and see the millions of stars that true mountain living can bring, untouched by the typical light pollution found even in small towns like mine.
I long for the tranquility of meandering walks in nature’s glorious landscape, or enjoying a cup of something on a porch overlooking the water, a valley or a forest.
I’m not anti-social; I’m just ready for a little elbow room, and I’ll take it in the form of where I call home.
It would surely mean certain inconveniences, such as traveling further to the grocery store, drycleaner, gas station, or the gym. It would likely mean that extra food storage would be smart, if not required. It may mean I can’t get mail at my own address.
It would also mean trekking longer distances for social occasions but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
My husband is also ready for this kind of change — he’s been ready to exit the neighborhood realm for decades. He is worried I will get lonely without my daily human interactions — especially with no kids or pets in the house. We are pet-less at the moment, and our youngest son will graduate high school next year, so I understand his concern, but it’s unwarranted.
When I first visited Charles Town back in 1988, I was a born and bred city girl living in San Francisco. I remember thinking, “This is a nice little town but I could never live here.”
Fast forward to 1993 when I cheerfully moved to Jefferson County after living in the armpit of Northern Virginia for nearly five years. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place with its crowds, traffic and never-quite-good-enough attempts at bona fide urban life.
Before now, I probably wasn’t ready for a big chunk of property — or the type of privacy and solitude that can bring. But just like I wasn’t ready for Charles Town previously, now I am ready for the next phase, which is out of town without being totally off the grid.
As such, I dream about where I might live and the type of home I could build. All I know for sure is it will be vastly different than either I inhabit now. I get giddy just thinking about it.
And while I don’t exactly have the details figured out — such as how to foot the bill and other minor issues — I’m a firm believer in if you can dream it, you can do it.
All three of my sons are vehemently against the idea, of course. They are staunch traditionalists and our 100-plus-year-old home was their mainstay during their formative growing years.
They like it. And why wouldn’t they? They don’t pay the energy and utility bills. They don’t have to clean it (anymore). They don’t have to perform regular maintenance chores. Instead, they get all their warm childhood memories bundled with good, home-cooked meals and the blanket of familiarity.
I’m sure once my dream happens, my kids will realize not only how genuinely happy we all are in the new habitat, but how much they’ll enjoy it when they come to visit. Or not.
I believe home is where the heart is — the most important thing about home is the people in it — so I’ll just take that wherever I go.
A collection of columns, articles and general a-musings.