Thursday, September 16, 2010

The book is here!

What do you want to be when you grow up? I thought about this on my flight down to
HCI Publishing in Deerfield Beach, Florida. My career was in new products. I can't even count the number of shampoos, conditioners, skin care products, hair color, fixatives, hair spray...literally hundreds of products in my twenty year marketing career I have launched.

I was never bored a minute, I loved my job. I loved the thrill of a new idea, the teamwork, the plans, I loved it all. And then it was over. Yes, the career that turned into a wonderful consulting business, just wasn't going to be a part of my life anymore. Sometimes disabilities can throw a wrench into our lives. My career required listening to phone calls, meetings, focus groups and it was just getting hard. I was missing so much and I knew it. I couldn't be at the top of my game when I couldn't hear.

So, the question, "what do I want to be when I grow up?" How many times in our lives do we get to reinvent ourselves? Sometimes we dream, but for me, it wasn't going to be a dream. It was going to be necessary.

I always wanted to be a writer. I've been writing journals, letters to my daughter, for years. Now, was my chance, to be a real writer. And on that trip down to Florida, I realized, I was not only a writer, I was now a published author.

Thank you to my husband, Mark. Although you never said it, you knew that my heart was breaking when I had to let go of what was and create a new career. I will always be grateful to your guidance, your critique of ideas and your belief that I could do it....and now I have.

100 Sounds to See is a book that I can hold in my hands.

The lesson for me was sometimes when one door closes, another one will open.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The sounds of my Grandmother's kitchen

Being the city girl I am, many people are surprised to find out that my real roots are on a small farm in North Carolina. Every summer, my family would drive to Watha, to visit my grandparents at "the farm".

My favorite room in the house was the kitchen. It wasn't a big kitchen, no dishwasher, no counter space or fancy appliances. Just a drop leaf kitchen farm table and maple cabinets that went clear to the ceiling. What amazing meals would come out of that hard working kitchen! Cooking is part of living in the south. On the stove, the cast iron skillet got heavy use. In my grandmother's kitchen, the sounds competed with the wonderful smells. Ever hear country ham sizzling? There was a little toaster oven that made slices of bread turn crispy, golden brown. There was the sound of my grandmother stirring dough in the big wooden bowl. I can still see her hands forming those mouth watering biscuits.

There was a big kitchen sink and an oversized faucet that would send steaming water splashing into the dishpan. Outside the kitchen window, you could see wide open fields, with livestock grazing. God, it was beautiful.

About the meals. Back in the early forties, when they farmed tobacco, they had many workers in the field. Part of the "pay" for the men was a big mid-day meal. Dinner was served when the sun was at its peak. The men would sit down to a huge meal that my grandmother prepared. Country ham, biscuits, succotash and sweetened ice tea. Times were tough and this might be the only real food that some of the workers would have to eat. As was customary at the time, she would set two tables, one for the white men and one for the african american men.

Until one day. My grandmother announced to all the men, "I will be setting one table, you will all eat together." Rural North Carolina was very segregated at the time. This was just not done. I can only imagine the reaction from the men. But, if you knew Mary Davis, you knew she meant it. So, the choice, was sit together or go hungry. I'm sure the smell of that country ham won out over any reservations.

Perhaps you have famous people in your family that have accomplishments that make you very proud? Of all the folks in my lineage, no one will ever make me prouder than my grandmother who stood up to segregation, long before anyone had permission to do so. I'm so proud of her.

Little did she know, that in that small country kitchen, she would start a revolution. My only regret, is that I never told her how much I admire her. I can only hope that she is up in heaven...listening to me now.