Thursday, July 27, 2006

Puttin' on the Glitz

Last Saturday was a glorious day! The 150 degree weather decided to tame down and I had plans to meet one of my "friend for decades," Alisa. We've been friends for, well, decades. But during the last decade most of our interaction has been through e-mail and letters. Alisa is someone who reminds me of the value of the written word...and written with pen and paper. We have seen each other face to face a couple of times in the past year, always saying "We need to get together." She lives about 2 hours from my house, outside of Lexington. Well, after our last encounter, I decided to initiate a free Saturday to spend with the person I first called friend, and now call mentor in many ways - and still after all the guidance is through, she still is called friend.

She said, "I'm taking you to the Glitz. Don't ask questions, just meet me in Lexington and I'll take you there." Now, our past life has included many a crazy adventure, and we're both older and more mature (yeah, right) , but the thought of an "Alisa Adventure" made my toes tingle. I decided to trust her and be prepared. The drive to Lexington was great and much needed after a long week. You can't beat the drive from Louisville to Lexington and passing all the horse farms. Now, that's Kentucky. I met her at a Lexington shopping center parking lot and hopped in her car, "Baby" (she always names her cars - she has an Escort named, "Shady Lady"), and took off to parts unknown.

There are certain things about old friends you never forget - or are reminded rather quickly if you do. Alisa is a madwoman on the road. I love it, and it's probably where I get my love for speed, but I chuckled when we took the sharp country curves at high speed and her darting didn't make me flinch once. We arrived at Irish Acres Gallery in the small town of Nonesuch, Kentucky. Yes, for all you city slickers, we have a town named "Nonesuch." That's what gives us Kentuckians character. This lovely gallery is housed in a former elementary school that's been refurbished to resemble nothing of a school. The Glitz is the gallery restaurant located in the basement and what once was the school cafeteria. Trust it looks nothing like a school cafeteria and the food is far, far better than any square-shaped pizza or carton of day old milk.

We started our journey through the gallery to see a bit before our lunch reservations and it was simply exquisite. Two floors of antiques, decorations, and what nots from centuries ago up until today. I resembled a child staring at the TV as I tried to take in all that I saw. Every decorated room had a theme and tons of artifacts. For an imaginative mind like mine, I could come up with a story behind every piece. Alisa was the perfect tour guide. She'd been there many times and could take me on just the right path and point out her favorite pieces. She immediately told me there was one room that was saved for last...

Lunch was delicious and started out with their "Glitz Refresher" - a mix of spiced apple cider, cranberry juice and other spices. Served in chilled champagne flutes, I felt like a queen. When we finished off our Nonesuch Kiss, the signature dessert, we resumed our gallery tour. All the while, I'm getting more excited for that final room. After a couple of hours, the time had come. Alisa and I are certifable drama queens. We claim we attract drama, but only a thespian can truly recognize drama when she sees it. So, we both had the grand build up as I turned the corner into this room...

My mouth gaped even more. The sparkle and the shine of all the decorations almost took my breath away. It was the wedding room, with sparkly wedding decorations a huge faux wedding cake and other assorted glittery things. Alisa truly knows me well. Nothing would have made that day better than the man of my dreams stepping out from behind an antique piece, dropping to one knee, and proposing. I mentioned that to Alisa in case she needs to prompt a future suitor. It was by far my favorite room.

When our day was sadly over and I drove back home to Louisville, I reflected on my day. I was so excited to finally see Alisa for more than a moment, face to face. And she escorted me around a place she knows all too well...and saving the best for last. I got excited when I thought - that's how Heaven will be. When I get there, there will be people I've longed to see, and many a story to tell. And then, I'll turn a corner, excited to see my favorite place...the throne of Christ. It will be far more glittery than the wedding room at Irish Acres, and the Man of my dreams will be there, I'll finally see Him face to face, the One who loved me long before I was born. How bright the Son will shine.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Sunglasses That Wouldn't Die

I'm pretty tough on sunglasses. I'm not an extreme sports player or have a physically demanding job, but for some reason, my sunglasses take a beating. But, when I find a pair I like, I want to hold on to them forever.

When I could finally wear sunglasses, after switching to contacts, I couldn't wait to buy a pair of Ray Bans. I saved up my money and went to the old Service Merchandise store to pick out my pair. I had priced them everywhere and chose the least expensive retail option. I loved those sunglasses. They gave me a coolness factor that I'd never had before. But, I was highly protective of them, always worried they would disappear or get damaged. I think I finally quit wearing them when the fad faded.

Sunglasses are like purses for me. I can wear any of them, but when I find one that fits like a glove, I never want another pair (or pocketbook.) I had a pair I loved that came, from all places, Avon. Those precious sunglasses were the victim of destruction from my series of unfortunate events last Fall. Due to my sensitive eyes, I needed a pair of sunglasses and quick. Thankfully, God was watching out for me and the next pair of sunglasses I found at Walgreen's were the perfect cousin of the pair that had a sad demise.

These lovely Foster Grants were perfect. Until a few short weeks later when I put them on my face and the right lens popped out. What?!? Are you kidding me? This can't be happening. Unfortunately, a Walgreen's purchase of sunglasses doesn't come with a warranty. So, I carefully popped the lens back in and eased them over my ears and, voila, it stayed in place. What relief. Until a few days later when it happened again. I thought about getting another pair, but these, even with the hopping lens, were still a great pair of shades.

Over the coming weeks I managed to drop my sunglasses a few times followed by a shriek of horror expecting the hopping lens to pop out or break. Neither would happen, but oddly, the left lens chipped...twice....on two different drops to the ground. Although these shades were a great follower of the pair that got smushed in my fall at the post office, they weren't as durable. Those sunglasses had all but been stepped on when they finally got caught under the crush of my head as it hit the concrete. I was disappointed that a couple of tosses on a tile floor were too tough for these Fosters.

I began to get the sense that Mr. Foster Grant wanted to die, but I wasn't going to let him. At least once a week my hopping lens would fall out, but I'd retrieve the ground...out of the pocket in my purse...wherever it landed. I'd simply pop it back in and away I'd go. I had contemplated getting a new pair of shades, but really loved Mr. Grant and hated to go shopping again. Then it happened. Foster ditched me.

Monday was a holiday for me and although it wasn't a holiday for the rest of the world, that made it easy for me to run errands and get lots accomplished. I went to Staples to pick up a few office supplies and, as I always do, stuck Mr. Foster in my purse pocket when I entered the building. After making my purchases and heading out the door, I reached for the Grants, and they were gone! I thought maybe I had put them inside my purse and decided to get to my car and begin the hunt. Foster Grant was gone. Maybe he jumped out at Staples in hopes to just die quietly among the printer cartridges and PDAs. Wherever he left, I'm sure he's at peace now that I'm not sloshing him around and dropping him every other day.

I left Staples and headed directly to Walgreen's to procure a new pair of shades. A nice cobalt blue polarized pair of Panama Jack's now cover my eyes from the sunlight. Hopefully Jack will be kinder to me than Foster.