Virginia Avery called me from the hallway this morning at 9:30 EST. "Time for your massage," she said. I rolled out of bed, more than half asleep, brushed my teeth, grabbed cash for the massage and got myself down the narrow back stairs that lead into her kitchen. Jinny's masseuse comes right to the house. What a lovely way to begin my stay with Jinny. The masseuse sets her table up right in the living room. It was a little chilly (imagine that in August), but she covered me with cotton blankets.
Then she proceed to find more sore places on my body than I knew I had. Not just the perennial tight neck and base of my scull and across my upper shoulders. No. There was much more. The tendons on the left side of my left arm AND the entire left side of my body is in tough shape. She found all the tight places. Like the tender spots on my butt that have something to do with my hip joints. Or perhaps those two sore spots are my hip joints?
In any case, I staggered off the table an hour later, in need of ice packs and a big drink of water to flush away the soreness. Massaging one sore tendon after another was 'bad in a good way' . I believe I will go back to Serena Williams at Serenity Now in Houston and keep doing this massage thing as I am sorely in need, no pun intended.
Flew from Houston to LaGuardia yesterday afternoon and then took a limo to Port Chester. Really liked the limo, especially after being stuffed into a seat on a full Continental flight,on which we were without even so much as a package of peanuts. In the limo, I was delighted to find a bottle of water at my side as well as two wintergreen Lifesaver mints. Felt human again and quite pampered.
And it was good to see east coast green again. Big old maple trees and English ivy along the parkways. I saw the sign for the Tappen Zee Bridge, which I crossed for the first time in the 1950s on a car trip from upper New York state to New York City. The family knew when we got to the Tappen Zee Bridge that we were almost 'there.' Those were the days when my family lived in Aruba and spent summers back in the North Country, as we called it, with my grandparents.
The east coast is home. It feels familiar, even though I left it at nine years of age. I came back for college and then lived for two years in the city. But it's been Houston ever since. Something about the smells and the way the grass grows, the stone walls and those maple trees are so evocative of times past.
Port Chester, NY, is just a 45 minute train ride into Grand Central in midtown Manhattan. Virginia lives on King Street which was probably a farm road in the nineteenth century. She and her husband Les and their four kids moved into a large old farm house on King Street in 1951. That means she's lived here in this wonderful old house with creaking pine floor boards, low ceilings and its warren of rooms for over sixty years. She calls the one acre spread Folly Farm.
I first came to Folly Farm with Virginia's daughter Lesslie, who invited me home for spring break. I fell in love with the whole family and was invited back again and again. Then Houston's Carrie Bresenham created the first nationwide quilt festival and every fall for over twenty years, Jinny flew to Houston to teach at the festival. We became fast friends. And now, the trip is reversed. I vii st her in Port Chester every year.
Wow! I am sitting on the grass very near the property line, so as to borrow a neighbor's wifi and a small brown bunny rabbit is about twelve feet away, watching me carefully. Now the bunny is hopping across the lawn, totally unafraid, chewing on good things in the grass. What a perfect afternoon. It's shady, breezy, in the mid-80s. Far away, old fashioned lawn mover. Plane overhead from time to time. There goes the rabbit.
I think I will move to the back porch and peruse some old New Yorkers. Jinny has a stack of them as well as a stack of Martha Stewart Living. Makes for a fine afternoon.
Here's to a total change of pace. I love it.