Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thelma's in Houston

So, I'm walking along the long aisles at Quilt Market trying to digest all the new fabric that is coming out this season when my cell phone rings.

"Shawn! We're on our way to Thelma's to have lunch, ya wanna join us? It's just a few blocks from where you are!"

"Sure!" I said, "I'll meet you outside of Door C!"

And within minutes, we were pulling up to the curb across the street from Thelma's Bar-B-Que.... a few short blocks south of the George R. Brown Convention center at 1020 Live Oak.

"This is a restaurant?" I asked. "Are ya sure?"

I didn't see any signs indicating it was nor did I see any signs of people. It looked as though it was deserted.

"Sure it is! I've eaten here lots of times before!"

I slowly opened up the screen door and the three of us walked inside. The bright autumn daylight blinded my eyes for a moment before adjusting to the darkened diner. It was anything but deserted.
Families with small children. Couples and friends and people eating alone. All laughing and talking and eating... looking up on occasion to watch the TV that hung in the corner. I followed my eyes to the outline of the interior paint which the painter had painted the walls around the TV.

This is what I love about the South. Finding wonderful little neighborhood dives and then opening the door, walking inside and wrapping your heart around the magic of it all.

If you happen upon downtown Houston, do yourself a favor and drop into this lovely place... where the food is not only delicious, but you walk away feeling the love.

Truly a magical place.

Pictured above: Velma and Thelma.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Turn it down!

This morning, I was in a hotel lobby carrying a large transistor radio and it kept blaring the voice of Sheri Lynch from the syndicated radio morning show Bob & Sheri . And people all around me kept telling me to turn it down as Bob and Sheri were actually there in a conference room broadcasting their radio morning show LIVE and I was interrupting their signal.

I was beside myself.

First of all, I didn't know how to turn it off ... there didn't seem to be a volume or power control anywhere on it ... and secondly, I didn't know why I was carrying such a large radio around with me in this day and age of ipods.

"Can you turn down that blasted radio!?!" The man shouted at me!

I quickly sat down on one of those large chairs in the lobby trying to muffle the noise with my sweater. A young girl runs over to help me find the volume switch. She can't find it either. Everyone is staring at me. "Shut off that radio!!!"

I opened my eyes and saw the ceiling of my bedroom. I rolled over and stared at my clock radio with Sheri Lynch still talking away and saw it was 8:10 am and Lisa was picking me up at 8:25 for another long day at work.

Nothing like waking up in a panic realizing I had overslept nearly an hour.

All my days are melting into one as we work around the clock for the upcoming International Quilt Market this weekend in Houston. As soon as I come up for air I have some stories to tell.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Wee Hours

It is Garbage Day.

And it is early in the morning. I like to call them the wee hours.

It is quiet and peaceful this morning in my neighborhood except for the trucks.

BEEPbeepBEEP .... their sound is difficult to miss. I open up the blinds and peer out. I see a lady in her robe walk out to the walk, bend over and pick up the morning paper.

She would be so surprised to know that I am awake.

I know without a doubt I have surprised Mollie, my adorable cat. She thought I got up to use the bathroom, so she waited on my bed for me to return.

"Surprise!" I told her as I hurried down the hall toward the kitchen.

I woke up 2-1/5 hours earlier than usual because instead of working overtime after work, I will work overtime before work. I have a friend visiting me. And we have dinner plans tonight. I worked overtime a couple of nights ago and we missed our evening plans on account of it. I feel happy for my quick-thinking solution for this evening.

I feel giddy and alert. My mind thinks I'm going on vacation. My eyes keep looking for my suitcase. Surely I am going somewhere really fun because why else would I be awake when the moon is still up?

"Surprise!" I tell myself. "You're going to work!"

It seems the earlier one wakes up, the less there is be distracted by. So I got ready in record-speed. I watered my potted plants. I watered the boxwoods. I threw out the garbage. I chatted with my nextdoor neighbor taking her dog out for a walk.

"Shawn! What are you doing awake so early?!"
"I'm going to work extra early and putting in my overtime in reverse!"

She nods. I don't think she understood.

It is peaceful. I love the mornings. Just like I love tidy, uncluttered homes. But I know only too well it's just like keeping a clean, uncluttered home. I will never be natural at it.

I love this cute animation. It's called The Ok Book. I wish I had written and animated this.