Never Let Them See You Sweat

Yeah, right. As if. If you'd spent even 5 minutes in Cary, NC, over the last few weeks of "autumn," you'd be laughing at that, too.

But I'm not talking about actual sweat (though that does play a role--keep reading). I'm talking about making the experience of those who visit me live up to their expectations--and hopefully beyond--despite what's going on behind the scenes.

Take last Saturday, for instance. With 3 private parties on the books, I knew it would be a busy day that required a lot of energy. I left the house later than I wanted to (as I always do) but with what I expected to be just enough time to set up.

Only, Cary doesn't have suspended railroad tracks on my route to work. And both Amtrak and freight trains sit in--I mean traverse--town daily. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, I zoom around the studio when I finally get there, making sure everything's ready. Only I don't seem to have enough labels for the number of bottles for the day.

No problem, I'll print more....

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Beauty in the Breakdown

Fear is a powerful thing. It can color your every thought, darkening every corner of the mind, extinguishing hope. Around this time last year, I encountered such fear in myself, recognizing it for what it was, acknowledging it, and letting it sink into my bones.

You see, just weeks before, the person I love most in this world was lying in a coma following a cardiac arrest and we didn't know if he would return to us or how different he would be if we were blessed enough to get him back. Throughout the 10-day ordeal, I took each day as it came, refusing to believe that the supreme being who'd taken my father in such a similar manner would take this incredible man, too. So, I stood strong--breathed in, breathed out--and kept going.

But, once he did make it back, and I brought him home, and I lay awake all night listening for his steady breathing, and I knew he was safe--that he was truly going to be okay--the fear that had been masquerading as calm all along finally showed itself for...

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