May 22, 2017
At the current moment, I’m tired. Physically and mentally worn out. With my project in full swing, a garden, a family, and a house to tend to at home, throw some traveling in there and I’m done for. Fortunately, I’m not normally this much of a Debbie downer, I just so happen to be writing this with a mild case of the “Mondays”.
As I’m sitting here at my little desk in Abingdon, VA at the Appalachian Sustainable Development office, I’m stressing out about the mountain of laundry that needs to be done, the puppy hair tumble weeds bellowing about on the hardwood, the streaks of dried water from an unknown source ruining the shine of the stainless steel, all while planning and scheduling, designing, and facilitating….the list goes on and on. As tension may seem high, I can’t help, but feel grateful. I’m grateful that I get to walk through the doors of an organization that actually strategies and executes meaningful work. I’m grateful that my sunflowers are sprouting. (I was scared to death that I screwed that up!) I’m grateful that when I came home from the our first AppFellows Regional Gathering, that my husband was waiting there, with a smile that would make any heart melt, ready to scoop me up and shower me with “I miss yous” and kisses. Most of all, on the Monday-est of Mondays, I’m grateful, that in a few short hours, I’ll have the best work buddy ever, sitting beside me and spinning around in an office chair, even though her feet don’t yet touch the ground. The best part of being involved in this work is the freedom to have Annabel Lee beside me when a baby sitter falls through. Thank goodness for decent, understanding folks and the absence of ridiculous rules and regulations.
Sunday’s are family night at Casa De Roop. We put on our jammies, pop some popcorn on the stove, and pick a movie to watch together. Last weekend Annabel got to watch “The Wizard of Oz” for the first time, and a time before that “Harry and the Henderson’s” (If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s really funny!). Sundays are a time to relax and enjoy the presence of those you love and cherish the most in your life….at least that’s how we like it. This past Sunday, however, was a little different.
Appalachian Sustainable Development had the second FUNdraiser of the year Sunday the 21st. Our Director of Communications and Development, Sylvia Crum, came up with the brilliant idea to host a family style Sunday supper at the brand new, up and coming events facility in Blountville, TN: The Ron Ramsey Regional Agricultural Center. Lindsey Keen, the Farmer’s Market Promotion Coordinator, and I were on the planning/execution team this time around…known as the “Biscuits” per Sylvia. The tables were set up like long harvest tables adorned with white table clothes and a variety of beautiful, random dishware. The center pieces were made up of a variety of fresh cut flowers; peonies and lilies from my garden, roses from Lindsey’s, and wildflowers from the fields of Sylvia’s land.
An assortment of rustic décor (Most of which came from my mother. Thanks, Mom!) And informational pieces were scattered about the lobby were a cocktail reception was held; can’t beat BYOB! There was locally sourced food prepared and served by ASD Board member, Chef Mike Archdeacon, owner and operator of the local food truck “Foodie Fiction” and his team. Set up began at 2:00pm Sunday afternoon and cleanup was finished up by 10:00pm with a 30 minute drive home to follow. It was a long, busy evening. Our dogs were barking, eyes were heavy, and bodies felt like a bunch of limp noodles, but this was, by far, one of the most rewarding experiences I have been a part of yet with ASD.
Though our quaint little family night was interrupted, I wouldn’t have had it any other way this weekend. The rewarding (and nostalgic) rush of planning and executing an event, even with a few qwerks, is like no other. The best part was getting to spend the slow moments in between the hustle and bustle with amazing new friends and my undyingly supportive husband and mother. There isn’t enough thank yous in this world to express my gratitude for a life that I wouldn’t dare trade for anything in this world.
by Jenni Roop