Category Archives: marriage
They just left my house after doing a home appraisal. We got up early and scrubbed for hours. It was one year ago tomorrow that we moved back home.
I just sat here a very long time. It feels like I should recap or talk a lot. Nope, the insight is a short one: Explore deliberately and stick. Stick just as deliberately.
It’s a gritty place, on a 93 degree day last day of May, and my sweaty jeans lay heavy over the arm of a chair. New screens keep the bugs out.
Ashley is cleaning brushes and eating string cheese, about to go to sleep. There are onesies laying on my studio chair and a book, “Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What do you See?”
This is the most reckless, life out of the trunk, yellow stripe smash the dashboard adventure I need at the moment.
Don’t just stick deliberately, have the same expectancy to be amazed.
Tags: airstream, baby bear baby bear what do you see?, deliberation, dixie kitchen distributers, downtown north knoxville, expectancy, explore, holy smokin, home appraisal, knox tenn rentals, la dolce vita, old north knoxville, onesies, stick
Ashley is in front of a canvas this morning and that is no simple accomplishment. Nausea, once it comes once, seems to associate with the same situation. Our house makes her nauseous. I make her nauseous. She told me the other day that the only way she could consider working was if I built her a new studio out in the yard, in the garden and away from the house. I told her that the first trimester would be over in two weeks and she’d feel better. I couldn’t pour a footer faster than that.
Emotions will be high in today’s work.
A month ago I was preaching about taxes and organization. (Our Qualified Joint Venture blog) Ashley and I have a very complicated tax situation, nobody wants me to drag it out and explain it, but I emphasize that it’s very complicated. Thats why I bought the army file cabinet and promised not to fill it with shoe boxes, but use folders rather, and intermittently affix staples and paper clips.
That’s not all it took. The local bank has been easy enough to let Ashley and I conduct our regular business through our alter-identities: those being the fake names Levon Walker and Ashley Addair. Truth is, there are no such legal persons. Maybe you know my real name, which indicates our relationship predates 2008 when I adopted the name Levon from the 1971 Elton John hit song “Levon” from the Madman Across the Water album.
(note: “Levon” like “Levi’s.” Say it: LEEEEEEE, not leVon. end of note).
As for Ashley, well, she took “Walker” back in the summer of 2004. Addair is maiden. Dawn is the given middle. We go to the local bank I where I used to work, nobody bothers us about it. I’m getting to my point, after this one.
An artist is a small business like any other self employed entity in the great city of Knoxville, the county of Knox, the state of Tennessee, and the U.S. of America where the artist may be regulated and taxed at each level by its respective authority. That being the case, and in the spirit of owning a large, green file cabinet, we finally decided to organize.
We opened a small business entitled “Ashley Dawn Addair and Levon Walker,” obtained the city and county business licenses, applied for the state sales tax I.D. number and finally opened a commercial bank account. Our fake names exist now as a legal entity, although the owners remain the mysterious Mr. and Mrs. R Walker.
All of this babble has not been coffee shop conversation. I thought it worth sharing in part because having just gone through it, I’d be glad to assist the steps of another fellow who needs to get it done.
Also, for the story begun in this blog, it’s important to note the full circle. I’m back to the days of walking away from the desk (actually several of them) and classifying it all as “that stuff.” ”That stuff” doesn’t go away just because you want to be a songwriter. True, if one stays broke they aren’t forced to look at much of it. Unfortunately, ignorance is prohibiting.
Business principles aren’t the first thing I think of when focusing creative energy. I think of Jack Donaghy. No seriously, when I’m squandering I don’t do good work, or at least I can’t get it to stick. It takes an organized effort.
Especially when taking the last, tender step away from part time jobs and trying to stay off them.
I’m going to be a dad soon, and at times I think about going back to what some would call security. What I’ve learned most clearly in the last couple rambling years is that security exists, but it has nothing to do with the external. You can be secure in yourself and that is all. Beyond that you need faith, and when you can’t find faith, look for hope.
When I worry about it, I remember what David Johnson told me recently, “If it’s good for you, it’s good for your kid.”
Ashley and I are going to do this. Life is going to change, oh yes. But it won’t change to anything that doesn’t align with where we are now. And, we have a file cabinet to tell us where that is.
Ashley and I teamed up this last weekend and over the last couple months to help with a fanciful wedding in the new garden of David and Travetta Johnson, over in the nearby Park Ridge historic neighborhood. Their daughter, Amelia was wed to Joshua and they have now run away like newlyweds will do. I’d like to tell you about the event. As far as weddings go, I’d say it was a dandy.
The framework, the garden that is, was installed by chief landscape architect Mitch Stewart, owner of Terra Landscapes. Mitch is one the best there is, I worked for him last year and witnessed his repeated excellence. Lindsay Winters was the wedding director, and she went as far to learn music theory to cue bridesmaids on a C#m. My darling Ashley was the wedding designer, making hand sewn programs, banners, lights, and a painting to match.
I was asked to assemble a band, and we’re now booked up for the rest of the summer. No, but they are great musicians and were willing to meet several times to pull it off fantastically.
Neighborhood wildflowers and a special portrait of Amelia and Josh were done by Knoxville Artist, Leann Cooper.
All Souls Church Pastor Doug Banister married the pair under two plum trees. Each tree was dressed up in mason jar tea lights and fabrics, with framed family portraits held in the branches. Two family trees.
I get nervous playing at weddings. Anytime I think I’m going to be nervous, I wear my special socks that Dustin got me.
And that was irrelevant.
I know I’ve left out names of people who worked hard on this wedding. Actually, most of our friends spent long workdays to get it together. What better way than a wedding celebration to begin the dream of Park Ridge’s new home for the arts, the barn behind David and Travetta’s house.
The rest of the night went like this: a jazz band in the barn with Joshua and Amelia swing dancing like pros. A tail gate full of sweets (cake + 14 pie baking friends). Lots of food. I’d like to thank photographer Adam Brimer for his patience in telling me what camera settings to pick. Like for these golden highlights:
And how to “ghost” things. This is Lindsay, who was in charge:
Adam and I eventually found ourselves in a duel. I said, “Let me see where you shot me.” He won, hands down. You’ll have to go check out his work to see how bad of a draw he is.
If you want dancing at your party, invite Sandy Greek. Even if you don’t know her.
Sister of the bride, Betsy is another photographer that I bother. I tried to be considerate that her sister was getting married. Betsy shot some photos for our winter Good Packaging issue.
And then Amelia and Josh were off.
To happily ever after.
Tags: adam brimer photography, all souls knoxville, c#m, doug banister, family plum trees, knoxville park ridge, leann cooper, lindsay winters, mitch stewart, piano socks, Sandy Greek, tara kneiser and dixie pixel photography, terra landscapes, the barking dogs, united pursuit band, wedding band, wedding design
People, I got in trouble for making this video. The inclination came to make it and I just did, but didn’t clean the house or anything. Man, you got a warn a lady before you just walk through the place with a camera, especially if she’s in the state that Ashley is (and by that I mean nothing, dear). When she came home she said,
“Well…. it’s a little long, entertaining, but I can’t believe you’re going to show that.”
That means she doesn’t like it. But I think when you videoblog you’re only allowed one take. This ain’t cable.
Shoulder of the Road Revisited
I chased you down the road for an interstate goodbye
standing there on the shoulder with your head on mind
said, “Honey it won’t be long, don’t you worry, don’t you cry,”
then waved you down the road for another try
How could we wait for love, knowing right where it went?
I watched you drive away and said I wouldn’t again
We got married in the flood, we were then so young
had an early start just to mess it up
Those early days we won’t forget, fighting for our lives
coming home to walls we didn’t recognize
I learned that fighting you was something I could stand to lose
drag enough cold inside, what you gonna do?
So I learned to make a few men of myself, brought em all home to you
said, “Honey here’s the new me, and what I’m gonna do”
she said, “If you see my husband tell him I could use a hand,
these men keep coming over eating off his land.”
You took me once on a promise to be true
I been making good on that to you
One thing I didn’t know was who I was those years ago
All I knew is I was holding on to you
and the shoulder of the road
music available at
We were walking yesterday to our neighborhood Food For All when I decided to document the pregnant lady, 8 weeks to the day. She got totally emotional about it, but then it passed.
People ask me how she’s doing. I lie to them. ”Fine,” I say. But by “fine” I mean normal for the first trimester, which implies covered with blankets and asking for food then pushing it away, running over to the wastebasket to throw up and never getting to, and being upset about what I consider the least of our concerns. That’s what I mean by fine.
We’re going to Food For All at the Fergusons’. Lentil soup and cheese bread they said, and I’m grateful because it got her moving. Tonight FFA is at our house and we’re making pizzas. 20 people will come pick it up, we each cook once a week in pairs of couples.
I said, “Ashley come with me. The cheese bread will be cold by the time I get home.”
She came forth.
I don’t know how this shot got in here.
Documenting some more. It was Thursday midday, Knoxville Tennessee. One of the first real scorchers. Men were setting up the stage for a Better Than Ezra concert tonight (woa oh). Ice cream and hot dogs were everywhere. Alexander was busking on his alto sax by Cafe Four. I stopped in Bliss Home to reshoot Ashley’s work.
I’ve been taking Ashley to work on my bike (she frowns at the word “haul”). In the cool morning she walks, but at 1:30 she hops on the rack of my ox cart. A pregnant lady shouldn’t be walking these East TN hills in the heat of the day. She should be on a bicycle rack, clasping her responsible partner. The car is sold now, and that has been interesting. One more week of school and no more bike rides for the three of us. She already exceeds 50 lbs and we expect it to continue. And let me tell you, the hills are a bitch.