The Other Woman

Despite cracks and wrinkles, love blooms eternal

By Sandra Redding

Every November, the Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic lures hundreds through the doors of the Greensboro Coliseum. Most shoppers discover that chatting with talented artisans while selecting unique treasures adds to the thrill of the hunt.

Several years ago during my own annual spree, I selected two pillows embroidered with sprigs of lavender, a signed print of a rooster painted by Bob Timberlake and a pine-scented Christmas wreath to brighten my front door.

Deciding I’d surpassed my budget, I headed for the exit, then stopped when I spotted a group of healthy plants, each one anchored in a piece of pottery. The face of a woman was etched onto one. The potter, a dark-haired woman, smiled and made her pitch: “This one is magic,” she said. “If you look after her, she’ll keep you well.”

“I have a husband,” I answered. “We look after one another.”

Despite my protest, good sense (or was it my heart?) convinced me to hand her the required $20. As she placed the pot, as well as the other items I’d purchased, in a box, she promised I’d never regret my decision. That windy afternoon, while placing the items in the back seat of my convertible, I took a closer look at the countenance adorning the pot. Tiny white bird feathers surrounded her face. Noticing her enigmatic smile brought to mind the Mona Lisa.

At home, when I shared my unique purchase with my husband, Joe, he grinned as he touched the green leaves cascading from the pot. I wasn’t surprised. He’s always been fond of plants, even ones that didn’t produce tomatoes and cucumbers. “What we have here,” he explained, “is an Asparagus Fern. With sufficient water and occasional sun, it should do well.”

“No, what we have is another woman,” I teased. “The potter who sold her to me promised I’d remain healthy as long as I took care of her.”

Though I don’t approve of polygamy, the other woman has happily remained with Joe and me for nearly 14 years. I named her Virginia after my mother, whom I still miss though she died three decades ago. Most of the tiny feathers that once surrounded her face have disappeared, but the fern stretching out of her still remains as vibrant green as the day I purchased her.

As for me? Despite being diagnosed with osteoporosis three years ago, I still do Yoga, Tai Chi and walk at least 5,000 steps daily. I have more than a few wrinkles now, but I’ve earned them, and though Virginia has sustained a crack or two, her cheeks still remain rosy.

Both of us are fortunate. In addition to having one another, we also have Joe.  OH

Sandra Redding, a retired Greensboro writer and teacher, now enjoys practicing yoga and creating scrapbooks that display her grandkids’ excellence. Every afternoon, she watches a movie with her husband. The Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic’s next visit to the Greensboro’s Coliseum will be November 23.

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