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You are receiving this email because you (or someone who loves you — maybe ME) signed up to receive updates about Holding Space, a family care home hospice project in the works at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue in West Asheville, home of Gabriel Inton and Erik Iverson. 

It’s potluck time again!

This evening, Wednesday, September 19th at 6pm will be our fourth Community Potluck held at our home at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue in West Asheville. We treasure this opportunity to foster connection with friends new and old, neighbors, and those in the field of end of life care. Bring a dish to share, a friend, your family, a Tinder date, but please leave your pets at home. 

Home Funeral Workshop

The weekend after last month’s potluck in August, Gabriel participated in Center of End of Life TransitionsHome Funeral and Death Care Midwife Training with the intention that future roommates at 34 Blue Ridge Ave could choose this for themselves. 

Home funerals can be a powerful way to grieve the death of a loved one. Having the body in the space in which the person had lived, surrounded by the earthly things that held meaning for them, and the love of the people left behind, can bring about opportunities to continue to care for one another.  

As with natural and conservation burials, home funerals have the potential to de-institutionalize death care practices, and take it back into the hands of families and communities. 

With a beautiful arrangement on display after hosting our neighbors’ adoption party, Gabriel decides to break away from laundry to practice wrapping Erik in a shroud.

Speaking of the adoption party, congratulations to neighbors Alice and John on finalizing their adoption of Bryson and Trent! We are pleased that our home could play a role in the celebration with 75 friends and loved ones. We look forward to the many celebrations our household will experience in the years ahead.

Childhood Homecoming

Last week, brothers Reed and Lee Starnes dropped in for a visit. Our new home, formerly 40 Blue Ridge Avenue, was their childhood home from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. Their father, Rev. Nane Starnes, was pastor of West Asheville Baptist Church from the 1940’s until 1971. It was fun to watch the brothers walk through the house for the first time since childhood and witness the memories returning to them, each prompting stories from one another. Given its prior use as a girl’s group home for almost 40 years, the Starnes brothers were limited to drive-bys of the home until now. I regret that we neglected to take a photo together, but Reed has provided a number of digitized photos from his youth, a sample of which is seen here.

Reed Starnes plays in the front yard in 1945.

After last month’s potluck, the developer who owns the front yard cut down the two magnificent Norway Spruces. I counted ~96 rings which would indicate their planting was around 1922, the same year our house was built. Though sad, we are delighted that neighbors rallied around the stately Shingle Oak, registered it as a “Treasured Tree,” and convinced the developer to modify plans in order to save the tree!

In an attempt to salvage the fountain that is original to the 1920’s house, Erik dug out the dirt that was filling it only to discover that it had a false bottom. Another foot deeper was the original bottom into which the pedestal is cast. In that dirt, Erik found these two metal cars from the 1930’s. The brand is unknown, but they look similar to Hubley, Dinky, and Tootsie Toys from that era.

Erik has been collecting houseplants to help bring life into the house. With Hurricane Florence looming, we brought them from their summer porch life into the sunroom to offer more protection. Fortunately we were spared much impact from the storm.

Renovations Continue

We pulled up the carpet in one of the bedrooms in the original 1920’s section of the house to find that the heart pine floors, though covered in carpet glue, were salvageable. We had them refinished and patched a few damaged boards. The studio cabinets have been installed and we are awaiting delivery of the countertops this Sunday. We are using Hard Maple butcher block salvaged from a TN bowling alley!

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