August 2019

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Land Acknowledgment:
We acknowledge that this beautiful land that we call our home was forcibly vacated of its original and rightful caretakers, the Iswa (Catawba) and Gadua (Cherokee) people who have cared for it for millennia and, through resilience and persistence, despite generations of state-supported acts of removal and genocide,
continue to do so. 




Holding Space

for Living and Dying

Our Mission

"Improve the quality of life and death for those with a terminal illness and their caregivers, by offering support to meet basic needs, connect to community, and create meaning."

Eve and Yvette's daughter Marilyn visited from Florida this month. She made sure the weekend was filled with love, adventure, and homemade Puerto Rican dishes for her moms. Here Marilyn, Erik, Eve, and Yvette stop for a photo with the mountains in the background as they make their way up Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. The path up to the top is paved, making it accessible to people who use wheelchairs, though caution is advised as the grade is very steep.
A closeup of Marilyn's flan

August Potluck 

Please join us this evening, Wednesday, August 21st, from 6-9pm at our home at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue, Asheville. Bring a dish, a guest, but please leave pets at home. We welcome neighbors, friends, people interested in or involved with end of life work, and colleagues to come together to share a meal and strengthen connections. Meet new people; expand and deepen your community.

(While there are a few parking spaces right next to the house, please reserve this for people needing to park close. Please do not park on the grass - there are fig trees planted there. There is a Baptist Church on the corner of the next street over, Mitchell Ave, and Haywood Road, that has a large parking lot. The house itself has a ramp that can be used by people who use a wheelchair to get into the main floor of the house, where all activity of the potluck will take place.) 

Eve, Erik, and Yvette went road-tripping! Eve's research found Carolina Beach to be rated as one of the most accessible beaches on the East Coast. Complete with boardwalk, beach accessible walkway (thanks to Life Rolls On), and free beach wheelchairs provided by the Town of Carolina Beach Parks and Recreation Department.
Our friends and traveling artists Ty, Sandra, and Fiona (clockwise from Yvette) ventured over from Knoxville for a weekend of Asheville exploring and artistic expression with Yvette. What interests and talents have been bestowed upon you, and with whom in your life can you share them? 
Eve and Yvette's friend, Deb, came for a visit.

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” -Alan D. Wolfelt

 

For a couple of months, Yvette has expressed a craving for Puerto Rican food. We've found that the fried yucca and plantains at Taste of El Salvador are sufficiently on par to elicit pleased moans and toe wiggling from Yvette. But the Asheville food scene lacks the Puerto Rican mainstays like mofongo and alcapurrias. Enter Alan's buddy, Gabriel. As fate would have it, Gabriel and his colleague Jessica, both from Adelante in Birmingham, were heading to Asheville for the Spartan race, in need of a place to stay. In exchange, "Mofongo Gabriel" (as he was dubbed to distinguish him from "our" Gabriel) made an incredible meal of mofongo (fried green plantains smashed with garlic, crispy fried pork skin, and adobo) with pernil (slow-roasted pork) and gandules con arroz (pigeon peas and rice). Erik played the role of sous chef so that he could recreate the dishes once "Mofongo Gabriel" returned home.

A couple weeks later, Yvette's daughter, Marilyn, came from Jacksonville to spend time with her mama and to stock the fridge with more Puerto Rican delights. Again, Erik assisted while Marilyn prepared a bounty of camarofongo (mofongo with shrimp), alcapurrias (a fritter of green plantains stuffed with ground beef), empanadillas (basically a beef turnover or an empanada with a thinner, crispier dough), gandules con arroz, and the most enormous flan! It was a sweet time of connection, mini-adventures, and love.

Yvette's Nicaraguan heartthrob, Cesar, and his family brought a home-cooked meal to share. Fatefully introduced months earlier as a driver to doctor's appointments, Cesar and Yvette became fast friends and mischievous accomplices.
It's that time of year! Here, our housemate Andrew, poses for the requisite back-to-school front porch photo. He is heading back to school for an electrical program at AB Tech.
Speaking of housemates, our friend and neighbor, Rives, gifted us this book on co-housing by Asheville icon, Howard Hanger. It's a quick and enjoyable read about sharing space.


"Cooperative living is, indeed, a uniquely precious connection that offers comfort, assurance, and love in ways that few other relationships can. Marriage, or any one-on-one relationship can also provide comfort, assurance, and love, along with fantastic opportunities for personal growth and stability. With co-op living, however, that same comfort, assurance, and love can come to you from several different people in several different ways. And the possibilities for personal growth and stability are  exponentially bountiful."

We all have different gifts, personalities, and interests. In the context of caregiving and death and dying, we are finding that living with housemates offers a broader range of support to both the caregiver and their loved one. Physical help, emotional support, culinary endeavors, and simple interactions or breaks are among the benefits of sharing space with others. We are grateful to be a part of this increasingly intimate household.
 
The front porch is runner-up to the sunroom as Yvette's favorite place to hang out, watch the neighborhood bustle, and take an afternoon nap
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