OR – ANGE you glad Football season has arrived? In our house everything is coming up Orange! (and maroon). My husband, Sam, is a Hokie. I’m a Hokie by marriage only, which makes me an adopted child in the worldwide Hokie family. Every year at this time we ceremoniously raise our Hokie flag. Sam dons any and all forms of Hokie attire beginning on Thursday. He has ties, pajama pants, socks, a grilling apron, golf shirts, button-downs with VT embroidered on the pocket and five hundred t-shirts. This year he is considering the purchase of orange Hokie pants. You heard me. We plan tailgates with other Hokies. We stop to talk with Hokie strangers as if they were long lost family members. Often enthusiastically embracing one another! I find this to be a very strange anomaly. My dear husband points out every car on the road that’s been emblazoned with Hokie stickers by saying, “Look there’s a Hokie,” as if we’ve just sighted a rare bird species. And if that’s not enough, our license plates tell the world that “we” are Hokies, so other Hokie families can point US out, as well.
In November we will join the parade of Hokie cars that have been decorated out the wazoo, as we head to Blackburg to attend the Virginia Tech vs Maryland game. This should prove tricky for me. Sam has a hard time talking about this, but I know I can trust you. Our daughter, Samantha, is a Terrapin. However, Hokie blood is strong – so biologically that makes her ‘half’ Hokie. Don’t tell anyone.
No matter what we’re doing, our world comes to a grinding halt as the Virginia Tech football team takes the field! Our dog, Cooper, readjusts to the fact that Dad appears to be yelling loudly from his front row, fifty yard line seat on the sofa. It’s hard for his little Westie ears to decipher the good yelling from the bad. He hears so many mixed messages ranging from you “Ahhh, come on guys, what’d you that for?” To the ever popular – “Get in the GAAAMMME, you let him blow right by you.” And lastly, the awe- inspiring personal shout out – “ALRIGHT Logan! Way to throw buddy.” He watches his Dad morph from a sensible, well- adjusted businessman to a raving Hokie football lunatic right before his very confused doggie eyes. I reassure him, as I do at the beginning of every football season, that Dad is actually having fun!?!? Indeed. And yes Cooper, I know, there is no one else in the room, so who IS Dad talking to? He seems to think that all eleven VT football players can somehow through osmosis, or a unique form of Hokie subliminal learning perhaps, actually hear him as he coaches them from the sofa.
A rare breed for sure. There is clearly something to be said for the indomitable Hokie spirit. It has been precisely documented and defined by Hokies young and old. Just ask any Hokie the age old question – What’s a Hokie? And you will get the highly intelligent, yet thought provoking answer… I’M a Hokie! And there you have it.
My other orange crush has nothing to do with those silly birds. It all began innocently enough. While leisurely strolling through an Arhaus furniture store, I saw IT! An orange leather barrel backed beauty that had me at hello. As I sat upon its magnificently cushioned seat and leaned against its gently curved back, my decorator brain heard angels sing as gold fairy dust fell softly around us. I was in love. I knew that this amazing specimen of a chair must one day live with me. (us) Now. To tell the husband.
Arhaus furniture is not cheap. My husband is. The plan. I would lure him in with “tag” words near and dear to his Hokie/bankers heart, which, by the way, bleeds orange. The first obviously and easily achieved. (minor detail it’s burnt orange). The next lure would require a more cunning effort on my part. I would identify the next sale date. This would please the walking human calculator I like to call Sam. I would make it sound bigger and bolder by grouping several tag words together – Annual Sale!!! Huge Store-Wide Markdowns!!! I paused for a milli-second, asking myself…Have you no shame? Head bows. (Note slight smile).
While strolling at the Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, I casually asked Sam (wink) if he wouldn’t mind checking out the Big Annual Sale at Arhaus. He acceded. As we walked in to the store, we were greeted by our favorite salesperson, Hilary. She possessed just the right amount of enthusiasm without stalking us as we browsed throughout the store. I randomly inquired (second wink) about the sale, asking if (ahem) the barrel backed chairs happened to be on sale. Prepare yourself – the decorating gods had blessed me lavishly on this particular day! The chairs were not only on sale, but (pause) the burnt orange was being discontinued, making me even happier, as I love uncommon things. She informed us that there was one in the back of the store and she had found another in Alabama. This is the moment I knew without a decorators doubt that these chairs were meant for me, and that my husband would agree before the mammoth calculator in his head heard the first Cha-Ching. Not that he ever really had a choice. Because I had so brilliantly chosen a color that was being discontinued, we got both chairs for the sale price of one. BAM!
It’s been said by decorating wizards that you should never use a color in your home that you don’t look good in. You must wonder I’m sure. How then, could I have a crush on Orange? A color that has so boldly betrayed my fair Irish skin and red hair in the most unflattering manner? It’s okay. Really. I forgive you orange. You fulfill my needs in so many other ways!
So as the Hokies take the field this week, I will sit in my burnt orange barrel backed box seat and delight in watching my orange and maroon husband cheer on his beloved Hokies. I’ll think happy decorator thoughts of placing pumpkins cleverly around our house, while anxiously anticipating our annual trek to collect bittersweet. I’ll imagine the kaleidoscope of colors that Fall leaves will bring as Mother Nature exquisitely paints our world once again. And I will envision the chairs flanking our family room fireplace in our not so empty nest very soon.
It’s true, I have a crush on Fall! There is something invigorating in the crisp Autumn air as it breezes coolly across my face. As my favorite season approaches, I will give thanks that I can enjoy the simple abundance of orange that Autumn brings. And I will be grateful for all that I have.
“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” – Hawthorne
I’ll be taking a week or so off for book interviews and a family wedding back in Maryland. Until next time…Be well.