Short visit to Durham, North Carolina

I am back in Seattle.  We are definitely in the long-awaited beautiful days of summer.  It was 72 degrees yesterday and we all felt sun-soaked as a group of about 18 of us did Yoga in the Park in Wallingford’s Meridian Park!  The park class runs from 6-7 pm and already by the time class ended yesterday, the sun was low in the sky and the shadows long.

Just before I left the east coast last weekend, I took the Amtrak from Alexandria, VA to Durham, North Carolina to visit my friend Christie Drew.  Our friendship began in Seattle where she used to live.  Christie moved to Durham because she got a great job there at the new National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.  It was so good to see her again and to see her beautiful home and yoga space (she has an amazing yoga “studio” at her home!!)  We really wanted to go on a bike ride, but some rain storms stopped us.  Christie showed me a bit of downtown Durham where the old tobacco drying warehouses are being converted into condominiums and artistic centers.  Also while I was there, I held a yoga workshop/mini retreat for Christie and her friends.  Honestly, some who took part in the yoga practice were initially daunted by the thought of 3 hours of yoga. However, a long session allows me to pace the class perfectly with a long slow lead in to more vigorous postures.  And at the end of the yoga practice, there was plenty of time for restorative poses.  Christie had bolsters and plenty of blankets so we had a great session mixed with vigorous practice and total relaxation at the end.  This great group of friends worked hard.   I love that they were not  competitive at all and, in fact, very supportive of each other and very respectful of where each individual was on their yoga path.  It was wonderful to practice in Christie’s beautiful yoga space.  While the group was in shavasana, I suddenly remembered to take photos.  I really can’t take photos while I am teaching because it is the last thing on my mind as I concentrate on guiding each individual to unfold on so many levels!

After the 3 hour yoga session, we all ate dinner together.  Rumbling stomachs were rewarded with a fabulous dinner.  Christie had prepared an array of colorful healthy summertime dishes.  Some of her salads were served on bowls that she made in her pottery classes.  She is an excellent potter and presented me with a big green bowl she made which I will always cherish!  I made my famous tofu cabbage dish that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Even people who don’t like tofu love this dish.  I had a great time meeting Christie’s friends and can’t wait to do another workshop in Durham sometime in the future.

Maybe some of the best moments in Durham were shared out on Christie’s screened in back porch. It reminded me of growing up in Indiana.  Out on the back porch, Christie and I listened to the heavy rain come down and more than once I found myself thinking of  my sister Jeanie and how she loved a good rain storm.  I like to imagine Christie sitting out on the porch after a long work day, looking out at the alders and maples outside, while her kitty Skittles dashes from place to place in the house, chasing invisible mice and imaginary ghosts.

Christie is amazing!  She uprooted herself from Seattle and successfully made another home in Durham!

Below are photos from my short visit to Durham with Christie:

Joshua relaxing in Viparita Karani Asana

Can we just stay here all evening?

Our wonderful host, sun-drenched Christie!

The only time I can pick up a camera when I teach is when the class is in these relaxed poses!

Everyone's favorite: Shavasana!!!

Introducing Miss Skittles ("Yeah, so what? Christie let's me sit here, so stop staring!")

Skittles' Yoga

Oh, how can I stop taking pictures of Miss Skittles??

Amy and Andy!

Fran and Christie!

The end of a wonderful day. Nicole, Christie, Amy, and Andy!


4 Responses to “Short visit to Durham, North Carolina”

  1. Helen Anne Says:

    Thank you for sharing these snapshots of your life Fran. All these trips must be so healing for you. I could visualize the scene sitting on the porch. It reminds me of being back on Long Island.
    Nothing like a good rain storm to clean the air.


    • frangallo Says:

      Two years ago, a friend told me, “Fran, you should start a blog!” And I thought to myself, “What on earth would I write about?” And now I can’t stop. If I had more time on my hands, I’d never skip a day! Thank YOU for reading.
      And yes, I am feeling stronger every day. A broken heart DOES heal. Family, friends, a good rain storm, a screened in porch all add to the healing process and to the sweetness of life!


  2. Christie Drew Says:

    It was such a gift to have you for the weekend. Thank you thank you thank you for bringing all your healing energy to my friends and into my house. I find myself wishing I was headed to the station right now AGAIN this weekend to pick you up!!!

    I asked Beth how she was feeling on Tuesday AM… and she said, “Oh i feel great! That was wonderful. EVERYONE should have a Fran in their life.”

    My sentiments EXACTLY!!!!

    Much love friend, lets do it again soon!


  3. Judy Says:

    I wish I could have been there! Thanks Fran!


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