Private Lessons – 45 minutes long, $25 weekly, paid at the beginning of each month. (If you or I are taking a week break for some reason, vacation, etc., then there is no charge for that off week. If I am given advance notice – more than 24 hours – of an absence due to illness or scheduling conflict, I will make every effort to reschedule, but make no guarantees. Same day cancellations are charged as a normal lesson.)
Sibling lessons – 45 minutes long, $30 weekly for the family, paid at the beginning of each month. If one student is significantly more advanced, we may need to discuss extending the lesson to one hour ($40) to be split between two students. This can be arranged as needed.
There will be an opportunity to play in public during the summer, possibly at a festival, a nursing home, or in a recital setting.
There will be no lessons May 28 – 31, June 25 – July 6. (Memorial Day week, Last week of June, Week of July 4th)
Strings Workshop – Learning to play together, Max. 6 students, For all players/ Tuesdays at 1pm.
Dates include July 10, 17, 24, 31
Workshops are charged at a rate of $15 weekly
Maximum spots available in each group is 6 students weekly.
The workshops are one hour in length.
Music may be emailed to print. Otherwise copies will be provided.
Tuesday, August 7th, 10am – 2pm – Historic Brattonsville, Time Travel Tuesdays: We will be participating in Historic Brattonsville’s Time Travel Tuesdays by providing music for guests on the farm. More information will be provided the week prior to the event.
Saturday, September 8th, 6pm – Allison Creek Bluegrass: We have been invited to provided opening music for the monthly bluegrass concert held at Allison Creek. Please plan to get there a little early for warming up.
Writing Workshop for High School – This high school writing course is two independent semesters and covers one semester of creative writing and one semester of academic writing. The course is designed for students ranging from the reluctant writers to the wordy wordsmiths. This class is a basic level course that can be adapted to challenge honors level students. The intention is to introduce writing in a way that is welcoming and reduces anxiety and intimidation often experienced by students that do not feel like natural writers. Our first semester is focused on creative writing in order for students to become comfortable engaging in the art of the writing process and be able to find enjoyment in one’s own written expression. Semester two switches to academic writing, mainly focusing on an essay format that can be used across subject matters. The course uses a writing workshop format, meaning that every session includes a mini lesson, a time for sharing and engaging with other students, quiet time for practice, and opportunity for presentations. While there certainly are assignments, the workload is designed to mesh with each student’s individual course load. In other words, we will be working on specific skills and framework, but the content can be pulled from a student’s own studies.
Fall Semester – August 24th to December 14th (optional tutoring day September 21, fall break/ no class October 19th or Thanksgiving week)
Spring Semester – January 11th to May 10th (optional tutoring day February 15, break/ no class March 22th and April 19th)
High School Writing Workshop, Cost – $140/ semester (90 minutes)
Please email pchatch76@gmail for registration. A nonrefundable fee of $40 per student is requested to hold a space. If the minimum amount of students is not met, the fee will be returned.
Have you ever played the Lava game? The one where you jump from couch to chair to Momma’s antique table specifically designed NOT to hold the full weight of a human? The ground is all one giant lava pit and if you touch it, well, catastrophe strikes.
My marriage was one ridiculously long game of Lava. Only the stool beneath my feet exploded, and suddenly, after almost twenty years, the game was over.
In pictures, all of us became adept at keeping up appearances, the kids oblivious to the way others may or may not live at home, our environment their version of normal. I played the part of lawyer’s wife and mother, hopping from perch to perch, avoiding the Lava. Judging by some people’s shocked responses, apparently I played it well, at least for those not living with me.
But living in a game of Lava for so long causes side effects – Anxiety, stress, feelings of entrapment, and perhaps the worst one of all, the loss of one’s voice from swallowing too much dry heat for too, too long. Stuck atop an exploding stool, in the end I didn’t just touch the Lava, I bathed in it.
Here’s the thing about bathing in Lava. It scorches. I’m not gonna lie, it’s painful, and humbling, and exhausting to heal from such deep wounds. But. Lava also cleanses. And as it cools, hope springs forth.
It’s been fourteen months since the boys and I have been a family of three. We’ve grown closer than I thought possible, stronger than I could have imagined, and experienced the deepening of our faith I’ve craved (however timidly).
Because even when I prayed to feel that closeness with God I had felt in the past, I knew. That kind of connection doesn’t come easy. It was a bit of a self destructive prayer, is all I’m sayin’.
We all have war wounds, lifetime scars, from this journey, but all three of us are beautiful, strong, resilient, and more passionate for it.
The boys. Y’all. There are not words. Just tears of gratitude to God for the gift of them.
And me. I’m finally finding my voice. It’s a mixture of the girl I once was and the woman that’s survived. It’s raw at times, louder than before, and powerful in its sense of self. My voice knows fear and often chooses to speak through it anyway. There’s a reason the symbol of a phoenix resonates with survivors. It resonates with me. Walking in these shoes, I can say firsthand, I get it. Because often what people may miss is that the phoenix doesn’t just rise up from ashes; the phoenix is a bird. And after hovering atop a rickety stool surrounded by the Lava – wings – well, they feel extraordinary.
Sweet Tea with Amber Johnson and Jessica Cartwright
PH: I want to hear about your daughter’s business…..
AJ: It’s called Wick-Kids. She started it last May, but she wasn’t ready to sell until June because she had to find different suppliers. Believe it or not, wax smells. It stinks. Bad. We had to find commercial grade wax, because it doesn’t stink. But if you just go buy wax at a craft store, it smells terrible. She’s got her ten face flavors – scents – that people always want, and then we try to throw in a few seasonal ones each season.
JC: Coffee Shop and Toasted Marshmallow are probably her two biggest sellers, and they smell amazin’. And pecan pie.
PH: And she’s seven? (Seven years old, people. She started a year ago. Kids rock it, don’t they?)
AJ: MmHmm. She’ll be eight in two weeks. She bought a golf cart. That was her goal.
PH: She was able to buy a golf cart off of candles??
AJ: Yes. She’s a hustler. (Laughter:)
JC: She sells them too, when she’s here. She walks out here, and she talks to the customers, and she tells them how she got started. They will buy those candles!
AJ: She just bought herself a commercial wax melter so she can do more at a time. Before it would take us all day. Now we can do a lot more. Last time we did 60 candles and it only took a couple of hours, so she’s stepping up her game.
JC: If only we could get Skylar’s chickens to lay eggs that fast….
PH: Her name?
AJ: Weslee, and they are called Wick-Kids. Yes, she’s a big time hit around here. …. It all started camping, we camp, and everybody has a golf cart camping and she just had a bike. So one morning, we got up, and she had made some candles, and said she was going to take them to the campground. We keep a little jar of money, and she takes a dollar out of it and goes to the camp store to buy a chocolate milk. So she came back, and she had $60 in the jar. She sold everything. The next time, she took more, and every time she’d sell out and here we are a year later..
PH: How long have you guys had the store? I know the store has been here, but you guys recently took it over?
JC: We’re the third and last owners. We opened on November 1st. This whole process took place within a week and a half? Someone saw it on Facebook and tagged me, and someone had tagged Amber as well. I messaged her, and so we got to talking. We each had separate businesses at home doing similar things, and we were business friends already. We decided during this phone conversation that this (Sweet Tea) would be a huge business venture for one person to take on by themselves.
AJ: She just up and said, would you be my partner? And that’s all that happened. Four days later we’re sitting at a closing table.
JC: We knew that someone would get it quickly and that we didn’t think it could go past a third owner.
AJ: We felt it needed a change, somebody needed to grab hold of it and make it something that it hadn’t been yet.
JC: Our husbands hadn’t even met before. …. It’s better that we weren’t friends before. We’re family now, but we weren’t when we did this.
AJ: Our relationship is founded on business, and we had a huge respect for each other from the beginning. We both bring certain skills to the table. We just did it. Now, of course, we love each other’s children and we’re like family. But we started with business.
JC: It was the best timing for retail, it was not the best timing for us because we were unprepared. I was able to give a one week notice at my job. One week.
AJ: And it was dead in the middle of a huge school order for me, and I was like, I’m not playing around. We’ve got to go! But it was good because we got a really big check our first week, so that timing was good, but we weren’t ready.
JC: Now we’re doing what we should have done if we’d opened at a different time of the year and had had more time to prepare. We’re cleaning out and getting rid of things so we can bring in more boutique clothes. And that will be Sweet Tea. We are still in transition.
Chatter and more laughter and talk about buying out inventory as they settle in…
AJ: In a relationship, there’s supposed to be someone that comes up with the crazy ideas, and someone that stops you, but we’re missing that person that stops you…because we both have crazy ideas!
JC: We have an accountant now, so she can tell us – no more!
PC: Biggest challenge?
AJ: First, it was lack of being able to hire. Because we opened so fast, we didn’t have payroll set up and all that. Now we have all that done. So at first, it was people and time. Our husbands, our children, I can’t tell you how many times we sat on the floor with pizza, our kids taking naps on gymnastic mats. Our girls, we so appreciate them, we adore them.
JC: Now, it’s stocking and inventory as we get the store turned into Sweet Tea. When we get things in, we sell out, so we’re working on building our inventory, but it’s a good challenge to have.
(At this point, a gentleman from the high school comes in to chat about a student that will be working at Sweet Tea. There’s a school program that partners with local businesses, giving students experience interviewing and working. How cool is that? Win win for our community, right there!)
AJ: Our number one hurdle is being a part of the York community and staying on top of knowing about events happening. If we know, we can be supportive and help. We want people to want to come here. Shop. Eat. Get ice cream. But we’ve been lucky.
JC: We have. There haven’t really been any roadblocks because we just work through whatever we need to. The day we opened – because of the fire inspection – we opened at 5:30pm, but we opened. We’re determined.
PC: Poignant moment/ memory so far?
JC: I would have to say the fund raiser we did in January. We did a fund raiser for the officers that were shot. Amber’s dad is a retired narcotics officer, so she grew up knowing all these guys, and I am very thankful for everything these officers do for us. It didn’t take us long to figure out that, hey, we can do a fundraiser with our t-shirts. So we got in touch with the sheriff to follow etiquette, and we figured we’d do, like, 200 t-shirts? No. We did over 1300+ t-shirts, and I can’t tell you how many times we were in tears because we were so overwhelmed with the support from the community for those officers and how everybody came together.
AJ: We sat down and figured up how much we had raised and we were so humbled. We drove straight to the bank and we got that cashier’s check and drove straight to the sheriff’s department. Opened late that day. Not only giving them that check, but seeing how this community comes together. We’ve had big personal celebrations, but that was with the nation. We shipped shirts to fourteen states. That was a nationwide celebration of these heroes and that’s a big deal to us.
Sweet Tea resides in the heart of downtown, and sells boutique clothing, accessories, and gifts. They are recently known for their ability to make swag in bulk – from coasters to t-shirts – they can print business gifts, team outfits and much more. Please go visit and check them out at:
People of Yorkville – Penny Lemberger of Palmetto Rose Mercantile
We had such an in depth visit, it would take me forever to write word for word our conversation and all the rabbit trails we took in our time together. So instead, I want to highlight the many, many offerings at Palmetto Rose Mercantile, and then I’ll share a tidbit from our interview.
They offer Brunch every day! So you’re out running errands, stopping by the courthouse to drop off a motion, coming downtown to pay your taxes – well, stop in for a mid morning treat, coffee, or even a breakfast!
Palmetto Rose has started offering a Dinner on the Go option for busy families. Simply call in one day in advance and order a family size meal. Then pick it up on your way home.
Their lunches are healthy and delicious! Perfect place for a gourmet sandwich and meet up with a business associate or a friend.
They offer tea parties for ladies’ groups and for birthday parties. She has full settings, and a wonderful room for the perfect gathering!
Saturdays at the Mercantile – Starting March 3rd, Penny is opening her lawn for people to host yard sales, craft booths, etc. It’s free to set up a booth, just make sure to call Penny for details! What a fabulous way to start off a leisurely weekend.
Me: Development, so tell me…I thought you were selling off your rentals and now…so what’s going on?
PL: A partner and I, a long, long time friend, we own thirty eight acres along Lincoln Road. I’m a tiny little partner in that. We bought it about ten years ago right before everything fell apart, well now we were thinking about selling it. But then we realized there’s such a housing shortage, we’ve thought about developing it ourselves. Timing is better; the market’s better. We resurrected our plan from ten years ago, and we’ve talked with the city, and we talked with engineers.
Before this (running Palmetto Rose), I renovated houses one at a time, and I really like doing that. But when the market straightened itself out, there were no more fixer uppers left, and this property became available. So I started Palmetto Rose Mercantile, and now I’m selling the building and the business. Everything in here is negotiable. It could also be for lease if someone wanted to run their own cafe. I’m selling/ leasing it so that I can go focus on new projects I want to do.
Me: So if you had someone take over Palmetto Rose, you’d go focus on the Lincoln Road development?
PL: Well, that, and maybe something else as well. … I’d love a rehab, or maybe a lot I can build a small house on.
Me: How long have you been in York?
PL: 1999. I was living in California, and I met my husband out there. He was originally from Wisconsin, but he had lived in Columbia in the 80’s. He was only in California because of his job. So when we decided to move back east, because I grew up in TN and FL, we said he wanted to go near Columbia, but he felt that Charlotte may have better job opportunities.
I flew in, was here for three days, I’d never been here before, and the real estate agent lined up houses for me all over York County. The house I chose was in York, so I chose York because of the house. My husband hadn’t even been here, didn’t see the house until we moved here, we packed up everything and we drove cross country. We figured if we didn’t like it, we’d sell it and just go somewhere else. That was 20 years ago, and he loves living there.
Me: Well, you can’t leave York. At this point you’re a part of the community.
PL: Yeah! Well, we adopted a child, our only child, when we were in California. She was in the Marines, and she and my granddaughter moved back this past summer. Well, my mother was ill, and she ended up caring for my mother. So we went from empty nesters to having four generations under one roof. That was an adjustment! Now my daughter is figuring out what they’d like to do next, and I went from retired to being here a lot of the time. (Lots of life changes and transitions for the whole family!)
We spoke about family and retirement…….
But right now, I don’t want to go anywhere. I want my granddaughter to know she’s got a safe landing wherever she goes. I wouldn’t mind retiring though. I just don’t want to be married to something.
Penny starts talking about design on a renovation project she did on my street.
I miss the renovations because I love the design; figuring out how to re-configure rooms. It was a two bedroom one bath, and it was kind of weird. There were two living rooms and two front doors. So we took out one of the front doors and we turned that room into a bedroom. Then we added a half bath. So then we ended up with a two bedroom with an office and one and a half baths. That was fun! We put on the wall going into the kitchen a pallet wall, an accent wall. And then we put a fancy, bedazzled chandelier in that room, so it was the contrast of the pallet and the fancy.
Me: And you put hardiplank on that house too.
PL: On part of it. We tore off a porch, so when changed the front, we had to put the plank up.
We went on like this for a bit, and it was a lovely afternoon spent. Please go visit Penny at Palmetto Rose:
Cagney Larkin – No, Paul Finnican is the owner, who purchased it in 2003 and revitalized it to such as you see today. I am the house manager, along with my partner Tyler. We run all the daily operations, book all the events, schedule all the films.
Me: Did you grow up here?
CL: I’ve been in York for 26 years now. Born and raised.
Me: Changes in York?
CL: I noticed recently an up and coming downtown, lots of new local businesses sprouting up, all the local businesses supporting each other, a real sense of community. I think we’ve had four new businesses in the last year and some more are coming this year.
Me: How long have you been with the Sylvia?
CL: My partner Tyler was actually playing music on the street last July, and the person that was here at the time offered him a job selling tickets. So Tyler started selling tickets, and brought me in. I’m a film student in Charlotte, and he originally brought me in to film concerts, and from there we ended up taking over running the theater. He was playing in front of the Jasmine Cafe, and he was asked to play at the farmer’s market, and from there he was found.
We continue our conversation about Cagney and Tyler’s vision for the Sylvia…
CL: We are trying to become a central part of York, we’re in a perfect location, we’ve got great restaurants right beside us, Jasmine Cafe has just opened up, there’s lots of businesses within walking distance, and we’re trying to revolutionize it and give people something to do every night of the week.
Me: Do you have a favorite moment?
CL: My favorite moment is honestly every day getting to experience this place as an historic landmark. It’s not everyday you get to work in a place with as much character as this place. It’s been modernized in some ways, but we’ve kept the vintage feel.
He explains that while some may worry historic building are like china shops, the Sylvia is a place you can come and your kids can run around and you can host parties.
Me: What’s the movie schedule?
CL: Thursday through Sunday – two shows on Saturday
Every Wednesday we’re hosting a theater open house. We’re throwing open the doors for free, and each month will have a theme. February’s theme is romance. (I hear through the grapevine Valentine’s Day will be Roxanne, but we’ll call that a rumor….) Each month will feature a different theme or genre and we’ll have the full bar open. (Happy hour, people! Go to the Sylvia!) There is definitely going to be something going on the screen, but no word as to exactly what. Free admission; We want to give people a low pressure way to get out in their community without feeling the need to spend money. What better way than to open our business and offer something for free?
Oh, and we’ll never show anything over PG-13, so we’ll be kid friendly and families are welcome.
Doors open at 7pm, and I’ll start something when people seem ready. And we may eventually implement an open mic night and karaoke to add to the evening.
Me: How about if someone wanted to rent out the facility?
CL: Birthdays – less than fifty people is $200, come in and all watch a film, do your cake and presents. If you have over 50 people, the price goes up in tiers.
Events – $475, and you can sell tickets to offset the cost
After our interview, Cagney invited me to come back to visit the following evening so that I could experience their upcoming Elvis Impersonator. Umm, yes, sirree I certainly did! Absolutely worth it and so, so much fun! I secretly thought that I might end up the youngest member of the audience, and while Elvis does bring out the more mature ladies of our community, I witnessed people of all ages joining in with the excitement of such an entertaining live performance. And guess what? There were TWO Elvises so that his early works and his later works could be more realistically portrayed. What a show! I certainly will make plans to go back, and I highly recommend you give the Sylvia a visit yourself!
CK: Two years. (The business has been opened two years, and Chantha has been in York two years.)
Chantha continues… We’re from California. We came here to be with family…. My niece is not from California. My niece is from here.
PH: What is one of the differences between living in California and living in York?
CK: Here is kind of different. California is more noisy, a lot of people, it’s busy. And here it’s just, it’s not really…. It’s more quiet here, and I like it because there’s no traffic, and I go everywhere, I don’t have to get online. And I come for the people, so.. (she prefers York!)
Everything here is cheaper. California is so expensive. (Customer jumps in to agree. She had moved here from Maine!)
PH: Tell me about the shop. Who makes the donuts?
CK: The baker, My husband. My husband makes the donuts.
PH: Someone told me he gets up at 3am and comes in to make the donuts. Is that true?
CK: Oh My. He almost spends the whole night here. He comes to prepare because it’s a small business and he makes them from scratch. He works nighttime, and I come in the morning.
PH: You’re famous for your donuts. I remember when you first came, we were all so excited for a DONUT SHOP!! What’s your favorite donut?
CK: I like the Apple Fritters. (She smiles. Y’all, the apple fritters are everybody’s favorite. They’re ridiculously delicious.)
PH: And what’s your favorite lunch item?
CK: We have American food. We have the paninis. And hamburgers and hotdogs. And we have the Chinese food. My favorite is the panini. Any of them.
I must say, after the interview, I took a bit of lunch home to try out the paninis. Between the roast beef panini and the grilled cheese and bacon panini, my family couldn’t complain. In fact we are quickly becoming regulars!