Sunday, May 8, 2011

Heading Home

Hello Friends,

We are heading home to Texas.  We found two lovely homes in Arizona, but haven't made the final decision about either as we plan to look at a home in Granbury, Texas too.  One of the homes was so lovely!!  Everything we could want at a fair price.  It didn't hurt that the man of the home already had a wood working shop set up and the woman of the home had a quilting room and painters studio already set up.  It was eerie going into a home where the occupants were doing the same or similar hobbies as Rick and I are doing.  We thought it might be Kismet.  It is actually very south of Phoenix in Queen's Creek.  The home is located right on the golf course and Rick said he could take up golf again.  It has a pool, so we might even get some exercise in!!  Anyway, we are excited and will try to make a decision sometime next week.  We would have a lot to do if we finally make the move.  It's overwhelming to think about it, but...guess we will wait and see before I get too anxious.  :)

I am reading the book The Heretics Daughter by Kathleen Kent and enjoying it tremendously.  It really gives you a feel for the time period in Salem Village during the witchcraft trials.  Worth a look if you are interested in some history of that time period and of the witch craze.  I have always been fascinated by the events in Salem.  I was curious about how a few young girls could have so much power in a community that they were able to sway their elders to make the decisions that caused so many deaths.  I have read several historical books about this phonomenon and there are several interesting theories about how this came about.  From a purely historical standpoint, the book Delusions of Satan by Frances Hill is the most interesting book on the subject that I have read.  Next up on my reading list is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.

I have charted a new sampler and I am now beginning to stitch it.  If you go to my business blog, I will have a post on it later this week with a sneak peak of the original sampler.  It's done on 45 count with AVAS 100/3 silks.  However, you can do it on whatever count you wish.  I just wanted to make the reproduction as true to size as possible.  I am excited about this new one and hope to have it done for the Baltimore Needlework Market.

Enjoy your reading and stitching,


Monday, May 2, 2011

Life is Unpredictable

Just a couple of months ago, I was preparing for the Nashville Needlework Market and going crazy as usual.  Then my dad had a heart attack and everything changed.  If you read my business blog, you know that he died on February 28th after two weeks of trying to get better mostly for his daughters and a little for himself.  He tried hard, but it just wasn't meant to be.  Dad was in Arizona when all of this happened, so all five of his daughters ended up in Arizona just before he died in Hospice.  With all the hustle and bustle of getting things prepared for the memorial service and then back in Minnesota to sift though a life time of belongings; it seems like I haven't had time to properly sift though the memories of my life with my dad.  After the frentic activity that accompanied dad's death the ensuiing time has either been filled with the activity of catching up on  the things left undone or avoiding doing anything at all. 

Grieving is a process that shouldn't wait and yet it does wait until it can wait no more.  Remembering is a part of that process.  So, I have come back to Arizona for a brief time.  Rick and I are looking at homes out here as possible retirement possibilities.  It has been strange entering my dad's place here for the first time since all of the activity surrounding his death.  I missed having him there to greet Rick and I when we arrived.  My sisters have long since returned to their daily lives, so it is quiet here without them.

Although his physical presence is gone now, I still feel his spirit here where he loved to come in the winter to drive away the cold of Minnesota.  I often drove him from Minnesota to Arizona and on those trecks across country we sometimes talked and sometimes just watched the scenery pass by.  There were times when he would comment on the beauty of the countryside and then there were times he would want to play the game of seeing who could find the most white horses and chalk up the most points.   I will miss those trips with him...a daughter spending time with a father who has given so much of  himself to his family, friends and strangers over the 95 years of his life.

On the way out here, Rick and I stopped at the rest stop where dad and I always stopped.  It is a beautiful desert area with rocks piled precariously on top of one another as though ready to fall at any moment.  I remembered on one of those stops, dad saw a woman with a sign asking for help for her family and herself.  Dad didn't hesitate...he pulled out a twenty and gave it to her.  In this current age of busy people passing each other by without a thought or word, my dad stopped to make a difference in a stranger's life.  Most people would think...wait a minute...what if this woman was going to spend her money on drugs or booze or some other activity that wasn't really helpful to herself or her family.  Instead of wondering about this, dad just acted and trusted that the forces of the universe would help to provide what was needed in this woman's life.  Sure the money could have been spent unwisely, but it was the loving, generous attitude with which he gave the money that mattered in the larger picture of life. 

So, as I meet life today I hope that I can greet the unpredictable circumstances that surround me with an open, caring and generous spirit rather than acting out of fear or cynicism.  May you find the time to do what you need to do for your spirit today.

Till next time,