Like my life recently, this is a bifurcated post. It has forked, diverged, split, branched, split, zig-zagged and divaricated. First a visual reminder:
Notice anything on this Index in the Year 2022? Nope, me neither.
I went back through my blog, which is a record of sorts, seeing what the heck I’ve been doing. Or not doing.
I have been doing pillow covers, which in a way, are small quilts, so I guess I could add them to the list, but if feels like cheating although January’s (the blue/white one) was more fidgety than some quilts I’ve made.
I chose this remedy: a list. Long ago in a lifetime far away I used to hang with the Finish-A-Long crowd, writing up quarterly lists, etc. Once I got into the habit of finishing, I bowed out. But since the pandemic seems to have scrambled our brains, I thought it was a method of organization worth dredging up again. One of my rules is to hand-draw the chart. At first I could only come up with one, but no worries, everything soon piled on.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I’m more of a bystander, sometimes torn between two good things, or tasks, or the energy just gave out, or I just want to doom scroll on the phone. We’ve all done a lot of that, but with this break in the pandemic, I was hoping to feel a bit free, hoping to feel like my old self again — with enthusiasm in working my craft.
So I made the list.
Yet, I have been busy.
Started here. 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 29. Saw the sunrise after climbing through the Cajon Pass.
We stopped in Arizona, picked up Barbara, stopping for lunch at Viva Chicken in St. George, UT. We arrive in Salt Lake City near 8 p.m. after stopping at Shake Shack for a burger (worth it). My sister Cynthia greeted us and helped us into the place where we were staying. So glad to see her!
Wednesday, March 30. Pre-Op 7:30 a.m. and first time to meet the surgeon. Definitely a Very Nice Surgeon. Then up to JeniBee craft market, where I could have purchased too many things, but so fun to be doing “normal” craft market shopping. With people. I did buy some Ukranian wooden eggs, which took up residence beside Elenor Easterly:
And this little sign, plus a few other treats. Yes, indeed: Live Simply & Bloom Wildly.
Lunch with my sisters, first time we’ve been together in over three years, and our shoes always define us, to some extent.
Dinner that night with my sisters and more family.
Barbara and Barbara. My beautiful daughter is named for my beautiful soon-to-be-94 mother.
Thursday. Report for surgery at 6:15 a.m. My husband remarked that this was not a trip of restful mornings. Barbara (daughter) had been having pain in her hip for some time, and the surgery was to take care of it, but she was to be on crutches for a good 2-3 weeks. We were home by 10:30 a.m. and afternoon was a blur of bad pain meds, runs to pharmacy, finding food that will stay down, ice packs and then, “Can we go home tomorrow?” An okay from her doctor and we changed plans yet again.
Originally we were to be up there one week. No, two weeks. Really maybe only 4 or 5 days. I packed enough craft projects for two weeks, but in the end, they never left the car.
Friday, April 1. Up too early, but we were out the door fairly efficiently, having done most of the packing up the night before. We had to stop every two hours to give her a chance to crutch around a bit, and just as we rounded the corner to her home in Arizona, I feel something like a sigh come from Barbara. Then my husband said something like “We’ll be heading off here pretty quickly.” I thought we were staying for a couple of days, but as I said to him earlier in the week, I’ve figured out to make plans that can be changed. We did.
Friday, dusk. We and billions of trucks head to the Cajon Pass, driving through the Mojave Desert. Last time we drove through here we saw Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites, a subway train of lights in the sky. Not tonight.
We slept for the next three days. Sort of kidding. Barbara is making her way through post-op. She will recover.
This photo of Barbara & Barbara was taken five years ago, before my mother lost her eyesight. Glad to have a new one.
And next Sunday — Easter Sunday — Part Four of Heart’s Garden will drop, and we’ll plant our garden.
And then there’s this.
Since we were taking Barbara to Utah for surgery, and we were supposed to stay at my sister Susan’s home for several days afterwards, I looked at her change of address card, and decided to make her a little housewarming gift using those motifs.
I drew up the basic idea in my Affinity Designer software, using brushes from Artifex Forge to make the trees. I copied, mirrored them on either side of the house, changing the colors slightly.
I backed a homespun-looking piece of cloth with freezer paper, and ran it through the printer. (I use EPSON printers because I like their inks.) I use the same technique in making quilt labels.
I fused on the house (she has grey rock in the front of hers), the roof, chimney and front door.
Susan mentioned that her landscaper was going to put in a perennial garden out front. She has a sliver of a front planting bed, but I wanted to add that, too.
I sketched in the dimension with pencil, then marked evenly around the outer upper edges. Using masking tape as a guide, I hand quilted rays of sunshine emanating from her new house, hopefully wishing her happiness.
I trimmed it, bound it in some of my current favorite fabric, and sewed on a hand-written label.
Happy New House, Susan.
While the original plan was to stay with Susan, our daughter Barbara took one look at the stairs up to the guest bedroom and worried about getting up all those stairs on her crutches. So that’s why we headed home early.
We’ve seen many pictures of refugees lately, people leaving their homes to escape conflict, destruction, fleeing for safety, for their future. I feel incredibly sad for these people. Our church congregation works with some of the Afghan refugees here; this past week my husband drove them to a dentist’s appointment, and helped assemble bunkbeds for children (he’s a saint). There is so much to do when they come to a new home: find a place to live, find furniture, household goods, acquaint them with our community, help them. I have forgotten what it’s like to start again, in a new place. But my hope is that one day, when all the displaced walk through their new front doors, they too will say: Home Again.