The Supply List

My friend Kyle and I are going to a sewing class in Colorado this week for five days to learn to make a Crazy Quilt. It is a highly embellished type of quilt developed in the Victorian Era, when women had the time and the means to make quilts that had no practical purpose.

The quilts are made with many types of fancy fabrics that only the wealthy could afford at the time, and then are embroidered with all sorts of threads, beads, laces and ribbons. Again, only the well-to-do women would have had such resources.

Now, of course, we all have access to such “luxuries” as fine fabrics and embellishments. Kyle and I are proof of that!

For the five day seminar, we each received a one page supply list. Yes, it completely filled the entire 8 1/2″ long page of paper!

It begins with a sewing machine and ends with a color wheel (optional). In between are 26 listed items needed for this class. I’m not kidding!

Number three item was 20 fancy fabrics. Well, I chose pastel colors, which is completely out of my normal wheelhouse. Finding 20 pastel fabrics in my stash was pretty much impossible, let alone fancy fabrics.

So off to the fabric stores I went. This one item took me days to fill, and I ended up with about 40 fancy fabrics – because I want options when I have to make my final choices.

Number six on the list is ribbons. Again, this took days and I ended up bringing pretty much all the stash of ribbons I own. Options, options, options!

Number eight is lace, doilies, fancy handkerchiefs. What?!! I need to go get more containers for all my stuff!!! And containers for my containers!!!

By number nine and ten, we’re adding braids, trims, buttons, doodads, crystals, beads and pearls. Wait just a minute!!! All my containers are full and my containers have containers!!!

Did I mention there are 28 items on this supply list and we are not even halfway through it?!! Granted some of the remaining items are small, like needles and thread. But still, this supply list is enormous!!

I have packed my many fabrics, beads, ribbons, laces, handkerchiefs and trims quite nicely in special tubs and totes. I have all my sewing notions with my sewing machine and have added my apron and paint brushes for my anticipated lace dying class.

In fact, I have everything on my supply list except one, which is listed as “optional.” The instructor will demonstrate the use of the special needles and I have chosen to wait and see if I want to use them or not.

So, I am ready for my class. I have everything the supply list says I need and then some.

In fact, there are bare spots on my sewing room shelves, drawers are empty and my sewing machine is out of place. I look around and see all my lace cones are missing and most of the thread spools are gone. Can it be true?!!

I have packed 3/4 of my sewing room!!!

Why didn’t the supply list just say that in the first place?!!!!!

Am I Worthy?

Did you know that Memorial Day is for the remembrance of those who have lost their lives in service to the country? Those who have given all, so to speak. Veteran’s Day is for all who have served and Armed Forces Day is for all who are currently serving.

I know! I just recently learned the differences myself. It really caused me to pause and ponder the intensity of this day. (I almost can’t call it a holiday.)

I’m sure we all have someone in our family history that sacrificed their life in a conflict or war. We can all relate to that loss in some way.

Why would a person do that? Sacrifice their life? For country? Maybe. For the service? Doubtful. For duty? No. I believe people are willing to throw themselves into harm’s way for love. For love of family, freedom, the person standing next to them and God.

I think love is the strongest emotion there is and can make a person act in amazing ways, even overcome their basic will to live. It can give us superhero strength, kittenlike gentleness, rocket speed, rubber band agility, a giving heart and the ability to sacrifice, up to and including one’s life.

And so we wish those lives were not sacrificed in vain, that nothing comes of their ultimate gift. What does that love gift of theirs then require of us now? Is our only debt to them to remember a day? Have a BBQ? Go to the lake? Get a tan?

I ask myself – am I worthy of their sacrifice? What would my ancestors ask of me? What is the price of their gift?

I think all our sacrificial kin expect and hope is for us to live our best lives, every day. We need to practice and live out the freedoms they ensured. We need to be active positive citizens in a country they helped keep open. We need to be good models and mentors of the love they died for.

In answer to my own question – am I worthy? My answer is “no, I am never worthy enough. I can always do better, be better. They gave their lives-their all-the ultimate. Of course, I’m not worthy” and yet my answer is also “yes, I’m worthy. I’m the heir of my lost one’s gift. The reason for his sacrifice. I must use the gift to the best of my ability. The world and I will be better for it.”

We must be worthy to the task of carrying on the gift of sacrificial love and passing it on generation to generation.

Everyday, not just Memorial Day!!!!

One Boot, Two Boots

Three months ago, I started having pain in my left foot. It did not go away but instead got worse. After a visit to the doctor and an MRI, I found I had a stress fracture in my left metatarsal.

I wish I could tell you it was a sports injury, but alas, I simply stepped out of my car and wham! Stress fracture!

Ah, one of those joys of elderliness – fragile bones. On went the big black boot to keep my left foot from bending when I walked and keep my weight off the tiny bone that was partially fractured.

The boot solved the pain issue but brought some problems with it – like, it was heavy and hot and big and very black. And a little itchy, which meant I had to wear a sock with it – which made it, you guessed it, even hotter!

I was lucky though, that it was my left foot. Because I could still drive and more importantly, still sew with my right foot. I had to wear the boot for six weeks for “every step” I took, according to the doctor. ( Like that is even possible!)

And if I couldn’t use my sewing machine for six weeks, I believe I would have . . . . . well, I can’t even imagine that!!! That would be beyond anything I could wrap my brain around!!!!!! It just better not happen, that’s all!

So lucky me! But really, six weeks dragging that big ball and chain around was pretty grim. Can’t tell you how happy I was when I could finally take it off for the last time.

But at first, I was a little timid to put any weight on my foot. I favored that foot for quite awhile.

It’s been six weeks since the boot came off and it is so nice. My left foot aches a little in the evening if I have used it a lot during the day. But I am healed!

Okay, so a week ago, guess who starts complaining about pain in his left foot? Yup, Gramps!

He went to the doctor, got X-rays and sure enough – he has an inflamed tendon in his left foot. The treatment?

A big black boot for six weeks!!!!!

Of course, mine is too small for him. He was “hangin five” as they say in surfing parlance. He ordered his own on Amazon, got delivery in two days and is currently sufficiently wrapped and strapped.

No more pain, but hot and heavy. His foot is stinky from sweating in his sock because it is now summer temperatures here in Texas.

When asked by everyone we know, why he now has a boot just like mine, his answer is “I was having such sympathy pains for her!”

Isn’t he a sweet Gramps?!!!

If I Won The Lottery

The other day, my 16 year old grandson Mac and I were daydreaming together about what we would each do if we happened to win our local lottery. I don’t even know how much money it is but we were assuming at least $20 million would be coming our way, after taxes, etc.

(I mean, if you are daydreaming, you can make up any number want, right? So, $20 million it was!)

Okay, so we were in dreamland, completely. I say that because I am NEVER going to win the lottery! I know that because I NEVER buy lottery tickets!!

Mac already had plans for his money. He had a long list of parts he wanted to get for his computer. And he is a new driver, so a flashy car would be at the top of his list. Maybe an apartment too, when he turns 18 of course.

But in the long run, he had a little trouble spending all his money. Even after taking all his friends out to dinner numerous times and going to every movie he could think of.

It is actually hard to buy enough things to spend $20 million, he discovered. Who knew?!!!

Now my list was completely different. (And here we discover the difference between a person at the beginning of their life and a person at the end of their life) I wasn’t so much interested in getting “things”. I find they don’t last very long or they lose their charm after time.

I was interested in experiences. I decided I would take all the grandchildren on trips, to places they had never been. I wanted them to see new views, taste new foods, hear new languages, experience new cultures and realize that people all over the world are different in many ways and yet the same in basic ways.

Things are forgotten. Experiences are lifetime treasures. They can change us forever and provide us with wisdom and profound understanding.

Things can become boring and broken. Experiences can be indescribable and remain intact in our memories for a lifetime.

Things can be replaced easily. Experiences are irreplaceable. They are gifts of time, energy and love.

Next I decided I would give each child a gift of education unique to that child. One child would go to art school. One child would go a computer school. One child I know, wants to get a Real Estate license, etc.

I hope they each appreciate this gift because anything you learn, you have in your head. No one can take that from you. You don’t have to rely on anyone else. You own that knowledge forever! It’s yours!

Education is a gift like nothing else. I would spend whatever it takes to get all my grandchildren educated and independent. What would that cost?

But how happy would I be? To have six well educated, well travelled, maybe multilingual, tolerant, active grandchildren with possibly multi-ethnic friends and acquaintences, who wouldn’t be happy?!!!

And it would only cost $20 million!!!!!!