If you are raising a daughter, are involved in any way in raising a girl, or have a girl in your life, you need to carefully listen to this powerful message. I happen to agree with everything she says.
Today marks a significant anniversary of a major milestone in my personal life. It was on this day, August 27th, exactly 20 years that I got into my Ford T-Bird, drugged Miss Boots to keep her somewhat calm for the long drive ahead, and left my home in Florida for the last time, headed to God-only-knows-what in the great North Star state of Minnesota. I had a lot of “You must be crazy – it doesn’t work that way, people move from Minnesota TO Florida, not the other way around” type of comments, but my heart and intuition told me there was something here for me that beckoned me to follow and I was compelled to listen to that prompting. I think you could say I found my destiny when I moved to Minnesota, considering all of the phenomenal and quotidian things that are now part of my everyday life, chief among which are my husband and my daughter, my fantastic MIL, FIL and SIL that I love more than I can put into words, and the whole Hall/Faber clan. But so much more was waiting for me too – the restoration of my soul and healing of an existential pain I could not name or voice, a fulfilling career at a wonderful company where I still work, new friends who have been tried and remain true, a society with a live-and-let-live attitude that is still refreshing to me 20 years later, my great passion for quilting that channeled creative energy in a much needed and useful way, finding my birth mother Barbara, discovering the brother and sister I always wished for as a child – the list just goes on and on. And I have come to feel, for many years now, that Minnesota is my true home. This state still inspires me on a daily basis with its natural beauty and majestic scenery. I feel so fortunate to live here. My heart felt like it was breaking when I drove away 20 years ago, because I was leaving my very best friend in the entire world, Nancy, behind in West Palm Beach and I cried for many months with an aching longing to be with her, but she is even more dear to me now than she was then. And especially Neil, who hopped in the U-Haul and drove with me for four days until we crossed the border into Minnesota, a generosity and kindness that earned my everlasting gratitude. I couldn’t have made it here, I don’t think, without the extreme kindness and love that the Christenson family poured out to me when I arrived. They took me in and helped me learn my way around and discover the best of what Minnesota had to offer and for all of them they will never know how much gratitude my heart holds for their presence and their warmth. To quote a favorite scripture “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you”.
Now, if only I could figure out how to convince everyone I love to move here too.
Another yellow brick road pattern – I’ve made so many of these in different colors and styles, and love every one of them. The fabric at the far left of the picture is the wonderful batik that will be the border.
Oh, Mr. Greist, where have you been my entire sewing life? Though branded to go with my vintage Viking 6020 machine, this is really just a Greist buttonhole attachment I found on e-Bay for $15 – best sewing money I have ever spent! It makes absolutely and perfectly consistent buttonholes with one of 13 cams. And you can adjust bead size and gap spread to your heart’s content – an amazing piece of antique sewing technology!!!
The machine embroidered bookmarks I made for Juliette’s kindergarten class. They are a surprise gift, made in each student’s favorite color, that I will give them as the year’s final Book Nook reader on Thursday. Time consuming, but so much fun to make, using lots of different decorative stitches on my Pfaff Performance 5.0 machine. They all say “I CAN READ” on them!
She was so excited when she woke up today and asked about her dress and I told her it was done. She insisted she wear it to school today. It is the Tiered Pillowcase dress tutorial from Polkaditchair.com.
Finally I found a table made for my vintage Viking sewing machine. They look fabulous in my sewing studio!
Well, I certainly seem to have been neglecting my blog recently, haven’t I? I guess I’ve gotten so used to Facebook, that’s pretty much the only place I visit regularly. But Google sent me a nasty-gram last night, telling me that my web site was not friendly to mobile devices and if I didn’t do something to change that, my site results would start moving lower and lower in their results and …. EGADS! … we can’t have that now, can we? So here is a new “responsive design” theme that works in browsers and on mobile devices too. So maybe I’ll kick myself in the rear and get to adding some blog posts soon. They take more effort than the quick posts on FB, but you can say and show a lot more too. I think I’ve also fixed the photo gallery which wasn’t working for some people at all, unless they used Chrome as their browser. It’s working for me now in all browsers, so hopefully it will work for you too!
So, it finally arrived. Juliette’s first day of school. After a flurry of scheduled activities to get her and us ready for today, she woke up this morning eager to get dressed and get going. And I have been fine through it all. Nary a tear and not even really feeling sad, primarily because she was SO happy and excited to start. It’s hard to feel sad for yourself when your kid is so full of joy over something. And I must say I held it together really well this morning, until the moment came in the Kids & Company room to hug her goodbye and let her get on with her day. It just came on like a ton of bricks, all of a sudden. It felt as though my heart jumped up into my throat, and I could barely breathe and I fought against my feeling until I got out the school door and could let go of the fight. I had to sit there a while in my car before I was in any condition to drive. And I’ve been thinking all morning, about how this represents such a major milestone for her, and for us, how this is the first of many little and big acts of letting go, where we continue to love her and care for her with all of our being, but have to ease up on that firm grip we’ve had until now. As Harald pointed out last night, from now on we will have her to ourselves only a few hours each day as teachers and peers become an increasingly important influence and part of her daily life. So there is part of me that is so sad to see those first five, precious years end. And yet, this is what we have wanted all along, to raise a child up to be part of the next generation, a contributing and vibrant member of society, and this is all part of that process. So it is a bittersweet day, tinged also with plenty of satisfaction and anticipation.
The oldest surviving stave church in Norway, the one in Borgund, near Lærdal, which is on the Sognefjord. To learn more about this fascinating building, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borgund_Stave_Church