Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Setting Off

I almost did it at the close of December 2013. Five years seemed an opportune time to stop, an appropriate anniversary to draw to a close this ongoing narrative.  I began writing in this space as a teacher and one who needed a place to step out of her classroom for musing about other aspects of life and identity.  I began this space to catalogue my knitting, to consider what I created in my kitchen, and to ponder life and family a bit.  So for a nickel of years, I did that, and it has served well my hopes of providing time for reflection and a place to preserve some family stories.

One of my professors once said he believed that each teacher has a few intrinsic themes guiding her life, and she fundamentally teaches from those themes.  I found truth in that, not only in my teaching life but in my overall life as well.  In this blog, I have written on and around the themes coursing through me.  The stories captured here pretty well represent the flow and flavor of my life and my days. I am content with their tales.

This past spring at my daughter's art show opening, someone asked her how she knew when a painting was done.  "That is a good question," she responded and then proceeded to describe how she comes to that point when she just knows it is finished.  For almost a month, I have not settled into this space to add anything....that itself is telling.

I still knit, I still sew, I still putter in my kitchen, I still walk about and notice and think about the bigger story and what it all means, but the urges that drew me here have shifted, and this volume has reached its conclusion.  New stories whisper to be written as new paths unfold to be explored, but for reasons not entirely clear, this shall no longer be the canvas I use; this painting is finally finished.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Few things seem more like summer than licking dripping popsicles.  Rosie sure seems to enjoy this one!  I cannot believe it is July 1 already, and summer is truly in full swing.  The temperature is hovering in the 80's now, weather reports describe the daily dew point, and most green things have budded and now bloom,  My freezer is filling with frozen strawberries and blueberries, and some of the empty jars on my caning shelf now contain jams.  This morning, I go off in search of the elusive sour cherry to make a few batches of yummy cherry pie filling.  My body feels more toned and tanned, the effect of outside work and play.  Nice.  All of it.

We had some family visit last week-Lissa and Lydia and Rob and Rosie.  Lydia and Rosie became fast and good buddies--second cousins becoming friends.

This week, Jim and I prepare for our family beach week, a yearly tradition begun over three decades ago.  I've been playing with a family quilt to share with the Campbell clan. I am pleased how it is coming together.

The blocks were fashioned from pants and shirts donated by several members of the family.  I continued the emerging color scheme with stash scraps and backed it with a piece of striped duck purchased two weeks ago at a fabric sale organized by a friend for the benefit of the Salvation Army in York.  The quilt was entirely pieced and made with old clothes and scraps cut into strings, except for the backing fabric which cost me a buck.  My grandmother and great-grandmother would be so proud of me making a quilt in such an old timey way.

I savor this change of seasons, the changing light and palette, the temperature fluctuations, the pace of vacation, and the presence of family.  Happy summer, y'all!