About a half a million years ago, I use to spend Saturday mornings at Georgetown Prep...the elite Maryland school filling the headlines these days. An old beau was the Assistant Headmaster/English teacher/Swim Coach. Swim meets were held on Saturdays, and I was often enlisted to time swimmers in their individual lanes. I spent many hours at this school...sports events, social events with the faculty...a visit to my old beau's office. It is a beautiful school.
One of my memories centered around a swim meet. I was sitting in the bleachers, after the meet, waiting for my old beau to finish up with his team in the locker room. Back then I would have been around twenty two...and could have been mistaken for sixteen. On that Saturday morning, I was, indeed, mistaken for a "student". An affable young fellow...a student...approached me and sat down for a chat. He was well into the top ten on his list of openers when he spied the Assistant Headmaster/Disciplinarian coming our way. He put two and two together and by the time Mr. Headmaster was taking my hand to help me down the bleachers...well...he was babbling about having to be somewhere and making a hasty exit. Imagine...caught in the act of making a move on the Headmaster's girl...by the Headmaster himself. Pretty benign goings on compared to what we are hearing these days.
I write this on this last day of summer. Perhaps a metaphor is in order. Every day an old memory is laid waste by ugliness. Places and institutions that I grew up with have become vestiges of their former selves. The ruins have left me reeling. Summer is, indeed, over.
Because I am home with Annie, I spend a lot of time watching news unfold in real time. Natural disasters, shootings, political vitriol...I'm there. And I'm tired of it. The ugliness that has seeped to the surface in America has become too much for me. But, as a citizen, I am obligated to be informed. I can't just stick my head in the sand and pretend all is well.
I always knew that there was a seedy underbelly in this great country of ours. When I was a teenager, on a family trip south to Florida, I saw a billboard that denounced "Negroes, Catholics and Jews" sponsored by the local KKK. It terrified me. I have seen, with my own eyes, a burning cross surrounded by men/women wearing white hooded robes. That was in the 1970's, in a field not ten miles from this very house... a field that is now a strip mall with no knowledge of it's sordid past.
The ugly that once lay beneath the surface is now, in some cases, brought out into the sunlight to be nurtured and encouraged. In some cases exposure is welcome. In some cases it shouldn't be. It should be used for good to dismantle backward thinking and push us toward enlightenment. Exposure is a double edged sword.
I don't know what has provoked me to write this today. They are just my thoughts as they pop into my head. Not meant to scorn or admonish. Mostly just looking for something to hang on to as those with power lay waste to the rules I grew up with not so long ago.
I feel adrift these days. I'm a worrier. I see a lot of good out there that is often overshadowed by the not so good. When I was growing up, a lie was a lie. What is it today?
I plan on doing something fun this weekend to get me out of this funk! A walk in the woods is in order. And maybe a sunset.
Enjoy the day,
P.S. I often recall that horrendous billboard I saw as a teen...especially when I am in the company of two of my dearest friends. We are the personification of all that that hateful sign was against...an African American, a Jew and a Catholic...good friends. As for those that hold any sort of affinity for the ignorant sentiment expressed in those four foot letters...you lose.
Hello, friends. How fast the time is moving along. Summer is slipping into autumn and the holidays are not far behind.
This handsome owl is what is known as Mennonite Ledger Folk Art. Old ledger pages were used as paper for primitive, naive paintings. Resourceful folks, the Mennonites used what was available...in this case re-used.
They have become a sought after type of folk art. I have found mine, here and there, luckily, at reasonable prices.
I have collected these wonderful works for a while. Because I have several, and framing costs are rather pricey, I have chosen to frame them myself. I am getting it done...slowly.
I am in the process...also slowly...of undergoing a change to our decor. In other words, I am cleaning out! I am so over a lot of things I once loved in pursuit of a cleaner look.
These ledger works will replace some things I am letting go.
More on this later.
Annie and I have put other projects on the back burner while we work on our Nature Journal.
We have collected specimens from local woods, as well as on our trips. We have pressed them in the flower press and are now putting them into a journal.
We are trying to identify and learn names...but mostly we just have fun! We identify where they are from as a means of remembering our adventures. It's a great time of year to collect plants for the press.
I've been lax with my needle. Not much stitching going on...need to get back to it. Right now I'm reading a book that just came out..it's a doozy.
Thinking of all those in the path of Florence. Stay safe...
Of course, her favorite flowers are always a part of the celebration.
And balloons...always a few balloons!
Happy Birthday, precious girl! We love you more everyday and are so happy you belong to us...Mommy & Daddy!
We started the party early with a reunion with our "besties". Met them for lunch in Ft. Lauderdale on our way to a board meeting in Hollywood...Hollywood, Florida. The guys were there too, but we wanted a pic of just the girls. I miss these two so much...and Annie adores both of them. Great fun!
Spent some time with our great-nephew while we were in Hollywood. I remember when his father looked just like this! Annie had a ball playing with William at the beach during the Battle of the Boards. (Young Lawyers Board vs. Board of Governors)
I have no idea who won or even what they were doing. That's the current president of the Bar...the lady on the pink flamingo. My husband, the Parliamentarian of the Bar, in the long sleeve grey shirt, looks as if he's thinking "out of order". Everybody had fun!
Thank you for all the kind comments many of you left on my last post. I have to admit, it took a long time before I felt like myself again. Four weeks to be exact...this past Friday...just seven days ago...was the first day I felt good. This last trip was hard for me, but I pushed through and was happy I did. Seeing all our friends...our Bar family is always good for the soul. And, I would never have missed lunch with my two dear friends. Or having our little William smile at me as I handed him a giant cookie. Good medicine!
I have come to the conclusion that celery was the cause of my bout with food poisoning. I eat a lot of celery...use to, that is. I'd munch on it all day. No more. It is hard to know what to eat these days. Seems like there is an awful lot of food borne illnesses out there...always on the news. These days I eat little bits rather than large quantities of anything. Don't ever want to go through that again!
Thanks for your good thoughts and concern...it made me feel better.
Last Saturday morning, I awoke at around four a.m. thinking for sure I was leaving this world. My head was spinning so violently I could not walk. Thankfully, I have a very strong husband...and a very level headed one, too. He recognized that I had severe food poisoning and took control. Can you say
For the next forty eight hours my husband carried me back and forth to the loo...chopped ice...located the paper straws I have stashed for just this sort of thing...put cool cloths on my head...and, most importantly, became Mr. Mom. Mercifully, it was the weekend and not a work day.
As time went by, I knew I was over the worst of it, but was so weak I could not move. I lay in bed listening to the goings on in the rest of the house...unable to get up. I remember thinking that if I did not feel so terrible it was kind of like a vacation.
Annie took over ice supply and slowly Mommy came back among the living. She was scared and concerned, my girl. She loves to give comfort...but she prefers me conscious...and able to answer her rapid fire questions.
Monday morning we tried to get back to normal. Mr. MW went to work. Annie slept in late. I surveyed the damage. It was not too bad. I could not have cared less what the kitchen or any other room looked like at that point. Actually, they did very well keeping things in order...kind of. I was thankful to be upright...albeit, wobbly.
When Annie did make an appearance she informed me, "It was a hell weekend.". I can't say I disagree.
I've spent the entire week on the "cozy couch", doing nothing but drinking ginger ale and eating oyster crackers. Things got done...and we all survived.
Not one thread was pulled through cloth. But I did laugh a lot. I binge-watched Grace and Frankie on Netflix. It is the best written and funniest thing I have seen in a long, long time. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are spectacular. The humor sophisticated and sharp. It knocks it out of the park! I am so glad I found it and could sit and watch episodes back to back, as I recuperated, without feeling guilty.
Before the wheels came off, we went to Orlando to see all our friends.
The new Florida Bar president is one of Annie's gal pals. She got her law degree from the Washington School of Law which is part of American University in D.C.. Law schools hold receptions at the convention...it's good for their foundations. I had fun attending as American University is my alma mater. We'll be going to D.C. in the spring with the board...can't wait!
Her favorite cousin! Our nephew wears a rainbow ribbon to honor his friend killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting on the second anniversary of that horrific event.
Her favorite dance partner at the big party Friday night.
Still working on Sparrow...missed out on a lot of stitching time this week, but finding Grace and Frankie made up for it.
Annie and I are working on a scrapbook all about the Founding Fathers...and mothers, too. Hope to get back here soon with photos. This is our busy traveling time so we are a little lax when it comes to posting.
This kid loves learning new things...and this old teacher loves teaching her. We have been fortunate to visit so many historical sites and will be including them in our book. Annie is so excited about this adventure! We'll be back to share more soon.
Still working on this huge sampler. This top section measures thirty inches across.
His Eye is on the Sparrow from Beth Twist.
Four pages of pattern down with eight more to go. I'm still enjoying this ambitious project. Still going slowly, but trying to stitch a bit every day. I took it to Key West a couple of weeks ago and was able to stitch in the car.
Hope you are enjoying your days leading up to summer. After last year, I am dreading the hurricane season, but keeping fingers crossed it will be an off year for us.