Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Meet my friend, Bonnie..........

When I began to contemplate packing up my studio in order to move, I decided that since I hadn't quilted in quite some time, I would gift most of my fabrics. I have a number of friends who sew, and one of the first who came to sort through my fabrics is a dear friend from my knitting group. She gravitated toward the Christmas fabrics. I remembered where I had purchased most of them (A quilting shop in VT probably close to 20 years ago).

Bonnie, like many crafters, has taught others, and been happy to learn from others. This is one of the many wonderful qualities of people who work with their hands. When we gather weekly, we share so many things - including knitting! Mostly however, we cheer, we laugh, we cry, we bolster each other in every possible way. I love them. 

Last night at knitting, after I had been settled in around our table, Bonnie walked in with a package rolled up under her arm. Known for her generous spirit, it was no surprise when others asked - who is that for? Bonnie started walking toward me with a smile on her face and said - Why, it's for Tracy!

I can hardly express my surprise, my delight, my--------I still don't know what to say. 

Bonnie had sewn me a quilt made from the fabrics that I had given her. 

I cried. She cried. I think that there were a few other misty eyes 'round the table. She talked to me about her reasons for making it - the year that has passed, her love of our friendship - well - so many wonderful, humbling things.

Just look at it! 

I know that for every Christmas from this point forward, my heart will sing when I see that quilt! I will think of Bonnie, and her generous spirit.

One of the knitters asked - how do you say "thank you" for something like this? I don't know - I really don't. I do know that Bonnie knows what is in my heart.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea." ~ Paul Tillich

I lamented all fall that it seemed that we would not make it to the Cape this year. I have been every year for decades, most of my life in fact, minus the Texas years and a few others. Given how tumultuous this year has been, it just didn't seem that getting to the Cape was in the cards. So, when Bruce suggested that we fit in a few days there while up north between holidays, you can bet that I jumped at the idea.

Our most recent house rental (of a few years), was sold last year, so returning there wasn't an option. Bruce found a lovely bed and breakfast in Orleans, and it worked out just perfectly - in fact, we have booked it for next October.

Our four days were filled with visiting old haunts, eating wonderful seafood, and scoping out some new spots. The only downsides of visiting in December are that a number of the shops and restaurants we might have normally gone to were closed for the season, and - it was really too cold to do the trail walking that we have come to enjoy so much. That didn't stop us from getting out and about though. I am so grateful that we could fit this visit in!

 These first few shots are of the marsh right out the front door of where we used to rent. I just had to go back for a visit.

I have often said that the light on the Cape has a special quality and that the artist, Edward Hopper, captured that light perfectly. Check out his Cape paintings and you will see what I mean. The shots below are of sand dunes near Provincetown. The low-hung winter sky certainly helps - but each scene was more beautiful than the last. I had to really weed my pictures out in order to bring them down to a reasonable number - kind of reasonable!

Heading into Provincetown. 

The Provincetown Christmas tree made from lobster traps.

Lovely scenes.

We spent some time trying desperately to catch shots of the whales near Truro. We'd see the blows, the back, the swirling water. Just trust me when I tell you that a whale is lurking beneath those floating birds!

Some parting shots.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups : candy; candy canes; candy corn and syrup." ~ Buddy the Elf

We are continuing our visit up north, and are still staying with my mother. A little over two years ago, my parents downsized from my childhood home to a two-bedroom apartment. While this meant a significant adjustment for them both, they agreed that it was a good move. Now that my dad is no longer here, it is clear that this apartment is just the right spot for my mother to be.

The building is not what I typically think of when I think of apartments. There is an interior atrium, for lack of a better word, and all of the apartments face inward toward it. This makes it very conducive to running into your neighbors coming and going, and for lingering in the halls for pleasant conversation. There are tenants of every age and you can hear the occasional cry of a baby, or the laughter of children. They are all caring and supportive of each other, and I know that when we are not here, my mom is surrounded by people who look out for her.

Directly below my mom is a family with two young boys. The "Elf on the Shelf" has been making regular visits and mischief since the first of the month, in and around their apartment and the atrium. It has been fun each day to see where he will end up. Everyone in the building has been enjoying his merry-making.

I miss having a little boy to share the holidays with, and the "Elf in the Shelf" was not popular when Alex was young. So - I am enjoying this vicariously while I can.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Knitters use knitting to value-add to the world." ~ Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

We are well settled into my mother's home for our "in-between the holidays" time. Doctor appointments; gathering with friends; trying to sort through our storage units! It is a bit different, not being in our own home for the holiday season. I am usually well into decorating and movie watching at this point. This has been a year of adjustments on many fronts, but all is well.

One constant - I always have a knitting project in the works. My most recent is the "Chinook Scarf". This is really a very easy knit, yet I have had to frog back several times. Why? Because I have worked on it in the car. This pattern has a very simple lace edge, but if you are not paying attention (which I tend to not do in the car) it is easy to mess up. So, I don't knit this particular project in the car anymore.

It will be lovely when it's done!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share." ~ W. Clement Stone

Having used this old postcard of my grandparents for the last several years, I am keeping with tradition. Bruce and I arrived safely in NY on Sunday, and proceeded to get snowed in on Monday. What a winter wonderland! I did tell Bruce that it is in weather like this that I long for my own home, with soup on the stove and holiday movies on the TV. Next year!

For the next few days, we will be gathering with family to celebrate Thanksgiving. In spite of the affairs of our country and our world, I continue to be grateful for those that I love and cherish. I wish you all the most wonderful of Thanksgivings!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"There is no place like home - seriously!" ~ Me

Yesterday, I took a sunrise walk over a bridge near our condo here in Florida. Such a soothing way to begin the day!

When we arrived here following our getaway in New Orleans, I sat on the couch and cried - tears of joy - believe me! For the first time in 6 months, we were in a home of our own. Our own bed, our own pots and pans, our own towels. While we were so fortunate over those 6 months to stay in comfortable homes, there really is nothing like your own.

We will head back north toward the end of next week to spend the holidays with family and friends, and will once again be guests. We think, however, that our nomad days may be coming to an end. We will definitely head south again for the winter, but new things should await us come spring. I'll fill you in more when I have something definitive to share.

In the meantime, we are enjoying our Florida home and our Florida friends. It is just wonderful!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

“Everyone in this good city enjoys the full right to pursue his own inclinations in all reasonable and, unreasonable ways.” ~The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, March 5, 1851

We recently returned from five days in New Orleans! We had been invited to the wedding of our dear friends' daughter, and decided to go a few days early in order to explore a city that we had never been to before. 

New Orleans is a city for the senses. The sights, sounds, aromas, flavors - oh my word! Music, all day and all night - everywhere. Food, you name it, and too much of it - wonderful! People, open and welcoming - so proud of their city. 

Some of my best shots were actually from my phone, but they did not transfer well to the slideshow, so I didn't include them. So it goes! Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"yarn (yahrn) n. An item to which the word 'enough' does not apply."

The Little York Fiber Festival has always been held while we have been away at the Cape. I'm so glad that I was around this year to be able to enjoy it for the first time. A beautiful autumn weekend and a beautiful setting - it was wonderful!