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.