Thursday, March 3, 2011

my mother's apron

my mother's apron -- how it has survived all these years is beyond me. i have a photo of her wearing it when my brother was a baby (he turned 60 this past january). it was christmas time and they were sitting on the floor near the tree; my father playing some toy saxophone; my brother in his greenish overalls reaching for the silver tinsel on the tree; my mother looking on; her curly dark hair held back with a comb. it's an amazing photo capturing a moment in time.

and i still own the apron; i use it when i'm washing dishes or cooking a meal and yes, it looks like it's 60 years old and has seen better days. but it was my mom's and wearing it makes me feel close to her ...

how is it that a piece of cloth shaped and sewn into an apron could give such a feeling to me? i feel the same way about the ruby red pitcher that was my grandmother Daugherty's. i don't use it very often, but i know she used it and when i hold it in my hands, i am reminded of the person who's strength and character formed the little boy into the man who became my father. i am reminded of the stories told about her by her children over the years. i never knew her, but yet i did, through those stories, and holding that piece of red glass in my hands and knowing that her hands touched it as well, gave me some comfort.

and when i sit at my oak library table, i am reminded of the woman and the man (my parents) who refinished it so lovingly and allowed me to use it for years as my sewing table. it is now my desk. several times ppl have made some comment about taking it from me because of its beauty. it's a heavy piece, not easily moved -- even two strong young men will struggle with it -- but my parents moved it from the auction house to their home and there refinished it; rubbing the tung oil into its pores to bring out the natural beauty of the wood with their own hands.

we're not supposed to hold onto material things, things of this world, because we can't take them with us when we die. i can't help but feel some attachment to these items for the memories they evoke and the connections to ppl (some i knew in this world and others i know only through stories) whom i love dearly. it's not that i want to take them with me when i die -- no, i want to leave them here for those who come after me to touch and live with and use and feel those connections as well. but life now is so modern and full of minimalism that i know for some this seems like just junk that needs to be tossed out for what is new ....

i have a friend on facebook who takes old items -- things that ppl have discarded -- and she refurbishes them ... brings them back to life .... to use in her home in extraordinary ways. i applaud her for putting so much work into the old and savoring the beauty that she can see under the dirt and years of wear. i love the fact that something that someone long ago used and loved is being used and loved again. another person is putting their mark on it ... a new connection is being made ...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

emotional investment ...

i hate goodbyes ... basically, saying goodbye to the people you love is like getting stabbed in the heart. and i sometimes wonder if every time you say goodbye to someone you love and get "stabbed in the heart" is what weakens one's heart over time. it's an interesting thought.

i've had a crazy week/month/beginning of the new year. not about to go into all the muddled up details of it. just suffice to say that right now stuff is not all great. it's not all bad, but it could be better -- and let's just leave it at that.

i have my second batch of little preemie outfits to take to the hospital. my first batch was 12 little sweater/hat/mitts/booties sets and then a couple of just hats/mitts/booties as well. this batch was a little more difficult. there are three afghans, three presentation pockets, three burial/baptism outfits, and then nine of the sweater/hat/mitts/booties sets.

the part that was tough was doing the burial outfits and the presentation pockets. i wanted this project to concentrate on sending home healthy babies and that's why i chose brightly colored yarns for the projects and had blessings prayed by my pastor and fellow church members over all the outfits. but i knew from talking to the coordinator at the hospital and in the past having sewn little burial gowns that there was a need for those items as well. but working on these little items knowing how they will be used is heart breaking to me because i'd want to see all the babies go home healthy and thriving. so i had to intersperse making these little items with making the brightly colored items so that i wouldn't become depressed and quit altogether.

idk why i put so much of myself into the things i do. i get so invested emotionally that sometimes it takes a toll on me. i can't imagine how father god does it .... he loves us all so much and he invests so much into us and then to have us do the wrong thing or turn away from him or worse yet, curse him when things aren't going the right way -- idk how anyone can sustain such pain and not collapse under the weight of it all. but that's the difference between us and father god. we're human and, as such, we can only tolerate so much pain and disappointment before we crumble. he is father god, almighty and our strength and shield. we can't even comprehend his power most of the time.

these last few weeks of turmoil in my life, i've had a couple people talk to me about my faith and "grace" under the worst of circumstances. it's not mine -- it's father god's -- holding me and shielding me from the worst of it. if it were mine alone, i would falter, and fail, and collapse under the unbearable weight of it all. thankfully, i do not have to travel this road alone, and i am always aware of his presence in my life -- especially in the worst of the trials.

Friday, January 14, 2011

target ads ....

become a teacher in 1 YR!

become a social worker

check yourself tank top

huge sale! fits pandora

i'm on this other social networking site that will go unnamed coz i feel like it gets enough publicity as it is. at any rate, when u are tooling around the site looking at ur friends' pages up pop these annoying ads, but that are supposed to be "related" to things i've posted or interests i might have expressed to have, etc. and this morning i stopped and paid them some attention. the four listed above were the ones that caught my interest. but not for reasons u might think.

the first two r interesting because i'm currently looking to taking a job working in a daycare for teen moms. i've always been interested in children (babies, toddlers, youth, teens, young adults) and often will be the one adult in the room who gravitates to the youth in the room just to find out how life is treating them and see if there is anything i can be praying about, advice i could give, attention i could pay (u'd be surprised how many teens just want someone to listen to them and pay them some attention -- it makes a world of difference). so it was fascinating that this social networking site would pick up on this.

the latter two ads were puzzling to me. first of all, i'm not young anymore and i'm not shapely and i don't wear tank tops -- so why they would feel like i would be interested in this is beyond me. and the pandora thing, well, that just doesn't interest me at all, although i do make jewelry.

i wonder how they choose which ads to put up for u to see -- who is sitting there making this decision -- or is it all computer generated??? if it is computer generated then where did the idea that i would have an interest in tank tops and pandora bracelets come from? they certainly do NOT know everything they need to know about me ... and that's probably a very good thing ...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

stay alive, drive 55

i'm about to turn the speed limit. for those of u who don't drive the speed limit, let me just remind u that its 55, double nickels as the truckers call it. so yeah, i'm about to turn 55.

its weird coz i stopped celebrating birthdays when i was around 40. its just another day now. like any other day. and part of the reason i stopped celebrating it when i did was because that particular birthday a whole slew of really crummy things happened to me and i decided it was as good a time as any to stop "celebrating" because it wasn't really a celebration. i mean after all, what r we really celebrating -- the fact that we haven't died yet?? that about sums it up if u ask me ...

so here comes 55 and i have to work that day and will probably have to drive my daughter back to college after work (which means i probably won't get home till after 10pm) and well that just shoots the whole celebration concept all to u know where ...

and really i might celebrate more if i was turning the age my dad will be (85) because then there really is something to celebrate (although i think he stopped celebrating his birthday a while ago too and since i'm not near him i can't make a cake for him, not that he'd eat it anyhow but that's another story).

but there is this part of me that sits here in amazement that i'm 55. its like -- how did this happen, more importantly, when did it happen ... because it doesn't seem all that long ago that i was a kid wishing my life away -- wanting to be 16 (so i could drive) or 21 (so i could drink -- which i still don't do so it was a wish wasted). but as i got closer to 30 i started to think, hey, wait, this doesn't seem so great coz i don't even have children yet and then when i did and 40 was looming large i wanted to slow things down so my kiddos would stay small just a tad longer and then menopause happened (early) and i was like, well, isn't this just the pits. and then i got divorced and well, the rest, as they say, is history.

and at a time when most ppl r thinking about what they will do during their retirement in 10 years, i'm sitting here thinking about how can i get a job when i haven't had one in 3 years and what is to become of me if i can't ... and that's enough to sober anyone... or make them want to start drinking just to try and mask the reality behind it.

so if i were a drinking person, i'd raise my glass to the last 55 years (even if they weren't all diamonds i am certainly blessed by my two beautiful children and my most amazing friends and papa god is keeping me near and dear) and perhaps say a prayer that i last at least another 55 ....

Friday, January 7, 2011

warm the preemies project...

so a couple of weeks ago ... right before christmas ... i was making a new baby hat with a new pattern ... only it didn't turn out to be very big and i couldn't figure out what i had done wrong ... and then papa god put this thought in my head that i should be making hats and outfits for the preemie babies at the nearby hospital.

now i used to sew little burial gowns for the preemies who didn't make it when i was part of the UMW, but that was always with the thought that the babies that used them would be the ones who didn't make it. and although i knew that those little gowns were very much appreciated, it wasn't something i felt i was supposed to do.

i only had a little bit of baby yarn left over from making some baby blankets and wasn't sure how i was going to make this project happen when i have no job and no income. so i put it on facebook that if anyone wanted to donate a skein of yarn, they should lmk and that i would appreciate bright colors. before i knew it i had several ppl sending me money for yarn. i hadn't asked for money, i had asked for skeins of yarn, but these women sent me money and said to buy what i needed. it was confirmation that papa god wanted me to do this...

i set up an account in my quicken to keep track of the incomes and outgoes, and went to buy yarn. imagine my surprise when i had coupons and yarns i wanted were on sale. i was able to get more yarn than i would have been able to -- and i did that on two separate shopping trips -- not just one. so instead of spending $75, i would be spending less than $50 ... again, another testament to the favor papa god was putting on this project.

i've been crocheting like crazy since then and my goal is to get quite a few outfits done and then take them to my church to have them blessed before delivering them to the hospital. and i won't stop there -- i have so much yarn that i will continue to do this until i run out ... but i have a feeling i won't run out, because i have a feeling that papa god is blessing this project and i will keep doing it for not only this teaching hospital, where most of the preemie and NICU babies end up, but also another smaller local hospital as well. i know that papa god is in this project and it makes me feel good to be using my god-given gifts to do this for papa.