Tuesday, August 07, 2018

A Gaggle

While I was digging around looking for finished tops and possible backings, I came across a small gaggle of four geese. And with them were the beginnings of a whole lot more. I couldn't think what I'd intended to do with them. But I sure did like 'em.

Yesterday and today I spent a little time finishing them (there is one more set that will be done tomorrow after I do some unsewing) and sticking them up on the wall. I still couldn't remember what my initial plan had been. But now there's a gaggle of a respectable size.

Himself came by and started moving them around and then it occurred to me that I must have been planning a quilt of Louisiana (one of my very favorites) blocks, perhaps with white or ash grey to finish them off.

I have no business getting re-involved with these geese. My current self-assigned task is putting tops and backs together and getting them finished and re-homed. So I'll try to leave them up on the wall until that job is finished. We'll see how that works out.

Monday, August 06, 2018

After

I have never, not even once (as they say) remembered to take a "before" picture in connection with one of our myriad home improvements over the years. Never.

From the day we moved in, nineteen years ago, I detested our lamppost. I was glad we had one (not all the houses on the street do), but it was in the style once known as "colonial" and I don't have a picture of it. 

I wanted needed a lamppost that looked more like us. But there were many other things of greater importance.

July was the month of the new lamppost. Himself wasn't content with just replacing the old one. He tore it out. He ran the line to a new location. He installed the new one. He learned a new skill -- masonry -- and built this wonderful wall and installed the house numbers he'd purchased in anticipation. 

Now, when you come to visit, you'll know what to look for.

And we'll leave the light on for you.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

A Blog Rec

Mary Poppins's lesser known sister, Elizabeth.
It's been a long time since I recommended a blog for others to enjoy. A long time. And the one I'm about to tell you about isn't my usual kind of thing. It's not about food, Scandinavia, or even Scandinavian food. It's not about quilting. It's not even about being Lutheran. The writing is a bit hurried and the cast of characters is immense (she recently provided a cheat sheet to help readers keep track), and the content is captivating.

The author is someone I've never met. She's the younger daughter of someone I'd love to call a friend but in reality that person is more of an acquaintance-plus. I think Elizabeth is not yet thirty. 

Elizabeth's daily posts remind me yet again how far we have come as women. Let's assume she's 26. She's graduated from college, perhaps even grad school, has traveled widely, is a vegetarian, knows fascinating people, has achieved a Fulbright, and is currently living in a third world country making a difference and doing said Fulbright. When I was 26, forty-seven years ago, I'd done none of those things. None. I've done some of them by now, but just think of the opportunities ahead for this young woman!

Honna and I spoke briefly recently about how odd it feels to find ourselves in our seventies (when apart from certain body parts like hips and feet and knees we certainly don't feel that old), which Erickson calls "Old Age." Here's what he says about this stage: 

OLD AGE:  Integrity vs. Despair – as an adult reaches the end of her life, she looks back at what she has or hasn’t accomplished, and feels a deep sense of fulfillment or at least an acceptance of the life she has lived (out of which will come wisdom), or alternatively, she descends into anguish or despair at having not lived a full and vital existence.

While I don't think I'm reaching the end of my life, I have felt that reflective piece over the last five years. As a young person, I didn't have a lot of my own goals; I accepted the ones my parents imposed on me: Become a secretary, get married, provide grandchildren for them. I excelled on all counts! And I am deeply satisfied by those things. In addition, I became good at cooking and sewing (opposite of predictions made by Those Who Judged), formulated an employment (too late for a career) goal, attended college, earned two graduate degrees, and took deep satisfaction in my work as a hospital chaplain. And I'm surely not done yet.

The Erickson stages may be outdated. Young adults today are at least as focused on traveling widely and exploring career options as they are on finding a partner. I see this daily in the Millennials who teach where I work.

All of the foregoing may seem irrelevant to recommending a blog about a young woman spending a year in India. Elizabeth may not play into your own deep thinking as she has with mine, but give her a look. As I told her, India was never a place I wanted to visit; I perceived it as full of disease, squalor, inequity. And it may well hold all of those things, but this writer is showing me so much more.  About the country and about being a young woman today. Here, take a look: Elizabeth's Fulbright in India.