Four in the morning, as I am wide awake, flooded with memories of Kai walking into the costume room. “How do I look?” He asks in a soft voice. “You look stunning, but you’re missing a button off your uniform.” I look through my huge box of buttons, quickly looking for an olive green button that will at least somewhat match the others in his USO costume. I find one that is slightly off, but will do. He takes off his shirt and hands it to me, as I thread a needle and sit down next to the sewing machine. I quickly fix his shirt and drape it over his shoulders and button up his shirt. “You are a life saver, he says. “No,” I replied, “you saved my life.” He looks at me and pulls me close to hold me. How good it felt to be in his arms… The music for his song and dance number begins as he runs up the stairs and onto the stage, leaving me with a kiss on my forehead and tears in my eyes…
Part of the reason I haven’t picked up the pen lately is because I’ve had a needle in my hand, and a quilt in my lap. I have been making a frog quilt for a dear friend of mine who has given me the use of his apartment while he is gone. He works on a cruise ship about 40 weeks out of our 52 week year, and at first asked me to take care of his cat while he is gone. After his cat passed away, he asked that I continue staying at his place, as he liked the idea of having someone there so it doesn’t look so empty. I was happy to do so, as I have no home of my own, so it’s nice to have a real bed to sleep in during that time.
He has a studio sized apartment in which his kitchen and living room are within one area, and the bedroom in the other, with a small bathroom. One wall in his bedroom is full of books from floor to ceiling, and the walls in his living room are full of special knick knacks from other parts of the world in which the ship he works on visits. And, hanging in a few areas are sketched pictures of frogs. I had found out that his college thesis was about frogs, and talking to a few people, I learned that it’s one of his favorite subjects, along with other small amphibian like animals. He is a ‘naturalist’ on the ship that he works on, and is the person to go to if you have any questions about the plants and animals in the areas that you visit.
So, in appreciation for allowing the use of his apartment while he’s gone, and because he is a good friend, I make him a frog quilt. It will be on his bed when he comes home next week from his current trip.
The six outer squares are pieced together with different fabrics and embroidery, while the two center pieces are from a frog printed fabric. I did a little embroider around the frogs and dragonflies on those two just to give them a little bit of depth.
Very rarely is it quiet around my home, but this week, compared to others, it has been. I haven’t even had the energy or motivation to sit and write. Sometimes I guess my brain and heart just need that break, and believe me, it’s difficult for me to just sit around and do nothing. So, I’ve been working on the last steps of a quilt that I am making for a friend. And, I have started another one. At least to keep my hands busy. I figured I’d better check in, though, just so those who know me don’t worry. You know who you are. Just know that I’m okay. My silence is just my resting my mind. My heart. My soul. xoxo
For one who makes a point of not celebrating her birthday, yesterday was a pretty good day. I usually have my husband work for me, so I don’t have to deal with anyone that day, but I decided to trade him for Super Bowl Sunday instead. Very few people even know when my birthday is, so I figured the day would be quiet anyway.
The day stared out in a very difficult sense. I woke up expecting a text from a life time best friend. Every year, he would text me, wishing me a happy birthday. He would also tell me how beautiful I am, how much I meant to him, and he’d remind me how much he loved me. This year, the message never arrived. At first I was hurt, and began wondering if he forgot. But then I realized that he is no longer here and that those texts no longer existed. They were just a memory. I cried.
Throughout the day, I had a couple of customers come in to try on their Drysuits. Something we do before starting all the final finishing and waterproofing if all the seams, in case I need to do any alterations. The first customer who came in knew that it was my birthday and also knew how I’ve been feeling. So, he walked in with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a hug. He has been a very regular customer of ours for 25 years, and a dear friend with knowledge of my health, physical and emotional, and he calls regularly just to check up on me. He’s one of the very few who has a special place in my heart on a personal level.
All went well with his fitting. And his hugs were more than welcome and appreciated!!
The second Drysuit fitting also went well. This guy didn’t know about it being my birthday, but he brought me a gift as well. It is a cricket that his mom had in her kitchen for decades before she passed away. About two and a half inches long and about an inch and a half tall. His best guess is that it is made of brass or copper. With its age, it is now a green color and fits in perfectly with the other little statues I have around my office. As I thanked him I jokingly asked him “how did you know it was my birthday?” He laughed and said, “A little cricket told me!” For those who don’t know, my nickname is Cricket, which is what prompted his thinking that I’d have the appropriate home for his moms treasure.
As the day progressed, I got some nice messages from others who happened to know just what day it was. I also got a surprise text from someone I hadn’t heard from in a while. He didn’t know, but he knew that I’d be thinking about him as we have been instrumental parts of each other’s healing. He was thinking of me strongly the last few days and finally decided to text me to see how I was doing and to update me on his progress.
I also got a nice message from my son, and spoke with my mom in the evening. And I had the chance to communicate with my best friend throughout the day.
All in all, a good day, with some nice surprises.