"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Day to Count My Blessings

I spent a lot of energy back in Virginia pining for home, all the time secretly fearing that it wouldn’t measure up. We all know dreamers who are never happy with their reality; who don’t “bloom where they are planted;” and who are constantly looking for greener grass that is a little easier to tend than what lays at their feet.

Harnessed in the right direction, a person can use that sense of disquiet to grow and expand their talents, friendships, education, spirituality and skills. Someone like that may have a destiny or ability that something inside of them directs them to find. They know in their innermost self that they need something else and they seek it. When you talk about life being a journey, these are your travelers. In someone with this “gift,” you can recognize genius, a glowing spirituality, or just someone who is young in heart, no matter their chronological age.

Unfortunately, for many of us, the discontent is less a need to have or be more, than a need to have or be different. Change your furniture, your mate, your home, your car, your job, your hair, your friends, your hobbies. All the time hoping that the change, in and of itself, will bring about a reality where you can be happy.

Under the best of circumstances, change is usually chaotic. But change for change’s sake can be particularly destructive.

I don’t want to be an unsettled soul.

I haven’t been home long but I have to say that so far, so good. Having grown up here, the risk of change for change’s sake was less. I know the land, the climate, the people, and the city. I know what I am getting into, for the most part. And I didn’t leave Oklahoma because I was dissatisfied with my life, here. I left because my husband was back east. And since my children were leaving for the east, it made sense to go, too.

And while I was back east, I had the opportunity to work on some parts of myself that needed working on. My guardian ad litem work took me out of the role of Mother and let me look at it from the outside. And trust me, that can be a difficult view. The work gave me an opportunity to observe, with more perspective, similar relationships I’d had in my life played out by other actors. I came away from the experience much more tolerant of some family members, less so of others. It didn’t change my love for them but it did help me to see patterns/behaviors that worked and some that didn’t. And how attitude, hard work, kindness, patience and boundaries make all the difference.

And I learned to relax in Virginia when I took up quilting. Moreover, lacking rambunctious children under foot, I poured that excess love and devotion on my dogs who are the best stress busters God ever created. So I come back to Oklahoma an older, more relaxed and hopefully wiser woman than the one who left. I count my blessings. But I miss my children, very much.

Today was one of those days that I looked forward to when I was back east.  For Christmas, one of my daughters gave me a gift certificate at a LQS and I drove up there, this morning, to sign up for a class in hand appliqué. The class only cost $25.00 but I spent twice that on the supplies. The lady who is teaching the class helped me pick out a few things and I am pretty jazzed about it all. I have wanted to take a hand appliqué class for years.

Here is a picture of some of my goodies!

After leaving that shop, I drove to the Wild Bird store to get more seed. We are expecting a nasty winter storm on Thursday and I want to make sure I have plenty for them. I expect the birds and Dastardly Squirrel will be hunkering down during the ice storm like the rest of us but at least I am ready.

From there, I drove about 20 miles north to a second LQS to sign up for an art quilt class taught by Charlotte Hickman, a woman whose quilts blew me away at the recent OKC winter Quilt Expo. I find myself looking at pictures of her and wondering how old she was when she started creating such gorgeous things. Yeah, I am calculating if I will live long enough to be able to do something similar. To remind you, here are some of her quilts:

What talent!

While there, I bought some batiques to use on my feeble attempt at an art quilt.   I used this pictures as a model:

Not sure how it will turn out but the nice thing about art quilts is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on big pieces of fabric – a fat quarter will go a long way and frankly, pins, glue and thread aren’t that pricey. I don’t expect all that great a result but it should be fun to try.

Here is some fabric I bought:

From there, I drove to the law school to visit with an old professor buddy I’d not seen since last summer. The law school has always been a safe, happy place for me so I left in a happy mood, content with my life.

I will sign off with some dorky birdcam photos that even Husband concedes are pretty fun:

Papa Cardinal:

The Thugish Crow Family:

I think that crow on the upper right looks like he has scoliosis:

Papa Cardinal:

Yup, counting my blessings.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Stephanie D. said...

We lived in NM for 20 years, and though I hated Hobbs, I loved the northern part of the state. I met my BFF while there.

After a while, though, I became more and more homesick for the South--Southern food and dialect and especially the rain.

And though I have nostalgic moments for NM (awesome sunrises and sunsets, clear blue skies, hot air balloons, and green chiles), I feel I've come home--even though this is not the Southern State I was born in.

Sometimes you really can go home again.

What lovely quilts--they look like oil paintings! Can't wait to see yours!

Miriam said...

Have fun in your classes.
I can't wait to see your first art quilt.
I love the cardinal photo. We don't have cardinals here and I really didn't think they could be that beautiful red.
Its great how you have taken so little time to feel right at home back in Oklahoma.

Penny said...

Miriam, it is like I never left...

Anonymous said...

Sweet, very very sweet. :)


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