Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What a year this has been! This picture of the Savannah River in Augusta, Georgia represents one of the peaceful settings I have been privileged to enjoy during a quite turbulent time in my life. It has been quite some time since I posted anything at all to this blog. I for a time have lost my quilting mojo due to several issues. Hopefully it will return in the near future. I have begun accepting client jobs once again to enable myself to do just that.
The last 12 months have been quite challenging, for everyone. As for us, in our little corner of the world, there have been several life-changing events. This time a year ago saw a lock down of our nation with a COVID-19 pandemic. This happened the week after I returned from an enjoyable quilting cruise to Mexico and Honduras. It is something our nation still has not recovered from, but I am happy to say that, with the vaccines, things will definitely recover at some point. For that, I am grateful. I know we will all be happy to go out and enjoy being with family and other people once again and return to not wearing those uncomfortable masks!
September found me enjoying my daughter and family in Georgia and celebrating 2 of their significant birthdays, a truly enjoyable trip, getting to do things with my daughter I had never been able to do before. Lots of quiet time fishing, going to museums, and getting together away from the hustle and bustle of life. Since schools were not operating at full capacity due to the pandemic, and the fact that I am retired, I also got to spend significant quality time with the Georgia grandchildren.
The month of October started out routinely, but also brought some challenges with medical issues sifting into our lives, and our dog of 14 years, Zeus (the quilting enabler) died, leaving quite a hole in our household. He was my quilting buddy and forever my shadow in the studio, and is sorely missed, though this past weekend, even though he is not physically with us, he was still up to his old tricks! He had a habit of burying kibble in various places in the house. I discovered he had hidden another of his treasures of kibble in my studio in a roller bag that had embroidery projects in it. He is definitely still around in spirit! As you can see in the photo, he had to be close at all times and this is one of those lock down quilts I finished. These are good memories, but bittersweet to be sure!
In mid-November my dear husband of 44 years fell off a ladder outdoors while hanging Christmas lights and broke a hip. He was 10 feet from being done when the ladder slipped and down he went. Then ensued a long recovery and he is now finally able to get back to doing what he enjoys with few restrictions. While he was in the hospital and rehabilitation 60 miles away from home, I found out my recent routine mammogram had shown a suspicious mass. After a biopsy in early December I was told I had early stage cancer. I had surgery to remove the mass 2 days before Christmas. January then began the next phase of treatments with radiation to kill any cancer cells remaining. I finished those treatments a little over a week ago.
During treatments there was another catastrophic event. A week of arctic weather, four storms back to back, forced the whole state to shut down. It began with rain, then freezing temps, then snow on top of that. The roads were completely iced over and the radiology center lost their water and power. Due to this, my daily radiation treatments were cancelled for that whole week. The whole of Texas found itself in the worst cold weather in decades, breaking all sorts of decades old temperature records (back into the 1980’s and 1800’s) and rare accumulated snowfall over ice which brought a failure of the electric grid across the entire state. We were blessed that we have a wood burning fireplace/woodstove that kept us warm and never lost our water, though we lost 14 straight hours of power midweek during lingering single digit weather. We are extremely grateful for our seldom used fireplace and can still very much appreciate the beauty of the snow in God’s creation.
Now here we are a month after the deep freeze, and spring has begun showing in many ways. We are finally able to clean up all the many dead plants and new growth is beginning. After what we have dealt with in the last several months, the arrival of spring is exciting. I personally cannot wait for the wildflowers to begin appearing. I saw my first bluebonnet, pictured below, yesterday. Spring this year feels like a brand new beginning, not just in the area of health, but in the beauty of our natural surroundings.
I’ve now begun accepting quilting jobs once again and have begun a new project. I am hoping this will get my creative juices going once again. God has been with us all the while we have been traveling this journey. It’s had a few twists and turns we never expected, but He’s gotten us through the tough parts and we have come to appreciate the help given to us by family and friends more than ever. There were people who stepped up with meals delivered, transportation provided for the hour long trips to radiation, and most of all their prayers. We are not alone in this world and I have learned from these past few months accepting help can be part of the healing process, enabling others to show care and concern. I feel blessed and grateful for life.