Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ying and Yang

Two* of my amazing daughters are like ying and yang. Oil and water. Opposite ends of the magnet.

I felt grateful and happy to be able to spend some of my Thanksgiving weekend with each of them.

Polly and her family came to spend a couple of days. She gave me this handmade set of blocks as an early Christmas gift. (Because what's the point of opening a gift that is a Christmas decoration on Christmas? It's a little late to decorate then...) It is a lovely way to emphasize Jesus (rather than Santa) at Christmas, and it also makes me think of Polly. One of my favorite times with Polly on this trip was hanging out at Jo-Ann's fabric store with her on Friday morning. She lives in a small rural town, so she loves catching the Black Friday sales to stock up on fabrics for her coming sewing projects over the next few months. She consistently posts amazing ideas on her blog for upcycling used clothing, fun crafts to do with children, favorite books to read with kids, and a steady stream of gorgeous quilts. Now that she's caught up on quilts for her own family, she's starting to make them to donate to various charities that donate quilts to sick children. Anyway, it was fun just to hang out with Polly in the cutting line at Jo-Ann's and talk about the fun of creating things with our own hands. Polly inspires me to do more creating of my own, and I am so grateful that she and her husband made the trip with their young kiddos to have Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

(My other favorite Thanksgiving moment was watching the cousins play after dinner on Thanksgiving. They created a "gym" in our basement--please understand that this is an unfinished basement with a leaky floor--by drawing various exercise options on the concrete floor with sidewalk chalk. Then they made up membership cards for the adults to use so we could get some exercise. Smart kids! We needed to burn off a few calories at that point... Polly said the gym reminded her of Caine's Arcade, and I had to agree.)

After we said goodbye to Polly and her family on Friday, Mark and I spent the next day and a half helping Julia and her husband move from their home near Mount Hood to an apartment in downtown Portland. The most amazing thing about their new home is what's outside. Their apartment is on the corner of the building, many floors above the street, and they look way out over the city to the north and the east. Julia sent me this photo. (It tickled me that the caption was "Dawn breaking," since the latest episode of the "Breaking Dawn" vampire movies just came out this weekend.) But back to the was kind of hard to focus on unpacking boxes when the windows kept beckoning. Who needs pictures on the walls when you have several big windows with this? I think it is lovely, lovely. I am curious to watch Julia's blog posts to see if these views inspire her as she continues to write. Her blog began as a forum for her poetry, but in the last several months she has been exploring prose writing, too, finding voice for her testimony and views, shaping her thoughts and honing them to share with others. 

Oh, moving is hard work! I don't envy Julia and Scott doing the work of settling in to their new home. By the time we left them today, they had a bed, a sofa, and a dining table set up. The bathroom has toilet paper and hand soap, and Scott knows which basket the clean laundry is in. 

*I'm not going to write about all of my amazing daughters here (5 daughters, 1 step-daughter, and 3 daughters-in-law). Just these two for now. Except to say that Maleena and her husband, Max, made an absolutely delicious smoked turkey for our big family Thanksgiving dinner. They are pros with that smoker. Max even used some of the apple wood from our pruning project in May. You know your kids are growing up when they bring the main dish for a big family feast, and it tastes better than what you could have produced yourself. So awesome!


Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

No real words to express my gratitude for your help. We would never have gotten to this point without your help and keeping the guys on task when my body insisted on a nap!

I am sure the view will creep into my posts, but I had set up a bunch of them because we don't have a firm date on when our Internet will be set up in the new place.

Zevon said...

Wonderful stories you write here.