Freshly Pressed….I Know, I Know

On Friday my beloved learned that one of his blog posts was highlighted by WordPress and Freshly Pressed. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It’s the piece on the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.  I didn’t go to the museum myself. As you’ll read in his post, I leaped out of the moving car to instead antique shop.  As I side note, this is not true, while I did jump out of the car; it was for a dress, not antiques.  Bygones.

You can access his piece here or of course here Freshly Pressed.  Please read it; he loves watching his views go up on site stats.

I would like to send my heart felt thanks to Joy Victory who I have come to understand is the one responsible for the fanfare in my home these past few days. Joy is the WordPress Editorial Czar, as she puts it, responsible for selecting the blog posts featured in Freshly Pressed. Thank you Joy for bringing, dare I say, joy into our home.  Chris hasn’t been this excited or obsessed since he discovered he could track the whereabouts of his teenage son with his iPhone.

Every morning for the last three days I have asked, “Just how long does one’s post stay up on Freshly Pressed?” Really, Joy, just how long?

How many views Chris? Wow! Two more than a minute ago? That's something!

This is Chris. See how happy he is? You’ve made his day…days, Joy.  Thank you. Truly.  🙂 And thank you all who’ve commented and said he took such nice pictures.  He does take nice pictures. And thank you lovely reader who responded to his piece with a poem. Life has been especially sweet these last few days.

The Lesson of the Rutabaga

When I was in my last year of college I lived in a rundown apartment in Willimantic, Connecticut. Willimantic was seven miles from Storrs and the University of Connecticut. Seven miles is far when you don’t have a car. I didn’t have a car. I had a bike; but bikes suck in New England winters. I also had the bus, and a 24 hour library, and the couches of friends when I didn’t catch the last bus home.

I was college student poor. So poor that I recall one day having no money and only a rutabaga to eat. To this day I can’t eat a rutabaga and not think of that girl that was me so long ago. It wasn’t so bad, I like rutabagas.

I think of that story tonight as my daughter is away at college (post bac) and presently has $10 to her name and no groceries. I was sharing this news with Chris and he had me recall my college days. He said he had many days himself when $10 would have been a fortune. Ten bucks can get you a weeks worth of Top Ramen at least. Truth be told my daughter has it pretty good, despite this small setback. Money is on its way; and she is learning what it is to be resourceful and independent. There is something inherently affirming about taking care of oneself.

I told my son this at the beginning of summer. “You need a job,” I said, “not just so you can make money, but because it’s empowering to take responsibility for yourself.”

It’s excruciating to watch your kids struggle, there’s no denying it. I have to believe that there is a greater gift I can give my daughter than worry. She will come out of this stronger and wiser and likely proud of herself.

Gandhi was a spinner

Gandi at his wheel

Whenever I share that I’m a spinner (In the spinning wheel sense, not the exercise bike sense)…I always end up saying, “Gandhi was a spinner.” I’m not sure what people think when I tell them this. I am not comparing myself to Gandhi when I say it, rather I want to share with them the rewards of spinning. Gandhi felt that spinning represented the best of living simply. I think spinning is a meditation.

I once read that spinners of olde would pray for and think about those who they were spinning for. In the wool they would add stories, wishes, and blessing for their loved ones. These stories and prayers would be continued as the spinner then knit the yarn they had just made. Those who received their handiwork received not only the garment; they received the thoughts and love of the spinner.

I have pulled out my spinning wheel this week.

my louet spinning wheel

Usually I reserve spinning for the cooler months. Lately I have felt restless and spinning offers me a retreat. My feet pedal back in forth in a rhythm the wheel seems to give me. The mound of fleece transforms into a tiny thread. It’s magical and quiet. When I spin I think of little else; and when my mind drifts I remind myself to keep my thoughts benevolent. My yarn will carry my emotions and one day someone will wear them. I want to spin peace.

The best advice I’ve ever heard about cooking was to never cook angry. Food from an angry chef never tastes good. It’s true. Conversely, food made with love tastes incredibly good.  Once I made a dish of barley and beans (it was all I had on the shelves) As I cooked, I remember thinking about how much I loved my children.  When I served my kids the simple fare they couldn’t get enough of it..they said it was the best thing ever.  One should spin with just as much feeling. Yarn made with love is undeniably remarkable.

Tonight I will spin some more. I have a 100 other things I could and maybe should be doing, but creating a little beauty seems just as important right now.

Unshakeable Peace

i have been to it
that place without
that holds everything evenly
perfectly balanced
on no one side

i have felt
complete and clear
the best of naivete and wisdom
at once

i know that the path
to peace is inward
it is traveling to a place
on a road thousands have taken
before you

it is a place
one does not arrive at
one is revealed unto it
without effort
without any thing at all

My First Icon

Coptic Icon

I wrote this icon a few years ago. One “writes” an icon rather than paints it. I learned this in the Iconography class at took at Trinity Cathedral. Every part of the icon is symbolic, so much so that one viewing is said to “read” it.

I chose to copy an icon from Ethiopia. The colors were so vibrant, the faces particularly lovely. When I was finished, I had the icon blessed in my church and gave it to my parents. Not too long ago I ask to borrow it back for a class I was taking. I had forgotten how beautiful it was. Not that I am responsible for its beauty.

The writing of an icon is a contemplative practice and one is in prayer when working it on. Much of that prayer is a plea for guidance…that your hand is guided by God, assisted by the Saints. I merely held the paintbrush…

Crater Lake

Chris took me to me to Crater Lake with his son. I’d never been before. He told me it was beautiful and it was everything he promised and more. It was actually very warm, dare I say Hot even. After the sunless and chilly summer we’ve been having, it was wonderful. I even got a bit of a sun burn.

I took over 200 pictures..I’m sharing about 1/4 of them. The pictures are in no particular order…I’m not sure that you would’ve noticed, but I thought it best to point that out.The pictures do no justice. The lake is so much bigger than my camera could capture in any one shot. The best parts of the trip were the hummingbirds and little chipmunks. And Chris’s excitement to show me such a beautiful and special place.

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