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Summer days

Hi Friends, Mid summer and I've not blogged in ages. So much has happened, good and bad. I'll start with the bad so I can end with a positive note. In April I lost my step Brother, Paul, my mom's son from first marriage. Although I've only seen him a handful of times because he lived in WV, we stayed in contact and he was the kindest brother with such a big heart. He was a Marine, Vietnam vet. I miss hearing from him. Ironically, I was planning a surprise road trip for both Paul and mom this year. His death was unexpected and I was once again reminded not to put things off. I will always regret that.
 Paul did get to meet my son Edward. I'm so glad he did.

Nine days after Paul passed, I lost my baby brother Bill. Again, unexpected and unbearably sad. Still recovering from this. It seems incredibly wrong to lose a younger sibling. I don't think mom will ever be herself again after these losses. She is trying to be brave and put on a smile, but her eyes show her broken heart which in turn breaks mine. My brother was a loner much like myself. I think we all are, except my oldest brother in Hawaii. He seems to have the world on a shoestring and I'm happy for him. I will miss the box of Fannie May mints that shows up on my birthday, his homemade beef jerky with that hint of sweetness and black pepper that only he can make, the wooden bowls he made on occasion with dad's lathe I used to share with him on our woodworking days in the shop, the birthday cards signed,"Love(I guess) Bill", and taking him his favorite licorice snaps when I found them. I miss him daily and wish I would have had more time with him.
So, my muse has left and I don't expect her back anytime soon. It's fine though because I have been enjoying visits with mom daily, gardening, and hanging with hubby. I've thought a lot and realized I am where I'm supposed to be. I tried the social thing, and loved my teaching and meeting students and new friends, but I shine most when I am in the environment I created through the years. I don't like drama, competition, negativity, etc, and I can choose not to engage in any of it any longer. Life is too short. My motto has always been to be true to yourself, now I fully understand that is exactly what I must do. 
I've enjoyed Crazy Quilting so much and felt I needed to share it so others may find that enjoyment. So, I was nudged into teaching, and although it was out of my comfort zone, I had the most amazing, supportive students who allowed me to be me. To see their creations, their joy and confidence, I can admit, I was successful. I'm complimenting myself, possibly for the first time in my life, and it feels good. Thank you to all who trusted me to introduce you to being free with crazy quilting. You are all amazing women. I will always be grateful for the crazy quilt ladies I've met. Time to step back, but will stop in on occasion when I have something to contribute. 
On the happy notes, as some of you may know, my dear husband has kicked cancers butt. Wed is his last checkup for two years. Thankful for finding the right dr at Northwestern. Three years of the wrong care locally, one year of the right treatment and it's gone! Thank you Dr. Ma, you are my hero.

Mom bought this Victorian tear catcher for an early birthday gift. I filled it with tiny mermaid tears. I love it and thought I'd share in case you find one. They aren't easy to find, but they are out there. Women would collect their tears from a loss and when the tears dried up, mourning time was over. Sad but sweet concept I thought.

So no worries aver me, I'm doing what I need to do, led by my heart and very content. I miss you all, and think of you often and I hope I come to mind on occasion and not forgotten because I will be back from time to time. After all, I've got to use up some of this collected stash.
FYI~Carole Cree is retiring, so if you want in on some great deals, 40% off at Flights of Fancy! So get over there and pick up some pretty stash! Tell Carole Pat sent you :-) (No, I don't get a kickback,lol) I wish Carole the best in her retirement. Her offerings have been a staple in my stash for so many years. Thank you Carols for supplying crazy quilters with amazing goodies.

I took mom out for a drive, ended up in St. Joe then caught some yard sales on the way home where I met the owner of Quilter's Resource. It was an honor to meet such a lovely lady. Although she closed a few years ago, she had some vintage lace that I was fortunate to acquire, so I really need to continue CQing now,lol.

Thought I'd leave you with some old photos mom shared with me. Don't laugh too hard. Oh the fun times we take for granted when young.
  Fishing with my little brother in Canada!

Dad,me,brothers Steve,Jim,Bill posing on a future car project. My dad was a body man and loved rebuilding from scratch.
 Sitting on boulders in Canada with brothers Bill and Steve. No, we did not add to the grafitti.

                                           Canada trip, I think this was our last one. 
 Step brother (Dad's son) standing, Rodney, left to right~Steve,Jim,Me (gotta love that dress,LOL)

 Guess who? Yes, I was born with dark hair then it turned blonde and now....only my hairdresser knows for sure :-)

 Mom and dad and a small hint of brother Steve before their brood were part of the picture.

Mom as a girl in WV where playing in a creek was her favorite pastime.

I hope you are enjoying your moments. Be safe and blissful stitches my friends.

This post first appeared on Pat Winter Gatherings, please read the originial post: here

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