Monday, July 22, 2013

Whose Finger is Wrapped Around Whom?

My five-year-old granddaughter from California came to visit this week.  She’s a great organizer, I’m her willing slave. We pick flowers to make bouquets, we make a dessert together, we play with her father’s 38-year-old toys.  At three PM the day before she is going to get on the airplane she announces, “Grandma Julie, let’s sew something.”  I should have seen this coming, should have been prepared with some easy put-together project that makes her feel creative and successful, me with my mind intact afterwards.  But since it is mid afternoon and my low energy point, I let her choose.  We get out the flannel for a baby blanket.  Helping her choose appropriately takes all my tact; actually it scrapes the tact barrel to the bottom.  I don’t care that we made a baby blanket with these same fabrics last time she was here.

But whoa!  She switches horses in midstream and I’m getting wetter by the minute.  “Let’s make a dress, Grandma.”  Here’s where I become the fool.  I don’t even raise my eyebrows. 

Three hours later we have cut and recut and negotiated and thrown out ideas and have made do with less material than we should have.  We look at a pattern, but it gives her too many ideas with too little time. We ditch it and I cut and pin and sew on the machine with Madeline on my lap moving all the levers she can reach.  But this doesn’t work very well any more because she’s bigger now and doesn’t fit under the table on my lap.  We make do with this too. 

“I want ruffles at the bottom and on the sleeves and the neck, and I want the dress long.”  This time I do raise my eyebrows but we are in for the long (pun intended) haul.  Somehow by 8 PM I am reading books to her with only facings and the zipper left ( that last a skill I have not practiced since 1996).

I work on this fantastic creation after she has gone to bed.  I dream about it during the night.  I want to get up at 5 AM to work on it the next morning but I can’t because the sewing machine will be too noisy…she's sleeping right underneath it, downstairs.

By 10 AM it’s done.  I’m exhausted, but I pretend things are fine.  I pretend this to my son as well, and he says “She’ll remember this always.”  I will, for sure. 

I email my sister-in-law and she tells me what I should have done.  "Just go to the fabric store and buy a length of material that’s smocked on top. You sew one seam and it’s a sundress.  Add two straps and you’re home free."

I don’t know when Madeline is coming next but I’m buying that magic fabric tomorrow.

Old dogs can learn new tricks.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Journey Continues

Oh, dear! Here we are already in July and the book won't be
officially released until August 6, but reviews are already coming
in. Here are a few actual comments:

"I got your book yesterday and have had a hard time putting it down."

"What fun I have had over the past few days reading your book." Linda

"I just finished reading your book and I really enjoyed it. Reading
basically a whole life in three days really compressed things and was
not only a glimpse into two families lives, but a quick review of
world events over the same time period." Ron

"I enjoyed every word for so many reasons! Life is an odd journey and
it never quite takes the path we are sure is the best for us. I am
discovering that stumbling is where the grace is found." Deb

"Oh, my. I have to put the book down long enough to say you have
transported me back to my childhood. And your writing styles blend so
beautifully!" Sandy

"I love, love, love your book! Read it once and now ready to read it
a second time!" Carol

"Reading your book now for the second time, this time with my
highlighter in hand!" Becky

"I truly enjoyed your book. I am reading it again so I can get what I
missed the first time!" Hank

"I finished your amazing book last night. It is fantastic! I
absolutely loved it! I think it will resonate with many on various
levels. Thank you for allowing your stories to be shared." Noelle

"As with other journal writers like L'Engle, Norris and Lamott, I
found that my personal reflections as I remember my experiences seemed
very similar to both of your reactions to those 'passages' in your
maturing developmental stages. Those of us trying to live out our
faith journeys always face trials and tribulations as well as elation
and joy. What courage you both have to step out and share your lives
with everyone!" Wilma

Well, there you have it! These are but a few of the reactions we've
had so far to our book, A Journey of Letters. We know everyone has a
story, and we hope this book will encourage you to write your own, if
not to share with everyone, at least for your progeny. We'd love to
have your comments, on Facebook, Twitter or here, our letterscribbler
blog site. Blessings to you all.