Archive for September, 2011

Slow Living

Yesterday I almost stepped on this fellow (or gal) while I was hurrying home from a walk on the carriage trail. I was feeling stressed and harried, thinking I didn’t have enough time to do everything I had committed to doing.

The turtle was going a lot more slowly than I was. And, when I approached, he/she stopped entirely and just looked at me. I expected him/her to withdraw completely into the shell until I went away, but that didn’t happen. We stayed there for a long time, contemplating each other. My breathing slowed. My stress abated.

Later, at home, everything that really needed to be done, I did.

I have plenty of time. Just the right amount of time to live my life to the fullest, every day. I’m glad the turtle reminded me.


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The Goodwill wool skirt quilt top has taken on a life of its own, and I couldn’t be more pleased. About the time I finished the top, I had a meeting with Barrie Kaufman, who is sponsoring a fundraiser for the Aurora Project. Like me, Barrie is enthusiastic about the prospect of having a full-time artists residency program in West Virginia.

Somehow, in the course of our conversation, I blurted out, “I should raffle off my quilt for Aurora.”

“Do it!” Barrie said.

So now I really have to finish it, and luckily I have friends (and friends of Aurora!) who are helping me. The picture shows Laurie Gundersen showing me how to baste the quilt top to the batting (in this case, an old flannel sheet) and the backing. We spread it out on her big kitchen table in Staunton, VA and got to work! By the time we left, a few hours later, the pieces were basted together and Laurie had taught me how to put in a tie. (The finished quilt will be tied, not hand-quilted.)

I’m sure the quilt will be making more appearances—when it’s tied, bound, and raffled—so stay tuned.

In the meantime, please read about the Aurora Project in the fall issue of West Virginia Living Magazine, and just let me know if you want to buy a $5 raffle ticket. You might win this quilt!





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Last Days of Summer

Ahhh…only a few more days of this remain. And I figured I deserved to put up a picture of myself doing the American crawl because I managed to do it for a whole mile yesterday, without stopping. The lifeguard took this picture.

I am not a particularly good or fast swimmer, but I love swimming in a big, beautiful outdoor pool like the one I get to enjoy, thanks to the City of Charleston’s Parks & Recreation Department, for the months of June, July, and August…and a few glorious days in September. Once I get past the first few days of gasping and flailing, once I get into the rhythm of it, swimming is my morning meditation. I think about writing, and I think about the breakfast I’m going to have, and evenutally I think about nothing at all. By the time I leave, I’m breathing hard and my head is wonderfully clear and my limbs feel supple.

Each year, I think that maybe I’ll find an indoor pool and stay in shape during the winter. And, each year, I don’t. It’s not the same without the sun, without the sky and changing clouds overhead.

Goodbye, summer. Goodbye, pool. See you next year, I hope.

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