Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good Stuff

I want to tell you so many things. I want to tell you about feeling good. So good.

Because more than one person and place told me I was needed and valuable and would make their place better. Because we wandered through open places where homes sprout out of the earth, homes that I dreamt of but forgot of that dreaming until the doors opened wide. Because yesterday a wide open opportunity cracked light into a place that has laid quiet and dim for many years.

It has been five days of immense change, possibility, opening. It started with a long drive North with my partner, you know, that one who lays next to me in the dark hours and struggles to hold the daily grind of life at bay in the light hours. The one who I forget to cheriah at times when the grind of life grinds on me. It was a good drive, full of talk of dreaming and doing. And also some loud ranting on my part that is always received so gently and taken so readily.

And then Thursday morning I walked nervously into a setting where I was anticipating grilling, questioning, proving. But the space was not that, it was courting. The courting of Me, my skills and person. I was blushing by the end of the two hours there. And I was encouraged and totally sold. The rest of the day we spent on winding roads, framed by old old oaks, winding into a town that is my kind of town. Old and new, seamless. A library that has a whole floor for children, tucked down creaking stairs and opening to space that says 'We love and value small people who want to read and learn'. Tiny local stores full of handmade and whimsy.
Nest under glass.
A school on a hill that advocates learning outside of the classroom. Victorians and cottages that beg to be owned because they cost a fraction, a reasonable fraction.
New home(s)?

And then Friday, another interview. Her first laughing line to me when I walked into her office? "Oops, guess I should have told you it is casual Friday," (giggle) as I stood in my 'dress up' clothes. The giggle put me at ease immediately and I liked this woman, one who could be my boss. I sat at a table with 6 people, my colleagues, told them about myself. And then got really pass-out nervous by the attention but they gracefully stepped in to give me a minute to recover. Then we just talked. About our work, what they want and what I want and the Universe said 'Bam!'. Because they need Me. Exactly what I am. They need someone who lives in that town that I was in yesterday, they need an experienced neuro specialist, they have plans, big plans. And they want me to be a part of it. I did not blush this time, I fiercely lobbied. Because I felt it, that click, that this was it, what I was wishing; for accomplished confident colleauges seeking growth and community and support. The only drawback is the position is not full time. So I have decided it is not a drawback only a sign for me to get in there and remind them why they need me there full time. I was offered both jobs which is so awesome, but Job #2 is it. I am hoping the Universe continues to speak to me, to help make it happen.

And then I met my baby niece, the newest person to join the expanding world of my blood. Giant eyes, lashed for days, animated beyond belief for her 4 weeks.
So wonderful, to hold her close and talk to her Mama and hug my brother, fiercely again, to see him move into this place in his life, to know we could be just down the way from them.

And then Tahoe, where I feel like my cup has run a little over. This weekend in Northstar there is a fundraising race and event. It is organized by Tara Llanes, a pro-mountain bike rider that was in a terrible crash that resulted in a spinal cord injury. She hosts the event every year and we have been there for three years in a row. Before I transitioned to home health, I was a neuro specialist, mainly stroke and brain injury, but I treated persons with SCI often. I make it a point to be there to contribute but I always wanted to do more than just show up.

This year a new company called CORE was part of the event. Click the link to know more but basically a young guy named Aaron Baker started the first fully adapted gym for people with functional limitations, things that might keep them out of a 'gym' setting. He opened in January, all equipment is designed for individuals that have need for special equipment and it costs 60 bucks a month to join. He wants to spread this love and by god, I am going to help him do it. My mind jumped immediately to opening one up here at the base of Tahoe, for those that have need for this 'niche' gym, as he called it.

I feel so passionate about this for many reasons. My greatest challenge when I worked in rehab was not the treatment, it was the discharge process. Telling a person "Your rehab is done, now go out and do your best in a world that does not accomodate many of your needs". I had a few resources to refer but they were all short term, anemic when you think of time in terms of years of recovery. No matter whether that person was 21 or 76, there is no place to tell them to go once their rehab dollars run out. But now there is, there is a vision that Aaron realized because he has a high complete cervical SCI and he never said to himself, "I can't".

The amazing thing? He walks, people. He is a high cervical complete SCI and he gets up out of his chair and walks. This is both miraculous and encouraging for anyone living with an injury. Actually, this is mindblowing. He says it is because he never stopped training his body to recover. I believe him.

So, wow. The Universe and its voice these past few days has floored me.
I am grateful and joyful and so very happy. And that is such a good thing.
That is what I wanted to tell you. And that I hope you are too, want to give some of it to you, my friends. It feels like so much right now, I have plenty to spare.


Monday, September 19, 2011

For Her, For Me

It had been months since I sat in front of my sewing machine. July, actually. The machine collected dust in the corner and any and all projects in the queue sat, neglected or forgotten or undone. I had ideas about this and that; a quilt, a knit hat, a new t-shirt handstitched. But these hands, they remained idle. Well, not idle but tapping out work or turning book pages or wrestling the young boys that fill so much of the hours, those precious ones that are open.

A huge factor in availability of precious hours is work. I think that is the norm for a working mother. A shift to a 5 day work week has rippling effects, it intensifies demands, crushes them into those precious hours and I find I choose making dinner over making 'something'. I find myself on the floor with Lincoln Logs rather than seated at the machine, watching them rather than myself.
365 :: 257

There was a shift last week though, both boys sick after a return to the germ haven that is a small children's school. Tim caught the awful bug, my Mama came up against her own health issues, work lightened up. I found myself home more than not for the week. It was an odd feeling, so many hours open and not devoted to work. It felt good.

I found myself pulling out new fabrics, letting the quilt I have been imagining take root in color and shape and design. Math and measure and cutting table. My mind had space for it, even with the demands of small people and one big not feeling well. It felt luxurious.

Over the weekend I was able to pull together the quilt for my newest niece, born 3 weeks ago. I had started a simple red and white 9 patch for her, saw it joined in almost windowpane fashion. The blocks were pieced, sitting in the pile marked 'neglect'. But then she came and pictures of her (and a surprise name switch when she was born) and suddenly she was not Rose but Avery.

I spread the blocks out on the table and saw something else, saw Avery in it and started slicing away. Which is kinda' scary when you have already spent some time piecing together all those 9 patches. The result looked nothing like the initial concept. But then, little Avery is here now, a person who could not be imagined until she appeared and started to share that self.
365 :: 258
365 :: 260
(Some of it is wonky as all get out but the slicing and piecing improved with each block. Quilting, such a learning curve).

We meet her this week; travel North for job interviews, relocation logistics and then Friday, baby smooshing and kissing. I am so happy to go bearing gifts for her, something that carries all the love this whole household has for her already.

And so, onward to this week. Change is afoot, I felt unsettled and excited and hopeful and so damn scared when I glance around and imagine moving. But the time at the machine? It centers me. It is not the sewing, really. It is the making. The way making something makes me feel. I feel more real. And now the real Me has to move onto hand sewing the yellow binding that Tim suggested.

And when I get back from the Northern sojourn I have this nifty 'newly re-purposed' cabinet to organize and stack full of fabric. The man can do more than pick a wicked binding.
365 :: 261

Sunday, September 11, 2011


51 minutes.

If you have the space and the ear and the time, please listen.
Hard but the loss, each has a story. Thank you StoryCore for doing this for us.