“I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”― J.R.R. Tolkien
Everyone is different and my grieving experience is going to be totally different from yours. This summer I tried to start celebrating life more and that's what I've been doing.
Here is Dad's Memorial flag, medals and patches. I love this box so much. It fit the flag perfectly, which is what it is supposed to do. But it made me all kinds of happy. :)
This year I did something that I have not done in six years, I left my home and went on a real vacation. We toured Lego Land and then chillaxed at Ormond Beach in Florida and it was the best vacay ever!
Lego Land was indescribably amazing! There were Lego critters hiding behind every bush, in trees and amid the flora and fauna. The park was full of things to do and see and everyone found something to enjoy. They even had allergen-free food fare so I was able to eat. And the food was delish. Fresh spit-turned chicken and zucchini and squash with potatoes all cooked in oil, not butter. We took two days so the second day we could spend getting soaked in the water park which is separate from the main park. Boy did I get wet...yep totally drehnched. But it was a welcome thing to be wet in the hot Florida sun so I didn't complain. I had put my entire purse into plastic bags so everything was safe even when I went in the wave pool. There were places to build and play. It is built on top of the old Cypress Gardens so the gardens are still there and they are just lovely. There is an old banyan tree which has the most beautiful energy surrounding it. Lego Land had something for everyone and we all came away tired but extremely happy.
Next was relaxing at Ormond Beach where we stayed at the almost tropical resort The Lotus Boutique . This hotel was just beautiful. Our room faced the ocean and was steps away from the hot tub, fire-pit, cabanas, and pool area. We stayed there for 8 days and I was so relaxed by Wednesday that my stress all started to melt away.
I confided in my sister about my terrible panic attacks and other things that I was afraid that she would think less of me for and you know what? Since I have the best sister in the world she loved me all the more for opening up to her and letting her know so she can understand me better during those times I'm making no sense. Love my siiiiiiister! :)
It's always ourselves that we find at the sea. E. E. Cummings
I dragged knitting and stuff across the US to do when I came here and relaxed. But in relaxing I realized that I wanted to be with my family and nature and enjoy the ocean. I love the ocean, I always have. But this trip was different. Maybe my eyes were open in a way they haven't been before but I felt at one with nature. The ghost crabs scuttled along the shore line if one knew where to look; I could have watched them for hours for no reason at all. A dolphin swam along the sandbar scooping up fish right new to the shore. Those fish were a silver ribbon as they danced around us in the water. Pelicans flew in formation and then dove for fish right by us as we bobbed up and down in the surf. The sea was alive and it spilled into me and refreshed me in a way that nothing else could have.
It was such a glorious vacation but all things must end and when we got back we had a super surprise waiting for us. My BIL and his kids who have been there for around eight years, had moved out. I was so happy that we could provide the stepping stone that he needed to get his life back on track but it was glorious to have our house back too. :)
A lot of time has been focused on the house. We had it painted in color. My husband and I love color and we picked our hues very carefully for meaning and feeling. If we had our way there would be no white, no cream, no ecru anywhere in the house. So getting the entire Basement painted with all the hallways and rooms was such a huge blessing for us. Next came the floors. The Basement still had carpet and carpet in my opinion is much harder to clean then hardwood. We all have allergies and if we had our way the whole house would be hardwood.
I love my new Basement! The Guest Room is a reflection of the ocean and has pictures of Hawaii on the aqua walls. Eventually it will have a net over the drop ceiling filled with shells and starfish. I even got a porthole cling that looks out on an oasis. This means that my sister can have a safe and dark place to sleep when she comes over and I won't end up on the couch! Yay! It also means that my Nana and Pop Pop have a room to stay in as well when they come to visit. We still need to get a futon or something so they both can come; but hey, this is a work in progress.
My son is creating a Lego room. This means all the Legos that are bursting out of his room now have a home. I know that all of us are happy about that! Hopefully this will also allow him a place to film his stop-motion videos that he has been wanting to create. It will be great to get all of his Legos in one place and I think a bit scary to see how much he actually owns.
But speaking of scary...all my yarn in one room. Eeek! I am so happy I will have a Knitting room to store and create in. I have been gathering skeins, and balls, hanks and cakes from all over the house to be lovingly placed on the easy-hang we will buy this weekend. I really want to organize everything as I go so that I don't loose stuff. I need to update my Ravelry stash page since everything is moving too...that will take time. But it is all happy time and the work makes me smile.
Everything really has been making me smile. Having a place for pans or organizing shelves. Finding something I haven't seen in a while. It all make me smile. I love the floors and walls and the other day we had friends over in our Basement and played Catan and it was the happiest moment since in the past just walking in our Basement was an accomplishment.
I think it will take a year to clean up everything...let's not talk about Mom and Dad's stuff in the Garage...but it is a happy thing to make space and let the house breathe again. :)
I have been knitting but it has been mostly on prayer shawls and this is really all I have to show for all that knitting. The recipients of the shawls have all loved them though and that is what is really important.
Next week is Knitter's Day Out and I am excited and scared all rolled into one. My wonderful sister is going with me for moral support and I am so thankful for that. I know my stuff...I just need to get over these inconvenient fears that crop up. But when I talk to teachers we all have them because it is a human thing. So c'est le vie and all that. I am blessed to have this opportunity to teach and I am honored to be there with such great knitters and teachers.
So I don't have a bunch of summer knitting or projects to show but I am relaxed and happy and blessed in so many ways that it seems a great trade off.
Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day!