A million years ago I stood at a piano in rehearsal for a high school theater production. I was singing “Midnight at the Oasis” (among other things) and it was quite the challenge for me to be sexy and sing at the same time. No, really, it was. My teacher, Frank Best, worked with me a lot. How to walk, how to hold the mic, how to get off the side of the grand piano gracefully …
A couple of weekends ago I attended my 40th high school reunion. I’m not sure how 40 years have passed that quickly, how it’s been 30 years since I stepped foot on the campus. How it’s been 40 years since I’ve seen classmates who meant so much to me. It’s funny how life gets in the way of friendships. And it’s wonderful to pick up where we left off. My theater besties and I returned to the theater all these years later and remembered our shows together and others who didn’t come to reunion this time. It was magical.
Brian back at the old grand piano (that I slid of gracefully.)
Reunited. I wish Sharon had been in this picture, too!
One classmate shared the picture above and others from the school newspaper on Facebook prior to the reunion. What a good memory this brings forward along with some emotional baggage that I’m ready to discard. A couple of friends commented on how they remembered that show and my song. My number one fan commented that my singing “was one of the true wonders I have witnessed in my life. No lie.” This made me smile. (And blush a little bit.)
It’s difficult for me to accept compliments although I’ve gotten much more adept as I get older. I have come to realize that I really am smart and talented. Back then I certainly could sing. (If I tried, I might still be able to sing today!) “Midnight at the Oasis” was a big hit with the audience. I felt very proud of the performance and yet my father could only say that I’d done “pretty good, Monk”. Falling short of a resounding compliment and making me feel like I’d fallen short of making him proud. So, today I’m dumping that old weight that said I wasn’t quite up to snuff. I did a really good job. If people are still remembering my performance 40 years later, I did a really good job. I can be proud of my performance and know that it was truly a special moment in time. My father’s reaction was more about him coming up short than me.
I did an excellent (memorable) job. I am good! I am smart. I am enough!
Yesterday I spent a wonderful day learning something new.
The Class Sample … this is what my quilt will look like
I took a Flag Quilt class at the Cotton Cupboard in Bangor, Maine with a friend and we had a great time. It was my first ever quilt-making class and it was a positive experience for this once-a-failure sewer!
I’ve made a few other quilts in my life. I made several Amish Tied Quilts back when my children were little. One for each of them and a few others interspersed. They are funny to look at today … my color choices “date” the quilts with the exception of the eldest daughter’s which is red, white and blue. My quilt already shows that I was into the black and yellow “bee colors”. I have all of them here in Maine and one day they’ll go to the kids homes … when they all have room for a quilt.
My Log Cabin Quilt … finished and on our bed
The last two summers I worked on a Log Cabin quilt which I finished and had quilted at Quilt Divas in Rockland. I love it and it’s on our bed.
The quilt that I’m working on for this class is a throw quilt and it’s got several things going on. It’s straight piecing, some appliqué and some curved sewing. I’ve never sewn a curved seam in my life! I felt relatively adept at the cutting and straight sewing although one of my classmates gave me a couple of new tips that I really appreciated. The appliqué I had done once and that was alright. I have a lot more stars to appliqué so I’ll be a professional when they’re all done! The curved sewing will take me awhile … and is my biggest challenge.
Curved seams … I did pretty well. It just takes time
When I was all done, I was sore and feeling successful … I had only screwed up one star square (and have to cut a few other pieces to be able to finish my quilt) because I hadn’t been warned about making sure the squares were not all facing the same way. Fortunately I have extra fabric!
I will keep plugging along at it and I will show the pictures of the final project …. whenever I get it done (and quilted.) Since it’s a throw, I’ll plan to quilt it myself.
I passed my second level of knitting certification and will soon have my certificate and pin to prove that I am a certified knitting teacher! A step up from Certified Knitting Instructor! Yay, me!
It’s amazing to think about spending an hour on the phone talking about knitting and designing knitwear with a stranger, but that’s what the process was. My master teacher, Edie Eckman, received my packet of materials (close to the end of the time frame that I had to complete the work) and reviewed it and we had a lovely chat about my work.
I had not tried several of the techniques that I had to knit swatches for – but I feel as though I am at a place in my knitting career where I am rather fearless and can try anything. Most everything I try, I can do. And I can do it well enough to teach it to someone else. Whether or not I will choose to do a lot of knitting (intarsia and mosaic and fair isle) in some of these styles (?) remains to be seen. But I feel comfortable enough with them.
I would, come to think of it, like to make a pair of fair isle mittens or a hat … some garment to use this technique as I think it’s remarkably pretty. I have a sweater pattern to make for my niece that will give me a chance to try it, too.
So, the Certified Knitting Instructor has grown into the Certified Knitting Teacher … now I have to decide whether to attempt the next level or if I’ll do the Knitting Guild’s Master Knitting. I need to keep learning and stretching in order to grow in my craft. It’s wonderful to that I have choices to invest in for myself.
You can tell I haven’t been knitting enough because I am blogging this week about WIPs, our new Big Brown Dog (Monk) and now being a proud mom. This is supposed to be a place where I write about knitting but it’s also my way of sharing bits and pieces of my life.
I have three big pieces of my life in my three children. The last few years haven’t always been easy. When parents go through a divorce, it directly affects a family and my kids have had some “issues” to deal with which have not been easy. It’s been difficult for me to be perceived as the “strong” parent because I’ve had to live a life without seeing them enough -I ‘m not sure there’s a chance of seeing them enough now that they’re grown and on their own. I have had to find peace living a life that’s radically different than the old one and especially around birthdays and holidays. But I am getting away from the purpose of this post …
Easter Day Daffodils on Fifth Avenue!
We spent a weekend in New York City around Easter time and all three of my kids were there. I was thrilled to have them all in the same city and I am so proud of the people that they’re becoming! My youngest, my son, is in transition now and thinks he’s moving to New York. A terrifying prospect for a mom but he feels it’s time for him to give it a try – and why not try while your sister is there and you have a couch to land on! My younger daughter is my “body double” (maybe not today’s body, but even I see the likeness from when I was young!) and she’s got a real big job at a university in Chicago and seems to be content in her life there. My oldest one is why we were all there …
On January 1, she got engaged to long-time love, Spencer and one of the steps is to meet his family which we did. They’re great people and we will all support this wonderful couple. Our kids!
We also went to see my daughter in her first starring role on Broadway in “Rock of Ages”. The show has been on Broadway for a long time and is in the Helen Hayes Theater which is a small house, intimate and the perfect venue for this 80s rock party. I am proud of my girl who is living her dream and building a career. She’s got an amazing talent – and I’d like to take some credit for having encouraged her to do what she loves … and her beauty, too, of course!
During the school year last year, I started mentoring a little girl who was then in third grade. It seemed like a good idea and the right thing to do for me. A selfish thing to do, actually.
I had no idea that the relationship would become so special. But today it is. For the last year, I have had the privilege of mentoring a most adorable (now) fourth grader and I just wanted to share with you, dear readers, that I was invited to a fourth grade choir concert last week. What fun! And such a special invitation.
Fourth Grade Choir Concert for Veterans Day
I have been to fourth grade choir concerts before … my own children were always performing. It was easy to go to see my own children. It was also easy to go to see this little girl who I have grown to care so deeply for – she is adorable, sweet, and smarter than her years. And despite some pretty big challenges in her young life, she is happy and so much fun to be around. And she did a great job in her concert!
Parents were so proud and excited. Siblings were falling off cafeteria benches and itching to be anywhere else. But this mentor was really proud of one little girl who is very special to me!