I had a marvelous weekend of stitchery and fun. I only missed my girls every other minute, but I know they had so much fun. My husband took them to the Grange for a potluck and a showing of Princess Bride. He also took them to a basketball game to even out the foof factor. The girls don't show any ill effects of my absence, so I might have to do it all again soon.
Our hostess at the retreat definitely gets my vote for homesteading woman of the year. Together with her four children and her husband (who has a full-time job outside the home) she quilts, makes yogurt and cheese including cheddar and parmesan, sells dozens of eggs and 80 gallons a month of raw milk, works their garden and woodlot, runs regularly, and in general makes me feel inspired to do more and do better.
She is a lovely woman I am so glad to have met. And, hurray! She lives just three miles from me and yet I'd never met her. I finished my quilt top; it's lovely and I shall update you with photos as I continue work on the pieced fussy-cut borders. I finished a truly beautiful quilt top and I made some new friends. But more importantly I returned home refreshed and ready for the day-to-day of it all.
I think seeing the beauty in that dailiness is the window of opportunity we're all so fervently seeking. For some reason I remember a momentary encounter of eight and a half years ago. I was driving through Kentucky Fried Chicken (such a flattering part of the memory, I know), having snuck out of bedrest with tiny Madeleine in her carseat in my beat-up Volvo station wagon.
My hugely pregnant self was wedged in so my never-long legs could reach the pedals while still allowing the steering wheel clearance to turn. My craving for a biscuit I can still feel intensely. I can even still hear the untintelligible voice from the drive-through speaker on that hot July day. I remember the difficulty I had rolling the window back up with a hand crank only to have to roll it down again when I reached the biscuit delivery moment.
On that day, along with my biscuit I received some advice that I have frankly not thought about between then and now.
"It's none of it work," said the grandmotherly woman who took my dollars and handed me my food. She looked meaningfully at my sleeping toddler (and probably at my pregancy-weary expression) before repeating herself. "It's none of it work."
"You just enjoy these years like they're never coming back. You hear?"