Thursday Thoughts

One of the most impactful things Dad ever taught me is to look at things from every different angle you can before deciding on something. In most things, it is prudent to do so. I like that he would tell me to think of where the other person may come from. It has always served me well. As young kids, they expected us to think things through. They, meaning the parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Maybe we didn’t have a stress-free life as kids, but I think we all can operate as reasonably intelligent adults.

Sometimes, someone may remark, “Gee, I didn’t think of it that way.” That’s a clue you may have opened their eyes to a fresh way of thinking. It’s easier if they’re open to changing their way of doing things. If they’re not, it’s much harder. Consensus is easier to achieve with more open-minded people. Face it. Change is hard. People resist as long as they can.

It gets frustrating when someone digs in and belittles your decision or choice and later claims they supported you all the way. The excuse is “Well, things were different.” With some people, it’s just not worth being right. It’s best to know you are and move on. I’ve had to do that a lot about a lot of things in my life. Moving away to a different neighborhood is a big deal in my family. No more, because I’ve done it. Three times. Mom still lives in the same house she and Dad purchased in 1949. That’s seventy-two years in the same house. It has to be some kind of record.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We have to learn to be comfortable with our decisions. We need to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. All of them. We have a responsibility to admit if we do something bad. Or good. We sometimes learn more from the poor decisions than the good ones. It’s possible. A balanced person never forgets the lessons they learn from the poor ones. And they know not to beat themselves up over them.

I had another Zoom call with Sam, my book coach today. I’m eager to add more description to my second chapter and flesh out the first scene of the third chapter. Slow and steady wins the race. I read something a couple days ago stating it takes three years to write a book. At first I scoffed at that. *Word of the Day – Scoffed! When I think of starting a year ago, January 2019, it’s not so off the mark. That’s about what I’m looking at now, at the current rate. I do like having smaller sections to rewrite.

I have about 40K written in my first book, These Walls Do Talk. I want to finish it someday I see it as a part of a trilogy. It’s not lost work it was good practice. I think back to a conversation Sam and I had once that touched on having manuscripts that will not be the ones to publish. It’s a very common occurrence among writers. That does not surprise me. Among quilters, there are many projects that never see the quilting and binding added. I have a beautiful example of one. I did not finish the first quilt ever made. I kept it as a reminder of how it was to just start learning the craft. The most important thing I learned was the famous quarter inch seams are to be critical. Otherwise, nothing will align properly. I have some rows that look terrible. You can fudge on a seam while dressmaking (I have frequently), but in quilting its unforgiving. Come to think of it, I should put a binding on it and drape it on my studio chair right here. It will remind me there is a learning curve with everything creative. And to be humble.

Goldie Could Enjoy My “Humility” Quilt.

I think I should dig that quilt out and finish it. Just because. I can look at as a failure. I don’t like the colors. It was a practice piece. I can also use it to help me see how much I’ve learned. All the quilting skills I have are self-taught. There were a few classes I took, but most of it is self-taught. With lots of books and magazines.

I’m glad to know how to look at things differently. It’s helped me be grateful, despite having a body ravaged by some weird ailments. I could have become bitter about what I lost at age 44, but I am grateful for what I can still do independently. I am grateful to have a husband who tells me, “whatever you want to do, honey,” when I have an idea for another quilt, blog, or project. We work well together, he encourages me. It stifles a lot of women to have little support for their creativity. My only problem is finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do!

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy the precipitation we’re having in Gretna, NE. I wish those fires in Colorado would have a gully washer fall on them. The destruction is terrible. Be Open. Think Differently. Love Without Restriction. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Careful.

Another Friday

Amazon Delivery is a wonderous thing. Or a very bad thing, depending on your view. Internet ordering can be a blessing or a curse. You could live a long time, I think, just ordering essentials for delivery. Who knows? We may get to test that theory if the nation shuts down again. I don’t know anyone really knows. Too many things in play at once, and with the crowds who will be out this weekend, it could get much worse. I just pray if it does that my mom stays healthy.

I ordered a couple of books for research. One is “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” which is about Writing Creative Nonfiction – – from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between. It should arrive today, and the other, “Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life.” Most of the experiences I’m writing about have a root in my own life. I just want to find the best way to write about them.

If I tell it correctly, I won’t have to write a caveat telling my readers I’m not complaining about all the bad stuff; instead, I know if it hadn’t happened, I would not have grown into the strong woman I am. The events were a lot of forging the steel of my nerves; the prayers I said took my relationship with God to a completely different level; the heartbreaks have built my character; I held onto the idea I had about relationships and I met him after the positively worst event of my life. I was looking at a possible crushed spinal cord from a tumor in my spine, which was life altering and took many normal activities from me at the age of 44. That’s far too young. But I’m still here, twenty four years later.

I need to learn I’m not bragging about all of this; it’s a story; it’s part of my story. And I’m just grateful I survived and was not paralyzed from the chest down. I would have missed so much of the wonderful life I’ve been blessed with. It’s hard to talk about yourself when you were raised to be humble, meek, compliant, and to go along with whatever your parents or husband decided for you. The world cannot work like that anymore. I hope our daughters and granddaughters are learning that. Please, teach them.

I am greatly disturbed by the creation of a “black anthem.” I understand it’s being called the Black National Anthem. I feel this divides our people more significantly than before. I feel it’s a bad idea, to start including it in the pre-game festivities of NFL and NBA games. I think it will drive a wedge in between people that we won’t be able to remove later. At what point will this stop? All people need to be responsible for their own errors of judgement, whether it be breaking the law or a character flaw that gets you in trouble.

Before there is reaction about this, I’m going to mention a tort lawsuit filed last week by the families of the four Gretna girls who died in a car accident last summer. The fifth girl survived and her family is not part of the lawsuit. Yes, it’s sad. The fact of the matter, though, is being 14 and 15 year old girls, they thought they were adult enough to handle drinking and driving over 90 mph on a gravel road. The tort lawsuit is against the county for a poorly constructed road. I say this is wrong.

I believe the fault is not with the road. I believe the fault is with the driver and the group of girls who knowingly broke the law by drinking underage then somehow thought it was a good idea to get into a car, with the sober girl only as a passenger. The driver crashed under the influence and was killed. The sober girl was too, along with two of their friends. The survivor was badly burned, and has to live with her injuries and memories for the rest of her life. I hope she vows to never drink again.

I believe strongly in personal responsibility. Unfortunately people are sometimes in a state of denial. As a parent, I know my kids did dumb things. All kids do. I did dumb things as a kid. If you live through that phase, you are eternally grateful you survived yourself. Four of these girls did not, and it is sad. Denying the truth and filing tort lawsuits don’t make the outcome any different.

One thing I deeply believe is that with the rights we have, either given or earned, comes a set of responsibilities of which we need to be very mindful. Yes, the State of Nebraska may allow kids to drive (outside the city, limited trips, etc.) at a very young age. With that right comes many responsibilities. I told my kids as they started to drive they needed to understand the financial future of our family depended on them making good decisions while they were driving. A lawsuit would have wiped us out. I told them I would trust them until I discovered I couldn’t. And I hoped I didn’t have to renege on my trust.

Yes, you may be able to bear arms, but you need to be a responsible gun owner. It is a matter of common sense. Don’t play with firearms. Don’t leave them lying about where a child can access them. Don’t use them if you are intoxicated of under the influence of drugs of any kind. There again, it just makes sense.

People lament all the time about the death of common sense. I think it started back in the 1980s with the “Drive Safely – Baby On Board” signs people had on their cars. It was almost laughable, why would I drive less safely if you were alone in your car? I had three kids in my vehicle most of the time, where was our sign? Were you more or less careful? Who needs to be reminded?

America is indeed, a beautiful country. Take time this weekend to look around wherever you are. Look up and out and see this land that is all of ours. Pray for it’s safety, pray for it’s leaders, pray for it’s protectors, and pray for each other. We need to get our stuff together and start acting like the great land we are, and stop bickering over everything. Past is past. Yes, parts of it are very ugly. If we knew then what we know now, we would have all behaved differently.

If we want to have a future, we need to concentrate on today and how to make it better for all of us. With that, I thank you for reading today. Working on some things the rest of the day, and hope to finish something by Monday. It could be a surprise to all of us when revealed on Monday! Be safe, Be kind, distance, wash your hands, cover your sneezes, be kind. We all need it! See you tomorrow.