Monday, July 30, 2012

Better Than the Olympics

It's that time again — where people from all over the world come together and create something much bigger than themselves. No, not the Olympics (though let's face it, I might be watching those if we had a tv), but Songs of Hope.

The idea behind Songs of Hope is simple. Kids who come from all over the world to live together for six weeks, get to know each other, create music together, perform together, and grow individually and as a group, are the world's future peacemakers. To understand a culture, meet its people, share together, and create something bigger than just you.

This year, there were kids from over 10 different countries, from the US to Madagascar, Iraq to Vietnam, Russia to Columbia. They tour all over the state, from Bemidji to Waseca, in small towns where people may not have ever met someone from Turkey or Senegal. Their final performance last night at Boyd Parkwas absolutely amazing; they perform everything from songs and dance from their individual countries to "Hitsville USA" (with a strong NOLA bent).

Beatrix loves the shows, and I feel so lucky to be part of them. It's a tiny group, working hard on a shoestring budget — please consider supporting them and becoming part of their international family.




Friday, July 27, 2012

Needle and Thread

Beatrix has a security blanket that is her most prized possession. It's one of MY most prized possessions as well; my wonderful friend Kristin made it for her, with one side a quilt she pieced and the other cloth cleaned from an old housedress of my mom's. Every time I see it (which is often, Beatrix hauls it everywhere), it makes me think of my mom, and my friends.

The housedress side completely wore apart, and so for 6-8 weeks Beatrix has been walking around with an especially tattered blanket. This kind of came to a head the other morning, when Beatrix woke up at 4am with a terrible coughing fit and could not get back to sleep. Clearly, something had to be done.

Patrick gave me a beautiful sewing machine for my first Mother's day, but I honestly had not used it much. My new sewing area is on the 3rd floor, and it's very hot up there. I didn't have pink thread, I had forgotten how to wind a bobbin on the new machine, I did not have a cutting board, etc. There had been all sorts of excuses, but I really had to get this done.

So yesterday I set aside some time. I pressed and cut the cloth. I hooked up the sewing machine. I decided the black thread in the bobbin was fine, and indeed it was. And as soon as I found the treadle beneath my foot, I felt comfortable and at home again. It was an amazing feeling.

I washed the blanket and gave it to Beatrix when she got home that night. She was thrilled, and insisted on bringing it to the puppet show we attended. And I was amazed again at how fantastic it feels to do the right thing, and how often we put it off.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Really Am Still Here

You noticed, huh? Almost all of July has gone by and not a word.

It's not that I don't love you.

JUly has been an insanely busy month. All of my crazy June deadlines got pushed off into July. I've been working like crazy, non-stop.

Thought I've always thought of summer as "my time," this July has been especially hard. It was 8 years ago that my mom was diagnosed with cancer and my world fell apart. This summer has been an especially hard reminder of that, as we have been cleaning through things at Summit.

We've had never-ending projects, at all three houses, and I feel stuck in quicksand of just getting nothing done.

In many ways it's been a good summer, full of pool parties and events. Some great nights with friends, especially this week.

But I feel a little weighted-down, overwhelmed, unable to keep up. Thus, the lack of blog posts, or enthusiasm in general.

I'll be back. But right now I think I just need some time, and some rest.