Summer endings

I'm sitting on my porch, a place where I have spent the summer watching so many hummingbirds and butterflies that I lost count. Bees are healthy on my property, and we are constantly busy tearing down honeysuckle vines that threaten to strangle my two favorite dogwood trees. Our dear friends have departed over the weekend and many of the summer visitors to Lewes are packing up and leaving to go back to their busy lives in DC or Philly. And I mourn the loss of a summer gone too fast.

I did not accomplish all that I set out to accomplish. I had grand plans for several new compositions and I had wanted to start a new series. Five steps in Morocco dashed my plans but I would rate the summer a success nevertheless. I do not think I am a particularly good patient- basically since I have little patience for idleness. But enforced rest showed me a different side of myself.

I am not to content to rest so I occupied myself with some "fun" projects. I have long had an immense wall of fabric strips and I was bound and determined to whittle it down. That, I found, was an exercise in futility but it did allow me to play around with strip piecing which I found I was able to do with one hand. Ironing was against the rules but I found that I could lift the iron with my left hand, iron with my right hand and then turn it right side up with my left hand... a bit laborious but it worked. I spent many fine hours piecing fabric and assembling scrap quilts. As one fellow quilter said," Quite lovely but nothing ground breaking." I know that. But "ground breaking" was not in the cards this summer and "pretty" ended up being the word of the day. And in the end, I will end up with two nice bed quilts. I worried that I was wasting time, but had to give in to the fact that this was what I could do.
I was able to crop, with the help of my dear friend Robin, a very large piece that I have been working on. I could not pin it together but it waits for me the next time I return. And, I did manage one new composition that is coming home with me with the hopes that I will get the go ahead from my surgeon to do more heavy lifting with my right hand.

I learned this summer that I am totally comfortable being a solitary soul. Maybe I am too comfortable- but I spent days- actually weeks- alone with Barley and made off fine. I am happy in the studio and feel like I am shedding some of the frenetic quality that has dominated my personality for so long. Is that age or just getting comfortable being alone? I worry about re-entry to city life and all that waits for me in DC.

It has been a fine summer although I ate too few good tomatoes, ears of corn or BBQ. I did not put up the bushels of peaches that normally takes us through winter, and I did not make it down to the beach for all the sunsets I promised myself.

I have much to look forward to. A wonderful family bar mitzvah in two weeks, our traditional Rosh Hashana gathering at our house, a visit from my daughter, and hopefully a few details released on my son's engagement and eventual wedding. I love when the family is together, and we have so much to celebrate.

September. Beginning of the school year. Time to buckle down and look back on the lazy days of summer. I have ideas of a new series about my mother swirling in my head- not ready yet for my design walls. I have experiments to do with my indigo fabrics, and more investigation into kakishibu.
I may let my scrap quilts languish on the walls of my Lewes studio- waiting for time when I need to play. But they served me well and I will finish them. The school year is starting and I am ready.

by JudyK