Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How I spent my Summer Vacation!

          I first titled this blog entry to be "Is summer really over?" It must be because my "kids" are back in school! But it is still so hot here in Texas ~ I could ask, "When will summer be over?!" Ah, it has been a very busy summer to be sure. I have not blogged in forever!!! And, well, there is a reason . . . or several actually.  So, as I reread this blog, I decided on a more appropriate heading; reminiscent of our first writing assignment upon  returning to  school after an eventful summer vacation!
At my Sit 'n Sew Class
Martha's Sewing Market
               May was devoted to getting ready for and exhibiting at Martha's Sewing Market after which, in June, I made two very important trips. One to visit my dear sweet Mom in Houston for a long weekend (returned home for only one day) and then I flew to London for a week to see my daughter, Anna. She is, or rather was, studying there for a year ~ she is back now  in the U.S.!

Here she is in front of Liberty's of London!

The Montecute House, Somerset, England
where my daughter curated an exhibit of portraits!

The start of an incredible adventure!
              Once back home I helped my 20 year old son pack for the adventure of his life: a 500 mile solo hike through the Colorado Rockies; specifically The Colorado Trail. It is not easy packing everything that you will need for over 7 weeks in one backpack! He even dehydrated his own food! Well, of course, there were 5 mail drops to different cities  ~ mostly food! 

At the Trail Head ~ John & me (not smiling)
Castle Rock, Colorado
              My husband and I go to our cabin in Colorado every summer for about a month, hence ~  more packing! AND, we decided to have our floors refinished in three rooms of our home and have the kitchen painted while we were going to be gone. Not such a brilliant idea in retrospect! SO, I had to pack up my entire kitchen and dining room. Wow, I did not realize that I had so much "stuff"! I let my husband pack up his study. By the time we left for the mountains, I was so worn out that I just stared out the car window for three straight days. I normally knit, read and make my extensive grocery list from all of my great magazines (that I never have time to read!), but not this year! On day 2 of our vacation, we dropped off our son in Castle Rock, Colorado. This is where the Colorado Trail begins. It was so hard to say "Good bye". I knew that we would not be seeing him for at least six weeks. We would be lucky to get to talk to him once every ten days or so. So, it was a tearful farewell. Boy, it is so hard being a Mom!
Engineer's Pass, The San Juan Mountains
           The first half of the month of July was spent playing hostess to friends that we had invited up to the cabin. Boy, we should have had our heads examined! That is not the way to start off a vacation. It would have been better to schedule that towards the end of the vacation! By the middle of the month we were so talked out that we hardly even spoke to each other! Well, not really. By then, I was so blessed to get sick. I had to heal quickly though because my husband had planned a little adventure trip out to Lake Powell in Page, Arizona and then the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Horseshoe Bend - Paige, Arizona
              By the time we returned to the cabin, we only had a few days more days of quiet before our vacation was to be over. It always so sad when we have to return to the Texas heat. This year our return home was quite memorable. A bear attacked our car in the middle of the night before we were to depart and caused considerable damage to the back end of our Jeep and all our things that were packed within. Yes, I did say a bear! There were muddy paw prints all over the truck and trailer. Long brownish fur on the seats & plenty of bear spit - yuck! And, distinctive claw marks evident made through boxes - scary! So, after we cleaned up the awful mess, we did actually hit the road. About an hour and a half down the road, we had two flat tires! Yes, not one, but two. Those bear claws are VERY sharp! So, you might be wondering by now if we just turned back, but no, we resumed the 16 hour journey home. And, . . .  I know this seems trivial now, but we had no internet at our cabin this year - wow, can you even imagine! So, that is the reason my emails and blog entries were so scarce. 
           So, was that enough excitement for one summer! Hardly. Although I would not describe  the events that followed as excitement ~ more like a nightmare. We arrived at our home at about 2am - remember we had several delays! After only 2 hours of sleep, our phone rang with bad news. My daughter had taken quite ill. We presumed that she was getting adequate medical care, but after just a few hours and several more phone calls, it became apparent that this was not the case. My husband decided that one of us needed to go to her, so that would be me. I had 20 minutes to pack a bag and get to  the DFW airport for an overnight flight to London. Believe me when I say this, you do not want to get sick in Great Britain! Free health care? No thank you! After a week, I got our baby back home. And, with our wonderful doctors and medicines here in the U.S., she mended. 

The San Juan Mountains, Colorado
            So, whatever became of our son's adventure? He sent us "I'm OK" via his SPOT daily and he was able to call us about every ten days. He did hike the entire Colorado Trail . . . solo. He left the Denver area on the 26th of June and arrived in Durango on August 14th! Did I mention that he also climbed fourteen Fourteeners? Those are mountains that are over 14,000'  in height ~ So amazing! But I was just happy to lay my eyes on him and my arms around his skinny little body! He lost about thirty pounds! And, for those of you who know him, you are probably asking how he could have lost that much when he is already a "stick". I guess that when you are hiking that far and climbing that many mountains, you simply burn far more calories than you are consuming. That's quite a diet plan! 

The Appalachian Mountains, Virginia
            Last Wednesday, my husband and I drove our daughter out to Charlottesville, Virginia to start her doctoral graduate program at the University of Virginia. She was working on her masters in Bristol, England for a year. She is better now, but I wish that she could have been home a little longer.  Today my son leaves for Lubbock to return to Texas Tech as a junior and resume his studies. I wish that I could have a little more time with him too. We Moms are crazy I think. We can't wait for them to grow up and then we can't wait for them to come home! Boy, it is going to be really quiet around here ~ maybe too quiet! 

So, now it is time to get ready for 
all the fun fall events! 
I have a SOLD-OUT  "Sewing in Southern Comfort" retreat in mid-September  ~ sewing clothing for children. Then, at the end of September, we will be traveling to and  exhibiting at the Original Sewing  & Quilt Expo in Chantilly, VA. I have been invited to teach there as well as emcee two stage presentations.  In November, we have the huge Houston International Quilt Festival where will be once again exhibitors. Lastly, I have one more retreat to lead in mid November ~ Sewing for Yourself. I believe that there are only two spots still open for that one.  After that,  I will be done for the year! BUT, I have so many ideas right now swimming around in my head, so I will mostly be busy creating in my studio for now! I'll keep you posted on new creations!!!