Thought I’d take a moment to catch my breath and “report in” a few details of this past week or two. So sit back, put your feet up, and settle in for a photo ramble before some transparent thoughts concerning my current worldview.
It’s been a wild four weeks! A month ago we were heading to Beaumont for their guild quilt show, right after that I flew to Paducah to help in the Studio 180 Design booth, before I knew it I was preparing for a Podcast and then last weekend another quilt guild show with the local Lakeview Quilters. Whew! What fun…
Lakeview Quilt Show
I posted a few photos of The Quilt Rambler booth at last weekend’s quilt show on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and promised I’d post a few quilt photos. Well, the time has escaped me and in going through lots of photos I decided to just share a few. The show’s theme was Remembering Sue, which if you don’t know, is Sue Garman who was a very beloved active member of this guild. I could ramble for days about Sue and her accomplishments, but her guild said it best by the quilts on display honoring Sue. I thought I’d just share a couple that caught my attention.
I will say that the ladies who were in charge of the vendors did a fabulous job of making sure my needs were met – they provided snacks, a box lunch, and potty breaks! Thank you also to my friend Diane who worked with me on Friday and to our son Jake who assisted in the setup and tear down – always nice to have a man do the heavy lifting! The overall show was top notch as Lakeview has some gifted quilters, always has. I’m sure you can see more quilts if you visit their website. I enjoyed the quilters who stopped by the booth to see demonstrations, take home a tool or two and who inquired about my teaching and upcoming travel schedule. I enjoyed the show both as an observer and a vendor. Thank you, Lakeview.
Tiki Hut Time
I will give you an update in a minute on the Harvey reconstruction but suffice it to say, we are still displaced. I was feeling pretty cramped in the RV this week so with the weather being nice I decided to move it outdoors! Yep, packed up the sewing machine, portable table, ironing board, cutting station and set up shop under the tiki hut for a little “spread out” sewing. The breeze was fabulous but it didn’t keep the mosquitoes away. UGH!
The Midnight Rambler
Well, the class was actually over before midnight but I think I stayed and chatted until then! Last night from 6 to 10ish I taught my first class at the new quilt shop down the road, TEO’s Treasures We were working from the pattern Sugar and Spice using Studio 180 Design tools. The ladies learned to use the Tucker Trimmer I to make half square triangle units and hourglass units for their quilt. In addition, I shared how to construct a lemoyne star using the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star Ruler. I am so proud of my students! That’s a lot to cover in a short amount of time! One of the ladies was a true beginner – you can’t tell it by looking at the finished star blocks! Each was successful in learning a new technique.
I am very proud of these gals and know I will see them in future classes as we further explore using Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design tools and techniques. A second class is offered on Weds, April 16th with other classes being planned for later this summer.
I’ve tried not to mention too much about good ole Harvey, the storm that interrupted our lives a little over eight and a half months ago….but I wanted to give an update on some of the reconstruction. Things seem to be moving at a snail’s pace – but I have to remember we didn’t even begin reconstruction until mid-February. In the world of contractors, it must be a scheduling nightmare between the skilled workman needed for the next phase and the timely delivery of supplies. That said…we have doors!
And here’s where it gets transparent. Warning – this is personal and very transparent.
I had brunch with a girlfriend from church today. I had reached out to her recently when I was really sinking low in emotions – and today was our day to get together so I could “vent”.
I shared with Jamie how I hesitate to share my frustrations with others concerning being displaced and all the other things that go along with that. I see too many people airing things on social media (not just storm-related) that I didn’t want to appear to be a whinny-baby, didn’t want to draw attention (negative attention is still attention)….especially when I know I have it good compared to others. I mean, there are those of you out there who have children with terrible illnesses or you yourself suffer with your health, those who have lost their jobs, some have or are burying their mothers this week before the nation celebrates Mother’s Day. Who am I to complain about being displaced? The one good thing about living in an RV is it’s not a tent, right?
Right and wrong at the same time. Yes, I’m thankful I am not in a tent – but I’m going to be honest. I’m tired of living in an RV. This is not designed for full-time, it’s designed for weekend trips. It’s not a luxury motorhome, and it may need some new mobile home parts, but it certainly does the job. It has a murphy bed (did I mention how hard this mattress is!) – and if you don’t make up the bed you don’t have a couch to sit on – and there’s no other place to sit beside the throne in the small-bearly can turn around – bathroom (TMI I gave up shaving my legs for winter because the shower is too small – now it’s summer and I’m in a pickle!). Okay, it does have a dining table, but it’s covered with my computer and office stuff and STUFF! Since August 26th (or Sept 3rd when I returned) there has not been one picked up -organized – clean area to even rest your eyes anywhere on this property. Constant clutter, constant moving things to make room to do something else, constantly looking for something only not to remember if you packed it in the storage unit, the garage, or the container – or perhaps it was discarded in the debris…And yes, I have hit a low point.
I told you I’m being transparent. I’m not doing this to have folks offer solutions (the only solution is to keep moving forward one day at a time – I know that), I’m not sharing this to stir up sympathy or a flooding of “hang in there” comments. I am sharing in hopes that my being real will somehow help someone else whose life isn’t “social media perfect”. You know what I mean! We all, myself included, want to put our best foot forward. I mean, I was taught not to go out in public without my lipstick! There are just some things you are supposed to do, or not do, right? And admitting you are depressed, admitting you have a short fuse, admitting words have come out of your mouth in frustration that were never in your vocabulary….these are things we just aren’t suppose to do, right?
“Confess your faults to one another” and the verse about ‘comforting those as you have been comforted’ were topics of our conversation today. Being real. Being a witness to the things that are happening in my life. The good, the bad, and what I see as the ugly are in reality all apart of God’s plan for my life. Wait a minute, Karen – are you saying that having your house flooded was part of God’s plan? Yes, in a strange way that I don’t fully understand, it is. Physically we have shared how being able to fix things (like the plumbing) have been easier with no walls or floors. That’s a good thing. Being able to rearrange things to better suit our future plans is a good thing….but what about not being able to sew? what about not being able to quilt? what about not knowing WHEN I can get my longarm home from its spa treatment at the manufacturer? What about all this frustration and constantly being tired, and being jealous when I see other’s creating beautiful quilts when I don’t have my studio to work in or people sharing fabulous recipes when I’m eating out or warming up frozen dinners because there’s no room to cook in the RV much less refrigerator space to have anything but lunch meat, cheese, and eggs? I can’t say I totally understand this, and I have to admit I truly don’t like it…but deep in my heart, no deep in my very soul – God is either who He says He is (I AM) and keeps His promises or it’s all a big lie and the joke’s on me. “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I (Jesus) have overcome the world.”
I believe that. Yet like the one in the Bible who added: “Lord help my unbelief” – that’s where I find myself. I know, I know, I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus loves me. I know God has a plan. Right now I’m going through the trials of growth – I need my faith to grow and I need to be strengthened by Him to carry on. Is it easy? No. Am I embarrassing myself with these raw emotions? perhaps. And yes, I’m still embarrassed about crying in public when I confessed to the gals at the chiropractor on Monday that I didn’t cry over losing my stuff in Harvey but I am crying now with the fatigue of past wanting to move into my house – for the record I had my lipstick on!
In summary, if you’d hung with me this long, I don’t have answers. I don’t know when my house will be finished. I don’t know why it is taking so long (perhaps because I am one of 150 thousand homes that were affected by Harvey in just this local area). There’s a lot of things I don’t know, and there are a lot of things I don’t like. But there are hidden joys that I must cling to and not let the enemy steal…the desires of my heart to be able to teach quilting, the joy of designing a new pattern with the tools and techniques I love, the breeze when I sit under the tiki hut, especially on a moonlit night listening to music with my husband…oh! and did I mention the joys of becoming a new grandparent – we learn more about Baby O tomorrow – he or she – that’s the big reveal! Bottom line – there really is more joy to life than sadness, even though difficult times come (and they will, it’s guaranteed) there’s got to be joy. Happiness is circumstantial. Joy is a choice. Joy comes from the Lord.
I don’t know if this ramble is more for me as a public confessional of my troubled mind, or if it’s for you – letting you know that there are no “social media perfect lives” out there- that we all put our pants on one leg at a time, we all have struggles that are real – even if compared to others they seem silly, they are still real. And the bottom line is, what about Jesus – do I trust Him? Do you? Do I lean on Him to be my strength? Will I praise Him in this storm? Will I worship Him as Job when he said: “the Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord“. All I can say is I want to, and I believe that I need Him in my life. I want to remember that I’m a child of The King, and even when I feel like a kitten that in His strength I can roar like a lion!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, just the girl next door with raw emotions, fits of depression, but with the deep convicting knowledge that all I need is Jesus
May I share my theme song with you…