Wednesday, February 3, 2010

High Five

I've been tagged by Catherine to select 5 highlights of 2009. I don't ordinarily do memes. I don't know why. I get started and then led astray, but I told Catherine I'd give this one a shot. If you haven't been by Catherine's site, you should go visit. It's where I go when I want to see what's going on in Ireland and in Catherine's very interesting life.

Last year was monumental in terms of change, so this shouldn't be too difficult. Not all change is good though and sometimes, it's hard to select high points when upon reflection, all I can see at the surface are the lows. In that case, it's an excellent idea to scratch below the surface.

1. How could the number one high point in last year be anything but the success we achieved in turning our own home into an assisted living arrangement for our daughter and 3 other young women? We've had a few bumps along the way, but all in all, it's been wonderful for everyone including Rachel, us, the women who moved in with Rachel and their families. It was nothing short of a life changing event for all involved. This was the most important thing we've ever done to assure that our youngest child would have a secure and home-like living arrangement for the rest of her life. For months before and after, I had a hard time sleeping and my anxiety levels were always bubbling at the surface, but somehow, we've made it through this transitional period and everyone involved seems very content. If I ever question myself, I've only to make a nursing home visit to a patient to see what happens to impaired children of parents who failed to plan. There are plenty of mentally impaired young adults residing in places like that. I did the right thing even though that never seems to be the easy path.

2. If it weren't for number one, I'd never have learned to spin yarn. Learning this survival art has been a goal for many years, and frankly, I wouldn't have had the freedom, nor the time before we made those changes last year. I've made wonderful new friends by joining a spinning circle that I seldom miss. I live for Saturday mornings now and the community I've found with like minded women. Being able to make my own yarn has turned out to be nice, but the circle I belong to is the best thing about Saturday mornings.

3. Maybe, just maybe, I had one stellar personal achievement last year, and that was winning the blue ribbon for my Michigan State Fair entry of The Cap Shawl. Yep. That was incredibly satisfying. It was bitter sweet, for last year's fair turned out to be the fair's last year. With the economy in Michigan crumbling, there is no way to keep an event like this afloat. If things turn around economically, perhaps the fair will return. One can hope.

4. In September, I went to Virginia with my brothers. Over that long weekend, we drove to the place of my grandmother's birth and had a lot of fun poking around in our family history. I have to say, that was pretty enjoyable. While there, I took my first (ever) knitting class with Jane Slicer Smith. Awesome.

5. In a when one door closes, another opens kind of way, I've made a new friend in my neighbor's cat, Mr. Mocha Latte. While it's not this Siamese cat's real name, it's what I call him. He greeted me the first day we moved in by peering into my front door and waiting patiently for me to invite him in. He's visited often ever since our first meeting, and oddly, it's always at a time when I seem to be intensely missing my dog, Duke. This cat is no accident in my life and while sure, I admit I feed him treats here and there, what he seems to like best is to nap in my bed. He came by just a couple of days ago. It was bitterly cold outside when I got up early and after 5 minutes of being up, I decided to go back to bed to get warm. As I was passing the front door, the cat was there meowing to come inside. He was freezing, too. We both went to bed and slept a few more hours with him nestled in the crook of my knee. I'm going to miss that cat when we move.

There you have it. My life, lemons and lemonade.

Since this is a meme and the number five is involved, I am going to tag five people to play along. Sometimes, we humans tend to linger on the negative, I think it can be a challenge to think about good things that have happened. This was an excellent exercise for me in singling out the good and reflecting on things that, while maybe not so great on the surface, really did have positive outcomes. Thus, I throw down the High Five gauntlet to the following bloggers:

  1. Rose at Sand in My Yarn (This is a new home for Rose which proves that the lemon/lemonade thing works. She ditched her old site and made a new one that has the best name even though these days, it's not sand, but snow in her yarn).
  2. Brenda at Days of My Life
  3. Lisa at A Really Simple Life
  4. Gail at At the Farm
  5. Betty at Life is Good
Thanks Catherine. I really enjoyed playing along.


Winifred said...

Some great highs there Rudee. Number one will probably never be bettered.

Bet Mt Mocha Latte misses you too. You might find him in the removal van!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading that Rudee. You are so right about all the negative things that happen sometimes turn out with great results. That is part of having the faith. You deal with what is in front of you and trust it to be the wisest thing. Will visit your new friends challenged to open up. Blessings

Stephanie V said...

I've been wondering about Mr Mocha Latte and the move. He'll miss you, too, I'm sure.

Beautiful pitchers of lemonade made last year. It's impressive.

Brenda said...

Thanks Rudee. I will try and do this a little later. I enjoyed reading all of your highlights, and so admire... all that you accomplish in your life. This is a great exercise of reflection, so I will join in when I get a chance.
Can you take Mr Mocha Latte with you? I would miss him too and he does seem to love you.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this! Thanks for including me.. I loved your five highlights. I'm going to think on my five highlights while I nap :) and post them today.

Sandy said...

Loved reading this and I remember all these clearly as you would write about them. I'm so glad for you that Rachel is doing well and taken care of and you have more time to do the things you also love.

Rose said...

Ooh, thank you for tagging me; now I have to think about it. So nice to read about your five, especially glad that the biggest change, Rachel's, has worked out so well. I sure wish I could come to your spinning group. I'd knit and bring bread!!

Renie Burghardt said...

I enjoyed your meme Rudee. Your highlights are wonderful.

Your number one choice is the best, followed closely by your blue ribbon winning shawl! I hope 2010 will bring more, great highlights your way!

Rositta said...

Taking care of your daughter's future was one of the best decisions you made and it's too bad not more people think of doing the same. You've had a great year. The shawl was awesome...ciao

Catherine said...

Hey Rudee, thanks for your kind comments about my blog! I really appreciate that and also am delighted that you enjoyed doing the meme - it was my first and I am not tempted to do lots like there seem to be a number for every day of the week or any number of events.
Your high five was really touching - I don't know much about your daughter's condition but it certainly sounds like a major milestone was attained in this assisted living arrangement. Good luck with it. And your other four were equally interesting. The creative side of your life sounds like it's a lifeline and a total downtime from your stressful work life - hopefully you'll get through all the trauma stress you have right now and don't worry too much about the job - I think frontline is where the best nurses belong! Spinning sounds fun but knitting is as far as I'll get! All the best,