I don't quite know what happened to me yesterday but I suspect that stress took me down for a day. As much as I would like to quit thinking about the suicide of my 87 year old dad, it surfaces now and again, to drag me down the rabbit hole. The day that I received the call from the attorney, it became so very evident that I could not conduct business of any kind with the terrible hum and crackle on our phone line. (Yes, I do own a cellphone but cannot use it, here at the house, for actual phone calls.) So began the campaign to get help from AT&T.
Rod is one of those people who seems to relish the verbal combat necessary to mount phone call assaults, to get results, but this line of warfare has lately proven to be useless. After promises and promises and promises to get someone out here to check the line, to no avail, I mounted my own assault, using Social Media. I felt that my only recourse was to slam the lack of caring on the part of AT&T via Twitter. It took only two tweets to catch the attention of someone from the company and before I knew it, I was in contact with someone who seemed to be able to do something about my feeling abandoned by this communication necessity. I received a call from the social media director from The Office Of The President but of course ROD took the phone and I did not make that communication connection. Fail. We did not see the promised lineman that day and so Rod called and left a message, that evening. He called the next morning but nothing again. Then, after a day of waiting, *I* called and amazingly, not long after the call, I received one from a nice man from that office. I had left the message that this was taking its toll on me and that I needed a callback. He was on it. He promised me that a lineman would be here within a 90 minute window and when I told him that I just did not believe it, he PROMISED me that it would happen because he, personally, had been in contact with the local bosses. So, we waited.
Remarkably, before the 90 minute window was up, I got a call from the lineman, who was heading our way, to take care of our problem. Really??? I had to take the puppy to the vet for another shot and so, when I saw an AT&T truck passing me on the road, I waved, "hopeful as all getout". Of course, when I came back up the driveway, Rod told me that he had seen or talked to no one. REALLY???
We waited and waited and finally got another phone call from the lineman, saying, at almost 6 PM, that he had been working on the problem but would come back the next day. Oh...ok.
Yesterday morning, I was startled by the sound of the doorbell (we rarely have anyone ring it, living up here) and there were TWO trucks in the driveway, ready to attack the problem. (!) Rod said that they left him and drove up our dirt access road. By this time, I just could not shake this nausea. Had to lie down. Rod had his usual Wednesday morning company but I told Lorrie that I just could not work, feeling like I would be sick at any moment.
That was it. I went back to bed and pulled the blanket up over my head and stayed there for the rest of the day. I no longer needed to be in battle mode and the pent up worries and sorrow took me down. Do you know what happens, when you stay in bed for 20 hours? Something about being in a car wreck comes to mind.
I am back with the living and the only noise on the telephone line comes from the ringing in my own ears. We have a PS on that whole thing, by the way. We came away with the phone number of the lineman AND the fellow from the President's Office called back and gave us his direct line, promising that the cable/line would be replaced WITHIN two weeks (it has the potential to go south on us, once again) and if it did not happen, in a timely manner, we were to call HIM. Ok, it's a deal.
I have to say that I was very excited, on Saturday night, to receive a copy of the new and glorious Aello Shawl designed by Marnie McLean for the Spring Summer issue of Twist Collective. I was sworn to secrecy for months but can now show you what Marnie created with one skein of our Montreaux. This yarn is a fine lace weight made with Superfine Superwash Merino and silk, which blocks crisply. The colorway that Marnie used is Flanders, which is a beautiful sky blue with tiny sprinkles of colors that remind me of our visit to France, last Spring.
Photos by James Brittain
I hope that you run right over to Twist Collective and get the pattern. The first person to order the yarn purchased it in Silver. Now I have to decide what color I want to use!
Today is picture day. We begin with the new canine addition, which is fitting, because he is about 11 weeks older than Lily. Teejay is a real character and his pal Trixie is bringing him along nicely.
He is now 12 weeks old and a real pistol. I took this photo yesterday, as I was sitting on the glider on the studio porch. It is a peaceful place and one where the dogs like to hang out, but unfortunately, Teejay has no problem with marching through the plants like a bull in a china shop. I love him so much that I can forgive his goofy behavior.
Our new grandbaby is Lily Olivia and she is a real peach, in every way. This is the morning after her birth, when her hair was washed and her face had begun to look a little less like that of a prize-fighter.
Her siblings are in love with her and have been extra sweet with kisses.
We love her to pieces and welcome her to the world.
So, in honor of Lily, I created a couple of colorways. The first one is called Lily O Lily.
The second one is Cherry Blossom.
I love this new fiber colorway, that I call BellyBeans. This is done in Superfine Merino.
Here it is spun and plied. It just makes me happy.
Not much prose, this time. Just new life and happy times, to replace the pain and sorrow. To my dad, I say...I have always loved you and have missed you for a very long time. I hope that you find peace and happiness on the Other Side and if you have the chance to come back again, this time, I hope that the new life will be full of joy.
I know that it has been a long long time since I wrote to you via the blog but I know that there are some people out there who miss the connection. I have had a roller coaster of life events, these past few weeks, beginning with the failure of my 9 year old friend and companion, Tank.
He was beginning to lose weight and was having difficulties with his digestion, which concerned me enough to take him to the vet. The prognosis was that he was going into kidney failure, which the vet seemed to think was brought on to exposure to Lyme Disease. We did everything in our power to keep him going, for about a month, with antibiotics and diet change but in the end, with broken hearts, we took him for his very last car ride and helped him through the drug induced transition that brought the end to his life. To say that we were heartbroken is an understatement but during the long decline, we promised ourselves that we would love again.
Within about two weeks, I responded to an ad by a gal with black lab pups and that next weekend, we packed Sydney into her car seat which was next to the crate that we had not used since we moved the dogs up here, almost 7 years ago. We took a 90 minute ride up the valley to a beautiful ranch with sheep and chickens and most importantly, the mama and papa of the last two male Lab pups. We were greeted by dogs and a very nice couple, who explained that because the sire of the puppies was 10 years old and the husband's hunting dog, they had decided to mate him to their son's Chocolate Lab, with the hopes of securing an heir to the duck hunting prowess of daddy dog. The fellow struggled with who to keep of the two remaining puppies but when he chose the less dominant pup, we traded an envelope for a wiggly 10 week old little boy we named Teejay. He has turned out to be a wonderful little boy and while he will not reach the size of Tank, who was a very big Lab, he is chunky in the English style and a sweet companion for Auntie Trixie. That was one circle of life that was completed, in March. We realized that this puppy came to us to teach us to get ready for the next step, which was to get our energy up to to be grandparents again.
Yes, on Wednesday, the 2nd of April, our daughter Lauren gave birth to the most wonderful 8 pound 2 ounce baby, with a BIG head of hair, our little Lily Olivia. Lauren had told me a couple of weeks before the birth that she had had a dream and the baby looked just like her. Well, she pretty much did, because Lauren was born with a full head of dark curls and little Lily is a beautiful brunette, like her Mama, unlike her light haired sister. She is sweet and her Mama's new little love and we feel very blessed by her arrival. I will, of course, post photos, as I venture back into connecting with you through this avenue.
The second circle of life came together when, on Sunday, I heard from an attorney in Hamilton Montana. He called to tell me that my 87 year old father had died that day. It was such a shock and I did not ask him the cause of death, figuring that he had left his body in his sleep. That was not the case. Dad, who was very independent and going blind (much like my mother) had decided to take his own life. He thought it out very deliberately and took care of all of the details, so that his two daughters would not have to deal with the physical tragedy, choosing to take care of the mortuary and attorney details before leaving this earth. I can tell you that the flood of emotion has been deep and wide but I am coming to terms with his decision, which he put into motion 20 years ago, when he moved away from family, to live in what became his beloved Bitteroot Valley. My sister Dena and I kept in contact with him over the years and when he and I reconciled, I thought that he was actually in a good place. How can an artist be "in a good place" when the eyes go? I guess that this is why he chose to leave us and not become a burden to anyone. He had done so much to keep healthy, giving up so many things that cause disease but according to my eye doctor, it was probably his years and years of smoking that caused the damage to his eyes. We will never know exactly why he left us this way but we both understand and forgive him. A good friend of mine told me that he chose to leave The Cowboy Way. Yeah, I guess so.
So, my friends, this is my story. Death and life. I promise that next time, there will be pictures, to show you the new additions to the family, both human and canine. Life goes on.