Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rays of Light

I tell you what, these first six weeks of my husband's retirement have been an adjustment period.  I am not retired myself yet; that's not on the horizon for at least a half dozen or more years.  

One of my jobs is done from home, and both jobs are somewhat flexible.  Nevertheless, I used to have my own weekday routine, of a sort.

Now?  Not so much.  It feels pretty boggy and nebulous to me.

These days I wake up and smell the coffee, literally, and wonder what day it is (used to be I only woke to the smell of coffee on the weekend, when Norm made it).  There is a sameness to each day, and although I've tried to maintain some of the former touchstones, the days seem to blur together and slip by, one into the next.  Also, it's midwinter, and I'm sure there's some cabin fever that factors into that equation.
One thing I continue to do is throw open my bedroom window first thing in the morning and let all the heat out of the room the direct sunshine warm my face for 15 minutes or so.  There's science behind that strategy, with sunlight and seratonin and Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  When the sun's not shining, I park myself in front of a light box at breakfast during the winter months.  Have for years.  It definitely helps keep the winter blues at bay.

[Icicles on the river birch outside my window]
One of the upshots of Norm being retired is that he's been going for walks with me on milder days, i.e., above 30 degrees.  I'm not a particularly cold-loving gal.  Mostly, I don't want to wipe out on an icy sidewalk.  It's good to be able to grab a supportive arm as I totter over the slippery bits.

And so we're finding our new groove, little by little.

Speaking of sunshine, this lovely little runner brightened my day when it arrived in my mailbox recently, a gift from fellow quilter Marei.

What a lovely surprise!  Wonderful piecing and quilting, isn't it?  I love it!

The news from my sewing room is that I finished the Joy in the Evening quilt this past weekend.  

The multicolored thread I ordered came in, looking somewhat different than the first spool, but close enough that I don't think anyone will notice.

I really like how it turned out.  It makes a cute kid's quilt or lap quilt.  I will probably be donating it, unless someone in the family makes a claim.  (Edited:  Donated to Badger Honor Flight fundraiser.)

Also worked on the Quilty 365 circles for February.  I'm enjoying using various reds and pinks from the stash and scrap bins.

I've also managed to temporarily sidetrack myself with another task, sorting through several decades' worth of old photos which belonged to my in-laws.  They've sat in a big storage box since 1999, when my father-in-law passed away and the house was sold.
[Father-in-law Ed on the far right]
I was looking for an old photo of my sister-in-law the other day, to surprise her with on her birthday.  Didn't find the photo I went searching for, found another instead, and one thing led to another.  
[Ed in the Civil Conservation Corps, late 1930s; mother-in-law Marion, 1940s, lower right]
Pretty soon I had my whole cutting table covered in piles of old photos.  Why this job has fallen to me is another story, albeit somewhat of a mystery.  I think every family has its "keeper of things," and/or its family historian.  Perhaps it defaults to the person who shows anything resembling an interest.  I bet you could name the person who holds that honor in your family.  Is it you?

[Ed was a tank driver in the 7th Armored Division at the Battle of the Bulge in WWII]
Anyway, it may take a while to dig out.  

If you don't hear from me in a couple weeks, send reinforcements.  Or cookies.  That works too.


Marei said...

So you've fallen down the rabbit hole that is old photos, eh? It's a hard climb to get back out, but a wonderful journey. I love old photos. And yes, you know I'm the keeper of the flame for my family which is funny since you know I no longer keep the actual photos! Love your circles. It was fun to see my pink scrap one on the lower left hand side. The fabric was used in a baby girl's quilt. Glad you like the wall hanging. :)

Susan C. said...

I tend to call such lovely people as "traditionalists" or "keepers of the flame" ......I suppose it often takes the new set of eyes to remind others of what they take for granted. Whatever we call it, I am sure your efforts are appreciated. I totally get you on the adjustments of a retired spouse, but adjust we must and it does become commonplace very quickly and you will wonder how you managed before. Love your pink circles.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I have been the "keeper" in our family for many years -- but handed most of the documented material off to my sister who has three grands already who live in the ancestors' home state. Old photos are such a treasure -- even when they feel totally overwhelming.

Interesting to read your reactions to your DH's retirement. I was the first to retire in our family . . .

Lissasews said...

My DH was home 5 months because of a double hip replacement and he drove me crazy. He is an outside fix it kind of guy and he was like a caged lion in the house. I finally told him he must ask permission to come into my sewing room. I hid out in there for a few precious hours each day to maintain both of our sanity. He is back at work now ( I am medically retired) and things have gone back to our lovely normal. Congrats on making the retirement adjustment. It's a big one.

Leslie Schmidt said...

My sister, brother, and I all live in different states and have different copies of photos, so I thought it would be a good thing to scan what I have and upload them to a Flickr account for just us family. It has been really fun to reminisce as I do this.

My husband retired a couple of years ago. At first, it was really annoying how he would talk and talk constantly and follow me around the house. I remember the old joke about marrying for better or worse but not for lunch. He has finally found lots of outside interests that keep him busy.

Your circles look wonderful. I don't have the drive to do something like that.

Sarah Craig said...

I feel your pain - my husband has started working from home one day a week, usually Friday, and I get so confused about what day of the week it is over the weekend! And I also have boxes upon boxes of family photos in my attic that need going through - but it's really my cousin who is good about scanning them and posting them on Facebook for the rest of us to see!

Lara B. said...

I lose days if I open a bin of old photos! Someday it would be good to scan them all... someday. Wow that is something big ib family history that your father-in-law was at The Battle of the Bulge.
So glad you and Norm are adjusting to having each other around more. Just think Paulette, someday he'll be the one adjusting to your retirement.
Marei's sunny quilt is beautiful and sure to brighten your days!
Joy in the Evening turned out beautifully too! I love your 365 circles - the colors against the scrappy low volume backgrounds are wonderful!


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