Thursday, October 11, 2012

I hope for the kindness of strangers

but I've always relied on the kindness of friends

As my days are busy with preparation for my big trip across the pond, my hands are always moving, piles of lists and papers growing, I have been thinking on things. Thinking on what an adventure this life is, how fortunate I have been and what surprises have come my way.

I have been thinking about friends, the ones close by and those far away. The friends I have made through this blog yet never seen, and it is a wonder. I am quite excited that I will be meeting a few of them in person very soon. That these friends have offered so much kindness and generosity makes me feel so deeply grateful.

sewing pretty notebooks for my London workshop lovelies

Last weekend the family loaded up the car and set out over the pass, winding our way along the gray ribbon of highway to the coast. It was a planned weekend of friends - that seemed to come at the worst time, only to turn out to be the best time... as it so often does. This group of friends, this exceptional circle of people; they are (if you will excuse the new age-y-ness of my vernacular) my tribe, my community, and my family. There is something just a little bit magic about being with people that make you feel at home, that embrace you as you are... warts and all.

For all of us, big things are happening. The weekend was about one last 'all of us together' before the biologist and the mountain climber leave for an extended stay in South America. What a brilliant memory we now have!

finishing up samples for the workshop

We had the most stunning weather I have seen in years. The Oregon coast is always beautiful, but the weather can be a bit dramatic. There was very little wind, we woke up to blue bird skies instead of a medieval shroud of mist and fog, we sunned in T-shirts on the beach and we sighed deep thankful sighs.

There was a surprise Frenchman thrown into the mix; a stranger to most of us, but he quickly turned into a most welcome guest and surely a long time friend. We collaborated on amazing feasts, we opened more bottles than I care to recall, we engaged in meaningful conversation until it turned crass and we laughed till it hurt.

The Music Man broke out the guitar and then the fiddle, he sang pretty songs in English and then he sang pretty songs in French. More guitars and songs and music. My gorgeous girl sang songs that she wrote and blew the room away. I was not the only one to get a little teary eyed.

working with little bits

Such an abundance of comfort in these friends. What a lucky woman I am to be able to enjoy this superlative company, to revel in the kindness of friends.

As for strangers, I have just this morning been shown great kindness by a lovely woman named Holly from St. Louis Missouri. She fielded my call about bank business and in what should have been a most tedious task, instead became a truly delightful experience. Thank you Holly.

And thank you my friends far and wide, you have been so kind.


Pomona said...

It sounds like a lovely gathering! And hopefully we will be able to meet up in Old Blighty too.

Pomona x

C o w R o a d said...

Lovely, lovely post Alex!
Have an amazing time across the pond! :-)

Penelope said...

How very beautiful, a gathering of kindred souls makes life even more worth it indeed.
I love to show a little random kindness to strangers when the opportunity affords it, such a rare occurance these days. It always amazes me when people are shocked by a little kindness, what oh what has this world come to!
Wonderful words from you and here's to wishing you a blessed time in the UK (how I wish I was coming, look forward t hearing all about it) xox Penelope

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Friends ... just the word makes me feel good, and they come in so many varieties, and all make the world a better place to be. Your tribe of real world friends sounds just perfect.

I do hope your trip is everything you hope it will be :D

harmony and rosie said...

Sounds a wonderful gathering. My man just got back from L.A. Saying it was 41 degrees out there .. crazy weather. Here, it is rain again. Don't forget to pack the brolly! :)

Chris Gilliland said...

The sentiments expressed here so masterfully have never rung more true to me than this year. Thank you for sharing & enjoy your travels!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

What a wonderful time you had with your tribe! And what a wonderful time you will have with your crafty tribe! So exciting for you! Ada :)

Colette said...

Sounds like a mighty fine gathering, good friends like these are so precious.

Flaming Nora said...


Sherri B. said...

Oh my dear, it does sound as if it all is falling to place.

You just know it is a good sign if you wake up to blue skys at the Oregon Coast...But the real clincher is, someone at the bank making it oh so easy...It is sure to be a joyous trip across the Pond. xo

june at noon said...

Beautiful post. It's amazing how real friendships can form over the Internet, and how wonderful true, lasting friendships can make everything feel better. Enjoy your busy time!

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

What a lovely post! When I started my blog I never knew that I would make some many friends that I still haven't met in person. It is a beautiful thing - this blogging community!
If I'm ever on the west coast or you and your family are ever on the east coast, I hope we could have a get together.

Mare said...

Love you my friend....

Carol said...

Friends are real treasure. Next week my friend of over 50 years and her hubby will be coming to stay. Can't wait, we won't stop chatting for a week!
Safe journey to Blighty where .i'm sure you will make new friends.
Thank you for stopping by my blog.
Carol xx

Sabrina said...

You get what you give and clearly you give much of yourself to others. How wonderful that you have been matched with more "givers" out there. Best wishes for your journey ahead - it will surely be just as wonderful!

Annaswede said...

I have just bought your book, and am truly inspired. I am planning so many projects for my pile of fabrics calling from the cupboard. I am in England, and my advice for coming here, is take a rain coat not an umbrella, far more sociable when traversing London, and much easier for getting in and out of buses, tubes, shops etc. Also, my mecca in London (other then Libertys)is the V&A (victoria and Albert Museum), amazing collections, so much inspiration. I just wish I could make it to your class.