Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Add 20 More Years...

Recently Elaine and I both submitted the requested sample to Ancestry for DNA testing. The results, confirming pretty much every thing Elaine was already aware of and confirming pretty much every thing I was aware of was, well let's just say exaggerated. Which has lead to the creation of a monster, Determined to dig out the facts about the Pages (paternal) and the Bays (maternal) for me.So if you don't hear from Elaine, she's fine...but enthralled in Ancestry at the moment.

While she was occupying her time in my families past I got the bug to do some Longarm Room decorating. Nothing major, just some splashes of color with signs, photos and magnets. You know just personalizing my space. I know, it's her longarm.

Spicing up the Longarm Room led to the picture on center stage above. Below is the photo.

In 1981 those pictured went to New Zealand and toured both islands to raise funds for several of the New Zealand charities. Air New Zealand was our sponsor. At the time CHiPs was the number one show there and extremely popular. We, as well, were a big hit...our fifteen minutes so to speak. The picture that was in the frame had been hanging behind my drum kit in the Man Cave and had caught just a tad bit to much sun and was faded out. I have it stored in the computer so I printed out another copy, put it in the frame and hung as seen above. Well lo and behold. When I took out the old photo I found a Valentine Letter I wrote to Elaine in 1997. Hence the title of this blog post..."Add 20 More Years."   

This July we will celebrate our 50th Anniversary and in September it will be 56 years since I was in the "Hot Seat." We've added 20 years, been blessed with an absolutely fabulous daughter-in-law, two wonderful grandchildren, stood proud as our son served a 24 year career to this great nation as a third generation Marine. Uprooted from what was home and comfortable in California to make Virginia home and comfortable. Quilting is as much a part of our day as is breathing and the following still holds as true today as it did 20 years ago when I wrote it to Elaine. 

Dear Elaine,

In the final scene of "Let It Ride" the cab driving, almost divorced, compulsive gambling character Trotter, masterfully portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss, is leaning on the rail overlooking Hialeah Race Track and whispers, "I knew it, I just knew it."

In the background seconds later you hear the announcement over the loud speaker naming Trotter's ninth race, four-legged choice, Hot-To-Trot, the winner of a photo finish. He had been having a very good day, give or take, a half million-dollar good day. Fade away, credits, rewind and back to reality.

It was a blistering hot, long summer of a '61 September day, and had it not been my first day of high school. Had it not been in a school where I didn't know the re-admissions rules. Had it been a day I could have talked my parents into letting me drive to school instead of taking the bus. Had I not been too loud and had the teacher not come into the room while I was being too loud it would all be different. However, love conquers all.

Except, I was too loud, the teacher did come into the room long before I think she should have. As a result, I was given rather forceful instructions to sit in the "hot seat." It was a small, one piece, school desk that faced the rest of the class, logistically located for quick access and under the stern eye of one tough biology teacher. It also provided a clear view of both entrances to the room something only seconds before being too loud I didn't have. My friends, who apparently weren't too loud, were given instructions not to communicate with me while I was occupying my new throne. Later to be named after me, Les' Seat. It has been said that l was the first student in the history of the school to dissect a frog at that desk. At the level of education we had attained up to this point, communicating did not include listening, so with a camouflaged ear they beard, "I just saw the girl I'm going to marry walk in the backdoor." They both turned, bad move, to see who I whispered about. Their movement provided a quick lesson on communication we didn't think we would get in biology. There were no more "hot seats," so having to spend a year in front row had to suffice. Apparently communicating with me included listening. Who knew?

This September will mark the 36th anniversary of that event, this July will mark the 30th anniversary of my prediction successfully carried out. It was probably run-a-muck hormones and the heat, combined with the short black skirt, white blouse, the most beautiful lips and warmest eyes I had ever seen, all wrapped in a natural golden brown shade of skin that still makes my hormones run-a-muck. I have been told that they are too loud at times. Some things never change.

It is in celebration of the second event listed, our 30th, that has placed me at the keyboard. On more occasions than can be tabulated, over the last 25 years, I have been challenged by the question, "How do you do it, how have you been able to remain married this long?" I don't have a doctorate, PhD., Masters, or any other piece of parchment that qualifies me to write a book, I'm sure I could, but I do have a tremendous amount of experience, and if you have a few minutes, I would love to share it with you.

I come from several different occupational backgrounds, each has carried with it the societal stigma of frequent divorce, several marriages and week-end fatherhood.sales, (cars no less), construction, fire service and for nearly twenty years, law enforcement. Each has its own mystique, characteristics and temptations. To challenge the intensity of the commitment, "Till death do you part." We are Boomers, who married young, for all the wrong reasons, without financial security, without full parental consent,total opposites, inter-racial (we didn't notice), one left-brained, one right, one right-handed, one left, one Catholic, one not, one sensitive, one "kill'em all let God sort'em out" and one "time-out parent" one "where's the belt?" We also happen to be two who never let minor differences stand in the way of their dreams, goals or the love that grew with each and every passing moment, even when we didn't know it. It is the last part that is still going on, still making each new day a gift. It is everything before that which makes what we have special. It is everything before that which makes what we have hard work. The job description requires effort, sacrifice, dedication, honesty, loyalty, trust, disappointment, forgiveness, communication (includes listening, a high school lesson), faith, sensitivity, understanding, patience, belief, tolerance, values, vision and a relentless pursuit for life together beyond what you can imagine.

It is the work part that I want expand on. If you don't work at it, you will be welcomed with open arms into the statistical world of divorce. You will contribute to thousands of hours of Talk Radio Doctors of this or that, millions of pages of books on why and why not and a zillion minutes of "Husbands Who Divorce Their Wives to Marry Her Sisters Best Friend Next Door to the Serial Killer from Venus."
 "We'll be right back after this brief message."

Marriage is a career. It is no different in marriage than it is in profession. If you want to succeed you had better be able to do all the things listed in the job description and then some. No one thing is more or less important than the other. You can communicate till your purple and your ears throb, without understanding it is all for not. You can sacrifice from now until the Inferno freezes over, no trust, no marriage. Your values can be mirrored reflections of the Commandments, no visions, no future. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Nobody said the list above is complete and nobody is saying you must do it alone, sometimes we all need help. It may come in the form of a go to friend or relative. It may be one of those Talk Radio Doctors or you may find yourself on a couch, "It all started Doc, when she asks " "If a parsley farmer got sued, can they garnish his wages.

I don't know what it will take on your part. I know what it has taken on ours. We have overlooked, not given in to temptations, sacrificed, communicated, tolerated, forgiven, understood, had faith, values, visions and pursuits. We have been loud, silent, mean, sincere, patient, mad, happy, sad, depressed, over-joyed (our son for one), disappointed, grieved, and elated to name a few. Through it all we have learned from each failure as well as each success. We have never given up, never quit, walked out or thrown in the towel, I did throw a few things at several walls and doors. We have learned to be more tolerant, understanding, patient, sharing, sincere, sensitive to others and each other, me a lot. We've stayed the same and changed. We have been so busy working and succeeding in life, love, marriage and friendship that I just had to take a few minutes and lean on the rail overlooking the last 35 years and say in a voice I hope is loud enough for a never forgotten tough biology teacher to hear, "I knew it, I just knew it."

Happy Valentine's Day Elaine, 
I Love You.
Your Lessie Poo

So add 20 more years. Some things never change..."I knew it, I just knew it."

Quilt till you wilt...we do. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Not Yet...Spring

First let me say we didn't get anywhere near what other areas close by got. Some high winds and tornadoes accompanied the storm that passed through last Friday. But the disaster teams on all of the local stations were doing everything in their power to disrupt regular programming. I guess it is expected. Thankfully we have a Verizon, DVR, Netflix and Amazon Prime so for us it is a simple matter of changing channels or services. Our satellite neighbors, not so much. It was a pretty severe storm in some areas but in the local stations viewing area it was a world wide catastrophe. Welcome to Virginia. It's weather, it's raining, the wind is blowing, some hail and we have been alerted via our smart phones of hazardous conditions. Do we really need 5 hours of weather coverage?

I will say that as far as the longarming goes, March went out like a lion. Finally got all the cylinders working and was able to get some quilting done. 

T-Quilts for an auction at an upcoming motorcycle event hosted by Salty Dawgs.

Naturally some Quilts of Valor

As a longarmer here is something I really love to see. When I get a quilt, without borders, the piecer has taken the extra time to sew along the quilt tops edge. This really helps when loaded to prevent seams from separating.

Had a few clients pass through as well in March. 

This month we will be setting up a Not Forgotten QOV booth provided by one of our gracious supporters, Events Management Group, EMG, for the 31st Annual Spring Craft Market, April 28-29-30 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. As always we will have a Raffle Quilt. It was on the longarm yesterday and will be heading to the binder today or tomorrow. If you are in the area please stop by the booth and say hi. EMG has been a huge supporter of Not Forgotten since day one. Our successes and work for QOVF is a direct result of the support we get from our sponsors like EMG, and an unselfish group of QOVF volunteers that are the foundation and backbone of Not Forgotten QOV. Elaine and I are sincerely grateful to them all. 

I saw this on Facebook this morning and thought I'd share it here. It was posted by the absolutely finest Innova Dealer on the planet. Virginia Longarm. Okay I'm a little biased. Does it show? 
Let me just add, regardless of direction, "good" being preferred every time, please, pretty please with sugar and molasses, make your seams 1/2" and press them open. 

I'm often asked, "Why do you QOV?" 
It was 50 years ago this month that I returned from Vietnam. That just happens too be how old this photo is. I QOV because no one, not one living soul that takes the Enlistment Oath, serves and protects the freedoms that we enjoy, places themselves in harm's way, ever again goes without a grateful, sincere and heartfelt thanks for standing at any given time with 1% of the population. (Only 1% of the U.S. population that is eligible to serve is actually on active duty at any given time. During WWII it was 9%, it has never been that high since.) Yes I am in that 99% group that will NEVER FORGET.  

So here comes April, let the Dog Days of Summer be not far behind. 

Quilt till you wilt...we do.