I Have the Best Friends in the WorldSeptember 27, 2010
The full post talks about creative friendship and pneumonia!
Above: Swatch the dog at Mood, as seen on "Project Runway." Pentel Pocket Brush Pen with light washes of gouache. Fortune from cookie prepasted on the page. Journal handmade with Magnani Designo; 7 x 10 inches. Decorative paper created for the cover is visible on the left of the scan. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
I really do have the best friends in the world.
When my friend Linda found out that I had pneumonia she showed up with a care package including the largest, best Honey Crisp Apple ever (yes they are available again!); a bottle of homemade ginger ale syrup (!) and a six pack of club soda with which to mix it; reading material to entertain and remind me of my passions (crows, books, writing…); and a selection of decorative gourds to sketch!
She knew that already at 2 weeks into it I was grumpy and not a happy camper. That gift lifted my spirits. Linda always amazes me in her creativity and generosity, and in the ways she combines the two as she did with this care package hitting so many positive points—she knew that my mom gave me ginger ale when I was sick as a child. (I also liked fish eyes and rice as a child, but we can understand Linda not wanting to bring that over!)
It has been an isolating recovery (since I've been unable to speak without coughing, phone conversations are out on most days and severely limited on others). Linda brightened my day in ways you can't even begin to imagine (especially if you have never had homemade ginger ale—it's like a party in your mouth, sweet, yet spicy and well, gingery!).
She gave me something interesting to sketch—when I was pretty much just scanning for glimpses of dogs on the TV!
She reminded me of all the great things I'm not really missing—Honey Crisp time is just starting after all. (Though as a true contrarian I did continue to grumble about missing the final days of outdoor cycling!)
She also reminded me that I want to be a better person; certainly less grumpy. And her kindness made me focus on gratitude, as did the cards, emails, and short calls of concerned friends.
When our view narrows, for whatever reason, we are fortunate when friends remind us of the larger picture.
I'm doing better now, though I'm still not at 100 percent. I grumble less—gratitude has a perking up effect.
I talk about the new television season with Dick, who is only interested because I'm so interested (and he laughs and laughs, which is always fun for me). I'm able to talk long enough on the phone to catch up with Pat and the Cats, though when she starts to talk about economics I know I have a long way to go yet to communicate near her level! (So I'm grateful for the faith friends have in me and my intelligence even on my best days.)
Saturday I was able to teach the first session of my nine-month long journaling class, and I am looking forward to tearing down 25 sheets of Gutenberg paper to create the journals for which they hold the promise.
The Sudoku books I took up once more to get me through the coughing fits have been put aside again. (This isn't a habit I want to revisit, but it was useful.)
As an ever hopeful Minnesotan, I believe there will be some more outdoor cycling for me this year—but just in case, Dick took in the old bike to have it outfitted so that I could use it as a stationary bike. In short, I'm planning again. And I am a planner.
I'm still scanning for glimpses of dogs on the TV though!