A Break From the Bleak


Arizona is an amazing place to visit in the dead of winter.  It’s amazing that we could leave one extreme and in three and a half hours, step foot into a completely different environment.  To imagine that such opposites exist on the same planet and on the same continent is hard to imagine!

February of 2013, I announced to my husband that from that year on, we should start going somewhere warm in February.  He agreed.  It was that year that my daughter announced that she and her husband, Adam, were moving to Arizona, so Adam could pursue his masters degree and then his doctorate at ASU.  Initially, I went into panic and shock. How could she leave me? But that’s what children do.  We spend our lives taking care of them and making our life about them, forgetting that we, ourselves, are separate people with identities other than mother/father, caregiver, protector, nurturer, etc.  You get the point.  Then off they go, stripping us of all that we have now defined ourselves with, and we have to figure out where to get new clothes, what size, and where we will find new meaning.  I guess we need to thank the children that do that.  They give us opportunity to grow.

So, making lemonade from these lemons, my daughter moving gave us the perfect winter warm destination!  I’ve always loved the desert, so although I miss her like crazy, I couldn’t think of a better place to get to visit her.

It’s been almost two years now, and in that two years, I have gone to see her in the beloved desert three times.  This time, my husband, my daughter and I rented a four-seater ATV to explore the Sedona red rocks (my husband’s idea, of course.)  By the time we were done riding,  we were covered head to toe with the red dust.  It was in every nook, cranny and crevice.  Upon arriving back to the rental site, I looked in the mirror and questioned whether Indians really had red skin.  Maybe it was just the red dust, because my skin looked like an Indian’s!

As we were leaving, my daughter insisted that we go to the quilt store we passed earlier.  She knew I was interested in going, but I didn’t want to bore her or my husband.  And I was feeling pretty grungy and in need of a shower.  Even so, if I have to choose between vanity and fabric, I will choose fabric!  My husband sat in the car, and my daughter and I made our way into the store – red dust and all.  We were greeted by the friendly women cutting fabric, as the place was buzzing with other fabric pursuers.  We made our way through the store, oohing and awing, but because of my airline weight limit on luggage, I only allowed myself to purchase nine fat quarters from Moda’s A Field Guide by Janet Clare.  You can see the line here: http://storefront.unitednotions.com/storefrontCommerce/searchWithin.do?keyword=field+guide&path=Guest%2F%2F%2F%2FFabrics

It seemed like the perfect memento.  I wanted to bring the nature of Sedona home with me!  I wished that I could shop at this quilt shop every day, instead of once a year!  If you get to Sedona, you should stop in.  They were very friendly, and their inventory was wonderful and diverse.  It’s called Quilter’s Store Sedona and Gallery.  Here’s a link to their website:  http://www.quiltersstoresedona.com/index.htm.

We’ve only been home a few days.  I’ve gotten all the necessary things done – house cleaned, laundry done, groceries purchased – and I have returned to my daytime, desk job.  Today, when I realized I was losing the “high” I found on vacation, I decided to bring my new fabric to work with me.  During my break, I have pulled it from my lunch/snack bag, which is a small shopping bag from Joann Fabric, and I have literally smelled it and caressed it.  I’m letting it be the transport back to the desert where it was the perfect 75-80 degree temperature, I was with my only daughter, and I had no schedule.  It was the perfect vacation.

This is the first time I have purchased fabric on a vacation!  Well, maybe second.  But I do think this is the way to bring the experience home and let it live on.  So my advice to all the quilters of the virtual world – let fabric be your souvenir.

As soon as I make something from my new fabric, I will post it.  I am still working on my son-in-law’s quilt – purple and red solids on black background, and I am “big-stitching” it by hand with black perle cotton.  It goes fast, and it is fun.  Love the way it looks.

If you want to see more pics of my vacation, check out my Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/christine.l.paul/media_set?set=a.10205577309729470.1073741867.1154586164&type=3


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