Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Fond Farewell.....and Hello Again......

As has often been the case, I've been meaning to post this week, and it took something drastic to finally get me to do so. The fond farewell is for a tiny, special little fellow who, in a way, was my tiniest "nephew". Joshua Richard, age 10-1/2, the much-loved 4 lb. Chihuahua/Pomeranian cherished by my dearest friend Dianne, left this world at about 3:30 a.m. on Tues., Oct. 6, his wee heart losing the battle of its apparently congenital failure. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet that I will no longer, at least on this earth, be able to play fetch and tug-of-war with my little pal next time I visit Dianne's home. It never occurred to me, even though she'd had to start force-feeding him a few weeks ago following an emergency vet visit where his dormant condition was diagnosed, that my last visit a couple Saturdays ago was the last time I'd see the "pocket pooch". Since this is a loss for me as well, I can only imagine what my sweet friend is going through. I gave my Heidi extra hugs and kisses tonight from little Josh, and also cuddled a couple of our guinea pigs. Josh was such a lively, lovable fellow and I know we hoped and expected we would get to enjoy him for many more years (his dad Ricky lived to age 18; his mom Chica is 16 or 17). I'll never forget all the times I played fetch with him and how amazingly strong his little jaws were as he hung on to his toy while I pretended to struggle to claim it. I would have had to pull really hard, which of course I wouldn't. I wish I could be there to comfort Dianne, to do more than pray and ask those on my online lists to pray (though of course, that is important), instead of being tied to my crazy job where I'm pulled in so many different directions lately that it's hard to see straight. Dianne, not wanting to think about going home today to not be greeted by her "little man", mentioned the desire to go on a sleigh ride with me this December in Leavenworth (a Bavarian-themed village a few hours away), which sounds really good right about now. Chica's health is also failing and her dad is in frail condition, and all this is really wearing on her. She's having one of those months like I had in July 2004 when, all in the same month, our dog Tessa died, I got stitches in my wrist and a broken finger from an accidental bite from my dog Jesse, we learned my mother-in-law was terminally ill, and I was laid off (from a job I hated, but even so....). Things do get better, but it never feels that way at the time. ANYWAY....sleep tight, tiny angel boy -- and if there is a doggie heaven, your mom and auntie will again have a chance to play fetch and tug-of-war with you.........

One good thing that happened today, literally one of the most hectic days I've had at my hectic job, was when a few minutes before I went home, our two new office assistants (who have been doing a great job) surprised me with a Whitman's Sampler box of candy, a Thriftway gift card and a sweet thank-you card for my help in training them. Having gotten negative feedback not long ago from my bosses for what they perceive as not dealing with phone customers as I should and letting an occasional detail of literally hundreds a day fall through the cracks, I don't think these gals know how much their gesture means to me, to know someone there actually does value and appreciate me.

The "hello again" has to do with an unexpected decision I made regarding my church situation. I'd left a church I absolutely loved at the end of May due to disagreements with its governing body, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Though my church was/is traditional as ELCA churches go and I doubt many members agree with the ELCA on many issues, I decided I could no longer in good conscience remain in an ELCA churches. During the next four months, I visited 6 churches, 3 of them non-ELCA Lutheran, as far as 18 miles away, anywhere from one to four times. The only church that attracted me as much as the one I left was PCUSA Presbyterian, which I would have as much difference with as I do with the ELCA, and it was twice the distance. So that wouldn't make much sense. A couple weeks ago, I thought I'd made the decision to commit to an LCMS Lutheran church 11 miles away, though it's small and has no choir. But the following Sunday, I began to doubt that decision too. I laid awake half that night and realized I'd never stopped thinking about the church I left and how many of the people felt like family. I also thought about seeing one of the members on the ferry the week before and learning about 60% of the congregation had voted in opposition to the recent ELCA rulings on certain issues, and that there would be another big vote later this month to determine whether our congregation would decide to initiate action to leave the ELCA. So I knew that my four-month search would lead me back to the place where I know I belong. I returned there this past Sunday and know it was the right decision. But it's sad to know that the next vote two Sundays from now will likely result in a split of our church. The other two ELCA churches in town are experiencing the same thing. So it could be that one of our churches could eventually become LCMS and many of us will end up there -- or many of us will start our own LCMS church. Whatever happens, it's encouraging to know that the majority of the people in this church that I love are of like mind on these issues, and whatever building we end up worshipping at in the coming months, we will be together. I will post here again following the crucial vote 11 days from now.

As for the wonderful world of crochet, I've been back to making Barbie gowns. I made a jewel-toned variegated blue/fuchsia/plum gown for my Asian Barbie, which turned out great, and then I started on a huge undertaking -- a Barbie wedding party. I've completed the gowns for the two bridesmaids (two different but harmonious styles in two-tone pink and rose) and flower girl (a 7-1/2" Stacie doll, also pink and rose) and have been working on the Ken doll groom. His pants, briefs and shirt are done and am now working on his jacket. Then it's on to the elaborate beaded Victorian bridal gown. I'm more than a little annoyed that I can't locate the accessories I bought awhile back for her gown - over 1,100 cream beads, cream satin lining, cream tulle for her veil, and several yards of lace. I went through my entire craft closet to no avail and am at a loss. If I have to repurchase that stuff, so be it, but I obviously would rather not, so hopefully it will turn up. I've also been working on charity baby items - a one-piece, two-tone baby bunting at the moment (Bernat Softee baby yarn; dark rose along with the variegated rose/green/yellow/white Summer Ombre I've used now for several items; such pretty yarn). As with all my other recent projects, pictures coming on the crochet section of in the not-too-distant future!

I just realized I didn't get around to posting here in September, my birth month. I'd planned a trip on Labor Day weekend to Bellingham and Whidbey Island, taking the side roads north rather than the highway and stopping in other towns along the way. I was really looking forward to it. Then with the rainy forecast, I reluctantly decided to skip the Bellingham part of the trip but still fully intended an overnighter to Whidbey Island. The morning of the trip, it was raining so hard that "Bianca" started hydroplaning on the highway a couple times, which was scary and not at all relaxing. I absolutely didn't want to cancel my abbreviated trip, but I didn't feel safe. So after driving 30 miles, I pulled off the highway, called the hotel and they were nice about letting me cancel with no penalty. I treated myself to a McDonald's breakfast, made stops at Joann's and Michael's where I picked up a few things, then went home and weeded through the clothes in my closet, which I did need to do. But I was really disappointed to not be taking my long-awaited mini-vacation, especially when the rain literally slowed down and then stopped after I cancelled the hotel -- figures!! As we Chicago Cubs fans have become all too used to saying, "Wait till next year............"