Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last week of August, 2008

Hi Friends,

Perhaps if I say the last week of August, I can buy myself several days to work on this. First day of school--I can hardly believe it. I think of so many past first days of school and I have to smile to myself. I remember being in grade school and so very excited about new school clothes. We were NEVER allowed to wear anything new--shoes, dresses, socks, anything--until that first day. We just had to wait. So of course on the first day I would insist on wearing a new outfit, which usually included tights, wool jumpers, long sleeved shirts and then enduring the heat of the day and trying to return home cheerful because my mom had told me I would be miserable, and I could never admit it. Then I remember first days with my boys. Peter, in the first grade, could make it back home the opposite direction before I did. After a couple of months of that, he seemed to gain his independence and would barely endure his first-day-of- school-photo before flying unaccompanied up the street. Christian, on the other hand, always loved us to walk him to the elementary school. Last year was his first year at the high school and that brought with it its own fears and tears. But this year, away he flew with 2 exchange students in tow. And I am the one left with the tears. I hate it. I can't stand that he is 15--yesterday he was scared to be left at the pre-school.

It is sort of nice to have the house to myself for a couple of hours in the morning. I can even turn on the TV and watch something utterly ridiculous while I get ready for work without anyone saying--NO, not that...why do you like to watch that...but the Simpsons are on. This has been such a fun and crazy month. We just loved having Lucien with us for that time, and I loved the commotion and hubbub that a house of teen-agers bring with them. Friday night Lucien had invited a bunch of the other exchange students over for a party on the patio, and Chris had a group of his friends over trying to finish a video for the school welcome assembly--and partying with the others, Bob was barbecuing, Peter was up and wandering around with his guitar, and Teri was insanely fixing everything she could find to serve. I was just trying to view the chaos from the chairs out in the front yard, but they all kept finding me. We took Lucien to the airport on Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day half in tears. I was told that we would become attached, and that was very true. We are all missing him. Luckily we have 2 boys who have become great friends living for the rest of the year just around the corner, and now we seem to have a temporary exchange student until a permanent home is found for him for the school year. Simon--Teri calls him by his real Chinese name--is so very different from the boys we have had for the past month, but he is truly a joy. Sweet, quiet, considerate, studious. What an experience getting to know all of these cultures and personalities. If only they didn't become such a part of your heart. It has hurt to say goodbye.

Now, we are truly on a whirlwind to get things done for market, the retreat, the fall. I know we'll get there because of all our wonderful help, but it won't be a minute too soon. We have wonderful new things coming out in a couple of weeks for the new fall market, so watch the web site and you will be the first to see them. Retreat plans are coming along well. Lots of fabulous surprises. Can't wait--well, actually, I really can. I need one of those Harry Potter-like time suspensions just to stitch.

OK, I can't stay at this for too many days or you will be reading it after Labor Day. Did you see the new Quaker Christmas piece that our friend Marilyn stitched for us? It is beyond fabulous!!! Teri and I spent hours agonizing over silks and fabrics and I think we did quite well. It is a true treasure. If you haven't seen, you must take a look. We are busy into new fall and Halloween things. We have had a new Cricket piece and Prairie Schooler piece stitched, so watch for pics on next week's blog. I didn't even want one of them stitched, and I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It is SO DARLING! Teri has just finished an adorable Halloween piece--just to entice you.

Well, I have to go. Remember that we are closed for the Labor Day weekend. We will be here on Friday, but closed on Saturday and Monday. We will be back rested and revived on Tuesday. Please have a safe and lovely holiday weekend. Drive carefully, wear your seatbelts and get lots of stitching done.

fondly, Tina