Crafting

Need A Reason To Make?

As we are hunkering down at home (most of us) some have turned to their crafting as a way of passing the time, reducing stress and being productive.

Depending upon what your craft is, if you are looking for ways to be useful and to make use of what you make, have you checked with your local guilds, fellow crafters and friends?

Card makers can make use of their time, supplies and skill by making cards that can be sent to local hospitals, shelters, nursing homes, church memberships and such.

Card Ministries are often set up locally, but you can search “greeting card ministry” online or contact Maymaymadeit.com to ask about contributing to theirs.

Quilters who are part of guilds will probably already have a list of organizations that would accept their work, but you can also check online. Off hand I can think of Quilts of Valor that provide quilts for Veterans. I know there have been a variety of opportunities to work for/with shelters for women, kids and families.

Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity to not only reduce your own stress, but provide a token of appreciation to someone who needs it. That’s a win/win if I ever heard of one.

Sending long distance hugs to you. Take care.

Books · Media · Musings

Old Friends

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

C. S. Lewis

I’ve been having a conversation with a new acquaintance about our interactions with some old friends. It has been a very interesting, and enlightening, discourse.

Some of these folks I’ve known for 5 decades, give or take. Others came along at varying intervals. My acquaintance, however, is a bit younger and that perspective is different.

Disclaimer: Our conversations have focused on a shared love of the various parts and pieces of “Star Trek” et al.

As I’ve contemplated our discussions, it occurred to me that the relationships we have with people, and characters, are built on how we connect. That spark of recognition, understanding, curiosity that began the connection.

I’m a long time Trek fan, but I also have similar connections with characters of other works; Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series, Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings”, “NCIS” et al, to name but a few.

For most of my life, I’ve been around people who never quite understood why I enjoyed certain things. Science Fiction was way out of the comfort zone for many folks I knew. I was a reader, something else that confounded people, and that didn’t begin to include the types of things I read. To be around people who enjoy books is a rare and wonderful pleasure. To be able to share a media franchise, like “Star Trek” can be great fun. “Outlander” books are my preferred version because they are Gabaldon’s work unfiltered, unedited, unchanged. Tolkien gives me nightmares along with some truly amazing stories. Being able to talk with people who have similar reactions is very enjoyable.

There is something about being around people for a long period of time. You get to know them. Their habits, quirks, warts and all. One may be a bit of a curmudgeon, but underneath has a heart of gold. Another will give you the shirt of his back, no questions asked. A third loves the adventure, just isn’t quite sure when, how, etc.

Each brings something to the table – as we do ourselves. That is something I would venture is rarely thought about. 🙂

On a recent episode of “Star Trek Picard” I spent time with old friends that have been a part of my life for around 35 years. Coming together again after so many years was full of joy, serenity, safety and comfort. This was a group of people I knew and trusted and they were just as I thought they would be. Riker cooking, Troi keeping watch, Picard looking for a place to just be. And those of us who came along for the visit sitting in the background watching, listening, remembering. There is a lot to remember.

As I reflect on 50 odd years of Trek, there is, indeed, a lot to remember. Good and bad, happy and sad. A lot of the person I am today came from those people. More, perhaps, than the ones I spent time with outside of the book, TV or film.

I’ve always thought of “Outlander” as being up in Grandma’s attic reading journals from her trunk. The story spans such a large time period there is a lot of people, let alone history, to take in.

A recent episode of “NCIS” brought home the idea of how these characters become part of a family – the viewer’s family – in ways we don’t always recognize.

Gibbs watched Bishop do something that would have been inconceivable when she first joined the team many years before. Watching him stop and observe her, and then smile, made me smile. The kid, who, when she first came along preferred sitting on the floor with her laptop, was growing up and turning into quite a formidable agent.

I had a similar moment many years ago during a first run viewing of “Star Trek: The Search For Spock”. I was sitting in the theater surrounded by hundreds of other fans and there was a moment where Kirk plotted to embark on a scheme that Starfleet would not sanction. We all knew he would find a way to do want he needed to do and we all shared a knowing chuckle as the plan unfolded. We all knew that no matter what, we would be right at his side, too. We trusted him that much and what was at stake was far too important.

In my life there have been very, very few people that I know I can trust that way. I suspect it is a similar situation with many people. We like to think that our group of friends will always been there, but reality tends to show otherwise for a variety of reasons.

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I treasure those few people, ‘real’ or not, who share the pleasure of their company along with many years of memories. They are true treasure.

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, Mate”

Captain Jack Sparrow
Musings

Pondering Time Travel

A while back I came across a couple of people who are costumers by trade and by design. These folks are interested in clothing from different eras. Very. Different. Eras.

In the midst of listening to a couple of vlogs, a comment was made about their journey being, in some form or fashion, time travel.

Hmmm

It makes sense, if you really think about it.

Some folks absolutely love antiques. They fill their homes with furniture that was made long before the current owners were born.

Some folks love reading books or watching TV or films set in time periods that are definitely not their own. Or, more precisely, their current time period.

People love foods that are prepared the way Grandma used to make it or love vintage recipes.

Some folks thrive on Old Time Radio shows and/or music.

All of these things are, essentially, an attempt to time travel.

Yes, even when the person(s) is watching science fiction and looking forward, that, too, is time travel.

We tend to look at this fascination with old things as a more reflective and nostalgic exercise, but maybe…maybe it is an attempt to create a time and a place where the ‘now’ is a lot less chaotic, busy, noisy, cluttered existence.

Not exactly ‘easy’, just different.

What do you think?

Musings

Peace and Quiet

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is Patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the world is in an uproar, sometimes you just need to find a place to find quiet.

Yesterday I happened across a posting by one of my YouTubers that caught my eye. He mentioned “the mason jar I put my phone in”. I looked and, yes, it was a mason jar and, yes, it had a lid with a clasp.

The idea was so simple, yet elegant. To disengage from the world at large, put your phone in a place that would require Effort to pick it up and scroll messages, social media, etc.

I am certain I am not alone as one who is exhausted by all The NEWS that might, or might not, be necessary to know right now. Repeats of repeats of repeats, etc. Things that tell me nothing new. Granted, there are those for whom such information is new, but still…

I find myself recalling when the local newspaper (in my town at least) was a once a week occurrence. The nightly news was exactly that: nightly. It wasn’t every hour on the hour with all sorts of interruptions. You had the evening broadcast, usually at dinner time, and the late news, usually just before the “Tonight Show”. In our case, 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The sad thing about cable is that it is voracious. It needs to have material to broadcast even when there really isn’t that much New Material. Hence the 24/7/365 news cycle.

And we wonder why the world today is exhausting.

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.

Oprah Winfrey

While the world sorts itself out, I can not but consider that this might be the Universe’s way of informing us that our priorities might be out of whack, that we need to slow down – or more accurately that we will slow down. Now. That, perhaps our attention has not been on the things of real importance but on things that pretended to be important.

Food for thought.

Musings

Treasure Hunting

I’ve been clearing out bits and pieces from boxes, bags, corners of closets. Things that I no longer need are being assessed for recycling. Items that can go to second hand stores. Or just trash.

The Treasures, however, those stay with me.

I’ve found cookbooks that I’ve had since I was in elementary school. Collections of cards and foods that I haven’t seen or made in years, but remember fondly. I’m looking forward to sharing those creations again, soon.

I’ve uncovered paint chips. Samples that were part of ideas to redecorate rooms, or just part of a collection because I loved the colors.

Bits and pieces of ideas for vacations, or just wandering about. Notes to remind me to do more research on a topic of interest. At least it was when I first tucked the items away until “Later”.

Sometimes treasure hunts can be frustrating because the item we are looking for simply can not be found. I’ve been searching for a particular recipes for “Chicken Supreme” that I made back in the 1980’s that bears no resemblance to any I’ve found on the Internet. I am certain that I know where it came from, but when I explore that place…it’s not there.

Treasure hunts are like going through old photo albums. The journey is more about memories than the tangible item held in our hands.

The Journey is the point of it all after all. Right?