You just never know…

My friend, Laurie, and I walk 3 miles 5 mornings a week when I’m not on the road teaching. Early, before dawn.

This morning at the end of our walk we heard a faint noise. I thought it was a cat in distress. But then the noise started to sound a little bit like a person—in distress. We went over to investigate and it was indeed a man. On the ground. In the bushes. In distress. Saying “call 911” in a faint voice.
Laurie stayed with him and I ran for help. I found a woman in a car with a cell phone and asked her to call 911. Then I looked up and realized that the emergency room door was pretty close (part of our walk takes us next to the hospital). So I ran there. It was like a bad movie… I was so out of breath I could only choke out the most important information.
Once I got it out, I went back to let Laurie know that help was coming and then I stood out in the road to point the way to, first, a security guard from the hospital, then the fire department, and then the ambulance. All the while Laurie was over there holding hands and praying with the man in the bushes. 
As it turns out, the man shot himself in the chest the night before and spent the night unable to move in the bushes. He didn’t kill himself, but he did hurt himself very, very badly. 
The police came. A lot of them. (There was a gun. The security man found it and moved it and the police were not happy.) Laurie and I both gave statements. I learned a lot in a very little time about suicide (and suicide attempts) from the policeman in charge. 
You know what… this is probably not what most readers of this blog would expect to read. I never had any idea that I would write a post about this sort of thing. Who expects to find a man in the bushes at dawn who shot himself the night before!? Not me. Certainly not Laurie who spent a lot more time with him than I did. What I feel compelled to say is that, if you are depressed, get help! Please don’t hurt yourself.
PS – It’s days later and I have no idea what the end to this story is. I wish I did because we all like a nice, neat ending. But life isn’t like that, is it? 
I do know that I’m more aware of the fact that you never know what’s going on inside of the mind of those around you. As a result, I’m trying to be a much nicer person to those I encounter and perhaps that’s the moral of this story.

The dancing granddaughter…

My granddaughter, Elanor, decided (with her mother’s help) to do a happy birthday song and dance for my mom (her great-grandmother). We’ll be seeing this number again at the end-of-year dance recital. She will be more spectacularly dressed then. My son, Christopher, had the thought of putting the movie on Youtube. It’s way easier than I thought it would be!

From Florida…

I’m teaching in the Tampa Bay area and I have to say that the Florida I have seen is really beautiful. It’s very lush. I think that you would have to beat back the vegetation to keep from being grown over! 

I’ve seen birds that I don’t see at home. One day during class (with the Manatee Quilters) I looked out and there were birds with long, curved beaks poking around for insects in the grass. Some of the women in class knew what they were, but I have forgotten. Ibis maybe? It takes me longer than one sighting to put the name and the bird together in my mind. Whatever they were, they were fun to watch.

I’m in Sarasota now with Friendship Knot Quilters, staying near a golf course with many ponds. Haven’t seen any alligators yet, but I am told that they are definitely here. I walk early in the mornings (before dawn) and am sticking to pavement! I took these photos today on my walk (after the sun came up). the golf course is how I have always pictured Florida in my mind. The shapes of the leaves on the fan palm really caught my eye.

Flying

I flew last Friday (on American) to North Carolina to visit friends. After all of the flight problems I was surprised to get to DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) and find the place nearly deserted. There was no one in the security line! It was sort of amazing. Lots of personnel, no passengers. I was on the one flight to Raleigh-Durham that made it out on Friday morning. My flight home on Sunday was uneventful as well. These days, that’s all one hopes for.

While I was in NC I got to visit with Hollis Chatelain and see the exhibit of her quilts that was hanging in the Duke Chapel. It was truly moving. If you get a chance to view these quilts be sure to take it.
We walked through the Duke gardens that afternoon. I have never seen so much wisteria in one place in my life (we don’t get much wisteria in Sherman, TX). The scent was close to overpowering. The grounds were beautiful. It’s worth a visit!

Word Power

My son, Jeff, sent me a link to the Free Rice site today. On it you will find a pretty decent vocabulary game that is good for your brain and raises money (in the form of rice) for those in need. The more words you guess correctly, the more rice is donated to the United Nations World Food Program. The money/rice comes from the advertisers on the site.


Jeff is in grad school at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He finds a lot more of this kind of thing than I do. Part of that is being at Hopkins and part of it is that he’s 22 and on the internet a lot more than I am. But, as he says, the only down side to this is the time you spend playing. 

FYI – “nudibranch” means sea slug!

Hello from Linda the other half of Piece O’ Cake!!!



We recently made a driving trip from Grand Junction Colorado to San Clemente Calif. Our son Jerry and his wife Viviana live there.

It was an interesting drive. The scenery between Grand Junction and San Clemente is very diverse. On the drive you see snow capped mountains and desert together. As you drive toward Utah it changes to red rock formations. Which can make you say OOH! a lot.
The best part of the trip was when we left the Mojave Desert and drove into Southern California. In this first picture the hills were alive with color.  
What a sight after a few years of the hills being brown from the drought. I love the yellow mixed with the different shades of green. It made me want to make a quilt colored like early spring. With touches of purple, red, and orange from the flower colors.  
I always want to visit the quilt shops when I am traveling. In the second picture is Material Possessions in Lake Forest California. This is one of my favorite shops. I can always do some serious fabric buying here. I wish I had the time to visit all the shops in the area and along the way on our drive. Maybe next trip.
I will be at Becky’s in Sherman Texas next. Let you know what’s happening there in the next post.
Linda

My Husband in a Kilt for Breast Cancer Research

I’m home from California and unpacked. Linda is here! We’re working on projects to be made with our newest collection of fabric. More on that later. But today my husband wore a kilt to work! 

Steve is Dean of the Sciences and a full professor of biology at Austin College in Sherman, TX. Several of his colleagues have had breast cancer. When they formed a group to raise money for research he was happy to join them. As he says, some of his favorite people have breasts!
Seven people volunteered to be “fools” on April 1st to raise money. The vice president for academic affairs was the Easter bunny. Another professor, Steve Stell, in the religion department was a prom queen (definitely a sight to behold!) In that context, Steve looks downright manly, don’t you think? 
There are other activities that we are taking part in to raise funds. If you would like to donate to the cause (and it’s a very good cause) click here to go to the American Cancer Society’s donation page.