Those of you who know me well know that I have been through a very challenging year as I have made major changes in the way I am managing my chronic health problems. The changes are a very good thing, but the process has been a brutal, punishing event. It has taken all the courage and guts I have been able to muster to get through the countless weeks of misery. During the past 7 months I have been a grump, insufficiently attentive and loving to friends and family, neglectful of life's little details, and only marginally able to do the things that typically bring great joy and satisfaction to my life. Through it all my dearest friends and family have been exceptionally patient and caring, even when it wasn't easy for them to do so. I consider myself very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life and am grateful for their care.
Through this healing journey, there have been moments of joy which have empowered me with enough beauty and strength to endure the tough times. The first came back in June when my dear friend Diana once again welcomed me into her home and helped me laugh as we knit together in the company of delightful friends at the 3rd Annual Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Gathering. I was desperately sick at the time, but was blessed to have enough energy to not only knit with friends but also to make shorts visits to Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, Antietam, and Lexington, VA -- all Civil War history sites that I have wanted to explore. Without Diana and Tony (and Mom & Dad) I would not have had this glorious experience, which sustained me all summer.
I made it through the long, hot summer by pretty much staying indoors where the air-conditioning keep me cool. I can't say that I accomplished much. Even my knitting and tatting have been languishing -- a rare thing! Now that fall has finally arrived and the temperatures have moderated I want nothing more than to get out of the house and get back out in nature. Let's just say I need to get my soul filled up for the next phase of my journey which will take me through the winter. My reward for a long miserable summer was a two-day excursion to the North Carolina High Country and the Blue Ridge Parkway earlier this week. My newest BFF Paula and I escaped earlier this week to Boone, NC and the surrounding area for a little taste of Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm still editing photos and thinking about all the places we went and things we experienced so it will be a few days before I can share more, but I thought I'd start with just a couple of photos of the fall colors (Grandfather Mountain and the Linville River near the BRP Visitor Center). I'll post more later after I recover from the nasty respiratory virus I came down with after I got back. Punishment - reward - punishment... a never-ending cycle! But, Paula and I had a great time and that's all that really matters!