Purple Shocks

honeymoon in Laguna Beach, CAI wanted to believe it wouldn’t matter that I hadn’t turned out special, perfect
He’d remember us and love me anyway (again, still) –
But we were both so different,
28 years ago we were still young and fresh.
I remember his arms feeling big and strong around me and loving as they caressed, so softly all the rolling curves of my body.
He would hop and skip as we walked almost as if in a state of delight.
Arm over my shoulder – me just a little shy of tucking comfortably under his arm pit.
Very often we would pull each other close and turn slightly in to kiss and hug –
hardly able to stand the space between us.
We floated up steep inclines at Laguna Beach for the few days that we stayed there
The adrenaline of love flowing so freely that no effort caused any struggle.
Our honeymoon, I’d recall it later as.
Eating at wonderful restaurants
Starring into each other’s faces
Yakking and yakking about everything, nothing under the sun.

Here he was again knocking on my door –
So to speak –
Asking me if he could come in again –
No knowing for how long –
Telling me all about his life and Kay, now Kate he called her
And all their children together.
Life had gone on –
They all continued to know him –
To have him –
I had had to let go.
I hadn’t wanted to.
But I guess all things work out as they should –
It seems.
It can seem altogether too hard then suddenly make perfect sense and all the pain melt into an explanation of why it had to have been as it was.

Purple shocks
He mocked them
Purple socks
They were my purple socks, but they went with his new, slightly purple slacks and he was trying to become more attuned to fashion
And be adventurous
Be free to be

purple shocks, purple socksI hemmed his new pants as we talked, and yakked in the room at the Surf and Sand Motel
The waves relentlessly rushing in amid our sentences

Laguna Beach, CA, Surf and Sand MotelGoing to dinner, we were getting dressed up so we would feel the essence of our specialness
Wearing our new things, hemming our new things, together, for each other.
Learning to temper infatuation with reality, trying to fathom the possibility of this new passion lasting,

Going to dinner, we were getting dressed up so we would feel the essence of our specialnessIt would take 14 years for me to get on with anything like a semblance of life

Fourteen years of trying to find myself without him.
We would only manage to fight for 3 or 4 years and then drag the thread of our narrative  out to span the time of 6 or 7 years thereafter.
First it would be 6 weeks.
Then 2 months.
A year would go by,
A call in the night.
The familiar gruffness of his voice would lure me into his spell for another year to pass again with just a night together in between…
Then 2 years..
Then 3…
Then I lost track
of when he came again.

Because I had met a new man,
a tall, dark, curly-haired devil.
I am still trying to find the essence of me without thinking it would be better with him now.
But in between this new man and another 15 years
The gruff voice called me and wondered if we could spend a day or two together.

And then there he was at my door. I saw him as he got out of his rented car.
I said to myself, “oh no, that is not him”. And wondered if I could get through 2 days.

It can seem altogether too hard then suddenly make perfect sense and all the pain melt into an explanation of why it had to have been as it was.

I had been in love with the life, the style of life, the solitude we had living in a trailer at the top of the hill at his motorcycle park.
I loved sweeping the floors while he ran the tractor and I could look out the window to see his dog following him up the steep hill chasing a rabbit while he took the moguls out of the dirt or put them in.
I loved the sound of the train in the distance and the plans I would make in my head of a vegetable garden.
And the sound of the rain tapping the tin roof and of us making love,
And his soft blue eyes
Looking at me as if I was a princess.

a princessWe spent 2 days and I think he had as much trouble getting through it as I did.
Then we said goodbye.
It was a very sad goodby. It was goodbye to a dream. I think it was sadder for me. He had never really felt the same way about it as I had.
It was gone. It was finally over.

Now I just found a picture of the newer man in among the things that I was trying to organize, get rid of or put in their proper places.
I put it in a plastic cover and hung it with a paper clip over the label holder of my file cabinet.
It is staring at me regularly now so I can turn and look at it and dream of a new
vegetable garden.
I have known him now for 15 years and it has been the same. A few wonderful moments between long hours and years.
I guess that is the way I am.

I have 2 dogs and no children. I have 2 cats and 5 canaries. They all keep me pretty happy.
I get dressed up now to go to the grocery store. I take them in the car with me because they want to go.
Just the dogs.
I wish it were different.
I wish I were in love and he loved me too.
I wish I had a man who made me feel like I was a princess just because he was so happy to be with me and that he would put up with my little things.
Like how much I love purple. Like that I still have those purple shocks
Like how I analyze everything and want to talk and the dogs sleep on the bed
And my hair is gray when not a bottle blonde.
Love is blind. Holding hands the electricity creates a static that keeps us together.
Now comes the call I can hear his smile and we talk and talk about nothing and everything.
He is writing a story about Sardichi the Coyote.
And he wants to know if I think he should just call it Sardichi or Sardichi the Coyote.
I said “Sardichi” and I look forward to hearing his smile on the phone.
More so than any other smile.
He’s my favorite voice, next to Debbie.
Maybe even more than Debbie now. I think he will be more favorite than Debbie if he finally comes and stays
And helps me plant the vegetable garden.
No disrespect to you Debbie.

I guess it is about time to meet a new man.
Maybe if the old new man with the nice phone smile would come to see me I could finally say, “Oh no, that is not him”, and I would realize again that
It can seem altogether too hard then suddenly make perfect sense and all the pain melt into an explanation of why it had to have been as it was.

It is important to keep the dream.
The vegetable garden
Purple shocks
Tin roofs
Making Love
Hugs and Kisses
A nice phone smile.

Come to me again you curly-haired devil
And bring Sardichi the Coyote
But this time, plan to spend a little while.
I’m through with running..how about you?
Come sing to me like a chick monk when we speed the recorder up.
I’ll sweep the floors while you run the tractor
This time it will be because I love you and not just the dream.
15 years and counting.
Don’t make me look for a new man. As if. As if I could.
It may seem altogether too hard then suddenly make perfect sense.

Dancing Spools

These beautiful people…

Who are these beautiful people and how did they influence her?

Ms. SpoolTeacher’s mother loved to spool her own clothes. This picture was of the beginning of Ms. SpoolTeacher’s life. These two people met in Goosebay Labrador and fell in love. This night, they were probably headed to a dance. They loved, loved to dance. It was probably a special dance as they are dressed to the nines. There is little doubt that that beautiful vintage dress was hand-spooled. No doubt.

They would go on to have three little girls, whom Ms. SpoolTeacher’s mother would dress alike for years. Most of which were fabricated from remnants lovingly plucked from the reduced bins of House of Fabrics. (noone less than 50 years old knows about that wonderful sewing and fabric store. It just reeked of cemical dyes before there was any concern, it was the delight of all sewers to pass the doors and get that fix of fabric smell. Disneyland. A pure Disneyland of Fabrics. Countless hours…spent.)

As a little girl, Ms. SpoolTeacher sat with her two sisters with a See’s lollipop in their mouths while “mummy” looked through pattern books then scoured the bins for the best three-of-a-kind fabric cuts. Sometimes the colors would vary, but always three alike somehow.


Ms. SpoolTeacher would lay for many hours behind her mother sitting at the Kenmore machine, stretched out on the full sized bed, daydreaming and chatting; quality time listening to the machine hum, the pressure foot going up and down, and watching her mother create a work of art for her to wear, or a new outfit for her doll.

She was about 5 when her mother couldn’t keep the needle away from her any longer.

age about five, needle and thread and some this and that…

Little Ms. SpoolTeacher was helplessly hooked.

Her career Decorating other people’s homes was started because of a wonderful Kirsch Drapery Hardware magazine that fell into her hands somewhere along the lines. She saw a way to marry her love of sewing and decorating together in the world of treating windows.

After many years of “making” (having a workroom make) other people’s ideas (however strongly influenced by herself), she wanted to create her own, using her intuition and whatever fabric fell her way.

She pulled this ensemble together based on a vision of what they might be. The ribboned dark purple was purchased because she couldn’t not, the satin stripe was from the leftover of a job probably 20 years prior and stored for such a thing as this, the plaid piping was a little remnant that seemed to surface constantly and beg to be used. It was a lightweight cotton and it just didn’t seem to have enough heft for anything substantial. It had just found it’s perfect home. The cream sheer was a “memo” sample ordered to test a sheer for a client (designer’s order memos to get a bigger sample than what is typically in a book of samples so the client and she can handle it and play with it). It was enough to cut several strips from and ruffle it up to splice between levels of this evolving drapery panel. The translucent iridescent sheer another memo (not much of it so judicious use required, splicing pieces and settling for a diagonal seam in the middle).

The diagonal satin stripe would make a nice bias un-corded lip between tiers. That fabric, more retrieved leftovers from workroom jobs, always overestimated. (best practices call for this, to insure for mistakes and be sure of enough – dye-lots are a nightmare) The bullion trim would not make it in.

                                                                                           ^ (sorry about the camera cord)

(Floor Monster and Paint Monster are showing their faces in this shot. They will have to answer to this eventually)

Bishop sleeve anyone? Several ways to use this panel.

Ms. SpoolTeacher spent this process “InSewVating” and did manage to cut two of each items, but couldn’t bring herself to fabricate the second panel, the first one was sooooo much detail work. Fortunately, she has a perfect place (an un-doored opening) to hang a single panel, even though the other side of the room has another un-doored passage that would love to have the companion – one of the millions of things she will do “later”; like all that heavy lifting!) (and getting Paint Monster to paint polka dots on the floor?!)

It could work. :o)