Monday, July 8, 2013

Petunias, paint and inspiration

Hubby and I stayed in North Dakota this year for the July 4th holiday. I'm not complaining, the Fourth is something to behold in ND! We were both just terribly homesick. Used to being with lots of family, spending the summer's holiday with just of the two of us was a unique experience for us both and we were a little on the gloomy side. Our moods dictated a road trip!

Canada is only about four hours away and sadly, I had yet to go. We took highway 83 north and then headed east to Lake Metigoshe and then the International Peace Garden. The garden sits on the border of Manitoba and North Dakota and is dedicated to world peace. What a lovely idea.

The border is right there, naturally so after a little geography lesson and some slightly bizarre questioning by the border guard, we were in Canada. How exciting! I'm an international traveler! The first town we came to was Boissevain. 

Ah, Boissevain! I found this tiny town of 1,500 people inspiring. There were flower baskets filled with brightly colored petunias hanging from all the light posts and in these man-made "trees" at pivotal spots around town. The town is a railroad and farming town with few claims to fame. But, the people of Boissevain loved their small town and had worked hard to make it special.

There was the Art Park that was well-loved and vibrant with native plants all blooming in spectacular color. The sides of the buildings were painted with murals depicting the history of the town and area. This was a place whose residents loved their corner of the world and wanted others to see how special it was too. The town had a sincerity about it that had me a little embarrassed at my too-often cynical outlook of the world and its' people. This town had made an effort, a real effort. And that, to me, was super impressive. 

Boissevain was a reminder that you can make anyplace and anything special with love, hard work and a little imagination. 

Just look around a little, inspiration is everywhere,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Full brains and busy work

Yeowza, time passes! It's the beginning of July, for Heaven's sake. Now is the time I start ramping up production for Christmas items. Or, should I say, I SHOULD be ramping up for Christmas.

As you know from previous posts, I've been struggling. I have had to let some things go for my sanity's sake. My brain is full and I spend a lot of time in there. The problem is, it hasn't been filled with my business stuff as is normally the case.

In June, I poured concrete, build two large flower beds, repaired my deck - and then re-repaired my deck. I have laid carpet and painted, painted, painted. I mowed, dug holes and filled in holes. You get the idea. I'm "helping" my stepson get his house ready for market and attending to some much-needed upkeep on my own place. In other words, I've been as busy and tired as possible without actually working on b.haven.

Guilt has crept in. The list of things to feel guilty about is long and entirely unrealistic. But nonetheless, She's (I'm calling guilt "she" for no particular reason) there. I have been grieving and keeping it all to myself. Guilt and grief tend to go hand-in-hand, I've noticed. I've not called my wonderful friends and family to whine about how sad I am. I have not gone back home to help my stepmom with getting Dad's place ready for sale or to help her pack and sort. I've not kept up with the business end of things at b.haven or produced those promised new items for my vendors. I've canceled shows. I'm wallowing in my grief alone and by choice. I'm taking advantage of the understanding of others, knowing full well that there is a limit to their good will, as there should be. I tell myself it is ok, that we each deal with life's trials in our own way. I know that time will pass and I will have more good days than bad at some point. But I'm not there yet.

Soooo, what's the point? Well, then, that is a good question. I guess my thought is that by admitting to struggling publicly, it would somehow be cathartic to me.

Yes, it IS all about me, didn't you know?