Finally unpacked!

I’m just now feeling like my feet are under me once more. I know it’s been two weeks since we came home from Mexico, but my suitcases were still laying on the bedroom floor, tripping Allen and I at every turn.  I’d been catching up on a lot of business that needed to get done: returning phone calls and emails (which I’m still not finished with, but getting there), shipping out packages to customers, going to another wedding (not one of my kids, but a friend of theirs).  My studio is still a disaster area, but I’m trying to work around the mess so I can maximize my work time.

I’ve got a huge Memorial Bead order that is long overdue, and I’m almost finished with it.  The large-hole beads are baked and getting their sterling silver liners;  the pendant goes into the oven shortly, and there’s still some small-hole beads to be made.  But now that all the other work is mostly caught up, I can go into high gear with the Memorial orders.

I had a great talk with my two daughter-in-laws on Sunday. We had an impromptu Lan Party at my house, with all the kids, their spouses, and some of their friends.  My oldest DIL, Heather,  and the youngest, Jewel, neither of them were interested in playing League Of Legends.  I could certainly understand that, because neither was I; so we had planned to do some sewing.  Heather had never used a pattern before, but she wanted to learn, so that she can make herself a Renaissance costume for the Bristol Renaissance Faire next summer.  I just so happened to have some renfaire patterns (thanks to my daughter, Margo, who used to work at a fabric store before it closed down).

So while Heather and I worked on her skirt pattern, and Jewel messed around with my bead boxes, we started talking.  It was really cool and wierd and interesting, all at the same time.  I think this was the first time we’d actually sat down and talked, without the guys around, and not about trivial subjects.  We talked about marriage, about communicating with our spouses, about division of labor at home, a bout behaviors and learned patterns of interacting that we’d learned from our parents before we got married — and mostly how those didn’t work!

It was odd for me, being on the mother end of the spectrum, rather than the daughter end of it.  Doing my best not to dish out advice right and left, but to just share what I’d experienced in my own marriage — what worked and what didn’t,  and most importantly, why it did or didn’t work.  I felt like the girls and I really talked, that we related and interacted on a relevant level, and that no one came away from it wishing the conversation had never happened.  It felt like a milestone, and I cherished it, looking forward to more of those in the coming days and years.

Allen starts a new job in a couple of weeks. He’d been interviewing for other positions for the last six months, off and on.   Our income still isn’t what it used to be when he was a district manager for an electronics company, so he’s been keeping his eyes open for other possibilities.  The new job is a lateral position, but a bit more pay.  There’s also another company who is interested in him, which would bring our salary back up to where it was a few years ago.  He’s had an interview over the phone with them, and took a test yesterday.  We don’t know if it’s going anywhere, because he’d had lots of companies that he did two or three interviews with and then still didn’t get the job.

Well, that’s it for today.  Subjects coming up:  Phil ships out next week to start his 6 months of training with the Army National Guard, leaving his brand-new bride, Jewel, behind.  Ugh, that’s gonna be the toughest six months of their lives.  Then Mark leaves for the same basic training camp, at the end of August.  They’re in different units and different jobs, so while they will be on the same base at the same time, I doubt they’ll see much of each other.  And after the first 9 weeks, they will both be going to different bases to finish their vocational training.  I’m looking forward to the letters and phone calls they send, telling us how hard or easy it is, how much they hate it or love it, and how much it is changing them as a person.


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