Part of the big plan (version 1.0) was to spend the night in Chicago, pick up the rental car, drive 45 minutes to Gurnee, Illinois where the closest Navy Federal Credit Union was and wire the funds for the “Taj” to the seller, then turn around, driving back through Chicago (oh joy, oh joy) and up to the Grand Rapids area to buy that truck and so forth. I was not going to spend the night in Chicago, but in Grand Rapids.
After a night of very refreshing sleep, I woke early and took (yes, you guessed it) another long, hot shower. As I was waiting for the 5:45 am shuttle to the airport, another traveller came to sit near me. I said hello and glanced over, seeing a lovely flight attendant in her 40’s who “felt” to me as though she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. She nodded but said nothing. After a few minutes, she said “I’m sorry I wasn’t more friendly, Good Morning.” This opened what was a very tender conversation where she revealed a loss of faith and story of pain. Her eldest son had been killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver. I listened, I shared some words of encouragement and advice and just before the shuttle arrived, we concluded our conversation with a gentle embrace. When she exited the shuttle, she turned and unexpectedly called out “I know God put you here today to help me. Thank you! You helped me-God bless you!” What a beautiful grace note to make that day extra special.
Shep and I have a very dear friend who is a professional musician. He is an amazing harpist named David Michael. Years ago, David shared the concept of grace notes with me. According to the Oxford dictionary, “a grace note is an extra note added as an embellishment and not essential to the harmony or melody.” In reality, the addition of these “not essential” notes converts the music we listen to as well as our daily lives into something extra special. I cannot imagine my life without them. They come as a gift from God through others and are a true blessing.
Driving north away from downtown Chicago I saw the horrible traffic snarl of am rush hour. Boy, was I glad to NOT be involved in that mess. I arrived at my first destination with time to run over to Walmart and pick up some necessities. Completing my business at the credit union, I continued to head north, arriving at PJ and Tom’s beautiful home in Crivitz, Wisconsin. Was I glad to see them!!!
So what was happening with the Taj? Courtesy of Bill, the seller, I had been put in contact with a couple who were professional RV transporters. Our beautiful Grand Design 344GK arrived in perfect condition two days later. Shep and I had toured this model shortly after New Year’s day but she was even more beautiful and perfect than I remembered.
Selling our home in Washington to move to Hawaii meant I had to give up my large Swedish loom and large weaving/sewing studio. It was worth it. Selling our home in Hawaii and downsizing from a small studio area to living in an RV with no studio but a lovely desk where I can sew will be worth it. Why? Because it means we will be able to spend all the time we want with our family, or as we say in Hawai’i, our “ohana”.
The 10 days of R and R I spent in Wisconsin were definitely grace notes. Being with loving family and catching up on all that was new was fun. Watching PJ and Tom prepare for the much anticipated arrival of her Italian carder and its’ accessory machines was exciting. Spending time with them, the hours I spent walking under the graceful pines and smelling the bountiful lilacs in their yard were all heaven sent. Being able to leave our new home parked safely in their yard is such a gift. As I write these words, they are finishing up after a long second day of education on utilizing these key components to Pj’s business: Shear Wool Fiber Mill.
I have a deep dark secret…I am PJ’s “enabler”.We all need one, you know. Prior to our meeting, she knew nothing about the fiber arts. I introduced her to spinning using a drop spindle. She took off like a champ on that. Next, I sold her a beautiful Majacraft Suzie Pro spinning wheel and she quickly progressed far beyond my abilities. The rest is history. I am so excited for Pj and her new business. She is a gifted artist in many different art forms and will be producing beautifully prepared wool and alpaca, as well as offering a wide variety of associated services such as dyeing. So, in case you or a friend need some fleeces prepared and carded, you know were to go.
This saga ends well. That which was lost was miraculously recovered. AThe new home was received and secured. Friendships were renewed and a very weary Jan was refreshed then returned home safely to her sweetheart, Shep, for the final weeks in beautiful Hawai’i.
God’s love and guidance is in the very fabric of our daily lives, or would like to be. I know His Spirit and His very words are there to be our guide through this often wearying and convoluted life. When I am asked if I wish I were much younger, I always say “no” for I would not give up one instance or experience that has led me to where I am in my faith in Jesus Christ nor one of my blessings. May God bless and keep you and may you seek Him out. See you soon, for truly, this is only the beginning.