Jan 22, 2012


There is nothing better than wearing warm pajamas and sitting and sewing all day long. But there are days you have to practice your Girl Scout skills with Three Alarm Fires and days you have to face the fact that the cupboards are bare and someone had better go shopping.

For reasons having to do with my current obsession with learning to battle multiple challenges in my life, the cupboards, pantry and the refrigerator decided I needed to go shopping on the very day that Salem was later declared as having the most rainfall, and the worst flooding day since 1996.

Of course I would go out in the rain and shop for groceries, then. You can't learn strength wearing pajamas by the wood fire without being up on a chair and trying to decide which alarm wire to cut, and cut now!

As soon as I headed down our driveway, I knew the water was very high. It had crossed over our main road, flooded the lower half of our property and I was actually reconsidering our decision to not have purchased flood insurance back in 1996, as well as having picked this day to run and get groceries.

Now, these photos are taken after the downpour, after the shopping, after the safe arrival home again..and well, "Bilyeu Bayou" looks very quiet and peaceful. But to be honest, I wondered just how high the water would rise...it never made it up the hill to our house and with 2 acres in front of me to rise upon, I felt pretty safe. But it was still nice when DH made it home from caring for his mother, and home for a few hours. We have two canoes and a kayak....but when it comes to rowing a boat, I sing a lot better than I paddle, and that is not saying much!

Of course by then, I'd done all the shopping, unloaded all of the waterproof, and recyclable shopping bags, made a fresh batch of potato salad, friend up sausage with onions and green peppers, and was back in my cozy clothes and sewing again.

Flooding was much worse in Turner a few towns over from my MIL's...their entire main street was under water....and hundreds of families were evacuated. In Salem, many, many houses and parking lots and roads were flooded and had to be cordoned off and evacuated and one person drowned in a nearby lake. But in Albany, a half hour drive south, a beautiful 18 year old mother and her 20 month old child had their car taken over the edge of a overflow culvert drainway... and theyboth drowned, trapped in their car, as well.

My heart aches for their families, and suddenly I realize that my challenges are nothing compared to those of so many others. I may be home alone, and I may have to build my own fires and put them out too, but I have food to eat, a car to drive, and a sewing nook with lots of fabric, and projects to keep my mind, and hands busy, and my heart full with good thoughts, as well as sad ones.

Let's all count our blessings today and think about sewing something for someone who has far less than we have. You just never know when the gift of a quilt, or a simply sewn or quilted item, might just brighten the gloom of someone else's day.

I was blessed with a Christmas Angel in December and her card and generous gift meant the world to me. But I also realized that we should all practice the art of being Everyday Angels, even when we feel like we are walking underwater....we know we can still come back up for air....and not everyone has that ability or that blessing.

I am grateful for so very much, how about you?

Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the world...one little quilt at a time.


Angie said...

Truly, with each passing day, my heart, soul and spirit are blessed with more awareness and loving compassion. That is a lot of water, we had what I thought was a lot, but we were not in danger of our home being flooded and our lives being washed away---at least, not by water. My heart aches for those families that have lost so much, especially the lives. I'm so thankful you are safe---check the weather channel, Michele, flip that little computer to the weather channel at least once a day so you choose less duck-like weather for groceries ))) (I'm a Weather Channel junkie LOL) well, unless you start growing wings and feathers and 'paddles' on your feet :D

Anonymous said...

You're right, it look so lovely but after a storm is such a relief compared to all that it left behind. I read about your state on the news, sorry for all of the losses.

Lynne said...

I'm glad you and your husband were safe and feel for the families of those who were lost. Thanks for another beautifully written and challenging post!

O'Quilts said...

It is so amazing that I too was going to write a post on gratitude. When I am crabby I know that I have forgotten my gratitude.

stitchinpenny said...

I am grateful with great reasons. Our priest last week reminded us that we generally needed patience to understand that we have many gifts. We want it all NOW. We really only need some of it in its own time and we always need to be thankful.

quiltmom anna said...

I am so fortunate compared to so many who have struggles that boggle ones mind. Life can be overwhelming and we all have challenges but finding something positive every day is a great way to live. Hope that you soon dry out and I am grateful that you are safe.
Warmest regards,

Clare said...

It takes something like that to make us realise how lucky we are.

jenclair said...

I'm glad the water didn't reach you, Michelle, and that your husband was able to get home for a while. You have survived fire and flood. I hope things begin to climb uphill for you soon.

Joanne Lendaro said...

Another wonderful post..thank you for the reminder that in spite of all that we may complain about, we have just as much if not more to be grateful to have. thank you!