It's sad; I think I can relate anything to a quote from L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Andy Griffith.
I feel like Sam at the end of the epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings. After accompanying some of his dearest friends to the Grey Havens and bidding them a heart-wrenching goodbye, Sam returns home and greets his wife Rosie with three simple words: Well, I'm Back. Three small words that do not even begin to describe what Sam must be feeling or all that he has experienced since he has last seen his wife.
These past few weeks have been incredibly refreshing and eye-opening. I have really enjoyed my time away from the blogosphere, while intensely missing it at the same time. Isn't it strange how mixed one's emotions can be? I knew that, while missing my time blogging, I would also enjoy the chance to get away for a while. I was right on both accounts.
I want to dispel any misconceptions that I spent the past 2 1/2 weeks bent over a sewing machine several hours a day, frantically stitching away. Far from it. I did not even touch my sewing until three days after my last post - something to do with a full teaching and tutoring schedule on those particular weekdays. . . My purpose in a blogging break was to focus more fully on my pertinent sewing projects, but I did not by any means spend the past few weeks slaving away at my sewing table. I did spend a considerable amount of time sewing, but I also did quite a few other things.
I spent time resting in the grace and mercy of my Savior. My perspective has changed a lot in the past month, and I feel like I am just beginning to understand the grace of God. I needed these past few weeks to just soak up God's goodness.
I spent time answering overdue e-mails and letters. I am the queen of procrastination when it comes to hand-written letters and lengthier e-mails. Yes, this doesn't seem to mesh well with my often-lightning-fast blog replies :).
I spent time laughing with my family, singing with my family, walking with my family. We noted the death of our beloved Don Knotts by rewatching a few of our favorite Andy Griffith episodes. Hannah and I limped through a bit more chess. . . We also improved our chicken and dumpling recipe, which now tastes very much like Cracker Barrel :). Father Dear graded us a solid A. (Thanks for the tips, Adrian!)
I spent time chatting about wedding plans with another friend who is soon to be married(!). Congratulations, Ashley :). I love being a sounding board for ideas :). Ashley really scored with me by taking my suggestion of having her bridesmaids march to Anne's Theme from the Anne movies :). I'm already excited about doing food for her reception. We're opening up Garrison Catering, Inc. for a one-weekend operation ;). I used to help out a caterer (who was also a family friend) a few times a month and it was so much fun, albeit hard work :).
I spent time reading. It is so easy to let reading for pleasure be the last thing on my to-do list when I am busy with so many other things. I am nearing completion of Les Miserables which, by the way, is a very interesting book. Some books shouldn't be read at a rapid pace, but instead savoured. Les Mis is one of them (Okay, maybe that's also an excuse for the two months it has taken me to finish it, but some of my favorite books have taken me months to finish. Daniel Deronda, for instance, was a fascinating book, but I spent all last summer reading it.) So many rich themes woven throughout Les Mis, and plenty of quotes that I had to copy into my quote notebook. I also made a good dent in All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes, though I haven't finished it yet. Lots to underline and copy from that book as well. Culture analyses fascinate me.
I spent time enjoying my spring break from teaching. I am not on break from tutoring, but I am currently partway through my two-and-half-week spring break from teaching. This means no grading(!), no planning, no time away from home for teaching.
Oh, and yes, I did finish the quilt and bridesmaid dress. A picture of the dress is at the end of this post, and no, my hair is not naturally that curly! I've never had an inkling of natural curl to my hair, even as a baby; Boy and Hannah got all of my mother's curly genes. I was experimenting with curling options for the wedding on the day of the photo. Pictures of the quilt to follow after the wedding next weekend.
So what have I learned during my break? Well, though I knew it before, I feel I am more aware of the fact that there is more to life than blogging. I have been apt to put blogging before other, often more important things, and I hope not to have that happen again. God has already given me an aid in this by killing off my dad's laptop, which I used for the majority of my computer time. It was just way too convenient to check e-mails and blogs with it always on the table right where I was doing my work and usually with no one else using it. We have two other computers in the house, so no worries about not having computer access. It will be good to have to wait my turn for the computer, though. Accountability is a good thing :). I may not be quite as swift in my replies, and my posts may not be quite as frequent. I still plan on keeping up with blogging regularly, though!
Well, I'm back, and it's mighty good to be back. I've missed all my blogging friends :). I felt like a part of me was missing these past few weeks. But in the process I rediscovered other parts of me. Isn't that the way it often is? I am so glad that I took a break, yet so glad to be back.