Sunday, March 23, 2008

How I Spent Easter Afternoon

I spent my Easter afternoon working on the infamous table runner and eating the See's buttercream/walnut egg. There is a gluttonous amount of candy in this house - I am driven to share with anyone who rings the doorbell! I am sure my daughter, Kristen, will benefit from some shipped back to California!

Below is the "ever-lasting" table runner that I've been working on since; well, before six months of Chemo; begun on my birthday, 2003. I thought it would be great to work on - I had just learned rings, chains and working with a ball and shuttle. Each motive is the size of a quarter and I thought, in my naivety, that the repetition would be great for learning. I didn't count on totally forgetting how to tat due to the efffects of long lasting, experimental chemo for Ewing's Sarcoma. ES is a childhood soft tissue cancer; I was the eldest adult to have it, at the time, in California. I was fortunate to receive direction for my treatment from the Head of Childhood Cancer Center at Stanford University Hospital. Mimi Dillman can attest to the on line class as to when I had an Epiphany; remembering suddently the sequence of tatting.

This Table Runner began as a table cloth 32 x 56 inches - 1,702 quarter-sized motives. Happily, my daughter bought a new table - a round table; and, the table cloth morphed into a table runner that is 44 motives long by 19 motives wide. Only 836 motives! There are 264 more quarter-sized bits to go until delivery to my youngest daughter, BB.
An Easter bunny hopped onto the runner - all the way from California. BB sent me this brass - enameled bunny with topaz eyes and back. The back opens to reveal a tiny secret compartment. Just big enough for the small shell she tucked inside as a reminder of our vacation in 2005 at our friend's beach house in Leucadia, CA (near San Diego).We sat and watched wales and surfers while sipping a good Cab and eating bagels and smoked salmon. A rare memory of a decadent moment in time with my daughter. Women Friends, not talking - just experiencing the wide expanse of sun-lit ocean and thundering surf of February.

The thing about my learning to tat is the window to the world that it opened to me - special people who add to my daily life - from all over the globe. Most especially Moracambie, UK; and, Exchange, WV, USA.


Pamela said...

You add to our lives too Bev.

mamatejedora said...

Hello BJ: Congratulations you to made a great work and reason why I see its hands have woven much, many Greetings

Tattycat said...

A great undertaking and very lovely.

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

What a mammoth project to undertake! You will be so proud when this is completed...what a wonderful heirloom!

TattingChic said...

Bless your hear BJ. Your story is so touching. I am an RN and I used to work for an Oncology office in Las Vegas. I do remember the Chemo being especially hard on the thought processes of patients your age. What a trooper you are. I am so glad you were able to remember how to Tat. How scary and frustrating that must have been.

BJ said...

Thank you Tattingchic! Actually wasn't so much scared as surprised that I forgot how to tat. LOL I had taught myself from a book, but had lost that in a flood (1997)- so was stuck until Sharon B. told me about the on-line tatting classes. They told me at Stanford Hospital that my nails might turn brown, I might hallucinate, and that I would be nauseous. None of those circumstances happened. Considering the possibilities, having to learn to tat over again wasn't such a big deal. It is, by far, my favorite way to pass time; and, it is portable.
Oncology nurses are my heros; most of the nurses at Sutter's Sacramento Cancer Hospital,in the Bone Marrow Unit and those in radiology are absolutely fantastic - and I'm not given to exaggeration. I'll never forget the graduation exercises from the 'Crispy Critters' after radiation. Music, diploma and all! Making cancer treatments a humerous moment in time, helps one get well a lot faster - all things being equal. My glass is always half-full.
Thank you for your comments.

TattingChic said...

Wow, you are right, if forgetting to tat was all you had you are very fortunate, indeed. Nausea is a BIG one when it comes to side effects to chemo. Someone is certainly looking over you. You are an amazing person with a great attitude.