Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2 years, Still Miss you

This was your last sunset. I sat and watched this with my mom for close to an hour, it was something she really wanted to do in Key West, so it was our last adventure. Even watching this I knew something wasn't right. We hadn't heard from you all day. You weren't answering your phone. There had been days in the past where you might be tough to reach, but you always appeared "Nothing to worry about, I'm fine." This time was different. You weren't calling back, your voice wasn't on the other end, your text never came. I'd return to the hotel to send a message to Carla Jean on Facebook. I still can't facebook message her because I see that message. Zuckerberg can make a lot of things happen, but he can't take away that message that I had to send. "We haven't heard from her. We are getting concerned"

Fact is I miss you. I miss you still. I miss you a lot. I think of the things that have happened that you should have been here for. Josh opened a new show, you would love it. I saw Once on this Island twice, it was amazing both times. Your niece and Nephews are amazing and hilarious, though I think my favorite pictures of them are the time out photos... because, well. They are amazing. we started a new "VendiniBambini" channel on slack where everyone shares pictures of their kids. Yup, I know you would be RIGHT there aunt bragging. I watched Dumplin' the other night, and I know we would have been texting all the way through it. Your mom got an amazing new hair cut. These are the things happening that I know we would be sharing, these are the things that

There are losses that I can accept and come to terms with, but I fear yours is one that I may never fully understand. You remain on this earth in the memories that you created, in the joy that you brought, and in the grief that so many of us share.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Thinking of you scarf

When I learned that one of our pastors would be leaving our church I had many thoughts (I'll discuss those later) but I also knew that I had to knit something for her. The first time I entered the church this person approached me and asked "what are you knitting?" over the past couple of years we bonded over many knitting projects that we were working on.

I had thought about working with a pattern that I know she likes, but I was reminded of the "Thinking of You" Scarf. I acquired this pattern a few years ago as i prepared a gift for another friend. I not only love how it works up, but I also love what the designer says about the pattern.

The scarf begins with a wavy eyelet rib stitch symbolizing the twists and turns of life and ends with a band of interlocking hearts to express the bonds of loving friendship and support.

yup, that was it.

I had initially cast on the project in a beautiful yarn that I had purchased from a local Artist in North Carolina, as this friend is relocating to a parish in North Carolina it seemed perfect!

I liked the purple but the texture just wasn't working out.

I stopped into JoAnne Fabric just to see if something would catch my eye. I immediately saw Lion Brand Shawl in a Cake I'm not typically a fan of big box yarn for a project like this, however it was perfect. The colors immediately reminded me of the water. Our current church is on the ocean, and she is heading to the mountains. This was it!

The project worked up beautifully.

I will say that I had some trouble keeping track of the row numbers. I downloaded a new stitch counter app called K & C counter. I am a fan.

This project was with me while I was sitting with my aunt in the ICU at Yale, it was with me while I got some shocking family news, and it was with me when I lost my aunt.

I will be 100% honest and put it out there that I DID make a pretty significant error on the project that I did not discover until I was blocking the project. I leave it to the recipient to let me know if she finds it. With the way this scarf gets worn, the average person would not notice it. Today I was able to present her with this scarf as a farewell for now (she is conveniently relocating to one of my favorite cities). With the scarf, I gave her a copy of Annie and the Swiss Cheese scarf, a symbol of my own faith journey told through knitting.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Never would I have expected....

If you had told me three weeks ago that I would be where I am right now, I probably would have told you it was a lie.

Three weeks ago today we received the call that Robin had "fallen and hit her head"

From there, we learned that it was an Aneurysm burst.

We knew that the possibility for recovery would be difficult, but we had to give her a chance at life.

3 weeks of visiting the hospital, bad coffee, soda from vending machines, arranging coverage so that we could be with her. Three weeks of "wiggle your toes" and "open your eyes" in hopes that we would see a glimmer of the aunt that I had always known.

Three weeks of friends, family, and church family supporting me with messages, texts, emails, and prayer.

Three weeks of wondering if we would see the same Robin again.

It all boils down to the past 24 hours. The hours when we knew she wasn't going to improve. The hours when she stopped breathing on her own. The hours when we knew we could honor her wishes to be an organ donor.

Organ donation doesn't work like Greys anatomy. Right now we wait to see if her kidneys will be able to be a gift to 2 recipients. And that is what they call it, these potential donors have been told that someone has offered them a gift. A gift to continue their life probably off dialysis.

These people don't know that if they receive this gift, they might need to become fans of the Red Sox and Patriots. They might grow a taste for Mich Ultra, and they are forever family.

I cannot express my thanks to friends, family, coworkers, and my church family for their support.

The New England Donor Services who walked our family through this process.

And to my aunts, my mother, my cousins, my uncles, my sisters..... may we all know how strong our family is and that we always have each other.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

knitting for knitters is hard

Let's face it, crafting for crafters is difficult. probably more difficult than anything else that we craft.

Currently, I am working on a project for a dear friend that is moving away. I agonized over the project, then the yarn, then I kept making errors and restarted the project not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES (if this person reads this post, she is possibly cringing because restarting projects drives her crazy)

Currently, I'm looking at the project hoping that a small inconsistency blocks out, what do I do if it's doesn't.

I want this gift to be perfect. This person has been there for me during some difficult moments over the past few years. When we first met she approached me to ask about my knitting. we found common ground in our love of beautiful patterns and the fibers that create those projects.

I know this finished item will be well received, I know that she will understand the work that went into it.

But that does not change the fact... knitting for knitters is hard.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 . . . a true rollercoasster

For years I've said that I wanted to ride the Cyclone at Coney Island, After this year I feel like I may have done that already. This has been a year of new beginings, new faith, and true friends. I have seen my family overcome physical pain and experience emotional pain that may never go away.

This year was another year filled with wonderful theatre. Boston gave me the opportunity to see two world premieres as well as incredible work performed and directed by friends. This is just a sample of a few.

I was incredibly lucky to be able to go into New York twice to volunteer with TDF for their Autirm Friendly performances of Wicked and Spongebob. these performances are truly magical.

I ventured to Pensylvania Shakespeare Festival to see Ragtime and Twelfth Night.

I was able to take a couple of trips into New York for shows as well.
Cristin came with me to see The Prom

and I got to see Bernadette Peters in Hello Dolly with my Aunt Christine (I would return to new York to see it with Donna Murphy, and I don't regret that for a moment). I was also able to experience Once on This Island twice. Once with mom and Vik and once with Jen.

One of my favorite theatre experiences was seeing Peter Pan with my nephew at North Shore Music Theatre

This was a big year for my own performing as well. I spent time on stage in the Hunchback of Notre Dame and I was able to perform the Brahms Requiem our church Festival choir. I've also been incredibly lucky to have been able to join our church choir and spending my time with these wonderful people during the week has been a true gift.

In January I submitted my application to Emerson's Theatre Education program. This is a leap that I had wanted to take for yers, and I chose to jump. While waiting for mom to get out of surgery for her hip replacement I received the email that I had officially been accepted. It was wonderful to be able to tell mom this amazing news as she woke up.

After watching mom struggle with pain for so many years, it was wnderful to be able to see her out of pain after her hip replacement, we were even able to enjoy a day in New York to see One On This Island, one of her favorite shows.

In August I knew it was time to say goodbye to my constant compation of 8 years. Martin had been struggling with so much pain and it was too much on his body. I knew that this would be difficult, but I could not have imagined the amount of loss I would feel. I still miss him terribly and frequently worry that I am forgetting to do something within the day.

After an incredibly joyful week at Camp Casco I returned home to adjust to a new normal in our family.

I started class in September and was introduced to an incredible group of classmates who are passionate, talented, gifted, and supportive. I only wish this program were not so short so that I would have a chance to spend more time learning along side these crazy humans.

I was once again able to perform with our incredible festival choir, and I feel lucky for the opportunity to perform challenging and beautiful music with wonderful people.

I went down to Florida to spend thanksgiving with my sister, her fiance, and Patrick. It was a wonderful change of pace to spend a quiet thanksgiving with a few family members, and it was lovely. On this trip we were able to see a dear friend perform in Assassins.

December brought more challenges for our family. I was once again reminded of the wonderfully strong family that I have and the friends that have joined my life to offer so much support. I have seen the stregth of my aunts and how they will always be by eachothers side.

2019 will begin with a couple of weddings, more classes, and more changes in our family.

To those that lifted me up in 2018, thank you. If I was not able to offer you the same support in 2018, I hope that I can be there for you the way that you were there for me.

For 2019 I hope for healing. Healing of hearts and brains (yes, I meant to say brains)

Sunday, August 26, 2018


One of the things that I always loved about working in the theatre is that everyone has the same goal. Yes, each departments specific goals might seem different... but in the end, everyone wants a successful production. Each persons definition of success is slightly different, but everyone has the goal of a successful production.

Camp isn't much different.
Our goal is to create an amazing week of camp. How we do that as individuals may be different, but that is our goal.

This year at camp had challenges, like every week of camp does.

But every-time I took a step back and watched these campers I was thrilled.

I was thrilled to see a camper return to camp and try many things that he had not tried the year before.
Last year this camper was always at each activity, but he was hesitant to really get involved. this year it was like a different person has arrived at camp. At our first campfire he jumped RIGHT in at every song. When it came times to go to the giant swing and the high ropes course, he tackled every challenge. To see the look on his mother's face when she picked him up told me that ... yes, we had succeeded in a successful week of camp for this camper. This camper challenged himself, pushed himself to do things he had never tried before. More importantly, he felt safe enough to take those challenges with us.

When the bus arrived at camp and the campers came barreling out the door one camper stood out to me. She certainly wasn't sure about all of us singing and dancing in our witch costumes. One of my favorite moments of camp was walking past her bunk and hearing giggling. She was sitting on her bed putting make-up on another camper. After dinner they were giglingg again trying to figure out how to use an eyelash curler.

We had 2 campers with mobility issues. Both of them used crutches to get around. one would think these would be the campers that needed the most assistance. Aside from buggy rides..... these two campers were some of our most independant campers of the group. During our water fight I was with one of these girls. I assumed she would need extra assistance. For your information, if you ever encounter this camper with water balloon, you will lose.... she WILL get you with the balloon.

Our other camper was no different. She wanted to go down the slip and slide. This was something she needed assistance with. So she sat down and two counselors made sure she could get down the slip and slide. this same camper was up and dancing more than others at our all camp dance.

Sitting back and watching our campers just have fun and enjoy themselves was THE best part of the week.

Seeing older campers take initiative to help with younger campers made my heart explode.

Hearing campers choose their names for when they are counselors helps me see the camp of the future.

I have so many other thoughts, and I may find time to write them down in the coming weeks. right now I am trying to get used to a quiet house, no slamming doors, not wearing a name badge, responding to my actual name, and not having all of my meals made for me.

Oh, in case you are curious.... washing cottage cheese out of your hair IS as gross as it sounds.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I learned about being a theatre technician from The Wonder Years

I just finished rehearsal number 1 for the weekend, and I am sitting in Starbucks killing some time before heading over to see a production of "Our Town." THis is a show that I adore, I always have. People ask me "Wow, how many times have you seen it." It's not a matter of how many times I have seen it, it's about the first time. I was introduced to Our Town when I saw Winnie Cooper perform the role of Emily on The Wonder Years.

But it wasn't Winnie's performance that stuck with me. It was Kevin.I found this perfect breakdown of the episode, so you can read it here, I won't try and summarize it. It was the connection that Kevin had with Winnie on stage, he knew that if he was there for her, this performance would be successful. It was him realizing that shining that light meant something.

Even before I started dressing n black clothing with a C-wrench on my belt, I knew the importance of the people that were running the show. This was taught to us very early in our High School theatre department. I was actually offended when I went to one of the technicians and said "Congratulations" he looked at me and said "You don't even know what I do." But I did, I knew that the show could come to a screeching halt if he were not there to do his job.

I could go on and on about all of the other roles that I have had in the theatre and why I love them, but every-time I run a spotlight I think of Kevin Arnold and Winnie cooper, and how the Wonder Years taught me how to be a theatre technician.