Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Anniversaries, New Beginnings

I have long associated Autumn with new beginnings. Many of us do, from our years of school starting around Labor Day: new shoes, new clothes, new classmates, a new teacher. And the natural world does go through one of her wardrobe changes as well, making visible our sense of change. Today as I drove east and headed up the mountain, the first bright flaming maple trees were peeking out from behind their neighbors. We've had lots of gold and russet coming on slowly, but these were the first really bright trees I've seen here in Virginia.

I changed jobs at the end of the summer, or to be more accurate, I changed positions at my longtime job at the Bluemont Concert Series. I kind of married Bluemont 26 years ago, when I met & married my husband, Peter. I was living in Vermont in 1982 when I came south on tour with Gentle Robber, an a cappella trio. We were hired by Bluemont to sing a concert on May 1st that year, and I met Peter Dunning at his home, the Bear's Den where we were to stay over the few days we worked for Bluemont.

Peter says that he knew I was the woman he wanted to marry when he saw me in the photo we sent ahead for publicity. There is proof of this - he bet his friend Mary H. a milkshake that she couldn't tell which of the women in the photograph was his future wife. We still have the postcard she sent in reply - it says, "The one with the boots. I'll take chocolate."

The way I tell it, when we met we took one look at each other and said something like - "Where the hell have you been? I've been looking all over for you!" We recognized one another, as if we had known one another before.

Our families weren't so easily persuaded. The prospective in-laws on both sides came to each of us and asked if we were sure we knew what we were getting into. They gave us a year, didn't think either one of us would stick to the relationship any longer than that.

Well, I am here to tell you that there have sure been some rough spots, but we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary last week. So there. By now, our families know that we are both very fortunate in our choice of mates and very determined to make our marriage work.

Here is my anniversary present - a mobius bracelet I have long admired with 2 stanzas of Shakespeare's Sonnet CXVI inscribed around the surface:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments, Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds;
or bends with the remover to remove
Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark,
that looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

I love it. I've been wearing it every day.

Back to the job - I started as a bookkeeper, eventually moved up to being the (ahem) Business Manager, and a few years ago moved over to running Bluemont's Artist in Education Program. Our new Business Manager was pregnant when we hired her and I covered her maternity leave last summer but then returned to the AIE program in the fall. This summer she took leave to be home with her two children and I stepped back in to cover the summer, but I was determined that she would be back in the fall. But she called in August to say that she would not return.

Once I got over the idea of Going Back to my old job, I realized that this is really the best place for me to be right now. Bluemont is a very small business with a swell in activity and staff in the summer months. Although it is a non-profit organization, it really runs much like a family business. With the economy going south, it makes more sense for me to be at the financial helm again, and I can still oversee and support the AIE program from here.

I moved upstairs to a real office with a door, and in September I decided to make this space my own. So I've decorated with yarn! I set up some shelves and moved all the goods that I have listed on my eBay store, Peace Weavers into my office, where I can see them everyday and enjoy the colorful fiber array.

Isn't it pretty?

EBay has been pretty quiet all summer, but I'm trying to put some more energy into my store, ordering new items, listing new products. It's mostly hand-dyed yarns from Fleece Artist & Hand Maiden and some Folkmanis puppets, but I've got Peace Fleece yarns to list, patterns, Shetland Supreme lace weight yarn from Jamieson & smith and new items from Nancy's Knit Knacks to list shortly.

I'm teaching a tartan weaving class at The Mannings weaving school in Pennsylvania this weekend - I will report back on that adventure next week!