Thursday, January 31, 2013

This is why I craft

Samantha and I have been friends since third grade.  We grew up on the same country road and took turns biking back and forth to each others' houses.  We played Barbies and My Little Ponies together.  We rode the bus together.  Our parents drove us into town to go Trick or Treating and to the local skate barn.  In high school we knew all the words to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and employed ample use of the pause button while watching Cry Baby.  We screamed from the front row when Steve Vai walked on stage and learned that there is a limit to how much cinnamon Aftershock a body can handle.

And as you might expect, we went our separate ways after high school.  Off to different colleges, different states, different paths through Life.  Me:  marriage, house, sheep, kids, chickens, sewing, laundry, baking, pigs, cows and more sheep.  Samantha:  Wyoming, masters, California, doctorate, Pennsylvania, post-doc, Alabama, professorship and then off to almost every continent across the globe.  Clearly one could make a case for Nature vs. Nurture here.  Our similar childhoods are far eclipsed by our distinctly divergent adult lives.  I'm as domestic and settled down as you can get;  Samantha is sampling everything Life has to offer.

And we're still best friends.

So this Christmas I drafted up some unique designs and stitched a collection of souvenir dish towels.  While Samantha doesn't think to stock her kitchen with aprons and hot pads and such, her bookshelf display of Egyptian artifacts is another story.  So I make sure that she's equipped with appropriate kitchen linens.  Each towel is a look back at where she has been.

One of her earliest trips was to Egypt.  This is truly her passion; archeology, rocks and weird ancient practices is where Sam thrills.  If I'm remembering the story correctly, a local man offered Sam's dad three camels for her.  Or was it fourteen?  Also, this Eye of Rah is Sam's first tattoo. First of nine?  For being such best friends, you'd think I could get my numbers straight.

Being that her field of expertise is seismology, Sam has traveled to Antarctica a total of three times for research at McMurdo Station.  Let me tell you, she sure looks fetching in those Stay Puft Marshmellow Man red parkas.  And being a native Wisconsin girl, the frigid temps didn't phase her.  Sometime you should ask her about that cute seal they saw sunbathing on the ice. 

Easter Island was not a research trip, but rather a pleasure stop.  She made the jump over from Chile.  Again, it was the call of the ancient culture that lured her in. She can tell you all about the type of rock that those moai are made from, where it was quarried and why they were erected in the first place.  What a geek.

Oslo, Norway, was the location of the International Polar Year 2013 Science Conference.  The conference was kicked off by the Crown Prince of Norway.  Apparently those polar geologists know how to throw a party!  Anyways, as with most work trips, there's usually time for some site seeing.  The Edvard Munch Museum was a favorite stop for her.  As was Denmark (it was just next door, so why not). 

Again, I think Peru was strictly a pleasure vacation because she was *tired* of having to travel for work-related things.  Aside from the usual tour of cathedrals, catacombs and Incan pyramids, Sam sampled cuy.  That would be guinea pig for us Westerners.  Warning: google search this only if your children are out of the room. 

And this is why I love handmade crafts.  Never in a store would I be able to find iron-on transfers so perfectly matched to the intended recipient.  The towels are not fancy or pretentious.  Just sturdy cotton with simple Aunt Martha-esque embroideries.  But they speak to the extraordinary adventures of an amazing person.  Sam is one of the most good-hearted people I know. And I suspect that wherever Life takes us, we'll still be friends for the next fifty years. 

12 comments:

  1. That's a sweet story of friendship, and I love the dish towels, especially Peru :)

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  2. Aww..I have tears in my eyes as I am trying to type this. What an awesome gift! Friends like that are true gems. Blessings from Ringle, WI.

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  3. What an extraordinary gift for such an interesting friend! The best gifts come from the heart, and that ranks with the very best.

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  4. Do Not! I repeat DO NOT! look up the baby seal ;) I warned ya! I'm sure she will love these as you did a beautiful job of stitching them with love!

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    1. What have you got against baby seals?! lol

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  5. lucky samantha to have a friend like you!

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  6. Homemade gifts are the best. My most treasured gifts are those made by friends. This post shows that a true friendship endures all. You are truly blessed.

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  7. You're going to make me cry, Sarah! But I'll agree that the embroidered towels continued your streak of the most perfect, personalized gifts I've ever received. You're always in my heart, and I'm hoping to get back to Wisconsin to visit again fairly soon. Sam :)

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    1. Oh no, don't cry! I tried not to be too mushy! You should have read what I deleted. lol But sometimes it takes a friend to shine a light on how awesome you are (even if you don't realize it).

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  8. What a nice friend you are. How luck you are to have each other.

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  9. Great story, great towels. Made my afternoon! (Stopped by from Farmgirl Friday)

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  10. I looked up cuy. Not so different than eating rabbit but I think I would remove some of the parts before serving. I do like your tea towels with the travel theme, what a nice friend!

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