It’s been a while. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been creative but my focus has been somewhat off course. However, it is nothing that a nice walk at the beach can’t fix and redirect. Hope you enjoy the images in the slideshow above.
Those of you who follow me on FaceBook might have noticed that I am pulling back from posting images on my page. Instead I reactivated my, more or less, dormant Instagram account and am tring to post an image a day there. I have also been very active on my new blog which is beginning to take on a life of its own. I so appreciate those of you who check in regularly, click the like button and even take time to provide some feedback. It means the world to me as it provides me with the fuel and energy to forge forward.
In the studio I have picked up some previously marbelled fabrics and stitched samples. I am in the process of creating little bags… more to come when I have a few completed and photographed.
Much of my attention and energy has been on my family in Germany. Some of you may have seen the devastation the floods in the Ahr Valley left behind. My niece and her family were directly affected. My niece, her husband and her two little girls (Anni and Leni) are currently living with my sister and her husband. The house is small but they are making it work the best they can.
My sister had kept me updated as to what happened: The story of how she set out to get Nadine and the girls only hours after the flood but without any contact due to poor cell service, electricity outages and downed phone lines was harrowing. My sister had no idea what she would find. She described mud covered people wandering aimlessly and with vacant eyes, children and seniors crying, huge trucks loaded with people being carried to safety, slippery, slimy, often impassable roads obstructed with debris. She was on auto-pilot and I cannot begin to fathom the emotions she must have experienced when she parked her car between two piles of banged up cars washed up on the road and walking the last 500 meters to her eldest daughter’s house. Nadine and family were in shock, working on auto-pilot clearing debris from the home, making a path so they could exit safely, hungry and dirty.
I had not heard from Nadine since the evening before the flood when she texted that they were on a “stay indoors and don’t enter the basement” order. After that message: nothing. This started us all on the emotional roller coaster and trying to find a way to cope with so many unexpected and overwhelming situations.
Today I rejoice because I have heard from Nadine directly. Her voice is strong as she describes details and where they are at for the moment. Insurance is not covering the flood damages. Their car was insured (and good news there: it is covered) but totaled and there are no affordable options available for the time being as so many others are in the same boat. Whether the house can be restored or will be condemned is still the question. She sent pictures and since I knew their home well I feel deeply for them. And we are not even talking about the loss of furniture… she lost all photo albums from her childhood, their wedding, Anni’s first year, but she sounds resigned and grateful they were not injured or are without family support like so many others. Everyone is rallying… they are receiving physical and financial help from complete strangers and can’t get over the kindness and support they are experiencing.
Here are just a few images of what she shared with me.
The first image was from the early morning of July 15th, Sebastian Strasse in Bad Neuenahr. The water has receded but it has not been fully pumped from the basement of their house due to equipment shortages. The images of the clean up and debris on the street waiting for pick up are from Saturday. Such devastation and a sure sign that rebuilding will take years.
We have all seen reports on the news but until we have loved ones immersed in the actual events it is difficult to get the full picture. I will not even attempt to assume how they feel or the emotional trauma they are trying to overcome as that is something only a person who has been there herself/himself. I am doing my best to stay strong for them, trying to support them from afar and offering any help we can from here.
Thanks for understanding that I have not been very active. So many of you I know personally and you followed me when I posted images of Bad Neuenahr when I went to help out when Anni was first born in November 2016. I will treasure my memories and the pictures I was able to capture during better times.
Hi Anna, I have been thinking a lot about your niece and her family. I’m very glad to hear they are safe, although displaced. Hopefully everyone will have the patience and fortitude required to get through this awful disaster.
I saw Cindi and Alison last week at a FAN lecture. It was nice to reconnect, if only for a few minutes. I will see Patricia, Theresa and Cindy toward the end of the month at our Lazy M retreat, which I’m looking forward to so much I feel like jumping up and down!
I was at Elinor’s on Sunday afternoon. She is still very sad about Loki’s disappearance. I would be too. But otherwise she seems to be doing quite well. She was happy to have some ladies over for a visit, that’s for sure!
Hope you are doing well. Sending many hugs your way!
Sent from my iPad
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Great to see you are all returning to socializing in person! Things here are a little slower and I am happy for that as Colin isn’t fully vaccinated.
That is so sad. One never knows what will happen. They are all safe and that matters the most. Life goes on and they will recover but with sad memories of all that was lost.
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Yes, life goes on… and things are just things! What matters most is that they are all safe.
I feel enormous empathy for you and your family and what they are experiencing right now….it’s heartbreaking. Here in Canada – BC of course – devastation of another kind is happening, with the fires. I try to stay in touch daily with family & close friends directly affected by evacuation orders and loss of property and I try to imagine what stress of that kind must be like. So you must not worry about the frequency of your posts. They are always a highlight of my day when one pops into my inbox and no doubt everyone agrees. Take care, and best of luck to your family in Germany. So very sad to hear.
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Oh Vivian, I am equally sorry for your worry around family members and close friends in the path of fire out west. Our daughter and family live in BC and the fires are of strong concern to everyone. I worry about the regular exposure to intense smoke our grandchildren are exposed to. The world is in a precarious state. With no rain in the forecast the situation will continue to be a grave one. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones! Best wishes, Anna
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