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.