Woven Blessings
Spring 2008

by Sheri L. VanDuyn

There are times in your life when you feel you are just blessed. I experienced this at the beginning of the New Year 2008. My venture starts almost a year prior when setting up my teaching schedule for the 2007-2008 school year. My high school was changing the daily course schedule from 2 semesters to 3 or Trimesters. Students formerly took 7 classes would now take only 5 which would be a longer block of time. I loved this structure for my Art program since so much of my class period is spent setting up and cleaning up. With 5 classes in 3 semesters, students would now take 15 classes instead of 7 classes in 2 semesters or 14 classes. (Plus, give students who are so involved in everything the chance to concentrate only on 5 classes instead of 7.)  Students would now get 1 more elective. I have always said, “If there was another hour in the day; more students would take Art!” Well, I must be careful what I wish for as my Art classes were packed-I even had to go out and buy more basic supplies! 

So while this whole schedule change was evolving, I joked with my principal that I could teach fall and spring (2 sections = 1 year of art) and have the Winter term off. My Principal just laughed. About 2 weeks later, he came back to me and said, “If you want to set your schedule up like that, it will work.” So I might be blonde, but I can do the math-teach everyday for a shorter day or teach a longer day and have the 2nd one off--meaning Dec., Jan., and Feb. off. It took me about 2 seconds to say, “Set it up!” 

My Fall was extremely blessed with large classes; I was sharing my passion of Art with more students. Longer class periods still seemed to fly by and before I knew it exams came to wrap up the first session in the first week of December. There was much to do to close up my room, turn in grades, but I was ready to enjoy the Holidays and be free for 3 months! 

My husband, Ralph said, “Once the Holidays are done, let’s head to Florida and stay at your parent’s condo.” (My parents were not going down until the end of January; my Mom’s health is questionable and needs a doctor’s release to travel. They were pleased their place was going to be used.) Well, Ralph changed his mind; thought that spending New Year’s Eve in the Sunshine state sounded fun. So, a few days after Christmas, I packed my clothes, weaving and scrapbooking supplies. Of course we were so excited about the trip that as I was going to bed at midnight, Ralph said, “I can’t sleep. Do you want to go now?” “Ok, I am up for that, let’s go!” He showered and within the hour, we were off. (Like crazy college kids!) We had a great trip down and Ralph would let me shop at Antique Shops while he gassed up. We arrived at the condo in Highland Beach. We unpacked, regrouped and headed for the pool to unwind. 

Late afternoon we packed up again and headed even further South past Ft. Lauderdale, got on the Turnpike again to spend a few days with friends in their condo in the Keys. What a time we had-Key Lime pie, Ralph fishing with the guys on the ocean, me shopping with the girls, hanging out at the pool and teaching the 2 girls (age 5 and 8) to weave a small basket! (They loved them so much, they even slept with them!) We dined on the fresh catch of the day. We welcomed New Year’s Eve by watching fireworks at midnight from the top floor of their condo in both directions! What fun! 

Yet even better was spending New Year’s Day on their boat and heading 1 mile out to an ocean reef called “Hens and Chickens”. (The boat is tied to a buoy, so the coral is not crushed below!) All 7 of us snorkeled for over an hour. The ocean was so warm and flat that kayaks were out here. We spotted colorful fish, coral and even stingrays lying on the bottom. Next we dined at a fabulous spot on the ocean; then cruised south seeing Flagler’s railroad which linked the Keys before a hurricane came and wiped out sections. This was the most beautiful day with a special family as we were able to enjoy their young children! The sky was the bluest blue and the water was even a more spectacular aquamarine blue; this is one that I photographed several ways, but the real impression is locked in my mind!  

We spent the next day exploring Key West with these friends on the Conch Train and then headed back to our condo. The girls were hanging on to us not wanting us to leave! So now we were back in our own place preparing the condo for my folks-setting up the furniture in the sun porch, cleaning and washing the windows and of course when the sun was out, we headed for the pools!  

Ralph’s time came to an end and I had several days on my own to weave, scrap and shop! His California niece, Cheryl, (only 4 years younger than me) came for 9 days and did we ever have fun! When the sun was out to the pool we would go. We walked and shopped and checked everything out. We just kicked back and enjoyed our life of leisure. When Cheryl left, I again had some time to myself. Ralph emailed me and said, “This is your time to enjoy, you deserve this!” I really cherished this time. I loved doing what I wanted each day and not being accountable to anyone! I was able to really reflect each day during daily devotions and on my outdoor walks. Sometimes the need to be silent without the distractions is just the key to hear what God intends for you to do!

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”   Psalms 37:7

In the next Issue, I will share one of my life lessons from this blessed vacation.

2008springdevotionalgraphic.JPG (27114 bytes)

Return to: Just Patterns Magazine

Just Patterns

The Idea Magazine for Basketmakers

(616) 846-7926 *