Looking for answers to life's questions

Is it a spring and does it really go forward? Last Saturday evening, I turned the time on my watch forward an hour. It’s just one measly hour for goodness sake. I saw no spring anywhere. Not in the darn cold, wet weather, not in my body the next morning crawling out of bed at 5 a.m. which was actually 6 a.m. My son had a plane to catch so we had to move fast, like it or not.

I had just come home from a busy week in Phoenix. Trust me, I could find no forward spring here. Just one behind after another.


I took enough pictures while I was in Phoenix to make at least two posts. Too many for one, certainly. The first place I was taken after getting my luggage and joining my friend was my favorite independent bookstore.

 

Tempe/Mesa best bookstore ever

Tempe/Mesa best bookstore ever

Looking for books and other good stuff

Looking for books and other good stuff

Changing Hands bookstore is a new and used bookstore with a little bit of everything. Next door with no wall between the two businesses was the Wildflower Bread Company. In the early years of living in the Arizona Mountains, coming to Phoenix took almost four hours on winding mountain roads. You made those trips count. Along with a major grocery shopping, I checked into a cheap motel for four nights and spent three days in the bookstore going to workshops on writing, and meeting authors for book signings. Dan Millman and Allison DuBois were there that week. Ms. DuBois had dinner at a restaurant in our small town during ski season so I was delighted to hear her speak and have them both sign my books. I’m nerdy that way. I ate 3 meals a day at the Wildfire Bread Company, it was that good and not at all expensive.

Wildfire Bread Company. Yummm!

Wildfire Bread Company. Yummm!

This trip to Phoenix was to see the friend who insisted I learn to quilt and join her mountain quilt group. She has been doing it for more years than I know and in spite of her major osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, she just keeps cranking those works of art out.

Beginning of another fabric bowl.

Beginning of another fabric bowl.

My first visit back to the area was to check on this sweet friend who just turned her life upside down. It’s her story to tell so let me just say that after 56 years of marriage at the age of 74, she had to make major changes to save her own life. I needed to see firsthand how she really was doing. She always has a smile and a brave face.

Always a smile for everyone

Always a smile for everyone

The body often tells a different story. I trust the words of the body more than the words of the mouth. She was exhausted. I wanted to inspire, help in some way and not drain her more. We took care of some business that she needed to attend to and I walked with her and Charlie twice each day. Charlie keeps her moving in this difficult time. He’s a hugger. Literally! He puts his head on your shoulder and front paws on either side.


We went to three different quilt stores just to see what might move us or what we could learn. She had just downsized as I had in my many moves over the last 6 years. Fortunately, there is always something around to inspire and delight. Her work alone did that for me.

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Once I left and she had a little time, her sewing room was properly organized in her new rented condo to start creating beautiful treasures again, keeping her mind in a happy place. Making art in any form is good for the soul. She said she has a new spring in her step now. I need that spring! Where the heck is it?

Arizona style condo

Arizona style condo

Are you springing forward or still lagging behind? Or are you lucky enough not to be victim of the obnoxious daylight saving time? Arizona is one lucky state.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "That Spring Forward" (56)

  1. You have been a busy lass Marlene. Your friend must have treasured your company and assistance at this particular time – Those who go the extra mile when times are challenging are special friends for life! The quilting work is lovely and I particularly like the bright colours.

    I hope you had some nice browsing time in your favourite bookstore and returned home with a few more books tucked into your bag.

    We will put our clocks back sometime next month, returning to real time whatever the heck that is. It’s so dark in the morning now I shall be glad of a little more light when I first open my eyes. I never mind the changing – its always seemed okay to me whenever it has occurred.

    I hope you have a good week and enjoy spring unfurling, albeit slowly, as April approaches.
    Take care xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Pauline. As I drift around the world, very few friends stay with me long distance. This one is different and I care deeply about her welfare. The fact that she makes all this and so much more with hands that can barely hold a glass astounds me. She inspires me. Guess I’m too sensitive to any changes. As the seasons change, it takes me a bit to get in gear with it. We have more daylight at night now. Not when I need it for certain. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled weekend Pauline. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you’ve been very busy Marlene. That book store looks wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most bookstores are wonderful, this one is just a bit more than most for me anyway. I love an independent bookstore and wish there were more. I’ve been busy running around and doing next to nothing while my friends churn out the good stuff. 🙂 have a wonderfilled weekend Maja and thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you had such a good trip. Your friends varied work is lovely. I couldn’t make the pictures stop changing, and there was so much I wanted to look at for longer!
    love,
    ViV

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Viv. There should be a pause button between the forward and back arrows. At least it shows up here when I googled my blog. Those little works of art are what’s left after she gives her quilts to so many. I’m trying to help her keep a photo gallery but so many are already long gone. Let me know if you don’t get it to work. Sometimes the computers just don’t want to co-operate. I can change it to tiled photos. There are quite a few though. Hugs, M

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The clocks in England go forward soon on Easter Sunday this year. I am not a morning person at the best of times so find it hard. The weather has improved recently and it does feel like spring. Feeling the sun warm you outside is brilliant. I love the bookstore you visited. Not enough of them around these days. Hope your friend does well. Enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. Somehow, the moving of a clock hand can slow down your momentum. I am a morning person and I was still exhausted for an entire week. The day we got sunshine, we had temperatures dip into the freezing mark again. There is nothing like an independent bookstore and there can never be enough of them. My closest bookstore in this big city is 8 miles away and it’s a Barns and Noble. I’m glad to have it though. Any bookstore is better than none. It’s a wet weekend here. Enjoy yours too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m happy you had a nice visit with your friend, Marlene. That bookstore looks amazing! I could spend hours in there.
    So far, I’ve done okay with springing forward. I do enjoy the extra hours of daylight, and the warmer temperatures permit more outdoor activity.
    I hope you’re sleeping well these days. Boy, that Charlie is a cutie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Jill. We did spend hours in there. I’m glad you are doing well with the spring forward. I’m ready for more outdoor time as well though I am an early, early morning person. Woke again at 3:30 a.m. Don’t get a lot but what I get is better, I think. 🙂
      Charlie was a love and is apparently still looking for me. I miss him too.

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  6. Sounds like a very fun time in Phoenix, Marlene. What a good friend you are. I’m sure this was a blessing to your friend to have you around and share some experiences….. and it sounds like you enjoyed it equally! As many times as I’ve been to Phoenix area to visit my son, I have never seen this book store. I’m due back in May, time permitting, I may have to check it out. As for springing forward, I absolutely love it. Despite the losing of an hour of sleep I relish the longer days of sunshine and don’t even mind the earlier mornings. I feel more energized during the daylight but then we have a touch of spring in our area. Just finished planting our small vegetable gardens and our flowers are springing up willy-nilly everywhere with no effort on our part. Of course we could use more rain but we’ve even had a bit of that! A little more would be a welcome addition. Glad you made it home safe and sound…..after all….. there is no place like home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. To have a good friend, you must be a good friend. I treasure each one like gold. I have only a few and know their worth. My friend has had a very hard time of it and I’d do anything I could to make it better. I hope you get a chance to visit and support this small independent book store. There is one on the west side of Phoenix as well. I wish there were more. We have Powell’s but I can’t get there on my own. So I go where I can. Mostly Amazon. 😦 I’m ready for more daylight too. Just need it in the morning. We get more rain in the spring than in the winter. Now it just keeps coming. Planting is hard in the rain. 😦 Love to send you some. 🙂 I love to visit but I love to be home even more. ) Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. If you ever find that Sping in your step, let me know ok? I can’t seem to find it either. 😉
    Looks like you had a wonderful visit with a great friend. It’s always hard starting over again but bless her for doing it. Hope you have a great weekend and I will answer your email soon. (I couldn’t get into my email at all yesterday!) ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jackie for stopping by. I’ll let you know if I find it. Probably under a pile of stuff that just needs to go. I thought it was hard starting over at 61. 74 is just almost too much to bear but there was no choice. She at least has a good support system. I did too. It really helps. I get how it is with computers and time. 😦 Giant hugs.

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  8. What a lovely friend you are! Bless you and bless your friend.

    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am very happy you enjoyed your trip to Arizona! The bookstore looks wonderful. I always enjoy visiting bookstores wherever I go. Your friend’s quilts are fabulous. The one with the old cars is my favorite.
    It was very kind of you to visit your friend during this challenging time. True friends are hard to find! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Living In Denim said:

    I used to dread the changing of the clocks but now I just ignore the whole ridiculous process all together. The only clocks I have now are the ones on my cell phone, laptop and tablet and they automatically change for me. When we lived in Arizona we dreaded the time change everywhere else because it affected when we could call our friends and family back east. Not wanting to pay a fortune on long distance we always waited until calling was free but had to do the math to know what time it was else where so as not to call too late.

    Spring teased us for a bit but tonight we are expecting snow that will turn to rain tomorrow afternoon. I just want consistently comfortable weather, is that too much to want?

    For all your friend’s troubles she sure does have a lovely smile to hide her pain from the rest of us. Her quilts are amazing and reminds me that if I keep trying there’s no reason I can’t learn to do better quilting.

    So did you carry an extra suitcase to haul back the books you found? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make me laugh, Lois. 🙂 Took a large one half empty for any fabric finds and took no books with me so there would be room. My friend gave me 2 of her’s that she was not going to read. They were on writing and she’d had them for years. We got some good ideas mostly in our shopping sprees. I just got a text from her that Charlie pulled her over and she was hurt pretty bad. I was unfortunately, expecting that call. She’s in the hospital now. Glad I went when I did. I remember the days when you had to be careful of the time to call someone. Especially since my family lives all over the world.

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      • Oh Marlene, what a sad turn of events. I’ve read your post and now into the comments before I replied. I love the conversations here. Your visit was timely on so many fronts. I’m sure you’ve made a huge difference in her life. You are the model of a good friend, there in good times and bad. Is her prognosis good?

        Liked by 1 person

      • She thinks so. They are taking her to a rehab facility and they are pretty certain the fall caused the stroke and the seizure. She is so tiny and fragile that I was not surprised. Charlie was not well behaved on walks. We are doing a fair bit of texting while she is up for it. Life is fragile. Never miss an experience. Yes, it was perfect timing and I’m so glad I didn’t put it off. The comments on posts are my favorite parts. That’s why I’m always so far behind. 🙂 I have to read them all. Good friends are hard to come by. They are what I cherish most in the world. Thanks for stopping by and reading. It means a lot.

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      • Oh my dear, I somehow missed that she has had a stroke. I’m glad to hear she is headed to a rehab facility. They will do her more good than the hospital will.

        What’s the story with Charlie? Just not well trained, or is he getting on in years and not aware of his surroundings anymore? Sending good thoughts her way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charlie is only 4 and they were not looking for another dog when theirs passed. Someone, probably a well meaning family member gifted Charlie to them. The husband in his mental illness was somewhat unkind to Charlie so my friend made up for it by indulging. You know the story. He was not trained at all. The stroke was minimal but Charlie has gone home to live with his mom and dad. They wanted him a lot so he will be much happier. My friend has never been in the best of health so he needs to be with more energetic people. He’s a love but needs training.

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      • It all sounds for the best, then. I’ve seen people work wonders with abused or neglected dogs. He’ll be in a happier place and she won’t have the added burden or worry. Good to hear that the stroke was mild.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. “Making art in any form is good for the soul”–I couldn’t agree more! It sounds like your friend got a lot out of your visit and you had a good time, too. Are you going to be quilting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have several projects on the list to finish. Have been unable to concentrate this last week but I’ll get back to them. There is always one more project to quilt. 🙂 I’m a beginner but keep practicing. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Carol Ferenc said:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, Marlene. I’m so glad you spent time with your friend. That bookstore looks fabulous ~ I’d love to have one like that nearby!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would love to have that bookstore nearby too. Just traveled almost 2000 miles to get there. :)) It used to take 4 hours of hard driving which is why I always stayed the night before heading back up the mountain. I did have a good trip and ever so glad I went. My friend is back in the hospital as of Thursday night. That sweet dog pulled her down and she was badly hurt. 😦 Putting things off is never a good idea. Thanks for stopping by. I’m still catching up. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So pleased your friend has a friend like you Marlene.. and oh those huggy paws… 🙂 how cute…
    Today here in the UK it has felt more like Spring.. At least the Sun shone.. But the forecast is to get colder towards Easter.. So wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have a flake or two of snow.. 😉
    Lovely looking book store.. and I expect that bread wafted throughout drawing you in.. Yummy indeed..
    Loved your photo’s Marlene.. and look forward to seeing lots more Soon..
    Hugs Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Sue. We had sun for a day and VERY warm weather. Today, back to normal. Rain! It was a good marketing ploy to have no wall between the businesses. Everyone was happy. Foodies got to buy books and book lovers got to sit and read. Magic! We need one of those here!

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  14. Marlene, thanks for sharing (and documenting) so many of her quilts. What a talent. It’s wonderful that she continues to enjoy her craft and that she is able to put aside the physical difficulties and continue.

    I smiled at your half-empty suitcase on the trip out. Clever you!

    I love bookstores, one and all and always feel relief when the good ones continue to thrive. We have a used bookstore in downtown Campbell that has thrived for years. They doubled in size a few years ago when space became available.

    I’m sorry to hear your friend is troubled and needed to end such a long marriage, but perhaps it was long past due. What a brave soul to step away from that and venture out on her own after a lifetime. Things must have been pretty bad.

    Most of all, as we’ve all grown to know you, how lucky she is to count you as a friend. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such loveliness to share! But I do feel sorry for your friend…so important to people like you in her life!! The quilts are too cozy for words. And yes, for me Spring is always the busiest time of the year!!! Cheers, Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Johanna, for stopping by. My friend is recovering and hopefully soon on her feet again making something even more beautiful. Spring and summer tend to pull me it two directions. I have things to make indoors and gardening and work on my house outdoors, not to mention so many other things. I need that daylight early because that’s when I’m up not at night when I want to go to sleep and the sun is still up. :)) Oh well! You can’t have it all .

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  16. Marlene, you are turning into a real globe-trotter. It looks like you had a fabulous time, both being away, and spending time with your friend. I know, we certainly enjoyed a week away in Southern Nevada and Arizona recently. It felt good to be warm. Happy spring and Easter, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Missy. My globe trotting days are over most likely, but I can still hop on a plane and travel the country. It helps if there is a driver at the other end. 🙂 A change of scenery is always good but that makes coming home is always sweet. Happy spring and Easter to you as well. Hugs, M

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I must say, you’re getting around these days. Quilting retreats and now Arizona. Go team M-bean! You may tell your friend that I would never guess her age. She’s a very young looking 72. I’m sorry to hear that times have been rough but sounds like she’s gone in the right direction now, Bravo. Her condo looks spectacular. Almost like a resort.
    It’s funny that you ate at the same place 4 days in a row. I can totally do that too. I love my bread and sandwiches and toast and grilled and…..well, you get the picture. Throw in a bowl of soup or salad and Bob’s your uncle.
    It’s nice that your girlfriend has Charlie for company. I remember how much I relied on Jasper when I was going through a divorce years ago. I often found myself dripping tears on his head and dabbing them away with his soft ears. They intuitively know when you need a gentle paw.
    I’m glad you were able to spend that time together xo hugs xo K

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend is 74 and heading rapidly to 75. She just had to give up Charlie after he pulled her off her feet and put her in the hospital. She will be in a rehab facility until she can get on her feet again. She was seriously injured. This divorce was especially painful. 56 years of marriage was hard for her to walk away from. It was just dangerous to stay.
      As for eating in the restaurant daily, I usually only had 2 meals but they have lovely soups, salads and breakfast foods as well as heavier things for dinner. I was stunned at the variety. Then I went back home and didn’t eat out again for months. We didn’t have any decent restaurants in our town. 😦 Phoenix had a plethora of them. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day.

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  18. I’m so very sorry that your friend has met with so many challenges. When I read “make changes to save her life”, I worried about abuse, In my line of work, I meet so many women who have to save their lives, that I am always on the lookout for it. In reading through the comments, I see that is the case.

    Your friend is so fortunate to have you in her life, Marlene. I hope she recovers and can move on to a more peaceful life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s had years of dealing with her husbands mental illness. When he threatened her life, she knew it was more than she could continue to handle. Everyone, including their daughters are grateful she finally made the choice to save herself. I’m not sure what line of work you are in but I am one of those women who have walked out, twice, to stop the gaslighting. I’m sure you know the term. I choose now to stay single and I love it. I don’t pick well as I have no understanding of how good relationships are made. My daughter stayed in her marriage 2 years and has been single for 15. My son has been single for 13 and had a wife that was not always kind. They do better as friends. I don’t think he had a great roll model either. 🙂 So many just don’t know how and it’s not something we are taught before we pick a partner. Sad. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll keep you posted.

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      • I am a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and I ask each and every woman I see if she has been a victim of abuse of any kind. Sadly, many who are victims of emotional abuse sometimes don’t see it as abuse. Go glad you escaped!

        Liked by 2 people

      • The emotional abuse is the most insidious kind. 😦 Glad you are there on the front lines. Many of us didn’t know it was abuse. I was told that he brought home his paycheck and didn’t beat me, what more did I want? I’m glad it’s changing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my gosh, the response you got is awful. Change IS coming … although, too slowly for some.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Marlene I am sure you are exactly what she needs. I wish the fall hadn’t happened after you already left. You probably wished you could have been there too. But being there for a few days, and checking up on her now must mean so much when she is trying to re-build a life, AND recover from injuries (more than the fall). You are wonderful to give your thoughtfulness and your time to a woman you obviously love so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have very few friends and those I have, I cherish deeply. I check in with her often to see how she is progressing. I want her to have the chance to live her life as fully as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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