Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Blog Post I've Been Avoiding

As the title of this post says, this is something I have put off writing for a while now. I haven't posted on my blog in a little over two months. I've been posting a little more lately on Facebook and on Instagram but certainly not up to my normal online interaction in regards to sewing and all things vintage. But I'm getting there, slowly.
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As some of you may already know, my brother Christoper passed away very unexpectedly in August. He was 30 years old. We are all still trying to process this and our hearts are shattered. I'm so thankful there is a loving network of friends and family who have all been amazing and I know you will all continue to be. Thank you to everyone who has offered your love and support during this difficult time. I never thought I would say, thank God for Facebook, but it's true. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and even complete strangers online has been truly amazing and humbling. The reenacting community especially has been wonderful and supportive. Our family has received messages from reenactors who personally knew, or knew of, my brother from all across the U.S., Canada, the UK and even Belgium. It just proves what a small world we live in.

This is a post I've had to write by starting and stopping several times over the last three months. Often I'd just sit here starting at the blank page. I really didn't know where to start but felt it was important to say something. How do you sum up the life of a loved one in a single blog post? The truth is, you can't. It's cannot be done in a blog post or multiple posts to social media. It cannot be done in a collection of photographs, though these things can come close. (We created a slide show of photos and music for Chris's memorial service and it was over 30 minutes long! With plenty more to add.)

Grief is a difficult thing to go through for everyone, and it's been a real struggle for those of us that were closest with my brother. I posted briefly about the passing of a close friend this spring and was still struggling with his loss when I heard about my brother. We must all find our own way to deal with and process grief. And it's going to be a different journey for each of us.

Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. 
- William Penn, Fruits of Solitude

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Chris was many things to many people; son, brother, husband and friend. Everything was falling into place for him and life was going so well for him and his wife. They celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary in June. Chris was an incredibly talented person, always looking to learn new skills and apply them to the things he enjoyed most in life. He had settled on creating a career involving horses and had set out on the path to makes those dreams come true. He and one of our sister's planned to take over the family farm and share those dreams together. There are now, and will always be, horses on the farm but it won't seem the same without my brother. Sometimes I just pretend he's off on some great adventure, which in a way I guess he is. This whole post seems inadequate but as I said, I felt I needed to write something.

I cannot say, and I will not say 
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cherry smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land 

And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you – oh, you, who the wildest yearn 
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead – he is just away.
James Whitcomb Riley

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My brother loved history and living history was a passion we both shared. To honor his memory, friends and family members have made donations to The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH, an open air living history museum where we both spent a great deal time. Through volunteering and reenacting at The Fort at No. 4, Chris worked to help ensure the museum's long history as a site for educational and living history programs. As a way to honor him, donations to this site in Chris' name will be used to repair and maintain the museum to ensure the continuation of Chris' passion at a place very dear to him.

The holidays this year are going to suck. There's no other way to say it, but somehow I know we will all manage and find the strength to laugh and smile. We will create new traditions in Chris's honor, tell rude jokes and funny stories to keep his memory and energy alive. Even though it may be hard at times, these are things we need to do. And I've learned through all of this just how important friends and family really are. I have also learned that grief is a process. There are many stages and there are going to be many crummy days before things begin to seem brighter on a more regular basis. There will be good days again but for now it's perfectly fine to just have OK days.

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I am planning to post with more regularity on this blog over the winter and to continue doing and sharing the things I love. I know Chris would want all of us to continue doing what we enjoy. It's all part of moving through the tunnel of grief. I have several posts waiting in my draft folder and many exciting things to share. But if I disappear for days or weeks on end, don't worry, I will come back. Sometimes it's important to take time for yourself.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

It's been long time since my last post. Lots of things have happened this year, and not all of them good, I'm sad to say. But more on that later. I hope to have my blog back up and running with more regular posts this winter. So until then, thank you for sticking with me! I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween.
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Here is a throw back post to last year with a recap of some of my Halloween outfits.

Originally posted on November 3, 2016.
A very quick for Throwback Thursday! I thought I would share our Halloween costumes from the last couple of years. I don't have pictures of our costumes for this year because our party hasn't happened yet! I know crazy, but this coming weekend was the best time for all our friends to get together. It's going to be awesome. :)

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf
Bonnie and Clyde

Popeye and a 1920s film star in gray scale
 Charlie Chaplin and my Carol Burnett inspired Gown with the Wind costume.  Photo by Kris Jarrett Photography and Media Production
The last two years our friend's parties have had themes. The first was based on the movie Clue (Cori wasn't able to attend but I went as Mrs. White) and last year was cartoon/comic book characters. We went as Cruella de Vil  from 101 Dalmatians and Zap Brannigan. This year the theme is Joss Universe, so anything or anyone created by Joss Wheden!!!

Photo by Kris Jarrett Photography and Media Production

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Giveaway Time with RVS

Hey everyone!! Have you pre-ordered your new shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes? There is still plenty of time, you have until August 10th.

And guess what else?? RVS is hosting a giveaway for one lucky winner to receive a $175 gift certificate to their shop. Visit their blog to learn how to enter.

Rosie WWII Double Buckle Boots for Women

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vintage Life Miss September Contest

Hello everyone!
I entered the Miss September photo contest for Vintage Life Magazine! The Vintage Life Team will pick the winner but they do take the number of likes, comments, and shares for each photo into consideration. Here is the link that will take you directly to the photo album. The winning photo will be published in the next issue of the magazine! Please "vote" for me. :)

I would love it if you could like, comment, and share my photo! Even if I only make runner up, I admit it would be a little dream come true. ;)
Thanks everyone! :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

MAAM WWII Weekend 2017 - Pt 2

As promised here is my second post about the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's WWII weekend. This time I thought I would share some fun photos from around our camp. To give you an idea of just how big this event is, have a quick peek at this map of the site.

Part of the US Navy "air station" on Wake Island

Communications bunker on Wake Island
Here is most of our group!

Here are a few shot by Emileigh of Flashback Summer who joined me that weekend.
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Our kitchen for the weekend. Three square meals each day, thanks cooke!

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Breakfast time!!
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I love this one, the guys were having too much fun reading the ads in this 1940s Life Magazine!

Here are a few shots from the French Village. I wish I had taken more but was having so much fun visiting with friends I only took a few.

Watching the vintage planes during the air show portion on the weekend is always a highlight!

That's all for now! Hope you enjoy! :) Be sure to check out Flashback Summer's post for more photos.

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