Life happens, shit happens to all of us. We survived a pandemic, but things will never be the same as before. Life is full of beautiful moments and not so beautiful ones as well. We are all trying to be thankful for what we have, live a joyous life and hope for a future filled with happiness.
Blah, blah, blah. Sorry I try really hard to share positivity. That is why I share so many flowers. They make me happy. Making art also makes me happy equally. That is why I opened my shop. I enjoy meeting all the people that walk through my shop.
I realized yesterday that every piece in my shop has a story. I am not very good at writing stories (I have some very talented friends for that). I am not very good at public speaking although I have done it many times. I can’t sing. I don’t dance. I can cook and sew but I don’t like too. I love gardening but I am not very good at it. I like to find things, create things, and make them into art. Sometimes wearable, but usually to hang on the wall. But why? I like to think my art will help someone somewhere sometime. Although honestly I am selfish, I make art because it makes me feel better. Simply.
Everything must change. Eight years ago today I was painting a handmade sign for my shop Garden Thyme. I needed a change. I took what little bit I had in a teachers retirement plan I cashed out to start my business. I had one plan “Create, Show, and Sell” my garden inspired artwork. Alex had one year of high school left before he could join me. But then we made a place to be in this world. In a town we loved. A year later I was driving around this beautiful town and saw two houses for sale. One I thought was absolutely adorable but it had structural damage, the other a big ugly sturdy as hell house with a gorgeous view. My husband bought me the big ugly house, but I was so happy to be living in the one place in this world I felt happy. We worked so hard for a year to update the house and sell our farm. Life was beautiful for a few years. I loved my home my shop was doing good and all of my family was relatively healthy. Then the pandemic happened thankfully no one in my immediate family contracted the virus. But caring for a person with Autism during this time was extremely difficult. Alex was working a few days a week before, then lost his job. So we put all of our efforts into a fabulous garden. I loved working in the garden with him. He did an awesome job, I did not. Then both of our fathers were sick while we were in lockdown, the health care system was unrecognizable. I spent hours sitting in the parking ramp so dad could get care. My father-in-law also spent most of the summer 2020 in the hospital, and only one person could go see him. Leaving the rest of us not only worrying about grandpa but also my husband who was visiting him in the middle of a pandemic. Thankfully he was diligent in wearing his mask while at the hospital and everywhere he went. To keep us safe. My biggest fear was for Alex to be sick and not have us to care for him. I think this is where many things have changed. We needed to protect ourselves for our family. In our little town we loved, people have been divided. During the pandemic it was masked people and those who chose not to wear masks. Many got covid, sometimes multiple times and a few people died. I was terrified that I would give my dad, mom, father-in-law or son the virus. I cared about giving the virus to anyone, even those who didn’t believe there was a virus. And many people in our town thought we were the crazy people wearing the stupid masks. So our very small town was divided.
So everything changed, we survived the worst health crisis in American history. Then in the summer of 2021 I found out that my dad had lung cancer. They gave him three to six months to live. Unbelievable. So I spent as much time as I could with the best person in my life and then watched him past away. During his illness I began knit and crochet. I think it helped me continue creating but it is less emotional than painting. Then five months after my dad passed away my father-in-law fell and ten days later passed away. Leaving my boys without a grandfather and my husband and I devastated. Alex says 2022 was the worst year ever and I agree. My husband had rotator cuff surgery days after his dad’s funeral and was unable to work for months. Living was hard.
Then in November we found hope and joy, in the form of two baby girls due any day now. Everything changes. Life happens. Through so much darkness there is light. I am still fighting. I am still here. I still have days filled with much sorrow. Yesterday was one of them.
All of this to say I am changing, my goals are changing, and Garden Thyme is changing. This spring has been very slow and although we are having lots of wonderful free concerts and events scheduled. I am not going to tie myself and Alex to the shop every weekend. Life is short. I see all my wonderful friends traveling and living. I need to participate in life. We need to garden more. And soon we will have two little chicas to play with and take care of. I am very blessed to have a home and business here in Bishop Hill, but some of the people have soured my life here. I want to fall in love with Bishop Hill again. It was such a wonderful caring community before the pandemic. I hope it will be again. I am not going anywhere actually. But I will be opening Garden Thyme ONLY by appointment or by Chance.
I have loved all of my visitors who have come through my shop, I have made some amazing friends, and I believe I have done some great work here, but it is time for change.