I’ve known Sarah for twenty-five years. Sort of.
(Please click to see image larger.)
In high school she got along with everyone and kind of spanned the abyss across the different cliques. You know the ones? The artsy kids. She fit there—because she was creative and offbeat. The geeks. She was good there too—smart and studious. The popular kids. Yep. She was full on punk (it was the eighties after all—complete with Desperately Seeking Susan hair). That she ended up at design school didn’t surprise me at all.
But we didn’t really know each other. Until Facebook. She clicked onto my profile. I clicked onto hers. Turns out we share a passion in quilting and started a dialogue about it. And after twenty plus years of never really having a conversation, she picked me up last October in front of my house and we drove to a quilting workshop where we spent the day talking, creating, laughing and connecting.
To say that Sarah is multifaceted would be to understate the case. She has forged a successful career for herself in a field she has basically created. Her creativity seems to have no bounds but it is tempered with a savvy business sense. She is interested and engaging and unconventional. She is driven and straightforward and comes across as very self assured. That she is raising twin girls while authoring books and growing her business only reinforces to me that Sarah is a woman whom I’m lucky to call friend.
I remember Lila coming into the (yarn) shop while she was on call for our local volunteer ambulance corps. She was working on a sweater for her new grandbaby and needed help. Clearly she was impressive in her uniform (complete with static-y walkie-talkie and official jacket) because I remember exactly which yarn and pattern she was using.
Three years later when I learned that she was moving in two doors down from me I knew we were getting, yet another, wonderful addition to our neighborhood. Every time I get a chance to talk to Lila I learn something new about her. I know that her children are grown and living in other states and that she is a proud grandmother and a widow. But these aren’t the things that are foremost in my mind when I think of her. To me, Lila is the serious but smiling woman who always stops to say hello and share a conversation. She is the woman who lets the neighborhood kids walk her dogs and offers aid when your child skins their knee. She seems most comfortable when she is outdoors and has striking blue eyes.
She recently took up Tai Chi, and it was this which perhaps more than anything else, opened up a window on Lila’s personality to me. The idea that work, hobbies, continued self-discovery and lifelong learning do not have to end on any particular birthday seem to be paramount when you talk to Lila. She is not defined by her age or her any of the things she has already done. She is all about what is still to come in her life. What an inspirational concept!
I met Trina when she and her husband (and one month old baby boy) bought a house in our complex. I also happened to be the agent for the seller so I had a chance to meet her a few times before she moved in. I knew right away that she would be a welcome addition to our little ‘hood and four years later I can tell you that I was completely right.
Trina’s son is a little older than Q so there’s loads of playing in our community yard and impromptu dates. Trina is a math teacher (I’m not sure if it’s middle school or high school but either way, she’s a math teacher which, to me, is pretty much mind boggling). As a professional woman she might take issue with being called perky and/or adorable, but come on—look at her. She’s adorable. But it goes deeper than her exterior. She exudes niceness and is very friendly and warm. She has a clever and dry sense of humor, however, which confirms that she is much more than just a smiley face. Also, did I mention that she has devoted her life to teaching (other people’s) kids math? Our neighborhood and my life are absolutely enriched by having Trina around.
Doing this project I’ve come to realize how many of the women who touch my life are my neighbors. I don’t believe that my town or neighborhood are magical and that they only attract amazing people. Rather, I believe that extraordinary women are everywhere and that all you have to do is look around, open your door, and your heart, and say hello.