You know how uber-crafty people write about crafts and they skillfully make everything look so simple and cute? Yeah, well this is NOT one of those posts! :)
It all began rather innocently, like this:
I saw an idea for a Valentine’s tree here and I thought it was so cute! (You can go there to see what it is SUPPOSED to look like.) I saw it and saved it. I thought, I have old glass bottles that would be awesome for that. I have trees. I have red paper. I have some pretty rocks. I can totally do this.
My kids were at my parent’s house for awhile today, so I was free to piddle around. I try really hard to treat Sunday as a “day of rest”. Not that I don’t do anything on Sundays, but I try not to stress myself about the stuff I need to do on Sundays. If that makes sense.
So, while my mind knew that I should be putting any strength I had towards something “productive” and “useful”, instead I thought… I’ll make a Valentine’s Tree!
I actually thought I might make two. One in red, and another one with small pink hearts. I thought I’d put one with pink hearts in Emma’s room because she loves pink and I knew she would love the Valentine’s Tree. I thought it would make a fun surprise. So, I bundled up and headed outside in the freezing cold to look for a couple of cute branches.
I thought this would take me …. eh…. 5 minutes? HAHAHAHAHA…. Yeah right. First of all, I forgot that my father keeps things impeccable around the property here and I couldn’t find a darn stick anywhere. Trees everywhere, no sticks on the ground. Yes, I could have had my husband help me clip something off a live tree, but I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to kill something. I wanted a dried up stick.
So I headed off to the wood line beside the house, where I was SURE I’d find the perfect sticks.
Wrong? Why you say?…… Well, that is where I learned that apparently in West Virginia, sticks only have limbs on one side. Or maybe just the ones in my yard. LOL Seriously?!?!? Everything I picked up only had limbs on one side.
The birds thought it was peculiar that I was in that area, and they started to fuss at me…. loudly. Sniffer, our little dog, had came out with me and she found this totally unacceptable. She gave the birds the stink-eye but that didn’t do the job. Their fussing only got louder. So, she growled.
That’s right, I stood with birds fussing at me on my right, and Sniffer growling at the birds on my left. I found it quite funny.
At this point, I was getting very cold. I don’t know how long I’d been out there, but my hands and feet were freezing and my legs were getting weak. I knew I had to make it into the house while my legs would still carry me there. So I did the only thing that I could, and brought back the one pitiful, little stick that I could find that I liked. It was quite small.
Ever the optimist, I told myself, this is cool… I’ll just get one of my tinier old glass bottles. I can still make this work. Then I went to get the bottles. I couldn’t reach them and wasn’t strong enough to move what was blocking my way. So I had to ask my husband for help.
Ok, I’ve got my stick, I’ve got my bottle, I’m heading down the hallway and what do I do? I run into the wall of course. (I do that sort of thing when my legs are weak.) I think, oh great there goes the one stick I found – but I look down and shockingly my stick had survived.
I sit down and get out my red paper. I hand-draw the tiny little hearts to go on it. Then it occurs to me that I don’t have any rocks tiny enough to fit in this bottle to stabilize my stick. As I am thinking out loud about this, my husband says, “You could use bbs.” I said, “What?” He said, “You could used bb pellets. They would work nicely.”
While what I said was, “Thanks, but I don’t think so,” what I thought to myself was, “You silly man, bbs. Geesh, this is a craft, not a darn gun show.” bb pellets….I muttered to myself. In my mind, I pictured my husband doing a YouTube video about crafting with guns. That made me smile and giggle. He said, “What?” I said, “Oh nothing.”
After quite some time, I gave up. I had nothing that would fit in there, I didn’t feel like cutting up papers or something cute to go inside, and I reluctantly said…..
“Ok, where are the darn bb pellets?”
“Oh, I’ll get them!” he said.
The bbs, while not what I wanted, did the job of stabilizing my stick. And I set about cutting out my teeny tiny paper hearts. I have noticed that my neuromuscular disease is affecting my fine motor skills somewhat, due to weakening of the muscles I suppose. But never was this more clear than during this stupid little craft I attempted to do. Seriously, I felt like a big bumbly gorilla trying to perform intricate work. I finally got 3 of the tiny hearts cut out and decided to take a break from that and thread the string through them. (I used cotton thread on a needle.) The thread was linen and stiff, so threading the needle wasn’t hard. But tying the knot sure was.
What does this long story about nothing lead to? Well, it leads to my total exhaustion (literally from legs to fingertips) in an attempt to make a Valentine’s Tree. The muscles in my fingers stopped working after tying the first heart. So… I have a one-heart Valentine’s Tree.
I may attempt to add the other hearts before Valentine’s Day, but considering the mountain of stuff I have piling up on me, and how badly this affected my fingers, I seriously doubt I’ll finish it before Valentine’s Day. How pathetic is that? I used to work 65+ hours a week. I could cook, clean, garden, weed, lift 50 pound bags of dog food, crochet, write, sketch, climb mountains in the woods, and paint in minute detail for hours and hours on end. Now I can’t make one darn Valentine’s Tree.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this stupid little tree this evening – mostly because my muscles were left to weak to do anything else – LOL. (I am much improved after resting, but even now, typing is difficult.) As I sat there, I thought …. Look at you, you pathetic little tree, sitting there like a big glaring example of my failure to be a capable human being.
I was quite sad about the whole thing, sitting there with my weak fingers that have joined the ranks of body parts that have betrayed me.
Then it occurred to me that my little tree didn’t have to be an example of my failure. My little tree could be a symbol of the fact that I never give up, even when life is hard.
My little tree will be just fine for me.
It’s not perfect. It’s not great. It’s kinda like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of Valentine’s Day Trees, but you know what, it will just have to be ok. At least I tried.
And Emma loves it.