My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #775: Seize the Day

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-31-2012 11:55 AM 1381 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 774: I'm Not Trying to be a Spammer! (Really!) Part 775 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 776: Snowmen on the Beach »

Like any other Monday, it was our day to go to the gym. After getting all of my usual stuff done here around the house, we headed out. The day was already beautiful by then, with the sun warm and the usual morning haziness nearly gone. We decided to put the top down on the car, and enjoy the morning air.

We drove past the mill down the street from us, and it was good to see it looking ‘healthy’ again. Last spring, during a storm, the old dam just gave way and crumbled under the weight of the rushing river. Since then, the river has been shallow and nearly dry, with the water never really rising above a couple of feet lest there was a significant amount of rain. This left the river bed looking shabby, as the dead trees and debris were left exposed. It looked more like a dumping ground than a river, and even though the debris was all natural, it wasn’t pretty.

A month or so we began to see activity at the old mill. This made my heart happy, as it seemed that they were finally ready to begin repairs on the dam. Although the mill was a ‘historic site’ it was mostly abandoned. We would walk by it nearly every day on our winter walks and I would think how if I won the lottery or anything like that, I would like to turn it into a working mill again, but restored how it once had been. There was room on the property to build a shop, and it was fun to fantasize how we could do our scroll sawing from there, and perhaps have a little shop besides. Maybe even have a small cafe to serve coffee and biscuits – something that would encourage tourists to stop by and also preserve the area.

Oh how our minds can wander!

Seeing the progression of the repairs was exciting. Each time we passed, it seemed that it was closer to being done. After taking over a year to begin, we were wondering if they were even going to bother to fix it at all, and just eventually allow the mill to decay as they have done with so many others in the area.

But they worked quickly and the dam is finished and the river again is full. It makes a huge difference on the landscape of our little road, and it is no longer an eyesore. I will have to post a picture tomorrow.

So on we drove to the gym. Usually as we passed over the hill, the air would be noticeably cooler. Even on the warmest days the ocean seemed to hold the temperatures at bay. But today was different. It was still warm as we drove along the sea, and I began to plan.

We did our usual workouts and stopped at the store for a few groceries. As we were putting the packages in the car, Keith mentioned something to me about heading to Yarmouth. “I can’t” I said to him.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because the beach is calling to me.” I replied.

He looked at me as if I was crazy. But he knows me better. I then saw the look of dread on his face, as if he thought I would ask him to go with.

Keith doesn’t share my love of the beach. He likes it alright, but he says he doesn’t enjoy ‘sitting there and doing nothing.’ I suppose growing up near the ocean, he doesn’t see it in the special way that I do. And that is OK.

The last thing that I want to do is to go there with someone that doesn’t want to be there. We have all done that before, be it with our children or someone else. Having someone with who is only thinking of how long until we leave takes all of the fun out of it. And I didn’t want that.

I am totally fine with Keith for not liking the beach. There are things he does that I don’t like to do either. I don’t begrudge him doing them without me and he does not begrudge my beach time either. It is a good chance for us to do some things on our own and considering the amount of time we spend together, it is very positive for both of us. It gives us some of that “me time” that we all need.

So I packed up my few things and I headed out. I took a pad of sketching paper and several pencils and a sharpener and I planned on doing some work. I don’t know if I could have torn myself away but for the fact that I was in the drawing part of my work cycle. While I have come to doing most of my drawing on the computer, I thought it would be nice to try drawing the old fashioned way – with a pencil and paper – and see if I still knew how.

I arrived there around 1pm. I only knew this from the clock in the car. I don’t wear a watch and I refuse to have a cell phone. I will hold out as long as I can on that one. When I am away, I want to be completely away. If something were to happen, I would certainly find out soon enough.

I spent the afternoon drawing and completed the layouts for three new projects. It was warm and peaceful and in between drawing, I observed people and families and children flying kites and I just relaxed. In the group over to the side of me, I could hear a woman talking to the rest of the group saying how way on the other end of the beach, there were rocks and caves that were beautiful. She said she took many pictures and it was worth seeing. While I wanted to venture over there, I didn’t want to leave my stuff for that long, as the tide was out and the beach is very flat so it was massive. The caves she spoke of were quite a distance away.

I will plan to see them next time though, and not have so much equipment with me. Perhaps Keith will come with to explore them as he does enjoy that and it isn’t ‘just sitting.’ We shall see.

Besides drawing, I did have a book with me and did some reading. I haven’t read for pleasure in years, and Keith’s mom had lent me several nice books that would be quick to read without too much thinking.

It was a perfect day. I once again thought how fortunate I am to have such a good life. Not only did I accomplish some things, but I had some quiet time too. Time to contemplate and time to relax.

Sometimes things just ‘happen’. When I got up in the morning, I had no idea that I would have a trip to the beach. But last year, I only visited a total of one time, even though it is only a few minutes drive from my place. Somehow that seemed wrong. And here it is almost August and again, I have only been there one time.

As I was loading my groceries into the car in the parking lot of the store, a phrase came to mind:

“Carpe diam.”

In this crazy life we all live, we need to take things as they come – even if they aren’t on our schedules. For we never know what tomorrow will bring, and if we will have the opportunity again.

I am glad I made the decision to go to the beach. Not only did I get some quality work done, but I also had some time for myself to relax and regroup. I believe in the saying “if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be good to anyone else.” We need these times to feed our souls so that we are able to be the best we can be.

I plan to make go more often.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

6 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2856 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 12:54 PM

Amen. Well spoken

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3243 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 03:26 PM

I google earthed you and couldn’t find the mill…it ain’t on hwy 1 right??? Oh well, what really caught me was your resistance to cell phones, twice I have broke down in the middle of nowhere and the cell phone really helped…It got me the tow truck :)

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2972 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 04:52 PM

Thanks, Roger! :)

Bob – I got the pic up on Google Earth and I don’t know how to post it here. The mill isn’t a public place or listed as a business, so I just had to know which road to follow to see it. I wanted to put the pic here, but I couldn’t figure out how. There is no place to share the link, either. I can only email it to you directly.

As far as the cell phones go, I know what you mean. When we went on our recent trip, we borrowed Keith’s Dad’s phone in case there was trouble. But we find little need for it otherwise. There may be a day later on that I feel I need one, but I am going to try to avoid it as long as possible. Have a great day! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View ronbuhg's profile


121 posts in 2200 days

#4 posted 07-31-2012 06:46 PM

interesting perspective you put out there, I liked it ! now as for me and my ‘celly’ , I have to have one ,since Im 85% deaf its hard for me to understand people on the phone,(even though I wear hearing aids), I have everyone text to me and I can carry on just like you ‘normal’ people..LOL..but I do understand why you refuse a cell phone….remember what we did before we had cell phones ?? we got along with life just fine,didnt we ? what cracks me up is seeing a pair of my nieces texting to each other and they are sitting together on their grandmothers couch !! hilarious !! what ever happened to plain ole ‘talking ’ ? I asked them that same question and they gave me a strange look…like….......... DUH ?

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 3015 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 12:04 AM

The quiet time, just enjoy the great outdoors is very important has always help me sort things out. I have always took a break as they say (to smell the roses) and it has always helped. We have for many, many years taken weekends apart. For us it is great. Then we talk to each other about our separate time.
I liked your video on making the Reindeer Christmas Ornaments. I thought you did a very well done and detailed how to do it show. You get 5 Stars.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2972 days

#6 posted 08-01-2012 10:42 AM

I do see a need for cell phones on many levels. I just don’t feel they are right for me right now in my life. I also find it difficult to understand why people have to text so much (especially when in social situations like restaurants or at parties or gatherings) I am afraid that some people don’t see how rude it can be. I understand that it is becoming the norm though and there is nothing I can do about it. I will just have to learn to live with it I suppose.

Bigrock, our time away is good for us. We live together and work together and are both quite dedicated to our jobs. I do get up much earlier than Keith and the morning is my quite time to write and reflect. Keith stays up quite late (I usually turn in before midnight) and that is his quite time to do what he wants. It helps make it work for us.

These times away are necessary since neither of us are ‘party’ people and we both prefer our own quiet setting here than anywhere else. The old saying “How can I miss you if you don’t leave” comes to mind sometimes and we both kind of smile when we mention that to each other. :)

Everyone needs a balance of socialization and quiet time. As I said, I need it to recharge and take a short break from the constant that is my day to day. I think in the long run it does help to make a better relationship and a happier person.

Thanks for the comments!

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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