Of stones and sisters

A stone’s throw from insanity is gathering rocks on a rainy summer Saturday at the beach. Having seen a cute idea from Pinterest, my sister, the craftiest person I know, and I followed the shore to collect feet-shaped flat stones and “toes.” We didn’t yet know what we would do with our “feet,” but we were eager to put them together in the hopes that inspiration would strike. Did I mention it was high tide?

Having donned bathing suits and rain coats, we were each equipped with a plastic bag. Bent over with our eyes glued to the sea’s bounty, we would shout, “Hey, look at this one” or merely be silent as we scoured the tide line. After spending an hour focused on looking for feet and toes, we realized we had three bags of rocks!

At home, we rinsed them and began organizing into big feet, medium feet and small feet and then sifted through the toes looking for suitable sizes and matches. While we waited for them to dry, we journeyed into the next town to visit the Christmas Tree Shop in the hopes we would find something interesting to which we would glue our creations.

I love shopping with my sister at the Christmas Tree Shop. She is a consummate visitor there and steers her carriage through the amateurs who linger, blocking the aisles. I just follow in her wake. As if there is some sort of homing device in the objects she seeks, she goes directly to the ideal displays.

She selected two wooden plaques that read, “Glod Bless This House.” I sneer, but she says, “Look it has a lovely green frame and we can find something to use as backing for our feet.” I ask if we should take more than two and she tells me if we like what we make, we can come back for more.

As we search for the perfect backing, we discover some wooden boxes of assorted shapes that have pictures of fruit on the tops. “Two pairs of pears,” she laughs as we choose four altogether.

She stops in front of a scrapbook display and we scourge the jumble of paper collections. We didn’t exactly see anything we loved, but she put some in the carriage until we found something else. Paper napkins, pot holders and other potential coverings were eyeballed and then discarded.

Then we came upon the placemat aisle. A light from above shown on us and a choir of angels sang as we marveled at the possibilities. Flowers, seashells, lobsters all called to us. But then we saw the wicker mats. Muted beiges, blues and greens stood out. We pushed parts into our green frames, and it was a match made in heaven.

At home again, she measured the parts of the placemat we would need and then glued them to the boxes and inside the green frames. We arranged all sorts of “feet” possibilities until we finally had our designs.

We reveled in the fact that we’d kept ourselves busy all day, but the real gift was being able to spend time with my sister on a rainy day. Although we didn’t use all of our feet, we set the extras on available window sills to await their future marching orders.

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About the happiness plan

There is comfort and a knowing of place in the always-have-been. I can do change though; just don't thrust it at me. I am trying to be better at thinking outside the box and some days it actually works. My advice? Don't plan on accidental happinesses. Go out there and find them yourself. You are the solution.
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