About Me


First Tuesday

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  Today is the first day I am feeling the effects.  When I see a photo of Mom all I want to do is touch her cheek and give her a hug and kiss.  I miss her, although she is all around me and that is comforting.  When I look at the photo of her as a child, I like to think that is how her family saw her when they reunited.
Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin O. Burkey and family
Ila, Grandma (Anna), Roland, Harold, Grandpa (Benjamin), and Arlene (Mom)
Mom and Ila's dresses were yellow.  

Mom and  my Benjamin.

Rubbing noses like the "Ekimoses."

Yesterday a friend, Kristie, and I went to Carol's for lunch.  I knew that the first official Tuesday without Mom would be difficult.  It was lovely.  We had soup and French fries and shared a piece of coconut cake--oh my, that was heavenly!  We toasted Mom and it was fitting.  I think Mom would approve.  Over the years on our local outings, we would run into many friends they loved meeting Mom.  We always had fun!  On Friday I planned a memorial for her at the assisted living facility.   

On the fiber front...we had a meeting at the shop to plan for future classes.  Some will remain the same, but I am excited about the advanced knitting.  When I finish writing the class description I will post the information.  Projects are lined up in my queue for the Ravellenics.  My project list is ambitious, but one must push their limit during the Olympics.  The only event to fill is the Handspun Heptathlon.  I finished  Stroke of Genius (Kwoosh) last night.  It is a nice size and the colors of the yarn are very pretty.  


New chapter and new normal

Much has happened since the 4th.  After having a fun holiday celebration, Mom had a stroke and fell during the night.  I was called in and stayed with her as much as possible for 6 days.  Hospice and the facility staff were wonderful.  She was not in pain and left this life when she was ready.  Pastor Kiri from Faith Lutheran Church and I were with her when she passed away peacefully.  I picture the happy reunion with my brother, sister, Pop, and all she loved and lost over the years.  Mom's funeral was on the 17th.  It was lovely and so good to see friends and family.  Mom's hair was perfect and the red suit was really pretty.  She would be pleased!
It was awfully hot in Ohio during our time there.  We stayed at the lovely Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek, with Coblenz Chocolate on one side and Der Dutchman restaurant on the other.  It's always a treat to eat good home cooking.  It felt different to be up there without Tishie, my sister.  Mom, Tishie, and I were always having fun together and I have fond memories of those times.  Now it is time to open a new chapter in  my life and move forward.
I did a little knitting on the Kwoosh, with probably as much frogging as knitting.  I took photos of the Amish buggies and the farmers in the fields.  The landscape is very beautiful in that part of Ohio.
The view from the front of the Inn.
Small stacks outside Sugarcreek.

Farmers working.

Clip-clop clip-clop, Amish Buggy.
Trucks and buggies share the roads.
Despite the heat and dryness, the flowers were pretty.

Back from Gilwell

30 July 2012  I had an amazing experience the past nine days as a staffer on Wood Badge course C1-250-12-2, aka Summer 2012.  As with Grey Wolf NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training), the Course Director (Scoutmaster) and staff are called to be servant leaders for the participants.  The preparation process begins two years before course with the  Scoutmaster and SPL (Senior Patrol Leader).  The course models a month in the life of a troop.  My role was as a Troop Guide.  I heard it was the best job and is usually chosen for first-time staffers.  It was hard work, but so much fun to see the participants learn and grow.  Their experience (and tickets) will make an impact on the Scouting movement.  I did not take any photos during the week, as that was not my job.  However, Marie and Tim (the Scribes) took lots of photos and it will be fun to see them (I think...).
During the nine days I did not pick up my knitting even though I brought along a small project.  Instead, Joe (and his magical Mary Poppins backpack) had lots of decorative knots to show us during the rare down time.  It is a good way to keep fidgety fingers busy and now I have another skill to improve.

It is always fun to share Wood Badge bling.
The red knot is one I made with Joe.

My third bead is special, as during the beading ceremony,
I traded with Marie.  We are now bead buddies.  The
Eagle patrol presented me with two bear beads,
which I promptly and proudly added to my bear necklace!

The Eagle Patrol also presented me with
their totem ad a patch.  I am now a
BEagle (Bear + Eagle).  Great patrol, wonderful
course, participants, and staff!



Arlene McQueen
March 8, 1916 to July 10, 2012

Every blade in the field
Every leaf in the forest,
Lays down its life in its seasons
As beautifully as it was taken up.
Henry David Thoreau