These posts are coming further and further apart. I’m sorry about that. The truth is that I’m not sure what to say.

This ‘adventure’ you probably signed up to read about is turning into ordinary life with all the ordinary problems everyone has and no one wants to read about — plus a few not-so ordinary ones that aren’t exactly exciting.

I certainly don’t want to bore you but here’s what’s been going on in as much of a nutshell as I can manage:

  • While staying on my friend Linda’s new place, I had a mild stroke and wound up in the ER, where by chance they discovered a congenital heart condition I didn’t know about.
  • The stroke left me with frustrating double vision that made walking and driving impossible unless I closed one eye.
  • I decided to go back to San Diego to seek better medical care. Driving a thousand miles with one eye closed was not the adventure I had in mind when I started all this.
  • Here in San Diego, I found a good cardiologist and neuro-opthalmologist.
  • I had a cardiac ablation two weeks ago, and it totally fixed the heart problem, yay!
  • The neuro-opthalmologist had good news too: she said my double vision is improving and should resolve in a few months. As if by magic, it cleared up in a couple of weeks. I can now walk and drive with both eyes open, yay!
  • Meanwhile, as I hung out along the beautiful, Southern Californa shore, I thought hard about why I have so much trouble writing those darn memoirs that I keep talking about.
  • I’d been feeling called for some time to start knitting again. I’d given it up several years ago due to tendonitis, but thought I might be able to avoid that this time by loosening my grip on the needles and consciously relaxing my shoulders. So last summer, I started work on a beautiful shawl for my friend Linda’s birthday. No tendonitis, yay! (I finally finished and gave it to her for Christmas.)

    Just in Time shawl designed by

  • After that, I learned crochet and made several shawls for friends and family.
  • Then I made the one on the right, and decided to offer them for sale. The response was amazing. Now, I’m booked until September and have a waiting list. My bankbook says yay!
  • I realized that needlework makes me happy in a way that writing never did. In fact, it’s what I do to procrastinate on writing. So now, I’m getting paid to procrastinate. Double yay!
  • So I am putting aside the book I’ve been failing to write. Will I go back to it someday? I can’t promise one way or the other but at the moment, the answer is no. All I want to do is crochet.
  • And travel. I seem to have developed a case of itchy feet lately, so I may be heading up the coast soon.

One more thing: Three friends and a family member have died in the past few months. Another relative is in hospice. And I’ve lost two friends to misunderstandings.

Things like that give you pause. The standard response is to decide that life is short and do what makes you happy. It’s a cliché but it’s true. I know because, in spite of all the recent bad news, I’m happy.

Must be the crochet.

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Showing 12 comments
  • Mf

    Crochet has always been my ticket to ride through depression… I hope the “crochet happies” continue!

    • LaVonne Ellis

      Surprising, isn’t it? Now I understand why my mom was so addicted to crochet.

  • Cynthia King

    Life is short, do what feeds your soul. Crochet forever or until you realize that you aren’t smiling while you are doing it. Then maybe you will write or maybe you will find another something you need to do.

  • Simply Lesa

    Yes! Finally it seems you have found that happiness guide and it is giving you direction! Its good to hear your positivity in spite of the realities of life and living (beginnings and endings). Enjoy your ride and once in a while give us this kind of updates. I like knowing whatsup!

    • LaVonne Ellis

      Thanks Lesa, looking forward to seeing you again at RTR!

  • Jan

    I love this post, LaVonne. Maybe it’s because I can relate to it so much.

    I’ve commented on your blog before. I don’t know if you remember, but I’m the one who said I had to sell my van and get a job – a real job. Well, I’ve had that job for a year and a half now. I’ve been living with my daughter and her family – we go to work (at the same place) together every weekday. I’ve saved up enough money to start traveling again and I’ll finally be leaving for South America in September.

    I’ve been hyper-focused on this.
    I work so I can save, so I can travel. It’s all I think about.

    All in all, it’s worked out well because I had to have two major surgeries last year and they were covered by the insurance I have through my job. So, yeah, it worked out.

    I knit and crochet, too, and I understand – completely – the solace and comfort and joy they bring. The shawl you knitted is beautiful!

    Something else I can relate to is the gaps in writing on a blog that come from lack of anything interesting (or so it would seem) to say. I have a blog, too, and enjoy writing in it while I travel. I like sharing pictures and stories. I started it originally to compliment my etsy site, but that’s gone down the drain, and my blog ultimately turned into a travelogue. But, since I’ve done nothing but work for the last year and a half, it’s been dormant. I’m looking forward to writing in it again.

    Anyway, I don’t comment a lot, but I do like your blog and relate to what you say frequently, including the fact that life is short and you should do what makes you happy. More power to you.

    • LaVonne Ellis

      Hi Jan, of course I remember your comment. So glad it all worked out so well and you’ll be heading to South America soon. South America! That is totally awesome. 😀

  • Joanna Farr

    LaVonne, I love this post too. Your honesty about your life journey is refreshing. I am on a similar journey. I love to do handwork: knitting, embroidery, sashiko, appliqué. I have things I always thought I would, and have constantly put them aside. I am coasting right now, doing things that bring me joy. What’s next? I am waiting to see.

    • LaVonne Ellis

      Thanks, Joanna… I love embroidery too and have wanted to try sashiko! I like the idea of “waiting to see.” So tired of this constant push to ACHIEVE.

  • jj

    I never write on blogs, however I must say I hope you continue yours as I love to hear what you say, even the mundane stuff.
    As to more practical matters…buy a book called “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” second edition by Clair Davies. New, I think around $23. Go to Chapter 6 about elbow, forearm and hand pain. Even if you don’t know all the muscles, it gives you drawings showing you what to do and what not to do. This is a self-help for your hand, wrist and possibly arm pain. By following this advice, you should be able to comfortably crochet. Start this work before you get any pain so you don’t get the muscle tightness to begin with. I have done pain therapy/trigger points for a lot of years and believe me if I didn’t have this knowledge, I would be in a lot of pain. There are, of course, lots of other information regarding various pain in other parts of the body.
    I’m a fan so please keep writing even if its not all the time.

    • LaVonne Ellis

      Thank you, jj, and sorry for taking so long to respond. Will definitely look for the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook!

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