Thursday, March 22, 2012

A little time for gratitude

Dear friends of bags4darfur. You're a special bunch of people who encourage and delight me in wonderful ways.

I haven't posted any bags to sell for the past few weeks. I've had a bit of a backlog of stuff to mail (I don't like to have more than four or five at a time because I start to have anxiety attacks about sending the right bags to the wrong people...) and it's been hard to get to the post office. I've been getting to know "my" new daytime baby- a little whippersnapper who began coming to my house every day at 7:00 am just a few weeks ago. We've been spending lots of time together bonding.

When work gets busy and the sun comes out in spring, I don't find the kind of energy and motivation that I need to be one of those blogs that never takes a break. And sometimes I get worried and silly that I've failed at this project and don't have the kind of steadfastness that it requires.

During times like these, you people always bring things back into perspective and make me smile the kind of grin that warms right into my heart and beyond. I'm going to share some of my recent "testimonials" with you. Just this afternoon, I got a lovely note from my "Mariatu" friend.

Hey Joyce;

I am still reading your blogs, and oooooooooooh-so-frugally resisting buying any more bags. I have some bags-for-darfur go to Cuba photos – on my camera, that I will send you. I have another bag-for-darfur bag that is HUGELY admired by everyone at church whenever they see it. It is perfect for cherishing my church books.

I think fondly of you EVERY time I see one of my many bags-for-Darfur. I gave one for a wedding present last summer – instead of wrapping paper. The handles NEVER fall off.

I am happy to hear about the handles. It's something I always give extra attention to.

I am happy to think of all the places in the world my bags have travelled to.

I am happy to think of all the bag toting people in places I may never see!

The next testimonial really delighted me! It was the hippy's best possible kind of compliment.

I've been using the dark blue messenger bag (with the peace sign on the flap) a lot, and I always get tons of compliments. [I also use another, bigger one - orangey, with florals - to carry around either my laptop or cases I'm reading (I do some legal writing as a part-time job).] My husband is not as impressed - I won a Gucci bag a couple of summers ago - a raffle supporting our local humane society - and I've never once used it. I think my husband wants people to think we could afford for me to buy a Gucci purse. But I'd rather look like someone who knows great craftsmanship when she sees it, and who likes to support people who want hungry people to eat. :)

(and I sure love you for it, oh commenter. Plus it gave me a great laugh!)

And finally, a message to explain a delightful package that came in the mail that I look forward to playing with:

Hi Joyce, Thanks so much for the beautiful bag! My husband says I look like a dork when I carry it bc I walk all proud like I'm displaying it - so I'll just take that as a compliment and continue to do so. It's my new favorite thing. I've just sent you a package of sundry fabric, ties and lace stuff.

The ties belonged to (name omitted) He was especially lucky, always happy, and very adventurous - so I hope some of that super-Karma has rubbed off on the ties. He was born in 1909, and lived almost 95 years. As a busboy in his teens at the Banff Springs Hotel he cleared ashtrays from King George, and sold the butts (stamped w gold-leaf "HRH") for a nickel to tourists. He hung around the bandstand, begging free music lessons from the bands, and was in the Cdn Naval band for WWII. After the war and became the house-band leader at the Springs, where he played for tourists, world-leaders, and movie stars. He told me stories of the first motor-car to drive to Banff, of an adventure that concluded when his drunk friend stole a train (hopped on, started it and got as far as Canmore before being arrested), and of his sister who believed that the moon walk, and radios were an elaborate gov. hoax. I fell in love with him when I was 20, and he was 76, but he was happily married so I married his son instead. I digress - hope you like the ties! Just want to say I admire your work to help people in Darfur so much - you inspire me!

And that's a little of what I wanted to share with you, my people.

I'll leave you with a photo that brought my mind racing back to the Sudan.

That's my brother in Darfur, just last week.

Oh, to be a fly on his shoulder.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Joyce, for what you continue to do. You help me remember the value of raising my children to have a global perspective. (also, the guinea pigs are much loved and doing fine :-)

The Wiebe's said...

Oh Joyce.....Your are wonderful. Its good to know that I have a relative who works hard to make a difference in this world. Still waiting for "my" bag to come up. One day I know you will make one, I will see it and I will say "that is my bag". I can hardly wait! (With the new baby coming I hope its soon LOL) Enjoy the spring and the journey!

All my love

janice said...

I am delighted to see my note featured on your blog. I love all my bags, and I have given lots away, as well. I still have my chihuahua bag and it still carries my Chica, at times, and keeps her warm.

I can't believe your brother got to go to Darfur!!! Wow.

Keep on keeping on, Joyce. You are an inspiration.

Karla said...

I'm most thankful for your bags because it's how I met and fell in love with you, Joycie! And I'm pretty sure your brother wants to take me and you to Darfur with him on his next trip. Doesn't he?