Ellen Goes to Tucson, Part 1

On May 12th, my little hermit self boarded an airplane bound for Tuscon so I could spend the next three days playing with beads in the dessert. Actually, it was what Kate McKinnon aptly named a Seed Bead Summit and it included the MOST INCREDIBLE GROUP of people. I’m talking about the ones you read about and buy books from because they know their stuff forwards, backwards and sideways. I want to talk about all the beautiful people I met but first, let me tell you about our host, Kate.

I came to know her from her blog. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been reading one of her vignettes and found myself howling in laughter, moved to tears and/or saying “preach it, sister!” because whatever she was writing so resonated with my soul. When I planned the trip, I truly felt I was reuniting with an old friend instead of someone I’d never actually met – her writing is that good and that evocative.

Her house is just a delightful representation of her, through and through. Everywhere the eye lit, there was something lovely to look at. Even around the pool and the Back 40, her name for the little walled garden that housed such amenities as the Barbie coach and the Robert Plant Thinking Spot. The place looked like the house of an artist and I am inspired to create the same feeling in my own home. Plus it offered comfortable residence to nine people without so much as a hint of running out of hot water. Incredible!

Then there was Kate in the kitchen, “making beautiful food seem to appear effortlessly…” as quoted from Marcia DeCoster. (Yes, you heard that right! THE Marcia DeCoster!)

Ever the keen observer, Kate made a comment during one of our dinners out that at first, I didn’t understand. She said that in pictures I looked like a little boy. (I know – hang on.) She said she meant it as a compliment because I looked like (and I will get the exact wording wrong) someone who hadn’t been beaten down by life. At the time, I didn’t really grasp what she was telling me. But later, after reflection, I was simply touched. To know that my buoyant spirit is still observable (and accessible to me any time I want it to be) is just a remarkable gift to me.

I told Kate I thought she was a Goddess and I truly don’t think she believed me. But how could she be anything but? She makes stuff happen in the most magical of ways. A true catalyst!


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