In my (other) job as an occupational therapist, I have incredible co-workers. I have mentioned this before. Not only do they give their all for our patients, they do some pretty fascinating things when they are not at work.
One of our physical therapists, Mike, along with his wife Annie, runs marathons, competes in Ironman triathlons, and flies to places like Vermont for long weekends of bike-riding in the mountains. These two love to be active. Their dog Maple goes along whenever she can.
So, several months ago, Mike and Annie casually announced they were going to have a baby. (Honestly, they do all their spectacular things quite casually.) Then they painted their spare room with fir trees and forest creatures and things from the great outdoors. And in that span between announcement and baby, I could think of no better idea for this pair than a blanket with a tree, a path, and a puppy, all just waiting for baby to join them.
On the day we had planned to throw Mike a shower at work — with a good three-ish weeks before baby was due to arrive — Mike was instead over at the hospital encouraging Annie through the last part of a very long labor. And that evening they welcomed little Owen into their family.
Congratulations to Mike and Annie on the birth of your son! Maple, get ready for your playmate. May you four enjoy many, many amazing adventures together ♥ .
In September, I received an email from Sandi out of the blue:
“I have had the luxury of napping with our grandson under one of your wonderful blankets.” I’d be fibbing if I said that didn’t make my day.
Sandi did some exploring about The Green Sheep and then she wrote me. She said she had a brand new grand nephew and was hoping for a similar blanket for him. And she surprised me by attaching a photo in that very first email of little Griffin’s bedroom.
Okay. Now this little guy’s bedroom has some wonderful creativity behind it. Rising on the wall by the crib is a hand-painted mural of stunning tall, gray, snow-capped mountains. Fluffy white clouds hover above them. And strung between two peaks is a red gondola, ferrying people through this majestic scene. That gondola is irresistible.
Then I heard the story of Griffin’s parents and how the great outdoors brought them together.
His father is from California and his mother is from Wisconsin, and she moved out west after college. But the event that caused their paths to cross was a little random. She was on a rafting trip at Lake Tahoe with girlfriends. The women got stuck — but were happened upon by some young men who helped free them. Among that group of guys was … well, the rest is history for this particular couple.
The gray and the blue in this little baby blanket were an easy match to Griffin’s bedroom. And as I pondered what style of monogram to add for his name, the red of that gondola stayed with me. The “g” of the typefont “Open-Dyslexic” by Abelardo Gonzalez adds a good-natured grin.
Welcome to this beautiful, amazing world, Griffin. Welcome to an incredible place to explore, with parents who will probably teach you how. I can imagine that tantalizing gondola on your wall carrying your imagination to far-away places.
It’s true what they say about fish, I think, and about water and ripples and quiet babbling — babbling of the watery sort, that is.
(I have been known to babble to myself on crazy-busy days at our rehab clinic. In our back office, we have 14 therapists and 2 student interns — plus SIXTEEN DESKS in a room the size of a large living room. It’s no wonder! That, however, is not the babbling I mean.)
Fish and water are able to lend their sense of peace and calm, quiet and order to our racing minds and bodies. Contrast the soothing, gliding movements of fishthrough water to the hurried, harried, schedule-bound movements of us racing out the front door to our next important thing.
I’m convinced I have a sort of homing device inside that is always seeking out calm: the quieter place, the isolated sunny spot on the grass, the good book to carry along. I fully believe that our minds and hearts and souls need it.
So grab a blanket, find a pond — even an aquarium! — lay out in the grass or at home on your sofa and soak up the soothing calm of the fish and the water. You may find that a nap will be in order. That kind of peace is a godsend.
Are there clouds in the sky? Then it’s a good day to watch them. I think they’re lovely and majestic and always hold some surprise when you take enough time to watch them. And it hardly matters what kind of cloud — cumulus, stratus, cirrus, nimbus — they’re all interesting! This blanket is made of some of the softest wools in my collection, and is finished with a handmade merino wool bias edging.
I’m honestly not a sailing person myself, but I can definitely appreciate the scene from the beach! I’ve spent many hours on coastlines in California, Michigan, Wisconsin, even Maine, soaking up the sun and the sand and the water. When I look at this blanket I see those sailboats gliding through the water, catching and reflecting the sun’s rays.
My parents-in-law are among the best in the world. From Norwegian stock, they are gracious, loving, self-effacing, fun-loving and generally unruffle-able people. I enjoy them a lot. These wools, in part from Scandinavian sweaters, remind me of them — quiet and low-key. Because Norway and its northern neighbors are all such cold places and already have an abundance of blue, I decided to add some warmth — thus, the hot-pink block. When it was completed, this blanket went to live with my in-laws in sunny San Diego.