Moments That Never Happened Before

CHILL FEBRUARY AIR warmly embraced American Bungalow this year at the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts conference in Asheville. Our twentieth visit greeted us with the welcome of a family reunion, warm smiles replacing the traditional anxious faces waiting, like kids at the start of an Easter egg hunt, for the antiques sale to open. Waves of readers, dear old friends and brand new ones, glided up to our booth to extend a handshake and pleasant comments about the magazine, then slid back into the sea of enthusiasts that now engulfs the whole show with equal warmth. These days the rising tide of interest turns left down the hallway and around the corner to embrace the remote modern crafts exhibits, with artisans who can create any color Easter egg you might want.

The conference was also the scene of the first of a series of personal North Star moments.

The Guy from Winnipeg. Tall, dark, and to my mind, handsome, a reader approached our booth to chat. That he was from Winnipeg sticks in my mind, though his name does not. He described his bungalow home and the Arts and Crafts life he has made for his family. After a few words we both recognized a kind of instantaneous understanding of each other. The suddenness was new to me, and I’m sure that he was also surprised by it. The next day our paths crossed but neither said a word. We didn’t need to. In time I always recognize kin-a bond just never happened quite so fast before.

Mom’s 1ooth Birthday, April 21, 2012. One hundred years and still 100 percent delightful, surprising Mom.

Annika, April 27, 2012. Last Friday a new soul came into our clan and the world. She has a personality all her own that you recognize immediately. Small and struggling and with eyes not yet open, she explores her new world with curiosity and love instead of fear. Life will be an adventure of discovery for her and the world will benefit from her caring influence. She is in good hands and comfortable there. After 20 months the Brinkmann family crib passes from Leyna to Annika, who is a very big first in a very small package.

Seeing My Daughter for the First Time. Annika’s birth was an epiphany, a crescendo at the end of difficult months and hours of excruciating labor and delivery room tension, -an eclipsing moment that brought both a granddaughter and a life~changing revelation about my daughter. It was similar to that astounding, wonderful emotion most men feel at first sight of their newborn child. I have always known of Setje’s strengths and determination, but now I feel her essence in my marrow.

It’s only May, a spring month of birth and rebirth. Newness is in the air, and my awareness sprouts into sunlight and blossoms. Setje has given me two most meaningful blessings at one moment. Her gift of Annika-and of herself- has never happened before, and nothing quite like it will ever happen again. If only there were more such moments in life.

Or maybe every moment is once-in-a-lifetime.

Looking forward to hearing from you,




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