My friend Chelsea’s bridal shower is tomorrow down in California, and I’m sick that I’m not there. Chels and I have a relationship that predates our births; our parents went to high school together and are still good friends. So many memories of my life are totally intertwined with her family- she is the closest thing I have to a sister. The wedding is in Colorado in July, and the baby and I are going to make the trip, but it will be a whiz-bang trip, since the DH and the boys will be staying at home.

Here’s the thing about Chels- she is the most amazing and talented artist you can ever imagine, and she has been all of her life. Our home is filled with pieces of her work, from teapots, to lino-prints, charcoal drawings, ceramics, mobiles, sculptures, dolls for the boys, even a tiny clay model of our home- and the piece de resistance, a large urn, carved with a sleeping woman lying on a swirling sea of swimming fish. That was our wedding present.

So what did I send her for her bridal shower? It makes me cringe to even say this, but I just ordered something from her registry at Crate & Barrel- how’s that for bombing? Oh, I know she understands, and I do have something underway, but my belly is making it really difficult for me to make art these days. I am hoping that I will have completed it by July- that’s realistic, right?

Chels and I have not really lived near each other for any of our adult lives, so we have always corresponded via postal mail. Strange and odd things can go through the mail, did you know that? My very favorite thing from Chels came years ago, but I still have it. We both have an affinity for crows, for some odd reason, but anyway… A box came in the mail, and the paper wrapping had been stitched and sewn, and it was painted black over the threads. Etched into the paint were the words “Belly of a Black Winged Bird”. When I opened the box, there was a nest she had woven out of real grasses, and in it, a large terra cotta egg. In order to find the message she was sending me, I had to break the egg open. Inside was her letter, along with some assorted wildflowers, a string of beads, some cats-eye marbles, tiny brass beads, and a clay sculpture of a toe.

This is the woman to whom I just sent some bathroom accessories. Do you see why I am hanging my head? Here’s hoping the wedding present comes off with more panache!

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