An Anniversary of Sorts

December 4, 2013

Steider Studios:  Towering Trees in Sunlight on Mt. Adams

I’ve been barely breathing this last year without even realizing it.  One week from today, December 11th is the anniversary of the Clackamas_Town_Center_shooting.  I was there.  Or I should say I was almost there.  There but for the grace of God. Spirit. Guardian Angel.  My own intuition.  I was exiting the mall as the shooter began spraying bullets where I had stood three minutes before.

This is what I posted on my Facebook page:  “I cannot believe how lucky I am. Missed the Clackamas shooting by 5 minutes if that! If I had gone into the Made in OR store & browsed like I wanted to, instead of racing to Sports Authority for gift cards I would’ve been locked in! Feeling goose-bumpy……..”

Almost a year later I’m beginning to realize how my life has changed because of that event.  At the time it was nothing more than a near miss – I was too busy to give it further thought.  I didn’t think I was affected…yet I was…and still am. Not taking anything for granted.  No longer planning my life a year in advance for show & teaching schedules. Not wasting time on things that don’t matter. Lately my thoughts have bubbled to the surface and I’m acknowledging how it altered my life.

When I walked into the food court that day I had a prickly fearful feeling that I wanted to get out of there. As I looked at two employees talking in front of their counter I had a strange thought that one of them could have a gun. I shook it off as a weird unwelcome thought, but it was all I could do to make myself go to the restroom so I could get out of there sooner rather than later. On my way out of the food court I started towards ‘Made in Oregon’, a regular stop for me but that nagging voice in my head insisted I keep moving forward with my Christmas shopping. GET OUT OF HERE is what reverberated in my head. “Don’t dally, get across the street to Sports Authority and finish your shopping”. GO HOME is what I wanted to do.

As I drove home after my last purchases and heard what happened on the radio, I started shaking so hard I had to pull over. I looked at my receipts and discovered I’d exited Clackamas Town Center about the same time a shooter began his rampage. I didn’t know how lucky I was to acknowledge my intuition and left a disaster unscathed. Mostly unscathed.  I still feel a little shaky thinking about it, but I think I’m beginning to process it.

Steider Studios: Flicker Backlit

I’ve always had a joyful spirit, but now even more so.  Looking forward to seeing where new adventures take me.

I hesitate to hit the ‘publish’ button for this post, yet feel compelled to share this as part of my catharsis.  Here goes….

Miracles DO Happen

September 22, 2013

Kathy Watne

Two months ago I wrote about my friend who was in a horrific motorcycle accident and life-flighted to a trauma hospital in Portland.  A cancer survivor, she has once again proven to be an inspiration for friends and family.  Today, after a month in ICU, a stint in a rehab facility and then a stay at an assisted living facility, she is HOME.  Not just home, but home with all her casts removed, using a cane and walker to amble about and the wheelchair ditched.

Her wonderful husband rarely left her side during this long ordeal, even to sleep.  Having never been in a trauma unit, to say I was shocked at Kathy’s condition that first week is an understatement. Not wanting to bring any negative energy into her room, I held back my panic and tears while stroking her hand and simply repeated a mantra, “everyone loves you”.   That was all I could do on that day while her broken body filled with tubes and surrounded with monitors lay comatose.

Last week I drove her to a couple doctor appointments, went out to lunch and we even had a couple of side ‘stops’ for a fun ‘girls day out’!  Her bubbly effervescence is so contagious it is no wonder I love this friend!

A few of you asked me how to purchase her work.  Now that she’s home she has re-opened her Artfire studio, Kathryn Watne Enamels.   She’s getting back to work and plans to be in her studio in plenty of time for the Gorge Artists Studio Tour and at least one Christmas show that we’ll do together at MCMC in The Dalles.

Check out her shop, visit her Facebook Page and give her a ‘like’.  Follow her Blog and show some blog love with a comment.  Wherever you choose to visit or get to know her better, give her a BIG Welcome Home!!

Steider Studios:  Kathy Watne, Enamelist

Early this month I was on a roll, getting things done, adding to my on-line shop, getting commissions out the door.  Then one of my favorite friends was in a horrific accident and all my attention went to her:  http://www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2013/jul/13/local-artist-hospitalized-after-motorcycle-acciden/   We had just finished a meeting for an August art show and as we stood on the corner chatting afterwards, I remember thinking how cute Kathy looked in her motorcycle leathers & helmet.  Everything changed less than an hour later.

Kathy on her Motorcycle
I’m watering her garden along with other friends; and gathered some photos of our ‘Glass Girls’ and other mutual friends to paste on her hospital wall so no matter where she looks, she’ll see someone who loves her. It doesn’t feel like enough.  Kathy has many friends that are thinking of ways to help, to show our love and support.

Along with many other artists, I’m donating my work for upcoming fundraisers and I don’t know if that’ll be enough. Last night I decided to give 20% of my sales towards Kathy’s fund. If you’ve been thinking about buying a gift of glass or something for your home; notecards or photograph prints on metal or canvas, you’ll also be contributing to Kathy’s fund and I thank you in advance!  http://www.zibbet.com/SteiderStudios  No, this is not a plug to get you to buy something….I’m simply looking at any possible way to help my friend & her family.

Hearts for Kathy
Kathy is one of those people who everyone loves. She’s full of life, energy and effervescence. She sits on many committees with me. I’ve been her student & she’s been mine. She is a sports enthusiast, skiing and snowboarding during winter months & windsurfing in summer. I could go on and on about her but I think you get the idea. She smiles at everyone and they can’t help but smile back. She radiates positivity.

If you can send a prayer or positive energy with healthy vibes, they’d be appreciated.

If you’re in the Columbia River Gorge, watch for announcements of opportunities to help.

I don’t know when Kathy will be back at work, but perhaps the best way to show support later will be to purchase her enamel jewelry, wall art and switch plates.


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