Jun 10

Every now and again, someone comes into my life and surprises me by making a huge impact.  Here's a little story about one such someone who could use your help.

The scene:  roadtrip to move from New York to New Mexico.  August 2004.

I taught my last class for Mercy College the night we started our trip. Collected final projects, teared up at the lovely bon voyage speech my students made before they gave me a card and gift to send me on my next adventure.  Nine o'clock and the destination was Nashville, TN to spend some time with my sister and her kids.  We drove fifteen hours straight with a few fuel stops, an odd, barely remembered diner break for coffee, and a bad breakfast somewhere in the south.

Neal napped while I went with MB to run errands.  "You have to check this out.  We have a new yarn shop."  She brought me to Threaded Bliss Yarns where I met Sheila and her beautiful Border Collie, Rudy.  Those of you who know Sheila know what a dynamo she is.  She had just opened her store on her fortieth birthday, and what a yarn shop!  Her enthusiasm for color, yarn, and knitting imbued the place with a sort of magic.  We chatted about the Taos Fiber Festival, and I confessed I hoped to learn to spin.  I bought yarn, she wished me luck on my journey, and I continued on my own adventure.

A few months later, MB came out to help me move into my condo and to celebrate my birthday.  "Sheila sent this," she said as she handed me a copy of Spin-off.  "Sheila?" I was puzzled.  "From the yarn store."  I was so moved.  I started to read Sheila's blog and thought she was just the coolest.  Hers was the first blog I'd read, and I wondered if someday, maybe someday, I could start one, too.

Over the next few years, I did learn to spin, and I did start a blog.  I have Sheila to thank for both.  Whenever I visited MB, I'd make sure we had an hour or so to spend at the shop.

In 2007, Sheila sold the shop.  On my next visit to TN, she and her fabulous husband Tim had dinner with MB and me.  That's when I realized Sheila ought to have been one of my sisters, too.  Or I should have been hers.  Not long after, she called me to tell me news that was difficult to share: she has MS.  I assure you, though, MS does not have her.  Sheila is one tough woman, and she is handling this with grace and anger, a beautiful, inspiring combination.  Visit her blog to read more about health care reform issues.  You'll come away enlightened.

Now Sheila and Tim are facing some challenges with their beloved pets.  Rudy, the yoga-practicing Border Collie, is going through his own illness, and those of us who love him are waiting anxiously to find out what it is.  In the meantime, Sheila and Tim have entered him in the Eight o'Clock coffee contest (search for keyword Rudy).  Please, readers, take a few minutes to vote "five cups" for Rudy.  Once you've logged in the first time, you can easily vote every day.  The prize money will truly make a difference for Rudy and his loving owners.  Please let everyone you know in on this.  Let's show Sheila the true power of the bloggers, okay?  We all know what we can do!


  1. Rudy got 5 cups of coffee today! And I will continue to help each day….prayers are with Sheila, Tim, Rudy and their family.

  2. Kay in Albuquerque /

    Rudy gets 5 cups from me — tomorrow too — right up there with the freekibble sites that I do every day. If you don’t know what those are, let me know and I will send links!

  3. I don’t know how I missed this until just now. Last week was crazy and then I slept for two days straight. Now I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks.
    I love you too and miss you something fierce. Rudy sends kisses (though his mouth is a mess right now so you’d probably be better off with a handshake). I also bet if you asked nicely and were holding a treat, he’d show you his newest trick – the stop, drop and roll. It’s awesome.
    Thank you for this post, for the nice things you said, for loving my dog and my old shop and for being my friend.
    But – you forgot about the really cool bag you bought the first time you came to the shop and we first discovered our mutual bag fetish.
    Now, spinning probably won’t happen here but I sure wish you were close enough to help me figure out how to sew.
    Tim sends his love and thanks too.
    And THANK YOU Nancy and Kay!

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