Throwing a bowl

I ran up to the third floor to check on the kids. I peeked into the two bedrooms and all three kids were sawing logs. Sound asleep. I noticed the light on in the office and stepped though the door. Lydia was bent over the computer scrolling through some work.

“Good evening Lydia!” I greeted her.

“Hey Anne. What’s shaking?”

“Mostly just my thighs,” I responded and Lydia guffawed as I smirked. “Got lots of work to do tonight?”

“Yup. I have a list of things to do while I’m acting as the director.”

“I bet you do. That’s quite a lot of responsibility.”

“True, but it will look good on the resume.” Lydia responded. “Your know: Camp Director for two days.”

“Agreed.” I nodded. “Hey…ummmm…I have a favor to ask and feel free to say ‘no’.”

“Sure. What is it?”

“I would like to go to the open studio in Arts ‘n Crafts tonight but I put the kids to bed early. Would you mind keeping an ear out for them? Maybe poke your head in to check on them a couple of times this evening? I will be back for evening medications.”

“Absolutely. No problem at all.”

I thanked Lydia profusely and ran down the stairs and out the door. I walked quickly through the darkness scanning as I went, ever alert for wildlife! I entered the Arts ‘n Crafts building and stepped onto the balcony and surveyed the situation. A couple of counselors were busy making friendship bracelets. Three were painting. Barb was leaning over Jess, supervising him in the corner at the potter wheel as he was finishing up a coffee cup. Barb looked up to see me on the balcony.

“Come on down, Anne.” Barb motioned for me to join her. I quickly skipped down the steps, into the craft room and over to the pottery wheels.

“Jess will be done here soon with his cup and we can get you started.” Barb told me over Jess’ bent head as he cautiously pulled the wire tool under his cup to cut it free from the wheel.

“Absolutely,” I pulled over a stool, sat and watched. Barb squeezed muddy water from a soggy sponge onto the wheel as Jess slowly pulled the wire towards him.

With the cup free Jess gently picked it up and held it up for inspection.

“Gorgeous!” I exclaimed.

“Terrific job, Jess,” Barb commented. “Now go work on a handle while I get Anne started here.”

Jess thanked Barb and made room for me at the pottery wheel. I sat down and Barb proceeded to take me through the steps of creating a small bowl. Starting with kneading and wedging I worked to get the air bubbles out of the clay. Throwing the ball into the center of the wheel, Barb showed me how to to control the wheel speed. She showed me how to push the clay, anchoring my elbows, cone up and down. After three catastrophic failures, that required starting over, I got the feel for it. The motions were relaxing and almost hypnotic. Barb sat back and guided me.

“There you go!”

I started to hum, trying to recall the tune. I floundered when Barb started in on with the second verse singing softly and slowly. She had a lovely voice.

“Lonely rivers flow

To the sea, to the sea

To the open arms of the sea.

Lonely rivers sigh

‘Wait for me. Wait for me.

I’ll be coming home, wait for me.'”

I joined her in the chorus of Unchained Melody. The most romantic scene from the movie “Ghost” featured the song while Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze molded a pot together on her pottery wheel.

“Oh, my love, my darling

I’ve hungered for your touch

A long, lonely time

Time goes by so slowly

And time can do so much

Are you still mine?

I need your love

God speed your love to me.”

I heard Barb’s voice crack just a tiny bit on the last note. I slowed the wheel down and looked over to her. Her lower lip trembled. I gently took my hands off the clay as the wheel came to a stop.

“Oh sweetie!” I whispered. Barb’s face crumpled and tears gathered. I leaned over to her and wrapped my arms around her shoulders, trying to not get my clay covered hands on her shirt. She silently cried into my shoulder.

“I’m so sorry!” Barb whispered to me as she sniffled.

“It’s okay. I completely understand. It’s scary when someone you love is in the hospital.” Barb pulled away and sat up on her stool.

“It was such a close call.” Barb said with her eyes shining with tears. I nodded as I held her shoulders.

“It was,” I agreed. “But now you know what you need to do to prevent this in the future, so that is good news.” Barb nodded as she wiped her tears. “Bad news is that you will need to do some laundry.” I told Barb as I pulled my hands off her shoulders and left muddy prints on her t-shirt. I held my hands up. “Sorry!”

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