Unwittingly, I have chosen one book after another that focuses on gatherings. The current mystery, Murder Makes a Pilgrimage, is set at a religious 'Holy Year' gathering...which turns out to be a lot like a con. Steve Jobs' bio before that discussed conventions too. The author used the special announcements for the Apple faithful at their yearly gatherings to highlight the changes at Apple & Pixar as the years went by. The mystery before that one, Stitch in Crime, was set at an 'arts & crafts retreat' (sure played out like a regular convention). Now the mystery before that one (Bimbos of the Death Sun) I knew was set at a sci-fi con....and it inspired me to finally dig Uhura's bio out of the TBR pile, but the others were a surprise. I am not sure whether or not I should count Auntie Mayhem, because the psychologists convention in London isn't where the major events take place. Its the English family reunion the cousins attend afterward that turns out to be dangerous. heh.
Since the complaining & social politics are faithfully recorded AND because somebody croakers in each of the mysteries, it doesn't make me feel bad not to be there. Just the long arm of coincidence, I suppose. This is the time of year I would have been creating crafts, firming and finalizing details with the planning committee to prepare goodies for my fellow fans, though sadly this included a mouthy clique of ingrates who (even if catered to) wouldn't appreciate anything unless they took it over. Some of my best creations didn't even get shown in the last years. I didn't feel very appreciated by then, especially since I did a lot of the work in the Fall and someone always used it and took credit for it in the Spring. The final straw was when we took up the hat to buy special souvenir golf discs one year and I not only didn't get paid back, but I didn't even get credit for my generosity on the list of donors. I was finally given one disc by another planning committee member...as a Christmas present. Not missing THAT scene....but the fun ones I used to attend as a fan... yeah, maybe a little ;-)
Actually, even if it hadn't gone stupid, I wouldn't have been able to keep up working for free on 'fun' committees. Tom's health problems got serious in Fall 2004...and have only lightened up in recent months. I thought we were done completely the other day, but that one last spot opened up again so...saline bandages for another week I guess.... I am going to get him back on his Unjury protein powder, I think.
Last summer's hernia surgery turned out to be a lot bigger a deal than we expected...and after healing up from 7 major surgeries (and a dozens of other minor procedures), his endocrine system had already crashed (the previous year) which majorly slowed up his healing capacity. More months on the Wound-Vac followed his release last summer. There's just so much a body can take, and he was a miracle on legs even when it began. His insides have made medical history. His survival says awesome things about the power of God (and many good things about Dr. Shah) Yes, I have had 6 years of changing bandages, overseeing medicines, transporting Tom to and waiting with him through doctor's visits, check-up tests, and otherwise acting as primary care nurse. I just didn't have the mental concentration or physical energy to focus seriously on projects outside my family's needs...nor were the funds really there with DH in the hospital over and over. We did qualify for assistance but I have had to scale back a lot of things. At least he got a hospital bed out of the deal. Everyone still wants to play with it. ;)
& I did pick up my crochet, starting with a blanket made for Tom's hospital beds (I added a band around the outside afterward). (Yes, I know it looks like knitting. What can I say? I was a bit tense...)
I am still not nearly as good as my mother, but i have made major progress. These are the first 'craft-intensive' blankets I have made for the family since the 90's. (I had also made a few simple ones for friends and family from pre-printed fabrics.) Since finishing Tom's single crocheted blanket , I have made double-crocheted ponchos for the family & double-crocheted blankets. Crochet is great stuff. Its relaxing to do and relaxing to use.. Just ask our cat Louis...
We couldn't have made the 'fun' trips to these big cons either, though there are tons of get togethers in our area. Hardly a month goes by that there isn't a festival, Colonial re-enactment, Civil War demo, or a gaythering o' lords & ladies fayre ;-) Even Tom has been able to wander by several & play of an afternoon, so we haven't missed out completely..
Hard to say when we will be up for anything more again. Right now we are back to re-planning with the disability people. Its been good news lately. Looks like he qualifies now for retraining..and while he is doing that I can pick up my projects and see how that goes.