Monthly Archives: October 2011

Red Ribbon Crocheting

I enjoy crocheting. My grandmother taught me when I was in elementary school. After ignoring this art form for several years (decades, really), I started again and introduced my daughters to it. Members of my church and I started a prayer shawl ministry and taught several people (all ages and genders) to crochet.

Last year I entered three items in our state fair but didn’t win anything. This year, I entered five items: a moss green prayer shawl, a periwinkle sweater, a teal vest, a cloche hat and neck warmer crocheted from some fabulous purple-hued wool I bought four summers ago in Ireland. The prayer shawl won a red, second place ribbon. Yea. Thank you, Granny, for teaching me to crochet.

The others didn’t place but received some interesting comments: nice stitching, good color, hat needs bigger band to be secure on head, and too heavy for a collar–the last item is too heavy for a collar. That’s why it’s a neck warmer. It couldn’t be a scarf because I didn’t have enough yarn. I barely had enough to finish both the hat and the warmer and make the two swatches that proved they were hand-crafted and not store-bought.

Anyway, I’m excited for my award-winning shawl and am already thinking about what to enter next year. I have two skeins of red Irish wool and three skeins of wool I hand dyed at a Johnston County sheep farm last spring. So much yarn. So little time.

Success, but I am not an Athlete

I successfully completely my second 5k in a little over 35 minutes–slower than my first 5k, but I still met my goal of running the whole course. Yea.

I’d really like to end my running career on this positive note because I’m not an athlete. I simply live with five of them. I loathe the taste of Gatorade no matter the flavor, and the smell of dirty socks and sweaty t-shirts makes me almost like doing laundry.

During my training for my first 5k, I had an epiphany. The “runner’s high” that you may have heard about doesn’t exist. It’s a myth perpetuated by the CEOs and sales reps of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Addidas, Nike, among others to sell more sporting goods. Without this myth, these people would be hard pressed to sell a pair of shoes because running is painful and lonely.

I confess. I’m not an athlete. I’m a book worm. I’ll take a freshly cracked-open book and a cup of tea any day. Please. You go run and chase that myth. I’ll sip my tea and turn the page.

5K #2

I’m scheduled to run my second 5k on Saturday, October 15. I ran my first one last June and accomplished my goal of running the entire course–no stopping to catch my breath as some people I refuse to name did. I finished in a respectable time of 34:16 and figured my running days were over.

No such luck. My sons kept asking me if I had run almost every day in the weeks that followed. They eventually picked up on the no-run vibe I was sending and quit harrassing me.

But now I’m registered for my second one. Why? That’s a valid question. I have four reasons.

1. The run is supporting a good cause–the Princeton Fire Department.

2. If I can successfully complete this one, the first one won’t be a fluke.

3. If I can successfully complete this one, I can say I’ve run 5kssssss–in the plural.

4. Plus, I like making my children–all four runners–proud of me.

After this run, however, I’m thinking I’ll hang up my running shoes. I’d rather swim, or ride a bike, or walk, or read a book, or crochet, or eat a piece of chocolate cake, or–really just about anything besides running. It’s not fun. Until Saturday.

After the Conference

The whole ACFW conference thing was a big pushing-me-out-of-my box kind of experience. For four days, I had to stick my hand out and say, “Hello, I’m Hope Dougherty,” offer my business card, and talk about my writing while my mind was entertaining thoughts like, “Are you sure she wants to meet you? Do you think she really wants your card? Will she think my story is stupid?” I’d much rather sit on an out-of-the-way couch and observe.

Prayer warriors and I had prayed, however, that I’d be obedient to God’s leading, and I tried to follow His nudges. Because I lived outside my box for those days, I came home mentally and physically exhausted. But I also experienced some God appointments that wouldn’t have happened had I sat on that couch.

I met Patti Lacy whose book, An Irishwoman’s Tale, is set in Ireland. Her publishing sucess gives me hope that maybe my story, partially set in Galway, might see publication at some point, too. I introduced myself to Nicole Quigley, who, though she is at least twenty years my junior, became a fast friend and won a Genesis award Saturday night. Finally, I met Courtney Hartzel, an editor who knows some of my dearest friends in Pittsburgh. I had a ball chatting with her about our Pittsburgh connections.

The conference gave God another chance to remind me of His faithfulness, His hugeness, and His love for me. All of those divine appointments were God taps, “Hope, I see you. Hope, I’m with you. Hope, I’ll help you.” A great conference. A greater God.