Look what someone, someone who has never met me in person, crocheted for me during my latest hospitalization? A rainbow safety cone army, using my free crochet safety cone pattern! (Side note: if you Google just “safety cone,” the 4th suggestion is “safety cone crochet,” and if you click on that? All me!!!) Okay, safety cone ARMY. Jamie stumbled upon my blog earlier this year after visiting my Etsy shop. She happens to teach defensive driving skills, so safety cones are practically her co-workers. Well, she wanted to make some of these crochet cones for her actual co-workers. We eventually became Facebook friends and got to know each other through that avenue, as I am very link-, photo- and life-update-y.

This has been a particularly tough year health-wise, and if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll see that the sickness posts unfortunately outweigh the fun craft, magazine, book, biking, cooking and baking posts in word count and intensity. And yet, as someone who prefers to internalize the rough stuff, it has been beneficial and cathartic for me to unload here, instead of pretending that my life is a series of whimsical crochet projects and adventurous cupcake-baking. (I wish!)

I used to ask myself, “but does this belong here?” Where was all the sicky-poo nitty gritty on my favorite craft and cooking blogs?? Nada. I eventually realized, however, that being chronically ill is part of the Alicia Kachmar package. And so much of what I do, even when it’s super exciting and gratifying like having a book published? A domino effect of events that had a lot to do with first getting sick. All of it so intertwined that it would feel dishonest not to write about it. Plus, in comments and emails, it can be encouraging to hear the stories of others who also struggle with illnesses, or know those who do, lest I forget I am not the only sick person floating out here in the internet abyss. I have made connections this way that are deeper than I ever could have imagined. There’s something to be said for opening up, even when it comes to gross intestinal matters.

Back to this army of six that now lines one of my bedside bookshelves! Jamie picked up crochet because of the creations of Yummy Pancake and myself–wow!!! I am flattered. 🙂 With this safety cone army that arrived on my doorstep after I got discharged came a wonderful handwritten note that…totally made me cry, but in a good way! In the best possible way. Part of what she writes:

“I know it’s not much with all that you’re facing, but I thought this rainbow of safety cones could help to brighten your day. Reading your updates on Facebook have inspired me. You are going through so much, yet somehow manage to keep a smile on your face, as well as ones on your adorable crochet creations. I admire your determination as you face this disease. I hope the doctors can help you feel better and get over this latest hurdle.”

Well, it is way more than “not much,” believe me. I keep a smile on my face because of things like the above.