Monday, May 11, 2009

Remembering Paula

On Friday night, May 7, we had a grand evening with Ricky Tims for his concert and dinner. Our friend ad co-worker, Paula Anderson, stayed with us until all the guests had left. She then shared her version of Convergence with Ricky.

Paula went home, had her husband rub her aching shoulder, let her dog out and then back in for the night. Her husband went to bed as she was unwinding from an exciting evening. In the night some time, Paula passed away. Paula Anderson was 54 years old. She leaves behind her husband Charles and daughters, Gina and Becky.

For those who knew Paula Anderson, we knew that she was modest about her work and that her work was incredibly detailed and meticulous. She was her own harshest critic. Yet, she had a kind heart for everyone else.

It was not easy to snap photographs of Paula as she was shy about cameras. However, when she was engrossed in her sewing at a recent event with our staff, I was able to capture her in a place where she found great a sewing machine and with friends who cared about her.

Paula has been a sewing friend of ours since we opened the store. She was one of the first who enthusiastically found us and came to learn. She came to working with us in January of this year in our office. We have been so privileged to enjoy her cheerful demeanor and diligence to help our customers and be a fabulous team member at our store.

Paula regularly told us and customers that she was working her dream job at Pine Needles. And in so many ways we were privileged to see it and share the joy with her. We were all treated to the blooming of her sewing when she would bring in new things she was sewing and share her learning with incredible joy.

On her day off last week, she took the time to learn Ricky's Convergence Quilting. Wow....we got to see her fabulous creation from Ricky's hand-dyed fat quarters. I was so privileged to be with Paula as she waited until the end of the evening to show her creation to Ricky. He was so inspired by her work that he signed her quilt with the affirmation, "Way to go, Paula!" Her smile gives us great comfort, knowing that she sewed her way to joy.

It is with great sadness that her passing has come. Our family and our Pine Needles family will miss her tremendously. We are so privileged to have had her as part of our team.

I personally know that the message of Paula and others like her is that we continue to share the inspiration and love through our sewing and our compassionate caring for one another. The whole of our creative experience gives voice to the beauty in each of us.

We will miss you our dear friend, Paula....jill


DebAnn said...

Wow, Jill... I am in shock. Thank you for sharing this post... Paula sure seemed to have a fun night at the concert. My heart goes out to you and the other employees and Paula's family.

Cheryl said...

I can't believe it. Paula sat at our table Friday night and seemed fine. We all had such a good time and you could tell she was excited to be there. When I read the part of your blog where you said she had her husband "rub her aching shoulder" it really hit me. Let this be a lesson to all of us ladies who are past 50 and even those who are younger. Learn the signs of heart attacks for women and please don't ignore them. She was such a sweetheart.

Cheryl Heimburger

ada2mark said...

I meet Paula a few years ago through a mutual acquaintance at a VIP meeting. Then about a year ago we both attended a Pine Needles sewing retreat. We took time out from the retreat to drive downtown. Naturally we were going to the quilt shop. We talked about the usual thing women talk about, family, jobs and our love of sewing.
The next time I encountered Paula was when I went to work as a part time employee at Pine Needles this spring. She was so patient in showing me how things worked in the quilt shop.
The end of April, Paula and I were given an opportunity to attend a class in Minneapolis for the quilt shop. We had all those hours in the drive up there to talk. We shared a room, learning more about each other. The second evening we got really lost trying to find someplace to get dinner. Paula wanted pancakes. We had forgotten to take the GPS with us so we ended up who knows where and had to stop and ask for directions to get ourselves back to the hotel.
The class finished up the next day late in the afternoon. We debated on leaving for home or spending the night then starting home the next day. Paula wasn’t sure we should stay another night. She was scheduled to work the next day and was anxious about missing work. I finally coaxed her into spending the night. The winning argument was reminding her that we had not visited any of the fabric shops in Minneapolis.
That same night we found Treddles fabric store (again after many wrong turns and backtracking). What a great time we had. We spent over two hours there touching fabric and finding some great buys (there was a 30% off sale going on). Then as we were having our items rung up we found the buttons. Paula found these great buttons that she said didn’t go with anything she had bought and were really expensive. After a number of “no” she shouldn’t buy them, “yes” she should buy them, she put them in her pile. I am so glad she bought those buttons.
The next morning we visited a fabric warehouse and found some more great fabrics. Oooing and ahhing over all the fabric deals we saw. You had to cut the fabric yourself and both of us joked about maybe getting Jill to adopt this method for the shop.
On the way home we didn’t talk very much as both of us were tired and ready to get home.
I will always remember the great time we had together and morn the friendship that was not to be.....
I miss your Paula.