Sunday, October 28, 2012


Jan Naibert
Thursday, October 25 brought news that our dear friend, Janice Naibert, had died.  For years I knew she had trouble breathing and we would wheeze together through brief phone conversations, and even though she considered slowing down of late, never once did she disappoint by not sending out an order.  While I know that other "doll people" depended on Janice too, it was my love of a little French doll called "Bleuette" that brought me to Janice first as a customer, and then as a friend.  While I never did get to meet her in person, that did not matter during all the times we chatted about dolls and dogs, Beagles in particular.  She mourned with me over the loss of my rescue Beagle in 2007.  When I was in Maine, we would always talk about meeting at "G Street" - a fabric store near Washington, DC.  Unfortunately, each party's health kept that from happening. 
From Janice I bought fabric and trims, patterns and sewing kits, doll bodies and wigs imported from France, but came away knowing I was more than a customer, as were so many others.  One has only to read the posts on the various doll groups - Bleuette, Rosette, French Fashion - to know the loss we are feeling.   I am saving all these posts in the hope that I can print them out to send to her son and her husband, so they know how much Janice was loved, and how many lives she has touched.  No one came away from knowing Janice without a smile.  Toot, Toot, dear one.  We are tooting your horn for you, in ways you never did for yourself, in your humility.  The doll world would not be what it is without the things you did for us.  Rest easy, dear friend, and know how much you are missed, and how you were treasured.
My prayers go out to Janice's family, especially her son who is doing his very best to send out the orders his Mom could not get to before this final illness.  What a son!  His Mama would be so proud. 


FRANKENSTORM - another "Perfect Storm" (a/k/a "Hybrid Nor'easter"):
Tomorrow, 10-29, will be the 21st anniversary of the sinking of the Andrea Gail (note the movie "The Perfect Storm" with George Clooney).  How strange that this almost identical storm system is to hit the east coast on the same day.  The last I saw this type of weather-wrath was in Maine in 2007, also on or around 10-29, as I watched the bay churn just off the boat house in Belfast.  There were seven of us there, knowing we should be on much higher ground, but we were mesmerized by the power of the sea.  There had been 25 boats in the water that night.  The next morning, only 10 remained to be seen.  I guess the others were on the bottom of the bay as I am sure no one came to take them out at the height of the storm, in the dark.

I have long loved the sea, even her power, and so love to sit on a quiet beach and watch the waves as they gently flow to and ebb from shore.  One of my earliest memories is of being on my father's shoulders as he took me "out past the waves".  At four or so, I thought he was kidding, that the waves did not end but went on forever and ever.  He was right, and after a brief walk (on his part) through the waves we were in calm seas.  It was amazing to me that I could be behind the waves, watching them roll towards shore.

Nothing so gentle is planned for this area tomorrow.  I am about 20 miles due north of Philadelphia, only a little over an hour from the Jersey shore I so love, which will undoubtedly be changed greatly after Sandy is done with the coast.  Atlantic City and surrounding towns, as well as the casinos were subject to mandatory evacuation by 4 PM today.  Tolls out of shore towns have been suspended and roads in and closed to all but emergency personnel.  Philadelphia has issued a pending state of emergency with evacuation of low-lying areas. 

I will sit in a third floor aerie (apartment) and watch the show, probably without power, reading with the help of my "hug" light which goes around my neck,  but mostly, I pray for everyone in the path of this terror, the effects of which it is said will be felt into Ohio and far north.  I have personally experienced only one hurricane before - Hazel in the 1950s - and she did terrible damage to areas not nearly as built up as now.  My Mother told stories of being evacuated from Ocean City, NJ in a boat because the bay came in to meet the ocean. 

 As beautful as a calm sea is, If you are in an area to be affected, I pray you and yours are safe and dry elsewhere, and that your homes are spared damage.  Perhaps we can all spare a few prayers for the souls who went down in the Andrea Gail 21 years ago too.