JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY, DOWN IN HER HEART!

 

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier. 

-Mother Teresa

 

There are people in this world who just make you happy. Being around them raises endorphins and inspires hopefulness. They are natural born doers. Everything that is interesting to them is something to be studied, assimilated, processed and reimagined in their own inventive and creative way. They tackle new things with a gusto that looks like a train whizzing by to the rest of us. Before we even know what is happening, they are publishing a book on it.



Kaye England is one of those world-class doers. Her contagious energy gives lift to those who are “thinking about it.” Whatever the ‘it’ is that others are thinking about, Kaye is doing. In her life she has become a well-known quilter and teacher of quilting with many published books on the subject. She’s a gardener, farmer, goat and llama breeder, writer, interior decorator, scrap booker, and fabric designer. At various times, she was also the owner of five different retail shops. These are but a few of her accomplishments. I have to take a nap after just listing these achievements. To Kaye however, these are not accomplishments, just the way she lives her life. She doesn’t set out to achieve. She sets out to explore what interests her and she has a way of taking it to the next level! In the process she inspires all who know her and are lucky enough to be part of her world. Her presence in a room lightens moods and encourages activity.




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PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our hearts, we still cling to anything- anger, anxiety, or possessions- we cannot be free.”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

When Lori Rewick Simon bought a vintage trailer in June of 2011 she had no idea that this “project trailer” would “save” her. Life was good. As the National Director of the nonprofit group, Casting for Recovery, she enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle in her transplanted home of Vermont. A native Californian who frequently moved as a child, Lori was accustomed to change and easily adapted to it. If there was a negative side to the frequent moves, it was that Lori developed a strong desire for perfection in all that she set out to do.

A professional photographer with an MA in photography from the Hallmark Institute of Photography, she had aspired to become a photographer for National Geographic. Finding that a difficult position to secure, she drifted in to teaching high school photography and then in to yearbook sales. At a time in her life when she was reevaluating her priorities she discovered a class being taught at her church entitled, “Abundant.”  The class was a 16-week commitment and focused on crystalizing what really matters in life and living your life in an “abundant” manner. It was then that Lori made the decision to get out of sales and move to nonprofit work. With the support of her husband, John, and their children Charlie Chelsea, Lori made the career change. Her first job was with the March of Dimes in Phoenix. Her continued advancement eventually meant moving to Montana. This new location gave Lori ample opportunity to indulge in two of her favorite hobbies; fly fishing and horseback riding.

After several years in Montana, the March of Dimes wanted Lori to take a position in Dallas, Texas. She thought that the weather in the south would make their outdoor lifestyle harder to enjoy. When a friend told her of a position available in Vermont with a nonprofit that helps women recovering from breast cancer by providing them with fly fishing weekends, she thought it sounded like a perfect fit. Casting for Recovery (CFR) thought so, too, and hired Lori to be their National Director. The move to Vermont suited them perfectly.

I met Lori at the Museum for Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont in May of 2011. I was in Vermont displaying my Sister on the Fly trailer at the fly fishing museum’s kickoff event for their retrospective on women and fly fishing. At that time Lori knew about the Sisters on the Fly because they had partnered with CFR to raise funds for the organization. Sitting in her office, I remember her telling me that she wanted to join SOTF and get a Metzendorf trailer. I cautioned her about the amount of work that older trailers can often require, but her heart was set on a Metzendorf.

Lori’s 1962 Metzendorf on the day she brought it home

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WE’RE HAVING A PARTY!

The Sisters on the Fly know how to throw a party! One of the reasons they are so well attended is because of people like Karen Reichert. Karen, sister on the Fly #831 from Illinois, is the party planner for the Midwest Sisters! Karen has the gift of party planning. Karen is a former Legal Assistant (detail oriented!) who traded in her heels and daily rail pass to attend pastry school and then went on to work for the Boy Scouts of America organizing stays at their Michigan Summer Camp. She has taken all of her considerable life skills and put them to good use for the Sisters on the Fly. Her events have waiting lists even when she finds the largest venue possible! This doesn’t surprise me at all because having met Karen several years ago I could tell right away that I would want her on my team if I had to survive in the woods in style for three days. I don’t know anyone else who has ever hosted a peignoir party. I didn’t even know how to spell peignoir. Her ideas and enthusiasm are endless.

 

Karen’s annual Peignoir Party that she hosts at her weekend home in Indiana each year. It’s homage to our mothers! My mom still wears these!

 

Karen came to Sisters on the Fly the same way I did, after reading an article in Country Living Magazine about the Sisters. Like me she was “fascinated” by the idea of women vacationing together and towing their own little houses behind them. She read the article several times during the next few weeks soaking in the trailers and the whole bold idea. But with most of the sister trips and members out west, and her life as a single mom in Illinois already full to the brim raising two daughters, the timing just wasn’t right. She placed it on the middle, not back burner, because Karen Reichert is a woman who never says no to seemingly impossible things. A passion had ignited in her. An active Girl Scout leader, she was also independent with a “how to” attitude. She never thought, “I’m not going to be able to join this group.”  She instead began to ask herself how she was going to make this happen.   Her “how to” brain however reasoned that she could recreate such a group in her area someday.

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