My birthday falls in autumn, and this year I decided to treat myself to a gift that means a great deal to me, and, I hope, to at least one other person I’ve never met. I chose to buy a hand-woven rug from an elderly Navajo weaver via the Adopt a Native Elder Program.

As their website (linked above) explains: The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program exists to create a Bridge of Hope between Native Americans and other cultures…. The Program provides food, simple medicines, clothing, fabric, and yarns to help these (Navajo) Elders live on the Land in their traditional lifestyle.

Please visit their website for more details about their program, but for this post I want to talk about their wonderful Rug Catalog, accessible at their website, or click directly to it here:

Rug Catalog

“The sale of rugs through the catalog is one of the most important ways we have to provide financial support to our Elders. All proceeds from the sale of these rugs are returned to the weavers.”

Oh boy. The day I found this website, and the Rug Catalog, I thought I’d stumbled upon a treasure in the desert. These beautiful handcrafted rugs come in all sizes, from the small wall rugs I’ve purchased, to saddle blankets, to full sized room rugs. The colors range from earth tones, to traditional colors, to some pretty wild and more modern designs. I’ve chosen the earth and traditional colors, since understated is more my style. But what really blesses me more than anything about this program is that when your rug arrives included with it is a photo of the weaver holding her creation. I cherish these photos, and I pray for these women.

Alice T. wove the rug I bought in 2009:

Mary B. wove the rug that arrived in yesterday’s mail:

If you’re so inclined, please take a few minutes to explore the Adopt-A-Native-Elder website, and take a look at these beautiful, unique weavings. I think you’ll be glad you did.

In writing news… I’m working on edits for The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, paying particular attention this time through to the goals, motivations, and conflicts of my characters, refining them, strengthening them, striving for clarity every step of the way and making each scene as compelling as possible (Inkspirational Messages has a good post on this topic today).

I do love a challenge. I want to run each day’s race of working so that I’m spent by its end. Then I can collapse on my couch for a bit and admire Mary’s beautiful rug now adorning my wall, or Alice’s, which hangs above my desk.

Thank you, Mary and Alice. Beautiful, beautiful work, ladies!

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates. 
Proverbs 31:31

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