Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best paths come from bumps in the road

This story is personal one. And it got kind of long. 
Feel free to just enjoy the pictures if you don't  have time for all this minutia. 
I promise there won't be a quiz at the end.

Just over 8 years ago I was a youngish mom with two cute toddler girls.  At the time my husband had some chronic health issues that we couldn't find solutions for and we were a little bit worried about our future, financial and otherwise. I had a hobby I loved but not a lot of $ to spend and not many friends who enjoyed petting and cutting up fabric the way that I did, but I was grateful for an outlet that brought me a lot of happiness during a stressful time.

For a while I was trying to figure out a way to make things and sell them to help bring in a little extra $ and to support my habit in a not-cheap hobby. I sold some things at a little Christmas craft fair, but then I got E Coli and was sick for a month following. It took a while for me to get up the momentum to do something like that again.  I kept thinking about what to do.  Finally one day I prayed about it. I felt silly praying about my hobby -it felt like such an insignificant thing.

A few days later I discovered a brand new little quilt shop in my town. (I'd been telling my husband for a while that someone needed to open a quilt shop where we lived. Before that I would drive 20-25 minutes to the north or the south to find the good quilting fabrics.)  I was so excited to have one close by! It was just little, but so cute!
While I was in the shop I overheard the owner calling the employees trying to find someone who could work that Saturday. As she was on the phone I thought, "I could work Saturday."  That thought had come out of nowhere - I never had any intention to look for a job away from home.  I am so not an outspoken person, but I found myself going up to the owner and saying, "Are you looking to hire any people to work on Saturdays?"  All the women who worked at the shop were busy on Saturdays with soccer games and busy family schedules.  My schedule was usually wide open on Saturdays. My little ones still napped or just played with the neighbors and their dad was always home on Saturday. They could all survive without me for 4 hours.

And that is how I got my job at American Quilting where I've worked for the past 8 years.  It has been one of the greatest blessings. Not only did I get to pet and cut fabric - they even paid me to do it! But the best part of the experience was working with wonderful new friends and meeting bunches of wonderful ladies who enjoy cutting and petting fabric as much as I do.  My boss kindly accommodated our family's schedule and allowed me to only work on Saturdays.  6.5 years + 2 more kids later I was now the mom with bigger kids who had soccer games and other activities on Saturdays and I could no longer work every week. The gracious (and talented) owner, Amy McClellan, said I could continue to work just once a month, if I wanted to and that's what I've done for the past year and a half.

But a new era is here.  AQ and I both at different stages now.  Both of us have expanded and grown. This blog takes a lot more of my time and Amy M. was in need of employees who worked more that 4 hours a month :) so it was time for me to retire from my time at the store.  I am feeling a little bittersweet about it, but it's the right move for this stage of my life.  I'm lucky because I still get to create occasional samples for the store (like the quilt in this post). I will always feel so glad for that experience and those relationships. Such a blessing! And those experiences designing multiple quilts a year, learning about the fabric and quilting business, and meeting such great people have changed the direction of my life in ways I never would have expected.
Thanks so much for all who came in to say Hi to me at American Quilting - even some who were passing through from out of state!  I originally planned this post as just a little explanation that I would no longer be there, but it turned into a long retelling of that whole saga because as I thought about it more, I realized the significance it had in my life. And it reminded me that God cares about the details of our lives. Something that I worried was a small, selfish thing, turned into a sweet tender mercy and affected my life in great ways. 

And of course, it would not have worked with out the support of my husband.  It definitely meant sacrificing some of our time together on the weekends, but as a result he had some great Dad-time adventures with the kids and even developed the brilliant talent of making homemade pizza every Saturday night. (Talk about win-win!) I'm also happy to say that we found the solutions to his own health challenges through that time. We both ended up on paths that we would not have found if life had been smooth sailing back then. Thank goodness for the bumps in the road.
That's all. Thanks for listening.

This quilt is the most recent one I created for American Quilting. It's called Cath (or Catherine) and kits are available. If you want one you can order one from AQ at 801-802-7841.

85 comments:

  1. That's how I met you! It will always be my favorite store. Even if there are 3 closer to me! I'm sad I won't bump into you anymore at the store, but totally get it! We'll have to figure out how to bump into each other...

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  2. What a great story, Amy, and you told it so well. We never know what life has in store for us, do we! Your quilt is beautiful (as always)!

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  3. You just never know, do you? We just all have to be open to taking the next step.

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  4. I loved this post! Thank you for that little peek in your life ;o)

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  5. I love this story! My testimony of prayer is continually strengthened because of little answers like this that make a huge difference in the end. I've had plenty and look forward to lots more!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amy. I think it's a good one :) The quilt is really pretty!

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  7. What a great outlook. Thank you for telling and sharing...Am. Quilt. I would love to work there! but alas I live in Idaho. I've loved that store every time I've been in there. And, yes, I was planning to look for you the next time I go in...:)Best Adventures ahead.

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  8. What a fantastic story! I am sure working there also developed your growing talent as a quilter too, so many blessings right? Thanks for sharing, it is the small things like that, that make up a big picture in life. Your quilt is super cute too :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this post...those bumps in the road often do turn out to be the most tender mercies!

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  10. Thanks for the story, Amy! I'm glad you could have the outlet of working in a quilt store for those years. And the reminder that God really does care about the little things.

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  11. I love how God's timing is perfect - you just 'happened' to be there at the right time to hear that phone conversation!

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  12. Lovely post Amy. So pleased you were able to find something to help you through your bumps and what a bonus that it was something that you love! All the very best for you new adventures.

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  13. This is a great story about how God really does take notice and care about every detail of our lives. AQ seems like it certainly was a blessing to you at the right time and I'm sure they feel that way about you too. Best wishes for a continued bright future.

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  14. I love your post...so very similar to my quilting life. I too work in a quilt shop, and I too began my time there when the children were small. They are grown, I am a Grandma now ( a huge joyous part of my life) and I just got home from teaching my quilting class. I teach three times weekly.
    I know God will continue to direct your path. Continue to have faith in HIS plan. In fact in my class tonight they were all teasing about what heaven would be like. They said they wanted it to be like a HUGE quilt shop and that I would be the teacher there. I can only smile at the blessing quilting has been in my life. XXX

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  15. You are so honest in your blogs... I love them. Put Him first and He will direct your path. The quilt is beautiful! I just ordered the pattern for your Lattice Quilt and fabric to make it for my granddaughter who is getting married soon but now I want to make this one as well! I just have to order the kit!

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  16. Love this blog post. What a wonderful reminder that He is in charge of our lives including the bumps in the road. btw - really pretty quilt : )

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  17. Thanks for sharing Amy, I have to admit I am a bit teary eyed. It's amazing the ways that Heavenly Father is there for each of us :)

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  18. Amy what a great story. It must be hard to leave but as you say things move on.

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  19. Great story and i'm glad that you shared it with all of us. One never knows what life will bring to us and sometimes those things are great ones. Our own bump in the road, the one to adopt our daughter, led us to adopting our son.

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  20. Loved your story and your quilt!! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  21. That you for sharing your inspirational story and sharing your quilting life with the world! I so enjoy reading your blog and LOVE your quilts!!

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  22. Hola,que wuiult mas bonito,el acolchado es precioso,yo estoy pendiente de tener una maquina para acolchar.me gustan tus trabajos.besos yolanda

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  23. This was a wonderfully heartfelt. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is amazing how much a little Saturday job can change someones life.

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  24. Life is never changing. The blessings happen when we stay open to the possibilities of those changes. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  25. Aww, what a great story, it was obviously meant to be! I have to admit, I probably would also have been right in there saying 'So do you want anyone to work Saturday?' full time job and all lol

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  26. What a wonderful story Amy. I am so glad you shared it. :o) I am watching ever so closely for where to take my next step. :o) And I am praying about what I should be looking for. I hope it has something to do with quilting. :o)

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  27. What a wonderful post, Amy! I too am constantly amazed that God cares about the little things in our lives- but He reveals that every day to me! Thanks for a big (teary) smile this morning as I read your post....

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  28. Where would we be if it weren't for the "bumps"? Best wishes for continued growth and happiness, minus the e-coli and other health issues. :)

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  29. Thanks...you brought back a sweet memory for me today...last May I traveled 1500 miles to help my daughter move from SLC to Oregon. We had such a nice time together and the last day we were there she asked if there was anywhere I'd like to go. So of course I asked if it was very far to a town called Orem :) and I got to see that sweet quilt store!! Wish we could have run into you but we loved the store and bought some lovely fabric!

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  30. Great story. I've always said.. the situation is what it is.. you have to look for the positive in any situation, and move on from there.

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  31. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey. You are truly an inspiration.

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  32. Amy,
    You are an inspiration! You give me hope! Thank you for your blog and your beautiful creations.... both in fabric and the words you write!
    I wish you and your family much happiness and continued success!
    Betsy

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  33. i can't even begin to explain how much i miss american quilting. that was the shop where i took my first quilting class (amy's beginning piecing class), made my first saturday sampler with lots of guidance and help from the random ladies who've been quilting for a lot longer than me, and where i first learned to love the feel of quality fabric. i spent hours browsing that store, even when i had no money because we were poor graduate students with two kids. it was the place i always for gift certificates to (yes, i will spend other people's money on my fabric addiction!). and i miss knowing that someone at AQ will have answers to my quilting conundrums. There are no LQS remotely close to AQ out here in arkansas and i feel the pain. i'm so jealous that you got to work there. someday i will work in a shop like AQ.

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  34. Thanks so much for the post! My husband and I were just talking about some big decisions last night. We are encountering our own bump in the road and desperately hanging on to the faith that God will show the way to smooth sailing. Thank God for answered prayers! How good He is to us!

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  35. What a precious post. I'm so glad you shared it. Blessings as you transition on...

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  36. Thanks for sharing your bumps with us. Hope you have a lovely day. Smiles~Beth

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  37. Amy, thanks for sharing the store. I love the way you described how hard things can seem and the power of prayer. I am glad you were open to this wonderful possibility and that you share your talents with us.

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  38. Oops, I meant story, sorry!!!!

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  39. Thanks for sharing that story Amy! i'm sure you have learned volumes from working there and life will take you in a wonderful new direction. Best!

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  40. As my big sister, I've always appreciated your advice and example. This, again, gives me great perspective and hope that admist our current trials, great blessings can come if we are open to it. You mentioned that God is involved in the details of our lives, which of course reminded me of that Neal A. Maxwell quote that ends, " to the degree that we allow him to be." Thanks for the reminder to always invite God into my life and to look for the silver lining :).

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  41. You're awesome. I love it when we recognize the small, but ever so important details that God looks out for.

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  42. I loved learning this about you and am excited to see what you are up to next!

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  43. Thank you so much for sharing. I know personally reliving these moments can be emotional even though we made it through the storms.
    I think Romans 12:12 best describes your journey. glory be to God and good luck on your next chapter.

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  44. that was a great story, thanks for sharing something so personal.

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  45. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story, and for being such a humble, caring person.

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  46. Such a great, sweet story, and a beautiful quilt! thanks for sharing :-)

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  47. What a sweet encouraging story. Thanks for sharing!

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  48. Wonderful post!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  49. Thanks for sharing, Amy. It definitely gives me hope that I might find a way of making a hobby I love into a bigger part of my life.

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  50. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to take a little peek into your life! I stumbled upon your blog almost 10 months ago when I was recovering from abdominal surgery, your posts brightened my day and gave me the inspiration to start quilting again!

    God is full of surprises, and the case of your finding employment at the quilt store was just another example of life being all about the journey rather than the final destination! I am glad to hear that you and your husband and family are healthy again, that's more important than anything!

    Personally, I could never be trusted to work in a quilt store, I would spend more than my paycheck would allow LOL!

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  51. I loved reading your story Amy! Seriously bumps in the road suck so bad at the time but they always seem to be for the best don't they! :)

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  52. What a great story. Thank you for sharing!

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  53. You are wonderful! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  54. More proof that He knows each and every one of us :)
    Now, if you decide you have time to teach a class or 2..... :)

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  55. That is a good story. I am right at the begining on my own road but it is nice to hear other people's roads :) I will be excited to see how my own works out!! Thanks for the inspiration of the quilts that you post. I love peeking in every once in awhile.

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  56. So glad that you were able to get over that bump in the road and found a new way to help your family meet their challenges. I wish you many more bumps in the road that fare as well as the last one. Good luck Amy.

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  57. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I find myself in a similar situation. My hubby is losing his job at the end of the year. But, God is in control, he will provide, and I don't need to worry. Happy Quilting in your new adventures!

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  58. Loved reading your story; and reminded me to hang in there, as hubby and I are going through a journey of our own. He has been out of work for a year now and I cannot work because I have an incurable form of leukemia which results in a weak immune system and fatigue. We are living on little money by I am learning that we have everything we need....what I have had to give up is just "extra stuff". Thank goodness for my stash lol. Am so happy it all worked out for you and do know that God sets us on different paths for a reason. Thus, I am waiting to find out what his lesson is in this one.
    The quilt is lovely...I like the fun colors and simplicity of it.

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  59. I'm sad that I won't have the chance to see you at the store. Your blog is how I found it in the first place and I've been in every time I visit Utah, but I always love seeing things from your blog in the store!

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  60. Amy, I really look forward to each of your entries, and I love that you shared this with your readers. I find that I am at a crossroads, and am trying to find the right path for me and our family. It's not easy, and it's nice to be reminded that those little bumps are the ones that truly help us find our way. Thanks for that!

    The quilt is wonderful -- such great, lively colors. Love it! :)

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  61. What a great story Amy! I'm sorry I never got to see you in action. I'm sure you'll still have friends there -- how fun it will be for you to stop in and visit. Love that cute quilt!

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  62. Found your blog. It is delightful. YOU are delightful!!

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  63. I love this post. It's amazing what 4 hours a month in a place where like minded people are can do for you. I have been at my quilt shop for almost a year and I am amazed at how much has changed in my sewing/quilting/blogging life because of it. And I am so so glad that the very first time I visited AQ happened to be a day you were there.

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  64. My eyes are brimming so it's kinda hard to see the keyboard (so not a touch typist) thank-you for sharing your story I loved every second of it because it is precious to hear about you and how your life is being worked out so carefully..like the quilts we make! Great to hear you are going well and I can understand sadness at leaving something so neat (petting fabric and getting paid for it says it all!! I would love that job too!) as your quilt shop job.. I have been through similar but it is ok cause somehow the bumps do get ironed over so nicely. Yay!!Glory to God!!! This has been a very encouraging time to read your post today, thankyou! I am sure are many more good stories to come too!

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  65. I loved your post Amy! Really touching and had made me think about all the things I'm grateful for and the things that were just meant to happen! Sounds like you had a wonderful time working there and I hope you move on to equally rewarding challenges and experiences :)

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  66. This really touched my heart this morning. I worked at a LQS for two years, right after our first grandchild passed away and it was the most difficult time in our lives. I do medical transcription at home, but I needed to get OUT of the house and the job came at the perfect time in my life. I made good friends, learned lots (nothing like working retail to learn a lot about people!) and spent my time with gorgeous fabric instead of crying at home all the time. Thanks for writing this, Amy.

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  67. Dear Amy: I could only come to the store on Saturdays so I saw you there often and you helped me with so many things. But isn't life wonderful and time gives us so much perspective. You can look back now and see so many blessings from trying to increase your talents and help with your family. We just try to do our best and bumps in the road are God's way of giving us a little different vision of what is really important. Best wishes to you always.
    Janis Smith

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  68. I´ve just loved to read it all. I´m so sorry I didn´t get to meet you at the shop. Well, I did now and will be follwing you.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  69. Such a sweet story. I'm glad you had the chance to work at such a lovely sounding place. :) Keep spreading that joy!

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  70. "Something that I worried was a small, selfish thing, turned into a sweet tender mercy and affected my life in great ways."... so often, this is His way... these are the everyday miracles we can so easily miss...

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  71. Beautiful post! And a beautiful quilt too!

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  72. Blessings on you dearie. Look forward to more blog posts.

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  73. Amy....luv you, your honesty & perspective. I can only imagine what a change this will be in your life! I am sure in time you will be writing a post about the doors and opportunity this fork in the road has opened up. Your awesome!

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  74. Thank you so much for such a thoughtful post. Your message is both a comfort and an inspiration Jx

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  75. I'm kinda new to quilting but I love your blog. Thanks for your story, it's so nice to know that our Father in Heaven really cares about us, and blesses us with things we want not just things we need.

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  77. Thanks for sharing your story, Amy. It's hard to leave the happy, comfortable familiar stuff behind but hope your road takes you onwards and upwards :)

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  78. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post. It was full of peace and hope. It was wonderful to read this on Tuesday, the day my husband lost his job. I felt comforted from reading this and I'm so glad you chose that day to post it. It really was a tender mercy on a really hard day. Thanks.

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  79. Oh.my.goodness. What a beautiful quilt!! And I loved to read your story of how prayer and a chance - really?? - encounter developed into such an opportunity and a new path for your family. Excellent!

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  80. What a wonderful story! I enjoyed reading it & thank you for sharing it.

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