Monthly Archives: October 2014
For the second year in a row, I made a pilgrimage to Rhinebeck for the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Family Festival. (Excuse me while I lie down a minute to recover from that verbiage.) It was a gorgeous October day, if a bit windy, and I had both Hubby and Younger Daughter with me.
And for the second year in a row, I came home with one perfect skein of yarn.
Well, yes, it is a long way to drive (two and half hours) just to buy yarn. But that’s not the goal. The excitement comes in spotting some folks that are only known online in the ravelry world (and if I have to explain what ravelry is then I am going to assume you know nothing about knitting and perhaps you might prefer to peruse some non-knitting posts in my archives? I don’t want you to feel left out.) and seeing the walking fashion show of handknits for free, and sampling the free wine and munchies at the pavilion and hearing the ubiquitous pan flute group and experiencing sticker shock at the various prices of string and finding the perfect bite to eat and wondering if you have room or strength for ice cream and decide which sheep you want to kidnap and bring home with you. (Or would that be lampnap? Kid being a goat, and all…)
But that one skein. We are on a little bit of austerity here, since Hubby has been job-hunting since Labor Day but he insisted we go and enjoy the fresh air and whatever else it is I enjoy about these things; it wouldn’t be like years past when I might come home with a dozen skeins of perfect yarn because 10 of those 12 skeins are probably still in the stash, patiently awaiting my flirtations with new yarns to cease and really, if it’s not going to be WOW yarn why should I drop the dough? The entertainment of petting everything was almost enough. I say “almost” because I did find the perfect skein.
I found (deep breath) 1,000 yards of a 3-ply, jewel-toned royal blue, 100% cashmere laceweight. And when I tell you laceweight, I mean you look at how absolutely FINE that thread is and realize that it’s 3-ply and you have to shake yourself mentally to take this in. What must the single ply look like? It was a moment suspended in time as the other shoppers walked around me, carried on conversations, and looked at other yarns. Other yarns! When sublime perfection was in my hands! I was transfixed.
Younger Daughter was a perfect partner in this. You want somebody with you who can point out the possible flaws, the slubs that may not have been noticed, the bad color due to the bad lighting, the other minor flaws or excellent advice that a yarn shopper needs to keep a level head.
“You should totally get it.”
I’ve got to bring that girl with me everywhere yarn is involved.
I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately and what it means to me. When Hubby told me his job was over and he was worried about the mortgage, I chirped “no problem, if we have to sell the house we will!” (I bet you didn’t know that in addition to the unlimited sarcasm, I have an annoying habit of being VERY perky to cheer everyone up. Can’t do it for myself, but boy howdy can I irritate a room with my upbeat-ness.) After all, I thought, it’s just different walls so no big deal, right?
Or is it? I’ve often said I love my house but I wish I could move it to a different place. What is “place?” Is it the physical location of your actual dwelling, or is it defined by the view you behold when you look out your window? What about reaching said home? Do you need to travel by highways or rutted roads? Are there conveniences nearby, or do you need to schedule a 45-minute trip just to get a quart of milk? Is your address easily found for deliveries of packages and mail, or is a Sherpa needed for a monthly provision drop-off?
I live in a small town surrounded by a larger town in the middle of a technically suburban area, but not overrun with housing developments. I can easily walk to two separate towns with post offices, convenience stores, butchers, drugstores, bakeries, pizza parlors, libraries, and transportation into The Big City and surrounding environs. While I despise the traffic issues of the nearby highway, I am pretty much in a quiet area. A horn honking or a siren wailing is still something that makes us stop and look out the window. When I lived in a city, that was just like your white noise machine playing in the background.
Granted, I live on a county road that sees rush hour in the morning and evening, but I have a huge backyard that attracts lots of wildlife (not the partying kind, although really how do I know what the squirrels and chipmunks are up to at 2 a.m.?) and has big trees and views of amazing sunsets. There are no rude or noisy neighbors, it’s mostly just families that might have a loud party on a Saturday in the summer and who really cares about that? I’m grateful I don’t have a neighbor who fancies himself a mechanic, feeling the need to rev every engine he works on super loud just to see how loud it can get and ignoring the belching exhaust out of the tailpipe (and yes, I used to have such a neighbor when I lived in the city parts; he was a prince, I tell you).
And while all these things add up to a pretty calm and serene existence instead of the jangling irritating climate I used to have, I’ve realized these are just the perks. The real part of home is the feeling it evokes.
There are currently four adults living in this house, two of which I gave birth to. We each have our little zones that we drift to when we come home, and one of us will always put the kettle on for tea. The reassuring sound of the gas stove lighting and the cups clinking and the anticipation of the warmth of the tea (even if it’s July and a bazillion degrees, tradition and routine is important) and the comfort of familiar surroundings nurtures us. We may read or play games on our devices or zone out with television, but we’re never truly disconnected from each other and we share those tidbits we find amusing or thought-provoking. We also need space from each other and that’s good, too, because we can go into another room away from it all and not feel ostracized or insulted. It’s called being human. Would we have this shared connection if we were in a small, two-bedroom apartment with almost no privacy?
I hope I never have to find out, but if I do I am sure to have a kettle on at all times while we work to figure things out. And that’s probably the essence of home for me.
Guys and gals, I have been most thoroughly enjoying October! There has been apple picking and apple baking and applesauce making, soups and breads and plans for further delights.
Leaves and crisp air, intensely blue skies.
Distant sounds of marching band practice and football whistles.
Hand knitted socks on frosty feet, snuggled into slippers as more are knit.
Knitting of Christmas gifts while making best friends with Netflix.
Drawing at my desk with the intense sunshine pouring in, and reading in my chair when the dusk is creeping in and I light some candles.
In other words….