I still live!


I’m teaching more than usual this fall, and the workload snowed me under. Fork on another crisis or two and the aftermath of the last one, and I collapse into bed every night and limp to the finish every week. This is a temporary situation, I know, but I do long for a time in my life when temporary situations last a few hours or a week at most, rather than for months and possibly years. Viewed that way, this whole life is a temporary situation, and I am not yet at an age where I can think to myself, boy, it’ll sure be a relief when this is over.

I’ve been knitting. I’m 3/4 of the way through a pair of Phalangees in the green-and-gray colorway, which are coming out nicely even if I’m having trouble keeping my gauge loose enough. I’m also 3/4 done with the Hudson’s Bay blanket and aiming to put that one under the tree for the baby’s Christmas. Though I know he’ll never know the difference, it still helps me to be motivated by the deadline. I spent a lot of hours knitting that blanket while my husband was in the hospital last spring, and it’s something I feel like will be an important part of my younger son’s history. It’s occurred to me more than once that he won’t ever remember what his dad was like before the stroke. To him, there is only After. I hope he isn’t affected by such an unsettled year as we’ve had. It’s been tough on the kids, to be sure. We work hard to make everything steady and routine and unworrisome, but they know. They see. It can’t not be scary. I’d have been scared when I was their age. My older son worries, I know, but it never comes out as worry. It comes out as severe irritation that owing to Hurricane Sandy, trick-or-treating will be this Saturday instead of tonight.

I’m not feeling the Halloween this year. I usually like it better, but between the storm and unscheduled hospital time, I’ve got enough real fear happening that I don’t need to make any up. But I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble with Thankful Month. Or Tongue Awareness Month, depending on whether you observe (though it’s almost impossible not to…now).

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Labors of love

I have everything done on the Rav Games mitts except the thumbs and finish work, but when I sat down to work on them last night, the wool was sticking to my sticky, sweaty fingers and I decided to browse online for new work clothes instead. Every few years, my boredom with my work clothes reaches its zenith and I think back on how frumpy I looked last year and how this year I’d like to look …not… like that, and I embark on a desperate, often fruitless search for clothes that will make that happen. This year has the added fun of a tiny, tiny budget, mostly made up of long-held Christmas money and aluminum can refunds and whatever they’re paying for plasma, plus whatever I think I could possibly knit out of my stash in the next month or so.

If I recall, I spent a lot of Augusts this way in high school, too. On one occasion, a truly unfortunate outfit was the result. It’s best not to be too specific, but I went to high school when Debbie Gibson was popular, if that paints an appropriately horrifying picture for you.

I’ve been holding on to my Caeles yarn for a few months, and since there are no sleeves, perhaps I could maybe do that. I also finally got around to winding another ball of natural Cascade 220 for my baby’s long-neglected Hudsons Bay blanket, because in weather like this, exactly what you want is to have a worsted wool blanket on your lap, yes/yes?

Other doings around here have been unexciting. Summer is winding down. I’m still volunteering at the historical society, but have managed to score a sitting-down job while other people are moving our archives to the new building. I’m hoping to get a look at our textile collections soon. There were several yarn companies in town once. My older boy has been going to municipal day camp for five weeks, and that ends tomorrow. Last night was the show: 101 Dalmatians. I bet you can guess what role he played. It felt like such a quintessentially parental moment that I spent most of it grinning like a fool and taking pictures. He goes back to school in three weeks, and we’re going to try to squeeze in some beach time before then. The baby turns 2 on Sept. 7, so we’ll have a cake on Labor Day weekend for him. I fail at birthdays, for the most part, but at least he’s too young to notice. I wonder if he’d like a nice woolen blanket…