Tomorrow we're off to visit my brother and his wife in Washington state, for our first ever American Thanksgiving. It's weird that they have it so close to Christmas, but it does rather kick off the season.
And by the way, I've only just realised, like two weeks ago, why Americans say "the holidays" - I always thought they meant Christmas, but I think they mean Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's all very integrated.
It's exciting - I've never been to my brother's house. Like - not just this actual house, but to his home - ever. He lived in North Carolina for the last 14 years, and I just didn't get there. So I'm very much looking forward to making up for lost time.
But there's a complication. We have always been more or less footloose and fancy-free, in terms of going away for weekends or whatever, but this past spring we bought ourselves a $1,000 ball and chain:
So I had to find someone to come stay here with Piper, and spent an hour meticulously writing notes that say things like "Don't use two heat-based appliances at the same time on the east wall of the kitchen - the breaker will blow" and "Bleach under the utility sink in the laundry room for potential dog-related poo disasters (knock on wood)" and "for TV audio select 'VCR' on Pioneer 'input' panel". It's exhausting. When you live in your house, everything works just fine, but when you take a step back and view it through another's eyes, all of a sudden everything is crap and you have to stand on your left leg and close one eye to get the bathroom door to open. But only in damp weather.
Now it's 11.30 PM, and we're leaving at 7.30 AM, and the only thing left to pack is the knitting. I should have done that first, before all the trivial stuff like underpants and contact solution. Now I need a whole 'nother suitcase just for the projects.
Which reminds me I should update you. I started (and have almost finished) the Cross-Country Chullo for a Christmas present (recipient doesn't read blog). It's in two shades of denim blue, which I think should be subdued enough for a guy. Can't wait to block it. Can you see the little Nordic skiers there?
And Jaali is coming along - here's the front:
And the Kauni Christmas stocking continues, though I'm at the heel turn (I opted for a short-row heel to preserve the seeding pattern) and it's taking FOR FREAKING EVER.
You know what's odd? Ten years ago, if I was off somewhere I just put my clothes into a duffel bag and left. Now, before I go anywhere I spend an entire day running around madly charging all this bloody technology that is supposed to make my life more enjoyable. Cell phone, iPod, camera batteries, extra camera batteries, video camera batteries, memory cards and cases for everything. Then you have to remember to take the chargers too, in case your batteries need charging AGAIN while you're away.
By the way, see that message there? I think that's a subtle command from the Matrix. They've got us right where they want us - dependent on technology to live.
But I am also bringing a Rummoli set, and this, which is the most fantastic game ever invented:
Whaddya know! A completely SCREEN-FREE activity! I hardly know how to work it. Where's the mouse? Does it come with a trackpad? Is this the most current version? Are there automatic upgrades?
Cheerio, my beauties. I'll be in touch.