Tuesday, November 30, 2010

there were never such devoted

While I was away, too many things happened for me to tell you about. The visit itself was amazing – my sister and I are true sisters. We talked and cried and cooked and sang and laughed so hard we had to run to the bathroom. (Two babies each – our bladder control is not what it once was.) We watched movies together and shopped and did not go on the internet (much). We cleaned and decorated and read books and ate. We tried to get a good photo of us together, and couldn't. (But the process was hilarious.)

I had just commanded "Eyes well open!" and Gwen complied. She doesn't look that demented in real life. And I look more focussed.

I said to Gwen, “Sandy bought me a Christmas ornament on my birthday every year. Tomorrow’s her birthday, so I’m going to buy myself an ornament...I’m thinking of one of those Starbucks ones because she had one on her tree.” The next day, Sandy’s 47th birthday, Gwen went to get a few groceries in the morning, and came back with a little paper bag. In it was a card telling me she loved me, and a little red and white china Starbucks cup with a gold ribbon. I cried and cried, and she cried, and we hugged.

She made Sandy a birthday cake – Black Forest, from scratch. With yummy brandied cherries she canned herself, and real homemade buttercream. We sang “Happy Birthday to Sandy” with huge smiles, huge voices, like she could hear us. (She could.)

The kids played Twister, and laughed and fell on the floor. I finished knitting my legwarmers and wore them around, every day, with the yarn ends still hanging off. Gwen cooked Ethiopian and I ate so much I felt faintly sick.

I vacuumed. (I love vacuuming.)

On the last day, we looked fondly at each other, misty-eyed, and agreed that it was the best visit ever, and nobody wanted us to go home. Not me, not Gwen, not my brother-in-law, not the children (who have never gotten along as well as they did these two weeks), not even the niece who gave up her room for us.

I have a lot to say about the ferry journey, but that’s for a different day. For today, I’ll close by saying this.

There’s nothing like family, and there’s nothing like friends.

There’s nothing like friends IN your family.

You know that saying: “home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”? Well, “have to”, nothing. We want to.

And that’s a huge blessing, and a precious gift.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thrice for luck.

Today I begin a journey. A literal journey, this time, to manifest the metaphorical one I've been on this year.

The Celts believed that a traveller wishing for safety and luck should cross three waters at the start of her sojourn. I will be crossing a river, then an ocean, and then a river again. The ocean crossing will take an entire day...once round the sun to accomplish 272 nautical miles.

Travel is always significant. This time, I hope to be restored for the next fifteen days as I stay, with my children, in my sister's house. I hope to come back - again by ship - with more peace, more optimism, fewer tears. The smaller salt swallowed up in the larger.

See you on the other side.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

What the Flaming Heck.

I once was a knitter. I was confident in both my talents AND abilities - that is, I (thought I) was fairly adept naturally, and I had improved my skills with careful application.

Finally making these.

But this afternoon, while working on my first Mosey, I thought something didn't feel quite right - what should have been centred, wasn't.

I frowned.

I turned the knitting this way and that.

I noticed an odd abundance of purls.

So I counted.

How did I get this far, I ask myself, how on earth did I get 30 rounds in without noticing I had cast on not 76 stitches, but 64?

Thirty rounds is far.

I counted several times during cast on, and I was completely confident, 100% sure, that I had 76 stitches. If I had ended up with 66, that would be understandable. Ten less is easy - my brain is an (antiquated, painstaking, but effective) abacus, and occasionally when I mentally click over a blue bead, I get one too many. But twelve? Twelve less? What?

Even the four purl stitches together, on the needle join of a 2X2 rib, did not alert me.

Even now, I did not realise the truth.

So I am unravelling, and putting ice cream on my humble pie.

And my legs are still cold. Not warm at all.