Christmas, Knitting, Read

OOF

 

This has been the year of YES.

YES to  writing short essays and submitting (thirty submissions, to date 25 nice rejections). YES to knitting twenty Nordic baby hats at short notice. YES to standing for hours in the post office to pass on my Mother’s art books to family that would love them forever. YES to cortisone for a failing joint. YES to tripling Granddad’s eggnog recipe and asking over a crowd to sip from Grandmother’s punch cups.

And the weekend after Thanksgiving?

YES to the open house of @adaneknits with @edg_originals, the first annual mother-daughter open house which resulted in a ripping success: I learned how to use a square, to start. And inadvertently this hosted a pop-up standing-room only holiday party that rocketed me into the holiday spirit.

But all that YES has made me go OOF.

It’s coming on Christmas and I am longing for a Lanz nightgown, Bourbon-spiked hot cocoa and taking over the couch. In slippers. @sammybgood calls this Restmas.

But Restmas requires a few NO’s: NO to some invitations so I can wrap and have a quiet dinner with family. NO to every other piece of cake. NO to arranging and rearranging Christmas decorations when a few — with plenty of fairy lights and berries from the garden — is just perfect. NO to eating meals standing at the counter to get to the next item on my to-do list.

Instead of waking up and already feeling completely OOF I am trying to stop before I even get started overachieving; read a few chapters before I even swing out of bed, sit and write a little at teatime, knit a little at the end of the day, sip some of that cocoa. Spend some time with @sweet_little_birdie.

Can you do it? Can I do it?

Trying.

 

 

 

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Choices, Knitting, Read, writing

Essentials.

What I am reading: The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison —  The Tao of Raven: An Alaska  Native Memoir, Ernestine Hayes —  Dancing Bears, Witold Szablowski.

What I just finished : The School of Essential Ingredients, Erica Bauermeister — Devotions, Mary Oliver — Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford.

What I am knitting: A vest out of maize-colored Rowan Felted Tweed. A Churchmouse Yarn cowl pattern, wildly adapted to what I had in my yarn bag. An orchid-colored Alexandra’s Airplane scarf out of Rowan Kid Silk Haze and beaded with pink iridescent micro-beads.

What I am writing: Draft #20 of a personal essay piece, about to be submitted.

You get the picture: books, yarn, needles, paper. Last weekend my cousin and I went to an estate sale, early in the morning while the dew was still shivering on the cherry blossoms. We parked by a stone archway and stepped into a long room anchored by a walk-in fireplace, fully ablaze. I wandered this old farmhouse, stripped bare and crackling with story. When I returned to the front room the owner was saying “It just got away from us.” I fingered a chipped bowl full of scissors. My heart broke around the edges.

There is letting go and there is not keeping up. I want to be the former, smart and brave and realistic when the time comes. Recently the time has come for certain things: clothes I will never wear, shoes I cannot walk in anymore. And books. And furniture.

I sense I am in a race with myself, a new look at the future —  to not be caught short of sense and burdened by stuff. Last year’s health scares just simply brought home that  there is not an endless stretch ahead. So what do I really need each day?

Books, yarn, needles, paper works every corner of my brain, now that I have it back inside my head. Everything is portable and can be pulled from the same bag. Perhaps a toothbrush would be good.

And the people that love me, that are on this journey with me? I will have toothbrushes for all of you, too.

Ten months and counting from that double-whammy last year. I am learning to pack a bag of the essential ingredients and let the rest go.

 

Bainbridge Island, March 18th, 2018 Camelia

Bainbridge Island, March 18, 2018. Camellia blossom: essential spring.

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