Tuesday, December 28, 2010

K 2, [P 2, K 2] 4 times

She asked for gift suggestions. The answer was "a knitting kit". At first she didn't believe me. On Christmas morning I was excited to receive a box with a skein of yarn and a book titled "My Knitting Teacher".

At the age of twelve I learned to knit a pair of slippers in a church class. They were white with red variegated threads. The pattern was simple with only knit and purl stitches required. Knitting needles never graced my hands after that.

Over the years I did lots of crochet work. Afghans, baby clothes and booties, doilies and pillowcase trims came easily. But knitting remained a mystery. Dropped stitches, counting rows and getting the gauge correct were intimidating.

Last night the box was opened and I started casting on. The basic knit and purl stitches came easily. The ribbed stitches were correct. But the cable pattern looked impossible. The first attempt was a disaster so I set my practice piece down and went to bed.

Tonight I picked it up again, determined to conquer. Four cables later I'm feeling pretty cocky! Zeus has already requested a sweater.


Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm sorry.

One of my internet acquaintances Sharyn, a fellow quilter who makes incredible quilts had an interesting post a few weeks ago. We are about the same age and her post was titled "I'm so over it". Simple yet very thought provoking.

Zeus and I talk a lot, especially when I'm trying to work through a difficult situation. Last night we had a long discussion about how things change over the course of time, often going in ways that are totally unexpected. We dissected the idea of planning for the future, working toward those goals but also realizing there are no guarantees that those plans will come to fruition.

On the other side of the future is the past. The past cannot be altered. It happened. The only thing I can do about the past is learn from it, make any amends possible and then try not to make those mistakes again. But I can say I am sorry.

1. I'm sorry that I sniffed out the brick of dipping chocolate and ate chunks at a time when I was a kid.

2. I'm sorry that I used to peek at Christmas gifts and ruined the surprise. Lesson learned.

3. I'm sorry that I photoshopped ten pounds and a double chin off of me but not you.

4. I'm sorry that I said that mean thing to you.

5. I'm sorry that I didn't know about thrift stores sooner.

6. I'm sorry that the little squirrel ran in front of my car and got squished.

7. I'm sorry that my religious beliefs/political opinions are not the same as yours and that this might cause you pain.

8. I'm sorry that I didn't climb Mt. Ben Lomond last year. Maybe this year?

9. I'm sorry that I misjudged you.

10. I'm sorry that the frozen tomato plant is still in the backyard waiting to ripen and you are still looking at it.

11. I'm sorry that my car was so disgustingly messy when you rode in it.

12. I'm sorry that you missed the opportunity to participate in their lives.

13. I'm sorry that you wanted to pass me on the road and I wouldn't let you.

14. I'm sorry that I graduated from a college and not a university. Wait. No, I'm not.

15. I'm sorry that there are only 24 hours in a day and that summer vacation is only three months long.

16. I'm sorry that I haven't finished those projects that I've started.

17. I'm sorry that I'm not in Hawaii.

18. I'm sorry that they grow up so fast.

19. I'm sorry that I can't fix it all.

20. .................

Now I need to get over it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's what I do.

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of giving a short speech about Little Ms. In front of people. People who intimidated me. At a church. Not my church. Whoo boy, that was scary.

After fretting about it for months (yes, months) I came up with a plan. A devious plan. If I stood in front of that group holding up photos of Little Ms. all of those people would be looking at the images and hopefully wouldn't notice the papers rattling in my shaking hands. It was hard to choose eight of my favorite images of her to share but I finally settled on some that best described her personality. The little tribute went off without a hitch and no one seemed to notice, or at least didn't comment on the sweaty forehead.

In cruising through my scrapbooks that week I realized that my all time favorite photos are those that tell a story. The child sitting on the edge of a cliff wearing a harness. Athena and Eris lovingly planting kisses on top of Zeus' balding head. The shadow of a bride and groom walking down the sidewalk. The sweaty faces of bike riders who just completed a feat they never thought possible. The runner caught mid-stride in the air. A father's face as he bathes his newborn baby for the first time.

The stories of my life. Printed. Shared with others. It's what I do.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Click! Click! Click!

Each day during the month of December I look forward to the late afternoon. From 5:00 pm to 5:15 pm the clicking begins. Timers set all over the house take turns tripping and lights begin to go on. The strands of garland, wreaths and our skinny old tree are strung with white lights that cast eerie shadows on the walls. At 11:00 pm the clicking begins again as they all turn off.

Eight timers in all, including one for the two wreaths that adorn the front of the house and one for the wreath in the lair window that only my neighbor can see.

I love all the light. I'm thinking of leaving the tree up all year in the Stupid Room (again, a future post).