Saturday, November 22, 2014

Knit together

My friend is from Brazil. Her English is punctuated with enthusiasm and expression. She makes me think of peppermint.

Our daughters are in the same class and have become sweet friends too.

One day I noticed Fernanda making a scarf with the biggest knitting needles I'd ever seen. I might have commented that I wanted to learn to knit.

My dad taught me to crochet the only pattern I know (granny square) when I was in ninth or tenth grade. I remember watching Christmas movies in winter, crocheting big squares to become blankets. My dad knits too, and I asked him if he'd teach me and the girls how. Linda later spoke up that she could teach us, though time goes by and sometimes things don't happen.

Fernanda said she'd teach me. I brought a ball of yarn to the skating rink and sat next to her. I'm not one for reading the manual. And even watching video can get a bit lost on me. But there's nothing like having someone bring hands and heart to the scene--that's where learning takes place.

"You just watch because I don't know all the words," she said.

She got me started on a scarf, and we sat there for a good hour knitting. She watched me get a first row done and we chatted about things. She hosts a small group and invited us to be part of it.

"My house isn't fancy," she said. "But I bring my heart to what I do."

I would have cried in a less public space. We speak the same language after all.

Monday, November 17, 2014

One thousand gifts and still counting (6232-6255)

better days
wood stove inserts
homemade firestarters
gifted candles

hot tea with Laurel
snow flurries
food in the fridge
hot fires
beautiful sunrises through the woods

Friday playdate at Kellie's
hugs with Jennifer
Christy--a bestest friend
casual talks with Katie
pink yard gloves

coffee in the morning
thick wool socks
warm boots waiting in my size on a bench
home, sweet home
lunch with Linda

piano music in the house
how Erin frolics instead of walks
her bare feet on cold days
two little braids
cream pie

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lesson in patience

Shane and I laughed about it yesterday: how the years when we lived in a different county and traveled out to Linda's for a Christmas or other occasion--I'd say, after a drive that seemed to dead-end in nowhere, "Who would ever live out here?!"

Um. We would. (And trust me: I never would have believed it then if you told me!)

Divine humor.

Or when Dad would say to bundle in layers because Linda kept her house cool, that I would remark to Shane our inside temperature reached a record low the other day, beating hers by at least five degrees (until we got the fires going--and then it's like a sunny summer day in here).

Funny how life can offer up changes never imagined.

"Do you think we smell like fire to other people?" Shane asked as he closed the door to the wood stove. I do love a wood smoke smell.

I have learned that it's a worrying effort to toggle back and forth between two hearths to keep a beginning fire going. Yesterday, though it protested against the multi-tasking traits of the age, I decided I would focus on one fire at a time, get it burning and going strong, before I started another. (Not only did the distraction of another fire keep both from really flaming, but I would get distracted by getting another cup of coffee, checking email, starting a load of laundry, or making a bed--now I just sit myself next to the fire and wait.)

An unexpected lesson in patience.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Errand running with the kids yesterday morning because I didn't want to do it in the evening with a forecast of rain and snow mix. I didn't tell them I had a couple of stops to make before the grocery store. Got a sweet spot near the center of all we had to do, and headed toward the shoe store first.

"Aren't we going grocery shopping?" Erin asked.

"Yes, but first I wanted to check out some boots," I said. In unison, they moaned. "I know what I want. We'll be in and out in no time."

I headed right over to the boots, needing to replace my beloved stomps. They still kept my feet relatively warm, but were worthless in any form of wet: the exterior peeled and pocked from woods walking.

There was a box sitting on a bench, but I walked right past it. Grabbed two boxes of boots and walked over to the bench to try them on. I went to remove the box from the bench, but curiosity told me to peek in. And I found these. They were in my size. I put them on and loved them.

My feet have never felt warmer. And the boots very comfortably accommodated my thick wool socks. Loved it even more that they were pulled out just for me. Thanks, God. I say this because there were no other boots like them anywhere in the store. Not on display, and not in any other sizes. Even the store clerk noticed that when she went to look up the price for me.

We went to Laurel's in the afternoon for hot tea and cookies. I sat by her woodstove and we talked about wood and warmth.

Today, I won't even mention the inside temperature except to say it's chilly. Two fires going. Feet tucked snug into new stomps.

"What are you going to do with your old stomps?" Lanie asked.

I don't know. They were my first set of snake stompers in the woods. I wore those through all types of vines and stickery bushes. I hauled so much with them on--literally and figuratively. I'll probably keep them around for dry days of yard work and hauling.

Thankful for warm boots that fit wool socked feet.