Thursday, February 26, 2009

What I've learned

During the month of February, I've learned many things. Some of what I've learned are actually new, but others have been reminders of things I've learned in the past. I've learned that losing families members is very hard and it hurts for a while. I've learned being melancholy and sad is perfectly ok and part of life. I've learned smiling through the melancholy is ok, too. I've learned that no matter how old you are, sometimes you just really need your mom, and in some cases, no matter how long she's been gone, she finds a way to send her love. I've learned a mother's love never stops even after she's gone. I've learned the importance of family and discovered yet again how amazing of a woman my grandmother is. I've learned that I work for a really cool boss and my vice president is pretty awesome, too. I've learned my company does some amazing things and truly does produce products that improves the lives of individuals, of families, of communities. I've learned that my dad is going to be quite happy once his medical device is turned on and three surgeries is a tiny sacrifice when compared to what he's going to get out of it. I've learned you can get a lot of knitting done in a hospital waiting room, but not necessarily as much as you expect to get done. I've learned that 4:30 am is way too early to be getting up in the morning. I've learned driving 200 miles doesn't seem so bad after the 4 trip in 3 weeks. I've learned sometimes simple stockinette is all one can handle, and that's ok, too. I've learned I miss my spinning wheel, but I can still spin consistantly, and I love it. I've learned knitting really can soothe a soul, heal some wounds, and light the path out of being sad. I've learned my dad has a big head, but not nearly big enough to fill the enormous hat I knitted.

From 2009 Finished Objects

Pattern: Turn a Square by Jared Flood
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby
Notes: This is a great pattern and super easy to knit. The instructions Jared references for a jogless work out well and produce a barely noticeable seam up the back of the hat. I would definitely knit this one again.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How long are your apron strings

Mine are about 200 hundred miles, or roughly a 3 hours drive. Three hours is far enough away from home where I can have my own identity, but close enough I can drive home at the drop of a hat, which is what I've had to do this week. From my from door to my parents' front door is about 200 miles, give a few miles. This is far enough away for me. I was close enough to come home for my dad's first of three brain surgeries and close enough to come home for a double funeral. I lost my uncle and my grandfather this week. My family lost a husband, a father, a brother, a uncle, a grandfather, and a great grandfather. They were not part of the same accident, but two separate incidents brought them to heavens door. Neither was aware of the other's condition, and I think this was a blessing. I lost my uncle to a car accident, and I lost my grandfather to a stroke, Alzheimer's, and old age. To be honest, it's been a rough week, and never have I understood better my Irish heritage the the lyrics of of the Indigo Girls' song "to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend." My bottle has been a few pints of beer and my friend has been my husband. He's held me as I cried and given me the space I needed to grieve. He's given me the Irish tradition of throwing back a pint as I've looked at pictures and reminisced. He's allowed me to talk freely about what an excellent golfer my uncle Tommy was and about how excited my grandfather was when I came off the plane from Korea. He listened as I retold stories of my grandfather taking bags of chips to his bed after Alzheimer's set in and lost the ability to vocalize our names. Italian listened as I told him how much my grandfather missed my grandmother when she went to see her son in the hospital and how he held her when she finally came home. He listened as I told him about my grandfather's last smile to me. I miss my uncle and my grandfather. I am saddened that my grandmother must bury another child and this time, her husband. Let's face it, I'm just sad, very sad...but like anyone of Irish decent, I'm grateful for the time I've had. I'm grateful for the memories. I'm grateful for the final smile my grandfather gave me. I'm grateful for the times I've spent with my uncle. I've grateful for the family I've been blessed with; and finally I'm gratefully for the many people in my life. Little Clover asked me why I've been to so many funerals. I told him it's because we've been blessed with knowing so many people of all different ages and sometimes that means we have more good-byes. We've had our fair share of good-byes in this family, but we've also had more than our shares of happy memories to soften those good-byes.

Tommy and Grandpa, I miss you already.

Monday, February 09, 2009

In need of good thoughts

Life is happening and it hasn't all been great. Right now, my dad is preparing for a series of surgeries over the next three weeks. The surgeries are a positive thing and we have great hopes for the outcome afterwards. In addition to the surgeries, we've had a couple of family crisis come up. My grandfather is in the hospital and we are unsure at this moment of his condition. My uncle was also in a severe car crash and the outlook is not what we expected, but he did survive the crash and is also in the hospital. If you could, please send good karma, thoughts, and prayers my families ways. We could really use them right now.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snow and trout

From Family

We finally had our annual snow day this past week. At least we didn't have to wait until March like last year. Granted, there wasn't much snow on the ground, but there was enough. Little Clover awoke early to the news of a school cancellation and waited patiently for us to give him the green light, to go outside and play. I'm fortunate enough to have a job with enough flexibility I could stay at home with him. I spent the majority of the day on conference calls, but during lunch, I did take some time to get in a little snowball fight.
From Family

Despite the small amount of snow on the ground, Little Clover managed to enjoy himself.
Snow Angel From Family

I wanted to have my latest knitting project finished in time for the snow day, but that didn't quite happen. Instead, I finished Cat Bordhi's Mobius Cowl early evening of our little snow day.
From 2009 FO

The pattern is quite easy to follow. I used Jade Sapphire's Cashmere to match the Koolhaas hat I knit last year. The hardest part of the pattern was knitting the first row after the cast on. My stitches were a bit loose, but I imagine everything will even out after a bit. One of my non-knitting coworkers asked if the twist was bothersome, and I honestly answered it wasn't. In fact, I rather like the twist of the mobius. It fits perfectly under my chin.

As if the new FO of 2009 and the snow day weren't enough, we added in an impromptu fishing trip to the week. A few rough weeks, professionally, were coming to an end and we needed a reprieve. Since our jobs didn't look as if they would provide any type of reprieve anytime soon, and our weekends quickly booked up with activity, we took advantage of the relatively open weekend, packed up our car, and headed to Arkansas for a quick weekend trip. Italian and I both had new rods needing to be broken in and we hit the river with gusto. I spent the morning fishing in the freezing temperatures. At one point, the ferrules on my rod, the small metal eyes through which one threads the fishing lines, froze solid with ice. The convertible gloves from October kept my hands warm enough to allow me to stay on the water. Eventually, Little Clover and Italian decided to join me on the water and we headed to a more wader friendly spot. Italian caught a fish on his first cast and Little Clover caught a fish on a fly he made up and tied. We all drove back home well rested and well fished, having a memorable day on the river.
From 2009 January Fly Fishing

Oh, and I just realized, today is my blogiversary. Thank you to everyone who's out there reading.