Tuesday, November 7, 2017


It's been a busy few days.

Sitting here listening to the usual sounds is soothing. The washer is running, the boys are curled up on their respective sofas and I am sure that the cat is somewhere destroying something.

And I'm curled up in my beautiful old wing back chair in front of the bay window.  It's dreary and wet out.  The sunshine and warmth that we enjoyed in Alabama, far away.  Most of the trees are starting to be barren, while we were away the neighbor's tree shed a ton of leaves.  I know this because they always end up in our yard.  If they weren't such a vibrant red, that I find so cheery, I'd probably be upset at the additional work.

I still have two days off, I'm burning up the vacation that I was too busy to use earlier in the year. Hubs used a bit of his, so he had to go into work.  While I enjoy spending time with him, I am looking forward to the peaceful day ahead.  I've already pre-warned him. I'm not doing anything I don't want to do today.

"she said this as she carried laundry downstairs, because all of his work pants are dirty..."

Okay, so maybe I'm not that selfish.

Actually, what I want to do today, is get caught up.

I am going to head up to the sewing room shortly.  I have one more quilt that I have to finish.  I want it done before I go on my next vacation days starting in two weeks.  I have been so busy that there is so much not getting done, as evidenced by the lack of attention I have given to my blog.

Writing again has reminded me how much I cherish this small bit of time to clear my thoughts, reason through things that are puzzling me and basically sort things out.

On the drive down to Alabama I had a few hours that I wasn't driving and that it was light out.  I used that time to work on a hat for my youngest grand daughter.  I am going to get it finished and delivered today.  She's sadly a bit hairless still and it's a bit cold.  And I might just be that bratty gramma that will make silly hats to bring a smile.

I'd forgotten how much my fingers loved the therapy of needlework.  Watching the fiber wrapped around my fingers, feeling it glide gently with each stitch.  It's calming. It seems once you've learned it, you simply don't forget.

I picked a soft darker brown.  I wanted it a bit darker, but couldn't find it where it wasn't jet black.  I don't know that her hair will be jet black when it finally comes in, and since it's a cabbage patch hat, I wanted it closer to her own color. As I was putting the "curls" on the brim, I was daydreaming about the color ribbons I would use.  I am leaning towards a pink or white, so that it will go with most of her clothes, but I might touch base with Mom to see what she'd like.  I didn't finish it, because I didn't want to try to make the long loops for the pig tales while we were driving.  I am going to finish that up shortly.

Hubs felt it wouldn't be appropriate to knit while we sat and visited.  My own family is very used to this from me, in fact there are many times that several of us have sat around working on projects while we chatted away the day.  I do believe that he often forgets that I can do two things at once. But it was his vacation trip and for a change I was willing to simply sit still (because that does not happen often).

As a result I'd only brought one more UFO with me. It's a pair of socks that I had been working on for about two years now.  I sure got a lot more stitching done when Hubs and I carpooled. I didn't start working on them until the ride home.  He'd wanted to drive us out of Birmingham.

I was nervous, what if I'd forgotten the pattern or couldn't remember the last stitches I'd taken on those sweet little socks.  What if my fingers had forgotten how to knit?  So many what if's... I opened the bag that held the treasures twice.  Looked inside, felt the apprehension and self-doubt rising and zipped it back up.

Maybe it wasn't the right time.

We'd changed our plans at the last minute and decided to drive back into Helena.  Hubs needed another hug from his Sis.  He needed to feel that connection.  He's suffered so many loses where family is concerned.  His parents, brother and brother-in-law have all gone on.  His girls... well never mind.  All he has of flesh and blood are those three people living in Alabama.  Who in the world was I to say no?

His smile, her smile, the little 2 year old smile.  Definitely worth the trip down the two lane road behind multiple school buses. Family is priceless.  You can fuss with them, be semi-neglectful, you can hurt each other unintentionally (or sadly intentionally) but that blood always knows.

I wished I could give him even more time to visit.  On the drive over we had cooked up the thought to bring his Sis but to Missouri, even if for a short weekend visit. We will work that out.  We'd love to have her visit our home, all of them, but we do realize that people have lives and work. I'm not sure if I saw a glimmer or excitement or doubt in her eyes when he told her that is what he wanted.  I'm hoping excitement.

As we pulled away, Hubs was a bit quiet, especially for him.  No music playing.  He silently chewed on his cigar. He looked sad.

I asked him a couple times if he wanted to talk about it, he said he was "concentrating on the road". I've long since learned that is code for needing time.

Left with nothing to do but look at the tail lights ahead of us and get stressed by the traffic in an unfamiliar area, I decided to open the bag again.  Shoot if I was dealing with uncertainty, I might as well send myself into a total lack of coffee, claustrophobic tail spin.  Right?

I pulled out the unfinished little sock, immediately catching one of the needles and pulling it out of all 18 stitches carefully lined up on it.

Panic! I'm in a moving car and those are some tiny needles and stitches to slip it back into.  Sucking my breath in sharply I started weaving the needle back in.  Suddenly thanking the good Lord, that I'd been too busy to play for far too long.  That yarn was molded perfectly from sitting so long on those metal needles.  It slid back as easily as it slid out.

I thought about getting out the directions, what if I needed them.  What if I couldn't remember what I'd done before?

Instead, I silently studied the work.  Thankful for Hubs' silent mood, needing the quiet to focus.

You don't forget.

It's a pattern I have made many times, I probably have three or four pairs in my sock drawer, and goodness knows how many I have gifted over the years.

In the comfortable silence that comes from being with your soul mate we traveled for around an hour. Hubs lost in his memories and thoughts while I worked on my socks.  Idle chit chat, pointing out beautiful and or interesting things we saw that needed to be recorded with a picture.  I kept repeating to Hubs that I was stunned with how my fingers and memory moved so quickly back into that routine. Seeming to not notice that I hadn't used them in that way for almost a year.

It's that way with family too.

We're back in our routine, Sis is back in her's.  But for a few days, it was like time hadn't passed.

Sis and his niece had conveniently planned all of his favorite meals.  Things I had heard him talk about for years.  Since I've known him I've always heard about the famous pork roast, and how no one on earth could make it as good.  I know it did his heart good to have her make the meal that he's often said was his favorite from her.   I am betting it did her heart good to have her baby brother surprise her.

I felt a tad guilty when one my own Sisters asked it the trip south would have a detour to Arkansas. Unfortunately, the miles were more than we had the time, or honestly the butt strength to tackle.  We aren't as young as we used to be.

I wish we were all a bit closer.  It sure would be wonderful to spend a few hours quilting with Sis and the Niece.  Or puttering around with projects with my sisters and folks.  But it's a treat not an everyday thing.

I am fairly certain Hubs and I will stay here in Missouri.  We love our house, the grand babies are here, and at least one of the kiddo's. Maybe down the road we will think about heading somewhere else.  If the girl takes the grand babies and moves closer to the boy.  We might have to go. But for now, it will be visits back and forth.

Who knows how many socks I will get finished? And how many times we will all pick up like time hasn't passed.  Each of us showing a few more years, little ones growing into bigger ones, and maybe a few more wrinkles.

But... love will still be there, those heart strings really do get stronger with time.  They just have a bit more stretch to them...

for this moment though... it's good to be home...

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