This is the seventh hat I have knit for Emily’s Year of the hat. For some reason I keep knitting gnome hats. A repressed childhood maybe? A second childhood? No clue but I should probably stop as I am behind the schedule (it is August, the 8th month) and while adults may think they are cute, it’s hard to say what kids think of them.
Occassionally my life has a tendency to turn itself upside down. This past month was one of those times. The early days of June were great (other than that beastly 103 degree day), garden coming up, knitting projects progressing, all well with my world. And then everything shifted.
My old car, 11 years old and putt putting along just fine, was sitting parked at the curb, minding its own business when a taxicab driver ‘lost focus’ while speeding on a residential street. The result was he turned into my parked car, hitting it from the side, and driving it 27 feet from the impact. Wow. Think about it. 27 feet is a long way for a car in park to be tossed by an impact.
Another small fact. This is one half block from an elementary school. Was the driver texting? reaching for papers? Was it worth it? Thank goodness it was my car, and not someone’s irreplacable child.
As it was, I spent the next several weeks running 2 stores and shopping for a replacement car by bus. Not much fun. I think arguing with the insurance industry just added a je ne sais quoi to the entire experience. I’ve lost my “good driver’s rate” for the next 3 years and will have to pay higher premiums.
The hardest thing has been to try to keep prospective. Yes, my old car was unique. Yes, I loved that car. Yes, people were amused because an avid tree hugger also had the strange habit of telling strangers “I love this car” while patting it on the hood. But still, it was only a car. Thank heavens. So now everyone slow down, because if you are very lucky the 30 seconds you think you are saving in your busy life by speeding/texting/losing focus may only ruin a middle aged woman’s month, and not your own and someone else’s life.
Spring has been a little slow, we all admit that; but color is lurking where you don’t expect it. Here is a shot of the mural on our building that was finished last year. Occassionally it is good to just stop, and look around you. Instead of lists of things to be done, projects not completed to your satisfaction, small irritants and other ephemeral nothings, you see color and joy. There are tulips still blooming; birds calling in the bushes; a child’s wide grin. It is enough to make us all a little more satisfied with our lives if we let it.
We were founded on the best principles available to men: All People are created equal. We may fail sometimes, because we are only human, but America has always tried to do the right thing for her citizens and for the rest of the world. That is what makes us different, and occasionally strong.
Constitutions are the guiding principles we live by. Laws are the interpretation of that constitution. We have a judiciary system that can be asked to dispassionately consider whether a law is unconstitutional. If the law is found to be against our founding principles of equality and justice for all, the judiciary can say so. If people and lawmakers disagree with the judiciary, they can make a new law. And so it goes; our guiding principles inform our laws which regulate our lives.
Right now we come again to a time of decision. Laws can be right or wrong. Time and public opinion slowly test and shape those laws; but a constitution defines us as a people. I urge all my fellow Minnesotans to consider this question carefully.
I, for one, do not want to discriminate against someone’s father or mother, brother or sister, daughter or son, friend or neighbor. I leave that to the laws of our land, and their interpretation. In the hope and promise that our constitution will retain our most inspiring principles: that all men are created equal, The June free class will be the Promise Scarf. I invite you to join me.
One of my favorite people was asked what she wanted out of life and her reply was “red Socks.” Now mind you in today’s world we can ‘fix’ very little: wars occur; friendships and loves rupture; people pass each other in their daily life without making any meaningful contact; hope dwindles, age creeps. We mean to do better, start trying harder, but never seem to quite make a real difference.
However, red socks I can joyfully do. And maybe even remember the joyful feeling and make the next pair unasked and unlooked for. Perhaps that is the difference. Excuse me, I’ve got a project waiting quietly for me while I am on the computer, so I’m off to knit some joy filled red yarn.
It felt right because while we are auditioning for spring, this hat is audtioning as a prop prototype for a play. This year’s Fringe Festival August 4-14th, has a play written by Sharon DeMark titled Knit one, Purl the Other. Sharon needed a hat or 2 for the play so I whipped this up to see if this was close to what she visualized. I sent off the hat, with blandishments of ‘I can change it….’ so we’ll see if it fits the bill. or the Jane, or whoever. Fun sending something out into the world as a lark. I made it big thinking that I would felt it down and send it off as a warm hat later. Unless it doesn’t stop snowing soon. Then I may just keep it and cover my eyes with it and refuse to take it off.
I have unabashedly joined Emily’s Year of the Hat. Emily declared last year ‘the year of the sock’ with the goal of producing one pair a month. (Crazy Woman.) This year she took pity on us all and declared it the year of the hat. One hat a month I can deal with over a year. I like to keep my goals simple and attainable. So far I have 4 done. Some will be presents, some shop models , and some because I feel like it…
Having experienced a baby earthquake while living in Taipei, and living on the east coast during hurricanes that came with a baby storm surge, I know I cannot even begin to comprehend the sheer destruction, loss, chaos and grief that all the people of Japan are experiencing. The human desire to help in the face of such suffering can be overwhelming. What can one person do? The New York Times has had some interesting discussions on this topic. Japan as a nation is a rich, well-educated, and wonderful place. I can’t make a difference to them from this far away, but maybe I can make a small difference in someone else’s life closer to home. I knit this little sweater in 3 days, and it will be sent on its way this Sunday to hopefully bring some warmth and unexpected caring to some child’s heart in our area while I wait, like the rest of the world to see what if anything Japan needs other than our thoughts and prayers.
We are in the cruelest part of winter now, when spring seems an illusion. Adding to the frustration are the neccessities of work. This weekend, I had a cup of coffee with some friends while trying to keep up with my must-do list (the shawl for an upcoming lace class), and was feeling rather put upon. Too much to do, and I’d rather be working on some of my other stalled for time projects.
So there I am, feeling sorry for myself. Here I am on my day off and what am I doing? Work. KH had just got a new camera for his work and was having fun playing around with it. Living with a photographer for several decades, you learn to ignore camera shutter noises (much like Dave ignores the click of needles). This picture was the result. I must say it stopped me in my tracks. Who cares that the project is ultimately for work? I love to knit, and I love knitting beautiful things. What’s to feel sorry about? The snow will stop, spring will come, and I will have a lace shawl.
This winter, like everyone else, I have been shoveling and shoveling. This cuts into the free time I have for knitting. Still, we are from the snowy north so it gives you an opportunity to wear your heavy sweaters. I am also a bit of a fanatic about keeping the cut outs to the street open. Have you noticed this year that many merchants are not? Complain to them, it’s the only tool we have to keep ‘civic duty’ alive. I also spend time opening the storm drains on our corner. Swimming to the yarn shop seems wrong, so the drains have to be found. Here you see me examining the results of what happens if the drains aren’t open nearby. I took a bath in the alley in a 3 inch pool. Of course the first thing on my mind was my knitting, as demonstrated by the emptied out knitting bag on the floor(also submerged). Next was the contents of my purse. Turns out all those little paper reciepts we carry around? You would be surprised how few we need to keep when they have been submerged in a pool of icy and oily water. Finally my clothes. Yuck. I did discover one good thing… Blazers can be washed in the washing machine if the need is great enough. So a pratfall becomes another lesson on where our priorities lie. For me it was my knitting, then the store, then my clothes. I didn’t even think to check on my cell phone (totally submerged) until 30 minutes later. And yes, sigh, the cell phone still works.