Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ending Hibernation


It's April 17th and time to come out of hibernation. While the crocuses have yet to show their faces at home, they're out in full force down in Portland, and that's enough for me.

Those of you in warmer climates may not quite understand the significance of the crocuses. Imagine every time you looked out your window, you saw this.


It's nice for a few weeks, a few months even. But for FIVE MONTHS, and without respite? It can be a bit much.

I had extra super-duper insulation added when I renovated my house, and I even upgraded to super-duper insulating double-pane windows and all sorts of other things, but there really was no reckoning with the cost of heating fuel this winter. And it meant that my indoor-outdoor thermometer usually read something like this:


If you don't have your glasses on, that says it's 8 degrees outside and 55 degrees inside. See the little unhappy face next to the indoor temperature? That's called my "comfort indicator." And that little guy rarely smiled this wintah.

Nor did this guy.

Indoors, I had a lot of these. I went through two cords of wood and enjoyed every log of it.


Casey tended to do this a lot.
(That's another failed handknitted sweater from the '90s that he has since claimed.)

In early January I visited Laurie at Sticks 'n' Strings in Scarsdale, New York, for a lovely weekend of book signing and talking and playing with yarn. People were very polite and didn't comment on my bronchitis. Now I wonder if they just thought I always sounded like Kathleen Turner?

A week later I flew west for TNNA, enjoying perhaps this country's only outdoor luggage carousel located at the Long Beach Airport.

And when not signing books or doing sometimes stressful TNNA things, I blew off steam by playing a few dozen rounds of skee-ball.


I came back home and spent an entire weekend making a dozen of these:
Recipe courtesy of Julia Child. Time stood still with each and every bite, and I was genuinely amazed to discover it is possible to make a decent croissant. It just takes a lot of time. Likewise, it takes time to recover from eating four croissant in one sitting. (Don't try this at home.)

A quick jaunt to the Pacific Northwest gave me a week on this island surrounded by an inspiring group of people.

And then not too soon after that I drove down the coast to Halcyon Yarn to teach a group of intrepid knitters all about yarn. While I brought my mobile petting zoo, alas, I forgot the camera. But a good time was had by all.

And then I hopped a flight for Philly where I finally got to experience Loop. I warned Craig that his stock of Alchemy was not safe, and ended up with a bulging suitcase packed with fluffy goodness.
And that pretty much brings us up to date, at least on the "external" physicalities of this winter. Internally, it really has been a bit of a hibernation.

It'll be ten years this summer since I left San Francisco and moved to Maine. My goal was to slow down the pace of my life, which felt like it was careening out of control.

Since then, I have found my footing in ways I didn't even dream of back in California. I now work in a field I love, and I am deeply creatively fulfilled. But there's no overlooking the fact that I have also - irony of ironies - re-created the very same frenzied work pace that caused me to cut and run 10 years ago. Or is it perhaps that the fast pace from which I escaped has caught up with my once-sacred knitting world?

Regardless, that's where I am today as I emerge from my long winter hibernation, pondering if it's possible to slow down the pace once again.


And how are you?


Bess said...

Ooooo lovely to hear you again. Since I've been robbed of snow two years running I love seeing the snowman pictures and the frosty window panes too.

We have green and gold lace springtime down here. You wouldn't believe how many fowers have already done their thing: Daffodils, scottish rose, peach blossoms, much of the viburnum ... What a difference a few hundred miles make.

hugs a bunch

Thanh said...

Dearest Clara: It was great seeing you at Halcyon. I spotted daffodils around Freeport today. Yours should be coming along soon.
Happy Spring!

Knitting Painter Woman said...

I really like Skeeball!!! If you ever get a chance to go from LB Airport to Avalon/Catalina, I think it's worth it. (Though I don't know if Avalon has a yarn store!!) I don't think they EVER have crocuses, but they NEVER have snow, either.

Marg in the Great White North said...

Great to hear from you by both blog and e-mail, Clara. And to enjoy your crocuses and the B.C. tuplips I bought earlier this week for my dining room table. That's as close as I'll get to Spring flowers for a while... :-(

Lanea said...

The frenzy builds right up, doesn't it? I think some of us are bound for it. I spent a whole year quitting things that weren't fulfilling or necessary or pleasing. I loved that year.

Linda said...

It is possible to slow down the pace - you did it once and you can again. Possibly you don't really want it to slow down? Maybe you need the business in your life (for challenge or something else) but need to plan more quiet breaks throughout the year.
Hang in there - spring is coming, even to the north.

purlewe said...

I agree with lanea. I've had a yr or 2 I shut things down. They come back.. but in general it is good to shed some old and move on. Linda is right though.. it creeps back up b'c we want some of it in our life, we just need to figure out what and pick and choose I guess.

it was wonderful to have you in philly. and I am jealous of those croissonts. seriously jealous.

CPAKnit said...

I am just coming out of hibernation, too, but a different kind. It's so wonderful to have the time to look around and enjoy the sights of life instead of being on the "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom" track 24/7. Welcome spring!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I LOVE skeeball!

Any chance you could just use some of those croissants as packing material when you come down to MD? That looks so yummy!

Hugs, Jen