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?