Last week, the snow started to melt. We had several days of warm weather; ah, 32, 33, 34 degrees, so warm if you have been freezing. But it is amazing the effect it had on me. I was out of the house the second that the ice started to recede. Like watching a glacier melt, each segment higher on the thermometer increased my sense of excitement and well-being. Locals tell stories of spring fever mania here. I don’t doubt it. What surprises me is how fickle I am. I love the weather!
When we lived in California, a rainy day brought such joy! The summer lasted forever, and when the fall arrived, the leaves that fell just shriveled up and turned muddy brown. No golden oak, neon orange maple, panoramic vista of color. I hated it. So when the rain finally came, I brought out the chili pot, stoked the fire, and burrowed in. But it wasn’t the same. In New Jersey, rain met thunder. Not so in that neck of the woods. But anyway, I survived that short period of my life and blessedly, got back to New Jersey. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I begged my husband to move us back to New Jersey from the San Francisco Bay area. But you knew I was nuts.
I just love the change of seasons. And as much as I love the snow and winter and the lights of the holiday decorating, enough is enough. My last couple of blog posts were concerning my friends back east….was I losing it? Shopping for axes on ebay? Ten straight days in the house. It was starting to wear on me. Jim plowed a path to the bird feeders so I could trek out there daily, and one to the barn so I could get at my fibers. Then, the sun! Yippee!!!! I didn’t let any time pass before I was out the door.
First thing I did was make a beeline to the local yarn shop a week ago Friday night. It was the first time I visited an LYS here. It was very nice, clean, organized. But the bar is set really high. I try not to compare shops to mine, but its really difficult. The first thing I look for is Jamieson Shetland. Of course, no one has that. Then, I check out the color choices of Cascade 220. Sorry, but ten or twenty can’t cut it. I think I should stay out of yarn shops. Its not fair to them! I did, however, meet some really lovely women. One gal is learning to weave! She invited me to go to the Kalamazoo Handweavers Guild with her, and I accepted. Can’t wait.
The following Sunday, I drove to Allegan to my friend, Steve’s. What a great place! He has a huge farm with a big flock of Shetland sheep, and a big old farmhouse filled with treasures. Some of the things I was lusting after included an oil painting of deer in the forest (a recurring theme in my life right now) painted by his late father, and a cranberry glass punch bowl set. Oh my! Fifteen friendly men and women were there spinning and knitting. I had a great afternoon.
Wednesday, I drove to Fowlerville to see my mom and sisters for a few hours. We went to an antique mall where I found my first Michigan souvenir; a birch bark mug with a decal of an Indian girl on it, complete with feather in her hair. This sort of junk is right out of my childhood. I remember the log cabin shop with shelves of birch bark canoes, cow skin teepees and Indian dolls with leather, beaded dresses. Oh, I forgot that the same night I went to the yarn shop, I found a wooden tray with a carving of a deer on it. So I have the mug and the tray together. Total kitsch, but I love it.
On the way home from Fowlerville, I stopped at a coffee shop in Holland where the women from one of the Ravelry groups I belong to meet to knit. I really am so lucky to have met so many great knitters from joining the groups on Ravelry. I can’t imagine how lonely I would be if it weren’t for them.
Another Ravelry group met at my friends Mike and Heather on Saturday. They are also Shetland shepherds. Their house is a wonderful place, full of perfectly fabulous Mission furniture, built by Mike. The first time I met this group of knitters, who are all lovely, welcoming people. There were also a lot of children there. Not a big fan of kids, I have to say it was the best behaved bunch I have seen in a long, long time. They must get beatings. Before I knew it, the sun was starting to set and it was time to go. The drive home is entirely through the Allegan forest. I have to admit I was a little worried about something scary hopping out in front of my car.
Tonight, I FINALLY made it to yoga!!! My hairdresser, a lovely young woman who is in great shape in spite of just having a baby 7 months ago, came with me, I think so I would go. She knew how nervous I was about walking in alone. Well, it was great. My one bad hip replacement feels a little better already. I wasn’t able to do all the moves, but I stayed in the game for the full hour. There is so much standing up and getting down and up and down. Good lord! Lesson learned: don’t wear a girdle to your first yoga class.
Tomorrow, at my request for her company, my friend Betty is having Steve and I to her house for tea and knitting. Betty and Jim live in the woods in a cabin built by Jim’s dad in the 1950’s. It is one of those cozy places that, if I am not careful, will forget to leave. She has a big country kitchen with a round table that a lot of people can squeeze around. It is the perfect atmosphere to eat and chat and drink and laugh. I am looking forward to it. Because it started snowing again.
I have had ten days of wonderful, social, meaningful interaction with my family, new friends, and newer friends. This morning at breakfast I thanked Jim and told him how grateful I am that he was willing to try this place out. Although I hesitate to use the word ‘happy’, because that is so nebulous, I am really happy! Hehe, sorry. So ten days of incognito, ten days of social butterfly, and…..
It is supposed to snow for the next five days. My Jim says that the temperature on Thursday is supposed to go up to 17 degrees.