Tag Archives: family

Another World

Before a couple of years ago, I really never thought about yard sales.

Never. Really.

And yet somehow, life has evolved in such a way that last summer, Raven and I went with his family to Madison-Bouckville Antique Festival (for multiple days) and I will occasionally look inside a junk shop and finally, tipper of toppers, we just spent Memorial Day weekend working on the annual yard sale that Raven’s mom and stepdad put on every year.

It’s part of a Thing, apparently, a big, coordinated effort by the towns in the area. It involves maps, and listings, and lots of people showing up ready to bargain. Bargaining terrifies me, because I’ll never say no. SURE, TAKE IT. I CAN DO IT FOR LESS THAN THAT! Thankfully, I wasn’t left in charge of answering anyone’s bargaining proposals for very long, or we would have all just given our crap away. Correction: I would have given everyone else’s crap away.

HOWEVER! It very nearly didn’t happen at all, when Saturday dawned windy, rainy and 38 degrees. Thirty. Eight. Degrees. On Memorial Day weekend. In upstate New York. And not only did it stay windy and rainy and right around 40 degrees, there was also sleet. On Memorial Day weekend. In upstate New York.

So Saturday was a bust, and we spent the day playing games and drinking tea, which is really my kind of weekend, much more so than yard saleing. But I am alone in that, because the compulsion is strong in everyone else in that family, and so we hauled ourselves out of bed at 5:30 (ok, 6) again on Sunday, and deemed the day decent-enough-to-sell-junk.

It was still cold, but less so, and so we stood outside and sold stuff (more stuff than they have ever sold at this annual sale – the take was over twice what it has been in previous years, so maybe there was a benefit to be reaped from the terrible weather on Saturday. SLEET!!! In MAY!!!) and the greatest benefit was from the people watching.

My favorite people was a boy, about 10, who is clearly going to spread his wings and leave Sullivan County A.S.A.F.P., and (we all hoped) head down to the city to be a theater major. He was wandering around with a friend, who didn’t seem as impressed by the things for sale, and told that friend “you clearly don’t know what AWESOME is.”

He fell in love with a little rose-gold and brass heart locket in the jewelry display, and when his father tried to buy it for him, I refused his money. “Please take it,” I begged, even when he continued trying to hand me the dollar. “Your kid is awesome.”



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Little Flowers

My sister had a baby this past weekend, her third girl.

Sadly, I am far, far away and couldn’t be there for the events or for giving the older nieces lots of hugs and buying them inappropriately over-the-top big-sister gifts. It’s driving me crazy. But thanks be to Facebook, my brother-in-law posted some pictures, including this one:


Which, I tell you what, really tore my heart right out of my chest because here is a picture I took almost six years ago:


It’s not really a secret that my sister’s oldest daughter is about my favorite person on the planet. If I have to choose one person to be on the desert island with me, sorry other-nieces-and-nephews (and husband) – it’s going to be my Spazmina.

(It just occurred to me to wonder – is it a desert island as in “sandy, dry, full of cactus” or desert as in deserted? This is probably a very important question!)

Anyway. Even though I haven’t met her yet (and just declared my primary allegiance to her oldest sister) I am just wild about this baby. I am wild about the way she looks just like her older sister, the middle one, except that she has curls. I am wild about how well-cooked she looks, totally edible. Nothing newborn scrawny about her, and yet still so tiny and perfectly squishy. I am wild to see how she grows up, what her accent will be like, how beloved she will be.

Sadly, that all has to wait. But until then, there’s Facebook. And for once, I am glad.

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The Blue(s) Scarf

Dear everyone,

Remember when I bought some really loud yarn for my dad’s birthday present? Well, it’s been turned into a truly garish scarf:

Dad's Scarf


I’m sorry. Is the sarcasm too much?

I’m not sorry. Sarcasm is my life’s blood.

I suppose that’s a rather narrow description of my life’s blood, but seriously, if I had to be earnest all of the time… well, I’d just rather not be.

Nonetheless, I sometimes think I’m more earnest than I ought to be. Like when I tell you that I’ve been berating myself for the last 15 hours or so, ever since I took that scarf off the blocking mat and realized that it still smelled – much too strongly – of the soap I washed it in. I had soaked and rinsed and soaked and rinsed and still it smells of Dr. Bronner’s. And this broke my heart, because I wanted to mail it this morning, to make sure that it got to my father in time for his birthday.

His birthday, when I feel terribly guilty that I am thousands of miles away from my family, when I am reminded that who knows how many more birthdays my parents will have? When I know that there are probably not too many birthday gifts coming his way from this scattered family, and I wanted very much to send something that showed how much I love him and hope to keep him warm.

It’s that kind of earnestness, I think, that keeps me from being anything other than what I am – a quiet person with a small life. Sarcasm may be my life’s blood, but saying too much that is true is my daily bread.




Filed under family, knitting

A hit

Dear everyone,

Remember this post? Of course you do, it was only a couple of days ago. Well, he has been sent and received and, apparently, enjoyed.

liam and seamus


There’s something so incredibly fun about seeing something you made out in the world with someone else. Like this sweater? I was super fond of it when I finished it, but I basically died when I saw it modeled:

Austin and sweater


Seriously, that face. With that sweater. I can’t deal.

So it turns out there are rewards to knitting for children, after all – rewards that may even, dare I say, be greater than knitting for grown ups? It’s the cute factor, I’m sure of it. The cute factor is ridiculous.



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Little Grandpa

After nearly two months of dithering, I finally found buttons to sew on a little sweater I made for my cousin’s baby.

And they are ADORABLE.



The sweater itself is pretty cute, I think:




The baby’s parents named him after our grandfather (by way of that grandfather’s middle name), who passed away almost two years ago – February 1, 2010. He was ornery, fierce, talented, smart, devoted, stubborn and unbreakable (just ask him!.) It will be interesting to see if Little A. ends up taking after his great-grandfather in any of those ways. The stubborn and unbreakable streak seems to run in our family, but a part of me hopes that time and loving kindness will weed that out as a family trait. As beneficial as it may be, it would be nice to see Little A. (and my nieces and nephews) grow up without the need to be ferocious world-fighters. I hope, with all my heart, that they find the world to be a loving place. This sweater is a symbol of that in my mind – and I hope it will be that for my cousins, as well.

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