Saturday, July 07, 2007

Time Out & Time In

I'm running away today - I packed my two little bags and I got as far as the local Caribou Coffee (which was, quite honestly, my destination...)

I've settled in, a cup of tea, a scone - and later a frosty chocolate drink - and 3 hours later I'm still here, getting more work done in the air conditioning than I've achieved in hours in our steamy, humid home. Thank heaven the folks are nice about me hanging around. I lend local color (my current project is intarsia)

It's hot here - it's hot everywhere. It's July 7th - day of the Live Earth Concert - and anyone who says the climate hasn't altered in the past century (most dramatically in the last decade) is a fool.

There, I've said it. Don't be shocked, I also believe in evolution. And gravity (both are theories) I continue to be amazed that out of the nine men running for the Republican nomination, three say they don't believe in it (evolution, not gravity - although I have my doubts.)

But I digress. I'm obviously enjoying the air conditioning waaaay too much. Perhaps it's the eccentric guy with red suspenders, a fixture at this Caribou Coffe, who hums to himself and plays with a rubber ducky while he sits in the air conditioning next to me. That ducky may have worn me down. I wonder if he believes in evolution?

He was annoying to me when he first walked in, but I've become used to him. Now he's bouncing a rubber ball and I'm finding it weirdly soothing. A very chic couple came in and scowled at him - I found myself being oddly defensive (I didn't say anything, but I was fully prepared to scowl back at them if they looked over at me in solidarity.)

So while I've been sitting here I've completed the VK Intarsia shawl except for crochet chain stitch "fringe" around the edge of the piece (not fringe at all, just an edging) and I'm ready to go home and give it a good steam block. Which seems absolutely redundant given the temperature in our house. The walk back home will probably block the darned thing.

How soon we forget, huh? This was typical summer weather back in NJ, where it's roughly the same temperature. Looking at accuweather it's supposed to STAY that way for most of July in NJ, but here after Monday we go back to the 80's during the day, 50/60's at night. I wonder if I feel the heat so bad on the hot days because so many of the other days are temperate and my body just can't get used to it like back in NJ?

At any rate, it's MUCH nicer to work on a wool shawl with lots of embroidery in a cool place - and now it's pretty much done and I'm pretty much happy. I'd show you, but then I'd have to kill you. Just kidding. I kid because I love. And it's hot.

After this I have a few other things to knit up - not killer deadlines, but things coming up that should be finished by the end of this month, next month and mid-Sept. I'll be teaching in Michigan at Threadbear and Ontario at Feather Your Nest in early August, returning here the day before we go down to Rochester. It will be air conditioned at the Mayo - what a concept, spending August in an air conditioned place! I expect to get a LOT of work finished while I'm there!

I've canceled a few teaching engagements in the next few weeks, check my appearances calendar to see what my current teaching dates are.

It's so hard to try to project the whole future-with-Gerry thing. In the immediate future, I have to either decide if I can fulfill my engagements, or cancel them. Everyone has been SO kind, but even so I still have to earn a living, and the teaching keeps me connected and sane in a way other parts of my life don't.

For the most parts the shops where I'm teaching have gone out of their way to write and say, "We know things are up in the air now - we're willing to wait to hear how they turn out, and we hope for the best!" I am SO grateful to these shops.

In just one case a shop wrote informing me that folks weren't signing up because they thought I'd be canceling my engagement - which I certainly was NOT planning on doing!

My sense was that this particular owner really needed a guarantee, which I couldn't give, and I felt immense pressure. There's a chance with ANY engagement that a cancellation is possible - but the chances are greater in the next few months for me.

I know how hard the waiting and not knowing is for me - I can't expect someone whose income is in part based on me showing up and teaching to bear the same burden of not knowing.

The pressure was strong, so I went ahead and canceled this particular engagement. The pressure was lifted and I felt much better.

And here's a new lesson. I'd never thought of it before, but now I know exactly what someone in my position needs to hear; We'll wait for you, we're here for you, don't feel pressured to give us guarantees that you can't make.

The fact that so many yarn shop owners instinctively know to write and say this is a tremendous gift. The kindness of yarn shops is amazing.

Go visit your local shop - it's probably air conditioned!


Pat said...

Ah, air conditioning is a good thing! Of course, here in Alaska where people don't believe it gets hot (it does, really!) there is not much AC even in commercial buildings.

I was curious as to what kind of stem cell treatment Gerry is having - his own cell, or a donor, and if the latter, related or not? If it's his own, the recovery will be faster. My husband had both, and was much better within a month or 6 weeks from the first, which was with his own cells. Then 3 months later they did it to him all again, and he had a transplant of his sister's cells. That recovery took much much longer. It was over a year before he felt really well. I suspect Gerry is having his own cells given that you haven't mentioned a donor, so his recovery should go quicker.

You're both in my thoughts and prayers.

July 07, 2007 3:28 PM  
fritzl said...

Um, Annie,
I live in NJ in Morris County, have a mom in So. Org, and a DD in Minneapolis. I hate to say this but I've found that the summers in the TCs are hotter and more humid than in NJ.
As much as I love Minneapolis, I gotta say that NJ is better on the climate issue.
Now I'll go hide while you all yell at me.

July 07, 2007 5:40 PM  
Annie said...

Gerry's having a blood marrow transplant from his own cells - that's usually how they do it for Multiple Myeloma.

Ruth - I won't yell at you, but I find the summer here SO much better than in NJ! There have been some hot days, but not the weeks, and weeks like we had back in South Orange.

It also feels much less humid here. Folks here think it's humid, but not in comparison to Newark NJ / South Orange humid!

July 07, 2007 5:52 PM  
ellen said...

Dear Annie,
I am so glad that you were able to find some space, cool space, and to get some things done. I wanted to respond to your last post, but as usual, I felt the lack of words. I also realized that I was danged angry at the person who emailed you about the "questionable" kitchen remodel. Late last night I would have probably said too many unkind words to her.
Here is something which I wish I could claim were my words. Alas, they are not, but they are at the heart of what I believe we should strive for and embrace: "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?" (George Eliot)
I know that were the tables turned, were you in a position to help someone, anyone, you would do it in a heartbeat.

July 07, 2007 6:28 PM  
Pat said...

Annie - you're right, a lot of MM is treated that way. My husband was part of an MM study trying new combinations of procedures, so he had the transplant of his own cells, then another round of high-dose chemo and one full body radiation treatment, followed by a transplant of his sister's stem cells. All was done on an out-patient basis. His disease, like Gerry's, hit him in his back, and he is now 5" shorter, but fortunately still with us 8 years post-diagnosis (7 years post transplant) though we had the 1-3 year survival rate given us too. I pray that Gerry does as well. He is younger than my husband was (54 at the time) which never hurts.

July 07, 2007 7:40 PM  
dragon knitter said...

we've been watching live earth off & on all day, to include online, lol. right now we're watching the smashing pumpkins.

and it was a boiler here today. 101 according to my car themometer @ 5pm. ugh. however, once we get through tomorrow (similar temps, sigh), it's supposed to get back down into the 80's, and rain!

July 07, 2007 8:54 PM  
fritzl said...

Oh Dear, Annie,
I think the NJ/MN weather thing might be my fault. Every time I go to MN in summer, it's so much worse than NJ. So, I think I'm bringing it on.

So, here's a heads-up: I'm flying in on Wed, July 18. Prepare yourselves for a nasty heat wave.

Ruth in NJ

July 07, 2007 10:32 PM  
Annie said...

Oh, Ruth -

Promise me you'll use your climatic control powers only for GOOD!

July 08, 2007 1:10 AM  
Yosemite said...

Hi Annie,

I must be on another planet or something. I just found your blog through a friends blog. I tried to make a donation for the RCC. I also tried to email you directly and my email bounced. Please don't snail mail me the pattern? I downloaded it and therefore no need to pop it in the mail.

July 08, 2007 5:46 AM  
fritzl said...

Hi, Annie,
My CLIMATE powers have deserted me at the moment: today it's supposed to be 96 deg. and tomorrow 100 deg. You have the better weather.

It might be a Murphy's Law thing: whatever lane you're in, it will be the slowest. So wherever I am, it might be the hottest? except that the last few days were cool.

I can't imagine living in Nevada or Arizona!

July 08, 2007 7:51 AM  
PJ in NY said...

Hmm...I wish we had you and other renowned knit instructors/authors visit on long island (NY)... you would be more that worth waiting for.
Some peoplen don't know how lucky they are not to have met any life altering family medical situations up close and personal - so they are bit thin on the faith, patience and support ralley- their loss really -I hope any one who treats you with less than complete compassion never has to learn the hard way how much that compassion is appreciated.
Do you have a publishing date for your intarsia shawl for VK? I am dying to see the pattern and work it up - it looks marvelous.

July 08, 2007 8:00 AM  
Carol said...

Hmmm, we are still waiting for summer up here in Ontario East. I am actually a bit jealous of your weather. As for the the kind yarn shop owners? I'll bet that if you scratch 10 knitters, 9.9 of them will be caring, empathetic people who understand that life throws curves! Maybe it's the soothing power of the zen-like knitting process....Or maybe it's just that we've all had to rip out projects when they threw us a curve ball....

July 08, 2007 10:25 AM  
susanc said...


I'm so glad you were able to get a lot of work done in and in air conditioning! Here in Southern California it gets hot, but it's not humid like it is where you are. We do have our humid days and I couldn't imagine having to live with it all during the summer on top of the heat. It seems the older I get, the more the heat bothers me. I don't remember it bothering me so much when I was in my 20s.

I will continue to keep you, Gerry, Hannah, and Max in my thoughts and prayers.


July 08, 2007 10:36 AM  

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