Monday, August 06, 2007

Bearing Threads

There's this wonderful feeling when things go well - the small things, the big things, all the in-between things.

Like when you make a shopping list and go to the store and get everything on the list (and maybe only one or two extra things,) drive home and make every light - that's how this weekend felt!

Even though the turnout was slim in Canada, the reception was warm (the turnout - AND the weather) and welcoming. Meeting Terri from Feather your Nest and all of her wonderful students was a blast. I must admit that my time in Canada is a bit of a blur - but after the last three days, what WOULDN'T be!?

Rob & Matt made me feel just like family - in so many ways - especially if you understand that my family has an addiction to Diet Coke (it's genetic.) That's pretty much what flows through the veins of the folks at Threadbear!

My first class on Friday night was exceptional - oh, heck, ALL the classes were exceptional!

It's amazing when - out of FIVE classes - there were really no rough patches, no parts when I wanted to kick myself for not explaining a concept better, no student who just couldn't 'get it.'

Everybody got it in these classes - they were an amazing group!

When I teach more than three classes at a venue I fear folks will get tired of my stock jokes, stories, the little songs I sing. If the students at Threabear were tired of me, they were kind (and gentle) enough not to let me know.

Heaven knows I told the same damned jokes over and over, but there always seemed to be at least ONE person who hadn't heard it, and that seemed to make everyone enjoy it all over again!

This speaks to the dynamic of the shop - which really is a yarn mecca, one of the most amazing shops I've been in.

Once you walk in the door, you adopt the sense of humor of a 14-year old boy. Luckily, I happen to enjoy that humor, some of the funniest people I know are 14-year old boys.

The weekend felt like a baseball game - I'd set up a joke, Rob would overhear me from across the store and knock it out of the park.

And speaking of ball games, on Saturday night while the guys had 'movie night' at the shop, I retired to their home to rest a bit and watch the fireworks at the ball field across the river. The Lansing Lugnuts know how to put on a good show!

The view from Rob & Matt's house is quite lovely - this is the view earlier in the afternoon - before the sun went down (note that I shot this through a screen...)

But so much laughter is wearying - so much teaching is rough. I think an hour of hardcore instruction is equivalent to 3 hours of design work. Teaching 4 days in a row (all but one a full days) is utterly exhausting.

In the last class today I thought one of the students was about to have an aneurysm during the cabling without a cable needle part of the class. She laughed so hard she almost didn't come up for air! Thank heavens we had an EMT in the class on 'standby'!

When I'm tired I become emotional - I was in tears when I said goodbye to Rob - so much sympathy, so much love from the students, it all takes it's toll - and drove to the airport, dropped off the car, caught my plane and was home by 10:30. Like clockwork. Here's an shot of one of the cops at the airport on his little Segue scooter.

Seeing Lynn & Jillian, getting to finally meet Carina (Gerry is NUTS over the cherries - THANK YOU!) receiving a six-pack of Blue Moon (YUM) from Sue (I couldn't take them on the plane - go back to the shop and have one, Sue!) and sitting here stuffing my face with delicious brownies from --- (oh, crap, I forget your name - dang - with the 3 & 8 year olds, the adorable redheads - help me!)

All of these loving gifts are both electrifying and calming - it's so odd that folks know me - read me - get me - in a wonderful & unexpected way.

I can't figure out why I deserve so much love, but I will gladly take it - and hope that I'm able to give it back with my full, whole heart soon!

We're pretty much squared away here for our adventure. The kids are packed, Gerry and I will pack up the car tomorrow after the kids are at camp, and after running a few errands we'll probably end up in Rochester late in the day.

Gerry just admitted to me that he's excited - he paused and I said, "In a weird way."

He said, "I was about to say the same thing!"

I told him, "We've been married too long!" Just one of those silly knee jerk things you say.

He said, "Not long enough."

These are the times when we know that we both get how serious it all is.

We don't talk about it much, the "bad" possibility, but the understanding is so complete between ourselves that we don't need to discuss it.

As I was falling asleep last night in an odd bed, alone, far from home, the implications of this whole thing socked me so hard it knocked the wind out of me - I couldn't even sob.


Minnie~Knits said...

Please tell me you meant to type sock jokes, and not stock jokes...or maybe you are a serious wall-street type and I just never noticed before...
Seriously, as I sit here sipping my Diet Coke, waaaay past my bedtime, I wish you and yours the very best. My fingers are crossed so hard it hurts.
From one lifelong Minnesotan to another (newer one), I am pulling for you...

August 06, 2007 1:47 AM  
Penny said...

Thinking good thoughts and sending them all your way... {hugs}

August 06, 2007 6:56 AM  
Leslie said...

My prayers, hopes and hugs to you and Gerry.

It's my 37th anniversary today and as Gerry said, it's not been long enough. May you get to 37 years too.

August 06, 2007 7:33 AM  
Gaugina said...

'Tis the brownie-bearer Jennifer. Clara loves the red-headed troll. Thanks so much for the new tricks and renewed soul. May all of your goodness come back to you and Gerry tenfold. Warm, healthful wishes to everyone!

August 06, 2007 8:09 AM  
Kim-n-Cocoa said...


I have never met you (but if you come to Houston I'm there.) but you really make me want to strive to be a better person.

Thank you.

You two are in my thoughts.

August 06, 2007 8:42 AM  
Wannietta said...

For me it's Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke - OMG, I just can't get enough of that stuff!! (It's even better - if you can imagine that - with a shot of Appleton's in it)

Marriage is the ultimate proof for the adage "you can't get enough of a good thing".

August 06, 2007 9:14 AM  
Jan said...

My husband and I are always saying to each other "you're thinking my thoughts"!

August 06, 2007 9:19 AM  
Kristen said...

Yes, teaching is exhausting. At the end of my first week of full-time college teaching, I was more tired than I thought it possible to be.

Good luck to you and Gerry with the "weirdly exciting" next stage of his treatment, and may you both reach the point where "we've been married too long" goes back to being just a harmless joke.

August 06, 2007 9:22 AM  
Marin said...

keep. breathing.

I'll help.


August 06, 2007 11:02 AM  
Nancy said...

I'll be thinking about all of you in these upcoming weeks and praying for the best outcome.

August 06, 2007 12:41 PM  
Anonymous said...

I hate feeling helpless.
Being far away and on the outside of all you're going through, I can't help it. I know the kind words and small gifts of comfort we send help lift your spirits, but my deepest wish is that we were somehow able to control the outcome with our intentions. To make Gerry better. To tell you it's going to be ok and know it for sure. Unfortunately all we can do is send our love and trust everything will work out.
May you be married too long and at the same time not long enough for decades to come.

August 06, 2007 2:38 PM  
BalletMommy said...

I've got Gerry, you and your family in my thoughts and prayers - every day. I could tell you to relax, but you won't. Just know that you are loved by so many and we are with you.

August 06, 2007 3:11 PM  
susanc said...

I'm glad you had such a great weekend. I'm keeping you, Gerry, Hannah, and Max in my thoughts and prayers. Have a safe trip down to Rochester. I know it must be somewhat of a relief to finally get this process started. We're here for you!

August 06, 2007 3:15 PM  
Laura said...

Hang in there girl - you have so many gifts - designing, writing, knitting - and that fact that you share them with us & share your life is awesome.
Hang in there - feel the love!

August 06, 2007 3:47 PM  
Robin said...

So happy that your weekend was great. You deserved that. My thoughts are with you and yours. Hang tough Annie!!

August 06, 2007 4:58 PM  
Ellen in Minnetonka said...

I sure can't wait to take a class from you, Annie.

And I saw The Book at the Ridgedale Borders! They had mistakenly shelved it spine out. I corrected it so that the entire cover faced out. I will have to check in on them regularly and make sure they are properly displaying it. :-)

I would have bought one, but my daughter hinted that I was getting something for my birthday back in July that wasn't available to the general public yet. I figure it is either your book or Crazy Aunt Purl's, and it is driving me nuts not to buy either one until I find out!

Peace and strength to you all. I'm thinking of you daily.

August 06, 2007 7:47 PM  
HeadKnitwit said...

You got flattened for a moment. Moving forward is action and positive and exciting even when you are moving into the unknown. Keep getting up and going Annie...

August 07, 2007 1:08 AM  
Chrysler Museum Power Users said...

Isn't it amazing - this community?

I think you may have a few karma points under your belt - my guess is you're always paying it forward. I have absolutely no doubt you'll end up ahead, and the love will continue in all directions.

I'm excited in a weird way too for you to start this trip and this part of the journey - you'll certainly be traveling with a lot of prayers and all my good energies! Your team is quite powerful - you and Gerry and the kids!!

August 07, 2007 5:37 AM  
...e... said...

you know you've lost it when you catch youself checking this for how she holds her yarn:

i knit the same way, only slower

August 07, 2007 9:39 AM  
Knitserland said...

I just moved away from that area of Michigan- darn, I would have loved to come to your classes. A friend did and she said it was great!

Thinking of your husband and family during this difficult week.

August 07, 2007 10:56 AM  
Beth said...

Still thinking good thoughts for you.
I'm sorry I missed you this weekend but Galina was teaching at my shop and it probably would be bad form to leave your own shop to go to another for a different instructor.
I saw your circle jacket is in the current Vogue Knitting as a classic pattern - you go girl. I love that jacket and wear mine a lot both ways!
Maybe if you're coming through again I'll get to finally meet you.
Hang in there and hug those kids.

August 07, 2007 1:27 PM  
Jeanne said...

About pain/grieving: Until my parents died, I wasn't aware of the variations in pain. There is tolerable pain, like stubbing one's toe. There is nearly intolerable pain such as what one feels after a serious accident or loss which involves hysterical sobbing.

Last year, I discovered a level at which the pain is so intense it's beyond one's capability to be able to feel it. It pushes beyond the breaking point. In a self-preservation effort, the emotions go completely numb because to allow oneself to experience it would cause one's heads to explode.

That's where I was with my grief: unable to cry because it actually hurt TOO much, and sobbing did nothing to bring relief. I feel for you both. I wish there was something I could do to make it all go away.

August 07, 2007 3:49 PM  
Carina said...

Sorry I'm late to the comments (I had my class tonight that I had to prep for). We loved you, Annie. One of my students tonight was in your Sunday afternoon class, and she was just in awe and said you were hilarious. See, it did go well. :-)

I'm glad he likes the cherries. They were the best I found this summer. You both deserve the best. I wish I could've given you some jam, but you couldn't fly with it. *sigh*

August 07, 2007 9:12 PM  
Anonymous said...

Wishing you all the best. So glad that Gerry is able to begin his treatment. Hope all goes well.

August 09, 2007 5:37 PM  
normanack said...

I just have to tell you again how much I enjoyed your class at Threadbear. (I might have been the one you described as having an aneurysm -- my mind was totally in the gutter during the cabling part!)
You have an amazing presence -- what do we call it, charisma? aura? Whatever you call it, you're a joy to be around. And you have a wicked, wicked sense of humor. Oh, and I learned an absolute ton!
Thank you. Y'all come back to Threadbear, hear?

August 09, 2007 9:53 PM  
laurie said...

finally managed to make my way over here...only took me a week to remember i'd forgotten something ;-)

from the last class who thoroughly enjoyed you i say thank you...for teaching the extra session even though you were exhausted and missing your family, and laughing at our attempts to be funny...i guarantee you i will NEVER look at Enablex or "the back door" the same way again *grin*

i've ripped out the shop model i was working on during break and started it over in combination--and am amazed at how much more even my stitches are...i'm sure the boys will appreciate it too ;-)

thinking very good thoughts for you all

laurie (aka Enablex lol)

August 10, 2007 11:39 PM  

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