Friday, August 03, 2007

Spinning Out

I miss home.

I've only been gone a few days, and I miss it.

I'm back in Michigan - about as homey as I can get in these 50 states since I was raised in Toledo (just south of the Michigan border) and lived briefly in Temperance, MI (the perfect place for a Methodist)

But it's not home.

Home is where Gerry and the kids are.

Today Hannah gets back from Girl Scout camp in Wisconsin, Gerry, Max and Joel (Gerry's brother) will meet her at the bus and then they're all going to a Twins game. Max's camp was supposed to go to the game yesterday, but it had been postponed for obvious reasons.

And, also for obvious reasons, I can't get those missing folks out of my mind. Or their families. I so wish I were home.

Nothing since 9/11 has felt so MUCH like 9/11 to me - I'm sure because we live in the Twin Cities - and I'm choming at the bit to get home.

The whole bridge collapse thing - and being away from Gerry at the same time - has kind of unbalanced me - set me off my spin for a bit.

So I have to readjust, take some time to center myself, and get back into my usual rotation.

Maybe I should take up spinning...

And, since bridges - falling - water - all of my childhood fears were heavy on my mind, I was NOT happy to be sitting on the Blue Water Bridge for almost an hour yesterday as the traffic moved S L O W L Y over to the US side. The driving equivalent of the TSA lines at the airport.

In fact, traffic moved SO slowly I was able to put my car in park for minutes at a time and get some knitting done on the bridge. I was the envy of many folks as they noticed what I was doing - I was NOT bored

(And if I hadn't had to pee so badly, I would have been pretty content! Now I understand why everyone was pulling off after the currency exchange to use the facilities!)

I was able to take a few minutes to work on my French, too!

I may not make friends by saying this, but I firmly believe in my gut (where our prez & Chertoff do much of their thinking) that so much of this 'safety' stuff is for show. It's to condition us to stand behind the yellow line - to make us more managable.

I think real, useful funding to insure our safety is NOT being spent - not on policing, not on border partrols, but instead on wireless wiretaps and secret information gathering. Dossier gathering, if you ask me. And no one has asked me.

And, obviously, money is NOT being spent on infrastructure. Look at the steam pipe explosion in NYC, the fires in Dallas and now the bridge in Minneapolis. An INTERSTATE (Federal) bridge.

Infrastructure isn't sexy, but maintenance is very necessary (any home owner knows that) - without maintenance, we fall apart. Think of the money we're spending in Iraq, and imagine if we spent that on infrastructure, schools, and healthcare.

I'm babbling - dangerously close to a rant - flirting with getting on a list myself.

Perhaps this IS how I center myself?

I also center myself by Driving - I enjoy it, more than flying (that's for sure!) - and it calms me. I drove from Sarnia to Lansing last night, checked into a hotel to spend an evening with just myself, Keith Olberman and my knitting.

Today I head over to Threadbear for an evening class, then two classes each day on Sat & Sun - I keep forgetting WHAT day it is - and then home! Home to pack, home to get us ready to go to Rochester, home to move lots of leftover stuff to the basement.

Monday we have a few meetings (bank for the loan papers, ALL for the cabinet approval, Textile Center to drop off RHK garments and a few other choice tasks.) Jennie the potter will be watching the kids for us Mon & Tues nights - she's very centered, herself. Must be all those spinning plates...

We'll drive down to Rochester, dropping off the dog at Pine Island on the way at a vet/boarding facility, and then we'll start the preparation process to get Gerry ready for the BMT.

A whirl of work and nerves - that's what I feel I'm made of these days.


london said...

take a deep breath, annie. everything is going to be ok. see you soon! london

August 03, 2007 12:34 PM  
B. said...

I wonder how many recognize that strip of pictures. It took me a minute to realize why they seemed familiar. Lovely Photoshop job on the portraits of Canadian Prime Ministers from our colourful currency.

August 03, 2007 1:13 PM  
Lynne said...

It's just not sexy to spend tax dollars on maintaining what we have. Sad isn't it. I too keep waking up thinking about those who have lost or are missing their loved ones. And the really sad part... it's only a matter of time before this happens again. :(

August 03, 2007 1:30 PM  
Carol said...

I grew up in Sarnia and remember many a line-up on the /bluewater bridge. My favorite thing about the bridge was standing under it to get fries at the chip truck!

August 03, 2007 2:22 PM  
Sharon said...

Oh Annie, we'll all be on that list, won't we. I don't tend to put my political reactions on my blog, but if I did...what YOU said! All that money that could fix a lot of stuff...being blown up for nothing. Sheesh! I'm a Lansingite...couldn't do any of your workshops this weekend, but next time you're here...:)

August 03, 2007 3:07 PM  
Minnie~Knits said...

I couldn't agree more on the importance of funding maintenance projects which will SAVE LIVES.
We're spending TRILLIONS in Iraq. Trillions.
Can anyone even fathom that number?
We spend trillions, and people are dying for this war, everyday.
But we won't spend billions or even millions to prevent senseless bridge collapses; to SAVE lives.
Kinda stupid.
Hell, it's pathetic. And a disgrace.
I live in Minneapolis and I am fairly outraged at the moment...

August 03, 2007 4:39 PM  
Christine said...

I don't live in MN, and have only been there once (in the deep winter and sorry, folks, it wasn't fun!)but my heart goes out to all the Twin Cities folks.

I do include my politics on my knitting blog, occasionally. They're as much a part of me as knitting is, although they don't bring me the peace that knitting does. And Annie? You're exactly right ~ all the money being destructively wasted in Iraq would be much better spent here. It would even make us safer, something Iraq has spectacularly failed to do. So, don't apologize. And don't worry about being on a "list". In this America, all the best people are.

August 03, 2007 4:48 PM  
Karen said...

I agree with you 100% - living in NYC and being here through (2) disasters (9/11 and the steampipe - I work on right there and I thought the building was coming down it shook so much)I think a lot of things are for show and time and money could be better spent - just my 2cents

Prayers sent to all the families with those missing from the bridge and another special prayer for you and Gerry and the kids :-)

August 03, 2007 5:49 PM  
Jenny said...

Not to mention the rolling blackouts in California, the power grid failure in NYC, and hurricane Katrina. I will point out that states often take a part in interstate maintenance, but the government gives them money for it. And then threaten to take it away when they are displeased. I lived in ATL for a good while (and I knitted with Lou and Doug!) and there was a crisis at the time about where to get the money to fix the 80 year old sewer system. I want to say thay had to fix it because the state was suing them, but I may be wrong about that. Anyway, why should we worry about the bridges over our roads or the pipes for our drinking water when there's illegal immigrant, gay marriage and partial birth abortions about? THAT is how they keep you behind the yellow line. Regular Magicians.

August 03, 2007 9:43 PM  
Anonymous said...

I enjoyed meeting you in Sarnia. I have been working on a Backyard Leaves scarf, and now the edging makes SO much more sense.
Enjoy your stay in Lansing, and have a safe trip home.

Cathy (the squirrel girl)

August 03, 2007 10:02 PM  
Lynn said...

I work in Dallas and live about 25 miles to the west, so I was affected by the fires. The explosions occurred about 45 minutes after I got to work, and the powers-that-be locked down the freeways for a half-mile radius from the fires until late that night.

My office is 1.3 miles away, and the co-workers with south-facing windows both heard/felt the explosions and saw the column of flame. I sit in the interior of the building, and I heard nothing and saw nothing until I went back on my morning break and looked out through one of those windows.

The fires occurred in a private business on Industrial Boulevard, which once upon a time was safely removed from the hub of commerce but has now been surrounded and over-arched by freeways and connecting spurs. The fires appear to be the result of operator error, not bureaucratic ineptitude. And thankfully, not of terrorism.

I think in our case the infrastructure worked rather well. Trains were re-routed, the buses ran, and anybody who drives into BigD learns multiple ways to get in and out. Yes, I had to get creative in order to go home at the end of the day, and yes, it took me about 45 minutes longer than normal, but everybody's native Southern politeness kicked in, and my neighbors on the freeways that *were* open were, well, neighborly. [And yes, I knitted while sitting for more than 30 seconds.]

I moved to TX almost 30 years ago, and road construction is a constant. Central Expressway is *almost* a pleasure to drive on now, and a managed HOV lane just opened as part of the expansion of I-30, which is my normal commute.

I share your horror about the bridge collapse -- I had some of those same fears as a child -- and your frustration with bureaucratic bungling.

Last month I put my youngest on a plane to visit one of her sisters out of state and had to mail half of her baggage to her because I couldn't find accurate information about her departure gate online. We went to the wrong end of the terminal and consequently made it to her gate too late to check her big bag.

I hope the teaching is pure joy and the trip home hassle-free.

August 03, 2007 11:51 PM  
shannon said...

I can't tell you how bummed I am right now, Annie. I was signed up for your class tonight and was so excited about it. I even knitted you a few little gifts to cheer you up. We've talked a bit about my father having MM and I couldn't wait to meet you and tell you how sorry I am for what you've been going through, how I pray for Gerry and your family every night and how excited I was to get to absorb just a bit of your knowledge. Unfortunately, I've caught a horrible case of bronchitis that turned into walking pneumonia this past week and didn't want to risk getting you sick at this critical time in Gerry's treatment. The worst thing I could imagine was you sick and unable to see Gerry b/c of being contagious and possibly infecting him while he's weak. So I sadly gave up the Threadbare class for the common good (I didn't want to get anyone else sick, either) I will mail the gifts I have made and will always regret not getting the opportunity to learn from you. You are truly one of my knitting heroes and I will leran the combination method, even if I have to buy your book and learn that way. Again, I'm so sorry I didn't get to meet you, but I'm glad I don't have worry if I've gotten you too ill to be with Gerry when he needs you the most. I hope you have a great time with the classes. :( :)

August 04, 2007 12:38 AM  
Anonymous said...

Nothing useful to say, but I wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I've been waffling for literally MONTHS about buying your corset top pattern, and came online this morning to buy it. So of course instead I bought the Red Carpet Convertible. (Though the Paypal will say that my husband bought it, since he's the one with the account...) Take care and my thoughts are with you!


August 04, 2007 8:04 AM  
TheKnittingTeen said...

I'm sorry that you away from home at a tragic moment like this. How did you get over your fear on the bridge, because I have a fear of flying but my sister is going to college out of state which means her graduation will be out of state and I'm TERRIFIED!!!

August 04, 2007 10:28 AM  
Annie said...

Hey Shannon!

I'm SO sorry I missed you!!! Any chance we could get together for drinks or something - I'll wear a mask!

Knittingteen -

The answer is, I wanted to get to the other side more than I was afraid! Fear is natural and part of life, but if it trips you up for doing all you want to do, just focus on how BADLY you want to do the thing you're being kept from!

August 04, 2007 12:01 PM  
Blogless Jean said...

Annie - so enjoyed your class last night at Threadbear. You're a great teacher, and I can't wait for you to come back again and teach us more good stuff! Jean

August 04, 2007 12:33 PM  
michwood said...

Hey, I always knit/crochet in slow traffic (at long red lights too), which gives me time to think about the failed health system, education sytem, and NOW our infrastructure.

Best wishes for your safe return home and in Gerry's successful treatment.

August 04, 2007 1:04 PM  
knitintensity said...

Have a safe trip home. I'll be thinking about all of you next week!

August 04, 2007 3:44 PM  
Gretchen said...

You have been so much on my mind these last few days, and I'm wishing you and your family the best. What you said here about the performative safety stuff reminded me of a speech Ann Richards gave a couple of years ago. Democracy Now aired it upon her passing last year, and I believe it would be a tonic for you to hear it. You can read the transcript here, but I recommend listening to it, because it's better when you can hear her. I do wish that she could be our next president, or maybe Secty of Transportation:

August 04, 2007 3:46 PM  
Gretchen said...

It occurs to me you might need a teaser to understand why you want to hear this talk by Ann Richards, so here's the opening. I just listened to it again to cheer myself up:

"All of us by our very nature want to resist from time to time...I think my resistance is really going to take place at the airport...The bastion of freedom now that is most in jeopardy is the freedom to be able to get on a plane without being hassled. And as we're stripping our clothes off and taking our shoes off and disrobing, so that we can keep the country safe for democracy in the hands of those people at TSA, I want to tell you of my experience in the last election."

Further on:
"I wear a garment that is called a bodysuit... and it has three snaps in the crotch."

Believe me, it's a great traveller's tale.

August 04, 2007 4:00 PM  
Lynda said...


With all that you are doing to get everyone ready and to take care of Gerry, don't forget to take care of yourself as well. Being strong and all of that is fine and well, but don't forget that sometimes to be able to give all that you have to give you have to take a wee bit of time to be "selfish" and recharge your batteries. Sometimes even just 15 minutes of "me" time will give you all that you need to get through the next hard thing.

August 04, 2007 5:51 PM  
Batty said...

Maybe you should take up spinning. I'm not very good at it, but it calms me when I'm too upset to concentrate on knitting. There's nothing zen about knitting lace, but with spinning, thinking instead of letting your hands do their thing is quickly rewarded with torn yarn or uneven yarn.

What happened in the Twin Cities is horrible. I don't even have the words to express how I feel about that.

August 04, 2007 7:16 PM  
Carina said...

What a lovely class we had today. Of course, I cried a bit on the way home--you are going through such a horrific, rough time, and I feel so bad that such an amazing person with such a great husband and lovely couple of kids is going through hell right now.

I hope your cherries are good tonight. I would've brought jam, but I worried about how you'd take it on the plane (I do freezer jam, so it has to stay cold). I forgot the salsa on my way out the door. Sorry.

I know our table was just happily puttering along during class today. You're a really talented teacher, and today was a relaxing but amazing class. Thank you!

August 04, 2007 7:53 PM  
ellen said...

Stay strong and good luck to all of you on your journey. We are all thinking of you often. If a person could be borne up on wings of love and prayer you would be feeling it now.

I agree (with so many) with you on our governmental priorities. It does not make us safer to deprive the traveling public of middle aged women in shoes with hand cream. I am sure they are laughing behind the scenes at the stupid things they make us do in the name of security while they are stealing our freedoms behind the curtain.

August 05, 2007 8:56 AM  
Liza Janco said...

"It's to condition us to stand behind the yellow line - to make us more managable..."

Amen Sisterfriend! And, the most statrling thing to me is how our children have been drawn into the mindset, assimilated, as it were, by the machine. They think nothing of being searched at school, or detained on some football field while dogs sniff at their belongings. Frightening.

August 05, 2007 9:37 AM  
sassafrass said...

hey Annie: Delurking to tell you that I used to work as an analyst for DDS and they only send approvals to DQB. They don't send denials b/c they don't care about them. The purpose of sending a case to DQB (the cases are chosen randomly) is to check the analyst's and MD's work and to make sure we're all (all state offices) are interpreting the rules the same way. So breathe if you can and G's case should be approved. Take care!! Jessie

August 05, 2007 12:10 PM  

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