Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gratutide of Home -
An Explanation in Several Parts

Home.

I love home so much.

When I was twelve years old my dad lost his business - he'd started a company to create the first single place hovercraft in the US, and had signed a personal note which - when called in - pretty much wiped us out. My dad was a genius, but not terribly savvy. And sometimes kind of a jerk.

Our parents didn't share all of this financial difficulty with my brother and me, they just sucked it up (and fought a lot.

We had a very, very tense household.

The financial tension was manifest in so many ways; frustration, alcohol abuse and - worst of all - violence. Everything came to a head when I was in the 7th grade.

One day not long after Thanksgiving I walked home from school and found a notice on our door that our house would be sold in a sheriff's auction in 30 days. What a thing for a twelve year old to see. I guess my parents were in denial, or thought they would be the first to get the news. I'm certain they didn't envision me finding out this way.

So we started moving from rented house to rented house. Then, after my father died, from apartment to apartment.

During high school I used to drive my blue/green/aqua AMC Rambler through an area of Toledo called Ottawa Hills and dream about having a real HOME someday.

I've heard that Virgos can be very home-centered, and that's certainly the case for me.


When I went off to college my mother and brother moved into a two bedroom apartment - why spend all that money for an extra bedroom that will only be used a few weeks a year? - and I realized that any home I'd have from then on would have to be of my making.

So I made lots of homes.

Wherever I lived, I'd strive to make it a 'nice' space - as well thought out and as well furnished as I could afford. This may have been part of why I became interested in set design. I like creating good floor plans with nice flow, plans that give everyone their own space and create comforting, restful areas to relax.

I love home.

I discovered knitting when I was 25.

And, more than religion, art, music, nature - more than anything that had so far defined me as a person - knitting felt like home to me.

I could find the same comfort - I could ease myself into the same frame of mind - as I'd find in my home on a cozy winter night. All this simply by pulling out some yarn and needles and knitting deep into my soul.

When I began knitting and designing for a living back in the early 80's, I think I became enmeshed in what I can only describe as the Queen Midas Syndrome.

For better or for worse, I turned what I loved best into gold. Unfortunately, I lacked the maturity to make this devil's bargin very well, and I found I was destroying what brought me the most joy.

For this, and for a few other reasons, I put away knitting for many years. During that time I began to more clearly define myself - my hopes, dreams, goals - and I found my heart, my Gerry.

Gerry and I wandered into each others lives in an unusual way, almost pre-destined, and I can't help but feel that both of our maternal grandmothers (who oddly resemble each other in family photographs, go figure...) somehow got together and gave us a little shove in each other's direction. A shidduch

Tomorrow: How Gerry and I Met (you're going to LOVE this...)

14 Comments:

kmkat said...

What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. ::grinning in anticipation of tomorrow's post::

November 22, 2007 11:16 AM  
Marie said...

Oh no! We have to wait?!:) I was just settling in with my tea and my sock for a long, satisfying post! But then we were warned - you did say "in several parts"!

November 22, 2007 11:50 AM  
Loren T said...

De-lurking to say hi and that I can't wait to hear the rest of your story! Have a happy Thanksgiving at home. You deserve it :)

November 22, 2007 7:13 PM  
Kay said...

Oh Annie, I truly understand. I'm glad you are now really home.

November 22, 2007 9:22 PM  
ellen said...

What a lovely, heartbreaking, but/and positive post. I know that doesn't make much sense. I just don't have better words. You had a tough row to hoe, but hoe it you did and you have created a beautiful garden that is your life, filled with the wonderful blooms that are your loved ones.

November 22, 2007 9:32 PM  
mwknitter said...

I can't wait to hear about how you met Gerry. It must have been so terrifying for 12 year old you to see that notice on your front door. I sometimes think there must be something to astrology. I too am a Virgo & very home centered.

November 22, 2007 9:38 PM  
TeAntae said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. You truly do have so much to be thankful for. Take care! =)

November 22, 2007 10:28 PM  
brendacknits said...

Hi Annie, thank you for sharing your story. It makes me appreciate my home and my husband even more. I want to be appreciative of every moment we have.

November 23, 2007 2:08 AM  
Leslie said...

I can't wait for the next installment :)

Here's hoping you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Mine was spent with by best friend since 1971 - the husband!

November 23, 2007 7:16 AM  
Debbie said...

Lovely post.

November 23, 2007 7:51 AM  
Lynn said...

Add me to the list of those who will tune in tomorrow. One of my favorites of your posts that I've read. Very, very nicely done.

November 23, 2007 8:42 AM  
knitncycle said...

Annie, I love reading your blog! I haven't met you but if you showed up on my doorstep, you'd be more than welcome in my home. I can't wait to hear how you met Gerry!

November 23, 2007 10:08 AM  
Betty in Jacksonville, FL said...

I found this poem at American Life in Poetry and thought it was appropriate.

by Kim Noriega

Heaven, 1963

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.

November 26, 2007 3:23 PM  
Annie said...

Wow, Betty - that poem blew me away.

November 26, 2007 4:34 PM  

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