Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Recovery

It's amazing how much I rely on my computer - and it's not a bad thing.

I miss not being able to interact with my online friends, contact vendors and customers, or just check in with Gerry.

I've spent the past day catching up on a lot of email (I apologize if you haven't received a reply if you've emailed me recently!) I'm just about there, but I wanted to catch up on my blog, too!

As I recovered my bearing on my computer, I had another chance to come home and see my family doing well in my absence. It's hard for all of them when I'm gone - hard for me, too.

But it's lovely to see them functioning so well. They're getting to know the Twin Cities better than I will - visiting museums and historic sites when I'm away - and I'm jealous of that. At least I got to take them to Punch Pizza - after London took me!

Being away from Gerry for a few days at a time allows me to see changes in him that might not be as apparent to the kids. We don't really have any other 'regular visitors' in our lives - a few friends who come by every two weeks or so, but nothing like when we lived in NJ and had the same folks dropping by every few days.

So I'm it as far as another adult seeing Gerry's recovery. And I can tell that it's wearing on Gerry - he's lonely for some companionship besides me, the kids and the pets.

Both of us are concerned that this back isn't better. He has a great deal of pain (putting up the storm windows this weekend instead of calling someone on Craig's list, like I suggested, didn't help, did it Mr. Landy..?)

We feel that we're in a waiting game, waiting to see what the Mayo clinic says on his day 100 visit, waiting for a call back from his oncologist so he can get a referral for a back specialist or physical therapy, waiting for him to get better.

He is better - we think.

Physically he's not as well as he was just before the transplant, which is a disappointment to both of us. But the transplant and chemo were really rough, and it's hard to recover from them.

Hannah calls him, "Little Dad" - lovingly - and he accepts it - also with love. I'm ashamed of how much his reduced height seems to matter to me, in the scheme of life it's so unimportant. I need to keep remembering that. It could be ugly and hard to take without the love.

Fly Girl
The travel is rough. I have always hated flying, for me it's just tolerable at best. I'm larger than the average woman, and worse - I have long, long legs that bang up against the seat in front of me. The ten minute manicure in the Cinci airport made it nicer, but still - air travel is a bore.

When I'm squished into my seat, I find myself dreaming of my comfortable easy chair back home, where I'd be surrounded by my yarn & drawing stuff.

I hate being on someone else's schedule, hate being told to put all liquids in a baggie (because the terrorists hate our flawless complextions)

And I hate walking for what feels like miles to go from gate to gate. Over carpet. Dragging luggage.

This week my trip to Virginia entailed a total of 4 flights on small commuter airlines, the kind with jets that can't pull up to a gate, so travelers are forced to walk outside on the tarmac and up the stairs onto the plane. The pig was very enjoyable, though.

Each time I got to the top of the stairs I'd hesitate, turn, and thrust both arms up into the air, waving the peace sign with both hands.

No one thought it was funny (except me and one woman who laughed in Cinncinati.)

Each time I deplaned I waved like one of the Beatles. Once again, not funny. Eh.

All those steps, all that cramming my legs into small spaces, led to a visit to the doc today because my knee went 'out' during the night while I was asleep. Rest, she says, is the thing.


One of the lovely things about flying, though, are the views. I'm child enough to want a window seat - and I get some nice shots of clouds and wings and landscapes and sunsets. And planes.

Travel, itself, I enjoy. I love being in new places; seeing new trees and rocks and people and food.

I love feeling how different folks and landscapes just - are - around the country. I'd love to travel the world!

How great that The Amazing Race is on again - love that show - but I'll miss it this Sunday as I'll be on a bus from Banff to Edmonton while it's on. Ironic, huh?

I love knitting while I travel - Max's Sox have been a lot of fun, knitting them and picturing his face when I show him my progress.

He loves them - loves the color, the yarn, the fact they're for HIM! They fit - but just - so I am going to take off the toes and knit them out longer. In green.

One of my dreams is to take Gerry and the kids to Scotland at some point in the next few years - hopefully as part of a teaching engagement - but it feels to me that it would be an important thing to do. I am so looking forward to the trees, rocks, lakes and views of Banff this weekend. A woman at Max's school's Silent Auction told me she would see me there. Odd - small world!

I believe there is still some space in some of the classes in Edmonton, too - check it out, if you're inclined!

Old Dominion
Virginia was, as always, quite lovely. The drive between Staunton & Charlottesville was very beautiful, and my view of the small, charming town of Staunton was so interesting - changing between day and night. Fascinating!

Joe was great - proud and nervous about his anniversary - and supported by such a great staff, friends and customers.

Joe gave me some Hollyhock seeds in a baggie that looked suspiciously like some remnant of my distant past. And I was quite happy it wasn't in the car when I had my aforementioned chat with the local constabulary.

Angel made a sensational carrot cake (I brought it home to Gerry and he finished it - he alone!) and some wonderful cookies.

We're being fully supported with home-baked goods - thank you, again, Amy! Please hide them from me!

The Blog That Refreshes
It's hard to express how much this blog has meant to me in terms of keeping my priorities straight. Knowing I'll be writing about certain situations, about my feelings and interactions, makes it easier to get through some of the harder parts in life.

Of course I don't write about EVERYTHING in my life - that would be impossible and imprudent. But I write about things that I want to share, and that covers quite a bit of my designing and teaching life - and a little of my personal life, too.

And it's fun. If life isn't about having fun and finding joy in unexpected places - like a porch in Staunton - then what's the point?

Reading about other folks' adventures, writing about my own, it's a connection that I enjoy making - especially in the fiber community.

Most especially, the warm embrace that I've felt - that my whole family has felt - has been a great comfort in this past year. There are days that are very hard - times when I'm away from home, away from Gerry and the kids, and I find my mind wandering to the scary place where I ask, "Is this what it will be like when ...?"

I don't go there often, and seldom on purpose.

But I'm human, and I can't help but ponder the future. It's useless, but there it is. I can't help but tie myself up in a ribbon of "What If's" - as silly as that is. Silly, but human.

We all think those things, I have the perspective of understanding that I [we] may be closer to the not-to-be-considered future than I once thought I was. We were.

But this type of pondering doesn't take center stage very often. It's more like the pattern on the wallpaper or the weave of a carpet. It's there, and I can get lost in the design if I let myself. Or I can allow it to augment our lives, bring a different understanding to every day events and make everything that we do that much sweeter.

I do have my breakdown moments. Usually not in front of anyone - except, perhaps, a class of 20 people in Austin, TX...

But for the most part I'm happier keeping the sorrow to myself, secure in the knowledge that if I need support in those times, I'll find it in my friends (many of whom I've met and know through my blog.)

So my inability to post for the past few days - oh, I suppose I could have, but I preferred not to until I caught up with my other work - forced me to think hard about what the blog has meant to me, especially in this year.

I've done this blog for over 5 years - since 2002 - and my blog has been one of the most rewarding relationships in my adult life.

17 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Annie, I found a pattern sharing site that has a scan of one of your books on it. This is a link to that person's picture site. Scan down the page a little and you'll see your book along the left side of the page. http://picasaweb.google.com/feoita

I hate people who commit copyright theft. Hope you're able to do something about, if you can.

November 13, 2007 10:47 PM  
Bonney said...

I admire your strength in sharing your true feelings. It's very brave of you to put it out there and I think you probably inspire a lot of us to be strong in our given situations. And probably remind a lot of us to wipe our noses and get on with it!! I hope you find comfort in the many people who don't know your family but send warm wishes for all the best. Thank you!

November 14, 2007 6:54 AM  
Judy said...

Annie, I miss seeing you at our knitting nights in Rochester, but I'm glad you don't HAVE to be there. (but if you have time when you come down for the 100th day visit, let me know...we can have coffee together if it's not knitting night).

Please do nestle yourself in the comfy chair (wow, nice nest!) and take good care of yourself.
Juggling the roles of wife, mother, caregiver, author, designer, blogger, teacher, family coordinator, and so on, doesn't give you a whole lot of "me" time to rest and recharge your batteries. Heck, I got tired just typing up what you do!

I continue to enjoy your blog and considering myself, in some small way, a bit of a friend. :D

November 14, 2007 7:30 AM  
Annie said...

Anon -

As long as they're not scanning and putting up the actual patterns, it's fine with me if they put the photos up. Perhaps it will encourage more folks to try some of the patterns in the book!

November 14, 2007 7:43 AM  
Jennifer said...

HI Annie,

I've missed your posts these past several days--and was worried. I am glad to see you have just been busy. Put your feet up, knit a few rows and look upon your sweet family knowing that people all over the country are wishing you peace and happiness. You have much to be thankful for this year.

November 14, 2007 7:56 AM  
Anonymous said...

Glad you're back home for at least a few days. Your blog is truly inspiring and puts everything into perspective. Take care and enjoy Edmonton! Joyce in Austin

November 14, 2007 8:27 AM  
Jen Lamb said...

Keep your chin up-there's alot of us pulling for you and your family!!I check your posts every day and this is the first time I have ever posted. My thoughts are with you. Stay strong girl! Lots of knitting and baked goods are always good for the soul!!

November 14, 2007 8:29 AM  
Needles said...

We're looking forward to seeing you up here in Edmonton. I'll be seeing you on Tuesday!

November 14, 2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous said...

Ok, if I see the entire book scanned anywhere (and I'm sure I will) Or any of your other books, I'll send you the link.

I just ran across that site last night when I was looking for a place to store some pictures of things I've crocheted, and was just a bit freaked out by the amount of copyright theft going on there.

I belong to a Yahoo Group that's trying to stop the people who scan pattern books and share with thousands of their closest friends. It just drives me nuts everytime I find a site that allows this kind of activity. Too bad that trying to stop copyright theft is like trying to hold back a tsunami.

November 14, 2007 11:12 AM  
knitncycle said...

Bah! Blogger has eaten my comments! So, I'll try to reconstruct. Glad you're back home for a bit Annie! I'm sorry I wasn't able to see you in Austin--unable to get someone to watch the kiddos. My dad and his wife live in VA and I just love it there! Maybe you could check with your insurer for therapeutic massage for Gerry's back pain. They may not cover it but it's worth a shot. Take care, Alicia.

November 14, 2007 11:27 AM  
Lynn said...

I like what you said, "my blog has been one of the most rewarding relationships in my adult life." I feel much the same about my own, and I have met such lovely people through blogging.

I wish you could hear the wind in the trees outside my window right now. It is such a luscious sound, the kind of thing that never fails to produce a deep upwelling of joy for me.

Sending you good wishes from North Texas.

[Word verification tonight is "ibezongb", which made me think "I be songbird". I think my synapses need dusting...]

November 14, 2007 5:37 PM  
Susan said...

Annie, I think it's only logical that sometimes you do the "what if" thinking. But also, at least in my experience, once I get it all figured out..it doesn't happen!
I was delighted to see your post. Like others, I was missing you and hoping you were getting rested up.

November 14, 2007 6:46 PM  
Dorothy said...

I would have burst out laughing if I had been boarding that plane with you. I'm still chuckling over the thought of it. My dad used to do the Nixon peace signs all the time, not while boarding a plane, just whenever the mood struck. It's these little flashes of recognition that bind us together and really make it a small world. Thank you so much for your blog!

November 14, 2007 8:17 PM  
PJ in NY said...

Keep up the peace signs and Beatle waves! As a Flight Attendant I would rather encouter a jazzed up happy customer than a grump. We really enjoy having a customer with a sense of humor so keep it coming. And remember...President Lincoln said "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be", and this applies to all aspects of our lives.

November 15, 2007 5:16 AM  
Nancy said...

When I made my plane reservations for Paris (I'm going to PARIS!), I took the window seat each time even though I know there are 3 other people in the group who would be happy to sit by the window too. Maybe I'll share, on my way to Paris (Did I tell you I'm going to Paris??!).

November 15, 2007 12:46 PM  
Leah M said...

Annie,
Your mani is pretty, your knitting is pretty, even your storm windows are pretty.

November 15, 2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,

hope you and the family do get to Scotland sometime in the future, it would be great if you were teaching in Glasgow, I would be up for that class!

Mo

November 23, 2007 3:28 PM  

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