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 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…)