Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A little looking back.

"Iced in" here in northeast New York.  I do not dare go out the door.  I know if I fell my head would gravitate to the pavement first.
Murphy's Law.
So I am baking my annual huge batch of Greek Honey cookies, and the house smells 'loverly'.  I will then distribute them QUICKLY because otherwise, I will eat way too many.  They are so addictive.

The GOOD NEWS for the WEEK............Next is home!!!!!
He must have gotten himself snowed in someplace, and didn't want to plow through the deep snow.
He was gone for several days, and L and I both worried that the fox had gotten him.
But nope, he's back, loud and lovable as ever.

What a relief.

I finally took the finished products off the AVL, just because I knew what  hemming job I had facing me, and figured it might be smarter to break it up.  So I hemmed 24 towels and 6 table runners, and put them on my web site.  Now I'll finish the rest of the warp.

I am still not sick of this pattern.  It quite mesmerizes me while I am weaving.
Not a bad thing.

I love the 8/2 unmercerized cotton, they make hefty, thirsty towels.  But I also love the feel of the Cottolin, which is a cotton/linen blend, so I think I am going to do some towels in that next time around.

I just read The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan.  It was hard to put down.  A good read that definitely pulls you into another world for a space of time.  Also not a bad thing.

Maybe it's the time of year, or the circumstances of this particular year, but I find myself meditative, contemplative, reminiscent......... more than usual.
Maybe it's getting older.  Thinking of times past, people gone, parts of my life that only exist in my mind and heart, and sometimes, in my dreams.
Ah.  How life changes over the years.  It is good, I think, that you don't really know that, when you're young.  No matter how much someone may tell you, you don't really get it until you are older, and so much of your life is history.
And maybe it's because there is a lot more history to remember, than there is future to anticipate.
It's just the way it is.

My mother wrote in a diary faithfully, from 1969 to just a couple of months before she died.
I used to joke with her, that no one would ever read them.
Not so funny now, not at all.
I've read them through 1975.
On one hand, it helps me to remember the way my mother was, in her forties, and fifties......instead of in her eighties, like I knew her at the end of her life.
She was a gardener extraordinaire, and a seamstress.  She was a doting mother of one: me.  And she adored her granddaughters from the minute they were born.
She was a huge part of our lives, for so long.
And reading them, also reminds me of my own life, and how things were back then.  So different.
Names, places, events, things that I had forgotten, were suddenly right before my eyes again.

But I will never understand, really, my mother's style of writing.
It certainly does not resemble mine.
She talked of meals and bowling and gardening and dishes and ironing and "puttering" and a myriad of daily things.   If I had a dollar for every time she said she made tea, I would be a rich woman.
It is hard to read, because you have to plow through all the trivia.   In fact, if you weren't there, and you didn't know what really happened, you could never guess from her diaries.  You would think that this woman just had a boring life of a bunch of repetitive things.
You wouldn't know about her joys.
Or her sorrows.
Or her doubts.
None of that.
She referred to troublesome, sad, disruptive, painful, and even wonderful events, with one liners.
And never how she felt about any of it.
And the real disturbing things.........she left those out completely.  I could read a reference to going here or there, and know what was unspoken, but other than that, her life reads like a monologue of days.
There were times, reading it, when I was stunned.  I wanted to yell at her, WHAT?   You didn't even mention what happened???  You didn't even say how we cried???  How we hurt??  How angry you were???  How our lives were impacted???
No, nothing.
I wish now that I had read them while she was alive.  One at a time.  I could have gone in to her room, and asked her, "Mom, how did this really make you feel?"
And strangely enough, she would have told me.
But she wouldn't write it down.
I guess the part that really gets to me, is that she wasn't a 'flat' person.  She was very passionate about what she loved, and what she didn't.  But apparently, there was something that did not allow it to flow from her pen.  For reasons, now, that I will never really know.

                                 My mother with my daughter, Morgan.

And I guess I am just the opposite.  NO FILTER, I've been  accused of having.
I'm just me, and I'm out there, pretty much exposed for much of the time.
And the people who love me, well, they just do.  And the people that don't, well, they don't.
And they don't have to read my blatherings.

 I'm pretty sure though, that if my daughters ever go back to read my blog, to see how I felt about
something or other, it won't be a mystery.   They'll know.
And that's not a bad thing either.


Thistle Cove Farm said...

Puttering...I adore puttering and can do it with the best! Since Dave died, I putter a lot but the sad result is, have nothing much to show for it.
Loved reading about your Mother's diaries and glad you're reading them. They help fill in the gaps. You're wise to not go outside in bad weather; I had a fall a few days ago and have not worn "those" boots since!

Avalanche Looms / Susan Johnson said...

Gorgeous picture of you and your mom! I teared up seeing it. I'm glad you're a pretty much no filter writer, and I wish I wrote more like that.

TexWisGirl said...

i am glad next is back!

and those cookies look delicious.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home Next, we were all very worried about your little fat cat face. Whew, you are safe and sound. Glad that is over.

Hilary, I am sending you lots of good wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year full of head ache free days.

One of these days I am gonna have to make a trip and stop into your shop to see all the cats, looms, you and of course your wonderful stove! hugs!

Hilary said...

That is my youngest daughter with my Mom......I don't look nearly that good!!!

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

So happy that Next is back, the little wandering rascal. Tell him to stay home! I wonder if your mom didn't mention any troubles because she comes from a generation who didn't speak about their problems. Keep it inside, keep it to the family, don't let anyone (including the diary) know about what's wrong. I don't think women of her generation were raised to express themselves in anything other than niceties. Did I spell that correctly? Enjoy your holidays and cover that sweet little baby with kisses.

Hilary said...

I can relate to your mom. My blog doesn't reveal my deepest thoughts and feelings. It simply reveals my camera's eye. My kids wouldn't know much about my inner feelings by reading my blog but I do share that with them face to face.. to a point. Your mother wrote what she felt she wanted others to know. You know there was more and that was probably good enough for her.

No doubt you're still hugging and kissing Next every day since his return. :)

And oh how I remember those delicious cookies. I think it's wise to dispatch them as quickly as possible. Yum!

Deb said...

I'm so glad 'the cat came back' even if it wasn't the next day. He knows where the grass is greener. I think having your mom's diaries is so amazing. My mom was very private, too and would never have wanted anyone but her closest friend to know any more of her life but that which she chose to share. Which, by the way, wasn't much. Still, what a treasure you now have in her writing. I wish you and your beautiful family a very Merry Christmas, Hilary. I hope your headache will be a thing of the past come the new year. Hugs, Deb

Gayle said...

So very happy to hear about Next. I am relieved.

It is always good to read what you write.

Merry Christmas.

candace said...

Hilary, I read your blog, have been reading it for a few years and I appreciate all that you share. We are contemporaries. When you express yourself about your life's challenges and joys and you share your inner reflections, I feel such empathy and communion with you. I have left a few comments in the past but mostly just read. So I want to say thank you for your honesty, your courage, and for all that you share about your beautiful life.

candace said...

Hilary, I read your blog, have been reading it for a few years and I appreciate all that you share. We are contemporaries. When you express yourself about your life's challenges and joys and you share your inner reflections, I feel such empathy and communion with you. I have left a few comments in the past but mostly just read. So I want to say thank you for your honesty, your courage, and for all that you share about your beautiful life.

candace said...

Hilary, I read your blog, have been reading it for a few years and I appreciate all that you share. We are contemporaries. When you express yourself about your life's challenges and joys and you share your inner reflections, I feel such empathy and communion with you. I have left a few comments in the past but mostly just read. So I want to say thank you for your honesty, your courage, and for all that you share about your beautiful life.

Restless Knitter said...

So glad to hear that Next is back!

I kept a diary in my "previous lives". My grandmother, who I lived with, would tell my friends parents what I'd written, who would in turn tell my friends. My ex-husband would use them to throw things in my face and make everything my fault. I stopped writing in diaries or journals. I think of keeping one now and I know that all that would come out would be the mundane boring things. While your mother's reasons may have been different, I can also sympathize with why there weren't more feelings in there. It's not always easy.

claudia said...

I'm so happy to hear that Next came home. He did not need to be away from you at this time of year.
I'm starting to putter. I'm not getting much done, in fact, I hardly went to work this past two weeks. My dad passed. I am relieved, sad, lonely, hurt, and yet very happy that he is able to walk again and is with my mom dancing with the stars...literally. I am owning my feelings, each minute. Almost savoring them, but to write them down? I don't know if it would come across correctly. I think I understand your mom's way of writing.
Your daughter Morgan is beautiful and that picture with her grandma is precious!
Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Even whey my parents were alive, they never talked about the real issues in life. They skimmed and were vague about everything when it came to our family history and events. Kind of weird when you consider how open our generation and our children's generation are. So nice that you have the diary to read.... xox

Cookie please.

Anna M. Branner said...

SO GLAD Next has returned! What a gift. :) My Mom is just not an emotional woman at all. But she has said "If anyone read my letters all they would learn would be what the weather was like." I am so glad you can read between the lines. :)

chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chris said...

Enjoyed reading your thought-provoking entry about your mom. And celebrating the return of the rascal Next. I appreciate your candor and our friendship this time of year. Hope the winter treats you well until you can get down south.
Still hoping you'll make it to Indiana for a long-overdue visit ...

Devon said...

Wonderful post.. Perhaps your mom's writing style reflected more the generation she was born into than anything else... you know, 'Keep calm and carry on".

Such good news about next!

Think I will head over to your website.. I love my dishtowel and would love another!

Daryl said...

hooray .. i am SO glad to hear Next has returned to his home .. i was worried really i was ... i wish i could send you the warm temps we have here in nyc .. its absurd ... have a very merry!!!!!!!

Cupcake Murphy said...

I think your filter is just right.

messymimi said...

For some people, a diary is to record the little things you would forget. The big things, you can already remember those, you don't have to write them down.

You wouldn't believe how happy i am for you that your cat has come home -- believe it or not, i even pray for the lost critters.

Do you ever share recipes or are they family secrets? Those cookies certainly do look addictive.

Vicky said...

Beautifully said! So cool that you have that insight now- and the stories- that is priceless! Oh how I wish to have that myself. That was the reason for my own blog and continues to keep me going with it!!

Wishing you peace, comfort and warmth of sweet memories of your mom to see you through the holidays :)

Karen said...

Hilary, I believe we are weaved from much of the same kind of thread, you and I. I don't have much of a filter either, unless it leads to hurting someone's feelings. There I have some ability to shut it. I think it's awesome that you are open, that you are keeping a blog for your family's future reference. The photos too... what a wonderful tool, a keepsake for your children, grandchildren, etc. etct... maybe they'll read it over again and again someday, maybe they won't... be you're giving them the option. It's why I do it too.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, headache-less 2014 to all - xo

Susan said...

I think my mother is cut from the same cloth. She certainly has passionate feelings about things, but very seldom expresses them - either verbally or in written form. It wasn't done. It's so freeing to be able to speak one's mind and as I get older, it gets easier to do! So happy your beautiful cat came home - lovely picture of your mom and daughter.

Diane said...

So glad that Next is home! I enjoy reading your blog very much. There is almost always something I can identify with or feel empathy. The part of feeling reflective, how life changes and especially the part of not "getting it" while very close to my thoughts these days.
Thanks so much for sharing. Wishing you the best, always.

Peg Cherre said...

Good to hear the good news.

Are you willing to share the draft for those towels? I like it, too!

Gayle said...

Hilary, Your blog is an inspiration and encouragement to me.
As to your mom's diaries; unlike an autobiography,family history, or a blog; a diary is a way of unlocking our memories in those private moments when we want to remember so it only takes a few words to bring back the personal remembrance of the actual moments.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts