Sunday, March 21, 2010

Crazy as a what?

Whew. Just completed a weaving weekend.
I love doing them. I love teaching people to weave. But I am always exhausted on Sunday.
I guess my husband is right, it is kind of weaving boot camp, and I am 'on' the whole weekend.
I have always been fortunate to have really nice people come to weave....and this weekend was no exception. I had two sisters, very bright and interesting, and funny. We had a good time. I think that they enjoyed themselves.
Here they are with their rugs.

From Crazy as a Loom

They also each made a set of placemats.
Students are always in disbelief about actually having a finished product on Sunday, yet they always do.
Of course, I can't be watching them every second, so while they are weaving, I am, too.

From Crazy as a Loom

I had some corduroy all sewn together, so I wove up a hit and miss runner, and two rugs.
From Crazy as a Loom

I love corduroy. This is the last of it if you don't know what to do with those old corduroys..............
From Crazy as a Loom

I am tired to the bone tonight.
And it occurs to me that perhaps I need to take a day off.
I love sleeping at the studio. Even though it is on a main highway, it is in a rural area. And there are open fields across the road, and to the side, and woods to the rear. Lying in bed, you can look out the window at the stars, something I am not used to living in town.
As I waited to fall asleep, I thought of my father, and my childhood.
I guess I was a lucky kid, though I didn't know it at the time.
My mother was from England, right off the boat in NYC in 1946. In an old video of the first boatload of war brides, she is right there smiling and waving, getting on the USS Argentina in Southampton, England. When she landed in the USA she was somewhat thinner, not that she needed to be. She found out the hard way what 'sea sickness' really meant.
But other kids made fun of me, I had an accent, I was with her 24/7. I remember them saying that my mother swept the dirt under the rug. I guess that's what they thought immigrants did. But I knew that they were wrong. We had linoleum. There weren't any rugs to sweep anything under.
I was a tomboy. Literally. My father called me Tom (or Tag) until my mother made him stop. I think I was 13. He dragged me all over the north country. He bought and sold antiques and used furniture. He always came home with a truck full of stuff. Sometimes he would let me ride on TOP of the furniture stacked and tied on the back. Today he would be arrested for child abuse. He also used to let me ride on the tailgate of the truck. I remember him saying, "Just hold on, for Christ's sake"......meaning my mother would kill him if I fell off.
I dragged my shoes across the macadam going down the shoes never lasted long.
I was the only child, so he decided to make do. He bought me a 50 lb bow, and set up a target in the back yard for me to practice on. Eventually, I could pull it all the way back, and shoot it.
He bought me a 303 Savage hunting rifle, and sent me off to take the NRA course so I wouldn't kill myself or anybody else. Then he would take me off in the woods, and have me driving deer to him.
"If you get lost, shoot the gun in the air three times, and sit down."

He taught me how to drive, double clutching his pick up down the incredible steep and frightening Tongue Mt. His theory was 'do or die'. You'll get it.
He taught me to swim the same way......I have no idea how old I was, but not very. He threw me off the end of the dock, at the local swimming spot. It was over my head, and when I came up the first time, I heard him say, "you need to move your arms and legs". After I came up the second time, I did what he said.
I have a lot of memories of spending these crazy times with my father. I suppose I am lucky to have lived through it. I never told my mother any of it. He never told me not to, I just knew.
But sometimes, when I am navigating this life, and trying to make my way, I know that his influence is undeniable.
Sink or swim, just do it, get on with it, work hard, tell it like it is.
Thanks, Dad.


Benita said...

I just finished teaching a three day weaving workshop this weekend, too, and I understand what you mean by being "on" the entire time - and being dog-tired. But it looks like we both had happy students who finished their projects. Congratulations and I hope you get some rest.

LA said...

Congratulations on getting all of those rugs done this weekend! That would be a fun way to spend time with your friends! Great memories of your Dad, too. Love those stories!

KarenInTheWoods said...

Great student rugs!!! I hope you can sit back and rest this evening, satisfied that you created two more rug weavers!

My motto:
"If each weaver teaches another person to weave, that doubles the number of weavers in the world!"

You are doing more than your fair share!!!


RPC said...

I've lurked here for months, years, who knows. I actually found your blog looking for examples of the walls of the picture above. I have always found inspiration, motivation and peace reading your blog. And today I found the words needed to get through a tough spot. Do or die, you'll get it or at least figure something out.

Thank you for sharing your dad and yourself with me.

Hilary said...

If ever I question why I keep this blog, I will remember what you said.

Anonymous said...

Nope, no corduroys anymore or I'd sure send them up to you. It's raining tonight blast it!

Sounds like you had a busy week-end. Hoping to get up your way one day and learn all about the loom.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Hilary said...

I so enjoyed reading about your Dad. It says so much about you.. and "crazy" does not come to mind. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary; Wish I lived closer - I'd come for lessons too!
You have such a wonderful attitude towards life...thanks again for sharing.
Karen, Rural Revival's Mom

Nancy said...

Dad's were fun, weren't they? Mine just let me go, after all we always came back sooner or later.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

Wow! The story about your childhood brought tears to my eyes.....Dad's are wonderful, aren't they:) .....if you ever write 'the book' I would certainly read it;)

Country Girl said...

Wow. It was sink or swim. And you mastered it well.
Glad to hear you took the day off. You deserve it, you know. Sleeping at the studio sounds nice, actually.

Sharon said...

My dad was ever present in my growing up. Aren't we the lucky ones?? Thought no fault or effort of my own, I grew up with both of my parents - I could criticize them, but why bother? I have pluck and I know where it came from.

Gjeani said...

thanks for sharing your father daugther story. I really enjoyed reading it. It brought back some memorys , every sunday my dad took me out for long walks along the river near by my house that was real quality time.
I love your rugs. Hope to visis America someday and come over for a tour in your studio.

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