Posts Tagged ‘mom’

Here and There

July 30, 2019

My routine for the past year or so has been pretty, well, routine. Early morning exercise, a few hours of business — my consulting practice and/or household business — then off to Mom’s for the afternoon, and home again. Weekends are similar — more Mom time and usually less work time.

But over the past week, a couple of day trips have shaken things up a bit. First, Michael texted from New Hampshire where he’s an overnight camp counselor to say he had a day off and, if I had the time, he’d love to see his Mama. How could I turn down an invitation like that?!

The drive from Mom’s was a relatively easy two hours, so I was able to meet Michael and his buddy for a late dinner during which they shared stories of their campers, fellow counselors, and the challenges and rewards of being a counselor.

After a solid 12 hours of sleep, Michael had enough energy the next morning for breakfast at a nearby diner. Then we spent a couple of hours at a park, where he used my laptop to work through some “paperwork” for his upcoming college semester in Spain.

“Better late than never” was his mantra as he realized that some of the materials were due a month ago. Learning how to craft difficult emails is an important life skill as far as I’m concerned.

My heart was full as we said good bye. He’ll be back in mid August for about 72 hours before he leaves for four months in Spain.

Saturday morning found me and Mom heading to Maine for a visit to her dear friends Joe and Betty. As Mom’s dementia has progressed, she remembers fewer people, especially if they’re not present, but these friends of 65 years are like extensions of herself. Even when she can’t follow the conversation, her comfort level in their home is pretty high and her attentiveness to Joe, who’s not mobile and has significant cognitive declines himself, is touching.

The next morning, while a caregiver spent a few hours with Joe, “the girls” drove to a nearby ocean park and spent a lovely hour or so on a bench, chatting, enjoying the sea breeze, and watching birds, boats, waves, and beach-goers.

A talented knitter herself, Betty expressed her boredom with the charity hats she’s been knitting. I think I may have to introduce her to the wonders of sock knitting.

Back home on Sunday evening, Kevin, Patrick, and I watched the Red Sox after dinner, filling each other in our weekend’s activities, news, and observations.

I’ve started a new sock. Some routines don’t change!

WIP Wednesday: Patience

May 29, 2019

When I expressed concern about a recent too-short sock, several readers offered advice for remedying the situation. My decision not to act on any of those suggestions is not a reflection of my sincere appreciation for the tips; it’s more a result of my desire to just be finished with the socks.

FInished so I could cast on my next two pairs of socks! My plan this time is to avoid the too-short leg by — wait for it — knitting a longer leg. Radical, I know.

knit sock leg with blue, brown, cream stripes

This is a full 8 inches/20cm, a good inch or so longer than my usual legs. The downside for me is that it takes longer to get to the heel, which is my favorite part of sock knitting, but the upside is that the sock wearer will have a sock that actually fits properly. It’s not all about me, is it?!

Mom has started her next garter stitch scarf with a bright, cheery yarn.

This is Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn in HeyDey colorway. Although she doesn’t look it in this photo, Mom is delighted with the bright splashes of color.

Knitters, what’s on your needles this week?

WIP Wednesday: Log Cabin for Baby

April 17, 2019

Since it’s now too big to be a traveling project, the Log Cabin Throw hasn’t been getting much attention lately. Every day, I tuck my latest sock into my bag as I head to Mom’s home and spend at least a few hours knitting.

She’ll often knit her latest garter stitch scarf or will putter about the apartment or go through the mail. Like many things in her life these days, the mail is both a burden and a routine that brings consistency to her otherwise confusing world.

Although it’s nearly all fundraising appeals, she often reads each piece, not comprehending much of it, before either tearing it into small pieces for recycling or “responding” by placing the appeal letter into the reply envelope and tracing the stamp location with an orange marker.

I remind myself often these days that many of her actions are her way of exerting control over what she can control, even if the action doesn’t really make much sense to me.

The intended recipient of the Log Cabin Throw was born about 10 days ago. I have it from very good sources that he is absolutely lovely. Hannah, who held him in his second day of life, declared him “flawless.”

He’s got lots of growing to do, and the throw, modeled here in the cool spring sunshine, will get there eventually.

Out and About

April 15, 2019

No matter how cold, snowy, or long the winter, Spring always arrives eventually. And the glory of the season never fails to amaze and lift my spirits — and, based on conversations with friends and chats with strangers on the street, I’m not the only one.

Last Saturday, Patrick, Mom, and I drove to Castle Island — which is neither a castle nor on an island — for a couple of hours of enjoyment in the cool sunshine

From a bench, we marveled at planes taking off from and landing at the airport across the harbor, commented on the hundreds of people (and plenty of dogs) passing by on foot, scooter, stroller, bike, and wheelchair. We didn’t count, but I’d estimate that we overheard conversations in at least a dozen languages.

Being his usual generous self, Patrick stood in the very long line at the storied snack bar in order to buy our first soft serve ice creams of the year. Mom had a twist in a cup. Patrick and I shared a cone.

Back at Mom’s apartment, the knitting continues. Even as I was getting the hang of the House Greyjoy sock pattern, I had to suppress a nagging fear that it would be too small for the intended recipient. The leg looked so narrow.

Nevertheless I persisted, ignoring that inner voice of doom and reminded myself that yarn (like humans) usually relaxes after a bath. Sure enough, after a good soak and blocking on my new frame, it relaxed quite nicely, revealing the cable and twist details.

House Greyjoy knit sock

As usual, the second sock is progressing faster than the first although I still have to check each row with the pattern chart. If you knit cables or lace, do you follow a chart or row-by-row instructions?

marked-up pattern chart for knitting

Family Weekend

March 25, 2019

Every so often I remind myself how fortunate I am to live near many members of my extended family and, even more so, that we love and enjoy spending time together.

Saturday evening, we gathered to celebrate Luke’s birthday with the usual delicious food, lively conversation, laughter, and of course, cake. His family has a traditional birthday cake, a scrumptious sour cream chocolate chip bundt cake topped with our cousin Tom’s grandmother’s chocolate glaze. Did you follow that or shall I draw a family tree?

old woman, two men, holding birthday cake with candles

Ben and Mom did the cake honors while Nora took care of the photography. Mary had prepared the meal, and Jim, Hank, and Mike were part of the chorus.

Sunday really felt like spring had sprung here in Greater Boston. Mild temperatures and a gentle breeze brought many people outdoors just to enjoy, well, being outdoors.

On our walk around the neighborhood after Mass, Mom and I spotted a few crocuses (croci?!) and dewdrops pushing through the mulch.

close up of purple crocus flower with bee on yellow stamen

As Mom’s ability to make sense of the world decreases, she increasingly focuses on physical details, like tearing each piece of junk mail into small strips before putting them into the recycling or zipping or buttoning every item of clothing when she puts it on a hanger. I remind myself that she’s controlling what she can, a comfort (I imagine) as she’s able to make sense of less and less each week.

Tidying (not full-fledged weeding) of gardens or plants that we encounter on our walks is a regular activity now that the snow is gone.

old woman in green coat next to stone wall, clearing dead plants from grassy garden

After lunch, we drove the 1/2 mile to the Arnold Arboretum and walked to the summit of Peter’s Hill, a wonderful spot to view the Boston skyline. More than a dozen other people had the same idea, jogging, walking, cycling, kite flying, and just sitting to enjoy the sensations of spring.

woman in green coat standing on hill overlooking Boston skyline in distance

Back home after supper, Patrick and I gathered around the computer for a five-person video chat with Hannah, Kevin, and Michael. Say what you will about how frustrating technology can be — and I’ve said plenty — but the chance to take a break from daily life — whether it’s laundry in Brooklyn, a group engineering project outside Philadelphia, or NCAA hoops in New Orleans — and talk with those who love you and know you best is damn near miraculous.

screenshot of group video chat

How’s the second sock coming along, you ask? That’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

WIP Wednesday: Log Cabin Throw

February 20, 2019

I’ve got two projects for babies-to-be going at the moment and am this close to casting on a new pair of socks with some lovely yarn that I got at the knitting guild yard sale. But baby knits have deadlines, so the socks shall wait.

As would be expected with bulky yarn, the log cabin throw is the faster growing of the two.

The back and front sections of the Patches Baby Sweater are done and blocking. I’ve started the first sleeve and decided to modify the pattern by knitting it in one piece rather than two segments.

Mom finished another garter stitch scarf yesterday. As you can see from her clothing, she’s quite partial to the crimson, fuschia, pink color range. Malabrigo never disappoints.

Hands and Hearts

January 18, 2019

One of my life’s treasures is friendships that span decades — women (mostly) who’ve shared the ups, downs, and in-betweens, who can burst into laughter at the mere mention of a childhood memory and whose knowing glance and touch at long-ago or present pain is a balm. Trusting these friendships will last into our old age brings me hope and comfort.

As Mom’s mind continues to decline, her world shrinks. While she has many dear friends and one remaining sister, her speech, memory, and processing abilities are so diminished that she’s unable to stay connected with most.

Joe and Betty are the exception. Friends for more than 60 years, back in their medical and nursing school days, they’ve stayed close and have a comfort and ease with each other like no others.

So a couple of weeks ago, we drove north to their home in Maine for a visit and sleepover. Of course, we brought our knitting. Mom’s latest garter stitch scarf is made with some beautiful Malabrigo (or maybe Manos del Uruguay), a Christmas gift from beloved granddaughter Nora.

Joe is mostly home bound, his Parkinson’s-like disorder has stolen his movement and slowed his speech. Strong of body and mind, Betty is his main caregiver, assisted lovingly by their son and daughter-in-law who live nearby. She’s a talented knitter, too, working on several hat and scarf sets for Special Olympics Maine.

As Betty and Mom got supper ready, I pulled my chair close to Joe’s and settled in with our wine (me) and whiskey (him) for a chat. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, he shared his perspective on medical training — how he became a pediatrician during his Navy service and later a pathologist — and memories, many of my father, who was one of Joe’s closest friends and a trusted colleague.

Joe was my and my brothers’ pediatrician until I was about 6 or 7. I told him that one of my earliest memories was me lying on our kitchen table at age 3 or so and having a doctor — was it Joe? — lance my close-to-bursting ear drum lest it burst itself. He didn’t recall that procedure and suggested it was another doctor. But he did recall clearly performing his very first lumbar puncture (spinal tap) on me when I was an infant and suffered a febrile convulsion.

Slowly and haltingly, he shared an intense conversation with my father, who had asked him to do the tap, telling him that he’d never performed the procedure and explaining the risk of infection and complications. Despite his current limitations, he clearly conveyed the urgency and intimacy of that long-ago conversation. I can only imagine the fear they both felt at the time and the utmost trust they had for each other.

As Mom dozed on the drive home the next day, I went over our visit — the warmth and ease of being with people who know you so well and love you so profoundly — and my conversation with Joe in particular.

Tomorrow is the 35th anniversary of my father’s death, and while I think of him — and even talk to him — often, I realize that I rarely talk with his friends, those who knew him as an adult, a colleague, a too-short-but-still-lifelong friend. Joe’s memories gave specificity to the general “he was a great man” view of my father. Our visit with Betty and Joe wasn’t just a fun overnight; it was a gift I’ll treasure forever.

WIP Wednesday: Socks in a Flash

December 5, 2018

On Monday, after learning that Kevin’s first final exam will be this Saturday, I raided my stash of Christmas socks and mailed a pair to him. As he knows, the academic benefits of handknit socks haven’t been scientifically proven, but it certainly can’t hurt to have your feet wrapped in love and know that you’ve got a big fan in your corner. Right?

Of course, that meant that I needed to knit another pair of socks for Christmas. 

A morning trip to the hair salon provided time for knitting. You can see the crimps and crinkles in the yarn, leftover from its previous incarnation (a failed toe-up sock experiment). I expect blocking will ease that out entirely.

I knit several more inches at Mom’s in the afternoon as we listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on CD (her favorites). She’s making great progress on her latest garter stitch scarf.

The yarn is really yummy: Junkyarn‘s “Tini” colorway. The bright flecks of color never fail to delight Mom, who holds them up and exclaims, “look at this!” 

If I’d been tasked with naming this colorway, I would have selected “Peppermint Stick,” since it reminds me of the peppermint stick ice cream at my favorite island soda counter.

 

New Normal for Now

September 14, 2018

I’m happy to report that Mom’s been home for a few weeks and has regained her pre-pneumonia strength and balance. It helped that she was quite fit before she was hospitalized and that we walked with her around the hospital floor several times a day whether she wanted to or not.

Last week, we introduced a couple of home health aides who help five days each week so brother Luke and I can maintain our work lives, sanity, and marriages. We also consider it an insurance policy of sorts so that neither of us is overwhelmed if the other gets sick, has a major work obligation, or wants to take a day trip or — gasp — vacation.

The transition and adjustment has been blessedly smooth. The aides are professional, kind, and experienced. Although she’s sometimes confused about why they’re there, Mom has welcomed them into her home and life quite readily.

A few days ago, she agreed to return to the hair salon, a short walk down the hill, after refusing to go for several weeks. The wonderful staff were pleased to see her and told her so. While her hair was washed, cut, and styled, I resumed my usual seat by the window and worked a few rounds of the Vanilla Latte sock.

Sock-salon

Yarn is Urth Merino Sock, colorway 2018, a mix of bright blues, greens, and oranges.

We spend a fair bit of time each day knitting. I don’t like to even think of the day that she forgets how to do the knit stitch. Having finished two garter stitch scarves, Mom has started another one in a lovely creamy white. I cast on 30 stitches, and she’s taken it from there.

mom-knits

Yesterday, we were joined — remotely — by my friend Judy, who reported that she was back in the knitting routine, too. From her home about 60 miles away, she sent an update via text.

striped-sock-judy

I believe the yarn is Diversity from Plymouth Yarn (Zebra colorway). Pretty sure I was with her when she bought it.

She makes knee socks while I prefer mid-calf or just below. If you’re a sock knitter, what’s your preference?

 

 

 

Knitting in the Whirlwind of Life

August 18, 2018

The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind in this little corner of the world. And as I’ve wondered many a time — including on the blog — how do non-knitters weather the storms of life?

For example, when your brother drives your Mom to the doctor’s office after she’s woken with a fever, uncontrollable shivering, and even more confused than usual — what do you do if you can’t concentrate on your knitting in the back seat?

On two consecutive nights last week, Mom spent seven hours in the hospital emergency room.  On the second evening, while she dozed and we waited for a room to become available, the Barley Light baby hat kept my hands and mind occupied and mostly calm.

Barley-hat-MGH

Diagnosis: pneumonia (albeit with no cough or shortness of breath). After a day or so of IV antibiotics and with continual supplemental oxygen, Mom was able to walk slowly.

AGH-MGH-walk

The network of nearby siblings, spouses, and (grand)children made it possible for us to tag-team each other, so she was rarely alone. The baby hat finished, I brought in a friend’s entrelac blanket for finishing touches — weaving in ends and closing up loose connections.

MGH-ends

I’m confident that our being present to translate the questions and actions of the medical staff and to provide encouragement and comfort (including watching our Red Sox continue their remarkable season), especially at times when the fear and incomprehensibility of Mom’s world overwhelmed her, helped her healing progress.

By Wednesday, when her oxygen monitor was removed from her finger, even she was able to knit.

AGH-MGHa

Although she won’t believe it until she’s in the car, she’s going home later today. The recuperation will continue in the comfort and familiarity of her apartment. I’ll be casting on a new project soon, doing my best to knit gratitude and love into each stitch.

 

 

 

Shhhh, Knitters at Work

June 28, 2018

As Mom’s ability to process the world around her declines, I’ve been trying to find activities to occupy our time together. We regularly visit a nearby thrift shop, which is full of items that spark conversation and questions. On a recent visit, she got the giggles trying to explain why she thought this little tchotchke was just the right thing for our friend Cathie.  When we’d caught our breath and finished wiping the tears from our eyes, we agreed to leave the treasure for someone else!

Agh-thrift-store

On the community bulletin board by the door, I spotted a sign for a Knit and Crochet Circle at the local branch library. With a bit of prompting, Mom has started knitting again, and although she isn’t able to follow a pattern or do the purl stitch, her muscle memory for the knit stitch is still strong. She agreed that it might be fun to chat with other knitters, so we headed to the library.

Knit-group2

That’s Mom on the right with her multi-colored garter stitch. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with it,” she says on a regular basis, but the lack of direction doesn’t seem to bother her much. The other woman was working on a baby hat and told us about her adult daughter who’s a public health worker in sub-Saharan Africa.

The group leader — if one can ever really lead knitters — Amy (on the left), remembered Mom from her days volunteering at the library. Mom has no recollection but that didn’t seem to bother anyone at all. When we walked home 90 minutes later, we agreed that a return visit would be in order.

Knit-group

Since the Sunshine Coast sweater is on hiatus for a bit, I’ve started a pair of Monkey Socks [yarn is Flying Finn Yarn’s fingering in a special one-of-a-kind colorway]. I made some nice progress over the past week, including a relaxing hour on the ferry — with the occasional pause to sip my Dark & Stormy (in memory of dear Barb, who introduced me to this treat on one of our cruises).

Ferry-knit

Bursting Out All Over

May 3, 2018

Spring has been a long time coming here in Greater Boston with last month’s temperature averaging a cool 55F (13C). If yesterday’s weather is any gauge, we’ve had the shortest spring on record and have jumped right into summer — sunny, dry, breezy, and a hot 88F (31C). I figure we’ve earned it and have vowed not to complain regardless of how much I’m sweating.

Mom and I took advantage of the day with a visit to the Arnold Arboretum, an urban treasure in her Boston neighborhood. We parked on the street and climbed the path past a Revolutionary War burying ground. As you’d expect in an arboretum, all the trees are labeled so you needn’t keep saying, “I wonder what kind that is.”

AGH-arboretum

We discovered that we were in the honey locust collection although there were other trees nearby — some buckeyes and some other specimens that I promptly forgot!

Agh-arboretum2

The “summit” of Peters Hill includes many granite slabs that serve as welcome resting spots from which to marvel at the Boston skyline.

Arboretum-boston

Since she’d closed the window shades before heading out, Mom’s apartment was refreshingly cool. She’s started a new knitting project, a garter stitch scarf (or maybe it’ll be a neck warmer) made from some luscious Malabrigo Rios that she got at the grand re-opening of JP Knit & Stitch.  If you’re visiting Boston and looking for a LYS, it’s a definite must-visit.

Malabrigo-rios-garter-stitch

I’m still alternating between the Sunshine Coast sweater (photo soon) and the yoga socks. On a work conference call earlier this week, I worked a few rounds in between comments and note taking. Ah, the benefits of being a freelancer!

Yoga-sock-laptop

Back to the 60s

April 18, 2018

As a change of pace from our usual walk into the square for marketing, errands, and lunch, Mom and I took a field trip to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Perched on the edge of Boston Harbor, it’s a beautiful, powerful, exhilarating, and somber place to spend a couple of hours.

JFK-agh

I’m sure the thousands of school children who visit each year take some comfort in learning that young Jack was far from a good student. As these letters show, he was determined to do better, and his father expressed confidence that he’d turn out OK. Ha!

JFK-school Having grown up in Massachusetts in a politically active family of Catholic Democrats, Mom feels a kinship of sorts with the Kennedys. The politics of the 50s and 60s are vivid in her memory — in part, because she was so politically active herself.

JFK-convention

Watching parts of Kennedy’s speech at the 1960 Democratic Convention prompted snippets of her own participation at the 1972 Convention, when she chaired the Foreign Relations platform committee — a lively topic (to say the least) in 1972.

I love these Get Out the Vote ads. “Sure you’re busy — but…”

JFK-vote

No presidency is perfect, but the belief that the government has a vital role to play in building a better society for all that undergirded the Kennedy administration touched my heart again — especially in contrast to what passes for our current political leadership.

JFK-speech

In knitting news, I seamed Mom’s Wham Bam Thank You Lamb neck warmer while we waited for our lunch at our favorite bakery. Looks pretty spiffy, don’t you think?

Agh-neckwarmer

I’d like to think she can put it away until next winter, but given the wacky weather we’ve been having, she may need it this month!

Power of Memory

April 11, 2018

The warm detergent-scented air, steady rumble of washers and dryers spinning, metallic jingle of the change machine, fellow customers folding, chatting, reading. It’s been nearly a decade since I’ve been to a laundromat, but not much has changed.

As often happens when I knit in public, my project (Second Sock) sparked curiosity and conversation. As she folded several baskets of clothes, the owner told me about her mother’s crochet and sewing skills.

Knit-laundromat

A 20-something woman said that she’s been thinking of learning to knit, partly to do something creative and also to break her habit of defaulting to her phone. I told her about a couple of local yarn stores that offer lessons and, as I left, encouraged her to follow through: “you’ll never regret learning to knit.” Hope she does.

My first knitting teacher and I have been spending a lot of time together this winter, walking from her apartment to the village market and/or our favorite lunch spot or thrift store several times a week. We’ve watched lots of Celtics basketball and have welcomed the start of baseball season, which provide plenty of knitting opportunities.

Last week, Mom expressed interest in knitting again, so we pulled out the simplest of her several works in progress (WIPs). After the briefest of tutorials, her muscle memory kicked in, and she was on her way!

Mom-knitting

 

Shawl: Dropped & Draped

July 8, 2016

Dropped-stitch shawl hanging out in the shade.

Thanks to Sister-Friend Cathie (she of the knitting cruise and Ontario road trip), here’s a photo of the shawl “in action.” What a wonderful evening we had with my our Mom and our unphotographed husbands!

AGH-MAH-Cathie-shawl

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/29npb97

Knitters Not Knitting (At Least, Not All the Time)

July 24, 2015

The Sheep Ahoy Knitter’s Cruise (and all the non-knitting Muggles) docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda for 2 1/2 days, giving us plenty of time to explore and work on our shawls.

Mom, Cathie, and I walked around the dockyard, a former military installation that’s been converted to highlight historic, artistic, and tourist offerings. We poked around a couple of galleries, including one that had some whimsical found-art creations.

found art sculptures in gallery Cruise_Glass_Gallery

We rediscovered the yarn-bombed shrub that we’d seen two years ago. A bit faded and tattered but still there!

faded yarn bombed branches

Around the corner, we found a newly “bombed” light post.

yarn bomb light pole

One of the former military buildings houses a glass blowing studio and shop, where we paused to watch an artist creating dozens of little bee sculptures, which would soon be sold in the shop. Those aren’t pencils or paintbrushes in the box in front of him; they’re rods (sticks?) of colored glass.

glass artist at work

Another building houses a pottery studio and shop. That’s Mom, in her beautiful pink hat, browsing on the other side of the work space.

pottery studio and shop

The next day, we took a three-hour tour in a glass-bottomed boat, passing over coral reefs and an old shipwreck. The tour guides explained the types of coral, varieties of fish, and just how long it took for this particular ship, HMS Vixen, to be wrecked – deliberately so it would block a channel – in this particular location. Apparently there were several attempts. The bow juts above the surface.

bow of shipwreck Vixen

Looking through the glass bottom was awesome. That’s Mom’s head. Since she sometimes refers to herself as “your white-headed mother,” this seems like a good shot.

looking through glass-bottom boat

The boat anchored in a cove, so that passengers could go overboard and snorkel. Since I don’t have a waterproof camera, an above-water photo will have to suffice.

snorkelers return to the boat

Back on the ship, after showers and dry clothes, we knit before dinner. Afterall, it is a knitting cruise.

knitters in cruise ship stateroom

 

Sheep Ahoy & We’re Off!

July 17, 2015

The fourth annual Sheep Ahoy Knitter’s Cruise has just set sail for Bermuda! Mom (Nancy) and I are on board for our second trip together. She’s a veteran of all four!

Dear friend Cathie has come from Vancouver for the adventure. We are very sad that fellow Canadian and dear friend Barb had to cancel because of a medical emergency. Perhaps you’ve heard of the children’s book and project, Flat Stanley? We’ve got a digital Flat Barb. She joined us for lunch today.

photo of Barb on iPad, sitting on lunch table

First knitting class is tomorrow morning. I hope to update regularly.

All Knit & No Play? Never!

August 1, 2013

On Wednesday, our final day in Bermuda, we had a mellow morning — at least, I did. I had a lovely, 3.5 mile walk around the ship, about 11 times around the 7th floor deck. Then breakfast and a couple of hours of writing work for a client. I made a quick trip to a nearby duty-free shop where I bought some perfume for Hannah and to a pharmacy where I got a couple of cans of ginger beer (so refreshing!) and a slew of Cadbury chocolate bars for Kevin and Michael.

At 1:30, we, along with about 50 other travelers, boarded a catamaran for a three-hour excursion.

risingsondeck

Our crew of four native Bermudans, one who could trace his ancestors back 16 generations, were just terrific — knowledgeable, skilled, and engaging. They pointed out sites on the island, including several enormous estates, and shared some history. If you ever go to Bermuda, check them out: Rising Son II.

RisingSonCrew

After an hour, we anchored in a beautiful lagoon, walled by cliffs, and nearly everyone went into the water to swim, snorkel, and paddle board.

cove

I’ve only snorkeled once and was totally enthralled. The water was clear as could be and the fish were beautiful — striped, spotted, translucent with electric blue innards. At first I wished that I had a water-proof camera, but I realize that a photo couldn’t capture the experience. My memory will be my photo album.

It’s such a treasure to have all this time with my Mom, who didn’t swim (or indulge in a Rum Swizzle) but learned all about each of the crew members while I was exploring.

aghmah2

We were back onboard ship 30 minutes before our scheduled departure, ready for showers, reading on the balcony,

aghreading

and an evening of knitting, dinner, and listening to a Glenn Miller Band tribute performance.

On the personal knitting front, I’m quite enjoying my Albers Cowl although I’m still only on the first of three squares.

MAalbers

 

Knitting Cruise

July 27, 2013

I know that most people don’t understand knitting. It’s not just that they don’t know HOW to knit (although I’m pretty sure almost everyone could learn); it’s that they don’t understand how someone could enjoy knitting — and the company of fellow knitters — so much.

You can see it in their eyes, When I tell someone, even a friend or coworker, that I have a knitting blog, there it is:  a flicker of surprise and bewilderment. There it is again when I pull out my knitting on the subway or in a coffee shop.

Like most knitters, I’ve gotten used to this reaction and am not bothered by it at all. After all, some people love antiquing or baseball or Civil War history or golf or cycling or TV shows and will happily and regularly spend hours enjoying said pursuits. Variety is the spice of life and part of what makes humans interesting.

But people’s reactions have gone to a whole different level when I’ve told them of my summer vacation plan: “I’m going on a knitting cruise from Boston to Bermuda and back.”

Forget the flicker of surprise; it’s downright uncontainable. “A what…?”

It’s not a ship full of 2,200 knitters. Rather it’s a ship full of 2,200 people — from infants to octogenarians, from different states and multiple countries.

Amidst these thousands are about 50 people, nearly all women, who have come aboard with the added purpose of expanding their knitting skills, taking workshops from the amazingly talented Ann Weaver, and meeting fellow knitters — like Barb and Cathie, two terrific Canadian knitters who are warm, generous, and loads of fun (no surprise there).

aghbarbkathy

I’m traveling with my Mom, who had such a great time on a similar but shorter cruise last summer to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that I just had to join her. We set sail from Boston yesterday afternoon. First class is this morning. Stay tuned!

aghmahcruise

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