Posts Tagged ‘mom’

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

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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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