During the fall and winter, we spend a lot of time in one little tiny room in our house. Call it the t.v. room or the library or Julia's lair.... whatever it is, it is cozy, full of books, favorite magazines for the three of us, current knitting projects, Julia's notebooks. The red jacquard couch is covered with a granny square afghan and littered with pillows I have made over the years. On one wall is a long bank of shelves which our friend Kevin built for us when we first moved here. The shelves are painted with Sherwin Williams Satin Impervo Oil Paint in the color of coal. They are jammed with knitting books, art books, farming books, biographies. Tacked onto the shelves are scraps of Indian shisha embroideries. There are some old pieces of English pottery I collected back when I had a real job and could afford such things. There are little statues of sheep that friends and family have given us. There are some crazy beaded daffodils that I bought at junk store back in the 1980's near Syarcuse, NY. I can still remember my mom's comment, "What are you going to do with those ugly things." FYI Mom, I'm still treasuring them.
The Little Room is also is home to our woodstove. On a winter evening, it is the only warm room in the house. I painted the walls of the Little Room a long time ago to resemble a tile pattern in shades of moss, geranium, clay, and robin's egg blue. This was before digital cameras and the rise of the internet. If I were to do it again now, I would probably have a tutorial for it. Wow, have things changed since 2003. People didn't document their food, their baking, their how-to projects. They didn't film their knitting and crochet with their telephone. Back then, I didn't know what a blog was nor did I have internet service. Back then, people just did their projects by themselves and got on with life. Back then, we looked to people like Martha and the DIY t.v. channels. Back then, we devoured print magazines and books. Now everyone and anyone can be an expert, a cookbook writer, a blogger, a designer.
I think about this frequently.... how things have changed in a very few short years and how things will keep changing. Back then, I didn't worry about money, about how to pay the health insurance, the car and truck payments and the taxes. Now I am selling patterns via the air. What is next? I don't know. Sometimes it scares me, thinking about how much I have to continue to learn, to keep up with..... so the world doesn't pass me by.
The other evening, The Farmer and I were sitting in the Little Room. It was school vacation and I have a looming deadline. The Little Room was littered with balls of yarn, scribbled notes on floating pads of paper, piles of crochet. The Farmer and I were alone except for 10 cats, 3 Border Collies and an unknown number of mouths to feed in the dark pastures outside.
A few weeks ago, I asked my Mom if she would like Julia to come to visit during spring break without me. She said she would love that. Then I asked Julia if she wanted to go and she said "I'll think about it." Julia is 13 and she has never been away from home without her Mom or Dad. It was time. For all of us - Julia, me, The Farmer. Julia has juvenille diabetes and an insulin pump but she is very good at monitoring her glucose levels. My Mom is no stranger to the complexities of diabetes because both Daddy and my sister Jenn were and are diabetic. This chronic disease makes things like visiting friends and family a little more complicated. Not impossible, just more complicated.
We picked a half way point (White Flower Farm in Litchfield, CT) and off we went on Monday. Julia was excited to spend time with all her NJ relatives and I was excited for her to be on her own. Except for one phone call to make sure they arrived safely, we didn't talk or text. No news is good news.
So during the evenings, we sat in the Little Room, watching t.v., me wielding a needle, The Farmer dozing on the couch. Not much different than most evenings, Just a little quieter without a teenager expressing her opinion, telling us we didn't know what we were talking about. Telling us what shows to watch. In the bathroom, the towels were neatly arranged on the towel rack. There were no teenage acne products on the sink. In the kitchen, the empty yogurt containers, stray spoons, ripped alcohol foil envelopes and insulin pump supplies were not littering the kitchen table. The week wore on without a phone call. And then Thursday came and Mom and I made a plan to meet again, this time in Salisbury CT.
Julia is home again and life is back to our new normal. Today is the first Amherst Farmers Market and we won't have a Saturday off until Thanksgiving. School starts again on Monday. Life is busy. Life is good. Julia is growing up. And we are too.