For the first time in years our family took a vacation. Nothing fancy, just a trip to Dallas, TX to visit my grandma and for my kids to spend some quality time with their great grandma. I had a wonderful time, hanging out in the city I used to visit every summer, even if it was hotter than blazes.
It was two weeks with my husband and kids, connecting with my grandma and exploring just how awesome Dallas has become since I was a kid. I marvelled at the low housing prices. I could live in a nice neighborhood with good schools in a remodeled brick house with a pool. My favorite kind of houses too, contemporaries from the 1970's and 1980's. Drool drool drool.
We needed a change of scenary. For months I've been stuck on a feedback loop of anger, driving around our unaffordable neighborhoods. I should have taken a vacation months ago. It would have done a lot for my sanity.
For one there was visiting grandma, who is very healthy and active and able to enjoy watching my kids. We got to visit the Ft Worth Zoo, The Perot Museum and The Dallas Arboretum. All are excellent examples of new architecture and display design. I loved the interplay of environments with plants and brick. The exhibits were fun too. The boys enjoyed wandering around with their mom and dad. Oldest son loved the local splashgrounds while youngest son still preferred to stay dry and in the shade.
Vacation, yada yada yada... onto the knitting.
I finally had some time to finish a pair of socks. I had accidentally left the first finished one at home so I was only guessing whether the toe on the second one would match.
It's not perfect, but who cares? They'll keep my feet warm. :)
The sock was finished by the time our family headed off to Hot Springs, Arkansas. I know. Arkansas. People don't really think of it as a vacation destination, but I quite like it. Hot Springs was America's first resort town and it does have some excellent bath houses, which I got to enjoy. I had a bath, massage and facial at the Quapaw Baths, which I remember as a kid being closed, which I thought to be a real shame. So glad that somebody refurbished it. It's truly a gem. If you like reasonably priced spas, lakes and minerals. Hot Springs is for you. The Midwest Science Museum is worth the trip as well, one of the best places to teach kids about the physical sciences. You can go quartz mining and diamond mining 90 minutes away. The whole family enjoyed the trip. It as a fun place to take it easy and get away from our regularly scheduled lives.
I got so relaxed that I found the brainspace to get back into my big cardigan project, the Redfern Cardigan. I had left off on a second sleeve and it can take quite a bit of concentration to get back into a knitting project. You have to figure out where you left off in the pattern, how to do the stitches again, but I was able to do it, no problem and finally even memorzied the stitch pattern so I didn't have to keep looking back to the chart. Took long enough. Worth it though. I'm almost done with the second sleeve. Then it's onto weaving in ends, doing the neck, button bands and pockets.
My kind of fun.
How's your summer going? What are you knitting?
I am taking a stand.
I need a circle of crafty people around me to commiserate with at least once a week. They need not all be knitters.
I am sad that none of my local yarn shops have a knitting night that I want to attend. Most of them are 20+ minutes away and end up full by the time I get there. I wish there was one walking distance. I wish I had the patience to open my own yarn shop, but I have neither the funds nor the desire to work weekends. I wish that Purlescense or Nine Rubies was closer to me. Or Verb. But they're not.
I did just get the heads up that my local recrafting shop has a nice crafts night on Wednesdays. I might just have to go check that out.
I had the best craft night when I lived in Marin. I still miss it and the other knitters I met with on a weekly basis. It's pretty much the only part of my life that I miss from my first marriage. Well that and the connection to Australia and all the nice folks I met there. Sigh. Life happens. Shit happens. Blearg.
Maybe my old pal Warren still has a knitting group that meets in Marin on Saturdays. I might want to go check that out. Also I may want to go to Stitches and TNNA this year. Knit Luck might actually have a budget for that stuff next year!!!
Adding to my knitting group nostalgia is some unusual summer rains drifting through the bay area. It has me wishing it was already October and wondering if I should try to finish a cardigan by the end of summer... so you know... to look like a knitting magazine... in October. As hard as that is to do in California.
I still have the socks to keep me busy, but I might just bring that purple cardigan from months ago with me on my trip to Texas. I really want to have a massive finished object in the next month of two. You know because I have nothing better to do. (Not).
What are you wanted to knit right now? How's your knitting group?
It's not too hot to knit socks.
Summer is treating me well. I'm focusing on the kids and doing the kinds of things that moms with older kids get to do, like taking the kids to swimming lessons. This means that I've got time to sit around and wait while the swimming lessons commence and like for most knitters that means that I've got time to knit. I've already finished a pair of socks this summer and I'm almost halfway done with another pair. I just have to finish the toe on this blue and white striped sock. It's a nice feeling of accomplishment that I enjoy so much that I can't manage to go more than a half hour after finishing a pair of socks before I start another one. I'm hoping to keep that going for the rest of the year.
Sock knitting helps me maintain a little bit of sanity. This fall is going to be a little crazy. I'm going to be bringing my sock knitting with me like a little security blanket whererever I go. For now it's summer and I'm determined to enjoy it as much as possible before the craziness begins.
These summer socks are growing fast.
I cast them on for the summer solstice so they're officially my summer socks. They're already a couple of inches long:
First week of summer and we're already rocking it. Oldest son started swim lessons and wowed me with his bravery. He was very nervous about learning to swim and I was fully ready for a giant fearful tantrum just trying to get him in the water, but he got in there on his own, using the ladder and gleefully went through the entire lesson, listening to the instructors. I'm hopeful that he'll be swimming on his own by the end of the month. It was a winning mamma moment to experience. :D
This summer is full of goals. Some not so glamourous. We need to get rid of our storage unit. It's too expensive especially when you consider what they're holding. I'm going to be spending some time at my parents house next week to try to get rid of old junk so that I can move the current boxes of books to my mom and dads and stop the insanity of paying for storage. That will be another monkey off my back for sure.
There might be some lemon vanilla marmalade on the agenda as well.
How's your summer going?
I'll take good news wherever I can get it.
I finished that pair of socks. It's Lana Grossa Meilenweit. One of my old favorites. My MIL brought this skein back from Austria for me, picking the perfect colorway. My Lana Grossa socks seemingly last forever, much more than my hand-dyed counterparts, note to self ;)
I was at city council again this week hoping to see an innovative housing development pass. My city hasn't passed a high density housing development in decades. Heck, our region hasn't passed much in the way of housing in the last couple of decades, hence our current housing crisis. Locally, renters are suffering. It's very tough to see families pushed out of our town, so it's great to see 800 new rental units, 25% of them put aside for low income seniors and families. I didn't think it would pass, but it did unanimously after lots of anxiety. I probably won't benefit from these new units, but will hopefully get to enjoy the new retail stores and waterfront restaurants.
That said, even with these small achievements depression persists. As much as I try to see the positive of our situations and how lucky we are there's a lot of frustration feeling that I don't have control over where and how we live. We cannot afford to live closer to my husband's office and has to deal with a commute. I wish his job was in another region where housing is more affordable. I wish I could up and move somewhere new and different because the San Francisco I love doesn't really exist anymore. I wish I could say farewell and try living in another region, but the whole of the West Coast is all dealing with the same thing. Seattle is just as crowded as San Francisco. Portland is suffering from its own housing crisis as displaced Californians head north.
One thing is for sure, things won't always be this way and it might be good for me to learn to be uncomfortable for a while. I surrender to the discomfort. I surrender to not having control over how and where I live. I still have hope and that is enough for now.