Out-spread blankets, Ongoing Projects, and Pockets for Softness

Photo: These are my favorite sorts of photos of the boys—I just love the outline of their fuzzy little halos of hair set against the backdrop of the big wide world. This image never gets old. When these photos come up in my little revolving photo frame and such, I love wondering what they were thinking, or where they were running to next. Selfies and portraits are so still. These photos are full of all of the potential energy my kiddos are so full of. These I hold more dear than any other images.

I admit that it wasn’t so bad spreading our blanket on a hill 2 towns over. The Husband insisted on getting there 3 hours early (*sigh* but I can’t blame him because usually it’s me who wants to be out early to beat everyone else), so we got a prime spot and an unobstructed view. We had to suffer the cover band, and I do mean suffer because they were absolutely awful oh my God. The musicians were fine. The dude on the sax could really hit it. If only they’d stayed instrumental… or just decided not to cover soul classics I grew up with. It’s bad enough not getting to see Black folk a lot, and not having access to good Black radio around here… to then have to listen to someone just butcher old favorites while watching people awkwardly dance to it is just… the stuff of nightmares.

Yes, I’m being dramatic.

No, I’m not wrong. Seriously, it was bad.

I will say, though, for all my grumbling about not wanting to be there, it was nice to go for two reasons: first, there were a bunch of people from church there and that is always fun. Nice to see people not in their church clothes, happy and even a bit toasty from a bit too much wine, out in the crowd with others. The second reason is because among all the folk who were there, I was delighted and surprised to see so many people of color. Not a lot of Black people per se, though I did see quite a few, but there were plenty of other brown folk from origins of which I will not speculate. The images show throughout the day of people taking up the oath to become new citizens and reading about so many people who are immigrants who are here and love this country… I was warmed and reminded that the times are ghastly, but this is a beloved place, a place people want to be, a place people want to celebrate because there is plenty to be proud of. I was reminded that people have gone through a lot, done a lot, given a lot, just for a taste of what I’ve known and my children know. It’s imperfect… so very, very imperfect… but this is the only country I have, and I share it with the folk who spread their blankets near mine and listened to the same bad music I did.

The rest of the weekend was dedicated to getting things done while trying not to pass out from the heat. It was humid and in the 90s here, which I’ve certainly lost my ability to deal with. We mowed the lawn, moved around furniture, parented the children, ran errands, and were otherwise adults while simultaneously panting from the burden of simply being in the heat. I chuckled to myself as I retreated to one of the window units upstairs. When did I become so fragile? I don’t even know. 12 New England summers have me spoiled, I guess.

Two blue birds took up residence in our yard this week. Or, adjacent… or they might just be casing the joint. They have been hanging out in the yard, on the branches of trees, and on the electrical wire for the house. As we move about the yard, they move on the perimeter, never getting too close or going too far. I haven’t seen a nest, so I don’t know where the babies are if there are any. I also haven’t seen them go into our mounted blue bird boxes. Perhaps they haven’t decided to move in yet? Between their calls to each other and the chips and chitters of the chipmunk colony, movement outside has come with delightful and unexpected fanfare. The humans are moving! Oh God, what are they doing now?

I am delighted to say that 2 Christmas knits are already done: scarves for the two little bears. On to socks! 3 pairs! I found a wonderful website, Tin Can Knits, which has a very cool free collection called The Simple Collection, full of socks and hats and beautiful stuff! I needed a pattern I could scale down for the boys, and that’s how I found this. I’m using the Rye Light pattern because it goes perfectly with my Magpie Swanky Sock yarn. I’m making Major’s socks first. This is London Rain, which is a colorway I don’t know if you can get anymore…

I also blocked The Husband’s cousin’s baby blanket today. Just in time for the impending arrival! It’s my intention to get it in the mail tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m working on the blanket for his best friend’s first bebe. Did I show y’all this yet? Goth girl is really sophisticated, but I think it’s nice and I think they’ll love it:

And my dear college friends are pregnant with a bebe, too, so now I’ve got another blanket to knit after this one! Busy, busy, busy…

But first, I need to come up with a needle book pattern and sample to teach at camp at the end of the month. Should have gotten this done ages ago! Lordy. Pictures on Friday. 🙂

I am up to so many things. I want to share a few of them, but the time isn’t ripe yet. Soon, soon… especially if I can get everything I want to done. Summer is for breathing on dreams. I just read a wonderful book called Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. It’s a romance novel, which I’m usually not into at all, but it had substance and was written with great care. There is a moment, while the two main characters are cooking paratha together under the wise tutelage of the protagonist’s grandmother, when great advice is given. “Give a little space, right in the middle. The paratha needs to grow and become soft. Without this space, it will be hard and lumpy, just another piece of bread.” This, of course, gets applied to loving relationships later in the book. I think the case is the same with dreams and the projects that bring them to life. This is that softening season. I’m making pockets, filling them with air, letting them rest, making room for a bit of softness.

What dough will you pull together this week, Dear Reader? What will need a bit of time to rest? What is ready for kneading and shaping? Do remember that: all in good time. Impatience breeds and angry lumps and inedible things that don’t rise. Knead with intention. Step back and breathe. As you wait, start something new. Choose to love the cycles and see what they yield for you.

It’s Monday, Dear Reader. It’s summer time, too. You are loved. Birds are singing. I wish you good work this week, or good rest. Either way, let us make room for goodness this week. Goodness is so desperately needed. We have to make it ourselves. So make some of it, Dear Reader, and then do choose to share.

Shout out to the Dear Reader to came to my door with Shiner Bock this weekend. You know who you are and I’m deeply grateful to you. There is nothing more wonderful than a friend who knows they are free to simply stop by. No announcement, no text, just a knowing that if we’re here the door is open. Joy is an afternoon of laughter and really good summer beer.

I’ll see you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

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