Monday, December 23, 2013

High Spirits

Did you all give me your positive energy?? Cuz today's airline experience could not have been better. There were actually fewer travelers than I've seen, in recent memory. When the check-in kiosk failed, I didn't freak. I just tried another (it worked). When the officious officials tried to get me to go to the holding pen, that precedes the holding pen, that precedes the Customs line-up, I was all "no thanks, we're standing here" (and no one batted an eye). We actually took off on time. They only changed the gate once. Sure, they checked all of our bags by hand and put us through the scanner, sans shoes, but who cares?!

And now I'm here and there's lots of booze and a pretty Xmas tree.

Moreover, here's a story of holiday joy: My sister, Allison, regaled me with a tale of her teaching assistant, Karen. (My sister is a kindergarten teacher in a bucolic mountain valley, the likes of which you've probably only seen in the movies.) Karen, her assistant, is as American as a person can be - like Mayflower-style. Her family has owned hundreds of acres of farmland in the Blue Ridge Mountains (right by the Tennessee state line) for just about two hundred years. Every Christmas, Karen gives the most beautiful, artisanal gifts to my sister, that ever a person could receive.

To wit:

Seriously people, Karen canned those pickles, that jam, those pear preserves. The sausage, at the back (obscured), was made from her pigs and then canned for longevity. Those potatoes were grown in her garden. And she double knit the pot holders. Double knit?! This is to say nothing of the soup she made (already eaten by the time I'd arrived), the homemade cookbook she wrote up for Allison, or the country ham she cured (unphotographed). When I saw all of this, I was BLOWN AWAY.

Honestly, this woman is an artist - a very generous artist.

Allison was thrilled but also horrified, because she gifted Karen something far less organic than any of the above... sure to be appreciated, I imagine (though Allison doesn't agree). But no worries. Just so happens that I finished my knit-along socks yesterday. And I took all kinds of important photos and wrote up all the posts. (Don't worry, I'm going to knit another pair while y'all are knitting, just so we're all on the same page. Thing is, I had to be sure you'd have the info you require ahead of time. So pre-posting was de rigeur.) And I just so happen to have brought those socks to NC, for the cold, or whatever.

Well, looks like whatever is the thing. I am compelled to gift those socks to Karen, a woman who will most certainly enjoy small batch, hand-dyed, American-grown merino in a way that most people on this planet would not. (I seem to be incapable of keeping socks, you might have noticed.)

What I loose in a few hours of knitting, I will gain a hundred times in the joy of giving. Really, I am filled with joy. Like all of a sudden.

I guess it's a Christmas miracle.


  1. Wow. I am impressed. Pickling things and growing potatoes is one thing, making your own sausages from your own home grown pork is another level entirely. I am sure Karen will truly appreciate your socks. Happy Christmas! Btw, if youget a chance to take any pics of the bucolic mountain valley, I'd love to see them.

    1. Isn't it awesome?! The mountain valley (where my sister works) is actually about 30 minutes away from where our cabin is located. But I have put up pics of the mountain where we stayed...

  2. I'm so glad there were no major disasters during your trip and you are now safely in the arms of your family.

  3. You are too cute. Yay for the miracle of Christmas!