Passage of Time

With the impending arrival of Father’s Day tomorrow and Mother’s Day in the past, I have done a lot of reflecting on my own experiences with my parents. How they raised me, their only daughter, in the late 50’s and early 60’s while keeping a deep and very dark (to them) secret.

Shortly after my mother passed away in October of 2008, we found out that she had given up a baby boy for adoption in May/June 1956. Had she given birth to that baby boy, she’d have been ostracized. She’d have been labeled a strumpet, a hussy, a tramp. She would not have been allowed to marry my father if anyone had known. My father, however, would have been left to continue his life as before.

Being the next child born, and a girl, I can only imagine that I was a disappointment and it explains a lot about how she raised me. She was disconnected, aloof, often angry, not encouraging or loving. She was always heavy … keeping a layer of protection around her. Please don’t get me wrong, she fed me, did my laundry, drove me everywhere. I didn’t want for anything. Except her love. None of this was my fault, of course, and I didn’t know that I was getting treatment that was different from my younger brothers or my peers. But it was different and I was scarred by it. (Thank God for therapy!)

I say this today because I realized recently that many of my friends on Facebook seem to miss their parents and were deeply loved by them. Sadly, I don’t have that same feeling. I’d love to have them back to ask them questions about why they did what they did. Why they kept the secret after we were adults. Why they never told me they loved me or were proud of me. (They really didn’t unless it was after a fight and then it would be, “of course we love you” said in anger and frustration.) My brothers had a different experience. Psychologically, I’m certain that it was because I was the first born “after the adoption” and I wasn’t a boy.

I was encouraged to find a husband and marry … that’s why a girl goes to college. I was born to have babies, that was where I would find happiness and fulfillment.  I was taught to iron and sew, to play the piano and guitar. I was given ballroom dancing lessons at Mary Jane Spencer’s. My peers were encouraged to pursue a career, told they could do anything that they set their mind to. I didn’t know that until I had children of my own … and had been in therapy for depression and a failing/failed marriage that lead to an ugly divorce.

img_0121.jpgToday I am happier. At nearly 60 I am feeling comfortable in my own skin. I am grateful for the life I was given and I know that my parents never meant to cause me harm. They did their best. Sadly, it wasn’t good enough to give me wings to fly. I had to find those for myself.

Today, one of the things that makes me happy is yarn. Everything around yarn. I love people who use yarn in their creative endeavors. I love the animals who provide the fibers and the process that leads to the yarn being available to buy. I love feeling it and working it into a garment. I love the shop keepers and the customers. I  am grateful for the shared wisdom of women and men who share my craft and the love of yarn. I love that I have found a wonderful man with whom to share my life. He loves me as I am even when I don’t.

Life hands you some bizarre twists and turns and I’ve learned that it’s all about what you do with them that makes you who you are. I am grateful for them all because I like where I am today. I wouldn’t be here without all those experiences. I’m strong and resilient and happy. I’ve started over many times and I’m sure I’ll start over again.

Speaking of starting over … I started something new yesterday.

IMG_3065Born out of frustration with the fit of my nearly-done Malabrigo sweater, and in an effort to use some of my stashed yarn, I cast on the Brambling Shawl.

The Brambling Shawl by Bristol Ivy was one of the projects in A Year of Techniques. It’s a study in Intarsia – the use of two colors in the same row. The yarn used in the pattern (and that I bought) is Fyberspates’ Cumulus. It’s a lovely blend of baby Suri alpaca and Mulberry silk. The project calls for five colors (camel, slate, plum, sea green and silver) and is worked from tip to tip with increases and decreases to make a triangular shawl. I’ve just gotten started and have yet to add the second color, but I love being able to learn a technique with practice.

So, tomorrow I will celebrate my husband who is a great father. Patient, loving and kind. I will also celebrate the fathers in my life, my brothers, uncle, cousins, and my own dad who did his best. He did teach me to love pistachios!

Gone knitting!

 

Happy Mothers/Mother’s/Mothers’ Day!

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It’s hard to imagine that nearly a month has passed (again) since I’ve posted something about my knitting life – or anything about my life. I wish that I could say that I’ve been on an exotic trip to Africa or on a tour around Europe but I’ve been happily ensconced in my normal day-to-day life in Maine, USA.

Today is Mother’s Day. I heard from all five kids and have eaten my gift of Graeter’s Ice Cream (six flavors, all with chocolate chunks) twice a day since it arrived. I’ve been knitting less and resting my hands more. Sadly, I’ve got some arm aches that lead to thumb pain on Friday and that’s enough to make me slow down.

I took my Orange Peel quilt to the long arm machine yesterday and got it about half-quilted before something happened with the machine. Initially we thought it was a band slipping but as I worked, the noise got worse and it was bad enough to stop using it. With any luck, the repair man is coming on Thursday and maybe I can finish quilting on Friday after class.

I’ve been happy at work at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville. I’m in the store Tuesday and Thursday and I teach on Friday. I love our customers and I love working with creative people. We are participating in the first “Maine Yarn Cruise” this summer and we’ve been getting our planning done. Prizes, patterns, kits, etc. There is a lot of planning to do and 19 or so shops participating from around the state. I love teaching, too. I had 20 students last week – three of whom stayed all day – and I so enjoy helping my students conquer their knitting challenges and learn something new. I also enjoy stretching my own knitting knowledge. Each challenge that students bring to me are a new test of my skills as a knitter and I realize each time that I am really a good knitter, capable of figuring out just about anything that’s brought my way. Confidence building!

I am knitting and making progress.

I cast on for the Joji Locatelli “Starting Point MKAL” and have gotten about half-way through clue number 1. Trying to pace myself. More details will follow but you can also check me out in Ravelry (lindar). I’m nearly finished with a sweater for my sweetie. I’m knitting “Flax” by Tin Can Knits. What a great garment! I’ll have to make more. “Flax” is designed to be worked in worsted weight yarn. I’m using Ella Rae Classic Wool in a really pretty blue color. My husband will look wonderful in the blue! I’ve got most of one sleeve to complete and then the ribbing for two sleeves (after it’s tried on once more).

I have two pairs of socks on the needles – one cuff-down in a speckled yarn and a toe-up pair in Heritage Print by Cascade in Christmas colors. These are the socks that I taught in my adult ed class this past session. One class turned into two … two nights of teaching each week may be one of the reasons I haven’t been posting a whole lot! I also have started another pair of Miriam Felton’s “Footie Socks”. One down, one to go.

I’ve finished husband’s scarf and several “knitted knockers” (www.KnittedKnockers.org). Have also knitted a pair of socks for my new cousin. I’m in the process of making him a flannel quilt like I made for his big sister.

Image (1) knitting-002-199x300.jpg for post 1462My little dog, Lola, has had kennel cough and is now struggling with a goopy eye. Probably spring allergies. Both little dogs are heading to a new groomer on Wednesday and I’m sure that will help – we’re horribly over due for a hair cut! I’m working on finding a new hair dresser, too!

Moving to a new place is a challenge. I’m still working on finding all of the doctors, hair and nail people, groomers, veterinarians, stores to shop in, etc. But we are so glad that we moved to Maine. We are looking forward to more time on the front porch and summer visitors!

Gone knitting!

Spring in Maine

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The secondary roads are posted which means bright orange signs posted on telephone poles litter the rural scenery. In Maine this means it’s spring.

This weekend, despite the calendar date, we are going to get snow. Again. Initial reports were for 2-10 inches. And more, perhaps, later this week.

Even this girl has had enough and is ready for tulips. Which I forgot to plant last fall.

Welcome spring! Let it snow!

Gone knitting.

 

Back in the Saddle (again!)

Image (2) Tell-Yourself-253x300.jpg for post 1369Well, I’ve managed, with a lot of help from others, to get my blog back up and running. A HUGE thank you to Maureen C., my happiness engineer at WordPress.com, who was amazing! It’s really all to her credit that my blog is working again. Thanks, Maureen!

This has been a long and sometimes frustrating experience but it feels great to know that going back and forth between provider’s websites is now much more familiar to me.

Once again, in attempting to do something new, I have learned something valuable – stick with it. I can do it. I’m a “smart girl”. Too often I tend to talk to myself in a not-s0-positive way. If I can continue to remember that I wouldn’t say these things to my children and I won’t say them to myself, I’ll be happier and healthier!

Gone knitting.

Glitches!

cropped-bee5am6.jpgI knew that moving my website (it’s really a blog) from one place to another was going to be time-consuming. Well, little did I know it would take WEEKS!

I can only call the tech support people on Mondays when I am home from work and so it’s been a series of Mondays to get things moved over to my new WordPress.com platform. One would think that to move from WordPress.org to WordPress.com would be a painless and simple task. Not so. I’ve had to deal with GoDaddy where I bought my website name and also with HostGator who has been hosting my blog but who wants $85 a year for the next three years to host the site. Needless to say, I’d rather not go that far for a blog that I enjoy keeping and some of my friends like to read but I’m not making money from it … so. I’d prefer to keep it as inexpensive as possible. Thus my ideas to change the hosting platform to WordPress.com which is less expensive.

A lot of jabber to say that I am having some glitches. I can’t see my pictures and I am getting a message that says that my website can’t be authenticated. A little bit scary considering that I have several years of content that I want to keep!

I’m working on it … and I have only the ability to email the tech people at WordPress. It might be easier to actually have someone to talk to!

Gone … oh, crap! I wish I was knitting!

Back In Business!

Woo! Hoo! Finally and just in time, I’m back! This has been a particularly challenging three weeks or so since I decided to get smart and change my website from one host to another … and lost my “entire website”! But thanks to the powers that be on WordPress, GoDaddy and Host Gator, I’m back in business.

This experience has made me really fearful of changing the hosting service that I’ve been using but it’s way more expensive and way more “advanced” than what I need. Since Queen Bee Knits is just me chatting about knitting and what I am doing and learning, I don’t see any reason to pay nearly $100 a year to have the site hosted. So, I am hoping to make another change over to WordPress … but my site is on their .org site and I need to move to their .com site.

Crossing my fingers and toes in hopes that I can do this successfully this time! I’m moving forward.

Gone  … not really knitting!

Nevertheless, She Persisted

I was raised by a Yankee lawyer. My father’s family was well-to-do or as we say today, “privileged”. My father worried about what the neighbors would think. We went to church on Sunday and we voted Republican. I was a Republican because that’s what we were.

I was raised with the old adages “children are to be seen and not heard” and “good girls ________” (fill in the blank but I often heard “are quiet”, “don’t swear”, “don’t cry”, etc.) I was a good girl. I learned to sew and dance. I learned to be quiet and to silence my voice. I did what I was told. I followed the rules. I was afraid that if I did something that was NOT what good girls did that the police would show up and arrest me. How would I explain that to my father? I desperately wanted his approval.

I married a man who my parents liked and I thought I loved right out of college. That was, I was taught, when I would be happy and I would be complete. (I wasn’t given a middle name when I was born but was told that I’d have a complete name when I married.) I struggled to be happy for nearly 28 years before I divorced. I did everything I knew how to do but it was always “my fault” that the marriage was a failure or that he didn’t come home or ___________ (again, fill in the blank). If I’d only kept the house cleaner or the kids quieter. If I’d had a job to help pay the bills (because money I inherited that helped to support us didn’t count, it “wasn’t mine”.)

It has only been in the last ten years or so that I have been finding my voice. I have worked with a therapist, tentatively and then more assuredly voiced opinions about where I wanted to go for dinner and what color paint I wanted to paint the walls. I bought my own clothes. I spent money on real jewelry. I paid my rent, bought my first car entirely with my own money (and a little help from my wonderful son.) I learned to listen to my gut. And I learned that I was smart and sensitive and really good at many things. I learned that I could move to a strange city and find a job and make friends. I learned that I could be lonely and survive. I grieved the loss of my “old family” and gave birth to a new one (no, I didn’t have new babies but my relationship with my children changed) that included step-children and a new husband.

When the Senate told Senator Elizabeth Warren to shut up and sit down last night, it struck a chord with me. I found myself furious. A high school friend posted an article on my Facebook page this morning. I found myself insulted and angry. I will not be silenced. I will not shut up and sit down. I can be a bleeding heart liberal or a “snowflake” or anything else. I will listen to my heart and follow it – I will protest for women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose. I will protest for clean air and water. I will protest for the education of our children, our most precious resource. I will protest for the voiceless, the impoverished, the mentally ill, the refugees and immigrants who want to build a new life in a country full of possibility like my great-grandparents. I will not be silenced. I will call and email and write letters. I will put my money where my mouth is.

Because I always was complete. I have always been enough.

Gone knitting.