Mohair Melee

Angora rabbit thinks it’s snowing all the time.

Most of the attendees at the annual fiber festival looked the same: middle-aged ladies who have clearly never seen the inside of a CrossFit, some trailed by a patient husband like mine. Their outfits could often be described as “creative,” “unique,” and “artfully layered.” Choosing warmth and pride over commercial fashion wasn’t a bad choice for a mid-October festival in huge, warehouse-like buildings on a fairground, serenaded by the the Doplered approach and retreat of racecar engines circling the nearby track in the constant rain.

We arrived on the early side for the Saturday noon opening of the Used Equipment Sale. I envisioned a The Who concert-like stampede by knitters, swarming, grabbing, and elbowing for first dibs on Lazy Kates.

But, no. Quiet and polite milling around the swifts, looms, and spinning wheels disappointed me. A victorious gleam in the eyes of a woman clutching a spinning chair (a damned uncomfortable-looking piece of furniture for a craft that requires many hours of sitting) over her head as she made her way to the checkout table like an Oregon Trail migrant forging a river, was as close to Black Friday pandemonium as things got.Read More »

Unraveling

Not exactly scarf weather

RIGHT: Hematoma Scarf (14 days)
LEFT: Anemia Scarf (4 days)

The day after MIM’s birthday, though I had yet to get him a present, I sent him to the craft store to buy me yarn. I was on my back in bed with my suddenly severely swollen leg elevated on a stack of pillows. “Just buy me something soft and puffy, like Kathryn’s sample yarn,” I instructed, handing him the small ball Kathryn had left the night before after she’d taught me how to knit.Read More »

Dropped Birthdays, Dropped Stitches

Matt Ryan’s 5-year-old, birthday-saving Facebook post: “Rick got his full loaf shrimp po boy from the Louisiana Market on the corner of Carondelet and Louisiana”

For the first time in 30 years, I forgot the Man I Married’s birthday. Instead of my bringing him breakfast in bed and wishing him a Happy Birthday, he brought a cup of tea to me in my downstairs recovery room—an office now filled with medical equipment. Whereupon I greeted him with a graphic recap of the results of the prescription laxative suppository I’d finally given a chance–through desperation–at 8:00 the night before, thinking I’d be feeling lighter by bedtime. Instead, I read an entire novel overnight on the cold throne, feeling like I’d eaten nothing but peanut shells for the past two weeks rather than having ingested and injected massive cocktails of opioids with a side of morphine.Read More »

Long-term Marriage

The Man I Married and I met 29 years ago on a street corner: a random occurrence that shaped the rest of my life. I was waiting for the Walk light, and he crossed on the Don’t walk. Nothing much has changed. We got married 51 weeks later. We’ve been together for over half my life.

Swans, like those raised on The Brady Bunch, live and mate in family groups and keep the same mate for a lifetime.

At first, long-term marriage looks like this:

swans (24)
Hubba hubba

Then sometimes it looks like this:

Not speaking
“You put my delicates in the dryer on high AGAIN?”

Often it looks like this:

Heading mostly in the same direction
Heading mostly in the same direction

I used to want this:

Checking out guys at the bar
Checking out guys at the bar

Now I just want this:

Alone for some peace and quiet
Alone for some peace and quiet

What I have is this:

Happy Valentine's Day from our family of three
Juvelines are grey, in swans and in human males who’ve been given charge of their own laundry

I’ll take it and count myself lucky.

* * * * *

Image Credits:

All photos by Jennifer D. Munro.

Land: A Toy!

2013:

A gated community!
Gated community!

Ah! My first writing retreat since becoming a mother five years prior. Alone in a cabin in the woods for four days with nothing but my notebook and pens, laptop, and books. Creaking trees outside. No television, no internet, no cell phone service, no mail delivery. No neighbors in sight. I would use this quiet time to cogitate, meditate, create—no interruptions, no chaos, no needs other than those of my own stomach and an occasional wash under my arms. Just my own unfettered thoughts and ideas to run amok without time restrictions or crises.

I wasn’t going to blow it this time, as I had the year before when a friend had lent me her house for two nights near an out-of-town teaching gig, and I’d been so guilt-wracked that I gave myself the shingles. I’d learned my lesson. Why did I not think I deserved this and that the boys wouldn’t burn the house down without me around? Scratch that. If the house burned down, it wouldn’t help if I were there, although they’d probably forget about the safety ladders.Read More »

Well, I Never!

Rhino Head and the U-Haul, New Orleans-bound
Rhino Head and the biggest U-Haul truck available, New Orleans-bound

For years now, I’ve had three “non-goals”: things I strive never to do in my life. Since I always forget at least one item on my list of rules, and I’ve lately added two, I finally had to write the list down:

  • Never sue anyone.
  • Never divorce.
  • Never rent a storage locker.
  • Never use a hash tag.
  • Never use a drive-through.

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12th Mom, Her 12-Year-Old, Their 7th Mother’s Day

The Other Woman in His Life
How about hooking that hose to my vein for Mother’s Day?

“I think it’s a really bad idea that you’re going to be gone for the whole entire Mother’s Day, Dad,” our twelve-year-old Little Monkey said to the Man I Married.

Wise child.

MIM responded, “Your mother and I give each other a lot of freedom to follow our dreams.”

Quick thinker.

He continued, “Your mom had to be gone all day yesterday to follow her dream, so she doesn’t mind that I’m gone all day on Mother’s Day to follow mine.”

Much as MIM’s masterful at pulling split-second malarkey out of his derriere, he also spoke the truth. It would be splitting hairs to point out that I’ve spent twenty years chasing one dream, while he’s spent our marriage chasing twenty, and I thought fatherhood was going to end his following the next shiny fantasy twinkling over the next green hill. But adoption papers don’t come with a “required personality change” clause, so I’m not sure why either one of us thought that would be true.

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The Things We Kept and Schlepped

royal stamps3Recently I suggested to the Man I Married that we get rid of our old hamper. The wicker reeds have been snapping off and leaving our laundry room looking like a forest floor after a windstorm. It’s also difficult to stack because of its flaring shape and won’t fit under the new sink MIM installed despite having no water supply or drain. Let’s just call the sink a hamper.

“You can’t get rid of the hamper!” MIM responded, surprising me with his uncharacteristic fit of sentimentality for an everyday object, when he keeps so little (other than 2 motorcycles, 6 banjos, 1 viola, 1 clarinet, 5 guitars, 1 mandolin, countless harmonicas, and let’s not even start with the cider equipment). Even his first wedding ring is long gone.

We moved into our first apartment together over 27 years ago with that hamper, a hand-me-down from my mom. We carried it up and down two flights of stairs, with bags of quarters, to the laundry room in the basement of our Makiki apartment building, where my nylons once got wrapped around the washing machine’s agitator, and I fled in panic. Yet one more reason to never wear pantyhose. I still feel guilty about leaving the scene of the crime.

At least the hamper doesn’t get smelly, since it provides more and more ventilation over the years.

DSCN1178
Hampered

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