The hill is in a field behind Margaret’s house. Shaded by the surrounding woods, the snow doesn’t melt there unless the temperature is above freezing for a while.
So it’s still deep enough for sledding.
Margaret used to own the bookstore in town. Jon has known her and her husband Bill, since he moved Upstate. During the summer we had socially distanced dinner on their screened-in porch. But we haven’t seen them since the weather got too cold to sit outside.
Then a couple of weeks ago Margaret asked me if I wanted to go sledding.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been sledding. Margaret, who is in her mid-seventies, usually goes with her grandchildren when they visit.
But that isn’t happening this year.
Wearing masks and keeping at least six feet apart, I chose the purple plastic sled and Margaret took the orange one from where she keeps them in the woodshed next to the front door.
We stood on the top of the hill which is steep enough to slide down but not too steep to walk back up. Margaret warned me of where the big holes were so I could avoid them. Then told me how she props her feet on the edge of the sled so she can use them to stop if all else fails. Otherwise, she’d end up in the trees and brambles.
Margaret went first. She expertly sailed straight down the hill and slowly came to a stop just before the tree line. I was impressed, she made it look easy.
When it was my turn, I flew down the hill out of control, circling to the right I practically had to turn myself over to stop.
As we dragged our sleds up the hill we talked about what was going on in our lives and in the country
On the way down the hill, everything vanished but my body bouncing over the snow trying to gain just enough control not to crash into brambles. It was like a quick-moving meditation, instantaneously throwing me into the moment.
We went up and down the hill for about a half-hour then took a walk. But before returning our sleds to the woodshed, we took one more slide down the hill.
If there wasn’t a pandemic going on, I don’t know that Margaret would even have thought to ask me to go sledding. And now it’s one of the few things we can do together.
Margaret invited me back again as I was leaving. And as long as the snow stays, I’ll take her up on her offer.
I wonder if next winter when the pandemic is hopefully under control, we’ll think to go sledding again. Maybe by then, we’ll just be thrilled to be able to go to lunch together. And sledding will just become a memory of these strange times.
Bud had already climbed his way onto the furniture to get the best view out the window by the time I got back in the house. We both watched as the AAA guy cranked my car onto the bed of his tow truck.
It was the third time I got into my car and the battery was dead. The two other times I figured I’d left the lights on or the door slightly open and a friend give me a jump (we can’t use Jon’s car to jump mine because it’s a Hybrid). This time I just called our mechanic who is just a few minutes down the road and told him I needed a new battery.
Clint kindly drove to the house to jump my car, and when it still wouldn’t start, guessed that the problem was the Starter and suggested I call AAA and have it towed to his garage.
The woman at AAA apologized repeatedly that it would take at least 90 minutes for a tow truck to come. I was fortunate not to be stuck on the side of the road. I told her it was no hurry and went back to work. Ten minutes later the tow truck pulled into the driveway. He was passing by the house on his way to his next pickup.
Now my car is back in the driveway with a new Starter. It couldn’t have gone smoother.
I don’t drive it much since the pandemic, mostly just into town and back. But I like knowing that my car is there when I need it. Being able to drive and having a car has always been a source of independence and freedom for me.
Partly because I never lived anywhere that had good public transportation. But also because my mother didn’t drive and my father liked it that way. He felt that if she drove she wouldn’t be as dependent on him.
Sometimes when I pull out of the driveway, I remember that feeling I had of finally being on my own, when I first started driving. The feeling that I could go anywhere I wanted. It wasn’t really true, my 20-year-old car that I paid $100 for often wouldn’t start and would have broken down before I got too far. But it was still more freedom than I’d ever had before.
And of course, unlike my mother, when I was driving, I was in control.
I couldn’t help but notice when I looked at the photo of Suzy’s new shawl that in it I saw the same colors as the ones outside her window.
Autumn colors, yes, but look at the green grass and how the ground, beyond it, is the same shades of rust, pale orange, and rich maroons. Suzy calls the chartreuse “hopeful spring grass” but I see that as her interpretation. It’s even speckled with the yellow locks as seen in the gradations of color in the field.
Suzy’s son told her that she has style. “You put colors together that really shouldn’t go together but end up working”, he said.
I think he’s right.
Suzy hand-spins and hand-knits all her shawls. Each one is a unique combination of colors and patterns, no two are exactly alike. She gets her wool from her mohair goats, Lucy, Ruth, April, Alice and Larry. She also supplements it with wool from her favorite fiber artists.
Her shawls are as soft as they look. She washes each one in a natural softening solution.
Suzy’s Winter Fields Shawl is 64″x19″. It’s $150 + $8 shipping. You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here.
If you’re interested in buying some Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls I’ll have them in my Etsy Shop in a couple of days. Or you can email me at [email protected] and let me know how many you’d like. I’m selling 3 for $15 + shipping. Or if you’d like less than that they’re $5 each + shipping.
I got so caught up in making my “Orphaned Woods” words yesterday, that I forgot to take a photo of my wool quilt, Shirts and Skirts.
I’ve never worked with wool in this way before, but I like sewing it and the challenge of making all those plaids fit together without being too much.
I still have lots of wool left and I’m thinking of making some wool potholders. Wool is a great insulator, and even more fire resistant than cotton. I’ve even used it as batting in my potholders and it works as good as the insulated batting I buy.
Jenn bought Shirts and Skirts for her husband. She bought another of my other quilts and her husband liked it so much she thought she’d get him one of his own.
“Shirts and Skirts” bigger than most of my quilts by 5 or 10 inches all around. I put it on the guest bed to run a lint roller over it and it looked so different to me. The colors popped and receded even more.
Jon’s had a bad reaction to one of his new medications since he started taking it a while ago. But it got worse since yesterday.
The reaction is also a symptom of Covid 19.
So when Jon called his doctor to see what he should take for it, the nurse told him he should be tested and self isolate. Jon will get tested this weekend. And I’ll isolate too, doing curbside pick-up when necessary.
Neither Jon nor I think that he has Covid 19, but the possibility is hoving closer now than it had been at the beginning of the day. At times like this, I don’t let my mind wander to the dark side. I’ll do my best to stay in the moment and make the best decisions to keep Jon, me and everyone else as safe as possible.
I know a few people who have had to isolate and quarantine. They’ve all tested negative and are back to their lives as much as anyone can be these days.
I believe it will be the same for Jon and me.
Since we’re both fortunate enough to work from home, we don’t go out a lot anyway, and always wear masks and socially distance when we do. So we’ll take it a day at a time, as so many people are doing right now. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter that people have different beliefs about the Coronavirus, we really are, all in this together.
As I sewed my wool quilt together I listened to live coverage of the takeover of the Capital.
I watched some live video then called the office of my Representative Elise Stefanik. She was one of the members of congress who supported Trump’s effort to overturn the election. After being hung up on once, I called back, my voice shaking in anger, I told the man who answered the phone that I hoped Stefanik was no longer supporting he president.
He said she would be releasing a statement soon.
I thought my voicing my opinion would have little affect. Unless of course, it was joined my many other voices stating the same opinion. I’m a hopeless optimist.
I spent the day, selling and packing up my wool. I still have Issachar’s black roving for sale and thought all the wool skeins were sold. But when I had all the envelopes full, there was still one skein of natural white wool left.
I went over my orders twice to make sure it didn’t belong to someone, then concluded my mistake was in counting.
This last skein of wool is from Rosemary, Liam, and Kim. It’s a mix of Romney, Border Leicester, Cheviot and Karakul. And like all the others, it’s 200 yards of 3 ply worsted and is $27 + $5 shipping.