Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hey, Happy New Year

Happy Beginnings!

I really love this little in-between week during the Holiday Season. After the 25th, there is a little reprieve until the 31st. I tend to spend the time cleaning out closets, exploring the streets of my favorite city and knitting. OK, the only "new" thing in that list is the bit about cleaning out the closets.

I am really determined to plan ahead this year, so I have already started my New Year knitting, and, as usual, I have a few things on the needles simultaneously. One of my favorite new yarns is Odyssey by Reynolds. It's 100% merino, soft as the proverbial cloud and it comes in some lovely colors. I am making a pullover for my 2 yr. old nephew in denim blue - to match his eyes. I am making a red/white stocking cap for my husband's 6 month old nephew and I am making myself some trigger mittens (just ask and if you don't know, I'll tell you) for myself. Sufficeth it to say, they use them during hunting season in Maine.

My pre-Christmas wanderings found me down in Little Italy where I chanced upon this guy and asked him to lunch at Wong's, my favorite soup place in Chinatown. He said he was a tat busy, but offered to take me for a ride on New Year's Day when things had calmed down a bit. He's such a romantic! To paraphrase the old guy himself, Happy New Year to all & to all a good year!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Fortitude says: "Give me back my wreath!"

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Happy & Merry

And a Great Holiday to all!
It's Christmas morning and I am back! Back to writing. Back to not working in an office. Back to making my own schedule. Back to taking pictures with my antique digital camera. Back to the demand of my neurotic muse, which is: write, damnit - what matters is the writing, not the reading.

Because Holidays are a time of reflection and because I am getting more sentimental with every year that passes (at this rate i'll be blubbering on a regular basis before too long), I tend to think of the things for which I am grateful. So, here goes:
The ability to give gifts - Financially as well as creatively. Nothing gives the giver more pleasure than hitting it on the nail and finding the exquisite blend between practical and thoughtful: something that mirrors the recipient's interests as well as something that they'll see or use with some degree of regularity. Happy is the gift giver who know that he has created a happy moment.

The ability to make gifts - Knitting gives on so many levels - and since I don't have to preach to the converted, let it suffice to say that nothing gives the knitter more pleasure than taking two sticks and a piece of pretty thread and turning out something that warms and puts a smile on someone's face. I think, with gratitude, of my mom who taught me how and then left me alone to design. I miss her, but the gentle craft keeps me close to her.

The ability to receive gifts - I am the eternal child - thank god, and i still get a kick out of anything wrapped. It excites my curiousity and touches me to know that someone has taken the time to focus on something unique for me.

The ability to live here (and to work here). To be a part of this city which has nurtured me since my childhood and which, despite the fact that it is always changing never changes, fills me with eternal wonder. Yesterday, doing last minute shopping, i went to Barnes & Noble and met two of the best people. The first was a young girl who was stocking the knitting titles. She is taking some time off from college and has just started knitting. She was bright, lovely and as good at getting information as she was at giving it. I had the best time talking to her about our mutual love of the craft. After that, looking for a gift for my husband, I met an older woman from India who recommended a wealth of titles and suggested some great Indian writers. She was a perfect jewel of a person. Then i went to the framer I adore (on 51st) to pick up the last gift. He's Pakistani born, a citizen of this country and living here full time. I have been dealing with this man for at least 10 years and he's kind enough to call me his sister. One of our mutuallly enjoyable pasttimes is bargaining. He names a price, I feign shock and we go from there - always settling on something totally reasonable. It's our shared ritual and one that makes us both laugh so hard. Today he asked me what he could bring me from Pakistan when he goes to visit his daughter for her birthday. (They have beautiful kashmir and pashmina shawls that are hand embroidered and he's insisting on bringing one back for me.)
In one hour, I ran the gamut in age, country of origin and interests. I am so blessed to be here.

The ability to leave here -for short durations. As much as I love NYC, I also have a need to take a break from it. It's not always easy on the nervous system and it moves with the speed of a subway train on the express line. We have a wonderful little house in the country where we go to read and kni, see good friends and watch the fire burn in a little wood burning stove. The house is smaller than a bug's ear, and we have no tv reception or computer there, but lord is the surrounding land beautiful. Wild turkey roam our property along with the deer that eat everything that isn't nailed down. Our neighbors have bear on their property and 20 mins. away a moose was spotted on my friend's property - all just 2 hrs. from mid-town. What more could i ask for in terms of balance?

Before closing, I would be remiss if I didn't list something for which I am not so grateful. In a previous post, I talked of the lions of the public library - Patience and Fortitude. This year, they decided to give the noble creatures a little cleaning and updating since they were showing signs of wear and tear. Along with the cleaning, must have came a concern for its lasting value because this year did not see the lions draped with their usual large wreaths. Every day i would walk by, expecting to see the beautiful beasts decked out in evergreen. One day, I noticed that the flowerpots had been decorated with some pathetic red bows but i didn't think much of it beyond how drab they looked. It took a few more days for me to accept the inevitable hard boiled truth: The lions were not getting their usual dress up. Very disappointing, to say the least. There are christmas cards dedicated to those beauties with their wreaths, for goodness sake! I am assuming that some highly practical, no doubt officious and vigilant soul (or group), decided to "protect" the new finish by not draping the wreaths on our precious lions. Bah, Humbug, they look very cold this year. How practical - how spiritless. It's hard enough to conjure up a little spirit given the state of our world. I say bring back the wreaths!!!!
Love to all - and to all a good day.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I feel so guilty!!!!

I know, I know - guilt is useless, and besides, no one is reading this anyway. Nonetheless, I feel very sad that I have fallen down on my daily rituals. Blame it on the work. By the time I drag my weary body back to my house, I barely have time for a quick chinese meal and knitting a scarf or two, before I have to turn around and go to bed.
I have managed to squeeze a little knitting in, and, yes, a little shopping (tis the season for sample sales), and a visit or two with old pals, but there's no doubt that i have fallen down on the job. So, to the 3 or 4 stalwart souls (2 of whom are my daughters)who read this, forgive me. I'll knit you a blog.

There's something in the air this year. I don't know if it's Christmas in New York, or just rank determination, but our city is feeling downright festive. There's a Christmas mart set up in Bryant Park - right across from the office - and another one set up in Grand Central and it won't be too long before Patience and Fortitude (my favorite lions) are sporting their Wreath necklaces. The weather is mild enough to walk around in a cape or sweater and New York has never been filled with more tourists. All in all, the city feels like it's on a holiday - and the feeling is good.

If you're headed this way (and you know who YOU are), give me a call and we'll hang out a bit. We'll drink hot chocolate and go skating at Wolman Rink. We'll go to see the tree at the Met and drop by Rockefeller Center. We'll go visit the windows at Lord & Taylor (this year is a Homage to the festive Postal Service stamps of yesteryear and today) and go visit Santa. Oh, I'm getting so merry, I think I'll go take pictures at Lunch time. Wait right here, I promise to return very quickly with photos of New York, the Christmas City.