I have to apologize for the abbreviated (but good!) post last week; I was having too much of a good time with my Mother-In-Law, who joined me for my Tuesday morning excursion to our favorite local fast food place for breakfast and writing. It was like old times and we shared some great conversation while acknowledging warm greetings from the staff before returning Mom to the security of her assisted living apartment. When I called this morning to see if she could join me again this week my disappointment in her “no” response cast a bit of a pall over today’s routine.
You see, I need to be reminded from time to time that an important part of life in the sandwich is sharing familiar routines, even when it becomes challenging to do so. So we couldn’t stay as long, so we needed a walker, so what? We had a good time, refreshed some nice acquaintances, talked like we used to, and forgot about some of the daily struggles brought on by the ravages of age. Her inability to join me today was just another reminder that things can’t always be the same but that we always need to make opportunities to reaffirm relationships and remember the fun times.
Speaking of fun, on the way to an afternoon family gathering D and I dropped in on the Michigan Fiber Festival at the Allegan County Fairgrounds on Saturday, paid the requisite $5 fee per head, and wandered into the exhibitor barns to exercise our appreciation, for an hour or so, of the varied and wonderful arts revolving around animal fiber. D is a knitter, I would say extraordinaire but she doesn’t agree and to make her point asserts that she gets a lot of free knitting time (that means pulling it out and knitting it over again for you of the non-knitting ilk). I just tag along at these festivals, fascinated by the feel, beauty, and utility of sheared, cleaned, combed, and spun animal fiber (particularly alpaca) and the many associated activities and crafts.
As we moved through the barns who should we discover but friends Zach and Lindsay, owners of Fat Toaster Farm, showing their wares in one of the booths! Zach was seated at a double treadle spinning wheel hand spinning natural fiber from their flock of Jacob Sheep, an activity which I was unaware that Zach enjoyed and which, up until this moment, had failed to capture my interest despite having visited several fiber festivals over the past five years. After lots of questions and Zach’s demonstration of the art I found myself intrigued by the process and the satisfaction he found in pursuit of creating a high quality natural yarn.
As we continued on through the barns, stopping to say hi to acquaintances Rita and Roger Johr, owners of Circle R Alpaca Ranch who we once visited in our quest to learn more about raising alpacas, I found myself continuing to be intrigued by the idea of hand spinning yarn. Here’s a nice portable hobby, very relaxing after a hard day of work or play, and quite satisfying through the production of something both beautiful and useful; kind of like my wife’s addiction to knitting!
So, following a little additional research and some practice, last night I tackled the experience of spinning yard on a drop spindle and found myself with several yards of handspun yarn on my spindle by evening’s end. Who’d have thunk it, a business advisor and ex-auditor spending a quiet evening hand spinning yarn? Well it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks; and that was a perfect example; and perhaps the start of a new hobby for this old dog.
So here’s this week’s lesson for all of you living life in the sandwich: hang on to the old familiar routines that keep you and your family grinning, and tackle something new occasionally, to keep you spinning! There’s a lot going on out there folks, so … engage!
Doing a little more grinning and spinning these days…