Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Besides knitting....................................

It was 37 years today
(and no Sgt. Pepper didn't teach the band to play)
but I met Bob...................................

Crystal Clear Stars

Crystal clear stars
Lightning bugs in jars
Hula hoops brand new
And Captain Kangaroo

American Bandstand
Transistor radios
Masses in latin
Shiny black patent leather shoes

Homes with no a/c
Just fans in your face
Hop scotch and Lesley Gore
The Beatles - oh! - to die for!

Thoughts like a river flow
Everything I know
Books I have read
Birthdays in my head

High school and girlfriends
Talking the night away
A litany of loves
Only one saw the light of day

Pique turns and arabesques
Grand plies at the barre
A Radio City Hall Rockette?
Who do you think you are?

Suddenly babies on my doorstep
Matchbox cars and hair barettes
Their life from me
My life is them

Unexpectably it passes
School years, concerts, growing up
It crashes into college
And car keys and size 12 shoes

Empty rooms and empty nests
Can make you sing the blues
This is my life after all,
Essence in multi-colored hues.

In between more babies born,
Yet, the old still died,
Nieces, nephews, barbecues and heroin,
In twenty years one life done in

Daughter, mother, student, aunt
Friend, co-worker, confidant
Dancer, writer, dreamer of dreams
Innkeeper, knitter, pray-er, it seems

For courage, and fortitude
For patience, no strife,
Only goodness and love,
In this my sweetlife

For that's all it's been
Through trials and through sorrow
For fifty some years
There's been a tomorrow

Too many others gone quick to the grave,
Out beyond Jupiter and Mars
Yet God's graces just keep on shining
Like crystal, like crystal clear stars.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How Did I Miss THAT?

Cranford, NJ. My hometown. The only Cranford in the USA, I've heard. Just 13 or so miles from Manhattan, it's a pretty town, full of comfortable homes, large, breezy trees and quiet shady streets. Almost anywhere is walkable, from the pathways leading to Nomahegan Park and the college, to the footbridge along the river, which, when it's behaving itself, stays within its banks.
All of my friends from high school, those who lived on Franklin Pl, Herning Ave, Brookdale Rd and elsewhere, are long gone; moved away, as have their parents. Yet, I still drive these suburban streets and things, for the most part, look the same.
For those of you who are wondering, yes, the high school looks the same as it did in 1969; only the steps no longer amble sideways up to the front doors, but were repositioned directly in front and go straight up. They've been that way for years.
Whenver I visit my Dad we inevitably end up at the Cranford Diner, directly across from the train station. NY buses still pull into the parking area, scoop up the waiting, and proceed to their next stop.
The downtown is still there, yet most of the stores and the places I most remember are long gone. No more Sweet Shop at the corner of N. Union & Alden Sts, no more Robinson's or Can Can, (I think the latter went the way of the winds when my daughter was 6 0r 7; she's 33.) The Peppermint room is also just a memory, where certain cliques found after-school refuge in the old-style red booths of the skinny soda shop. Gone, as well, is Seager's, the old fashioned drug store with the soda fountain inside, across from the 5 & 10. Am I making any sense? Funny how words mean something and then don't, how new words, silly words, take their place, some with great significance. Did you "google" today?
So many new businesses, so many new names, a few new buildings, but the downtown still looks remarkably as it did when we were all singing "Hey Jude."
I've been looking at those buildings for so long, the two banks on the corners of N. Union & North ave.; Martin Jewellers is still in the same place. Most of the downtown is two and three-stories high, with apartments in some of the spaces on the upper floors.
There is one 3-story building which faces the train station, and when you see if from the back there are wooden steps and wooden porches attached to the brick facade. Years ago whoever lived there had pretty flowerpots and flowerboxes strewn out on that 3rd floor back porch. I would always look there whenever driving through, and always saw flowers for the longest time. There did come a day when the flowers were gone and the apartment looked forlornly empty. Since then, I've never seen flowers on the back porch ever again.
Just last month my Dad and I drove to the diner and parked along the street right along the back of the building. Walking along the sidewalk I glanced up at the wooden porches again as we got closer to the small driveway area. Then I noticed something I've never noticed before. On the third floor porch, tucked into one corner, and obscure in the shadows, is a metal spiral staircase which ascends to the ceiling, where a closed panel goes through to the roof. And there it is, and there it's been, all along.
And I've never seen it before!
Over 40 years, and I've never noticed. Right there next to the flowers and the porch railings, perfectly obvious, hidden in plain sight.
How much of our lives are exactly like that? How much do we think we see; how much do we really see?
So, here's my point; look around your downtown, I mean, really look around, and find something you've never seen before. It just might be that little yarn shop or craft emporium, tucked away and not making any noise to get noticed, that you will discover. And do it before it's too late! On my way to Cranford, I have been passing by a yarn shop on Rt 15 and had every intention of stopping in to see what I might see; only thing is there was a fire about 5 months ago and now the yarn shop along with the other businesses in the old converted barn are no more. Hopefully, they are rebuilding, but who wants to wait?!

Next post, join me in Denmark!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What next?

Don't stay on "wrap up" too long -- you may get crucified. Or at the very least, same-timed. Yet, when calls are coming in hot and heavy, who notices you're there? Oh well, just had to vent, from a job that gives me little satisfaction. From a job that is filling in the blanks until all the rest pans out.

Don't get me going.........and don't ask me why I knit! It's cheaper than drinking, although a good gin
and we're talkin!

Lately I've been a knitting fool. Working on shawls, swatches, washcloths, scarves, shrugs, sweaters, baby stuff. Here's a picture of some of my stash, at least those things I haven't given away --

So, now what?

That is the question. This summer stretches out with nothing in particular to knit. No weddings, no babies, no special events of any kind; just long, hot days yet to come.

The temperature will inevitably climb into the 90's and then stay there; stuck, like flies to honey. Humidity will creep in and creep up until the air is thick and heavy. Then all breezes cease. Even those little winds which dance at the tops of the trees, just disappear; never to be seen again until September, when totally weary, and I suspect, disgusted with itself, summer finally collapses into a cooler version of what it should have been all along.

We aren't even into summer yet, that happens next Thursday on the 21st, my handsome son, Rob's, birthday, but the days are already humid and thunderstorms roll through daily.

Weather which doesn't require heavy sweaters and scarves and gloves and cars which feel like frozen tombs in the morning is a welcome break indeed, if you ask me. Take notice of these long evenings, after July 4th they will start going the other way.

So, back to my question.....what to make?

I've already picked out a lacy, willowy tank from one of the several knitting mags I subscribe to, so that may be my next project. I'm also leaning to something big. As in a bed comforter. Something in the nature of a patchwork primitve design, the kind you find in some old dusty antique shop in New England. So, we shall see.
I'm working out some patterns to knit some squares and will post them next week I think, after my newsletter is created and after all those hours spent at work, thinking about all I could be doing, somewhere else.


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