Saturday, November 19, 2011

Warm November

My sister knit this scarf and gave it to me as a birthday present.  She knows I love blue and often wear blues, roses, reds with blue undertones, pinks, and did I mention blue. The scarf is knit from Koigu merino wool yarn in the linen stitch. The scarf is beautiful, soft, warm, and just the right weight for chilly autumn days.

As bright October fades into gray November, I pull out hand knits and settle into my school routine. After the first crazy weeks of back to school meetings and learning my caseload, I find a rhythm working with parents and caregivers of preschool children with disabilities. In my job, I often sit on the floor, share books, blocks, and craft projects with enthusiastic preschoolers. While I dress professionally, I choose sturdy clothing which stands up to repeated washing. The day after my husband's knee surgery, I was dead tired but went to work. On my way out the door, I reached for my new scarf. Knowing the hours and love my sister had knit into the piece, I wondered if I should save it for special occasions.  However, I needed a boost that morning so I wore the scarf. Wrapping the colors and wool around my neck was like a hug of encouragement from my sister. Since then I've worn the scarf several times each week.

This past week a good friend of 39 years passed away. Dorothy was a founding member of the Crafters, a group of my friends who have met once a month for over twenty five years. Dorothy was a witty, intelligent woman who lived a rich full life. She loved and was loved by her family and friends. For many years, she made pie once a week and invited her family over after they attended church on Sunday.  If the Crafters were lucky, she made pie for us. In the last of her 87 years, she faced major life changes with grace and courage. I hope I can do the same.  Her death reminds me of a lesson I've learned more than once.  Savor every day, every hug, every walk, every hand knit scarf and every pie crust.

The day before Thanksgiving, family and friends will gather to remember Dorothy. Then I'm coming home and make an apple pie with Dorothy's pie crust recipe. The crust won't be quite as tender as Dorothy's but I'm going to enjoy rolling out my own pastry. Then on Thanksgiving, I'm going add a dollop of whipped cream to my coffee in honor of my mother and savor a piece of pie with my dear husband and his new knee. After dessert,  I'll lace up my tennis shoes, wrap the linen stitch scarf around my neck, and take a walk under a November sky.