Skip to main content

Whims and Needles

  What a great day. I made some progress in getting Dan squared away in his impending adult life without school, and I met up with a group of women under the umbrella of what is more commonly known as “Pints and Purls.” 
  I may have discovered the best thing since gooey butter cake: a group of women sitting around a table at a dimly lit pub drinking cocktails and pints while they knit and crochet. This is genius. 
First of all, it beats sitting on the couch by myself getting mad at CNN’s election coverage while I drink my green tea with truvia. Secondly, it meant that I met women (funny women) who might be able to teach me a thing or two about needlework. One of the women finished an infinity scarf right there at the table and wore it home. That’s progress.    Another lady was using about 18 knitting needles to make a pair of gloves that were so fine that I’m pretty sure a 17th-century princess could have worn them. 
  And I completely forgot to mention that there was salad with goat cheese followed by cheesecake dripping with strawberry sauce and a nice apple crisp on the table. Please. There’s really not much else a girl like me could ask for. Except maybe an Al Pacino movie from the 70s playing at the same time. 
While I was at the pub I kept thinking: Is this real? Can I really drink a Guinness, listen to town gossip, get out of the house in February (Martha’s Vineyard is a bit quiet about now), and crochet at the same time? Answered prayers really.
People think summer on “the Vineyard” is fantastic. For me, winter on the Vineyard is nirvana. I drove home from Pints and Purls at 9 p.m. and passed maybe ten cars in the opposite lane on my 15-minute ride home. I was driving down what we call “the beach road,” where I could look out at the black ocean while I made my way home. 
  My drive was peaceful and dark and my crocheting was pretty awesome too. Since I’m near the end of my afghan number three, meant for my amazing husband who puts up with my every whim, crazy idea, and complaint, I was wondering what fancy needlework these ladies could help me with next.
I’m seriously considering bringing my knitting to them. I know, I know, I’m too uptight and my stitches are a bit stiff, but I just can’t let it go. I want to be a successful knitter. I feel like I can’t really be a proper New Englander without knowing how to knit. (Did I mention that I’m 54?)
  I have visions of the Peabody sisters, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Little Women. They all probably wore knitted winter coats and had freshly plucked chickens for dinner. Living here can be a little strange. My mind is always someplace between whaling ships and $80 hoodies for sale in souvenir shops. 
  This is not a place for the faint of heart. You’re looking at an exorbitant amount of rent, $10 for a pound of coffee, winter storms that batter and close roads, a seasonal economy, a terrible lack of affordable housing, and a weird perception that features movie stars, top political advisors, authors, and let’s just say a whole bunch of Harvard-Yale-Princeton smart people dining in our little restaurants and picking up a pizza slice at the Chilmark Store. Not to be confused with Alley’s General Store, which by the way is open year round. When it’s January, they don’t care if you’re the only person in the store and you’re buying a pack of Bubblicious, they’re just glad to see you.
It’s quite something, this island. It’s almost parallel to the rest of world right now. Some of us long for a slow pace and a quiet life. Others want everything yesterday. I’ll take a black coffee with a little milk and a little conversation.


Popular posts from this blog

I might need a price check

So my husband Chris works three days a week in America, and I’m trying not to take this personally.
He’s commuting Monday mornings on the 6:30 ferry over to Cape Cod, where he works at an upholstery shop in Hyannis, the Mattydale of Cape Cod, for all you Syracuse readers. I stay here and hold down the fort, cooking up a cocktail of frozen pizzas and mac n’ cheese weeknights for my poor Danny. Chris comes back late Thursday night, all giddy over toilet paper prices and quotes on cheaper rent.
No, no, no, and more no I say. I can’t possibly leave all this off-season quiet and high-priced laundry detergent. There’s no convincing me to leave no matter how many times Chris points out that there’s a Trader Joe’s “over there.”
I want to stay here until I miraculously win on one of those $5 scratchers and can buy my own house here. The difference being that I feel confident that I will someday scratch my way to freedom while Chris thinks we’d be smarter to look into a nice rental “over there.…

Getting well takes baby steps

So I’ve had what you could call a case of the pneumonia. It was not pleasant. And to top it off it happened in San Antonio, Texas. Like I wasn’t sweating before the fever.
I was there to see my niece Michelle, who by the way kept asking me, “Are you going to write about this?” which is funny because she’s a writer too. I naturally said, “Oh no, of course not.” And here we are.
Thinking back, the best part of that trip teeters between meeting my two great-nephews, Oliver and Isaac, and having a couple of beers with their Yaya, my sister, who I haven’t had beers with in decades. Like I said, it’s a toss-up. There’s also the fact that I got to spend time with my niece’s husband Alex. He’s a hardcore military guy. He teaches other military guys how to be military policemen. I’m not going to gamble on writing anything about him. He’s from Wisconsin though, which I like. And he likes to cook, which I also like.
I thought to myself before I ever left my nice cocoon of Martha’s Vineyard to tra…

Who's got the soap?

I’m wondering at what age I’m allowed to hire a personal care attendant, covered by insurance of course. I haven’t reached my toenails in two and half years and the other day in the shower I seriously considered whether or not it was worth it to soap up below the waist. It hurts when I go anywhere past my kneecaps.
I’m okay with gray hair; that’s been coming in since I was in my 30s and I could still reach my ankles. It’s the burgeoning mountain under my man-sized T-shirts, just below my sagging breasts, that really gets to me. I want to know when exactly I stopped looking like I was 20, because it feels like yesterday. I look in the mirror strictly from the shoulders up these days.
It’s not completely depressing. I know there are about a billion other women in the same boat I’m in. I love the women who wear whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got those top-heavy grandma arms or busted veins mapping their legs. I say go for it ladies. I’m gonna get there someday.…