the last hour

We haven’t made it to the Fall Fiber Festival in a couple of years.  This year it fell on what at first seemed would be a perfect weekend, and we talked for weeks of our plans to be there.  The reality of our past couple of days though, is that by the time we arrived at the festival, there was only one hour left.  We made the most of it though, visiting first the from scratch organic donut stand and then the sheep.  Larkspur and I then wandered the booths, while Jonny took the other kids to watch the sheep dog trials.  I thought I had time for both if I was quick, shopping and some of the trials, but by the time I made it over to Jonny and the other kids, the trials had ended.

Before we left, I asked Keats to take a few photos of Jonny, me, and our four youngest.  I’m not sure he was paying attention to how he framed the shots.  More of an, “Okay fine, I did it.  Can I go now?”

We left Seth with a friend playing golf because he has no interest in the fiber festival and is very vocal about his opinions.  We realized that this was actually the last time we would take any of our three oldest.  Our other two older boys were our complainers this year.  I guess they just aren’t interested in booths full of wool and yarn, or sheep dog trials anymore.  They don’t stay little for long, that’s for sure.  These boys of ours have their own interests now, their own ideas of how they would like to spend a Sunday afternoon, and they aren’t shy about letting us know.  Next year, I’m afraid it will just be our four youngest with us.  I never thought that going to this festival would become a reminder of the fact that our children are growing up, that it would mark the years in a way.

That yarn in the last photo, from a local Virginia Farm, is the only skein I purchased. ( I’ve knit with their yarn before.)  I mostly get overwhelmed by the mass quantities of yarn at the festival, so rarely actually buy any, but  I wanted something fun.  It’s for Silas.  He says, “Mittens.”  I say maybe a vest.

A State of Mind

DSC_0764 Thanks to my dad, last week we took a little trip to the beach.  In hindsight I could have taken the bee sting to the face that I got on the way as a sort of harbinger of the days to come.  The truth is that it just isn’t smart to get close to a semi truck loaded with confused honeybees.  Having never seen one in “real life” before, I couldn’t help myself.

Job started refusing to eat on the way down, and started running fever our first day.  He clearly felt terrible.  By the final day of our trip he was recovering, and we learned that he doesn’t have an aversion to sand and he kind of likes the pool.  Of course that was the day that the wind was really blowing and we couldn’t stay long on the beach.  I spent most of our trip in the room with him.  He hardly slept at night, and I have to say that part was pretty miserable.  But the truth is that vacation is a state of mind, and I’d sure rather have a sick baby while on vacation with my other children happy and occupied, than at home.  I had a great trip minus the sleep deprivation.  I opened the glass doors and listened to the ocean while Job napped during the day.  I watched my family play on the beach below.  I finished the body of a baby sweater, did a lot of reading, and got to spend an afternoon with my Aunt Genie sans children.  I’m so thankful that we had this opportunity to visit with family and that the big kids all had such a good time.

On our last night, Jonny told me that I should walk out and see the ferris wheel down the beach and maybe get a picture of it, all lit up.  Ha, ha.  I tried.  It’s that tiny bit of blue light.  Can you see it?  It was awfully far away.

p.s.  I’m sure that most of you guys have even cooler gadgets (don’t tease me!), but in case some of you are looking for a way to take audiobooks and music in the car without hauling CDs (yes, I am in the dark ages) or anything very expensive, I want to share this little music player that my friend Lori told me about.  I’ll just copy what it’s called straight from Amazon, where I ordered it: Soundfly AUX MP3 Player Car Fm Transmitter.  It plugs into the lighter of the car and then can be connected to an mp3 player or have a thumb drive or something similar plugged into it.  It plays right through the car speakers (magic!)  I already use a little SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip to hold audiobooks and music, and I just connected it right up.  This was a lifesaver on our drive, and allowed me to bring lots of different things to listen to.

It turns out that Job likes Gregorian Chant.  At one point, he wouldn’t stop crying so I turned on a chant album.  He got quiet and I heard one of the kids ask in the back, “Where’s that music coming from?”  Beatrix answered, “From heaven.”