Those of you who know me are aware; this pre-winter season is not my favorite time of year. Everything is so brown and dead looking. There is a very Halloween-scary-movie-forest thing going on outside. I can almost imagine a “dead” scarecrow hanging from one of the branches.
Sure, there are occasional surprises, when our unrelieved, sodden brown surroundings transform overnight to a temporary winter wonderland. But it doesn’t mean it (yet …). By the following day, everything is back to dull brown.
It’s a season of adjusting; boxing up t-shirts and short sleeved tops, pulling out turtlenecks and woolen leggings (and I am so glad I managed to drop that “covid 10” pounds this past summer, or those warm leggings would NOT have fit under my jeans!).
With limited closet space, it also means boxing up flip-flops, sandals and most of my light-weight tennis shoes to make room for warmer, bulkier shoes and boots.
On the bright side; REI came through again, and I now own an arch-supportive, lightly insulated, water/snow proof, well-cushioned pair of ankle-high walking shoes to take over from my comfortable but way too water-penetrable Hoka One One’s.
The Hoka walking shoes won’t be boxed up though. They will still be much needed for twice-weekly walking on the indoor track at the Menard Sports Center. I intend to greet next spring in much better physical shape than I did the last. At least, if my problematic knee holds out. 🤞
So, with our quirky weather currently hovering around the freezing mark, sunshine on some days, then winds blowing or rain falling on others – my daily routine has inevitably begun to change as well.
I find myself instinctively gathering my winter comfort hobbies about me this year, as I haven’t seriously done for a long time. It feels right.
Last night, as I was carefully laying a tub-full of freshly washed, raw sheep’s wool on drying racks beside the wood stove, breathing in the remembered smell of wet wool, I realized what had changed.
Anyway, this is the first winter since 2008 that I haven’t had overriding priorities pushing my fiber arts to the side. I never gave them up, but they moved well down on my list for a long time.
First, Jerry’s 2009 TBI and long recovery, then my going back to work and becoming involved in dog sports (along with caring for Jer), and then being totally (and happily) consumed by being a K9 Nose Work instructor.
Even last winter, although I was doing some spinning and knitting while mostly sticking close to home, I was kept busy actively planning, structuring, editing and reviewing an online nose work course with 8 students.
I enjoyed and appreciated that class – it kept me mentally engaged during a winter that otherwise really sucked.
THIS winter, however, I have no job and really, no commitments.
Other than taking the pups to nose work and barn hunt practice, and sticking to my own exercise routine, I’m pretty much free to explore old passions, with time to give them my full attention. I think I might be [gasp] actually looking forward to it …
Thus, I now find myself pacing the floor, not in frustration, but meditatively, drop spindle in hand.
Yes, this winter, when it finally arrives, is going to be different. Heck, I might even pull my drum carder back out. I’m feeling my creative juices flowing.
With various and assorted fleece and fiber to choose from (my stash really could use some judicious pruning), a drum carder, two spinning wheels and multiple spindles … there’s no telling what could happen.
Stay tuned; I believe this may be a winter for tale spinning … of one sort or another.