Pandemic Diary: Thankful

Well doesn’t that sound so self- important? I’m sure my experience of this madness is no more interesting than anyone else’s.  In fact, so far, I count myself among the very lucky, in a way.  I say, “in a way,” because one of our family contracted the dreaded virus.  (Following is the “lucky” part.) Thankfully, he is young, in excellent physical shape, and partakes in few to none of the more risky activities of modern life. Not-so-thankfully, the people who rented a room to him via Airbnb summarily threw him out, basically tossing his belongings in boxes after he expressly asked them not to do so. He was also paid up through the end of this month so they owe him some money. I do NOT recommend Airbnb.  You are at the mercy of the homeowners.  Don’t do it. Thankfully, he was able to stay with a friend.  Not-so-thankfully that wore off pretty quickly as they were sharing too-close quarters and his friend also got ill. So, he hunkered down for a couple of nights in a hotel in NYC and then drove home, masked and gloved, to finish his quarantine in another hotel room closer to home.  His sister and her spouse brought him groceries to keep him in decent food for the duration (his hotel room was one of those that had a kitchen in the unit) and when it was over, he came home.  I keep telling family and friends that this is just one person, and one with many supports who, thanks be to God, needed nothing more than to wait it out, drink lots of liquids, get rest, and heal. What happens when two parents with no supports and young children get this?  And let me tell you when our family member got this, we were telling ourselves he’d be fine due to his youth and good health.  Then we heard we shouldn’t have been so sure of that. I am grateful he’s fine, that he left NYC before the major onslaught, that he’s home and that so far no one else has it.

We are by no means out of the woods here in Merlin, either.  When the governor of your state basically commandeers a major Baltimore facility and an adjoining major hotel as field hospitals, it’s a sign that worse things are coming.  We also have extended family members in the medical field: a sister-in-law who is a doc, a niece who is a nurse, my brother’s sister-in-law and our youngest’s mother-in-law. They are operating under the most stressful and, frankly, ridiculous conditions – given the relative wealth in our country. One more VIP in our lives, my DH – AKA “Dad” and “Pop” – is in the hotel industry.  He works the night shift at a hotel downtown.  He is in a group of citizens who are at serious risk should they contract the virus. Due to virtually no business, he was furloughed at 20 percent of his salary.  The money part, so far, we can deal with.  We have some other sources of income and should be able to hunker down and deal with it.  But he has four more nights to work before his 9-week furlough begins. Four more nights to be vulnerable and thereby make the rest of us vulnerable. He doesn’t want to lose the week’s pay that those days afford him  J is old school.  He has always believed in work.  But I tell you one thing: once he’s done those four days, he’s not going back until the danger is over. Thankfully (and I mean thankfully) his company will not penalize him for that. 

Most of the 1.5 of you who read this blog know my political persuasion. I’m not going to say much about the politics of this thing other than two things about which I think most people might agree with me: 1: There should BE NO “politics of this thing.” and 2: The current President had a wonderful opportunity to reunite a country that has been incredibly polarized – much as “W” did shortly after 9/11 – and the current President, sadly, has failed, doing too little too late.  We are all fighting a common enemy; unfortunately, we are also fighting each other – for supplies, resources and assistance. It doesn’t have to be this way.  And BTW, I also am a reader of Norman Vincent Peale.  I understand the President grew up attending his church. There is much to be said for Peale’s inspirational writings. But consider this: positive thinking is NOT magical thinking and knowing the difference between the two can be the difference between life and death. Some believe we are going to go through a time of tribulation in this world. That remains to be seen; however, there is no virtue whatsoever in causing that tribulation. End of rant.  Others have expressed my opinions far better than I have.

Work for the other four of us living at home is either at home or on a reduced schedule.  We who are working at home are still working out strategies for respecting the space, confidentiality, and resources of the others.  Technology and a good internet connection (and a thick dividing curtain between the living room and dining room) have been invaluable.  I am so thankful for that. I am also thankful for a wonderful employer,  wonderful colleagues and the dedicated employees at the Bawlmer County Department of Social Services and the Court system. Work takes approximately three times as long as it did, but I am happy to be able to get something done – and most importantly, I am happy to remain employed, to have something worthwhile to do  – as I am utterly helpless to do anything about this virus.

Now from the serious to the utterly frivolous (we all need a bit of that in our lives, don’t we?

Working at home does not necessarily give me any more time to knit, but I do find myself knitting and cross-stitching more than usual in the evening hours, sometimes staying up far too late.  I think this is a function of the increased anxiety and lack of evening activities in my life.  I am still working on this bit of cross stitch begun ca. 1986:

St. Michael’s Maritime Museum, Barbara Noel, Cadle Creek Cross Stitch. After almost 34 years (with a 30-year hiatus, LOL) you’d think I’d be straining at the bit to get this bad boy done, but knitting has been distracting, too.  I’ve been digging in some deep stash and found this second iteration of Watershed: It went from this:

To this in the course of a few days:

Watershed  by Amy Swenson is a super-cropped vest.  I don’t have the body that lends itself well to super-cropped anything, LOL:). Hence the additional length.  The yarn is Caron Simply Soft Shadows, 100 percent acrylic and currently discontinued.  It’s very close to the finish line now.  I figure a good steam press to “kill” the acrylic and I’ll have something not too shabby to wear with jeans. Definitely not for the workplace.

Another “Creature from the Deep of Stash” is this lovely thing I actually thought I had frogged but hadn’t  – and I had done quite a bit!  I don’t have a picture of where I restarted this, but I’ve made some substantial progress the past four nights:

This cardigan (Fisher Lassie by Bonne Marie Burns) is knit at a relatively small gauge, as one does with guernsey style sweaters.  The stitch patterns are and the almost-peplum styling (perfect for those of us who really don’t have much of a waist to show off) add just enough detail to make for an interesting addition to the wardrobe. Bonne Marie Burns is one of my favorite designers.  I’ve knitted a lot of her designs, many of which I’ve given away as gifts or when my weight changed~:). She combines simple forms with just enough witty details to make them interesting, wearable, and good for a variety of body types. I’m finally about 20 or so rows away from the plain stockinette part of the lower half of the body (see picture).  Then sleeves, collar, and finishing.  If I do the finishing well enough, this could actually be something I’d wear to work. Finding a sweater in deep stash like this is like finding a 50-dollar bill in your pocket!

Another sweater I’m very close to finishing is this:

This photo does not do the Felix Pullover justice.  Unblocked, you cannot see the interesting lace detail at the raglan sleeve edges.  I am about five inches away from finishing the body. After that, it’s sleeves and finishing. I hope to be finished with this one soon, too. The color is much more vibrant turquoise, but the lighting on this cloudy rainy evening is not great.  It’s a beautiful worsted/aran weight yarn repurposed from an aran project begun by a knitting friend who is no longer with us.

Waiting in the wings are the following I am still working on:

I’ve made a little more progress on the Trillium, another sweater that, if done properly, will be a good addition to the work wardrobe.  I am loving this pattern, this yarn – it’s just knitting Nirvana for me. Knitting it in Rowan Felted Tweed, in the Alabaster colorway.

Although the above picture doesn’t show it, I have set aside the sleeve stitches and joined for the body on Jennifer Steingass’ Hinterland.  I’ve set it aside for a while but I am certainly coming back to it very soon. Knit in BC Bio Garn Bio Shetland in Navy and Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool, in their Salty Dog Colorway.

Daffodil awaits correction to the front and finishing of the back.  I am posting this picture because the color is the most accurate.  Knit in Berroco Remix Light in Cameo Pink.
Finally, this incredible sweater was resurrected also from not-so-deep stash.  I believe my progress is a bit more than pictured, but I have a way to go:

The Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan is a project to which I need to pay attention.  The cables and EZ’s own patterning on the front and back are not difficult to read.  However, I will soon be hitting the dividing for armholes and then the saddle shoulders. I’ve seen the video and I think I will watch it again.  It is going to be so much fun to see this project develop.  The yarn is also from SHP – am knitting this in Briggs and Little’s Regal – in the turquoise colorway. 

Well, as one can see, I have enough to keep me busy in the evening hours when worries about the people in my life could otherwise overwhelm.  Tomorrow will be the third canceled Sunday dinner with the kids and grands, but we will connect on Zoom and sing Happy Birthday to our Madison, who turns 20 today.  She was a toddler when I began this blog.:)

God by with you ’til we meet again+

Published by fuguestateknits

Wife of one, mother of six, Grammy to eight (so far) and lawyer for many young persons, I love to sing, read, knit and walk. My politics are somewhat left of Marx and I want to hear what you think, too!

3 thoughts on “Pandemic Diary: Thankful

  1. What a scary coronavirus story! Thank heavens the young man recovered. God is good all the time.
    Your knitting 🧶 is amazing!
    Peace and health to you and yours in these rocky times

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