Monday, February 6, 2012

winter projects, and a story

I finished these two sweaters recentlyLink with Icelandic Lopi yarn from my friend Lee's sheep It's the same sweater in different sizes and knit in 2 different colors with two separate sets of vintage buttons sewn on. I got the buttons from a wonderful hole in the wall store, called "The Button Lady" run by, at the time, a 90 year old woman proprietor. The store was in a small town in Northern New Jersey and is no longer there.I had one of those peak, memorable, mother daughter experiences in the store that many women with overly controlling mothers can most likely relate to. My mom was talking to the elderly proprietor while I wandered around the narrow shop with a wall of floor to ceiling long drawer type boxes of buttons. As I walked around, in overwhelming awe at the wide array of beautiful, vintage, buttons, I finally zeroed in, and made my selections from the drawers of buttons, each of which had a price sheet included inside the box. I carefully selected the sample button, laying it on top of the price sheet, and then placing the button and price sheet on top of the corresponding drawer box, making it easy for the elderly woman to tally up my purchase and keep her inventory in order. I had selected about twelve separate button styles and neatly laid the boxes and info sheets on the counter. The woman asked " are you ready?" as I said " yes" my mom who wasn't paying any attention to the care and organization of button boxes I had made says" Oh lets organize this for the woman" and quickly starts grabbing boxes and buttons, haphazardly, completely screwing up the meticulous order I had so painstakingly arranged. The buttons fell on the floor,and my orderly selection, ended up in utter disarray. Not only had my mom ruined the tally, but insulted me by insinuating that I was a sloppy idiot, that was too lazy or inconsiderate to carefully arrange my purchases for a nice elderly woman. Well, the mentally sharp, elderly, Jewish, woman had not only been able to carry on a conversation with my mom but also noticed all the efforts I had made with her inventory, and sternly chided my mom, the kind of chiding you give when you realize someone went out of their way to make your elderly life a lot more difficult!" your daughter already had the buttons in order"she said to my mom with an edge in her tone on the verge of yelling. My mom kind of brushed it off " Oh yeah I guess she did" in the same inattentive manner in which she caused the problem, not realizing the enormity of work it was going to take to put the inventory back in order. That behavior, unfortunately,arose from a long history of assuming authority, starting with my mom's role as a middle child looking after younger siblings. She was also a former teacher of young students.My mom had a habit of always taking control, regardless of whether it was needed or not, and assuming a position of authority without the sensitivity of observing her surroundings and seeing if authority and taking control was called for. On top of it all my mom was complaining to me in not such a soft voice about the price of the buttons, all the while, I knew how rare it was to find matching sets of 4-5 beautiful vintage buttons in one convenient place. As an adult woman who is careful with my money I had already made these assessments and deduced that the buttons were well worth the money, but such are the experiences one has with parents at times, regardless of your age they tend to see you as their hapless 10 year old, at least in my case. I suppose old habits die hard and people don't always see what is, but leap to conclusions based on old patterns of behavior. Nevertheless these buttons I sewed onto my handmade sweaters are tied up in so much memory for me!

I was able to grow and eat salad from my greenhouse on the winter solstice. I experimented with growing greens, lettuce,arugula, spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, mint, collard greens, Swiss chard,so far I've been able to harvest everything but the Swiss chard which has grown to half it's size and then stopped.I'm in zone 4 and my greenhouse is in an area protected from the wind, that is not full sun but gets an adequate 6-7 hours.
Winter this year is quite bearable, with high doses of vitamin D, my stack of 12 books to read, fresh vegetables in the greenhouse, and lots of knitting projects, besides work.

No comments:

Post a Comment