Saturday, June 24, 2017

Looking for Love

Why am I here? It's a common question, I think. A question that takes on extra meaning as we age. Babies don't ask this question, because they instinctively know that they are here to be loved. I suppose that I cannot assert this as as absolute truth, as I don't think anyone has ever polled infants on the matter...but I do know that I have never seen a baby in an existential crisis. Sure, they cry to be held, fed and changed...and then contentedness washes over them as they are loved through basic care and cuddle-y conversation. They are content to be loved, as they deserve, just because they are here.

Little children, especially those in the "Why?" phase of their vocabulary, will start to ask the question, but it is a little different for them than it is for us. "Why do I have a Mommy?" "Why do we live in Ohio?" "Why do I have to eat peas?" As they grow and explore, there are so many questions that kids ask, usually with the requisite "Why?" or "But, why?" thrown in for good measure. As parents, we struggle to answer without giving too much away too soon. I remember when my 5-year-old son asked me, "But how does the baby get into the mommy???," after many conversations about the mommy and daddy who loved each other very much. So I finally told him the rest of the story, on his terms. His only question after that was an astonished, "Does Dad know about this?!?" 

School aged kids, ready for more detail to the complicated questions of life, really get into learning everything they can. Maybe they are not so engaged in the classroom, but they learn through play, in an extension of their younger days. They learn through family relationships and friendships. They learn by watching, then they learn to connect all of the information they have taken in. They start to come to conclusions about why they are here in school, in this town, this house, this world. Kids from 4-12 are sponges, and we have a great opportunity to fill them with living water and teach them that they are here to be loved and to love.

Teenagers are really examining the whys and wherefores of life. Unfortunately, many of them have not had childhoods like the ones I have described, and they may not know that they are loved. This is tragic, to be sure. I just finished watching the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why,"* and although it romanticizes the idea of suicide (I am not a fan of this), the underlying message for Hannah Baker is the same "Why am I here?" that we all ask ourselves from time to time. Hannah comes from a good family, so it is difficult to see her going through this crisis, and although she gives 13 reasons, I am still not sure she knows why she did what she did. Somewhere in this world of tolerance, we have lost the keys to basic human kindness. We are not passing onto our children the gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...and in this age of social media, some kids (and many adults) are out of control. Lost in this mix are souls, created to be loved but looking in all the wrong places.

Adults, as you know, do the same thing. Looking for love in all the wrong places is a result of defining love incorrectly. Romantic love is what we hope for, and we may experience it in our first love relationships. However, it is mature love that fills us and gives us purpose, and too many of us miss out. Mature love is patient and kind; it does not envy, boast or dishonor others; it is not easily angered or proud, and it keeps no record of wrongs; it always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres, and it is more rare that I would like it to be. Mature love is what we are designed to experience, but too few of us find it, and this lack of love is part of what causes us to question our very existence.

Recently, my father-in-law spent some time in the hospital, and he is now in a nursing home. One of the questions he had for my Sweetie was, "Why am I here?" He is in a facility to help him create more healthy habits, so he might eventually go home. He is in this facility because it had a free bed. He is here because he did not take very good care of himself at home, and everything needs to be regulated for a time before he can be released. Or is he asking about his very existence? Is he asking why he is alive? Why he was born? Why he has not died yet? I just don't know what  he is really asking, because he has not expounded. But I do know that even a crusty, cranky 77-year-old who has not always made good choices is here to be loved. So, even though he is difficult to love at times, we will do our best to love him anyway.

Do you know why you are here? I do. You are here to love and to be loved, and if you have not yet found mature love, maybe you should look in some different places. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life. 

No knitting today, friends, but remember that you were knitted together in your mother's womb, and you are God's masterpiece, designed to be loved. 

Thanks for stopping by. Knit and Love in Good Health!

*If your kids/teens insist on watching this, watch with them, Parents. If they have already watched, watch it alone, and talk to them about it. Please know what they are watching and who they are hanging out with. 

(John 4:14; Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians  13:4-8; John 3:16; Psalm 139:13; Ephesians 2:10)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Daydream Believer

I can knit for miles and miles! At least that's what it feels like while I am knitting my Destination Ohio Cowl! As I knit each color, I think of the place that it represents, and I wonder at the fun it might be to wear the cowl to each of them and snap a photo! I don't think that will realistically happen, but a knitter can still dream...
Luscious pile of cowl on my desk...
So far, I've knit about 34 inches of the tube, and the finished cowl will be around 40 inches long when it is finished, and I cannot wait for it to be finished. I mean, I can wait. It was 93 degrees yesterday, and there is more of that forecast for today, so I can totally wait to wear the thing...but I want it to be finished so that I can take it on a walk into nature, and photograph it among the trees and streams and flowers and butterflies! Because, of course, all my photos are perfect like that...NOT! Well, a knitter can still dream...
The shot was set up perfect, then
he walked right into!
My favorite of the 8 Ohio-inspired colors is Roller Coast, and I am toying with asking Jeanne (of Destination Yarn) to dye me up a sweater's worth! With bright-sky-blues and bits of deep-lake-blue, accompanied by pops of red, green and yellow steel coaster tracks, this colorway is inspired by my favorite amusement park, Cedar Point, a destination in Ohio, for sure! The color captures the spirit of the park, and its many rides, so well that it makes me think of playing hooky from work this coming week. Hmmm, a knitter can still dream...
Honestly could not love these colors more!
Yes, today is a good day to dream, and I plan to enjoy every moment of it! I hope that your dreams are good, and that at least one or two of them come true!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Gramma Brags

My grandmothers bragged on me all the time. It does not matter that I never heard either of them brag, I know they did because I am now a Gramma! If you have been paying attention, you know that my granddaughters were recently in town, so now is my time to brag on how bright and beautiful they are!

How daring...

How quick!

How smart as a whip!

These girls have stolen our hearts...Sweetie and I are always bragging on them! Oh, and ask us about photos...we have a few, you know!

They have recently moved about 1300 miles away from our house, and this makes us sad. However, I know the 6-year-old can read and write very well, so I know there will be letters...


and even Face-Times in our long-distance future. It is not the same as face-to-face time, but it is totally better than not seeing them at all!

Best wishes to my son and his family as they embark on their newest adventure in a very beautiful place! Son, please set up a closet for us to sleep in when we eventually come to visit, because you know that we will. :) Much love and virtual hugs to all of you!

Tell me, blog peeps...Do you have anyone to brag on? If not, you can brag on my lovely granddaughters too!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Almost Heaven...Woolapalooza!

Woolapalooza was, as usual, GREAT! We stuffed seven, obsessed-with-yarn-and-fiber, adult women into a van,

and we drove into the country, where we descended like locusts on the Destination Yarn booth for our first stop! (Some of us even skipped the potty break to head right there!)

Yes, within moments of getting out of the van and sloshing across the muddy parking-lawn at the fairgrounds, we were finding other fiber friends and buying yarn...So. Much. Pretty! Destination Yarn is a local favorite, and Jeanne's fame is growing outside the state as well! After we'd all blown at least part of our wads of cash at her booth, we tried to make a plan...

...but that was a little like herding cats! Fun cats...high on catnip and yarn fumes!

In the end, we broke into groups of 2-3, and off we went until lunchtime. After filling our tummies on fair food (that I neglected to photograph this year), we all met back at the van to share lunches, fiber purchases and notes about our finds...

We sat in the sun, knitting and comparing until some of us just had to go back inside to see if we had missed anything. Alice and I headed back to the grandstand where we petted some fibers to spin, and she picked out one that looks like mint-chocolate-chip ice cream!

It was so lovely, and she also grabbed a Turtle-Made, turkish spindle (my favorite spindles!) make the yarn of dreams! We all took some time with our knitting and spinning, laughing out loud while Lauren listed things she has lost!

Before long, someone noticed the time, and we decided that we had better get back to reality before our chariot turned into a pumpkin! We said our goodbyes to the passengers of other vans, who had also made the trip from our neck of the woods, and packed up the van for the trip home. Back on my own front porch, I took stock...

Not bad. One yarn purchase from Destination Yarn (Ohio mini skeins and the Show-Exclusive colorway), and one fiber purchase. If you don't count sales tax and lunch, I even stayed in my budget quite prettily! Of course, there is still not much knitting or spinning in my house, as the family stayed with us through the week, but we did get lots of time with these super-cuties... there is no complaining from me! What a fun Saturday we had last week! We have had a great time with the kids and their kids for this visit. As usual, it ends too soon and leaves me counting down until my first flight to their new military home. 

It has been a busy three weeks for the Pretties, and I hope to share some more of the pretty with you in the coming weeks. I hope that your summer has started strong and healthy! What are you counting down to? Whatever it is, may it come to you at just the right time!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!