Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Comes in With a Bang

Our plans for the rest of our vacation changed drastically last Saturday night, which incidentally was our 23rd wedding anniversary. My sister-in-law called to inform us that my husband's dad had had an aortic aneurism. After several subsequent conversations with family members, we decided that Russ should fly back to Nebraska immediately. It's amazing how quickly travel plans can be made when money isn't considered. I found him a ticket on a flight for Monday morning out of the small "international" (that probably means one flight to Mexico) airport that is less than a hour away from us. We're just kind of in "waiting" mode. There just aren't any rules books for behavior in situations like this. I know that we made the right decision for Russ to go back there, but now what? The doctors don't sound too encouraging. I guess we'll just figure out what to do as we go. I think that we both have a huge feeling of impending transition, but there is hope still that he will recover.

It maybe sounds a little insensitive after sharing that my husband is spending this week by his dad in a hospital bed to talk about knitting, but life goes on, especially, I'll admit, when you're 1700 miles away from it all. Cold for us is if it hits freezing sometime in the middle of the night and then only warms up to 50 degrees or so. Russ's winter attire consists of a sweatshirt when we go on walks, if he thinks about putting one on. Luckily, I got him a nice wool coat for Christmas which should keep him warm in Nebraska. We couldn't find his gloves, which he hadn't used since we went to the mountains last February. I hurredly knit him a stocking cap on Sunday night, and found some mittens that I had knit years ago. There was really nothing to say, so I felt good at least giving Russ something that I had made especially for him.

I've been in the stocking cap mode lately. I use the stocking cap pattern from Melanie Falick's Weekend Knitting . I knit this blue stocking cap for my nephew for Christmas. He's only ten but I figured that Kai would be a good model. Yes, I realize that Christmas is over, but my sister and I do not always adhere to the calendar when celebrating Christmas.

I've had this the blue wool for over fifteen years. It's Lopi yarn that is left over from a set of sweaters I knit for my brother and his wife one Christmas. Their son, who is currently a sophomore in college was a baby that year. Working with that yarn triggered a kind of funny memory. Typical of me, I hadn't finished either of the sweaters I was planning to give to my brother and sister-in-law, so I remember working on them in the back seat of my dad's Suburban with my brother and sister-in-law sitting in the front seats, having no clue about who they were for. We were headed into the mountains near my parents home in Northern California going to find a Christmas tree to cut down. My sister-in-law worked for a lumber company that allowed its employees to go on their land to cut down a tree each Christmas. We had driven about an hour on a well-plowed highway when we turned onto a side road that we "thought" was the way to the designated trees. Fairly quickly, the road became completely covered in snow. For some reason, my normally rational brother kept on driving even though the road kept on getting worse and worse. Finally, we realized that we were going to get stuck, but we weren't sure how to turn around. For several miles, we had been noticing discarded beer cans every quarter mile or so. Then we came upon the source--a ragged, long-haired, Humboldt County "resident" shuffling through the snow. He put out his thumb for a lift, and once again out of character, my brother stopped. (We didn't really have much choice, as we were driving about five miles an hour, but stil...) I quickly grabbed the axe intended for our Christmas tree from the back seat, and the scary guy hopped in. He then helped us negotiate the drifts of snow, eventually getting us back to the main road. He told us that his name was Skyhorse, and that we could ask for him in town if we ever wanted to look him up again. From the smell of Skyhorse, I doubt that his liver has continued to function into this century; however, I do appreciate that he helped prevent us from becoming one of those sad stories of Californians or Oregonians who miscalculate the treacherousness of the mountains in the winter.

That was a longer story than I had intended to tell, but it it kind of funny to think that it's taken me all this time to think of something to do with the rest of that yarn. I wish Skyhorse well wherever he is.


Hege said...

Happy new year!

Hope your father in law will get better soon.

Julie said...

Send Kai out here - we have lots of cold weather (and snow!) and he could definitely keep warm here with that hat! Hope your father-in-law gets better - I'm sure he'll appreciate having his son by his side.

Wool Winder said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I know you must be anxious to hear good news. Until then, keep knitting to stay calm.

Tracy said...

My prayers and good wishes for you father-in-laws return of health! Peace, love and JOY to you in 2008 ((HUGS))

Britt-Arnhild said...

I am sorry to hear about your father in law.

Lovely hat/beanie