Monday, May 08, 2006

Creative pursuits

I've been away from my blog for several days because I've been busy with other things. Friday night I had a dinner for my singles group, so I was cooking and cleaning for that. Dinner was supposed to start at 7 p.m., at least for gathering and visiting. My friends are not punctual people, as I warned a man from church who had invited a couple of people to attend. My newcomers were there at 5 til 7. Ohhhhhh boyyyyy! I felt bad, unable to stop and visit with them since I was in the thick of final preparations of the food. I did offer them some tea and invited them to sit and visit in the living room while I finished up, hoping someone else would quickly join us and help with hospitality.

Next person to arrive was the associate pastor of my church. Unfortunately, that was about a half hour later, because her car was rear-ended by a massive utility truck at the major intersection near my house. Uh-oh. That will put a damper on an evening every time! But it did give the three of them something to talk about while I was desperately dodging raindrops as I finished grilling pork tenderloins outside. Agh!

Two more guests arrived -- at 8 p.m. One of my best friends and a friend of hers, whom I had not met. OK, let's tally the score: 6 people at my house for dinner, three of them strangers.

We enjoyed our meal and had a good conversation talking about jobs -- current job woes, most difficult or unusual jobs we've had -- and Famous People We Have Met.

One had met the actor who played Steppin' Fetchit when he was an old man on disability in Chicago. He never received any royalties from his film work and was impoverished. A sad commentary on our past.

A couple of my friends are accomplished musicians who have had great encounters. One had performed with Mason Williams and Vince Gill. Her fiance (who arrived at 9 p.m. and who I promptly forced to sit and eat) has played at the Grand Ol' Opry, on the Today Show on NBC (noting that he really liked Al Roker), had played with Tommy Newsom (of the Tonight Show band under Johnny Carson) and has had two tours with his band in Germany, where they are a pop favorite like David Hasselhoff.

My claim to fame for the discussion was receiving a Tiffany vase from Doc Severinsen as a wedding present many long years ago. He was a close friend of my former father-in-law.

It's a fun discussion and ice breaker. One of the newcomers relayed stories of his great-grandfather's escape from Hungary during World War I. He hopped a train and managed to get passage on a steamer to Canada. Later he entered the U.S. through Minnesota.

We talked until after midnight when the yawns finally took over and everyone gingerly headed for their cars through the rain. I stood on the porch for a while waving goodnight, smelling the rain and listening to the sounds of the night.

Saturday I slept until 4 p.m. Even when I accepted that's what the clock said, I couldn't get my bearings. I didn't know what day it was, even. I stayed up a few hours before going back to bed.

Sunday morning I had to be at church at 7:45 because my handbell choir was playing for both services. It's a rather acrobatic undertaking which is simply exhausting, in a good way. Most of the exercise comes from setting up the tables and trying to negotiate a place to stand and another place to sit in a very, very overcrowded choir loft. I hope some of the logistical problems will be solved in an upcoming building program which will include a redesign of the sanctuary.

Also on Sunday we had another dedication of prayer shawls. Two of mine were given, one to a man facing surgery today and another to a child with pneumonia. Here are some photos of what I've been working on:

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Purple heather prayer shawl.

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Closeup of fringe

I've also finished this baby blanket, which I started in 1979 when my childhood friend was expecting her first child. Um, when I found it in the closet stash this week, I realized just how large it was already, and decided it was time to finish it off. So I knitted three rows of garter stitch and bound it off -- it took me, oh, an hour... This is without question my longest unfinished project ever. And I've been knitting for 40 years (ohmygod) .

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It was one of the first lacy patterns I ever learned to knit. Here's a closeup of the detail -- it's a chevron design.

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I have another special lace project under way right now. I can't wait to finish it and show it to you. I'm making it for a particular friend and I don't want to spoil the surprise -- it's someone at my church who has requested one of my pieces. I hope she will like it.


Kuky said...

Your finished baby blanket has put such a smile on my face. :)

dragon knitter said...

thank you for your kind comment on my "i" post. i gave up dyeing my hair almost 3 years ago, because it's too hard to do. my hair is down to my hips.

andi think you've got the all time record for ufo's! 1979?!?!? wow!that's older than my two boys combined!

Sarabeth said...

I also like the Encounters with Famous People way to have people interact. I've done it at a few dinner parties and business dinners.

Mine--I knew Emmett Smith (Dallas Cowboys) in high school. I went to high school with Roy Jones, Jr. (Olympic silver medalist in boxing and professional boxer). I also went to high school and college with Derrick Brooks, a great linebacker with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Just an aside-you really feel small when standing next to three members of the FSU defensive team. It's one of those memories that won't leave me. My five foot four inch person is tiny when compared to the size of those men.

Genevieve said...

I have a crewel-work of an old fisherman in front of some nets that I started sometime around 1980, so I guess there's still hope that someday I will finish it. :D

I have never learned to knit, but I am little interested after looking at your shawls. I do crochet, but I never thought I could co-ordinate two needles.

Erudite Redneck said...

Might have to come back. I was readin' along and got totally sideswiped by "grilling pork tenderloins." ... Apparently, you wrote of knitting, too.


FrenziedFeline said...

I have to agree with Dragon--that's gotta be a record! (Should I mention I graduated from high school in 1979??)


You're so talented--it's great that you're not hiding your light under a bushel. :)

Emma said...

Beautiful stuff! I hope your pup doesn't get sick from all the treats I fed him!