July 24, 2006
On Time Travel and Families
2:14 pm edt
It's been a long time since I last had the opportunity to travel back in time to the reign of Elizabeth I of England
and visit all the fine folk of the Sterling Renaissance Festival
. What with one thing and another (life happens, y'know?), I hadn't gotten out there since the end of the
2004 season, and didn't think I'd get there this season either. Then I got an email from my buddy Mario, followed by
one from my godson, both of them telling me that young Jason would provide me transport to Sterling on Sunday, if
I'd like to go. IF???
They needed to ask
? Silly humans.
Then, of course, Mother Nature had to throw one of her patented hissy fits, giving us horrendous heat and humidity all
week followed by incessant rains on Saturday. That evening, I seriously considered calling Jason to tell him I wouldn't
be going, but something held me back. Good thing. Sunday dawned bright and sunny and cool and not at all humid.
Wha' hoppen here? I wondered. Don't argue, just get ready to go and play! replied my more sensible
After the usual struggle with various portions of the faire garb (Me? Go to Sterling as a civilian? Nope,
that's just wrong.), I pulled myself together and went off to Festival. The drive out was interesting,
as I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around the idea that Jason's old enough to drive (I didn't get any older, how did
he get to be in college?).
There's something uncommonly welcoming about the festival site, at least for me. As I walk through the gates, it
feels as if I'm coming home after a long absence. It's been that way ever since I first set foot on site in 1979, and
Sunday was no exception. I hadn't realized just how much I missed both the place and the people until I was actually
back there. Apparently several people had missed me as well, judging by their greetings.
It's odd how such a varied group of people can become so united by love of a particular activity. There's a real
feeling of family among the "regulars" at Sterling, even though we come from widely divergent backgrounds, professions, lifestyles,
and such. Someone once said that everyone has at least two families: the one they're born to, and the one they
choose. I have to say that I feel far more comfortable among the Sterling family and have far more in common
with them than among my relatives. Apologies to the biological family here, but truth must be told.
Families. We've all got 'em. Some of us are fortunate to have several different families. I've got
three: biological, Sterling and Splinters. I consider myself an extremely fortunate person.
July 20, 2006
The Eagle has Landed
9:36 am edt
Thirty-seven years ago today, mankind reached out to touch the heavens. The event was marked by these words: "Houston,
Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." Two human beings had arrived on Earth's nearest neighbor,
the moon. I can clearly remember sitting up half the night, glued to the television, watching every minute of the live
coverage. Many of my friends did the same, as did millions of other people all over the world.
A talented songwriter named Leslie Fish wrote a song celebrating the landings, which has been popular in the science
fiction community ever since. I hope I've remembered her words correctly here, as I feel that this verse in particular
is a fitting tribute to the astronauts and engineers and scientists that made it happen.
"From all who've tried out of history's tide,
A salute to the team that won!
And the old Earth smiles at her children's reach,
The wave that carries us up the beach,
To reach for the shining sun."
July 17, 2006
Knitting content - with pictures yet!
10:39 am edt
Yes, The Infernal DigiCam has condescended to cooperate with me for a change, and has produced some photos of works in
progress. First, we have the diamond-pattern scarf in Karabella Gossamer:
This is the first time I've used this yarn, and it's likely to be the last; the thick-and-thin structure of it, with
the sparklies interemittently sticking out of it, makes it less than enticing to knit. The scarf is only about
one-third done. The yarn is a pain, but the pattern is simple enough to be a good change of pace from Peacock Feathers,
now at nearly 400 stitches per row:
And, finally, the much-neglected top-down cotton shirt, inching its way from armholes to hem:
It's lurking in its bag, whining because I'm spending so much time with the lace projects. It may be time to invoke
the two-row rule again, just to get this one moving toward completion. The original plan was that I'd be wearing
this by now. We all know what Robbie Burns says about "the best laid plans," now don't we?
Wouldn't it be nice if the house gremlins would actually knit additional rows, instead of stealing and hiding essential
July 13, 2006
Where does the time go?
11:35 am edt
'Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future...'
It seems like only yesterday that I last posted here, and to my amazement I see that it's been more than two weeks!
How in heck did that happen?
On the knitting front . . .
The Peacock Feathers shawl continues to grow, but slowly now that each row takes ages to stitch. Still, we've reached
the next-to-last chart and the project and I continue to be on friendly terms. No temper tantrums, no hissy fits...
karma has got to be setting me up for some kind of disaster. This is going waaaay too smoothly.
And now for something completely different. . .
Last night, after getting thoroughly drenched in the 30 seconds between closing the umbrella and getting onto the bus,
I got to thinking about other drenchings in the past. A couple of years ago, a friend and I had gone to the Sterling Renaissance Festival
and near the end of the day, the heavens opened. Since we had dressed in faire clothing, we were not carrying
umbrellas, and by the time we reached the car, both of us were soaked to the skin. I mean really, wring-it-out soaked,
as thoroughly as if we had been sentenced to the dunking stool.
Since we're experienced rennies, she and I had both brought sets of "civilian" clothing to change into before going
to dinner. The problem was, it was raining so hard that to use our usual tactic of changing while standing by the car
in the parking lot, we'd have been soaked again before finishing the transformation. What to do, what to do?
Change in the car, of course!
Yeah. Right. Sure.
Imagine, if you will, two soaking wet middle-aged women, both wearing clothing pieces that lace up the back,
trying to change clothing from the skin out, in the front seat of a Toyota. Add in a massive case of the giggles.
Some memories will never fade...