I didn’t do much crocheting over the holidays, but realized I was missing it. Having a crochet hook in my hand while I watch TV in the evening allows me to still do something creative and constructive with my time. Further inspiration was provided when I flipped through the pages of a book of patterns I received as a Christmas gift. It was time to get back into the rhythm of the hook.
I found a cute pattern for a child’s hat which could be sized for a baby or a larger child. Below are the coordinating hats I made for my two granddaughters.
These were quick and easy to make, and a good project to get me started again. Plus, my two-year-old granddaughter’s excitement when she saw me working on them was beyond gratifying. (Though I am not sure if she was excited about the hats, or just wanted to play with the soft, squishy balls of yarn.)
Either way, it was a fun project to do. And who knows, perhaps someday I will pass this skill on to the girls. I firmly believe my central role as a grandparent is to love and support my granddaughters. Any additional skills I can pass along will be an additional bonus. If my husband can pass along some basic woodworking skills and I can pass along a craft or two, it will be time well spent for all of us.
Looking at this old house reminds me of a farmhouse I looked at recently while searching for a home to purchase. The house I visited was built in 1843. I am guessing it was one of the first wave of “nice” houses people built after they were ready for something better than the log cabins they quickly constructed when they first settled in the area. Whoever built the farm house clearly intended it to last, which it did.
Given its 175-year-history, I can only imagine the changes that house saw. What stories it could tell, if the walls could talk! It saw more people come to the area and build a village nearby. It saw soldiers marching bravely off to the Civil War, and the altered survivors limping home. It saw soldiers marching off to other wars. It saw people dancing through the prosperity of the Roaring 20’s. It saw other boom times and busts.
Ironically, it did not see much change to its own walls. When the house was built, people generally did not heat the upstairs of farmhouses – and that was never changed. There were no heat registers in the upstairs when I walked through the house. However, this simple farmhouse was built with closets in the bedrooms, which would not have been common when it was built. Even more surprising is that the original closets are still there – including the hooks to hang up the few clothes the family would have had. Unfortunately, the closets are too small to inside to retrofit for the hangers we use today.
While the structure did not change much, this house still saw many other changes within its walls. The children who first ran down the back stairs to the kitchen each morning grew up, and most of them moved away. Babies were born here, and some of them probably died here. Birthdays and weddings were celebrated. Deaths were mourned. The house could track the seasons by the never-ending farm work being discussed around the kitchen table each day.
Through everything, the house sheltered its occupants within its walls. It kept them dry and warm. While it could not do anything to stop hard times when they came, it continued to protect its people the best it could. Though the house I toured was not the right house for me, I hope new owners will respect its proud history and help the house stand strong for another 175 years. I am sure the house has many more stories it would like to tell, if its walls could talk.
Happy 2019, everyone. Turning over the calendar to a new year tends to make me feel reflective. Now that the holiday hoopla has settled, and I have recovered my from first New Year’s Eve in an urban setting (more on that later), I have been thinking about my goals for this upcoming year.
I jotted down a list of goals earlier today. When I stepped back and looked at it, I realized most of them were related to my writing career. (I also had the obligatory ones to exercise more and lose that stubborn ten pounds, but since I have those goals every year, I’m not sure they count anymore.) The goals which resonated the most for me all could be loosely grouped into one category: getting more serious about my writing. Our interstate move last fall derailed me for much longer than I anticipated, and it is past time to resume a regular writing routine.
So, not surprisingly, re-establishing the routine of writing for several hours each morning was one of the goals on the list. Another key goal was to get back to a serious hunt for an agent. I have done this in fits and starts over the years, but I haven’t looked to any degree for months because I was wanted to first finish a new story to submit. It’s time. Another goal I should add to the list is to review and refresh my social media strategy. Again, it’s time.
All of this should keep me busy in the coming months. I better get some good sleep each night!
Which leads me back to my funny story about New Year’s Eve. Let me remind you, before this year I always lived in the country. While old neighbors would occasionally get a little noisy celebrating holidays, they were usually far enough away that I didn’t really notice with the windows closed. So imagine my shock this past New Year’s Eve when I was woken up shortly after midnight (no, I didn’t even try to stay up) by the rat-a-tat-tat of what I thought was sustained gunfire! It sounded as though there was a old Western gunfight occurring just down the street! Luckily, after a few seconds of panic , I remembered it was New Year’s Eve. Someone in the dense cluster of houses on our street apparently rang in the new year with firecrackers. What a relief to figure that out!
I hope your New Year’s Eve was fun and maybe even exciting, but with no unexpected noises to startle you. And I hope 2019 will be good to you. Do you, like me, get reflective with a fresh year ahead of us? What are your wishes and dreams and goals for the coming year?
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.