For the past year I’ve been following the blog and silently cheering the efforts of a woman as she’s planned and prepared for a long journey.
For the next couple of days Ellie and her husband are driving across several states to reach the trail-head beginning. Ellie has spent the year conditioning her body and mind for this walk, as well as stash yarn food. She has cooked, then dried mountains of beans and rice. Did you know that dried beans which are cooked and re-dried will rehydrate and cook within minutes? No long soaking and simmering. When you’re tired, wet and chilly, you don’t want to wait for a couple hours for dinner to simmer.
There were days and weeks when she had two dehydrators going at a time drying quantities of meat, carrots, onions, potatoes, tomato paste… to be sealed into individual meal pouches, labeled and stored into marker containers to be delivered at strategic points along the trail. It takes a great deal of food to fuel a hiker through several months of walking.
Her minimalist gear – whew, Ellie knows how to pare down to the bare bones of hiking/camping clothes and gear. And yet, she understands the value of taking along an Irish whistle to bring some comfort and cheer in the evenings. And I’m betting that it’ll bring good camaraderie too. Music is wonderful for unifying strangers. Especially simple folk tunes that most people can relate to. I can scarcely imagine going a few days without some small instrument accompanying me. As some of you may recall, I like to take my fiddle camping. A penny whistle is a much more practical choice. Ellie is an accomplished pianist, guitar player and fiddler, I have no doubt fellow camp-sharers will enjoy her music.
Until last year she used to run marathons so she knows about arduous, physical commitments. Closing in on 58 years, Ellie has been single minded in achieving this venture. Nor is she undertaking it haphazardly. As she’s prepared she’s also done much praying. In the past two months she’s had some soul-lifting, heart-filling affirmations that God will walk with her. Afterall, how many women are given earplugs during a church service? Just the thing for those nights a snorer might be sharing an Adirondack cabin? Or what about the hymn that had been going through her mind for the past several weeks and without saying a word to anyone (after noting it was not in the hymnbook), on her very last Sunday before heading out, the words are in the bulletin and the song is sung. The sermon about God lighting the way on the trail ahead. Benedictions.
I wish I could be there when she steps onto the trail head bright and early April 1st, and accompany her the entire journey. In my heart I will, as will many other friends who will be cheering her on. In one hand will be her stout walking stick carved with names of friends who will be supporting and praying for her. Her husband will keep things going while she’s walking and sending her supplies as needed. This Wednesday Ellie will begin traversing the mountainous length of the Appalachian Trail, walking solo from Georgia all the way to Maine! Godspeed, Ellie! Ellie’s Journeys
Faith wearing the Felted Slippers that Marianne sent in a Care Package several weeks ago. They’re huge on Faith but she loves them, and manages to wear them on the slick hardwood floors in her apartment.
And here’s the Swallowtail Shawl which Marianne knit for me, from Alpaca. Spoiled rotten, I am.
Before heading off to church last Sunday.
The day turned very cold (drizzling a soggy snow) and by the time I’d arrived home from a long afternoon meeting the shawl had became a neck warmer.
At first I was hesitant to wear the shawl – it is so beautiful and I can only imagine all the hours that went into knitting it. But well I know the frustration of making a garment for someone only to realize that it’s never worn. This shawl will be worn with love and pride, and perhaps it will eventually end up like the velveteen rabbit.
Thank you, sweet Marianne!
We have been accepted as vendors to the SOCK SUMMIT!!!
Oregon Convention Center in Portland
August 6 – 9
I’m dizzy with excitement, and filled with a small measure of dread at the amount of stuff that will need to be made in this next four months, squeezing in all the extra knitting needles between our regular orders – which have not slowed down.
Ed made a batch of circular needles for several orders this week. It’s my duty pleasure to write the size, etc on them. Those are centimeters on the ruler, I use a Susan Bates needle/hook plate (ruler) to help keep my writing more uniform – impossible on a round surface that’s only 2.25mm in diameter! The file is extremely fine – it’s used for any fine-tuning that might need doing to make the join between the cord and wood as smooth as we can make it. As careful as Ed is when he joins the two there are sometimes minute catches. Do you see the size on that baby? Until a few months ago Ed was not able to successfully turn a US1/2.25mm needle on his lathe without it exploding. His skills are amazing! I seriously do not believe there are many people on this planet who can consistently turn a 5.5″ long piece of wood that is only 2.25 mm. Let alone drill a hole in one end for the cord without drilling through the side.
You all know I’m one of the world’s slowest knitters, but I still fantasize of knitting socks, light shirts, maybe weaving material for a skirt. Hello? With tax bookwork to do (haven’t started – never mind that one hour spent organizing last years bank statements), weaving a wrap for our daughter’s wedding, and finding something suitable to wear for that, a garden that must be planted and tended. Do I need any sleep?
My body thinks so. That cold I mentioned lingering for two weeks. Yep. Still lingering. Most of the week I felt almost normal. Until Friday morning, when I woke up with a scrathy throat again. By evening the sinus were sqeezing my head. Yesterday morning my chest felt almost on fire. I laid low today, except for plying some yarn I spun earlier, knowing there are many orders that must be processed and mailed tomorrow.
You see, I took Friday away from work. Aurora and I had an appointment to keep.
Silver Falls Vineyards is where Aurora and Grassman plan to be married the end of May. By then the senses should be dazzled by the greens of the grass, vineyard, trees and many variety of shrubs, and the scent of early roses.
After taking a tour of the place and talking with the owner about facilities and other arrangements MC joined me for a trip across the valley to Woodland Woolworks. It’s a fabulous place to find all kinds of fiber goods, including weaving yarns, spinning fiber, looms and other tools that goes along with fiber activities. I’d forgotten how far away it is, along broad farm fields, across the Willamette River, through valleys winding around the hills between Portland and the Coastal Range, finally popping out in the small town of Carlton. But well worth the trip when in pursuit of the right combination of yarns to make the special wedding wrap, made even more enjoyable with MC along for the ride.
This week brought two delightful surprises in the form of packages.
The second package came from Sweden, a Moleskine that has now traveled from the Canada to Germany to Sweden, after it leaves my hands it will continue on to Texas, then Tasmania, to New York. Florida, on to California then back to Canada to complete the circle. You see, I joined The International Moleskine Exchange on Ravelry. Go ahead, click over to the IME site and take a look at the pictures of various entries on the Spoiler Picture thread. This is the first group exchange I was not able to resist when I saw it the day it was formed. I have loved writing in diaries and journals since a young age. There’s also been a hankering to try my hand at being a bit creative on paper. It’s been daunting, stretching and good fun. There are nine in my group, we each sent out a moley on the nine stop circuit and everyone adds to it as it comes. The sender in Sweden, Greysparrow included tea and chocolate with the moley last month.
One was a total surprise from a dear blogger who so thoughtfully and lovingly knit me a red Swallowtail Shawl! I was (still am) stunned and touched to the depths of my soul that she put all that time, effort and love into such a fabulous gift. Accompanied by dark chocolate, tea, (Very good things to help soothe this cold bug. ), natural shampoo, felted slippers for Feather – do I feel spoiled? Though distance has prevented us from meeting in real life, we are kindred sisters of the heart. Thank You!