Sunday, February 05, 2012
rituals & tradition
I get up as soon as Jim and Colin leave for work, go downstairs and push the button on the coffeemaker that Jim has blessedly prepared for me.
By the time I've finished dishing out three different kinds of cat food and refereeing the jostling hordes (really, there are only four) the coffee is ready. I take it back upstairs, set it on the nightstand and get the laptop from the studio. It's still dark out as I transcribe whatever scribbles appeared in the notebook from the day before and fatten them as I go. An hour or three will go by before I notice.
If I get bogged down, I will take a new page and devote it to just focusing on a very small detail - Annie Lamott's "square inch picture frame" trick that she would use to keep up the writing momentum.
This morning I went after the day my father's mother taught me to cross stitch and why. The embroidery hoop in the picture is one of a pair that I still have that belonged to Nell. This is the smaller of the pair and the same ones that I used that first time 58 years ago.
She showed me just how to set the hem of the cotton pillowcase between the hoops and watched over my shoulder as I constructed a little march of tiny green DMC Xs along the hemline. I spent a lot of time looking at the backside and trying to make it as neat as the front, no mean trick for a four year old. My real objective was to be as stingy as possible with the thread because Nell told me that after I had used up the three hanks she had given me I would have to buy my own thread. She would be giving me twenty-five cents a week for helping her in the kitchen. Twenty-five cents a week equaled five new colors from the stationary store down the block from our house. I couldn't wait!
The "why" of the lesson you ask? Well, that's pages away.