Sunday, October 11, 2015

On Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. -- William Arthur Ward
It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, which means a three-day weekend for me, which means I'm busy doing all the things I want to do when I only get a regular weekend. Still, it's been a good weekend, with plenty of rain. If there's anything I'm thankful for right now, it's this rain. After the drought we've been through this year, it makes me breathe a huge sigh of relief, even if the sudden change in humidity means that I am currently doing my best Lion King impression with my hair. Life is about trade-offs, after all.

Sunday morning, we went out for a hike on a trail we'd never been to before called Stocking Creek Park. I like exploring these new places. The ground is littered with the gigantic sycamore leaves that you find here on Vancouver Island, which makes these little rambles all the more pretty.

I was delighted to find this little waterfall on a trail so near to our house. I think we'll be back:

After that, we went out for lunch at one of my favourite bistros called The Dayliner, which is in an old train station. Afterwards, walked through the little vintage store next door with the most fantastic name: Redneck Collectibles. It makes me smile every time I see it, but this was the first time I'd ever been inside it. There, we met a man resembling the 1970's detective McCloud, which I've watched enough times with my dad to know for sure that this guy was legit. He even had the shiny belt buckle and all.

And he had a small collection of the usual stuff I expect to see in these places: old crates, bottles, tools... and when I came upon a set of three Pyrex bowls, I stopped and cocked my head like a fascinated terrier. I knew I wanted them, and when I asked him how much he wanted for them, he said, "Oh, bowls aren't my forté. Maybe 20 or 25 dollars?"

He didn't seem to be packing a pistol, so I asked tentatively, "So... will you take $20?"

And yes he did. And he was very nice about it indeed:

I got them home and put them straight to work and made a batch of lemon poppy seed muffins:

And a batch of Peasant Bread:

I've got a turkey in the oven right now (well, not exactly. I've got a turkey roll in the oven right now, which should save us from a month of turkey leftovers). All weekend, I've been thinking about this whole Thanksgiving thing, because of something I heard visiting a yarn store the other day. I'd been having kind of a low week: sort of low and unmotivated and generally uninspired. I had an appointment after work, so I left early and decided to stop in to see if I could cheer myself up. As I wandered around, a man and a woman entered to store and greeted the two people working in there. I have a bad habit of eavesdropping: when I was a kid, my brother constantly told me to mind my own business because he could tell I was doing it. But anyway...

The man greeted the owner of the shop, who promptly gave him a hug. As I stood there, carefully studying a couple of skeins of wool with my ears pricked, I learned that his aunt had passed away recently. She was a knitter, and they knew her well in the shop. She must have been quite independent, because, even when her health failed, she insisted on carrying on living in her trailer and her car. The knitting group there took turns going out to check on her and visit with her while she sat in her trailer, surrounded by her yarn and her finished objects, as she knitted and coughed and carried on living.

And then, she was found dead in her car, with her knitting by her side. I don't know who found her, but I am guessing it was one of the knitting group, because I gathered that it was because of them that this man, her nephew, and possibly her only living kin, found out about it. And he was grateful to them for it.

Since then, I've been wondering myself about this kinship I have with other fibre artists. I have no children, and as I get older, I wonder who will look out for me when I get older. And after hearing this story, I wonder if it's my yarn people who might look out for me as well. I am grateful for the people who come here and read my words and leave me kind notes after reading them. And while it's unlikely that you'll all pop out of the woodwork and appear in the flesh, it is comforting to know that there are folks out there that care about what happens to me.

Time to check on the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving.


nursenikkiknits said...

Happy Thanksgiving Adriene. This is a lovely community we have through knitting, even if we never meet in the flesh.

AdrieneJ said...

There's no one quite like the knitters. :)

YarnKettle said...

Hey I have two of those bowls too! I love them a bit more since they came from my Mom. Did you bake the bread in the bowl? I've always thought of them as mixing bowls.

I'm grateful that I found your blog. You know I always wanted a pen pal. :)

AdrieneJ said...

Yeah, I did bake the bread in the bowl. It's quite a neat recipe - very easy and very pleasing to the eye. I mainly use them as mixing bowls, though. The small one is a great size - not too big, not too small.