The Threshold

For all of those who have been so kind to write and say, “You’re handling this with so much grace!” – maybe you don’t want to read this post… Illusions are hard to have shattered.

I think today I hit the threshold. I’m hoping this is temporary – I’m sure it is – but it’s not fun.

Perhaps it’s because so many folks want to help – and once they have reached out to our family, they want to make a further connection – so they cast around for questions to ask me, or favors, or requests. And they email with these questions and requests.

So my inbox has been just jammed with not just emails, but emails which must be answered.

So I answer them.

And then I discover that half the day is gone and lookey at what I still have to do…

  1. Project of Death
    I need to finish the project-of-death for a sister designer’s book, the project which has taken longer than just about anything else I’ve ever knit, and on which I’ve put SO many hours (just ask anyone who was in France with me – every spare moment was spent on this baby)

    The upshot? I can’t get the thought out my head that I’m being paid less per hour for this piece than for just about ANYTHING I’ve ever knit. Have I mentioned lately I’m a fool?

    Why did I agree? I agreed long ago before we knew the seriousness of Gerry’s condition, and foolishly didn’t back out of the project when I was given the chance. I’m a fool, and I’m paying. It’s late, it was due a few days ago.

  2. Project of Fun
    I’m finishing up a shawl for VK, it’s due in a few days. It’s a fun project, and I’ve been afraid to dive into the last few hours of it because I know I’ll never want to return to the POD. Mind games.
  3. Bathroom / Kitchen
    It’s coming along, but we won’t be ready to use it until next week. Still and all, not bad considering the electrical mess that was discovered by the inspector (the previous home owners had work done by someone who either wasn’t licensed or didn’t pull a permit, but the upshot is that work was done VERY badly and it will take over $5K to fix it.)

    The easiest fix required moving a wall downstairs so the breaker box was NOT in the bathroom. Damn. $535 right there on top of the electric. But the wall’s in a better place, so it’s not entirely a bad thing.

    The previous home owners refuse to deal with us directly, so I’m not sure what route this will take. We’ll go ahead and pay to get the work done now, so our home won’t be ‘red tagged,’ and thus uninhabitable. We’ll figure out how to deal with the payment stuff later…

    Oh, and did I mention the roots that were found in the sewer pipe last week? Apparently all is well now, but it was a fun time around here for a day or so…

  4. Road Managing
    How I wish I had a manager to arrange my engagements.

    There’s a great deal of hand-holding involved with some shops; new owners who haven’t had a visiting teacher before, shops that need to be convinced that having me teach at their shop AND a few others in the area is not the kiss of death (and usually increases attendance for everyone!)

    Then there’s the refiguring of dates when one shop cancels (can I still make the trip? Will this raise the costs for the other shops? Will they cancel?)

    This is on top of the usual logistics of airfare, rental cars, hotels – not to mention actually getting the class stuff together. I’m tired.

    Once I’m at a venue I adore the teaching, but all of the planning and replanning and convincing and back and forthing are wearing me down.

    I’m losing that layer of lubrication that allows me to flow with his stuff with equanimity. My emotional WD-40 I like to call “Gerry.”

  5. Mistakes
    Newsflash: There are mistakes in Romantic Hand Knits – as there are in any knitting book – and I’ve been trying to address them quickly as they come up.

    I’ve listed all corrections on my “oops” page – for this book and for my other patterns.

    But a few things came up while I was in France and I just haven’t had the presence of mind to dive in and find the error, correct the error, and post the fix.

    So there are folks hanging, waiting for me (and I do appreciate their patience! Thank you!)

  6. Windows & Other Questions
    I don’t use Microsoft products – I don’t use Windows. But some folks who want to use my patterns & some of my customers DO use Windows and may have problems downloading due to the new switchover to the updated operating system.

    Or perhaps don’t have up to date Acrobat reader. Or maybe they have spam filters on their email that they’re not sure how to switch off. It could be that they’ve run into problems with the download vehicle that I use.

    And it’s necessary for me to deal with these things – of course – it’s my job! There’s really no one else to do it. And I’m usually pretty glad to handle it.

    I also get the healthy amount of folks asking for suggestions on yarn substitutions, how to increase (or decrease) a portion of a pattern, how to get started as a hand knit designer, could I please resend them the stitch chart template I use or would it be possible for me to rewrite a portion of pattern with a different stitch motif

    I usually really dig these requests – I love the interaction about patterns and designing, and I like writing to folks who are kind enough to write to me.

    But right now I just feel so wrung out and unable to answer the question, “What’s your middle name?” let alone, “How can I get started as a designer?”

  7. Phone Calls
    There’s a person who very kindly made a donation for the Red Carpet Convertible, but has emailed me several times because they couldn’t seem to download the pattern.

    I emailed it to them, thinking it would make it easier, but they still weren’t able to open it. I think the sad truth is that until they upgrade to a more recent version of Acrobat Reader they’re not going to have an easy time of it (at least, that’s my best guess…)

    After another few emails I refunded the money they’d sent, figuring that they’d gone through a lot of trouble – and I just couldn’t deal with this any further.

    They just called asking for “Customer Service” – I didn’t have the presence of mind to adopt a foreign accent – I think what they really need is an I.T. guy.

    I have lost my ability to deal with phone calls (did I mention that?)

  8. Gerry’s Return
    We’re not sure when he’ll be released, but the docs are very happy with his recovery. My big fear is that he’ll come home – with his mom – and the house will be a huge PIT because the kitchen isn’t totally finished.

    e’ll be on antibiotics for a year, but I really don’t want to tempt fate by introducing him into a dust and filth filled environment (aren’t you glad you’re not visiting me this week…?) and perhaps giving him an odd infection. Remember the aforementioned roots in the sewer?

    So I’m doing the juggling act of trying to get as much cleaned and put away as possible. That is, in between knitting mitered squares for the POD.

  9. Moving
    Regardless of when Gerry comes home, all of the stuff we took down there have to be moved back up here, and that will fall to me.

    I know I’m sounding like I’m just complaining and whining. I guess I am a bit. So much for the grace, huh? I think I needed to just dump for a bit.

    So we’ll have the festival of packing and loading and carrying down in Rochester, to be followed up with the festival of unloading and carrying and unpacking in St. Paul. This will be in conjunction with the minor holiday of putting all the crap that now resides in the dining room back in the kitchen.

  10. Kids
    I’m so far out of the school loop, and I have to get caught up on what forms need to be returned, what homework needs to be done and signed off on, and what extra school activities must be signed up for.

    I just feel totally unable to make this leap right now. But I am exactly the person who needs to do it.

    And I haven’t contacted the local temple about Hebrew School. In large part this is because it will mean filling out a lot of ‘financial aid forms’ and – say it with me – I don’t think I have the presence of mind right now.

    And, on the way to Wendy’s for dinner (salads) I blew a gasket because Hannah was teasing Max, Max was screaming, and Hannah wasn’t letting up. They may not do that again for a while, but I’ve also just given them a full chapter for the tell-all book 20 years from now…

But, most of all, I can’t get the image of Gerry out of my head.

Gerry & Kids in July / Gerry & Kids on Sunday

How different he looks from just last week – and how VERY different from a few months ago. Hannah’s taller than he is now, it wasn’t that way when I left for France. This is his nadir – we have been told that it’s all UP from here, and we’re hoping that’s true!

Perhaps, more than anything else, I’m missing those 2 bottles of wine every day that I got used to in France …?

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