Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent: the first week

It's my third year of making granny squares for Advent.

I still don't remember much about how to observe Advent other than to reflect on how things are dark and cold and sad and we wait for Jesus and celebration.  I nearly forgot about it until this past weekend, and then I wondered about it out loud and Cody looked it up for me.

So. Here we are in Advent.

I'm just going to make one square a week this year.  I forgot how many rows I work for each granny square and originally had a brown row and then a navy blue border.  In years past, I've worked a bright blue border (or at least planned to at a later date) so things would look uniform whenever I have enough squares to make a blanket.  I felt like 2016 should look different because the year's been so different.

The part where I messed up even being unhappy about 2016 is very much in keeping with our 2016.  It's just been that kind of year, which I feel like is something I say every year but especially the past few years because this year was just.....really something.  My car was backed into twice.  In one week.  I had two tire blowouts.  Evelyn has had a ridiculous amount of ear infections and I don't feel like her asthma is well controlled (my feelings regarding her asthma are generally what's out of control).  Cody has filled out a million applications, gone on a dozen interviews, and there's still no job and no income and ugh.

There was also Election Day.  It was so terrible.  The days after it have been so terrible.  I knit half the body of a sweater trying to calm down before remembering I only try to knit sweaters when I've clearly lost my danged mind.  Then I took a break from the sweater because a family member was sick and I tried 4 different types of cowl patterns before just winging it.  If you're super sick, a cowl won't cure you.  But it will keep me from watching you while you sleep and cleaning your entire house (this sounds like a good deal, but always includes me throwing away important documents you won't miss until several months later.  Every time.), so there's that.

Dear goodness.

In every less-than-great year, there are always good things and I feel like I have to mention them because I haven't done so yet here.  Evelyn reads and is friendly and strong and adventurous.  Our local library is wonderful.  Our families carry us in ways large and small.  I tried new knitting things and got to put a lot of my ideas into practice at work.  Cody has found TWO chicken recipes that Evelyn will actually eat, so now we can get some animal protein in her that's not meat sauce in spaghetti.  We have friends and loved ones and sometimes we even get to see them.  Evelyn freaks out every time she sees a butterfly, so we had a pretty joyous time every time we went outside this summer.  We have a bird feeder on the balcony that Cody keeps stocked so we can watch birds eat and fight and make a mess while they perch all over the place and we look at them through the living room window.  Evelyn thinks we have a bird restaurant, and it's a point of pride that all the birds in the neighborhood seem to want to 'her' bird seed.  Cody's read books about birds in the area, and talked to her about the ones in our region.  We guess the names and usually whisper urgently to one another "Hey, look! Not too quick!" whenever a rare (for us) bird drops by (cardinals just don't want to hang out at our restaurant, and we're pretty sure last year's blue jay is not coming back).

I thought I'd use bird colors for this week's square.  We saw quite a few finches with little black and gray bodies this long weekend and I wanted to put their colors in a square.  So that's the little marker of this period of time.  The weather's finally turned cold, I'm waiting for good things to happen the same way I always do (crocheting. Crocheting without ceasing), and I'm back to observing things pretty much the only way I know how--with yarn and Internet.  Happy Advent season, guys.

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