Beginning again

It’s fall, and the air seems full of transition. We’re just back from a whirlwind weekend in Albany. Kate (13yo now and an accomplished piano student) participated in a piano competition there. Mild disappointment in the adults that officiate and those that are related to us. Maybe she’d include me in that last list; she’ll have to do that in her own blog. I was certainly disappointed in me when relatives arrived a minute too late to hear her play. Kate won an honorable mention, but so did all of the participants who didn’t win 1st and 2nd place, so really, what’s the point? Nonplussed and unimpressed, she is. And maybe a little disappointed in herself too.

To soothe the bitter aftertaste of that rainy, windy, cold Albany Friday, we headed for Rhinebeck and the NYS Sheep & Wool festival there on Saturday. The sun came out, the trees were wildly colorful, and the mountains crouched low along the Hudson opposite us. Bruce and Kate gawked at the stuff that entertains knitters, including the stuff that knitters will wear when they know they‘ll be seeing many other knitters. I acquired sheepish things: a little fiber to spin, a few photos of sheep, some skeins of yarn with which to knit, a tiny tub of tin and a bag of soda ash for dyeing and a hefty encyclopedia of native American dye plants, some sheepskin slippers for Kate, and a sheepy mug for me. I hugged dear friends — some from my home here, and some from my home in NYC.

We met up with Robyn Love and her daughter, and we shopped together. She told me once again that Facebook status updates from me are not enough. So here she goes… Not promising much, Robyn, but I’ll give it my best.

And because I hung out with Robyn, who really knows some of the best people, I got to meet Renate when she did.

That meeting, in the midst of chaotic commerce at the entrance of a barn, was a moment of hush and stillness for me. She told us about her stone spindle. It remains a treasured moment.


About pattiblaine

Raised under the name of Snyder in the upstate NY town of Vestal, I've worked as a typesetter, a fast food salad bar tender, an art reviewer, a waitress, a part-time nanny, and a very-bad-with-phones temp. Once upon a time I was all-but-thesis toward a Masters in Art History. Now I'm just a mom with a lot of fiber squirreled away throughout the house. We call it insulation. In 2013 I completed a life-long learning program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and am a postulant toward the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY. In addition to coordinating volunteers for the soup kitchen, I volunteer as a tutor at a deeply impoverished city elementary school, and am a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery.
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6 Responses to Beginning again

  1. I am glad you’re blogging again–I just don’t get twitter–even when i make a short post… (which is almost never!)

    I saw so many lovely images of Rhinebeck–the trees here are still mostly green–but its getting colder ever night, soon there will be color here too.

    (don’t forget to look for Jupiter this week.. Its a show stopper Tuesday but looks good every night this week with the moon as a companion.)

  2. Lindsey says:

    So happy to see you in blogland again! Sorry to hear about the competition. Was it a good learning experience for her? I keep trying to ask myself that about things that don’t go according to my wishes of late…. and I’m about 20+ years older than Kate!

    Excited to see what you do with the dyeing materials. 🙂

    • pattiblaine says:

      They’re all good learning experiences, Lindsey, but it’s never easy. All three of us were fairly disgusted by the outcome, but we heard some marvelous piano music too. The 1st place winner was excellent, and if she hadn’t won we’d have been even more insulted! Kate did the best she could on that day and under those circumstances, and learned a little more about how best to prepare, and how best to cope with the subjectivity of it all. At least, I hope she did… Old Albany was lovely. Even in the rain.

  3. DawnK says:

    Sorry the piano competition didn’t go as well as planned. Emily feels Kate’s pain about not doing quite well enough for a judge, with the way some fancy mittens were judged at our local county fair. Grrr.

    Glad you had fun at the Sheep and Wool festival. It does sound like fun. I should make more of an effort to go to the one in Wisconsin.

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