I know this blog has been quiet, too quiet. For that I am truly apologetic! But once again it’s Fair Time in the Stanwood Camano area of Washinton State. As superintendant of the Hand Spinning and Fleece department the end of July and beginning of August find me frazzled and frought with creative bursts of energy followed by lows of exhausted drooling.
I would not change it for the world. For a week each year I am in a wonderful old log cabin, spinning wheel, carding brushes and crochet hooks at the ready to mystify and dazzle the general public. Children swarm our outpost of pre-modern life, and old folks come to tell us the stories of the aunts, grandmas, uncles and grandpas who taught them how to spin, or card, wash f;leece. warp looms, and of course crochet and knit. We are a refelction of what used to be, when everyone knew everyone else, when the smell of fresh baked bread was a daily thing to take for granted not a priveledged event. We harken back to lazy summer afternoons, where you could sit on a porch and shuck corn for hours, or shell peas, or snap beans, while someone told stories of their childhood days or fishing tales where fish got bigger with each telling.
We remind people that communications happen best you speak to someone kindly, with a smile, and attend to them with interest, not a text message or a yap fest without empathy. We remind people that it takes more than two hands to get a job done, and that somethings don’t really change. We inspire and teach, and we learn, we learn so much every year.
Why just today an older woman came in to visit with one of our volunteers, and told stories of stilling on her grandmother’s wood fired stove, learning to crochet on weekends early in the morning, waiting for the house to warm up. She’s crocheted for about 70 years, and spoke of the 12 lapghans she crocheted in the past four weeks to give away to the senior center, to folks who were “old” What did I learn? I watched my teenaged daughter’s face as she listened to the woman tell her stories, and then the two of them talked crochet. There wasn’t anything “new” in what I learned, perhaps it was more of a reminder, that really the whole world can move as fast as it wants, tech can make us reach across oceans, and make life go by faster thant he nano-seconds we like to keep track of, but there is nothing more prescious than a young person listening to an older person and then feeling safe to tell her stories too.
We often forget in our quest for knowledge, in our quests for perfection and success that our lives are short, and time is more often best spent visiting, in person, and listening to each other, and yes, learning.
I’ll be at the Stanwood Camano Fair in Stanwood WA from 10-8pm Wednesday Aug. 4, taking entries, and then come on by and see me Friday Aug 6 thru Sun Aug. 8, 2010. We have a fabulous time, come pull up a chair on the porch, I can talk and spin at the same time, or maybe we can just crochet together. You tell me your stories and I’ll tell you mine!