Friday, May 28, 2010


I arrived a few minutes late – the result of late afternoon calls at the office and an uncooperative ferry. I walked up to the door and knocked. No answer.

After fumbling with my blackberry for what seemed like an acceptable period of time before trying again, I rang the bell. I heard the sound of feet on hardwood. The door opened and I was welcomed graciously by our host.

The other guests were already seated around the table, but before I made my way over I stopped briefly to visit with two of my host’s young children: a boy and a girl. The boy is delightful, and good friends with my middle son, though I get the feeling that the two of them prove quite challenging when running in tandem at their preschool. The girl is adored by all – myself included. She is precisely the kind of daughter that you wish you had when you arrive home to find your sons covered in mud and filth and screaming like savages in the front yard. After a brief exchange, I excused myself from the kids and made my way to the table.

I settled down into a chair, pulled out my project, and set to work.  The project I’d brought is a lace stole, which I plan to donate to a charity fundraising event put on every year by the Woodland Park Zoo. A friend and recent grandmother is on the board, and she asked me if I would make something.

The pattern is intricate, and although I swore I’d never do it again – there are beads involved. Not too many, just about 300 or so. I’m doing it in a shiny black Jaggerspun Zephyr, which is 50% silk and 50% wool. It should be light and airy, and the beads will give it a certain amount of shimmer in the right light.

I was working away on the stole when I heard two words, which shook me to my foundation and made the gravity of my situation immediately apparent: “hot flashes”. Somehow, while I’d kept my head in my pattern and a crochet hook between my teeth (for the beaded bits), the conversation had drifted from projects to progesterone. I assume there were some interim steps in this progression, but was too focused on my work to leave any breadcrumbs that might have helped lead the way back.

Occasionally, when I’m experiencing something unpleasant – like a dental procedure – I try to focus intensely on something I find enjoyable. It helps to block out the reality of the situation. I quickly and heavily leaned on that technique – and poured myself ever deeper into my work. The rest of the evening passed in a blur, and although I’m confident I heard one of the other guests use the words “Johnny Depp” “Orlando Bloom” and “yummy” in the same sentence, I ultimately escaped unscathed.


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