If I was the type of person who invited people over, I would invite each and every one of you to my house right now and if you are interested, I will put together some sort of chocolate drink with a Ding Dong hanging off the side and maybe we will have five different kinds of burritos and we will sit and throw our heads back with laughter and I will diffuse something citrusy into the air and This Will Be Our Year will play on repeat.
All of this is to thank you for reaching out after the news I shared last week.
Things are moving along and Jeff is patient, Jeff is kind, Jeff does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud. Jeff always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. (Paul could have hung a poster of Jeff in the Corinthian church with a Post-It that said, “Be like this guy.”)
The past week was full of Good. It included Meredith’s final shift as a summer reading volunteer and a clandestine parking lot meeting during which I was handed a box of doughnuts. Jeff and the girls went to a Twenty One Pilots show. I helped one of my very favorite people cut vinyl for her classroom wall. Harper attended a transition day at school to practice walking her schedule and opening her locker. We ate burritos with friends. I joined Tempe and my mom for our annual trip to Stitches Midwest in Chicago.
Let’s stay there for a moment, shall we?
This was our eighth trip to Stitches Midwest, and it continues to be one of my very favorite traditions. Picture a convention center filled with yarn and fiber and sweater and sock samples and a flock of mostly happy knitters.
(It looks a little something like this, with my mom playing the role of the mostly happy knitter.)
I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning smelling yarn and rubbing it against my neck and saying things like “Oooh!” and encouraging strangers to purchase scarf kits and encouraging Tempe and my mom to purchase shawl kits and it’s just all so dreamy and perfect.
The very first thing I touched was the very first thing I purchased. It called to me from across the aisle and when I saw its name, I knew it was meant to be.
Next up? I fell in love with this sweater.
It’s called Irish Coffee and it will eventually be this color and will be worn with faded jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt while I drink something hot. And maybe it’s snowing. And life is back to normal. And perhaps I’m reading The Mirror Thief. And my hair continues to grow.
I also fell in love with this sweater.
It’s the Simple Tee by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. I touched it. I said “Oooh.” (It’s made of linen and recycled silk!) I mentioned that it’s the sort of thing I want to wear every single day. I held it up in front of a mirror to see if my eyes looked like they were in love. They did.
(It will be Christmas gift from my mom who is always up for early Christmas shopping. I continue to be the luckiest.)
Fast forward through cheesecake and salads and a bit of a migraine and strawberry oatmeal and raunchy jokes with Tempe and my mom and lots of laughs and huge yarn love moments and suddenly we were back on the road and I had only one regret, and that was NOT purchasing the yarn to make this cowl.
It’s perfect. It’s just so perfect, and it will be my Someday.
We drove home yesterday afternoon because I was the liturgist at church this morning. When I read at church, I’m always feeling a figurative hiccup because I often have to say things like “I am a virgin.” or “I am naked.” This morning my only hiccup was the pronunciation of the name Eliezar. After doing a bit of research online, Jeff told me that it’s almost like someone named Ella is a member of Weezer. Ella-EE-zer. AND, done. The sermon this morning was about mental health issues and at times I thought it was written just for me. My favorite moment was hearing everyone reading the following words together: “Create in us a tenderness to the needs of all, an openness to everyone’s gifts, and a commitment to the struggle for justice.” Every time I go to church I’m reminded of why I go to THIS church.
After the service, we bolted to the mall for Tax Free Weekend. As we stood at the Hot Topic register so Meredith could purchase a shirt with a tombstone and a bad apostrophe, a woman introduced herself to me and told me that she reads Fluid Pudding and what an amazing surprise that was! I’ve been smiling about it all day. All day.