I'm debating whether this should be about Knitting Camp or Old Home Week. Hmmm.
While I'm deciding, after a month of waiting for insurance companies and contractors and coop boards to sort out the fire aftermath, work is about to begin on our apartment. Work meaning painting and redoing the floors. At last. So the weekend was spent packing off all things. The movers came Monday, and finished packing and moved our stuff out and into storage. The contractor tells us we should be back in about 3 weeks. Whew.
I didn't realize our apartment was that big. It's amazing how big it looks without the usual crap. I tossed out a lot, I mean a lot. But all empty as it is makes me want to toss out even more. Once our stuff comes back.
The most favorite thing I tossed, well, ok it's hard for me to admit this. I feel like I'm admitting to one of my deepest darkest secrets.
See, it was skeins of. Of. Cough. Fun COUGH fur.
I bought it years ago, at the beginning of the novelty phase. Because it was, well, a novelty.
I made a handbag for one child that was furry. And used a bunch as a mane for a lion I crocheted for the other child.
Both were hits. Then there were the leftovers. Like a hangover.
I couldn't stand posting the skeins on Knitswap because I was afraid someone like my knitting compatriots who scour that site would discover my deepest darkest secret. That I actually owned fun fur. I didn't want to join the hordes of eBayers also trying to get rid of it. And I couldn't just fling it out the door because well, there was nothing REALLY wrong with it. I mean, nothing had happened to it that would prevent it from being knit up. Not that I would be knitting it up. In my lifetime. Ever.
So there it all sat. In my yarn cabinet in the living room, next to the Lopi that I've yet to use but am sure I will. Some day. Mm hm.
Smoke damage can be a good thing. The yarn got totaled. I feel somewhat guilty that it is now in a landfill somewhere. But I GOT PAID TO THROW IT OUT. How cool is that. I mean, no one gets paid to throw away novelty yarn and keep it from circulating in the yarn bloodstream. Kinda like those bad wedding presents that you know have been regifted through the last century.
I am certain that those landfilled skeins will still be there centuries from now, in about the same condition.
But I digress. Paint chips are my life. Oh how to choose. Kitchen/dining? Red. At least 2 walls anyway. White on the others. The floor is black. I think it'll look sharp. Kids? They picked blue and purple for their color scheme. The rest? No clue. Eeek.
Anyway, Chicago. Because I need to be really awake to describe the wonders of knitting camp.
What can I say? It was like my own personal journey through time, back into the mists of childhood and high school and college. Tracing down the people and places who and that made me. Besides my family of course.
See I left Chicago right after college for that wonderland on the Potomac. My brother moved the following year, and then my parents after that. So even though I adored my friends there as well as the city, I just couldn't really make it back for any decent length of time. I am not counting swinging through O'Hare on business trips.
But with knitting camp in Wisconsin, I finally could pull it off.
As it turned out, the days broke down naturally into one day grade school, one day high school, and one day college. And I even got my Art Institute fix in.
Overall impressions? The city looks even better than when I was there. Daley Deux has outdone his father. New York looks shabby in comparison. And I like New York.
But I dunno. There's something that New York has lost over the years that Chicago has retained. Maybe it's a sense of humor. Maybe it's because of the aftermath of 9/11 and post-traumatic stress, as this one friend of mine thinks. Maybe it's that NY real estate is so out of line with what you really get for the cost that a lot of the people who made the city have cashed out and moved, and the ones who've come in actually believe their own pr hype. About themselves.
I used to go to NYC to get my fix of Chicago. But this trip made me realize how far the two cities have drifted in character. And how much more interesting Chicago is as a city than New York in many ways. Plus I love that the people are generally cheery and funny, and that is just part of the norm. No one here is that funny anymore. Just stressed and cranky. I love that Chicago gets the job done. It's not dense and overcrowded, it's sparkling. The percentage of whiners and yellers is way lower. Of course, it is the summer. Not the winter. I may not be as gushy in the winter. Still. I got so homesick.
I can't believe I waited so many years to go back.
Without further ado....Day 1.
It's Linda, Debbie, me, and Nan.
We have known each other since first grade.
I have not seen Linda and Debbie since the mid 1980s. And Nan since the late '80s.
Did it matter? Well, no. We slipped right back into giggling as if we were in 7th grade again. Swapped stories about whatever happened to...and running into the teacher who had the affair with a classmate and was still trying to pick up women in bars. Running into first loves, some of whom the years have treated well and others who have turned bitter. Really juicy stuff. Showed off pix of offspring. Who are the cutest. Teased Nan about her eyeshadow collection in 8th grade, which was truly impressive as she has older sisters who gave her all their eyeshadows and she used to give us makeup application lessons like where to place blush and stuff.
She pulled out the scrapbook. OWwwww. All those high school dances, all those awkward moments, all those attempts to look really cool.
And you know? We didn't look half bad back then. Nope. Not at all.
I have not laughed so hard in years. Nan's adorable daughter was a bonus -- she joined us, and is about the same age we all were when we got into the makeup stuff. It was amazing how she just fit right in. A new member of the group. Now my brother wants Linda's brother's email addy, as they were friends too. We're all emailing and text messaging each other. This is such fun.
OH and Debbie's started knitting. Bwa ha ha. I don't think she uses fun fur.
To be continued...