Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Little Catch Up from Small Town, USA

We've had a busy week, but I have been knitting. Here is the progress on the Modern Quilt Wrap:

I've been knitting in the ends, but not trimming them off -- I think I will wait until it is all blocked out to do that. I've made a few mistakes and ripped out a lot of stitches -- I am on block #14 out of 72 --this is going to take me a lot longer than I anticipated.

Just like Tommy's Notre Dame sweater. I have been keeping this in the car with me -- it's my waiting-for-Will or talking-with-friends knitting. It's slow going --the back is 10" of 4x4 ribbing on #4 needles. But I really love knitting with the Swish Superwash. Done by Christmas? A big maybe.

Clay finished the Akron Marathon in 5 hours, 23 minutes, and came home with a new pair of shoes, a shirt, a medal, a tote bag and a sack full of Malley's chocolates (one of the finest things about Cleveland).

This was Oktoberfest weekend in our town -- three days of food, beer and crowds to honor our German founding fathers. Most of the service organizations and churches in town have a booth; my sorority sells Reuben sandwiches and the Knights of Columbus (Clay's group) sell brats, German potato salad and run the beer garden.
You just never know about Oktoberfest weather -- you wish for bright sunny days and crisp evenings, but we often get rain and cold. This year, it was blazing hot -- Friday afternoon from the Reuben booth we watched the bank clock across the street as it crept up over 100 degrees. The weather kept most people at home in the AC, but not the beer drinkers; they went through 175 kegs in the beer garden.
Saturday afternoon was the big parade. In past years, our family participated in the parade: the girls danced or marched in the HS band, our school had a float, Will marched with the Cub Scouts, I drove the Bookmobile, and one year, Clay even wore a fuzzy blue Bunny Bread costume. But this year, we took the boys and just watched. (They were happy for about half of the 100+ parade entries, but then ended up wrestling with Clay until the horses arrived and signaled the end.) Here is my pal (and personal eye care professional) Maggie. Her nephew is running for mayor, so the whole family donned orange t-shirts and walked the parade. When he wins, I hope he names Maggie Queen of Seymour-- she already has the wave down:
Our friend and city councilman, Andy, and his boys:Oktoberfest is a homecoming in our small town, and you often see people you haven't seen for years. When it was slow Friday afternoon, I walked across the street to talk to a friend in the radio station booth. A man came up to the booth, looked me in the eye and called me by my maiden name. It took a few seconds, but I finally recognized him as a friend from school (in 6th grade, he and I had always competed to see who was the farthest in the SRA Reading program -- remember SRA? See, I am old!) When I called him by name, I think he was pleasantly surprised; he gave me the biggest hug EVER (really, it sort of hurt!) and then picked me up (I am not a twiggy woman) and held me there in this tight hug for what seemed like an eternity. And then, on the way down, he gave my boob a squeeze. Really. Now, if he had done that in high school, I probably would have followed him to the ends of the earth (said the girl who wasn't invited to the prom). But 30 years later, it just wasn't that exciting, I am almost sorry to admit. We talked for a bit, and he gave me the synopsis of his life -- he had been in the service, lived in all the states and had come back home to work and settle down.
And after all the hugging, lifting, squeezing and talking, I thought that this really is what living in a small town is all about -- being with people who remember you, know your history, listen to your story and are glad to see you again (except for the squeezing part).
Peace, or im Deutsch, Friede.

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