Winding Into Winter

141026 Sunrise

The temperature was at freezing this morning.  I lit the stove using last nights coals and made my coffee.  The morning temperatures have been in the mid forties for the past few weeks but I start the stove every morning to take the chill off.  I love the cheeriness of that fire when I walk into the kitchen.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as it always is when winter approaches.  Most of the wood is in, the fall cleaning is finished.  Things are moved around (like sleeping areas) to be the most comfortable for the winter.  We do not have heat on the second floor of the house so the electric blankets went onto the beds.

Everything left was dug out of the garden, a bumper crop of carrots this year both Danvers and Atomic Reds.  The Atomic Reds were one of this years experiments and I would plant them again.  I was disappointed that they don’t stay red when they are cooked much like those purple beans.

The month of October was also a time of connecting with friends, both old and new.  A very dear friend of mine stopped in to visit me while on a trip here from New Mexico.  I haven’t seen her since 1995 yet we picked up as though we’d seen each other a month ago.  It was wonderful reminder of how dear my old friends are.

Our 2nd Annual Harvest Party was a success other than the weather, but all that really did was keep us in the house.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon – eating great food with great friends and family.  This event is always an interesting mix of old and new acquaintances.  It’s always fun to rehash the day with newcomers who are trying to learn who the players in my life are.

Then there are the newest “friends”.  My cyber community has evolved into the most interesting ways in the past few months.  I have become acquainted with a few like-minded people who are working towards some self-sufficiency.  They are craftsmen, farmers, artists, renovators.  They have similar interests and through our frequent posts we get to know a little about each other.  This has offered me an opportunity to learn a lot about some of my interests.  They are generous in conversation, answering questions I might have about weaving, gardening or livestock.  The readers of this blog offer words of wisdom in situations I write about.  It’s a little  support system.

The changes in the past few months have been interesting and not always as expected.  Rowe is an isolated area and you have to work harder at being social.  I’m not always able to leave and the ability to converse over the web has in some respects kept me sane.  It keeps me connected with my kids, spouse and friends – old and new.

As we wind into winter, a time when serious arts and crafting come into full swing I’ll continue to share interesting tidbits of what is happening here and welcome the interaction of those who read it.  I’m looking forward to the down time.  Having the quiet and solitude always turns my mind towards creativity – I’m always thinking, planning.  There just is never the time during the warmer months for sitting at the loom or hooking a rug.  Winter will offer a respite from the yard work and gardening, it will allow me to recharge and dream about spring.  By the time it arrives I’ll be ready.

Oh Molly!

Molly Asparagus

 

This is the latest addition to my Molly collection.  Molly Cantor makes some of the most beautiful pottery I have ever seen.  I began collecting it about 5 years ago.  I had bought a coffee mug in her shop with birds on it.  The glaze on the inside is green.  The size and shape is perfect for that morning cup of coffee and I love drinking that first cup out of something I think is so beautiful.

The asparagus platter was made for the WGBY Asparagus Festival earlier in the month.  When she gave a shout out for the event on Facebook I commented that I wanted it – sold, right then and there.  I don’t always get to the Falls when things are open, I’m usually on my way back to CT at 7:00 A.M. and there isn’t anyone around at that hour so my sister picked it up for me.

My sister and I took a pottery class from Molly last summer (it seems like it was longer ago than that).  Molly is a wonderful teacher with one flaw – she makes it look sooooo easy.  Rather than make my own pots (well, sort of pots) I would much rather spend my time watching her throw them.  She’s been making them for so long she instinctively knows how much clay to use.  Her pottery is consistent, the mugs are the same size, the bowls are basically the same shape, the plates the same diameter.  Her designs all come from what she sees around her and I am always amazed at how adept she is at translating her vision onto clay.

I love learning new crafts.  Our class size was small and my sister and I are both capable of laughing at our mistakes (and laugh we did).  The best thing about taking a class from Molly is it gave me a new appreciation for her art.  I’ve seen so many people come into her studio and whisper how expensive her pots are.  After watching her work and seeing the amazing talent that she has I want to tell them “Oh no, she really isn’t charging enough.”