Do you ever have that feeling, after a prolonged blog break, that feeling of not knowing what you have to say that's so important that you need to write it down and share it with the world? I do. Not that any of this is so important. But lately I've been feeling like, what do I have to say? What do I have to talk about? And it seems easier not to post when I can't answer that question.

I've been knitting and spinning. More knitting than spinning, though I'd prefer to be doing the reverse. On the knitting front, there's The Project, which is almost done. I made it through the long, unpleasant, yet necessary, seaming and end-weaving stage, but I'm at the dreaded find-pick-and-sew-on-buttons stage. I've had projects sit for years at this very stage.

On the spinning front, there's nothing resembling a project. Mostly I'm just trying things here and there, figuring out what I feel like spinning, and working on getting the Schacht to spin laceweight comfortably. Getting closer. I'm not sure if I'm just not in the mood to spin, feeling overwhelmed by my choices or by self-imposed and unrealistic expectations, or feeling intimidated by spinning another project to "match" the Falling Leaves shawl. Maybe I'm just not feeling inspired. Yeah, that's the ticket.

On the life front... mostly I've been dealing with the sadness of my grandmother's death, and trying to make sense of my feelings. They're complicated by pregnancy-induced hormones. Makes it harder to tease out why I'm sad.

It's a strange thing. My grandmother is gone. Somehow I can't believe it. I've lost 3 other grandparents, the first when I was 12. This is not new to me. She was old, she no longer remembered family, and I probably didn't see her more often than twice a decade. She's been slowly failing these last 4-5 years, and her passing has been inevitable, just a matter of time. Yet, despite expectations, she has seemed to live on, and on. 94 is a lot of years. I can't begin to imagine. She was a tough lady, and I'm certain, tough to live with. Yet I am completely attached to her. Who can understand these things? We didn't have long conversations. We barely shared a language. We were generations and a culture apart, yet somehow, connected.

Is it real? Is it imagined? Does it matter which?

Meanwhile, in America, we spent Thansgiving Day with Gram. The assisted living place allows family to join the residents for holiday meals, like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mother's day. I was apprehensive, not sure what to expect. But it was a good time.

It was reassuring to see other family members visiting their relations; we don't see many visitors when we see Gram. It was inspiring to see how some of them interacted with their relatives: with humor, relaxed. We've been struggling with how to "do this right", how to cheer up Gram while our hearts break, how to sound cheerful, what to talk about, how to let her know she's not forgotten, that we love her. It's gotten easier over time. She's settling into her new place and overall is very comfortable there. She's got people looking out for her, both staff and residents. And she still knows who we are, and remembers there's a baby on the way.

When I first started visiting Gram 5 years ago, she welcomed me, no questions asked. Accepted me, into her home and her heart. In a way, she was the grandmother I couldn't have. One who lived nearby and spoke English, one I could get to know as a person, not just as a grandparent-figure. And, in a way, the little I can do for Gram now, the weekly and now bi-weekly visits, are all the more important because I could not do the same for my own grandmother.

I remember my shock, in the early days, of being able to ask Gram questions and have a conversation. I could never do that with any of my grandparents! Even if I could ask (and I did ask when I was older), I couldn't understand the answers.

This weekend I head to DC for the memorial service for my grandmother. I'll spend time with my family, and hopefully, reminisce about and remember Obaachan. I want to share memories and laugh, smile. Remember how Obaachan never wanted her photo taken and suddenly disappeared when a camera was out? Remember how red her cheeks got when she drank beer? Remember how much she loved amaguri? Remember how she used to wake up at 5 am every morning to water her plants and start the laundry?

Anyway, I guess I did have something to say. Not to the world, but to my blog friends. These things rattle around inside my head, and I struggle to find a balance on the blog, between public and private, fiber-related and Life-related. As do we all. Thanks for listening.

Me n Gram, Thanksgiving 2006
Me n Gram, Thanksgiving 2006