Tag Archives: family

I’d go back in a heartbeat

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The view from the veranda.

The view from the veranda.

There’s nothing like looking at vacation photos a few days after returning home to make you sigh wistfully. For me, holidays feel like time outside normal linear life-time, as if they happen adjacent to everything else. When I get back, it’s like I’ve never been gone, but also just had an amazing dream I can’t fully describe to people. Luckily, though, unlike dreams, vacations have photographic evidence. (Also, none of these photos have been edited or colour corrected, so yes, the water really is that colour. I couldn’t believe it either.)

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Since we’ve been back it has snowed (and then melted) and I’ve been sick (and gotten mostly better), L has been hard at work on his thesis, we’ve had (and still have) house guests, and Ganymede has been her most cuddly self ever. It’s nice to be back, but man, if you told me I could go back to Eleuthra tomorrow, I would be at the airport in no time (my speed would be helped by the fact that I’ve only half-unpacked).

Rainbow Bay Beach. You can see our house just up the shore (it has the gazebo).

Rainbow Bay Beach. You can see our house just up the shore (it has the gazebo).

Our time in Eleuthra (an island in the Bahamas) overlapped partly with one aunt and uncle (my dad’s middle brother and his wife) and partly with the other aunt and uncle (my dad’s youngest brother and his wife) and entirely with my grandparents, with whom we stayed. My grandparents have been going to Eleuthra in March for the last several years and I can absolutely see why. It’s pretty far north as far as the Caribbean goes (it’s about 60 miles off the Florida coast) so it’s more temperate than the islands farther south (I’d say the temperature ranged from 15 to 30C, and it was only 15 one evening when there was a breeze). Being in the north also means the flight is pretty short, which is a major bonus.

The beach outside Tippy's, which had the best pina colada and mojito I've ever tasted. Ever.

The beach outside Tippy’s, a beach-side bar had the best pina colada and mojito I’ve ever tasted. Ever.

The thing that really won us over, though, was that there were no resorts on the island. There’s a fair bit of tourism (it’s their main industry), but it’s tucked away in small hotels and guest houses and in rental homes, like the one we stayed in. We went out for drinks and lunch some days, but we made most of our meals in the house. We drove around to lots of beaches (Eleuthra has some amazing beaches), but we also swam off the boat slip in front of the house, or at the beach just down the shore. We went for walks and read and knit (well, I knit) and L kayaked and in general, the six of us hung out did our thing.

Ben Bay Beach (at the northern tip of the island) was an amazing beach.

Ben Bay Beach (at the northern tip of the island) was an amazing beach. It was a little tricky to get to, but, well, look at it! How could that not be worth it?

My dad’s family all lives in out East, so I don’t get to see them very often, and L hasn’t seen them in years, so in addition to being a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in its own right, the family time was invaluable.

I'm avoiding family photos, since I didn't ask first, so instead I give you dolphins! These look like they're in a pool, but they're 100% wild and we saw them when leaving Spanish Wells, the cold, colonial town/island off Eleuthra's northwest side.

I’m avoiding family photos, since I didn’t ask first, so instead I give you dolphins! These look like they’re in a pool, but they’re 100% wild and we saw them when leaving Spanish Wells, the old, colonial town/island off Eleuthra’s northwest side.

Truly, I would go back in heartbeat. And, if you go (or want to), let me know so that I can a) travel vicariously, and b) tell you about all my favourite places that didn’t make it into this post.

It tended to cloud over at night, so there weren't many great sunsets, but boy, when the sunset was visible, it was stunning.

It tended to cloud over at night, so there weren’t many great sunsets, but boy, when the sunset was visible, it was stunning.

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It’s Boxing Day and the knitting is easy

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I finished! It was a bit close – I cast off and blocked my dad’s hat on Christmas Eve – but I finished on time and without tears. What makes this really impressive (at least to me) is that on Dec. 20, after arriving in New Brunswick, I cast on for my Christmas socks because I needed some public knitting. I worked on them at my grandparents’ (and then knit on the mittens in secret at night) and then in the car on the way to Nova Scotia (a 4.5 hours drive) and then around the house, and managed to finish the first one in just three days! So, that means I finished a mitten, knit two thumbs, most of a hat, and a sock in four days. While socializing and shopping and eating and everything else that the holidays require. Not bad, I say.

I was just starting the pattern of the second sock on Christmas morning.

I was just starting the pattern of the second sock on Christmas morning.

I’ll do a proper Christmas post later this week, but I just wanted to pop in and wish you all Happy Holidays – I hope your Christmas (or just your Tuesday, if you don’t celebrate) was wonderful and well spent. I’m never sure if this is my last Christmas at home, so I always try to make the most of it, including going on chilly hikes with my dad on Christmas day. Here are a few shots from that to carry you through your turkey leftovers.

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We’ve hiked the same trail on Christmas day for years, and it never disappoints.

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If you look closely, you can see that my dad is wearing his new hat.

If you look closely, you can see that my dad is wearing his new hat.

The tide was mostly in when we started, but way out by the time we got back to the car.

The tide was mostly in when we started, but way out by the time we got back to the car.

Reality check

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Before I begin: If you are a member of my family, I love you, but if you read any further do so knowing that you will ruin Christmas.

Okay, today is one month from Christmas Eve, the date by which I would like to be entirely finished my Christmas knitting and happily enjoying my family’s many holiday traditions. We’re a family who does the same thing the same way every year, and we like it like that, so me holing myself up in my room to knit secret things would put a real damper on that. That means it’s time to get real about what I have to knit and when things need to be done.

Details on everything to be revealed in good time. But, on the off chance my family ignored my warnings, I don’t want to be too specific yet.

That pile of yarn? That all has to be knitted into things by the holidays. I’d say Christmas, but some of it has an earlier delivery date. I was actually a little overwhelmed for a minute, and then I decided to break it down. In that pile is: two pairs of mittens, one hat, and one pair of large men’s bed socks. That, to me, seemed reasonable when I broke it down. And then I realized something was missing. Kindly add this ball into the above picture (it, too, is destined to be a hat):

So, that’s two pairs of mittens (one cabled, the other fair isle); two hats (one in fair isle that exists only in my head, the other a sort of textured pattern); and large bed socks. Is it crazy to think that I’ll get all that done in what is, essentially, four weeks? Clearly I will not knit a stitch for myself during that time, but I do have two jobs and a life that needs some maintaining. I won’t lie, I’m a little worried. But maybe that’s healthy? The kind of worry that will propel me instead of result in me crying in a corner while clutching needles and wool? I think so. And really, I can’t be the only knitter looking at their to-knit list and wondering if they’ve gone crazy, right?

In addition to all of this, I still have the tea cozy to finish, but there are only a few inches left, so I think I’m okay. The only concern I have is that I’m likely to run out of wool. I can get more, so it isn’t a disaster, but I would rather figure out how to make what I have work. I was going to just power through and finish it this weekend, but honestly, I’m so tired of knitting plain stockinette that I think I’m going to cast on one of the mittens just to spice things up a little. It’s all holiday knitting, though right, so it’s not cheating.

So, stripes: Too random? Just random enough?

Anyway, what do you think of the striping? I’m making it up as I go along – thoughts?

(Aside: L just came in and asked what I was doing. “Nothing you need to worry about,” I said. “Uh oh,” he replied, “Sounds like it is.” “No no,” I said, “Just about Christmas knitting.” “How much you have to knit and how much time you have to do it?” “Yeah.” “So why are you blogging about it instead of knitting?” Humph. What a cheeky man.)