Monday, August 20, 2007

it's that time of year

I am a creature of habit, and my husband is the same way. We follow our little routines most days and weeks, and larger cycles govern the course of a year. Certain times of the year signal certain things to me, and these few weeks in August after our NY vacation are officially the time for getting ready for school. Add in the past few days of lovely cooler weather we're having and it feels like fall is upon us.

I love love love the fall, I always have. Even before I was a knitter. The colors here in New England are a part of it, of course, but also the break from the summer heat which I can't stand, and a sense of anticipation. Once September hits, it feels like it's just nonstop activity until January: school starts, my city has an arts festival, then there's Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and a couple of birthdays, and Christmas, and more birthdays. We see family all the time and it's great. This year there will even be a new baby thrown into the mix some time in December. I'm so excited!

So this week we embarked on the ritual back-to-school shopping. The kids are going into second and fifth grades (!) this year so we don't have to go too crazy just yet - no umpteen very specific types of notebooks, no fancy binders and storage systems and graphing calculators and holy crap when they are in high school I am going to have a nervous breakdown. We just stock up on pencils and folders and jeans and tee shirts without stains. Also new shoes, with a strong admonition to always wear them with socks, lest their entire class asphyxiate. The old ones are sealed in plastic and set aside until we can call a hazmat team.

I've also sat down this week and made The List. You know what list I mean, the Christmas Knitting List. I am a fairly slow knitter with a large list, so I have given myself until the end of August to finish my selfish knitting. Then the holiday stuff begins. I am especially excited to make socks for my mom (don't worry, she doesn't have a computer). She has expressed a desire to make socks, bought sock yarn and appropriate needles, but her first sock has been about a third of the way done for a couple of months now. She is apparently also a creature of habit, not a big fan of circular and/or very small needles. But give her a pair of size 8 straight needles and some worsted weight and she can whip out a beautiful baby blanket in a couple of days! Anyway, what with new babies and weddings and new boyfriends, The List grows ever longer. But it's okay - I enjoy the whole process, from the planning to the knitting to especially the giving. It's worth a third of my knitting year!

By the end of this week the weather is supposed to be hot again. Maybe this will dampen my fall enthusiasm a bit, but I doubt it. What's begun is begun, and my calendar is itching to turn to September. I will welcome it in with a bang this year; my ten-year high school reunion is the first! More on that later, I'm sure, and on how Mrs. Darcy is faring. But for now I ought to go to bed. Maybe I'll dream of apple pie . . .