Things I am not doing

Today, I am not sitting in my living room in the absolutely blissful air conditioning, working on the little sweater I chose. Thanks to Sue H for reminding me in the comments that I designed one I love.  Nouveau-né!

I am not in the back bedroom, looking at the furniture I have jammed in there, and trying really hard to figure out where I’m going to put it all. (A plan that should have worked didn’t, when we realized that we can’t just get rid of Sam’s old dresser, put Joe’s in there, and then put my mother’s where Joe’s was. Turns out Sam had a dresser much smaller than either of them, and the new, larger dressers invoke classic small home problems, like doors that then won’t open all the way, or windows windows covered with great hulks of furniture.

I am not in my mother’s basement with my sister, loading the leftovers of my mother’s life into a van so we can take it to a thrift shop. (That will have to be later, though we’re really running out of time.)

I am not helping Joe bring two more cabinets, a desk and a smallish table into our home because we all agree they can’t go to the thrift shop.

I am not upstairs, standing in the stash room, wondering if I should really be reorganizing some of the stuff up there so that I could put a cabinet in. (The cabinet is really not going to hold that much yarn. This idea is not going to work. I need only full duty furniture up there.)

I am not in the garden, even though I really need to clean it up a bit so that things don’t get out of hand, and to make room for a few of the plants I want to move from my mother’s garden to mine.

(I know. It really is starting to look like we can’t let go of things, but I swear it’s necessary. I’m just taking a Hosta and some Solomon’s Seal. Maybe a Euphorbia, and a Lady’s Mantle.  That’s it. Except for the streaky grass my mum moved from her mother’s garden. That’s really it. Probably. She has a nice lily.)

I am not spinning – even though I totally am going to try to spin every day of the Tour de Fleece.

I am not on the sailboat with Joe – even though today is a gorgeous day for it.

Nope.  I am sitting on my porch. Getting ready to strap on my cycling shoes, and ride 90km. That’s my minimum today. I went to bed early last night to be ready for it, and Team Knit is all on their bikes today – the guys are doing the regular training ride, but it’s “tent and truck day” for the Bike Rally Rustlers (that’s the volunteers who tote around all the riders stuff for a whole week, loading and unloading our bins onto trucks, and driving them to the next place we camp. It’s a crazy thing they do.) Since I’m Co-Chair this year, I’m turning up for that, so it’s the lonely training road for me.

Tomorrow we’ll do it all again – another 100km, assuming we all live through today. Think strong, cool thoughts for all of us, and maybe knit a few rows on our behalves. Our hands are busy.

50 thoughts on “Things I am not doing

  1. Thinking of you as you ride. Hydrate!

    Hope you got the pop of comfortable weather that we did in Virginia (for the weekend)!

  2. I’m with you. My mom is moving into a seniors building so, my sister and I are trying to fit things into our already full, small homes. As you can tell, I’m busy in the basement making room, by way of sitting upstairs knitting a pair of socks.

  3. I’m in awe of your list of things I’m not doing. Your reason is so much nobler than mine. Keep calm and enjoy your day.

    • If her basement is like mine, the furniture could get a mildewy, basement smell, plus absorb too much moisture and get wonky.

  4. Steph, on the off chance you haven’t thought of this, what about a storage bin? There are ones that will come to you, pack it up with absolutely everything that doesn’t fit, and some of them have set times they will be stored away for, before you go to access them again. I say this because when my Mom died, my Dad gave me the best bit of advice, “if you can’t part with it, or can’t decide to part with it, and you can afford to store it somehow, don’t get rid of it”. He was completely right and I had the luxury to store stuff on my farm until I began to realize what I could and could not live without. Releasing these items into the wild is also a process of grieving, and each person’s timeline for this is different.

    I hope your cycling went well.

  5. Tale winds and clouds with no precipitation in them all day may your ride be beautiful as the day. You can always spin with wool when you get back. Enjoy!

  6. We’ve had cool/sunny for two days, saving lives and marriages. Because I love you I’m standing behind it and pushing hard in your direction. (I’m sure Ken would be glad to store much of the furniture — almost insulting to ask, really. Why not just show up and start unloading?)


    1. You are not taking photos of all this stuff.
    2. You are not posting it online with captions.
    3. You are not offering it for sale to your adoring online knitter fans, who would likely be delighted to own “Steph’s Mum’s maple dresser.”
    4. You are not writing a fat check to the PWA treasurer as a result of selling stuff to your adoring online knitter fans.


  8. I like Kamina’s idea of a storage box! Put all the stuff you can’t get rid of into that box for a year. Then look at it with fresh eyes. How many cabinets & dressers does one house NEED?? Personally, I wouldn’t move a thing into your house unless it works better than something you already have. Then the old one goes out to the Thrift Store. OR, think of all the Refugees coming to this country who have NOTHING. Let your Mom help one more time & donate all of it to them. Help a family or two make a home in Canada.

  9. Wholeheartedly approve of moving as many of your mum’s garden plants as you want. They can always stay over in pots until you have time and energy to decide where you want them in your garden. My mom had banks of purple and peach bearded iris, and now that I have made a space for iris I want exactly those colors in spite of all the fancy-pants double colors I could get.

  10. I love the family items, furniture and other things, including Phyll, the plant that belonged to my Aunt Lois. Most of the family has bits of Phyll growing. 🙂 There are some family pieces that have to stay in the family. Ride well! Ride safely.

  11. Live with a stuffed home for awhile. It won’t be long before your girls will be furnishing their own homes, and will be able to use your mother’s things. I can’t tell you how much I love eating a meal at my daughter’s house on my mother-in-law’s dining room table. Seeing my grandparents’ secretary along with my parents’ cuckcoo clock in my daughter’s livingroom reminds me of them all, and gives me a serious case of the warm fuzzies. Your girls will cherish those items too.

    Best of luck with the training sessions.

  12. Take all of the plants that you can fit in your yard. Every spring I am awed by my beautiful peonies. They belonged to my grandmother who died in the early 1940’s. They were transplanted by my aunt and then a couple of pieces of root stock were delivered to me by my wonderful cousin.
    These peonies have traveled from Ohio to Massachusetts and now reside in my yard. They are a yearly reminder of those people I love.
    Love is perennial – someday your girls will take cuttings of those plants and your grandchildren will pick the flowers and think of you

  13. I totally get moving plants from your Mum’s garden to yours. Move as many as you want! Gardens always remind me of my grandma and now my Mom, who loves to garden. Wonderful memories in those beautiful blooms. But I will warn you–that lily bulb has probably socked itself in pretty deep and won’t want to be disturbed and the bulb is (more than likely) not directly beneath the part above ground! Ask me how I know–after digging out and moving lily bulbs for my Mom.

  14. We keep the things that matter. Your mom isn’t in her house, she’s in the furniture that was important and in the flowers in her garden. And you’ll find places for both.

  15. Get rid of the excess furniture. Your mother lives in your heart not in a chair or kitchen table. Leave the plants for the person who buys the house. You’ll make someone happy by leaving a beautiful backyard.

  16. Make sure besides the hosta, you get the plant from your grandmother. I have moved at least 7 times in my married life 40+ years) and still have the phlox from our first house, the iris from my sisters house, both my home town and some plants from everywhere else, iincluding the cranesbill fron the arrangement friends gave me when my mom passed away. The connection is just well, soothing.

    As to the rest, when Mom died, I called my husband when we were emptying her condo, to get a bigger truck. I get it. I got through it and you will too.

    Keep pedaling,

  17. I know you can do it! I am so grateful I only have to ride three miles home (26 degrees, 54% humidity).

    I would love it if you could do another newborn pattern. No other pattern seems to have all those thoughtful details like the wider neck. There were so many lovely garments in the recommendations the other day, but seriously – jumpers? For a newborn? I am going to have better things to do than try to make a squidgy small person get into a jumper – and then take them out again because I need to undo their babygro to deal with baby bottom armageddon…

  18. Hope the ride went well!

    I’m where you are, going through things from my father’s home, including the things he had saved from my mother who’s been gone 30 years now. It’s sad, and painful – and also joyful when you add in the memories things (including plants) bring back. Keep what reminds you most of her and the joyful life you shared. If that means a lot of plants – get them now! And would the chest work for yarn? Think of pulling out a drawer and seeing neatly arranged hanks…

  19. The flowers look so colorful and healthy, and I love the sweater. That’s gorgeous yarn. I understand what you mean about antiques in smaller homes. I had a vintage sink installed in my bathroom. Now I can’t close the door, but I left it that way. I live alone. It’s such a pretty sink…

  20. Best wishes on your upcoming long rides. Remember, “Champions do what others find uncomfortable.” Author Unknown

  21. And here it is Wednesday and perhaps you are still not doing those things. Except for transplanting from the garden (which I also recommend, and did from my mother’s house) the rest of the items are either not to a deadline or maybe someone else could help who is not you (for example, your daughters might help your sister with the thrift shop loading, and surely someone, anyone, else could help Joe move some furniture into your house). The Rally prep, however, IS to a deadline, and also, as this morning’s instagram noted, a great stress reliever.
    Ride on, ride on.

  22. I was able to donate to your ride this year! Only 30 dollars but every year when this time rolls around I have been busted. I finally jumped off the bridge with my side business (quitting my day job) and have a little money for the first time in my life. You were top of my list along with 3 other charities when my ship came in…..well tug boat really, but hey! Way to get out there girl. Proud of you.

  23. Haha — Yay! If only I’d read your posts non-sequentially, I could have saved myself a comment. I’m so pleased with your pattern choice. As you’re knitting away, would you like to think about how to upsize the pattern LOL???

  24. I have just finished emptying my mothers house with my sister and cousin as she is now in care. It was full of memories and as I live 1000km away not much has made it back to my place. We had to make hard decisions. We decided to make it as easy as possible – lots went to thrift. It seems good that someone else will make good use. Some of it was mum’s memories not ours, so we had to be ruthless. It’s still hard.

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