Sunday, September 15, 2019

Yopping Update #11 - 24 and done

Look what's done!

Now to decide how to display them - I might knit the Alan Dart Advent tree.  Stay tuned.

I then picked up my fisherwoman's sweater and have knit about three more inches.

This has been a sad week.  On the way home from the little island on Tuesday afternoon I received the message that my friend had died at noon.  Wednesday my husband and I drove up to his house for the wake and sat with his family for a few hours.  The funeral was yesterday.  I have so many memories of him from the eleven years we have been friends.  It poured with rain yesterday, and today looks no different.  It seems more than appropriate.

This morning I am going to visit a dear friend who is in the midst of chemo treatment.  She wants me to help her knit a shawl so I have gathered some needles and wool for the pattern she has chosen along with a  project bag.

My daughter has been sending me many pictures of my grand-daughter to help ease my sadness this week.  Here is my favourite.

I will end this week with a poem my sister sent me.  It is by Billy Collins.  I read it to my friend as I sat by his body on Wednesday.  I have read it many times over the last few days.  It helps to think of his journey this way.


You know the brick path in back of the house, 
the one you see from the kitchen window, 
the one that bends around the far end of the garden
where all the yellow primroses are?
And you know how if you leave the path 
and walk up into the woods you come
to a heap of rocks, probably pushed
down during the horrors of the Ice Age, 
and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now
against the light-brown fallen leaves?
And farther on, you know
the small footbridge with the broken railing
and if you go beyond that you arrive
at the bottom of that sheep's head hill?
Well, if you start climbing, and you 
might have to grab hold of a sapling
when the going gets steep, 
you will eventually come to a long stone
ridge with a border of pine trees
which is as high as you can go
and a good enough place to stop. 

The best time is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through 
the columns of trees as you are hiking up, 
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of birdsong or the leafy 
falling of a cone or nut through the trees, 
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination. 

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against 
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves. 

Still, let me know before you set out. 
Come knock on my door
and I will walk with you as far as the garden 
with one hand on your shoulder.
I will even watch after you and not turn back
to the house until you disappear
into the crowd of maple and ash, 
heading up toward the hill, 
piercing the ground with your stick.

Billy Collins


  1. Condolences on your loss. I saw your poem and assumed if was the death of a friend but wasn't certain. Both pieces are very poignant. I hope the pictures of your granddaughter have helped (she's very cute)and keeping busy with all the knitting. Those advent mittens look great.

  2. Your granddaughter is so precious. Thank you so much for sharing her with all of us. When will you be heading back to Croatia to see her and squeeze her and spoil her rotten?

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. I read the poem you wrote and was deeply moved. The one in this post brought me to tears. Very touching.

    Congrats on finishing all the little mitts for advent. They are so darn cute. And 3 inches on the sweater is quite an accomplishment. That is quite intricate. Bravo for helping your friend make a shawl. It will help take her mind off her treatment.

    Hopefully this week will be a happier week.

    1. We hope to visit Croatia again next spring. So long to wait for a cuddle.

  3. Look at all those Advent Mitts. So beautiful. And the cabling in the sweater is gorgeous. And look at that soft baby hair and sweet cheeks. I hope pictures of that little sweetheart has helped your hurting heart this week. Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem. sigh

  4. Congratulations on the Advent mittens being done!!!! That poem is beautiful...very evocative.

  5. Sending condolences to you on the loss of your friend. Beautiful poetry to mark his passing. Was your friend also a writer?

    I hope you find solace in the teaching of your friend to knit and the support you can give to others. May plenty of support and encouragement come your way in return.

    Meanwhile, your sweet granddaughter is at the very beginnings of her life's journey. May she heal your aching heart during these difficult times. xx

    1. He was a teacher and then an administrator. He and his wife became great friends with my husband and me.

  6. I love all your advent lovely! Your sweater is so pretty with the cables and that cream colored yarn...scrumptious!
    The poem got me tearing up and I'm not into poetry but some just hits you and you understand. I'm so sorry about the sadness you are going through. We must be under the same star lately or is that "mercury in retrograde' messing with us? Days like these you wonder if you'll be able to rise up again but yet deep inside we know we will if we live long enough. It's just like cuts or bruises or illness....the older you get the longer it takes to heal. Take care my friend and know I am thinking of you and sending you love and hugs and peace. Sam

  7. P.S. Yes...your many reasons to smile....she is showing self love...I hope she never loses it!

  8. What a comfort the photos of your granddaughter must be at this sad time. I think I’m going to hang my mittens on an Icord but after that I’m not sure...perhaps going up the banister. We don’t have a fireplace/ you have that as an option.

  9. I had thought of stringing them along the mantel of the fireplace. We shall see where I get with them (after I finish this darn sweater!)


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