"The world is full of fickle people/
you old friend aren’t one/
inspired you write like a god/
drunk you’re crazier still/
enjoying white hair and idle days/
blue clouds now rise before you/
how many times will you still sleep/
with a jug of wine by your bed."
-- Kao Shih, To Chang Hsu after Drinking, Quoted in Poems of the Masters, China’s Classic Anthology of T’and and Sung Dynasty Verse, Red Pine, trans.
Winter is here. Hibernation has begun. I’ve lived so long here that the first rain announces winter’s arrival somewhere inside me. Despite the relative mildness of our Zone 9 winters, I have acclimated. All that is left of my roots - those east coast Mid-Atlantic snow days of yesteryear - is the fond memories.
The first big rain sooths my soul and that’s what winter feels like today after a long hot summer and a mild and warm Indian Summer. It is time to put away my tools and leave the garden behind. It’s almost time to make Dad’s eggnog, aka Bot Nog, with Southern Comfort. Almost time to turn to my indoor self; cook comfort food with last summer’s canned tomato sauce; and make your pasta from scratch.
And it is time to sew. I’ve got a date with the Pfaff-Whisperer. He’s booked for six weeks. But I scored an appointment for him to service Pfaff Creative, aka F Sewing Machine, right after Thanksgiving. I take the FSM to rehab at the end of November. I’m thinking I need a new name for FSM if I’ve got a prayer of learning how to use it by emphasizing the fucking positive and burying the burning regret and failure in the Springfield Tire Fire inside my head, where its smoldering ashes will give off toxic smoke that will cast a pall on the my attempts to approach this year’s learning curve with anything shorter than a fully-extended fire truck ladder. Seasonal affective Disorder, or psychotic break? You decide.
This gives me from now til the end of the month to get the F Quilt off the Dustbin of History shelf and tear out last year’s stubborn mistakes. My simple plan is to complete the FQ and get on to the next quilt that will surely be a thing of beauty, and a joy forever. Last spring, I met my latest quilting waterloo, folded it resentfully and put it in the I Hate You Closet, and then went outside to play.
Do I hear you say it's time for me to face the FQ with courage and valor, not with smoldering hate. You might counsel me to approach this coming indoor season’s cabin fever with a better attitude. To which I say, screw you. So, as I turn the clocks back that I should have turned back yesterday, I have to ask myself: how many times have I slept with a jug of wine by my bed?
But who’s counting? Not me, anyway. Thanks to an alcohol-induced rapidly deteriorating short term memory best described as intermittent with chance of hallucinations. And you don't even have to sleep at a Comfort Inn Express to know that's wack.
So, winterize now, gardeners. Time for comfort food and drink and living large off summer’s bounty. To the Quilting Cave!