September and October have been busy months for us. Fall is always busy, but this year it’s been especially so. In September I turned 34, more of our homeschool activities started back up, Jeff had four metal fillings removed, there was garden produce to process (we bought a new food dehydrator and love it), and work kept us busy. Jeff and I worked on buttons in the shop and then worked on getting them all tied on cards, as we prepared for our final two fiber festivals of the year.
The first fiber festival was the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, outside of Portland, the last weekend in September. It’s one that we’ve done for many years. Then we came home long enough to do a few loads of laundry, re-pack, and drop our dog off with the sitter, before we headed back on the road. The second fiber festival was Lambtown, that we went to for the first time this year. It was the first weekend in October, in California. We went from very cold, rainy weather (plus some wild thunderstorms, rare in that area) during Oregon Flock and Fiber to warm and sunny weather at Lambtown. One weekend we were bundled in wool layers and the next weekend we were in sandals and t-shirts.
We discovered a gem of a restaurant while we were there, and would highly recommend eating at Rosemary’s if you are ever in the Dixon area. (As soon as we left California, the power outages started happening there, we just barely missed it.) During all our time on the road, the three of us listened to audiobooks. First we listened to Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, read by Jim Dale. He is the same guy who narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks, and he does such a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life. Then we listened to Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, performed by Peter Francis James. What a good story, and a tearjerker.
When we returned home, Jeff headed to the shop to work on an order and I set to work unpacking, doing laundry, and preparing for a birthday party. We celebrated our son’s 9th birthday the weekend before last with family and friends, and he had a wonderful day. Jeff and I both can’t believe how big he’s getting, (and I think he is going to end up taller than me at some point.) So, looking at these last two months- when you add in appointments, errands, and all sorts of complications with our camper trailer (long story)- yep, it’s been a pretty busy fall. Now we are happy to be home and are not feeling too anxious for much more traveling anytime soon.
Last week we hauled firewood to fill up the woodshed, but mostly we’ve been busy working on some button orders for kits over at Barrett Wool Co. Have you seen the adorable patterns that Susan B. Anderson has been coming up with over there? I’ve been sharing them on Instagram. Her latest is the Elephant + Mouse Kit. (We just sent out the heart buttons in red cedar wood for those, the buttons shown in the picture above.) She also has three other kits featuring WoolyMossRoots buttons- the Panda Kit (I have that one, can’t wait to knit it!), the Little Giraffe & Cardigan Kit, and the Oliver Pig Kit. I want to knit them all.
We’ve been grateful to be busy with orders because it feels good to be working from home more, and simplifying our travel schedule moving forward. At the very beginning of this year, Jeff and I planned to travel more than usual and hit work really hard so we could pay off some debt and be able to move forward in some of the ways we were wanting to. We had over ten possible festivals/trunk shows we were considering throughout the year, but life had different plans for us. Our year was different than we expected and with all that happened- suddenly, we knew that schedule we had been looking at/planning wasn’t right for us anymore.
Even under the best of circumstances (if I’m being honest with myself), we would have been pushing ourselves too hard, it would have been a stretch to make enough to be restocking for that many events. We’ve ended up keeping so busy with wholesale orders this year, and custom orders for the shop, that we’ve been working hard to keep up and it’s made traveling for shows more challenging for us. Plus, honestly, it’s time to slow our pace down a bit and find our new rhythm.
I’m looking forward to focusing more attention and energy (once we catch up with orders that is) on our online shop, something I haven’t had the opportunity to do much of over the years with our schedule the way it’s been. I feel like our energy has been stretched in so many directions for so long, Jeff and I would both really like to focus more energy at home for awhile. There are lots of projects around our place that we would like to tackle, that have been put on the back burner for years.
I still feel a bit vulnerable from our year. The fear of losing Jeff… it was so painful for me. He is not only my husband, he is my best friend. He is the person who knows exactly how I’m feeling and thinking when we make eye contact across the room. He is the one who gets me, who has my back, who constantly supports me. He is the person who I am more myself with than anyone else. I’ve told him everything, without holding back, without fear of judgement. And he has loved me, all of me. He’s seen me at my best and he’s seen me at my worst and he has loved me unconditionally the whole time. He still makes me laugh, and I love him for it. I can’t describe the loneliness I felt before I met him, and the thought of losing him this year… it’s made me not want to take any time with my family for granted ever again. It’s made me want to live each day letting go of the small stuff and savoring the important stuff. Because the time we have with the people we love is just too precious for us to be distracted from. This wasn’t what I had intended to write about tonight… but I guess it’s what my heart wanted to say.