Friday, December 16, 2016

The week before the week before Christmas

Second week in December. I had decided this was the year that I needed to embrace the "Christmas Spirit" since the national news was so depressing and getting worse by the moment. I'm not one who can plug my ears, sing "lalala..." and pretend the crap out there isn't happening, but maybe, just maybe we could carve out a little reprieve for kindness and beauty and joy and family. Beth and I were at Starbucks one morning and this song was playing and it resonated. Yes, this old thing, but the words "I've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, grown a little sadder, grown a little older..." felt like the way so many of us are feeling, and there I was, in Starbucks, gulping back the lump in my throat.

The week delivered, in typical fashion. Very little went as planned.

Screenshot from local news site. Snow, which we seldom get here, wreaks havoc. Roads are quickly very slippery and the local municipalities are unprepared. Worse, the minute it begins in earnest, every citizen of the three county area gets into their car and endeavors to drive home, pick up kids from closing schools and daycares and school buses slip and slide and everything comes to a snowy, cold standstill.

It took me two hours to get grandkids from school to my house and my daughter six hours to get home from her job on the other side of Portland, by first, sitting in traffic for four hours, then abandoning her car in downtown Portland, getting on the light rail train to Beaverton and then walking about three miles, in a snowstorm, to her house. Both holiday parties and dental appointments were cancelled and Christmas shopping postponed. It was not the week I planned, but miraculously, just ahead of the snow, one thing came together—the quarterly meeting of the Columbia Fiberarts Guild. My first meeting as president of the guild and a presentation by Portland crochet artist, Jo Hamilton. She so generously shared her story and her process and her very unusual approach to the familiar craft of crochet. But this is crochet like you've never seen. Magical. Painterly. And if you want to see more, check out her web site—really, you won't be sorry!

Her rich portraits and crocheted Portland cityscapes are wonderfully wonky and rich in color and detail. I find few things in life more life-affirming than viewing joyful, colorful art like this! These are the images from this week that I will hold onto.

And these...

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Location:SW Rigert Rd,Beaverton,United States


  1. Such a contrast between the good and bad parts of the week! Wonderful to have amazing art to calm the soul. And also wonderful when everyone is finally safe and warm at home!

  2. The Jo Hamilton work is amazing but what brought a big grin to my face was that sweet little blue bird taking shelter in the bird feeder. He's not an Eastern Blue Bird and not one of our Blue Jays. What is he?

  3. I can so relate - I am in Vancouver, WA and have a brand new car in the garage - no way am I going to venture out until the ice has gone....I spent 37 years in Alaska and learned to drive in the ice and snow, but it is nothing like what goes on here - I have food in the fridge and fabric on the shelf so I just hunker down and stay warm.

  4. Scrub jay. And I'm so glad I made it to Jo Hamilton's presentation before the flurries started flying~

  5. Wow, that crochet was amazing! Wishing you a cozy and peaceful holiday!

  6. I love the snow! I got my snow tires on today, so with snow tires and all wheel drive, I'm nearly invincible. Except for getting around the 3.9 billion people on the road who abandoned their cars in the road at the slightest skid. Sigh. Trying to get home I passed three steep hill streets with cars all stacked up crashed into each other blocking the whole road.

    It isn't so much that the cities aren't prepared, it's more that it's not worth the money to have fleets of snowplows and boxcars of salt. We just don't get the weather for it. Two or three bad days a year would cost about 280 snowplows at $200K each is $56 million just in equipment. Add 840 drivers at $15/hr is $67,000 a day. I suspect they make a lot more than that. We only got 2". That's barely enough for plows to even run. I'd rather spend the money on sorting out the homeless problem. People with houses can stay in them for a couple days. Here is an interesting store on the salt issue. Regardless of one's views on the environmental effect, we will eventually run out, and the cost is rapidly increasing.

    Crochet!! I'd have loved to see that presentation. I think that she was on Oregon Art Beat a while back. Her work is SO impressive. Perhaps someday when I retire I'll be able to join that group. It always sounds interesting.