25 April 2006

Will You Miss Me?

Oh my. It's been such a long while since I last posted. And last night, while I was lying in bed, I came up with the best post ever. But it was late and I thought, "I'll remember that tomorrow." And, go figure, it's tomorrow and the poetry of what I wanted to say is gone, gone, gone.

I have not much knitting to show. I've been tangled up in some emotional and academic 'yarn' that is just now starting to sort itself out. For one, when I was in Philadelphia, I changed dissertation advisors. I'm still in the process of sorting this out. This kind of thing is not often done in my department, and though I feel very good about my decision, it's left me receiving some uncomfortable e-mails and being forced to send very political and diplomatic e-mails in return. I'm glad to be back in the mountains while handling the ends of this, though. When I left here a week ago, the flowers were blooming, but the mountains were still grey-brown and naked. When I returned a few days ago, everything had exploded. There are more shades of green in these mountains than I have ever seen in my life. I want to take a picture, send it to Sundara and get some yarn to commemorate it. Of course, that is out of the budgetary question right now. But I'll hold on to those pictures until next winter, when it's cold, dark and grey, and then maybe I'll do it... socks of hope. hee hee.

As for emotional yarn -- I hinted earlier at how difficult my trip to Philadelphia was. It is very strange to be in a place once so familiar, where now I feel a little like a bull in a china shop - awkward, uncomfortable, out of place. I felt immediately better once I returned to the mountains, and spent most of the weekend hiking around in them to celebrate. My friends Julie, Shawn and I went up to Pikeville, Kentucky for their annual Hillbilly days celebration. There are no words to describe this festival. I could post pictures, but I think they would do it no justice. Here are just a few, to give you an idea.

The decorated trucks and costumes were incredible. My video does it more justice. But... for those of you unfamiliar with Hillbilly Days (which I imagine to be most of you), check this out. I think it might help to explain things.

Sunday, Julie, Shawn and I hung out all day out on Kings Creek, where they live. We made an amazing breakfast, I fed the chickens (!), played music on the porch, and took a long long hike over the mountain, following Kings Creek to Line Fork. It was an amazing walk (wish I'd brought my camera, but I think I was able to enjoy it more without it), one that can only be made on a Sunday when there aren't 50 ton coal trucks lumbering down these narrow roads at ungodly speeds. It felt like such a priviledge to be out on such a beautiful day.

Views from the "Trad Shack" porch.

Breakfast for me (Julie is one damn fine chef)

Breakfast for the chickens (my friend Jennifer looooooves Chickens. Aren't they sweet?)

All of this is to say that it has been a weird, unsettling, and oddly comforting feeling to experience back to back the 'loss' of the city I once thought I would live in forever, and simultaneously come back here and feel at home. I've been thinking a lot lately about whether I want to move back to Philadelphia in the fall, when I'm 'technically' done with the research for my dissertation. On days like Sunday, and mornings like today, I think my decision has been made. We'll see...

Anyway, there will be some knitting content today. When I was on my way back down to the mountains, I stopped for two nights with my parents (well, my mom -- dad was out of town) in Crozet. Mom and I had a nice "girl's day out" with nice lunch and lots of shopping. I needed size 0 needles, so we stopped at the knitting store, where I also grabbed two skeins of Jawoll (love it for the name!) superwash cotton sock yarn. And, to celebrate my 'freedom' from my old academic advisor, I treated myself to a skein of Lorna's Laces (I'd never seen it before...I would have gotten two skeins, but this was the only one of this colorway, and I didn't like the other colors they had). I'm going to make myself a pair of 'celebratory footies'. Hurrah!

And I'll end off this long long post with a picture from my back porch -- see how green?!


Chris said...

Sounds like the advisor change was a really good thing for you - yay, you!! Not easy, but important.

Gorgeous scenery where you are now - very, very, very green. *sigh*

Fun sock yarn - I love that color of LL!

Theresa said...

Dude, my dad's going to love this post. And sometimes I so want your life. Can't wait to see those mountains in real time. This is such a big country, and not just geography - Hillbilly Days are just so incomprehensible in RI, and probably more so in CA. Ah, well. Looks like a blast.

Anyway, so much change is so unsettling, but (as you seem to realize) also so important - basic law of biology: grow or die. And Theresa's corollary: buy sock yarn to commemorate the moment. Seems like you have it all under control!

Laura said...

I just love your blog. I love to see the pictures of your mountains. I love that you consider biscuits and gravy to be a fine breakfast. (I am drooling just thinking about them.) I love that you reminded me of Crozet. But now I am hungry for pizza. ;)

Sonya said...

De-lurking to tell you how much I enjoy the pictures on your blog. Sorry to hear about the stress of your advisor change. What's your dissertation topic?