A little while ago, I was outside on our big deck to check the temperature. Just at freezing. The Full Cold Moon (with thanks to the Farmer's Almanac) was riding in the black eastern sky, so bright that few stars were visible. It'll get easily five degrees colder by sunrise tomorrow, so I hefted my pots of tender plants into a tight group and wrapped them in a doubled old flannel sheet. Tomorrow will be sunny and cool, so I'll unwrap them and let them breathe for the day.
Decided to take the day off, so loaded up our two Australian Shepherds and husband John Holbron in my minivan and hit the road. Traveled up the Island and over the Deception Pass Bridge onto Fidalgo Island, through a big park at Mount Erie where we stopped at Heart Lake and gave the dogs a run in the chilly sunlight. The sun-glitter on the lake's surface made it nearly impossible to see the flock of ducks resting and feeding in that protected place.
On into Anacortes to my favorite yarn store -- Ana-Cross Stitch -- where I browsed happily and chatted with an acquaintance from our local bead group, eventually walking out with a new book, some specialty needles for lace knitting and two spiffy yarns for lace shawls. I've been obsessed for months with a series of small lace shawls -- much like fichus -- all designed by a German woman named Monika Eckert. I've already completed several, and am ready to start a couple more.
After some sightseeing around Anacortes, and a stop at our favorite funky nursery, we headed back south, stopping in Oak Harbor for a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant. The low afternoon sun was in our eyes much of the way home, but after weeks of grey, rainy, windy, gloomy weather squinting and lowering the visors was a fine thing to do. No complaints.
And now I'm ready -- even anxious -- to be back in my studio. I struggle always with the question of whether to take a day off, feeling that it's foolish to not do what I love doing. But on the infrequent occasions when I choose to goof off, I am rarely regretful, and I tend to return to the studio with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Not a bad trade-off.