Built sometime around 1750, Fort Klock, I’m fairly certain, was the oldest building within which I had ever set foot. It’s a magnificent property, lovingly restored over the years by a small handful of dedicated volunteers. During my lunch hour last Wednesday, I accompanied a few other co-workers to volunteer some time working with kids at their annual history camp. Naturally, I taught bull wrestling.
Er, I mean spinning.
The kids were so adorable, dressed in their vintage attire!
I immersed myself in my passion this weekend, spinning, processing, dyeing, knitting, weaving, and listening to Glen Miller. Additionally, there were chocolate brownies, hot tea, time in the hammock, and a hike by the river. To cap off the weekend, someone is bringing fiber over to be processed after Meeting this morning. Oh yeah, and coffee in the press.
My little family was gone on a trip, so this was an all girl weekend (well, the dog is a boy, but we’ll forgive him). I normally tend to use these moments alone to work on the house, but this weekend was all about the fiber. Here are some photos, mostly of the dye process to get that gorgeous York Beach colorway.
All I can say is, please watch this gorgeous video with Renate Hiller, from The Fiber Craft Studio, as part of NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett. Ms. Hiller captures in gorgeous simplicity the importance and meaning of handwork, useful work, productive and grounding work. I’ve watched this several times and she is always inspiring. She speaks directly to the part of me that has been utterly awakened since I’ve become involved in the fiber arts and crafts. She also speaks to my longing to bring fiber art and fiber itself to children’s hands, so they can themselves feel the natural and beautiful renewable resource that is all around us in the hills and valleys of Vermont.
Well, this week we’ve moved out of our rental and in with family, packed our belongings at the farm (still a bit more to do), and rented the first of two large moving trucks for our trip out next week. This was the first week that I found myself feeling quite emotional driving around the familiar places like the farm, or walking the shores of Lake Michigan, knowing we were soon to be tourists more than residents.
‘Topher and I sat down under the big old Roxbury Russet at the farm, where he reminisced in his adorable four-year-old chatter about sleeping in the camper or playing with the chickens. “Me going to miss the farm, Mama” tore at my heart-strings, but yesterday some of the awesome folks at the LC reminded him that the farm is forever protected and he can visit whenever he wishes.
It feels really special to have been part of the history of this beautiful, incredible place. We are so appreciative to the Conservancy and to the Campbell and DeYoung families along with those individuals who had memories of working or frequenting the farm, who visited and shared many beautiful stories. What a magical place!
In the spring of 2013, we planted three apple trees, all of which have survived. One was Topher’s first apple tree and the other two were wedding gifts from the year prior (we were married on the farm). They will remain and I’m excited to see how they progress in years to come as they will always carry some very happy memories for us.
For now, we are trying to make time to visit with friends and family and to frequent those places we know and love about Michigan. The girls have been adventuring and discovered a huge toad last night on the front porch. And they’ve already braved Lake Michigan for a swim.
As much as I’ll miss our northern Michigan “home,” I’m equally as excited to finally settle in New York. We’ve been planning this move for well over a year and it feels good to be this near the big move. The plumbing and electric have been completed, so now all the house needs is its people.
“Where we love is home; home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Okay, but only to prep it for the move. Still, we shared a moment.