Ohhhhhh, dear. It's getting dark so early now. The light is changing. In the afternoons, the light in the kitchen is just gorgeous, all rosy and glowing and warm. But by six p.m. it's dark. And at six a.m. it's dark. And those dark hours always seem to sneak up on me somehow. Every single lamp in this house, either table lamp or overhead, is on a dimmer switch. I tweak them throughout the day, if necessary, and sometimes don't turn them off until afternoon. I'm remembering our winter routines: oatmeal in the morning (which Amelia and I both love), soups in the evening, and pick out all of your colors for anything you're making at midday. Never pick them out by lamplight. Unless you like to live on the edge.
Knitting and sewing, knitting and sewing. My sister Susie and her fluffy cat Ellie, recently relocated from Charleston, South Carolina, have moved in with us. Aunt Susie babysits for an hour or two every morning and Amelia is beside herself with joy over her new playmate. I go back to the studio and sew. I have so many ideas. It feels so good to have time to work on them. Getting time to work on them a bit gives me energy and also sort of calms me for the rest of the day. During nap time I stitch hems by hand or tack down linings while she sleeps beside me under the big quilt. (I have to remember to bring eeeeeverything out there with me before she falls asleep; woe to the hand-stitcher who forgets the spool of thread when she still has three-quarters of a hem to stitch, and a sleeping baby's head on her lap.) When she wakes, we go into the kitchen and cook for dinner. She sits in her high chair eating diced apple and watching me. We talk. She doesn't have any actual words yet but she never stops talking in her own Amelia language, which includes lots of pointing and lots of saying "Uh oh!!!" Adorable. Little lovey. I like cold weather because she's snuggly and warm.
It feels good to slow down. It's been, really, a pretty intense year, and I think I'm just realizing how intense it actually was. In my mind, I'm formulating my plan for this next year and already it feels so good. It's slower, quieter, more deliberate. It's like a stash-busting plan: Dig into what you already have and do more with it: fabric, yarn, dry goods in the new pantry, recipes, time, these spaces, quilts, my people. But without rushing. Afternoons. Make tea and chill out. It's okay to do that. I have to keep reminding myself. Slow and steady is what I like. Let this baby girl grow and change and whirl through the woods and the rooms with what seems like lightning speed, and give her big soft arms and a pile of quilts to nest in when she gets tired. The fake fireplace is glowing and fake crackling. I have plans for an Earl Grey latte. Greta cleaned the office yesterday and it is bright and shiny. There's more wool than I know what to do with. And my sister is home. Happy.