Friday, December 22, 2006

Aspen, we hardly knew ye

It's been a hectic few weeks, what with holiday preparations, celebrations, birthdays, end-of-quarter tests, and getting ready for an extended-family vacation in Colorado. Yes, Colorado, where the Denver airport has been closed for several days and won't open any runways until sometime this afternoon, and even then won't be back to full capacity.

Our flight was canceled Wednesday night. Michael received an automated phone call on his cell, just as we were sitting down for dinner at Applebee's for Nina's birthday dinner, telling us our flight had been canceled. He spent the rest of the evening, into the wee morning hours, trying to find a way to get us there. No go. Nina spent most of Friday evening crying. Four hours. I haven't seen her cry that long since she was a colicky baby. When I asked her what she was saddest about, she said, "Not seeing my family! I don't even care about the skiing."

In all my years of air travel, I have experienced airport closures, flight cancelations, crappy weather, overbooked flights, etc. and never once have I been in a situation where there was absolutely no way I could get where I wanted to go. I might be a day late, but I always got there. The combination of timing, amount of snow, lack of airports in the strip of the country (the nearest real airport is Salt Lake City, seven hours west of Aspen and they were completely booked, so we couldn't rent a car from there) all conspired to make the trip impossible. The earliest date we could have gotten there was Dec. 27, a day after the rest of the family would be leaving. We considered driving from the Twin Cities to Aspen, but the storm that hit Denver was moving up the path toward the Cities, so even that wasn't possible.

My reaction? As soon as I heard the news my shoulders relaxed, because I knew my evening wouldn't be as stressful. After dinner, I was scheduled to take Sophia to her skating lesson (she's working on her first figure skating program and getting ready for the test Jan. 6) and then we were to go home and finish packing, which is easy in the case of Nina, who is organization personified, but not-so-easy in the case of Sophia, who is entropy personified. So I didn't have to focus on packing.

Instead, I knit. I knit until late in the evening, and then knit for many hours yesterday. I finished these:

Mountain Colors Bearfoot, in Bitterroot
Needles: Inox 2.75mm dpns
Gauge: 8 sts/in
60 sts

I immediately cast on for Al's second sock, which has been waiting since August for its turn. I'm sure I'll work on a couple other things, too, this week, including Barbara's birthday scarf, which I'm making from a chartreusy-green Misty Alpaca I got from the SnB gift exchange (thank you, Connie!). I also want to cast on another pair of socks for myself, because I just don't have enough wool socks to satisfy myself, but I have so much sock yarn that I have stasher's guilt.

My MIL gave me a gift certificate to Needlework Unlimited for Hanukkah, which I used the first chance I could. I bought Sensational Knitted Socks, which is so terrific I can hardly stand it, plus some Brown Sheep Wildefoote, and more Mountain Colors Bearfoot (in Ruby River Red), and a ball of pink fuzzy novelty yarn with gold metallic bits to use as accent yarn for the flamingo socks I'm designing.

Off to knit...

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