I am not and have never been a fan of Thanksgiving. I know it's heresy for an American to say so, but try as I might I can't help myself. I associate the holiday with frenzied travel, day-long confinement in a hot kitchen, and liver attacks brought on by overconsumption of pie. Upon reaching adulthood I rejoiced in the idea that I could, henceforth, skip the whole thing.
I've since learned that nobody believes you when you say, "No, honestly, I'd rather spend the day quietly, by myself," any more than they believe actors who say they don't mind losing the Oscar because it's honor just to be nominated. And I'm not enough of a misanthrope (yet) to be able to turn down a kindly invitation.
That's why I'm writing from Indiana, to which my parents relocated this summer. Normally I won't travel for Thanksgiving, but when your mother and father say "pretty please," how can you say no?
Mind you, to get here it's only about three hours from Chicago by bus, but it might as well be the Other Side of the Moon. There's a cornfield in front of the house. And another behind it. And two more, to the right and left. Are you getting the picture?
They have a yarn store, though. It's right next to the place where my father gets haircuts, and he asked if I'd like to browse today while he went in for a little trim. As the local butter churning festival has been postponed (the cows are all in Washington, DC, staging a protest against Lactose Intolerance), my social calendar was suddenly wide open. Off we went.
Here's a thing to remember. In the future, when visiting yarn shops run by timid older ladies in rural Indiana, it might be best not to wear my usual Chicago ensemble of faded jeans, biker boots and black leather jacket. When I walked in the owner turned white as a sheet and, I swear, immediately went to her cash drawer - whether to lock it or surrender it, I can't say.
She needn't have worried, mind you, because if I ever decide to knock over a yarn store it won't be one that primarily stocks acrylics.
After that I did a fair amount to help with preparations for tomorrow and now I'm taking time out to work on some stuff for Yarn Market News and that sexy chick who runs Knitty.com.
Cartooning is so marvelously portable. I have my ink, paper, pencils and eraser, and need nothing else. In this way it is a far more practical career than blacksmithing or animal husbandry.
Oh, listen - if reading my whining about the holidays is not enough, you can actually hear me whine about the holidays in the next episode of Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, which goes live on Friday. Not that you have to listen or anything. But I worked hard on the essay, and got up at 4 a.m. to record it, so I just thought I'd mention it.
I think I just heard a wolf howl outside the house. Seriously. No, wait. Neighbor's dog.
As this post was going nowhere, and has now arrived, I think it's time sign off. As the locals say, "Moo."