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We are Familia FIG. We are a bi- lingual, blended family. Belalu was diagnosed at 9 months with hypochondroplasia.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Third and Final Canoeing Saga Installment

I tried running, but the sand was loose and made me feel like I was fighting quicksand. It truly felt like one of those nightmare experiences where you try to run, but don’t get anywhere. Eventually, however, I made it to within earshot of the man, and breathlessly called for him to wait. I explained our predicament, hoping he would have a boat to get us out to our canoe. He didn’t, but he offered his house for me to call the coast guard. Having no idea that lakes had coast guards, even one this big, I joyfully said, “Yes please!” It felt like it took forever to get back to his house, but eventually we did make the call, with him explaining to them where the canoe was and where we were in relation to it. I thanked him a million times and made my way back to where Juan was planted on the beach, never taking his eyes off the canoe. As we sat there waiting for something to happen, Juan turned to me and said, “Well, now that we have the good news, are you ready for the bad?” I nodded in apprehension just waiting for it to come. “My wallet was in my jacket…. And so were the car keys.” At this point I was so exhausted, I just stared at him. I scanned my memory, trying to think if I had left a window open a crack or forgotten to lock a door. Sometimes we leave the moon roof open a bit, but with the threat of rain, we had definitely left it sealed up tight.

As we waited for the coast guard to appear and my bare shoulders broiled under the hot sun, I envisioned the next steps to the afternoon. The coast guard would pick us up and take us back to the car, where we’d have to somehow call a locksmith to come get it open. At first, I thought I had left my keys in the car, but then remembered that I had left them at the Graham’s house that morning. So getting the car open would not even make it drivable.

Meanwhile, our impatience was turning to worry, as the horizon showed no sign of change. Juan was pacing back and forth, wondering aloud when the coast guard was going to appear, when suddenly he saw a tiny speck in the distance. The canoe was so far out at this point that he could only see it intermittently (I still couldn’t look at it, bobbing out there forlornly). The speck headed in the direction of the canoe, stopped just short of it, and then turned and went back in the direction from which it had come. For at least the fiftieth time that day, we stared at each other open-mouthed. “Where are they going? Why didn’t they get it?” We couldn’t see it at all now, so I wondered if it had been overcome by a wave and had sank to oblivion. The speck suddenly appeared again, drove around a bit, stopped for a while and then left once again. We had no idea what was going on. Had they found it? Had they taken it with them? What if it wasn’t the Coast Guard and just some other people excited to find a canoe floating alone in the lake? If it had been the Coast Guard, why hadn’t they come to get us?

We sat on the beach for a while, wondering what to do next. We had no phone, no canoe, no way to get back to our car, and even if we had gotten back there somehow, we had no way to open it. I sighed and got up to make my way back down the beach again to the nice man’s house. Luckily, he was on his way towards us and met me halfway there. “They got it, but couldn’t come over here because of the rocks. You have to go get the canoe at the station.” I explained our predicament regarding the keys, and he kindly offered to drive us to the Graham’s house to get my set. Luck was still remotely with us, as they had not locked the door so we could come and go as we pleased without having to worry about a spare key. On the way to their house, we asked him if he thought that the jacket would still be in the canoe. He said he wasn’t sure, but from his telescope it appeared that the canoe was floating upside down in the water. We speculated about how it all could have happened, but nothing was satisfactory. We had pulled it far from the water, and although the wind was blowing quite a bit, we had sat on the beach for long enough before the walk to have seen it be moved by the gusts, so we didn't think that was it.

Once back in the car and on the way to the Coast Guard station, we inventoried our potential losses. The paddles and vests were easily replaceable and I wasn’t too concerned about the cardigan. It was just Juan’s jacket with his keys and wallet that we really wanted to be there waiting for us. As we drove into the station, a group of guys were driving out with our canoe on the back of a truck. We motioned for them to stop, and pointed at the canoe. "Where were they taking it?" I wondered aloud. Thirty seconds later and it would have been on its way back to the nice man's house. We confirmed that it was our canoe, asked about the jacket, which they said didn't have, and saw that the two things we didn't care about- the paddles and the life jackets- had floated along with the canoe.

We had talked about getting an ice cream earlier, but at this point were ready for something a little stronger. Over beers at a historic hotel in town, still shell shocked but trying to find the bright side to it all (we had the canoe, a locksmith didn't need to be involved, and all were safe) we both marveled at how young, buff, and attractive the crew of coast guard men had been. And I had been too concerned about the canoe to get a picture for my blog :(

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We Interrupt the Canoeing Saga to Bring You a Knitting Update

The last and final installment of the canoeing saga will be posted tomorrow. I never realized how long it takes to tell a story in writing! For those who have read installment #2, here are some knitting pics:

I finished the other yoga sock and got some better pictures

I have yet to wear them to class yet, but I think this Sunday will be the day.

I made the Calorimetry pattern from Knitty.com for wearing on dog walks and cruising around with the Vino. I think I made it in an afternoon. Very cool pattern w/ short rows and a great left-over yarn project. The button goes underneath, and the idea is that your head is warmer than with a regular ear band, but you can wear your hair up without smooshing your style.

I am making a Clapotis for my friend Rosine because she has done a lot for me in the past year, and I wanted to say thank you. Since she is a knitter, I know she will appreciate a knitted gift. I'm not sure how I feel about the colorway. I'm hoping she will like it, which is all that counts, but I don't like giving a gift I don't LOVE myself. The yarn texture is wonderful, though. It's alpaca and tencel- soooo soft and smooth. Like buttah. Just wish the colors were as yummy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Latest Installment in the Canoeing Saga

It was a very warm, though breezy day, and as we walked along the beach we constantly had to turn our heads against the blowing sand. Mobi frolicked along, bounding from sand to water. I carried my shoes and camera in my hand and likewise alternated my steps between the cool water and the coarse sand, though in a more subdued manner than Mobi’s reckless tearing around. We walked a good portion of the nearly deserted beach, seeing a cluster of small figures in the distance that appeared to be a couple of dogs and their human. After the cool, wet days of camping in Northern Minnesota, we were all happy to be out in the sun. It had heated up enough for us to leave my cotton cardigan and Juan’s outerwear back in the canoe, and while the wind and dark clouds in the distance heralded a change in weather soon, it seemed likely that we’d have time to get back to the car before the storm hit.

As we headed back towards the spot where we’d left the canoe, I was a little ahead of Juan at that point, and thought it would be funny to say something like “Hey, where’s the canoe?” in an alarmed voice. But turning a slight bend in the beach and upon closer inspection, I realized that I really didn’t see it there and my question turned from mirth to true concern. We looked at each other in shock, and even after it was clearly apparent that there was no red canoe to be seen, just kept walking dumbfounded to the spot where it had been. Standing on the bare beach, panic struck us both at the same time. I ran towards the water, scanning it for any sign that our canoe had somehow come to rest on the bottom. Juan, meanwhile was looking around frantically, saying “someone stole it,” “someone stole our canoe.” I dismissed the idea, considering there was no one around and why on earth would anyone do that anyway? It could have been some teenagers playing a prank, he reasoned. Needing to do something, I began to make my way towards the nearest house, whose backyard included the beach where our tragedy had struck. There were several cars in the yard, making it hard to tell if anyone was home. Walking through their yard, I felt like a trespasser, but I had to make contact with someone. I guess at this point I was going to ask if they had seen a red canoe on the beach, as if that would help. I knocked on the door several times, and although I could hear a dog barking inside, no one came out to meet me. I then started wondering- what if they had stolen our canoe and were really hiding inside waiting for me to go away?

I made my way back to the beach, thinking of how inaccessible we were from anything else. We had just been marveling at the isolation of the beach, as there was no direct access from the road. Only those who lived next to it could get here. What if Juan was right? What if someone had stolen our canoe and was watching us now? Even worse, how would we get back to the car? It was early in the afternoon in the middle of the week. I could go from house to house and find no one at home. My cell phone had been left back in the car, since I didn’t expect to need it on our excursion. As I was just reaching Juan, he exclaimed excitedly “I see it!” “I see it!” “Where??” I asked in disbelief. “Out there,” he said, as he pointed far out on the horizon to a tiny red speck that was bobbing up and down in the waves.

I literally sank to the ground in dismay. It was at least a mile out to into the lake. How were we going to get it? How could this have happened? The canoe had been a wedding present to us from my parents, and at that moment I felt totally unworthy of any gifts from anyone- we didn’t deserve to have nice things. We couldn’t even have a canoe for a full year before losing it to Lake Superior. As I tearfully despaired, Juan kept his eye on the canoe. I couldn’t even look at it, so I looked on down the beach to that cluster of figures we saw earlier. They were closer by now and clearly distinguished themselves as a man and two dogs. I jumped up and took off down the beach with Mobi tearing off in front of me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some FOs

Yes, I know I must complete my canoeing saga, and I promise it will be up this weekend. I'm treading water these days just to keep afloat, so bear with me as I squeeze in free time when possible.

I was updating some photos to Ravelry, and thought I would share with ya'll here.

My Sunrise Circle Jacket is almost done. Our 13-hour car ride to WV this past weekend gave me some great knitting time, and all I have to do to my Sunrise Circle Jacket is add the buttons. Here she is, just lounging on the sofa waiting for some love:

I finished this a long time ago, but never did a photo shoot for it. Because we finally only had weather for it this week: my Scholarly Scarf. Join me on my quest for the perfect scarf shot...
Am I in the Shot? shot
Yeah! Now I'm in, but the sun is washing these colors out!Much better! But, it's a scholarly scarf. Shouldn't I be pretending to read something?
Ah ha! That's it. This is the one.

This Sunday marks a big day for the Winona YMCA yogaphiles: the return of Sunday yoga with Mary!!! This is the best way to wind down the weekend- an hour and a half of intense but relaxing yoga, followed by a soak in the hot tub, then wet and dry saunas, respectively. Yum, yum, yum. My yoga friends and I have been abuzz about this for a month now, just counting down the weekends. To celebrate the day, I am hoping to have two yoga socks done by class time. Yoga socks leave the heel and the ball of your foot free, so you can still have traction on a yoga mat, while keeping the top of your foot and the ankle warm. It can get quite cold in the studio, so I think these will be a great asset.