This was going to be my year to return to public gatherings, with the first of them being the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. I was SO looking forward to it and was willing to make another cross country journey to be with the wonderful people who put on this event, as well as all of my beloved attendee friends. I just can’t do it. I just can’t put us in the great danger that is a 6 day (each way) trip to Rhinebeck, and especially coming through so many states that seem to scoff at the virus, before visiting our east coast family. I have known that this decision was going to have to happen but I dreaded it and kept putting it off, until today. I had to write to the vendor wrangler and let her know why my broken heart told me that we just could not come. I had hoped that the people in this country could have done the right thing, gotten the vaccine and squelched this damned virus, but my hopes have been dashed and I will not put either of us in this kind of harm’s way, no matter how much I would give for things to be different. This is a big blow to my spirit and pocket but we now know of too many people who are losing loved ones, still. I do not want to get sick, on the road.
I am writing this blog post from my desktop, in my office. I am here on a work visit, because our evacuation zone allows for us to be here. We will, however not sleep here, until the sheriff lifts the evacuation mandate for this area of the Caldor Fire. We have heard flight after flight, today, hopefully helping the ground crews to build that final containment line around OUR western leg of this devilish fire. It is the last vestige of red on the western fire map and we wake up, each morning at our daughter’s house, praying that we will see that thick black line that signals that the fire will not be moving our way, in the dead of night, when the winds come down from the mountains. Until that happens, we wonder and wait. As of today, we have been evacuated for 17 days. I have been through days of fear, depression, hope, elation and disappointment and it has been very tiring. This is, of course, another reason why Rhinebeck is impossible; I just can’t fathom leaving our pets again, during fire season, which is far from over AND who could be creative in times like this?
Yes, 2020 was monstrous and heartbreaking and stupid. 2021 should have known better, but of course, no such luck. On the positive side, we are both healthy and wear our masks when we go inside any building, to keep it that way, AND our house and my studio are still here, so life goes on, as soon as we can come home. Our daughter and her family have been so wonderful and Teejay, our black lab, has become the Best Dog, enjoying the car rides up here, each day, and the suburban neighborhood walks, each evening. We have gotten to really know our family and have enjoyed spending so much quality time with all of them. Rod did his Mister Fix-It, tightening nobs and handles, to keep busy and I just kept staring at the reports about the fire, when I wasn’t helping with meals and generally trying to lessen our impact on the family. We are so grateful to have had somewhere to go, when others were holed up in hotel rooms, RV’s if lucky to have them, or in tents or cars. We are extremely grateful to the gritty firefighters who do what they love, getting in it, to win it. It has taken an army, including Rod’s beautiful cousin Shelley, who has been running her late brother’s sports bar, up in Incline. Rookies has been feeding first responders who are watching over the homes of South Lake Tahoe evacuees, and I am so proud of that crew.
Thanks to those of you who have placed orders during this rough time. I have had a reason to come up here to fill the ones that were in stock and dye for those that weren’t. Now that I have completed the dyeing of the big order for Lofty Lou’s part of the Sierra Yarn Crawl, I can start creating, once again. Now, I just have to hope that people do better, so that we can drive down the hill to Sacramento, next March, for the first in-person Stitches West, since this all began. I miss people.
I can’t stop crying, because the Vendor Wrangler just told me that i can come back if we are able to come next year. This makes me feel like this thing that i do is not over.