Carlton Blue

When I was a cynical teenager, I used to think that Spring was the essence of bad aesthetic taste–the neon pink rhododendrons, the day-glo leaves, the noisy robins serenading each other at 5:00 AM.  Today, I soaked in the super-abundance–the extraordinary exuberance of Spring. There is a reason I started knitting in May–it’s so over the top, a time when nature pulls out all the stops and says YES to living, to hell with moderation and stodginess.  I had a wonderful visit with Stacee, a woman from Whatcom Talks online journal.  Her friends live up the hill from 16th and Taylor, and have been telling her about my progress, and that she must write an article.  We were graced with several interruptors–a young man in a WWU shirt who needed to know what I was doing before he put his ear buds back in and continued on his walk.  A woman wearing a grey wig with two huge walking sticks, picking her way gingerly up the hill.  I have started telling people that I’m knitting a “stream” and it satisfies them in a way that knitting a “line” never did.  A stream is a thing, whereas a line isn’t, evidently!

People are always asking me how long it will take me to knit all the way down to the water, and I quite honestly don’t know.  My current guess is that it is going to take another season (2015).  The line appears to have shrunk, or coiled in on itself since last year when it was at 12th St.  Now it’s back up between 13th and 12th.  Last year, I recall having the same disconcerting problem.  One of the walkers R. noted that perhaps this is happening because it’s doing the “Rastafarian thing”–getting matted and wooly.  I hope to take the line up to the top of the tower to unwind it soon, and see if I can gain a few more feet.

Sunday – Mother’s Day

Inga made an appearance in a flowly coral pantsuit that she swears was originally pajama bottoms.  Hard to believe.  She had spent the morning with her mom in a neighboring town, known for its strict rules on drinking, dancing–even the length of the lawn is regulated!  She said that her mom has 3 Harley’s parked in the front yard, and grass about a foot long…”Keepin’ it real…” she concluded with a smile.

Every sunny day this week, a cacophany of weed wackers, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers.  I wish we could have just one day a week where everyone just soaks in the beauty of the bird song and the sunshine and doesn’t feel the compulsion to grab gas burning garden tools.

C. came out and kneeled on a folded up sheet of plastic to weed under and around my bench.  I told her I felt like I was getting my eyebrows tweezed…It had grown thick with sorrel and long grass.  She needs to get a foam kneeler but I told her I knew she was too cheap to buy one.  “Yup, I still own the first dollar I made,” she beamed.  Her presence was like a stamp of approval on my project–C. knows everyone.  She’s irresistible–outgoing, witty and warm.  As a result, lots of new people came up to chat with me, including the neighbor with the beefy apples.  The man is a conductor of the orchestra up at the university…C. recently found this out, after being neighbors with him for years.  We took a break, and gazed up at C.’s house, a demure slate blue.  “Did I ever tell you the story about how I got the color?” she asked me.  “There’s a beautiful house on 13th street painted this color…One day, I got up my courage and knocked on the door.  ‘Excuse me,’ I said, ‘our house need’s repainting, and I just love the color of your home.  Could you tell what color it is?’  The man just looked at me and said “blue,” and shut the door.”  Later, C. went down to the paint store, and to her amazement, they used the address to find the color because the owner was a customer of theirs.  Carlton Blue.


“Damn!  O my God!  Shit!”  an explosion of expletives tumbled out of the young guy’s mouth as he drove past in the back of a car.  It was so gratifying to know that the knitting had had that kind of an impact.  Not the sip-your-wine-and-gaze-languidly-at-the painting on the gallery wall for 20 seconds kind of reaction of a lizard, but the punch in the gut.

A blond woman drives by smiling, tall white dogs barking and jumping around on the back seats of her truck.


Tip tap, tip tap of rain on my plastic hood.  Joggers gasping for breath as they brave the hill.

Technical difficulties with my camera this week…I hope to bring the photos back soon!  If you made it all this way to the bottom of this pictureless post, I love you.

5 thoughts on “Carlton Blue

  1. Dana says:

    Pictures are good, but stories are too. I wish I was still working in Bellingham….well, no, I don’t….but I would love to stop by at the source of the stream.

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