It's Spring Break, Apparently

What even is a holiday these days?

I had all intentions of writing to you on the weekend as I usually do, but it felt like an unusually intense weekend, and the spring time change messes me up way more than it should, especially since the fall time change doesn’t mess me up at all, and those are my vague excuses and I’m sticking with them.

A year ago, my kid started spring break at a time that was far, far more intense. We didn’t know then, but of course we suspected, that he would not go back to school after the break was over.

It’s been fifteen months since I’ve seen my parents and eleven months since I could see my parents, before the border closed.

At various intervals over the last year, I have had fleeting thoughts that of all the times to regularly journal, this period is one of them. I will want to have a record to look back on, because I know my experience of this last year has been exactly calibrated for forgetting. I won’t remember the details of the worst times, and I won’t remember the moments of bittersweetness, and I won’t remember the good times, either. I just know that I will not remember.

For my birthday last July, our dear friends gave me a leather-bound journal of handmade paper, and I’ve been loathe to write in it because it seems so special. At the same time I know that’s ridiculous and that the book is made to be written in.

So today, which is not a Friday and is certainly no longer the weekend, but is one year since North America shut down and also is the Ides of March, I am declaring to you that I will begin to fill this book with the mundane notes and thoughts of this second year of pandemic.

There’s nothing I can do about my failure to make a record for myself of the last year, but I can at least start now, you know?


We’ve got March discussion threads going for deluxe subscribers:

One about books, and one about crafts.

Come hang out and chat!

Items of Note

  • I love the embroidery pattern we published last week, and the essay by the designer about its inspiration.

  • Heh.

  • I love this for every single reason. 🧶

  • I can never scroll past a good granny square.

  • Our weekly video hang-outs are now held on Discord (instead of Zoom), on Thursdays at 1:30pm Pacific / 4:30pm Eastern Time. Simply enter the Community Hangout voice channel, and there we’ll be. Here’s how to join us on Discord

    • Head over to Discord and download the app or proceed to use it in your browser. Then click or enter this link to join our server:

What I’m making: Still a Pi Shaw.

What I’m watching: Snowpiercer, season 2, and still really enjoying it.

What I’m reading: In this second year of pandemic, I accept that I have absolutely no patience for books that do not make the plot immediately apparent. I need every effort of foreshadowing and blunt-force premonition to keep me turning pages, and that is a-okay. I put down Red Mars because I was forcing myself to keep reading until I could tell where it might possibly be going, and along the way I hated the characters. So I read Neanderthal Seeks Human, by Penny Reid. I liked it. And now I think I’d like to dip my toe into cozy mysteries – whaddya got for me, reading friends? I’d love to start with a book or series you think it the absolute best.

The kid and I are reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne, which, makes me realize I should have saved reading Number the Stars with him until after he learned about the true horrors of the Holocaust, but we’ll revisit that story of resistance anyway, and indeed we’ve already been talking about it. OMG, Striped Pajamas is not light reading, and also I’m not sure about what I’m fairly confident are a couple of plays on language that don’t actually work. Jury’s out on this book is what I’m saying.

What are you enjoying (or hating) reading these days? Head over to the book discussion thread!