The first of the year was as soft and shining a winter’s day as you could wish. The children went a-horseback, perched on two kind-hearted little Arabs all plush and patient in their winter coats. Today the clouds have called a gathering of the clans. Rain is freckling the windows. Indoors there is Hide and Seek in the double-depth coat closet, packing up for the journey home, winnowing of desk contents from my childhood in the house my parents will sell in the spring.


The compensation for bidding my childhood home farewell is this view from the new dining room, which is lovely even through the murk. And I have the knowledge that my roots are in this land-and-seascape, not in the house that grew the year I was born. It’s the time of year for looking forward. This is the view my children will remember, the view from Selkie Hill. When the clouds lift you can see Mt. Rainier across the straits. The Olympics rise dusky blue in the south—my grandmother once insisted they must be clouds themselves.


Between sweeps of the house for errant train cars and finger puppets to tuck into our bags, I pour another cup of tea and sneak in a few rows of knitting. Tonight I’ll finish sewing the zipper into another small sweater, having saved the fiddly bits for the very end of vacation. (By the by, zipper sewing is the perfect complement for stressful movies like “Captain Phillips.” It’s hard to get too anxious about desperate men waving guns when you’re trying to make your backstitch follow a course of stockinet without meandering.) I made the incredible blunder of forgetting the rest of the yarn I needed for the sweater I most wanted to finish, so I may suffer the agony of having not enough car knitting for the ride home. All I’ve got is two wee button bands to finish on a little sweater I cast on Christmas Day. I may have to… I don’t know… offer to do the driving?

Oh wait! I bought yarn! How could I have forgotten about the two skeins of dusty blue DK merino/cashmere for a nephew sweater and the sweet little hank of fiery handspun Ada chose for a cowl? Whew. All shall be well. I’ll have to leave this beautiful knoll and madrona grove in the morning, but all shall be well.