Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dad's 95th; more ice and Knitting

I'm off again this weekend for Dad's 95th birthday - about 20 family members getting together to drink his health.

Dad as a young kid - note the black dog. This was NOT the dog that got rabies - that was a chow dog that Dad had when he was about 10 years old. Dad's father called the vet (of course) to put the dog down, the vet was young and inexperienced and got bit (as did Dad). Both had to go thru the painful anti rabies injections - two weeks in the abdomen. When I was 20, and Dad was 60 something - I got my first dog from the ASPCA in NYC (more about that story some other time) and Dad and I took the dog to a local vet for a checkup. The vet was about 70 years old, still practicing in Brooklyn - and he took one look at dad, and at our name, and asked if he was the Stella that "had that damn rabid dog". Yup, Brooklyn can still be a small town.

Dad in high the brilliantine in his hair, but ain't he cute?

Dad in his 20's or so. He was a very good looking man - a tall, slim Italian with blond hair (even tho' it looks dark in these pictures, he was blond until his 40's). Family stories say that all the Stella men are over 6 feet tall, and blond - strange for Sicilians who are often thought of as dark. Another family story is that we had a Norman ancestress - who - when they had to move her grave for some gruesome reason, was found to have had long blond hair. I don't know how much I believe this story - what were they doing opening her casket but I like the story so I'm keeping it. My brother is tall and blond; his son is blond but only 12 and he has alot of growing to do.

Dad and Mom dancing at some "affaire". This was a few years ago - he's gotten much thinner since then.

Dad and I are rather kindred spirits in our family - I truely think that he is the only one who really understands me, we are very alike.

Ah well... onto the ice storm!

We have had another ice storm - not as bad as the first one last month, but still difficult driving - scary roads. I was glad to get home, snuggled up in front of the fire with my knitting - only to have poor DH call with a dead car. He had to have it towed and I went to pick him up on some slippery slidey roads.

I am reteaching myself how to knit. Here is a picture of my first real project - an "easy to knit" sweater. I'm having fun with it, knitting and then ripping out - very therapeutic in a way.
What I like about this is the flexibility and ability to change a pattern, adjust where necessary. What I haven't gotten the hang of yet is getting it to be the right size. This one looks enormous, but I did follow the pattern and got the right stitch gauge for the yarn etc. Well I figure if it's too big, it'll be more comfortable!

Of course - I've had to indulge my passion for bags, found this at a local store and its a funny bag with a zipper. It's a bag to hold yarn, but it also turns inside out to become a sort of backpack - it has long zippers that allow it to turn inside out. Only sold in bright pink and green - rather preppy for me but the usefulness outweighted the bright green. (on a side note - see the table the bag is on? Mom, Dad and I bought that table and the chairs around it at an antique store sometime in the 60's. I think we paid $5.00 chair and $10.00 for the table. Dad refinished the table and it has never had to be redone since he first did it. I think it's the only piece of furniture that he's refinished in his life - the man has never been handy. But he did a good job on this one - it's a wonderful table)

This bag I just bought on Etsy - the side pockets hold yarn and have grommets for the yarn to go thru. Not big enough for my long needles, but who really cares. My grandma taught me to knit with the needles under my arm so I have to use long 12" to 14 " needles. I've always used Grandma's old aluminum needles, but have bought some bamboo ones which are so light and flexible!
Here is what the sweater is supposed to look like. Perhaps a solid color might have shown the checkerboard pattern more but the yarn I am using is so soft and I love the color. I wasn't actually looking for something that knit up in stripes but live and learn....

I'm really being good about projects and not overwhelming myself, but I do enjoy a new challenge occasionally, like this sweater. Plus it's creative (every day).

What a funny rambling post. I'm getting a bit nostalgic I think - thinking about such a highlight of a birthday. But the truth really is that old age really ain't for sissies. Dad now has macular degeneration, and uses a walker but he still enjoys having us all around and giving me grief about stuff. I know he can't go on forever, he's getting so tired...but no matter how much I rationalize it to myself - I will never be ready for him to leave.
Ah well again. Ah well.


Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Must be the Italian in your father that has gotten him to 95. My Dad was Italian, His parents immigrated from Italy. He died at 79 but for something that could have been taken care of. My Uncle, Dads older brother, is 90 and still going. Not to much wrong with him so far.
Hope you have fun. enjoyed your nostalgic post. so much to read here so cant comment on it all. But nice to see your knitting. :)

ksklein said...

Wow, your Dad is one handsome guy. I love the third pic. Exactly what I like in men. :)

My daughter recently told me that she would like to spend more time at my mom´s place. There she could at least learn how to stitch and se and knit. (Is this little girl really my daughter? *lol)
I just can´t get any inspiration to learn and do sreatice stuff involving cloth and wool. :) But I admire others who do.

marianne said...

I enjoyed this post very much!
95! You are lucky to have your dad so long at your side!
Wonderful story! Also about the dog! The world is indeed small!
I did a lot of knitting when I was young and always in this model....
Stay safe! With all this ice and snow!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Have fun with your family and friends. Happy Birthday DAD, you handsome dude.

Your knitting projects are great. Knitting is a really nice winter hobby. Warmth and comfort all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've been a silent observer of your wonderful blog for a while now but couldn't stay silent for those incredible photos of Joe. He was such a big love of my life and antidote to Stan. Have a wonderful visit and give him a big kiss from old Hilarious.XXXXOOOOHilary

Teri C said...

What a neat tribute to your Dad!! He IS a good-looking guy. Happy B-day to him.

Those knitting projects and finds are great.

And that storm!

Phew, you had lots to say today.

Debra Kay said...

Happy birthday to your Dad. I just started my first official knitting project-I've been practicing knitting little squares to give to Oliver to tear up, but I decided I wanted to actually make something. I kept seeing this labyrinth rug, but thought "that's dumb...." but when it was the first thing I opened when I went to the store to make my final selection, I decided to give in. It's a simple project but I doubt I will let anyone walk on my rug-I'll probably make it a wall hanging.

I'd like to think one day we could all sit around and knit and chat together.

soulbrush said...

what a fab post, and what a gorgeously handsome man, i remember this photo of them dancing that you posted a while ago too...95, that is just an inconceivably long time to live, my dad died at 59! have a wonderful time and don't think of him gone, just know he is still here. hugs.

Mim said...

HILARY!!! love ya - I'm going to post pictures of us in 6th grade and out us both

studio lolo said...

I love the dad photos! And the one of he and your mom dancing is priceless. They look blissful :) Please pass on birthday blessings from California!

It's great that you're knitting. Nurture that side Mim, you have creativity bursting forth!

I have a friend who's an amazing knitter. I bought her a knitting bag on Etsy too and she loves it! This year (on Etsy) I bought her a bracelet that counts rows and a case to hold her needles. I can send you the links to the sellers for those if you'd like. The quality was great.

Have a wonderful celebration! I envy folks my age who still have parents.

Oh, did you ever get your package?? If you did and you didn't like the sparkles, I'll resend them :)

sukipoet said...

Happy Birthday to your dad. What a wonderful age. Thanks for the trip through points in his life. He was handsome for sure. Love the dog story. Wonderful about the knitting. I cant knit for the life or me. Your two bags look very practical. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Mim, Out away. I have some blackmail worthy ones as well. People will probably think I still look like that. I posted a silly glam photo from the 80's as my profile pic on Facebook and people who knew me then thought the picture was from now! Go figure.