Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

Sigh... It was such a nice weekend, and so hard to go back to work today. Why, I wonder, must we spend more of our waking time at work than at leisure? Maybe some of you don't, but I do, and I resent it! Oh well. At least I have the memories of a lovely weekend to sustain me...

Maybe Saturday didn't seem lovely to you, but the rainy weather was fine with me. After a morning spent wrestling with TurboTax (their "free" links and their "$19.95" links both end up with them asking me for $69.95!) I decided to just call it quits and go outside. Having grown up in Oregon where a non-rainy day is a rare occurrence, I thought nothing of the steady drizzle. It was refreshing. In my rain-boots, I was ready to do some puddle jumping, and got completely carried away. I ended up walking all the way down to my housecleaning job on 87th Street. I must have looked quite bedraggled to the doorman there, but who cares. However, walking back was a different story. This time I was against the wind, and my umbrella acted like it wanted to join the legions of umbrella skeletons that could be found in every ditch along the way. But on the way back I decided to cut across Central Park, and was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the park in the rain. The colors of the grass and budding trees are so vibrant and invigorating.
Deserted woods and meadows almost tricked me into believing myself in the countryside instead of in the center of an enormous city. Wandering through the North Woods, the pavement trails gave way to gravel and then dirt, and though the robins were laughing at me, I could almost forget I was not far from civilization. Daffodils bowed their heads in the rain, yellow violets formed a carpet under blossoming forsythia, blue squill rose gloriously from beds of last autumn's leaves.
When I finally arrived back home from my long trek, I discovered that the mailman had visited. The dress pattern I'd ordered a few weeks ago on etsy had arrived. Inspiration struck, and I knew I must make an Easter Dress! Digging my African fabric out of the closet, I set about cutting out the pattern pieces and sewing them together. As always, I followed the "simple instructions" on the pattern only so far before abandoning them (patterns NEVER explain things clearly enough, and this one was particularly frustrating because it instructed me to create two pattern pieces that should have already existed, but did not...), but was somehow able to construct a real dress in the exact amount of time it takes to watch The Ten Commandments. Coincidentally, I was watching The Ten Commandments on TV while I made the dress.

The Butterick pattern, from the 1950s, declares "It's easy to be the best dressed woman in town," and the description on the back of the package reads, "Whisk in and out of this easy back closed wraparound for your daytime chores." It's funny to see that the price of the pattern was only 50 cents back then (compared with about ten or twelve dollars in the stores today) and my size was 18 (nowadays I can squeeze into a 6 on a good day.) Made with my green and red floral African fabric, the dress turned out quite lovely, if I do say so myself, and I had so much fun wearing it on Sunday, both to church, and later when I did my daytime chores. In fact, I might have had too much fun in that dress--after church, E and I decided that the daffodils in the little park next to our house were so charming that we had to go frolic in them, and we took pictures of ourselves disporting amongst the Easter blossoms.

Before church, I gathered with some friends for an Easter brunch and song-singing. We ate delicious homemade challah and sang hymns a capella. Sometimes the simplest activities can be the most delightful, and this was one such occasion. We'd originally planned to gather on the rooftop, but, though sunny, our New York Easter was cold and quite windy. Later, on the way to church, I spotted a bouquet of balloons carried by the wind into the branches of a tree, like colorful floating Easter eggs. Beyond the tree was another in full bloom, and below were big pots of tulips, but at my angle it was impossible to capture the entire scene.
After church, and after rolling around in the daffodils (much to the delight of the Harlem toughs playing basketball next to us), E declared that we must dye Easter eggs. Roommate bonding time! E provided us with boiled eggs, dye, and glitter, and she, S, and I set about releasing our inner kindergarteners. Now if only I had remembered to buy some Easter candy! Come to think of it, we didn't even have an Easter basket to put our eggs in. Hmmm... maybe I ought to learn basket weaving as my next hobby...

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