I should already have walked down the stairs to the two levels beneath the Gear Floor, down into the bedrock the mill is anchored on. I swear there’s ice on the walls down there even in August. I should climb back up the stairs and find that the unheated Gear Floor feels much warmer than it did before I went down. I should be wearing my red wool coat-dress and telling people how I found it for a dollar at a July yard sale. Who wants boiled wool in July? I should be listening to bagpipes, sampling roasted chestnuts, buying stone-ground wheat, corn and buckwheat, visiting the other artisans…
I don’t for one minute regret that I have over-bought in past years. Fleeces from the Charon FarmPark. Surely no spinner needs more than 2 or 3 fleeces? Three to five pounds of raw fleece yields a lot of yarn, a lot of pleasant spinning time. But the fleeces I purchase let the FarmPark continue to support endangered breeds, and show kids what a farm does. Children and adults both learn that turning sheep’s wool into a sweater involves a lot more than a trip to a superstore.
I refuse to regret always buying one of Gregg of Riverwood Trading Co.’s wooden spoons at Lanterman’s Mill. One—who am I kidding? I already have an inordinate number of them, but each one is a unique piece of functional art in cherrywood, so it’s more like 3, 4, 5. They’re art, but they’re great for stirring porridge, so resistance is futile.
Rocks. Painted to become snakes, wolves, horses, cats, sheep, rats…if I already have a sheep, should I resist another sheep that has great long wool and a sweet expression? I’m glad I didn’t—because none of us are there to shop from, this year.
I miss my friends. I’m glad I supported them when I could. I’m glad traditions like the Olde Fashioned Christmas at Lanterman’s Mill existed—and that they’ll be back, one day.