Ladies, leave the men who need tweaking alone

November 8, 2006 at 3:06 pm | Posted in country living, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, humor, Knit Alongs, knit-a-long, knitting, love, yarn | 48 Comments

Fireflys Husbands Boot with Her Foot in It and a LeafIt is drizzling rain outside, but not very cold. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving much more of the river visible than on previous days. Fog mist lifts up from the river because the river water is warmer than the air … very different from the ocean fogs that blanket Los Angeles and push along through canyons and valleys in a mad rush some mornings. Thick foggy mornings observed from my hillside home in the foothills north of Los Angeles are something I do miss from my time there.

The wet sound of cars as they go by occasionally, the gray misty air, and the quiet of this morning combine to create a sleepy, contemplative mood in the house. I hear the furnace run every now and then; long for coffee as I drink my tea. Homemade biscuits or bread would be comforting right about now, but I choose to pass on the calories and write instead.

On Valentine’s Day of this year, my sister’s husband was out of town on business so she and I planned to have dinner and a movie together. It was a sweet way to spend Valentine’s Day … a Valentine’s Day that was happy rather than melancholy. No matter how tough I was and no matter how prepared I had been in earlier years to accept the fact that I might be destined to be alone in life, no matter how much I embraced that concept and even looked forward to it in many ways … no matter, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day often left me feeling melancholy.

Fireflys River Trees Drip Rain on a Drizzly MorningBoth holidays are marketed and romanticized so thoroughly I could not help but feel acutely alone each time either rolled around. My first New Year’s Eve completely alone, when both of my children were out for the evening and I had no plans of my own, had been only three years earlier. Of course, having children meant I was always loved and hugged and kissed every New Year’s and every Valentine’s Day by my two dearest loves. Still, even the self-reliant, willful mighty me could admit it was not the same as if there were a man to love and be loved by.

This year was different though. I had too many men to count … virtually. There was the high school pal who intended to win my heart even though I had turned him down, the Internet Viking who wrote me poetry and drove several hundred miles to meet me in a small town in Nebraska, there were the ninety or so men who had contacted me from the online dating site, and there was the one in particular who had written to me on January 29th and each day afterward.

When I received his email on the 29th, I was still certain the Viking was the man for me … he just needed tweaking. Hey, I’m a woman, and we tweak when we can. When the writer of the January 29th email caught my attention, I was surprised. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Fireflys River Is Foggy This MorningHis email was well crafted, thoughtful and had a touch of humor in places. I knew right away he couldn’t be right for me, because he owned a farm in upstate New York and there was no way I would even consider moving all the way across the country. I was willing to move somewhere in the West, but that was it: I had to remain close to my son and daughter and my parents.

Nonetheless, I had this thing about writing back to each gentleman who contacted me, and so I did. Plus, there was something about this particular man…

I sent an email to him, answering his questions and posing some of my own as well as sharing a few viewpoints in response to viewpoints he had shared. The next morning, there was another email from him. It was even better, and it was long. We wrote to each other every day, and found more and more strange and not so strange things we had in common. His favorite author is Mark Twain … mine as well. He keeps a Mark Twain anthology on the nightstand by his bed … me too. I remember writing back when I found that one out and saying, “How cool is that?”

We both have a thing for pirates and sailing ships, love being on the water. He eats Morning Star veggie patties, and prefers to find one thing he likes to eat and eat that every day rather than having a different meal every day. Me too, on all of that. The Morning Star veggies and rut eating? Strange things to have in common indeed.

He loves photography and has since he was a child. Me too. I have a thing about the weather, and in fact longed to be in a place where there were seasons and lots of rain and snow and thunder. He actually copied and pasted his weather report in an email one day, just because he thought it would be interesting. When I got that weather report, I couldn’t believe it. It might sound strange to anyone who isn’t me but I am a weather freak … in a good way. I check the weather more than once a day. Of course, in Los Angeles it tended to be a bit boring, but still. The fact that he would be interested enough in the weather to cut and paste a weather report gave me a peculiar kind of thrill.

He volunteers for Habitat for Humanity; I had always wanted to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Though he owned and lived on a farm, he is not a farmer. He is good at taking things out of a pile of junk and making them into something useful; he is able to fix things that are broken rather than buying replacements. It is in my blood to be able to make things out of whatever you have on hand, and to fix things yourself rather than going out and buying new stuff all the time.

Okay, okay, okay. He was interesting and we were writing loooonnnggg emails to each other every day. I told my daughter I had finally found a man who could give me a run for my money in terms of writing long and satisfying emails.

On Valentine’s Day, I sent him a friendly, humorous eValentine and that meant quite a lot to him.

Fireflys Foot in Her Hubands Boot Coming Back InsideThe Viking? I hadn’t heard from him for about three weeks.

When my sister and I were at our favorite Thai restaurant on Valentine’s Day, she asked about how things were going with Man Hives and the Viking. I told her the hives were clearing up and that the Viking seemed to be lost at sea … but, that was fine because there were so many other good men to choose from. I was sort of glowing I do believe.

I told her there was this one man in upstate New York who seemed quite special and filled her in on some of the details of the things he and I had in common. Plus, he had travelled to Europe twelve times and was a pilot (as a hobby, not a profession). She said she thought I should marry him, but I said it wasn’t possible because there was no way I would even consider moving to New York. I remember telling her it was too bad he was so cool, yet so far away. But still…

A couple of days later I gave him my phone number and the following Sunday we spoke on the phone for the first time. I was outside working on an oil painting at a nearby park when he called. (Although it was February, we were having ninety-degree weather in Los Angeles so it was very comfortable for me to be outside painting.) We chatted easily for two and a half hours before ending off. Neither of us could believe so much time had passed. It was so smooth and easy speaking with him, it seemed time didn’t exist.

The next morning he sent an email thanking me warmly for the phone call. Even more emails flew between us the week following that first phone call. Our communication flowed as easily as a river on a warm spring day.

In spite of the distance, I went with the flow to see where it was taking us. The following Sunday, we spoke again, and again time flew by. We never ran out of things to say. It was like magic.

Again, he sent an email thanking me for the phone call. How sweet was that? How cool was this interesting man whose wonderful voice I felt I could listen to forever. Hmm.

Viking? What Viking?

Fireflys Hand Knit Mystey Project RevealedGratitude … that’s what it all gets back to. Things happen in life and we resist them, thinking our river is flowing in the wrong direction. Fight, fight. Fret, fret. Cry, cry. When, in truth, things have the strangest way of working themselves out if you just relax and go with the flow, leaving worries and the futility of resistance behind.

Was I willing to trade a non-communicative poetry writing Viking who I was fond of for a man who lived more than a thousand miles further East, who was full of interesting communication he was willing to share, and whose voice I longed for?

Ummm … yes.

Do I regret my adventure with the Viking? No, not at all. I am grateful for it. He was a good man, but not my man. It was fun getting to know him, exciting driving to Nebraska to meet him, and awfully painful when he eventually disappeared. That adventure, every part of it, was instrumental in leading me to where I am today. And I am unspeakably grateful for where I am today.

I hope the Viking found someone to love and be loved by.

By February 27th, less than one month after our email introduction, the dearest man in the world and I were talking on the phone for four or five hours every evening without fail and continuing to send long emails to each other more than once a day. We both felt we were being swept along in a current graced by a power equal to and beyond the two of us.

There is much more to this story but now you know How I Met My Husband. He’s a very good man, and I love him dearly.

And now, I live on a farm … in upstate western New York. And my husband drives a tractor. How weird is this?

Oh, and the now complete Mystery Project … it’s a knitted Biscuit Blanket. Directions and more photos (with biscuits in the blanket) on Friday.

Hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy your weather wherever you are, whatever the weather may be.


P.S. Both my husband and I do volunteer work for our local Habitat for Humanity, which he helped found. I would like to collect 7″ knitted squares from readers of my blog in order to put together some blankets for some of the families they have helped. If you would be interested in and willing to knit one or more 7″ squares for my project, please leave a comment to this post. I want to get an idea as to whether or not I could collect enough squares to pull this off before Christmas. (The aim would be ten completed blankets, each blanket requires forty-nine squares … but just one 7″ square from one reader would be very welcome and helpful.) Let me know. Thanks. 😉


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  1. Oh man……….it’s over? Wah! But I loved it!! I was going to guess that the mystery project was placemats. I would have never come up with a biscuit blanket………… I love the stitch pattern.

    So, do we get to hear about how you decided to be married and the whole whirlwind Las Vegas wedding? If not it is still okay. (like my permission means a whole lot!)

    Wonderful story!! Yea!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yes, I will be sharing more of our story. It makes people very happy when they hear about how it all happened and I like sharing happiness!


  3. I loved that story! Truly, it does give me hope as you never know where your life will lead you. I love the biscuit blanket! It is gorgeous. And I would love to knit a square for your blanket…

  4. SUCH a great story – would love to have that website – you are living the dream that i have.

    would love to contribute a square (or two). will you have color schemes?

    cant wait to hear the end of the beginning of your marriage!

  5. Oh, your story is the best. I think that I am going to share your story with some young single friends I have who are struggling with being alone and picking guys who need tweaking. Your title says it all.

    Can’t wait for the biscuit blanket. I want to make one for my mom and sister. It is beautiful.

  6. When my husband was given “the package” from the company he had worked for for 27 years, we didn’t know what we were going to do. Jobs were scarce in our area. We had planned to sell our house and live at our remote mountain cabin [off the grid]. A job opportunity came up out of the clear blue sky and we were swept away by our “river” across the country from Colorado to New Jersey. It just felt right; like all along we were meant to be here. Life is good. I couldn’t be happier in my new locale.

    And yes, firefly, I am enjoying our rainy day weather here. I’m about to go and just sit and knit. Oh, and count me in on the knitted square project! When we moved we donated soooo many things to our local Habitat. Enjoy your day. Thanks for the story. The biscuit blanket is lovely as well, but alas, I think the stitch pattern is too complicated for my meager skills.

    P.S. I too am a weather freak, always looking at the radar online, etc. I watch our weather station register the rain amounts! So far today we’ve had .86 inches and the radar is very yellow over us!

  7. Oh, and I am in for the squares, too. Just let us know what pattern or whatever. I’m thinking of hearts, love, lalalalala after reading all of these posts!!!

  8. I’d be willing to do a square for Habitat for Humanity.

  9. I’d be happy to knit a couple of squares for you. Just let me know any details.

  10. AWWWWW that was the sweetest story ever! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  11. Am I late today or what? Love the story! It’s so nice to hear the good things that happen in the lives of people that never make the front page. It would if it were my paper! The Biscuit Blanket is very pretty! Love your stitches! And if you want sqaures, you got em’!

  12. Sign me up! (For both the blanket and the details of how you got MARRIED. 🙂 )

  13. I think I have the most wonderful readers E-E-E-E-E-E-E-V-E-R!


  14. […] Note: This story continues here. […]

  15. my heart is leaping after having read the final installment in how you and your husband met. 🙂 I have a big goofy grin on my face as I sit here and type this. I believe that things have a way of working themselves out too and you know? Things are finally starting to come together for me now on the job front and I can’t help but be happy. I think part of it has to do with reading your blogs and being reminded that one needs to go with the flow, not go against it. That and appreciating the things I did have. I unconsciously started to think about one thing I was grateful for having before drifing off to sleep and it’s been doing wonders. So I thank you. Oh, the biscuit blanket is wonderful! I may be able to help with knitting a square or two as well. More info, please. 😉

  16. I love your story. So sweetly, comfortably romantic. Like sliding into the warm lightly perfumed bath you never knew you needed when all you thought you really wanted was a hot shower.

    I will do my best to get you two squares if you will post your address or send it to my updated e-mail.

    Love the biscuit blanket too. So simple and pretty.

  17. Okay, now I know how you met your husband, but there are several unanswered questions…I am hoping that you still have installments to give us. 🙂

  18. count me in for the squares, you have brought so much joy and room for thoughts and wondwering for me, I´ll be glad to help.Any colorsuggestions, special yarn (cotton, blends, acrylic) Let us know and I´ll be knitting right away!!!

  19. I’ll contribute a square or two.
    There is nothing like a good, real romance story! My darling husband found me after I stopped looking for love, it is so amazing to find ‘the one’. Thanks for your wonderful blog, it makes my day bright.

  20. What a lovely story…literally! It’s so nice to know I’m not the only weather radar addict out here! 😉

    I’ve been especially affected by your take on gratitude. I’ve had a rough few years, culminating in a heart attack, on a bus on the way to work. You’d think gratitude wouldn’t figure in to the situation I find myself in — but it does. I survived, I’ve reassessed by life, and I’m learning to go with the flow, whereever it will take me. Thank you, very sincerely.

    As to Habitats for Humanity, I’ve been a huge fan for years — let us know the colors and type of yarn you’d prefer, and I’ll dust off my knitting needles!


  21. I prefer to hold the squares ransom – I will send some from Australia if you tell us the rest of the story…with maybe photos of the wedding – stuff like that. Can you send details of the squares to my email so I can get them started and send them off?

  22. Sure, I can make a square or two. What would you like them made of?

  23. I would be happy to knit a couple squares.
    Thank you for sharing your story and I love your photos. I grew up in upstate NY and your blog reminds me of my childhood. It makes me want to run and jump in the leaves.

  24. I literally COULD NOT WAIT for the rest of your story today! How much fun was THAT?!? But, of course, I want Book Two, “The Courtship” 🙂

    I’m happy to knit a seven inch square. I can probably only do one, I am also in the process of organizing a school-wide project for the Dulaan Project.

    I’m so grateful for your wonderful story. Marianne

  25. oh! and I LOVE to watch the weather channel and see scenes of cozy weather all around the country!

  26. Your blog (and butternut squash soup) is wonderful! Please let me know how to contribute a square.

  27. I will knit a square for you and see if I can get it to the US before christmas. I have read your blog for two months now, but this is the first time that I am commenting. I really like your blog for the sweet stories and the beautifull pictures you provide.

    Please send details of yarn, stitch and a postal adress to my email, if you would be so kind.

    Lene, in Denmark

  28. Loved the story. It’s funny how things always work out in the end – well most of the time. I, too, am waiting for the rest of the tail. Good luck with all the squares, I don’t think they’ll reach you in time from here so I’ll pass this time. If you decide to do it again next year count me in.

  29. Lovely story, and I am in for a square 🙂

  30. I’ll knit a square. Thanks for a great story, already printed the biscuit recipe. Your blog inspires.

  31. I’m in for a square – or three – but you must tell more of your story! I also have a dear friend who is impossible to buy – or make for – for Christmas, but the biscuit blanket is something she would love – and use. So please hurry and post your pattern. It’s lovely and I can’t wait to try it!

  32. I’m in for a square, too. You might need to e-mail me the info, as I’ve been rather scarce on the blogverse lately (much to my chagrin) but I should be able to get at least one done and to NY before Christmas.

    As to the weather, it’s lovely fall weather here in California. Sunny but crisp, with the trees turning colors (though not nearly as many colors as you are getting) and just perfect.

  33. […] Moving onto knitting content (what little I have)….  Check out I live on a Farm – I’ve signed up to knit a 7” square for a blanket she is putting together for families helped by Habitat for Humanity.  If you’ve never knit a square for a blanket before (like me), she’ll even write you a pattern!   Just leave a comment on this post and she’ll send you the info.  Tell her the Knitting Troll sent you… […]

  34. That is such a great story and I am so glad that you shared it with us. Loved the biscuit blanket too, how very clever.

    Sorry, though I would love to join the project, I don’t know how to knit, but I will send well-wishes your way. Here’s to hoping it is a resounding success.

    PLEASE write another chapter of the “story” soon!! You are a wonderful writer and I so love reading them.

    PS…totally with you on the weather thing. My mom used to tell me when I was little that I seemed destined to be a meteorologist. I guess that’s my alter-ego.

  35. What a wonderful, romantic story – I’ve been looking everyday for the next installment! I’d be happy to knit a square or two – just let me know the details.

  36. What a fairy tale ending. Such beautiful writing with such a beautiful story.
    I would love to knit a square, any certain pattern, color, fiber?

  37. I’d love to knit a square for you!
    I do admit that for three brief moments I thought Mr. High School would have won the day. But your husband, he just seems so careful and attentive!
    I’m so happy to read this. Thank you so much for sharing the story! And I’m so glad for you that it’s continuing!

  38. Lovely story – truly deserves a square (or 2).

  39. sigh… you are living a fairytale!!! me sooo jealous LOL.

    cheers Eva… who’s looking forward to the rest of the story

  40. What a wonderful story. I agree with everyone else – I will wait anxiously for the rest of the story.

  41. Okay, it’s almost ten o’clock on Friday, and you haven’t posted “the rest of the story”. The feeling of suspense is building…

  42. Thank you for sharing this story. It was wonderful to read about someone’s adventure. I am about to begin a pretty big adventure of my own n the next few weeks and I am so excited. Reading your story gives me a lot of hope and makes me feel like my own adventure will turn out just fine.

  43. I am in for squares but need details.Garter? Stockingnet?
    Other? Color?

  44. Thanks for the lovely story. I’ve used up my otherwise boring lunch hour reading it.

    I love the idea of meeting someone you can love, who loves you back. I am very ‘fond’ of someone, but don’t love him the way he says he loves me. He wants to get married but it doesn’t feel right for me. And I worry about depriving him of someone who will love him, as he deserves.

    So, it’s good to read of someone who has actually found their soul mate.

    But I agree with the other readers’ posts – more details please.

    (I’m glad you didn’t settle for the Viking. He sounded a bit ‘sad’ (as we would say in the UK). Also, what happened to you high-school friend – I was also worried you would choose him, and someone as lonely as he seems to be may also have problems.

  45. I’d like to contribute a square to the blankets for Habitat. Please send details.

    Thanks for sharing your story, it’s made me think about my own life quite a bit.

    I love upstate WNY, my folks live in Hamburg.

  46. I’ve put 2 squares in the mail for you today! I hope they work and that you get lots and lots of squares! I wish I had time to knit more!

  47. Great story, I am in for a square too, just let me know yarn and other specifics.

  48. Dear Firefly, Hi! I have just read the end of your story. These days I have been sick at home and today found there were other parts to it. Is there more? Where should I go to find it? I love your writing and your story. Will you do squares this year? If yes please send me your address so that I can mail them to you.

    I always say that the day I retire I will cook homemade jams. I love your pictures!! They are something!

    Take care,

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