I was invited to do a poetry reading at the University of California, Merced last week, so I hopped in my car and took the drive down to the Central Valley. I had a lovely time on campus, reading to a receptive audience of students, and chatting about Chicano literature with Manuel Martín-Rodríguez the faculty member who invited me, and with his graduate assistant Martha Acevedo. That's me in the orange (store bought) sweater.
The trip had many other benefits: I got out of the torrential rain zone here on the north coast. We've really been soaked this year. I also got to visit with my parents, sister, and nieces, who live within a short drive of Merced.
Spring had sprung at mom's house. Here she is in her garden with Handsome her cat. She's wearing the Corrie vest I knitted her for her birthday last year. She has assured me that she's wearing it a lot.
Her tulips were in bloom, and Handsome was enjoying his sunbath in the grass. God, it was nice to see some sun.
Baby, one of my parents' other cats, also kindly posed for me.
I took a different route back home, as highway 101 had suffered a major mudslide near Garberville since I'd left. The highway has been closed down for days, though there is some hope that it will open tomorrow. I returned home on highway 299, and caught this view of Lake Shasta from my side window.
This is a beautiful drive, and at the summit, there was a considerable amount of snow on the ground. The day after I got home, a mudslide temporarily closed 299 as well, and I felt lucky to have negotiated the highway closures without getting stuck.
When I got home, the skies were grey, but the azalea in my front yard was putting on the best show in years, and some red tulips were also showing themselves.
I returned to the Top Down Raglan sweater I'm making with Laura Chau's free pattern and a bag of Noro yarn I couldn't resist buying recently .
The sweater is knit in one piece from the neck down, so there's no seaming. I'm in the home stretch, making my way down the second sleeve, and I'm thinking of adding some embroidery over the fabulous long color changes for which Noro is famous.
While I was gone, Fatty kept the knitting basket warm.