CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Dogs and Me in the Noon Day Sun

From the June, 1998 Redwood Empire Weaving and Spinning Guild newsletter, Sett and Spin.

Please excuse me. I’m in a dreadful hurry. It’s time to do Summer and I’m not prepared. Every spring I anticipate long, hot summer days of doing nothing so I can catch up on what I have not done. Every spring I make  a list of what I shall do while doing nothing. For the past 7 years in the June issue of Sett and Spin I have expounded ad nauseum on what I intend to accomplish during the lazy, hazy days of summer, when the livin’ is easy. Tra la. Enough is enough.

I shall simply mention that this summer I am going to Convergence in Atlanta. We may be the only crowd in town. No one goes to Atlanta in July. The weather is awful. I’ve never been to the Deep South, not that I shall see much of it this time. The one opportunity to enjoy antebellum countryside was a bus trip to a textile mill, but it was filled by the time I registered.

On the other hand, perhaps I assume unbearable temperatures. I’ve been fooled before. With Convergences in July, one would suppose almost any place traveled to would be hot. Like Seattle [1982]. Except that we thought it would be cool and rainy. It’s always cool and rainy in Seattle, right? Wrong. Beastly hot and sticky that summer. Minneapolis [1994] being in the Midwest I figured would be suffocatingly humid. I packed gauzy summer frocks, skimpy T shirts and a light jacket just in case. I nearly froze. Unusual weather, they said.

It was sweaty and hot in San Jose [1990] especially at un-airconditioned San Jose State where we slept in dorms, or tried to, and worked all day in stifling classrooms, although everyone knows it’s not the heat but the humidity that gets you, and California doesn’t have humidity – sort of. Surprisingly, Chicago [1988] was fairly tolerable. At least I didn’t melt into the sidewalk when I walked up to the corner of State and Randolph to see if the office where my dad worked about 65 years ago was still there. It was. It’s a tuxedo rental place now. Still it was a relief to get back to the hotel and cool off after a nostalgic stroll along State Street past Marshall Field and Carson Pirie Scott stores.

Portland [1996] was hot. Unusual for this time of year, they said. Our hotel was a parkway block from the river, so in the evening we could meander along the pathway in hopes of catching the evening breeze. Those in workshops in that Building Across the Street from the convention center had no air-conditioning. It was heartrending seeing weavers and spinners staggering out in the late afternoon, limp and exhausted after a stifling day of  labor.

Weather conditions notwithstanding. I’ll need every moment of the four days in Atlanta to immerse myself in the heated frenzy of textiles. Like the brochure says, “It’s gonna be hot!.” But to be safe, I’ll pack a sweater to ward off chills, indoors or out.

So much for the weather in other places,lets go outside in Northern California and lazily make a fragrant wand.