You knew it would happen:  I succombed to the call of the Faery Ring.  It starts out with this narrow band that you knit for 17 repeats, which comes out to 51 inches long, but only 26 stitches wide.  Totally portable, which is an excellent excuse for taking it (and only it) when I packed my knitting for the trip to my brother's house.  Thanksgiving was in Seattle this year, which as wonderful on many levels: particularly the part where I didn't have to cook the dinner.  Instead, I made shortbread and gingerbread men for the kids to decorate.  Which was good, because on Wednesday morning, our refrigerator died.

Know what happens when 24 popsicles from last summer melt all over a bag of thawed chicken parts?  I hope you never have to learn.

While we waited for the repairman, we jettisoned the entire contents of the fridge and freezer.  This was pretty surreal for my children, who have been taught that wasting food is something we try to avoid.  We made it into a game:  Un-Thanksgiving.  Instead of cooking and eating, we were throwing away everything in the place.  As we pitched things, we named what we were thankful for.  Me: frozen lima beans - I'll never miss 'em; thankful for that.  Campbell:  Corn Dogs - I'll sure be glad when we get some new ones.  Lindsay:  Popsicles - Good thing it's not summer, when we really need them.

Then the scrubbing:  It's unbelieveable the smell that comes out of a freezer when you warm it up...
And I'm wondering the whole time if there is any point to this - will I end up with the tidiest fridge in the whole landfill?  And worse:  Will we be buying a new major appliance instead of paying the mortgage and/or exchanging gifts this December?  I tried to gently prepare the kids for the worst, just in case I were to go fetal when the repair man delivered the news and could no longer explain things well.  "Won't this be a funny Christmas if we get a new refrigerator instead of toys!" 

Disbelieving Silence.  A dog barked in the distance. 

Then Campbell began to process the information:  "Wouldn't Santa still come?"  "Yes, of course Santa would still come.  We just wouldn't be giving each other presents this year because a new fridge would use up all our Christmas money."  Lindsay: "Well, at least there would be a place to keep the ice cream."  Kid has her priorities worked completely out.

The repairman came, ahead of schedule, changed a part on the back of the refrigerator, (which he even had brought with him), and left with a check for $300 from me.  It was all over in less than 15 minutes, including pulling the fridge out from the wall to expose the unimaginable dreck that lives under it.  Good thing I killed myself scrubbing the inside of the damn thing:  He never even opened the doors.

I'm thankful for a bunch of things this year.  Not least of which is the fact that I didn't have to deal with the unplanned purchase of a major appliance.  I'm also happy I wasn't hosting Thanksgiving dinner - throwing out what we had was bad enough - I can't imagine losing a whole family feast.  I'm also proud of the way my children took the news when we discussed curtailing our holiday consumerism.  I'm thankful that after the dust settled from that exciting adventure, all we had to do was get in the car and go away.  I'm thankful that the loving arms of my family were waiting to hold us all when we arrived.  I'm even thankful that I have a really clean refrigerator now. 

To celebrate (as if I needed any excuse at all), I put aside my "work" knitting, and took only the Faery Ring with me to Seattle.  I declared a knitting vacation, and immersed myself completely in it for the whole weekend.  Stay tuned, because this thing is gonna ROCK, and I can't wait for you to knit yours.  Start asking Santa now for 8 skeins of Blackwater Abbey worsted in your favorite color!