Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Board Games, OwlBears, and Wool Armor

A few weeks ago my friends Miriam and Chris stopped by the farm for dinner and a board game. That's a usual dinner party around here. Everyone brings a dish and after a good meal with friends we get out a box of something wonderful. Those of you who have been reading a while know I'm not talking about Scrabble, Sorry, or Monopoly (though I do respect that lifestyle) - I'm talking about some seriously fun games. Games like Ticket To Ride, Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, and Agricola. These are games that reacquire a fun mix of strategy and luck, some are amazingly complicated (like Agricola - where you recreate the life of a 17th century farmer including building clay houses, feeding your kids, harvesting grains and making pottery) or elegant and easy ( Ticket To Ride takes minutes to learn and is so addicting you will play it the rest of your life). Catan and Pandemic are cult classics. Catan is all about barter and secret plans and Pandemic is a game where all the players work together to save the world from the apocalypse.

I like Role Playing Games a lot. Dungeons and Dragons is a classic (I run a game here in the summer, now on hiatus with an open spot for a fighter) but there are also really cool RPGs in a box like Elder Sign (HP Lovecraft Universe) and Betrayal at House on the Hill (which you explore a haunted house room by room as characters in a movie). There are many other games out there just as cool, just as fun, and just as addictive as these but that would be a totally different blog. Point being; We are a long way from Park Place. If you want to see demonstrations and nerdy celebrities play these games just google "Table Top with Wil Wheaton" and watch some.



Board games were so not the point of this post. I just get excited. Moving on!

So Miriam and Chris show up with some goodies to eat and they have something in their arms that definitely isn't edible. It was a gorgeous> aran sweater, off white and clearly hand-knit. Miriam explained that Chris's mother Margie was having a yard sale and this was going to be a part of it, but she couldn't throw it in the dollar bin after reading One Woman Farm. She wanted me to have it. I am telling you, the tiniest feather could have knocked me over it was that beautiful! The tag stated it was knit in Ireland, sat in storage for a long time, and never put to any use. Now it belonged to this farmer, and I was going to wear the hell out it.

I am wearing it now, but it is no longer pretty. It has also acquired Barnheart, or perhaops my symptoms have rubbed off on it. I have been wearing it over some base layer of long underwear all week. It keeps me warm, so warm. Sometimes I wear it along but it often has a heavy wool-lined canvas vest over it for the ease of pockets and extra warmth. But this sweater, It is now a range animal, just like me. It's quiet perfection has been turned into utility in motion, like a show pony finally hooked to harness. It has black ash and hay flecks in it. It has some pulled strings and coffee stains. It has fed sheep, brushed horses, and carried buckets. It has beaver blood on the cuffs and horse hair on the arms. I wore it two nights ago with a heavy leather gauntlet on my left hand for a moonlit walk with Italics. It does it all, as wool always has. The whole thing has grown a winter coat of sorts, starting to felt and pull where it has the most use. It is beautiful armor and I am honored to wear it. It's as much a part of me now as the farm itself. I love it.

Thank you, Margie and Merry Christmas to you! Your gift made my holiday!

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