women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Product or Process?

I got into an interesting conversation with my husband this weekend.

First, a little background. Scott is a model railroader. He is an avid modeler. He is a talented modeler. Most of all, he is a prolific modeler. When we built this house 22 year ago, he said to me, "Honey, here's what I want in the basement. What you build on top of it is your business." No lie.

Now we are in preparations for putting our house on the market. With the college graduation (and impending nuptials) of #1 son and the imminent departure of Baby (see last Wednesday's entry) we find we no longer need our 3600 sq. ft. house. A nice little cottage in the woods of Northern Michigan (as depicted in my avatar to the right) is calling us home. But before we can build said cottage, we have to unload current castle. So I have been cleaning closets and Scott has been dismantling 22 years of train layout building in the basement.

Last night, a weary husband climbed into bed, turned to me and sighed. "Well, it's all down now." I asked him how he felt about that. He said he was trying not to think about it. I asked him, "Are you a product or a process person?" He said, "Huh?"

I asked, "Did you build the layout because you wanted to have a finished model train layout in the basement? Or did you build it because you enjoyed the activity of building? Which is more important: the product or the process?"

"The process," he answered.

"Then you didn't destroy 22 years of pleasure. You just cleared the way for the next enjoyable process."

Most knitters I know are process people. I still remember in the early days of my fascination with fiber, when Scott turned to me and said, "Well, at least we can save money if you make your own sweaters (oh, what a babe in the woods!) We all know there are cheaper and easier ways of obtaining the clothes on our backs.

But the product is not the point. The process is. We knit (spin, weave, sew, create) not because we need to, but because we want to.

In life, as in knitting, the point is not how fast we can reach the end of the road. It's all about the scenery along the way. And the yarn shops.

Speaking of yarn...(you knew it would eventually work around to that, didn't you?)

Look what came in the mail Saturday!

That's this month's lace cake from MamaE on the left (color: marine - got to be something aquatic, dontcha think?) and one skein of Anne that I ordered by accident (it was an old item I had placed in my basket and forgot about.) Then last week, I ordered some patterns from Carla, and this was included in the order. Oops!

But a serendipitous oops. Look at those colors. Lucky me!

I think it might be a scarf when it grows up. We'll see where the process leads...

And my postal lady brought me these today (Scott, if you're reading this, it didn't cost a thing...much...)

That's this month's sock club yarn from Zen String on the left and three skeins of Knitting Notions' Classic Merino Lace in Lichen (destined for a swallowtail shawl) on the right.

Things are progressing nicely on Soulful Parent, Soulful Teen, Moving from Control to Care. (Was going to show you the cover design, but can't find the revised copy on my computer - next time, promise!) Met today with my co-author, Greg, and got an autographed copy of his first book, out for a few weeks now and available here and here. Go check out his website. I'll wait.

Our book is at the printer's as we speak and on track for a labor day publication. (My, how appropriate, considering how long we have worked on it.) I am so lucky to work with this man. Next Voice is a fine organization, with a very important message.

Tune in tomorrow boys and girls, when I'll reveal to you all the goodies I'm sending Anne's way for her fundraising effort in support of Claudia's Ride. If you're good.


Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Welcome to blogging! Your cottage in the woods sounds wonderful, and I love the image to the right of you typing away in front of a roaring fire.

Kristy said...

It's cool that your husband has a train hobby. I feel like I can understand other people's hobbies/obsessions much better now that I knit :)

Best of luck with all of your plans!

Margene said...

Hello! You've hit upon my favorite term...it's the process. I talk about it often and find it works for everything we do in life...like moving to a cottage in the woods;-)