It is 7 PM on a Saturday evening. I've spent the last twelve hours participating in the 38th annual Athol Christmas Bird Count. Earle and I saw 22 species in our section of the whole 15-mile-diameter count circle here, the best birds being the four Wood Ducks Earle spooked up out of Tully Brook early this morning. The best sighting for me was not of birds, but of four otters cavorting with each other along the edge of the ice on Tully Pond. All together, 66 bird species were spotted today on this Christmas Count, which is probably a new record high for number of species on this count.
But my day is not done. Today - actually, tonight - is the annual Midnight Madness Sale here in the small town of Athol, Massachusetts. As I write, Emily at Emily's Needlework is selling all her yarn at 10% off. I believe at 9:01 PM, that discount goes to 20% off. Step up to the cash register at 10:01 PM tonight, and your discount is 30% off. That's 30% off Noro Kureyon and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and Manos, glorious soft Manos, and even that pinky, halo'ed yarn with the sheen and the name I can't remember, but, oh, yes, I do remember that yarn all right and in three hours, they will all be 30% off.
And at 11:01 PM, the discount is 40% off. For real, people, 40% off all yarn - that's almost half price. I should buy bags and bags of the stuff. But there's an extra cost involved [there's always an extra cost, isn't there?].
I have to stay awake for another four hours. What's that? I should go take a nap? Well, yes, maybe I should, maybe I could, maybe I can't stop myself, in fact, but then... The Others Would Get All the Good Yarn. And you know who you are out there, so don't deny it. Right now I bet there are Serious Knitters in Emily's, circling the shelves, counting up balls of yarn and calculating total yardage in each dyelot and comparing that with the lists of Yarns Desired Sorted by Gauge clutched in their hands and then squirreling away the yarn they intend to buy, safely away in those capacious bags Emily so graciously starts distributing at, oh, 7:30 or 8, you know. By 10:30 PM, just over three hours from now, All the Good Yarn will be gone, tucked away in those roomy bags, three or four sweaters' worth per knitter, ready to be checked out starting at 11:01 PM. I know this because I, too, am a Serious Knitter and I, too, have participated in this heart-warming holiday event here in Athol in years past.
And if I can just manage to stay awake for another 4 hours, I will join in again this year. I think I've been doing Christmas Bird Counts every year for a quarter-century or more; I ought to aim for the quarter-century mark at Emily's Midnight Madness too, don't you think?
You in the back there - did you have a question? What do you mean, what happened to the Midnight Madness yarn from last year? I still have it, of course, it's Meaningful Yarn for me, you know, I think it might still be in the capacious Emily's Needlework bags, in fact. Whatever did you expect me to do with it?
Yes, another question? My vow to reduce my stash? Did I hear you correctly, sir? Oops, I'm sorry, I'm late, I really have to go now; it's Midnight Madness here in town tonight, I have to go participate in this important community-building, village-enhancing, small-fiber-farm-continuing event. Now. I have to go now, or They will get All the Good Yarn.