Thursday, July 03, 2008

Blog-Worthiness and a Meme

As you may already know...

I guess I blog for me.

In the spirit of solidarity with my mostly-sister knitbloggers, especially Ms. Amy-of-the-North, who tagged all of us if we wanted to be, I give you my first meme:

1. Where was I 10 years ago. I was working as a planner for the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts. I suspect that year was the year I spent half or more of my work time dealing with the proposal to open an enormous stone quarry in the side of Mt. Tom in the city, on the site of a just-defunct ski area. If you've ever driven west on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Mt. Tom stands out on the horizon just as you get to the edge of the Connecticut River watershed. It is what's left of a basalt ridge. Basalt is a very hard rock and resisted the grinding glaciers. At one time, back before knitblogging - why, back even before computers! - just after the glaciers receded, Mt. Tom stuck up out of an enormous glacial meltwaterlake backed up behind a natural dam in Connecticut. Nowadays, Mt. Tom rises a thousand feet above the flat bed of that glacial Lake Hitchock, now traversed by the meandering Connecticut River. To bring it close to my readers' hearts, Mt. Tom is just a few miles south of WEBS. Anyway, people wanted to mine the gravel, scarring forever the side of the mountain; I and many others didn't want them to. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Terry Blunt, land protector extraordinaire, the former ski area was bought and protected by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (for whom Terry worked at the time), the US Fish & Wildlife Service, The Trustees of Reservations, and the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club. It was quite a year.

2. 5 things on today’s to-do list. Er, it's 7:12 PM as I write this, so the list is limited - rinse and hang to dry the merino-angora laceweight I'm dyeing again with Kool-Aid; call my parents, since they've tried to reach me unsuccessfully the past two nights to wish me happy birthday; call my friend Sue, to get the scoop on her job offer; ply the last of the brown Brown Leicester cross (yay!) ...oh, wait, that's five already, I won't tell you the rest, or I won't have time to do everything tonight, especially the item called Sleep.

3.Snacks I enjoy. Fruit. Crackers. Um, whatever's handy, truthfully. (see post about Size Medium-No-More)

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire. Having money isn't as much fun as you'd think (see #5 below). I'd pay off the mortgage, car, furnace; get the house painted; the kitchen, bathroom, and back room redone; rent a place to live while all that was going on. I think I'd funnel money towards easing the lives of people in two of the towns I've lived in - Holyoke and Athol, MA - which are poor, old mill towns with undeserved lousy reputations. I'd fund the public libraries, buy new garbage trucks, fix broken sidewalks, pay for guidance counseling to get kids through high school and into college - hell, I'd set up a college fund - etc., etc. Lots to do there. I'd put most of the money towards buying land to conserve it from development, probably in hotspots of biological diversity around the world. And knowing me, I'd buy some yarn.

5. Places I have lived. Upstate New York, where my dad was going to grad school in chemistry at Cornell and met my mom, who was working in the library. Southeastern Pennsylvania, where my parents moved when I was 4 and where they still live, 51 years later. Delaware, for college. Michigan, for grad school (v. 1). New Hampshire, with my ex-husband, after grad school. The coast of Maine, when he took a shine to sailing (he was [is] independently wealthy [unlike me, since I value sanity and freedom more than money]). Western Massachusetts, after he and I split up and I went to grad school, v. 2. That was close on to 15 years ago. In western Massachusetts, I've lived in Conway, Heath, Holyoke, and now Athol - all great towns, in very different ways.

6. Jobs I have had. Whatever you're called at Kentucky Fried Chicken (I can't believe how short our skirts were; at least I had the body for them back then), for one summer. Weeder/waterer/planter at a landscape nursey, two summers. Biology teaching assistant, in grad school. Caretaker for a colony of several species of small mammals (Peromyscus, Tylomys, etc.). Bookstore clerk. Wife to independently wealthy guy who didn't want me to work (I make up for lost time now). Regional land use planner. City Planner. Now, I'm a Habitat Protection Specialist for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program - I advise the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, of which the Endangered Species Program is a part, where to buy land to protect rare species, exemplary natural communities, and general biodiversity. I do the same for any other organization in Massachusetts, public or private, which asks for the service. I also do a bunch of other stuff at the Program - keep track of the 30 species of rare dragonflies and damselflies we have in Massachusetts, write reports and conservation plans, dispense knitting advice, you name it.

7. Who would I like to know more about. Well, I'm nosy. I want to know who the Pearl is in the Yarn Harlot life story. I want to know if my ex-husband's third wife (I was his second, for 10 years) really is just like me, as mutual friends have said (well, actually, I don't care). I want to know if Wendy Wonnacott is OK. I want to know how my old friend Zoe, who taught me how to knit, is doing - last I heard, she was going to nursing school. When I get right down to it, I want to know who I am - I'm not really clear on the concept!


Elizabeth said...

Who you are is the sum of all things you've done and places you've been and so on. Plus the inner core that makes you fight for places where dragonflies live.

I always thought Mt. Tom sounded awfully informal; like it should have been Mt. Thomas, but got shortened. Here in Madison we have Williamson St. but everyone calls it Willy St. That kind of the thing.

Anyway, when you go to NH to pop in on the Fiber Studio, you should swing by my parents' bookstore and say Hi. It's the Number Six Book Depot on Depot Hill Road. 100,000 books in the barn behind the house I grew up in.

Batty said...

Crackers! I love crackers. I want crackers and cheese right now!