I had been planning on posting about the knitting paralysis I've been experiencing.
It's knitting paralysis for a dumb reason, though. I don't even have a good excuse, like pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome.
As you can see, I'm about 3" away from finishing these pants for Baby Shamrock, who is due in a just a few weeks. I could finish these tonight if I wanted to.
But I don't. Because the knitting needles smell awful. They are made of brass (Addi Lace). They are nice needles. I like them. I spent a lot of money on them.
The smell of the brass being warmed by my hands is more than I can deal with right now. I took these pants out a few nights ago to try and finish them and could not.
I've tried cleaning the needles with rubbing alcohol. What else can I do? Thoughts? Has anyone else ever had pregnancy nose and been unable to stomach the smell of warm brass?
But this post is really quite silly now, in the wake of what happened yesterday. My stinky needles are nothing compared to this:
We had a very dry winter with little snow. But we've had a wet spring. Normally, this is good, it helps make up for the drought conditions and lowers the risk of forest fires.
This spring, however, instead of gentle rains, we got pummeled with several weeks of near-daily thunderstorms.
On Tuesday, forecasters warned us of the potential for flash flooding. I don't think many people paid attention. Duluth is built into the side of a hill, without much room for standing water. The elevation climbs more than 700 feet in a short distance, which is a lot for the mountain-peak-lacking Midwest.
I grew up in this city, and can only remember one time when something was flooded, and that was a few streets after a tornado nearly touched down. It was gone within a few hours. Flooding is not something we commonly worry about here. We have a lot of trees and vegetation that can absorb moisture, and dozens of rivers and streams inside the city limits for the water to flow through.
We repeatedly checked the sump pump in our basement on Tuesday, hoping it would do its job of keeping water out of our 106-year-old house with a stone foundation. We noticed water slowly seeping in, just enough to dampen the floor, but not enough to be considered a trickle. We moved anything of value off the floor, just in case.
The storms -- and I do mean full-on, wake-the-dead thunderstorms -- continued all night. As pregnant women are wont to do, I was up several times during the night, and each time, I went to the top of the basement stairs, flipped on the lights, and peered down to see if we had 6" of standing water down there. We never did.
At 6:30 am, I got a phone call from an employee asking what our plans were for the day -- he lived across the bridge from the studio, and didn't know if he would even be able to get across safely.
"Is it that bad out?" I wondered. Flipping on the news, I saw that it was, in fact, that bad.
These used to be roads:
Trains used to cross here:
This was someone's home.
The rain continued throughout the day Wednesday. A state emergency was declared and federal disaster money applied for. All told, we got 10" of rain in 24 hours -- the equivalent of 80" of snow. Our aging storm drains and infrastructure could not withstand the river overflows, and the resulting clogs caused the water to rise at alarming rates.
Many of my friends had significant water damage to their homes -- some said that at the height of the flood, it looked as though their house was set down in the middle of a rushing river. One of those people lives only blocks from me. Somehow, my home was spared. We never had more than a bit of dampness in the basement -- it looked as though we'd just finished mopping. The studio stayed snug as a bug. We are very thankful.
Today, Lake Superior looks like this. I've never seen the lake muddy before, it's disconcerting.
The flood waters have receded. And now we have about $80 million worth of public infrastructure cleanup -- that's not to mention the damage done to private property.
So yes, my stupid knitting needle problem pales in comparison. My child will be clothed even if I don't finish the pants. I have somewhere warm and dry to live, despite the storms that swirl.
Keep Duluth in your thoughts and prayers this week, if you wouldn't mind.