The weather was a dreary harbinger of more days to come, gray and overcast. There were moments of precipitation and times where peering out the window made me wonder if it was smoke, wind, snow, or just imagination blowing past.

There was a lot of be done–piles of housework, freelance work, and Christmas knitting all waiting. There were many books to be read, a number of which would need review upon completion. The tea had long since gone cold. There was only a weak half cup left anyway and that was from a couple of hours ago.

I would just read one chapter. A treat to myself before I settled into the things that needed be done this dim November day. Already I’d acknowledged ruefully that I was getting ready physically for winter. A quick trip to the post officer earlier in the day had found me fully accepting of the fact that it was 36 degrees–and this felt “warm.”

I sat in the almost rocking chair, staring out at the gray. Trying to reconcile with myself the muted feelings of the weather and the very real to do list waiting. And finally, like sinking into the comfort of a blanket I refused to acknowledge I needed, I crawled back into the book. Just one more sub-section, I promised. One more essay.

And here among the pages I found someone who understood. Whose experiences were far different from my own–whose life bore little resemblance to my own–but who understood. Who empathized unapologetically with why half of my den resembled a yarn store. Who didn’t think it strange or a waste of time to hand craft a good half of my Christmas gifts, even if that meant the knowledge that I would be quite frantically knitting right up until Christmas Eve or Day (depending on what time on Christmas Day I would see the recipient).

I tried to break the spell. I got up and did a sinkload of dishes. I took a hot shower. And then crept again to the chair and the book. Promising myself just a few minutes more.

As a result, it’s now evening, my to do list still stretches before me. As night comes early, it’s been dark for a couple of hours now. I have a fresh cup of tea now and wet hair because it takes forever to dry. Closing the book after finishing the last page was a little bit saddening, but the sadness that comes when a good friend must leave after a satisfactory visit. I know I’ll have the chance to visit again.

Such is the contentment after finishing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s latest work Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again.