The buildings are buttoned up for the winter months, the handmade work from our students and teachers has been returned and we tend to leave the office before it really gets dark, all things that tell us we’ve entered our “off-season”.
Truthfully, it’s more of an in-between season, as we now begin to develop our 2024 schedule of classes.
With a little extra time on hand, plans for the quieter months ahead are formulating for all of us on the Sievers staff.
For Ann, that means finishing a cabled knit mitten (one is done), along with other mitten and sock knitting, reading collected recipes to save the best and going through old family photos in order to share them with relatives. Butch doesn’t really have an “off-season”, but his winter activities include reading, ice fishing, snow plowing and cutting next year’s supply of firewood.
Cindra will be enjoying time at home – getting acquainted with her new computer and catching up on some home improvement, i.e. room repainting. She’s sure there will be snowy day reading and coffee drinking as well. Carolyn is ready to make soup, bake bread, do more reading and knitting, pay visits to her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren (and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum) in Wausau, WI, and do some ice fishing. Barb will be reading, catching up on some Netflix series, doing some woodworking and ice fishing and visiting her daughter in Tacoma, WA.
Kathleen said this, “Unlike most of the Sievers staff, I bail in the winter with my husband, Jim. We go to Arizona. My sewing machine goes on vacation with me. My supply of fabric and paraphernalia to make charity quilts takes up almost as much room in the trunk as my husband’s golf clubs. (Well, maybe more.) A friend and I try to make a Quilt of Valor together each winter season. Sewing is my passion.”
Pat wrote, “Cozy cuddles with my dog and cats. Knitting while listening to audiobooks and watching a silent snowfall. Long conversations with friends near and far. Cribbage! Cups of very hot tea.”
Ellie will be weaving some rag rugs at home, doing more knitting, framing a lot of her art work for display next summer at the Art and Nature Center and elsewhere, and making some new woodcut prints. As she says, “Too much to do!!”
Shawn will spend most of her time teaching at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. In addition, she’s teaching some knitting classes at Cream City Yarn in Brookfield, WI. Plus, knitting garments and accessories, and spinning yarn faster than most anyone else!
Many of us will also be involved in our volunteer activities and on boards and committees including the Washington Island Foundation/Rec Center, Trinity Lutheran Church, Washington Town Mutual Insurance Co., Washington Island Sportsman’s Club, Jessen Foundation, Women’s Club and the Red Barn Committee.
Our dear friend Jay Hagen once did an Archives Program titled “What do you do in the winter?” After reading a list of all the school, church and community events, meetings and volunteer opportunities plus outdoor winter activities that had been compiled by Ann, he said, “So, I did a little computation and I found out that the average family, which has probably 2.5 children, if the husband and wife are active in community events…the entire family will be together on Christmas Eve, Washington’s Birthday and the night before St. Patrick’s Day.”
Yes, the “off-season” on Washington Island tends to fly by quickly!