If you met me in person, you would think, what a modern, independent woman that is. And it’s true, I am that: college educated, successful in my career, with a kitchen full of stainless steel small electrics.
Yet in some ways, I am hopelessly old-fashioned. I save letters, for example – or at least I did until people stopped sending the handwritten variety. Now I just save letters from my one aunt who refuses to get a computer.
I’m sorry to hear that you don’t like school. Never let a day go by that you don’t learn something.
I was about eight when he wrote that, and he died when I was ten. I remember him often, and think of those words equally often.
And I learned something: I can knit. Not well, but hey. I didn’t put anyone’s eye out.
I posted my picture of my two rows on Facebook, and learned something else: I have very encouraging friends, many of whom are also knitters.
And something else: it gets a lot easier when you use the right size needles.
So I started practicing and then I started really knitting, making a scarf that wasn’t a screaming success but wasn’t a total catastrophe either, although The Child pronounced it “too small” and declined to wear it. But I was undeterred, as I found the whole knitting thing oddly therapeutic, and better yet, didn’t require quite as much focus as reading, my previous hobby, which I seem unable to do recently, probably due to having so much else on my mind, or else sleep deprivation, depending on the day.
I’ve got a lot on my mind, and have done a lot of knitting. If you picture me kind of like a soon-to-be-twice-divorced Madam DeFarge, knitting long scarves with the names of ex husbands worked into the rows, you’d be kind of right – except my knitting isn’t that good, so I’m not up to names yet.
I’m sleeping much better lately, and finding I enjoy my quiet, yarny evenings. I’ve learned something relatively big – how to knit – but it’s really composed of a lot of little things I’ve learned every day: How to cast on, how to choose needles, how to read a pattern.
Another memory of my grandfather that I carry with me is a little one: He showed me how to pare an apple. He showed me all the steps – the peeling and trimming – and then we ate the apple together, quietly. I might have been three or four at the time. A small, simple treasure.
Every morning that I get up and do something – almost anything, really – I learn something. Usually, it is less of a searing insight and more of a pared apple. But pared apples are delicious, if you take the time to savor them – and even better if you share them.