Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A ripple in time brings generations together

Today was the start of the new school year for my children, so it has been a flurry of preparation collecting all the needed school supplies and getting in those last minute play dates.  One of those play dates was with my beloved Auntie.  She lives about 75 minutes away and we planned to spend the entire day together, packing up some of her treasures as she will be moving soon.  Naturally I couldn't resist inquiring about where she collected this treasure and that treasure from, and she seemed happy to tell me the story behind each one. 

As the hours slipped away, we found ourselves laughing and laughing, and then finally we were done wrapping and packaging all her trinkets.  For an 81 year old woman, she seems to have more energy than I!  She got up from the table and said, "I have something to show you.  Wait here."  As I waited I grabbed my project bag and began crocheting.

Auntie's proof she was once a crocheter.When she returned to the room she said, "I want to show you proof I was once a crocheter like you."  In her hand was an aged plastic bag, yellowed with time.  Slowly she untwisted the fastener and opened the bag.  "This," she said, "I had to borrow from my friend.  I made this for her many, many years ago, back when I was working at the hospital.  I would work the 3-to-11 shift, standing, rather than sitting, in the Nurses Station so I could see when the patients' lights went on requesting assistance.   I crocheted these in many colors to represent many holidays, and would fill them with candy."  She slowly pulled it out of the bag and started fussing with the rippled stitches.  "I made this by punching holes into the bottom of a washed out bleach bottle and crocheting around it.  Then I made up the handle and attached it.  Many nurses and doctors asked me to make them for their kids, and so I did."

As she told me her story I admired her stitch work.  Her stitches were made with precision.  Each one just as wonderful as the one before, and the one after it.  "I have to give this back to my friend or she won't ever talk to me again," she went on.  "I just wanted to show youI crocheted too."  When I was done admiring it she took it back to wrap it back in the weathered plastic bag.  "Oh, what pretty colors!" she exclaimed, taking note of the project I was working on.

"Oh, you like it, Auntie?" I asked.

"Oh yes!  I like the way the yarn changes color like that," she replied.

"Good," I said, smiling.  "It's a project I'm working on for you!  But you can't have it until I see you next month.  I brought it with me today to see how the fit is coming along -- and especially to see if you like the colors!"

a shawl for Auntie still on the hook."For me???!"  She was pleased.  "What will it be when it's done?"

"A shawl."

"How did you know I needed a shawl?"

"I'm your niece.  Now stand up and let me take some measurements." 

And she did.  I have about 10 more rows to go, including the trim.  She's such a sweetie!

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