Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some things are smaller than you think

The irritations in my life are "many" and "various" and unfortunately growing, daily. I find it hard to get a grip on these petty minded emotions. I find myself descending into devious ploys.

One little campaign is to confuse the post office. I put my parcels outside the front door for collection. Several minutes or hours later, Nonna will announce the arrival of a package and kindly parks it on the dining room table for me.

Another round robin is the dance we play with the coffee maker. If I leave the kitchen for any period of time, on return I shall find her at the machine, bereft because it is empty, because yes, she is one of the few people on the planet who is not affected by caffeine.

I play umpire between her and my daughter, one determined to save the environment, the other determined to quadruple the water bill single handedly. Quite frankly I have so much help about the place I hardly know what to do with myself anymore.

But I digress.

Presently I am occupied in finding different places to hide my knitting. In a previous era I had to hide it from my son in cat mode, but nower days I hide it from Nonna. She’ll sit there quietly minding her own business, which immediately arouses my suspicion and there she’ll be, watching the BBC news and knitting. Knitting my knitting.

To those who do not knit, this would seem of no import. To those of us who do knit, we know that every knitter’s technique and touch differs. Ironically this is called tension; how tightly or loosely you knit. No two are alike. It’s the current two step of my life. Nonna knits a few rows. Later, I undo a few rows and re-knit them. I have tried other devious ploys as well, such as providing a substitute, her very own set, but somehow or other we end up in the original position. I cannot understand why her knitting is always lost and yet mine, whilst hidden, is always available?

It is whilst I busy devising other devious ploys that a spot of recall worms itself into my memory bank. A time from many years ago. Back then, as a divorced single parent, I used any many of means to keep myself and my daughter afloat, financially. Although I had a full time job, I picked up little jobs on the side, here and there, for the little extras in life such as shoe leather and food. One of those little jobs was knitting. Not the most lucrative of employments I’ll grant you but not to be sniffed at either.

So it was that I received a phone call and then a visit from a couple of women, a mother and daughter. As it turned out, neither of them could knit. They brought to me a half knitted sweater and a complicated pattern. It needed completion. The original knitter was their daughter and sister respectively. The recently deceased woman had been knitting it for herself, for her own use in her very ordinary little life when her very ordinary little life came to an unexpectedly abrupt end. I still have their faces embossed in my mind. Racked with grief they handed it over, an article of such value, in trust, as they blinked away tears and spittle spattered mumblings. I covered with ramblings of my own, tutelage in tension, explanations of excuses and a tissue of trivia before they left.

Once they had left, I was left with a dilemma. I knitted a few rows, changed the needles, changed back, fiddled back and forth in an attempt to match. It was so tempting to unravel the whole thing and start from the beginning again. They’d never know but I would know. My DNA cells might cover hers but I couldn’t bear to erase those personal purls. I gave up. I completed the sweater. To the unskilled eye it would be perfect. To those who know or knew, the tidemark was all too obvious, but all the better for it.

So for the present I’ll leave it be, as there are so many other campaigns to be tackled. Maybe I should start with something more manageable. Similar yet different. Some skullduggery to find the perfect hiding place for my swimsuit. I kid you not! It hangs off me like a dish rag but it fits her just like a glove. Ooo the gall of the woman!


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I'm still laughing about the parcels. Hilarious!

farmwifetwo said...

My Mother knitted a blanket for my cousin's new baby... the only one she got at her shower on Sat and she was very pls'd with it.

Afterwards her sister came up to my Mom and said "remember that blanket you finished for me"... See, my Grandmother before the dementia forced her to stop knitting had been working on a blanket for my cousin. She'd supplied the wool, Grandma the knitting.... The idea was to keep Grandma busy, but she couldn't do it. Mom finished it for her.

It may look the "same"... but when the story is told about that sweater, your name will come up every time... and your kindness will not be forgotten.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh maddy, you have the patience of job. honey i don't know how you do it but nonna is a very lucky lady. i hope somewhere inside she knows it...

hugs, bee

feebeeglee said...

the surreptitious knitter. could be a book, could make a mint. well, okay, maybe only a few bucks.

I'm not amazed by the fact that you're carrying on with your unexpected life. that's not amazing.

But you're pretty amazing.

Jazz said...

I cannot believe I just now found you had this other blog!!!

Yay me!

Margaret said...

What a lovely way to think of it.

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that someday when Nonna is gone, a garment that had varying sections knitted by first you and then her, might be a wonderful memory of her.