Tadpole Crossing

Shopping with mom was always an adventure. She hated shopping from the time she was a little girl, she hated shopping. Her mother would take her to the store to buy a new bonnet and the sales people would oooh and aaah over the chubby baby. Mamie (mom’s mom) would set her up on the counter and mom would sweep all the bonnets onto the floor. She’d fuss as they tried to try things on her. From then on she was a terror at shopping.

On the other hand, she bought the best presents! Long before online shopping, there was mail order and mom rocked those catalogues: Montgomery Ward and Sears Christmas catalogues were the best! At holiday time she would get so many catalogues, the mailbox was overflowing every day. Russ Emenheiser, the postmaster of the local office, would have to put them aside and hand them off when mom went in to collect her mail. If the weather was bad or the number of catalogues was overwhelming, Russ would hand deliver. He and his family lived two doors down.

Sears Christmas Wish Book 1960
Sears Christmas Wish Book 1960
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Another birthday

Dear Dan,

Happy birthday — or as we used to say to each other — Happy Happy Joy Joy!

John Kricfalusi, creator

Another birthday and you’re not here. So much is going on on the political front, you should be here to see it.

There have been many time in recent days, I think about calling you, but I don’t know the number where you are. I still have a copy of your outgoing message. Even though I very accurately remember your voice, I still play the message once in a while, just to hear you talk for a few seconds.

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Yarn hoarder

Stash view 3
Just a small part of the stash

I’ll admit it. I’m a yarn hoarder. I see pretty yarn, make a plan (sometimes) for its use, get it home, then stash it away. Once in a while, it will be used for the project I had in my head, but often it doesn’t. And since I’m also a reader and book hoarder (so easy now with Kindle), time is at a premium. Do I read? Do I knit? Do I weave?

For some time, reading has won over both knitting and weaving, with weaving coming in a distant third. I haven’t touched either loom since I moved into this condo 12 years ago. (It’s been 13 since Dan died, but who’s counting?)

I used to knit at all the ball games. Alas, COVID-19. My friend A’ndrea is a knitter, too, and we like sitting on the third base side, right above the opposing dugout. Last year, the coach of an opposing team turned around and saw us. He yelled “There’s no knitting in baseball! Watch the game!” We laughed and told him we were. Every time he turned around after that, he saw us knitting — and our eyes were on the play of the moment. He shook his head in disbelief and asked how we did that. We told him “practice!”

Back to the stash and hoarding. I very rarely throw out any yarn scrap. I have 32 16-qt. bins of yarn, and that’s not the whole of it. I have three spare bins, too. The rest of the stash is in a place I can’t get to easily right now, but that bit is actually minimal and will probably fit in the spare bins.

The reason I rarely throw out bits is because of winding out a warp. Those bits can be used as ties for the warping frame. This is why I was surprised I didn’t keep the last smidgen from a skein I used to make a pair of socks for A’ndrea and another pair for my mom, which she never wore in the two years she had them. But I digress … again.

Mom's socks
Mom’s socks

I knit these socks for mom when she was in respite care several years ago. Last year I took them to the nursing home for mom when she was moved there for the three weeks after her last hospital stay. It was December and she was always cold. There’s nothing like a pair of cozy, hand-knit socks to keep your feet warm.

The home put name tags in every item of clothing so nothing would get misplaced in the wash cycle. After mom came home in hospice, I clipped the tags out,

and yes, (dramatic music)

I snipped a stitch.

20200729_123839

Ok. No biggie. I could repair that if I still had the remnant of yarn.

The socks have been sitting there for over a year because I can’t decide what to do since I don’t have the remnant. I could do it with thread, but thread could cut through the yarn and ultimately make the problem worse. I could look through the stash to see if there was anything close to that. Since I know my stash, I knew that was a lost cause.

So the socks just sat there in the drawer until I could make a decision.

As I was consolidating my stash into the 32 16-qt. bins, Look What I Found! 20200729_123405

Ta da! I can now repair the damage I did. Could I have fixed the socks with different yarn entirely? Of course. Would anyone know the difference? Not unless they got super close; in which case, I could kick them. But I would know and that would bug me so much I’d never be able to wear the socks. Yes, I might be a tad — a skootch if you will — OCD.

A living memorial? Or a home?

Several months after mom’s death, I sorted through clothes and some personal items, but I never quite go around to going through the bulk of what was left behind. I moved into the bedroom and that was about it.

It was beginning to feel like a living memorial to mom. Not only is mom not coming back, now that she’s fully in her right mind again, she wouldn’t want to.

There are many things I want to do, but no money for anything major. No pulling up the carpet and laying a wood floor. No kitchen reno. So I’ve come up with ideas of things I can do on my tight budget.

I can paint the linoleum floor in the kitchen, the kitchen cabinets, and eventually get a new counter top and sink. The carpet — there’s nothing I can do but get it cleaned — eventually. Area rugs on top of that.

This past month I started digging in for reals.

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Words from beyond

I’ve been trying to get my condo clean and changed up a bit since it is now actually mine. This entails going through a deep closet that’s beneath stairs leading to an upper unit. I pulled most things out, threw a lot away and am now in the process of going through miscellaneous boxes.

One box held diaries written by my grandfather. At one point, he kept a diary consistently and with sufficient detail that it was admitted as evidence during a lawsuit. A man was suing because my grandfather had hit this man with the car and left the scene of the accident. However, my grandfather’s diary showed that he was home in bed with the flu for several days surrounding the date the man claimed the incident occurred. The suit was dismissed.

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