Friday, January 28, 2005

Exciting News...

I'm learning to knit.

After being shown about 900 times over the course of my life - I FINALLY get it! Yay for me. Now I must practice, practice, practice. I thought I'd try a scarf to start. (as soon as I stop having to pull it all out every 4 rows or so)

Any suggestions?

I'm thinking my sudden prowess with the knitting needles has come from my Aunt Bea who tried to teach me 800 of those 900 times as a child. She spent countless hours and unsurpassed amounts of patience trying to teach me. She passed away about three weeks ago. Just 11 weeks shy of her 100th birthday. I'd love to tell you she lived a full life right up until the end but unfortunately she spent the last 20 years or so in a nursing home. The last 10 of which she didn't know who I was when I went to visit her. And I'm embarrassed to admit, I did not visit her nearly enough.

I was planning to write a heartfelt remembrance to her for the last couple weeks but although I have warm feelings and wonderful memories of her, there just aren't THAT many things I remember.

I do remember her staying with us in the summers while my parents worked. I remember her living on the west coast in the winters. I remember her making tea and letting my brother and I dunk the tea bag too many times as she reminded us she liked it pale. She never yelled though. She always laughed. Every single time.

I remember her sitting on the floor to play board games. I remember her letting me try to attach her garter to her stocking. I was fascinated by them and didn't understand why she wouldn't wear nylons like everyone else I knew. I never saw her in pants or a skirt. She always were a full slip under her dresses.

My Aunt Bea took a nap every day. She worked as a bookkeeper before she retired. She never married. Never had children. She was more a Grandmother to me than my real Grandmother. She was 20 years older than my dad. She was 65 when I was born.

Beatrice Higgins knit matching sweaters for my dolls and I. Purple cardigan with alphabet letters on the border. Fuzzy dogs & doghouses for my brother. Matching hats that always had a pompon on top. Blankets and scarves and mittens.

She was a knitting machine who donated millions of baby blankets to church bazaars even when she first went into the nursing home and could barely see or hold the knitting needles.

I have one blanket she made for my oldest. I think she was sure I'd have a girl. I think we all thought he'd be a girl. I still have the little coral blanket she knit wrapped in plastic, waiting for a girl to be born into the family. She also knit a delicate white sweater with blue trim. She knit it as soon as he was born. I have pictures of him in it. I'll have to go find them.

I didn't intend this to be a tribute to her... but I'm glad I finally did it. Aunt Bea, I miss you.

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