Saturday, November 13, 2010


This month, Lee asks: Tell us about a time that you were especially thankful for your ability to do needlework.  Try not to answer in generalities, but rather try to answer with a specific time, event, or happening that made you very thankful that you could stitch.  For instance, maybe your needlework got you through a difficult time.  Maybe your needlework made a happy time even happier.  Or perhaps your talent and skill created a wonderful situation.  You get the idea.

Ha! She's telling me to be specific! I used to say that all the time to the students. They had no idea what it meant.

Thanksgiving 2004, we're flying from Los Angeles to Washington, DC through Chicago. Do I even need to go on? We were trapped by a snowstorm for five hours. They finally put us on a plane, but we sat there for two more hours. The guy seated behind us was on his phone bitching and moaning to someone who had something to do with air travel. (I think the guy worked at the airport in some capacity). Here's the thing, his bitching didn't do a damn bit of good, because some schmuck had parked his car on the tarmac in the way of the deicer. (Pictured, but I was on a commercial flight.) I sat there stitching and thinking, "I am so happy I have something to do besides bitch and moan. What is wrong with this man? I mean, he couldn't bring a book? Or play cards? Or take up knitting?" You know, now that I think about it I was knitting myself in that scenario. But I could have been stitching.

Okay, it's summer of hmmmm...1996? My parents return from a trip to England, my dad asks me for a blanket. It was 90 degrees with 100 percent humidity. Turns out, he was rejecting his hip replacement. He goes to the hospital in New Hampshire and ends up in the hospital in Boston. Where they take out the hip joint. So there's a few days in the hospital. Then, my mother and I learn to put antibiotics in the chest lock. She pops in the drugs at 6am and noon, I have the 6pm and midnight shift. Then my dad rips out the chest lock and we have to put the medicine in a tiny little line, now it takes half an hour. A few days before I am scheduled to return to graduate school my mother asks me to stay and help her with my father. {Heavy sigh.}

That whole summer I was so happy to have the mindlessness of stitching to take me away from the stress. 


riona said...

Back when my daughter was in her rather wild late teens and dating a boy I definitely did not care for, I would stitch while waiting for her to show up after a date ... usually an hour or two past curfew. It kept me sane and it kept me from annoying the local police and hospitals with calls about a missing daughter as I imagined all sorts of dire scenarios ... knowing full well that she was just acting out and making me crazy because she could. Now in her early 30s, she is one of the most responsible, decent and wonderful young woman you could possibly hope to know ... I'm glad I didn't smother her at 17!

staci said...

Those are some great examples of how therapeutic needlework can be. Do you look at those projects now and remember the situations of working on them? I often do, especially something as emotional and stressful as your dad's hip recovery.

Alice said...

Boy can I relate to the airplane guy. It doesn't do any good to be horribly unpleasant. I count those horrible delays that inevitably happen in life as 'found time' and quite happily indulge in whatever fun thing I happen to have brought with me.