My pop once said I was like an 80-year-old woman. At the time, I didn’t know what to think about his statement. As I have grown older, I have come to love his identification. I have always liked the old ways of doing things. My southern roots run deep. I like to think he meant that I live the slow life, keep the old ways alive, and have a wisdom beyond my years. I’m probably being too romantic about it, but in spirit, I was born at the turn of the century (the twentieth).
One of the things I have always been good at is crocheting. I learned when my aunt decided she wanted to quit smoking. My mom brought home some yarn and a hook; she decided to join in. I joined in too. The hardest part is working the chain. Once the chain is worked, it all glides. In and out. Hook and yarn moving in a synchronous monotony. With every stitch, production. Blankets and scarves get longer. Hats deeper. Clothes more like clothes. I do a lot of TV listening as I stitch. I pretend I’m listening to old radio shows and have a rocking chair. Really it’s Dr. Phil or Wendy.
I am driven to create. If I don’t create, I feel hollow inside. Like I’m missing something. Like I’m missing a part of me. I’ve been told that creation is how we are like God. He made us in his image so that we can make. I don’t always crochet, but it is one of those things I return to again and again to find an outlet. It also keeps my hands and my mind busy. There is a calm vacancy when I stitch. I forget about the problems, the bills, the not enoughs, the too muches, the everything. For those moments, I can stop thinking. It is nice. Just me and the yarn and the motion.
My shoulder hurts and my wrist. I won’t always be able, as I become every year closer to that 80-year-old woman. But for now, a baby will have a new blanket, and he will be able to tell his children that it was made by someone he can’t remember for him. He won’t even know that yarn was on discount.