Sunday, October 31, 2010

They're walking together again

About 10 years ago I wrote something to my Dad for Father's Day. I happen to find it last week not knowing how much it would mean to me later in the week.

It's easy to remember good times when there are so many.

As a little girl I remember looking up at the tall, strong man holding my hand tightly as we walked. I remember how much I loved him and thought nobody was as lucky as me to have this love. I remember the patience it took to teach me so many things - how to canoe and drive the car. I know how easy it would have been to shoo that little girl out of the workshop but somehow, each time I came into the shop or stuck my head under the hood of the car with you, I was met with a smiling face that made me feel welcomed. All the questions were answered, and there were a lot.
Of course, I also remember being disciplined and not getting my way every time I wanted something. Now I know discipline is part of love, that we all need to learn lessons of life - happy and sad. I also know that love does not mean spoiling the child.
As I grew up, that tall, strong man was not as tall as I once thought but was strong in ways I'll never fully understand. I know I gave you more than a fair share of traumas; but because of you and Mom, I grew to become an adult who could love others and accept love. An adult who could look at the world and not be afraid to try. The best gifts anyone can give another are love, knowledge and a sense of self worth. Thank you for giving me these gifts and so many more. I love you now and forever!

Last Sunday I got a call from the hospital that Dad was in ER with an apparent heart attack. Later that day he was moved to their hospice care and on Thursday morning while I was with him he very peacefully and quietly breathed his last breathe on earth and went on to hold hands with Mom again. They were a couple that needed each other and I'm so glad they are back together again.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Unknown Heroes and Inventors

Driving home in rush hour traffic is a great way to let the mind wander (safely so there's no accident!) I bounce past so many topics in my head, its hard figure out how I started at Chief & Bert and end up at pasta salad. Somehow there's thread that binds all the topics but I'll be darned if I can keep up with my free flow thoughts.

Yesterday it all started with the knot in my shoe getting stuck while I was putting them on in the morning. By the time I got in the car I was thinking about my shoes. Who was the person who invented the way we tie our shoes? At some point in history someone decided to use shoe laces and tie them in a bow. People like this person - let's called her Sally cause I'm guessing it was a very clever woman who's husband then took credit. So anyway, Sally was untying the knots in her kids shoes for the 8 millionth time and she decided there has to be a better way. She plays around with the leather laces and discovered if she put little loops in them she could pull them out so much easier. What a time saver. So Sally showed her friends and her husband. They showed other people and eventually it became the normal way for us to tie our shoes. None of us will ever know Sally's real name.

In knitting the same thing happens. Who invented knit? purl? YO? So many things we do in knitting that are just there. Taking fiber and twisting it together and then taking 2 of these twisted strands together to make a stronger one called plied yarn. Who thought of that the first time!?!

Now with the Internet some of the new techniques are getting people's names attached to them. We're learning about the people who make of knitting lives different. Barbara Walker invented SSK (slip,slip, knit) some 20-30 years ago, It decreases a stitch but instead of the stitch leaning to right as they do in k2tog, the SSK leans to the left.

It's a simple thing to us now but when I learned how to knit- it didn't exist. Magic loop didn't exist back then. Knitting is just 2 stitches - knit and purl - but thanks to our unsung heroes, knitting today is so much better than it was even since I started knitting. So, thank you Barbara Walker. Thank you everyone to all the unknown inventors who have invented a new technique for us or created a new tool to make our knitting such a new pleasure.

And- if anyone knows who invented tying shoe laces with loops - let me know so I can thank that person too!