Inspirational

Yesterday was a day-long cycling and knitting oddyssey for me. Since I hadn’t gotten any exercise all week, I hopped on my bike in the morning and rode down to the yarn barn to do some work on the Fenna. I got a couple rows done and chatted with the ladies, then started to get hungry. So I packed up my stuff, hopped back on my trusty Schwinn and rode downtown to Mad Hatter’s, where I had a very yummy brunch of scrambed eggs, tortillas, and an Odwallah.

After that I rode over to the Alamodome, where my buddy Todd had told me there was going to be a big marching band competition. A couple of his friends were competing. Not your run of the mill high school bands though; no, this was a semi-professional category of very hard-core musicians, twirlers and performers. I couldn’t find Todd or the group that he was with, so I just cruised around in the parking lot, checking out all the groups warming up. I felt really sorry for a lot of them who were wearing traditional marching band costumes. They were sweating buckets.

I also discovered that I have a previously undetected majorette fetish. Who knew? I headed back towards home feeling vaguely dirty.

On the way I passed the Yarn Barn again and went inside to cool off. It was getting really oppressively hot outside as it was now almost 3:00 in the afternoon. I sat back down at the table and pulled out the shawl to work on it while I cooled off. I was sitting next to Mary Lou, one of the oldest knitters who still comes in regularly. She’s in her 80s. She comes to the Yarn Barn almost every weekend along with her cousin, the younger and eternally feisty Sarah.

Mary Lou asked how my grandmother is doing, and I told her. Honestly, she’s not doing well. My grandma’s had a hard time of it lately with some injuries, but even before that, she was depressed. I think I may get that from her. But with my grandma it’s especially bad because she doesn’t have any activities or hobbies as near as I can tell. I think she just sits in her apartment and watches television. I’ve tried to get her to start knitting again, and she shows a little interest when I’m around, but I haven’t been able to get her to start doing it again on her own.

I told Mary Lou about this and she nodded her head and said that it was really hard getting older and finding out that your body couldn’t do things the way it used to. She told me how she used to love to work in her garden, but now she can only do it for a few minutes at a time before she has to sit down and take a break.

She also told me something that I had never known – she is the last person in her family still alive. She and her husband had two boys, one of whom was born brain-damaged and had to be taken care of most of his life. Their oldest son grew up, married, had children, and then died of cancer when he was in his 40s. Their younger son died a little after that, and then her husband passed away.

She looked up from her knitting and smiled at me, showing white teeth. “Life don’t make it easy on you.” But she still works in her garden for as long as she can. And she still knits up a storm. She’s still doing things, and she will ’till the day she dies.

I hope I grow up like Mary Lou.

No Responses to “Inspirational”

  1. Emma Says:

    I hope we both do !