Fiercely determined to earn the knitting badge in my Pioneer Girl’s Handbook, I taught myself the basics of knitting one afternoon when I was twelve. The next year, Aunt Dori bought me a backpack for our cross-country train trip, and Mum suggested I should plaster it with the patches of things I liked and all the places I’d seen. That little knit badge is still sewn on tight, and so far it has been quite a trip.
Known by my family as ‘the cousin most likely to give Uncle Jeff a heart attack,’ I have tried many things, including (but not limited to) forklift driving, local radio, missionary work, bridal design, fronting a band, mamahood, roofing, driving a quarter ton dumptruck, owning a pool hall…and eventually I returned to knitting, something I have always loved, but have not always made time for.
For a moment if you will, picture a small tow-haired child swaying slightly as she leans in close to a retro suitcase record player. Her eyes are closed as she holds the clear Lucite handle. She doesn’t see the smiling preschool teacher watching. Gently, this teacher says, “The music has stopped, honey.” The bright hazel eyes that look up are filled with both surprise and confusion as the child says, “But, I can still hear it.”
My hair is darker, and my taste in music has evolved, but seeing things that are not immediately obvious to those around me has stuck. It used to frighten me a bit that I was not more conventional, but that was ages ago. Now, shouldering my precious patch-covered pack I peer contentedly ahead feeling curious about what must be around the next bend in the road.