Learned Skills

purple yarn - crochet

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Today I am grateful for learned skills.  I’m not sure who taught me how to crochet, but I know it was over 45 years ago when I worked as a hairdresser at H. C. Pranges department store, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  I suspect it was a co-worker, Barbara Warburton, because she was always working on something and was very patient.  Forty-five years?  Wow.  And I still remember!  That’s the amazing part.


I know that my mom taught me how to sew. . .and it wasn’t easy.  Like most things necessary to learn, I resisted.  Not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I couldn’t do it perfectly the very first time I tried.  When I see kids frustrated at learning something new I can totally relate.  It’s a curse being impatient because you want to see something finished.


I distinctly remember my grandma’s knobby, arthritic fingers threading a needle and helping me with my embroidery.  “Nah-ya, this used to be a lot easier before my rumatiz and Arthur-itiz started acting up.”


I was a regular visitor to my dad’s basement workshop.  He’d putter around making whirly-gigs and musical notes for my mom and any number of planters and gee-gaws to sell or give away.  Usually I got relegated to sanding, but sometimes he’d stand me in front of the table saw and say, “Don’t cut yer finger off cuz yer mudder will kill me.”  Never mind years later he lost part of his finger to the lathe while making vases.  “Ya, my eyes aren’t what they once were.”  Mudder almost killed him.


Lately crocheting is taking center stage.  And it’s not as easy as it once was, either.  Though not gnarly like my grandma’s, my fingers must have a little bit of “Arthur” visiting because I have to stop periodically.  And I can no longer work on something for more than three hours without quitting for the day and resting the hands. . . until the next day.


Although I have 200 pairs of glasses scattered all over the house, sometimes I need to wear two pairs to see correctly when I’m crocheting.  It’s a very sexy look.  Even with them balanced precariously, my eyes tire much more quickly than they did back in that hair salon break room, when I was knocking out my first effort. . .a pink, blue and white baby blanket for my first baby. . .that I gave to my son and his bride for Christmas this year.


Who knew that the skills I learned so long ago would still serve me well today, even if they take longer and require more effort?  Surely not me.

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