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Knitting, Carpentry, and Bad Judgment

Knitting and carpentry are more similar than one might think. I think I can explain.

Oh so many years ago, when Elaine and I were young, I was working as a framing carpenter and Elaine was, well, not working as a knitter but she sure enjoyed it. In fairness, she was selling a few sweaters and garments. It would be fair to say, Elaine traded knitted garments for braces on our first two kids' teeth. (Not kidding) I should probably tell the story of Elaine knitting a cardigan (Does it surprise you that I know the word cardigan?) as a gift for one of my many brothers. My brother wasn't into handmade garments. The legend as told to me by my brother's friend was my brother gave the cardigan to a local thrift store. When he realized the price Elaine was selling cardigans for, he may or may not have tried to go back and get it. None of my brothers read any of this literary genius, so there is no chance this story will start any Christmas family (construction language).

Weren't we talking about carpentry and knitting? Over the years I have taken a motorized saw and cut literally millions of pieces of wood. Just a guess, but the time frame fits. I most likely have cut thousands of pieces of wood with a hand saw.

Over the years Elaine has knitted hundreds of socks, scarves, sweaters, and a couple of coats all without patterns. Elaine didn't count stitches, she uses measurements. Good old inches! No millimeters here!

In those days, Elaine had knitting needles in her hands every time she wasn't vacuuming, cleaning, or drawing powerlines, I left out cooking because that was my job. At movies, sporting events, and long car rides, Elaine would knit. (Things have changed. We no longer attend movies or sporting events, however, with her newfound interest in the Buffalo Bills she still finds time to knit. Don't ask me how or why. That's just the way it is.)

Using measurements and not counting stitches would require Elaine to carry a measuring device with her at all times. Carrying something always is difficult. If you should ask Elaine, I have difficulty carrying anything, at all times. Each time I leave the house Elaine will ask. "Do you have your wallet, phone, sunglasses, and car keys?" This gives me about a fifty percent chance of not having to return to get something I've forgotten. Just sayin'.

Elaine might not admit it, but she didn't always have a measuring device. She didn't need one. She had me. Oh, I didn't carry a measuring device either. How nerdy would that be? I have the ability to measure Elaine's knitting with my eyes. Elaine can hold up her knitting while it is on the needles and I can tell her how long or short her knitting is. It's a gift. I am seldom wrong. After cutting millions of pieces of wood, I can look at things and tell you how big they are. Now the world is trying to mess me up with that millimeter thing. Why can't the rest of the world change to inches? Why was it no one wanted the United States to change to millimeters when we were saving Europe in WWII? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Elaine would hold up a sock. I would tell her eight and one-quarter inches. She would continue knitting or start ripping out because the sock needed to be only seven inches. She didn't need to check on me, I was going to be right.

This past week (a horrible week) the ability to judge distance might have brought out a lapse in judgment. It is debatable if that lapse in judgment was mine or Elaine's and even Ivy's.

Elaine and I have one car between us, which is usually no problem. As Jana well knows, I have no job. This past Wednesday, the low tire light came on in our ONE car. Thursday morning we awaken to a totally flat tire. This would not have been a problem BUT the temperature was fifteen degrees, my back surgery, prevents me from lifting a spare tire, and my air compressor was being used at a house remodel I am consulting on. I thank God, that Ivy was here with her car.

Elaine, Ivy, and I drove to town in Ivy's car. After I dropped the two women (can I say that?) off at work I took Ivy's car to run errands and organize the fixing of the flat tire on our car.

Ivy was driving the three of us home Thursday night when she slowed the car drastically.

Me: What are you slowing down for?

Ivy: I see eyes in the headlights, there must be deer on the road.

Ivy: Holy cow! Those aren't deer, they are mountain lions.

I grabbed my phone/camera. By now the mountain lions, a mother, and three cubs had walked past the car, next to the road. Right next to the road.

Me: Back up, I'll get a photo

Ivy: I am backing up

I opened the car door. The lions were right there. Fifteen feet from the car. Not fifteen miles or fifteen yards, I mean fifteen feet. I've got that eye measurement thing you know.

This is where bad judgment comes into question. Elaine and Ivy screamed to shut the door. I had fifteen feet between me and a mother mountain lion. I shut the door and didn't get a photo. Don't blame me that there is no photo of four mountain lions included in the story this morning. I was fifteen feet from photographic immortality. Bad judgment? You decide.

God Bless, buy yarn, and thanks for reading (except non-readers. I'm not thanking you.)

Our crazy lives!




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