Monday March 12th 2007, 12:48 pm
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",Knit

Picture a jack-in-the-box: the closer you get to the end of the tune as you crank the handle round and round, the more intense the pressure building up inside, until at last the box bursts open and the clown jumps out at you.

It was like that.

I was at a party, making small talk with some fellow I’d just met; he casually asked where I lived. I named the town. “Oh!” he brightened. “Where?”

The south end of town, near Cubberley.

“Oh.” (A little more intensely.) “Where?”

I hesitated, described a little, he pressed, while I was beginning to squirm inwardly, but I named my street. That got me an intense “WHERE on …!”

I wondered what my better judgment should be saying in such a situation; in those moments, nobody else was immediately close enough to be paying any attention to any of this. Hmm. Oh, what the heck, and I told him our house number.

The jack-in-the-box exploded out into the open: “I GREW UP IN THAT HOUSE!!!”

Pleased to meetcha. Turns out his folks had sold it to the ones who had sold it to us. He’d lived in it till he’d been about eight; they’d been the original owners.

Small world. Too funny. He semi-growled something about how his sisters and he had driven past the old place just to see it, and someone had really changed the front; I grinned with a half-apology and said, yeah, we did. Sorry about that!

Fast forward a couple of years. My folks put their house on the market and moved out of their home of 45 years in Bethesda, Maryland last September.

Stitches East is coming up in October, and I as a newly-minted author am thinking about attending, if anyone should happen to want me to scribble in anyone’s book or two. I’d take any excuse to go home anyway; still got my in-laws there and many a friend to go see.

Could you just see it? Could you just see someone coming up and going, I saw a picture of my new house on your blog!…

The buyer apologized to the folks that she was planning on doing some remodelling. C’mon, those cabinets were 45 years old, they needed to be ripped out! Don’t worry about it. There’s a gap in the front steps where the ground settled and the concrete split apart. I expect that’ll be fixed up too.

Meantime, I’ve been thinking of writing a letter to her, telling her of how my husband and I have a shared earliest-memory of the day my folks moved into that house when I was three and he was four; his folks were pitching in for the day, helping with our move from a tiny warbox house in Silver Spring. Of how her kids should look around under the mayapples in the spring to see the box turtles, and to look out for the foxes and the pileated woodpeckers. It’s a gloriously beautiful neighborhood, with next-door neighbors whose boys used to sneak over to my folks’ and shovel their driveway for them when they weren’t looking.

They’re going to like it there. I think I’ll knit her a bit of lace as a housewarming present.

4 Comments so far
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If you go to Stitches East, I will somehow get myself there, and I will be your personal servant and carry things and be incredibly helpful or anything in the world. 🙂 I want to see you!!!

Comment by Kristine 03.12.07 @ 5:49 pm

Sounds good to me! I’m a-comin’, Beanie Boy! (Cross your fingers.)

Comment by AlisonH 03.12.07 @ 5:57 pm

And actually, the person I’m most likely to run into at Stitches re the house would be the mover in that picture: she’s a knitter!

Comment by AlisonH 03.13.07 @ 11:09 am

You just have the best stories! I love visiting with you here.

Comment by Sonya 03.13.07 @ 7:41 pm

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