May her wisdom live on through us all
Friday February 09th 2024, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

People who grew up here. People whom I hadn’t seen in twenty, even thirty years and probably won’t ever again. A guy I dated briefly in college. (“Wally.” He looked behind him and didn’t see anyone he recognized. I pulled my face mask down, said his full name this time, and he exclaimed, Alison!”) My kids’ old middle school art teacher, long retired. My daughter-in-law’s dad and uncle, who grew up here, and her brother–we surprised each other.

Jim flew in, too, and played the organ. Ruth Ann flew in and played her violin: friends of Jean in her later decades. The chapel’s folding doors at the back were opened to make room for the overflow of people celebrating 98 years so lovingly spent.

The friend doing chemo for Stage 4 whom I thought didn’t come out in public anymore sat a few seats down from me: this, she had to be there for. She had grown up here and never left and people she knew came and what a reunion it was.

I mentioned to Wally that her brother had married someone I grew up with in Maryland. He liked that.

And of course, wait for it, there it was: the toddler great-grandchild who started to pitch a fit at the front and his mom reluctantly started hauling him out of there. A vivid orange octopus with eight i-cord-knitted tentacles and suddenly they were seated next to me near the back and happy and the mom got to hear the rest after all.

The final speaker was one of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as he told us more about his beloved mother.

The room was full of people who’d known him as a boy and who get how he’d become someone asked to share the love from Christ with the whole world: it was his mom. Pearl Harbor survivor, third grade teacher, surrogate loving mother-figure to all.

And his dad, too, gone these many years now. Much was felt and said of his being able to embrace his sweet Jean again at long last.

Saturday February 03rd 2024, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

I kept thinking of her all day that day, and wondered.

Her husband went blind from diabetes. He was on dialysis for years.

My kids were young and my lupus was new.

After reading Norman Cousin’s book, “Anatomy of an Illness,” I decided the author was right, I needed a new creative outlet. The smocked dresses I’d made my little girls–the arthritis meant I couldn’t do those very fine needles anymore.

But then what?

I was at the library with the kids when Kaffe Fassett’s first book about fell off the shelf into my hands. Glorious Knits. Sweaters and coats in dozens of colors (which I’m convinced were the starting point of the painted-yarns industry: all the color work but not the strands to untangle nor the ends to work in.) I hadn’t knit since college and couldn’t do anything like that in a million years but I was sure going to ogle those pictures. Especially the ones at a Dutch amaryllis farm.

Could I knit? With physical therapy help for my hands and big enough needles, yes.

I made a dozen Kaffe Fassett designs over the next few years.

But when I wanted something simpler or portable, having no idea how to do lace, I was making triangle scarves in plain stockinette. They worked up quickly and they were brainless. You didn’t have to haul fifty skeins everywhere. They always fit.

I splurged and bought a little bit of angora at the late great Straw Into Gold in Berkeley.

At church, Jean admired the scarf it quickly turned into.

It took her a long while, but eventually she made me a request.

It was not for a showy Kaffe Fassett, beautiful though those were.

Walter, she told me, couldn’t see–but he could still feel. Would I be willing to knit her a scarf like that? In angora? For him, for her wearing of it, for the softness to comfort him?

How could I not?

Jean, a Pearl Harbor survivor, had family gathered around celebrating her 98th birthday on Wednesday, a few days early. But it was time to be together now.

She quietly slipped away afterward to the waiting love of her life whom she had missed for so very very long.

They are together again. Their joy is so strong even I can feel it.

Medicare for all would be even better
Monday January 22nd 2024, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

I was talking to a friend on Sunday. She was wearing a mask due to her husband’s health, which meant my hearing had to depend on my ears only but we did our best.

But one of the things she said was that, like us, her husband hadn’t signed up for Medicare because he had coverage through his work.

He was hospitalized. He had turned 65. His insurance refused to cover the hospital part of the bill on the grounds that Medicare should be covering it.

But nobody tells you that! I wanted to protest.

She also said that if there is a gap in your healthcare coverage and then you sign up for Medicare, you pay a fine–and she emphasized this–every single month for the rest of your life for that.

Medicare was insisting they had had a gap of two weeks.

They had not. But they had to prove it, and she spent hours each time waiting in line at the Social Security office and then the IRS office and then back to the SS one. She had to show them physical proof.

You know those medical cards you get every year from your insurance company? she asked me. SAVE THOSE. They are your proof that you had continuous coverage. Get an envelope, keep them in there, put it in a safe place, but never throw those away and never lose them.

After she got home she emailed me this link. Because nobody knows what they’re doing when they suddenly have to decide on what to choose among the bajillion Medicare plans out there while insurance agencies cold-call and spam you mercilessly.

I started trying last year (not too persistently, because it was so discouraging and because I thought the work coverage was fine) to find out what the difference is between Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans and why one would want one or the other and what the difference in costs would be. That site has the point of the whole thing right there front and center: one makes you use a doctor from their plan, while the other lets you go to any Medicare entity whatsoever. That’s Original Medicare. You then pay a Medigap policy not to have to deal with the 20% co-pay bills nor (assuming you choose a good plan) the paperwork.

There are far more details than that but I’m just getting started.

Basically, for the first time in all these months I feel like I have a good source of information. Medicare’s own site was definitely less helpful as far as I was concerned.

So I thought I’d pass the good word on for those coming up on this soon.

Socket to me socket to me socket to me socket to me
Sunday January 07th 2024, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life,Lupus

We were visiting our oldest’s for Thanksgiving when she offered me some lupus-protective sunblock for the walk we were about to take with the grandkids: and that is how I found the lump in that upper socket.

I just figured a zit was about to pop in a weird spot. It didn’t. I mentioned it to the optometrist, who immediately referred me to the right eye doctor.

It has grown since then. Not a lot. It is harder. A little. But definitely.

They could not get me in before January.

All this time I’ve been ignoring it, going, it’s no big deal, I can’t do a thing about it yet if it is, things have always turned out okay so far so this one will, too.

The theory on that anti-tumor-necrosis factor that granted me these last 20 and a half years is that it could cause cancer about twenty years out, and since I was trying really hard at the time to still be alive the next day that sure sounded like a bargain to me. It was.

So it’s kind of interesting to find myself trying not to freak out after all this calm nonchalance now that the appointment is only two days away. I don’t know if I’m finally giving myself permission to feel the possibilities?

No! Because I said so. Look at all that yarn and plans (acknowledging that I have let myself down with a bit of a knitting slump of late) and hopes waiting on me. My grandkids. Time. I want all of it.

Just typing that out loud makes it sound pretty overwrought. Good. I’m quite happy to go back to the no-big-deal.

I just want to know–but when I do, maybe I’ll just want to be back to where I didn’t have to know yet, and I know that, too.

You know exactly what I need to do here: get those needles moving. Create some love to put out into the world.

Being told out of the blue today that an old friend has inoperable stage 4 cancer says that sometimes things turn out a very big deal and life is so fragile and you just never know. Love your dear ones.

Me, I’m looking forward to helping my oldest granddaughter in her pursuit of learning to be a lifetime Knitter with a capital K.

Sunday December 31st 2023, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

Begin the New Year as you mean to go on….

I hoped to see a particular someone at church today and gift him with a hat in thanks for a kindness of his, but I found myself wanting to make extra sure he got a color he liked.

Turns out he was off visiting elsewhere–but so were McKay and his bride, only, here.

McKay grew up with my kids, so much so that when he ran into my daughter in college someone asked her later if they were seeing each other and she told them, No! That would be like dating my brother!

His family moved away when he was in high school; I was in the hospital when they left, which makes it easy to remember it was 2003, and I hadn’t seen him since. Although I did get to send him and his bride best wishes via Facebook when they got married.

He wanted her to see where he grew up.

And I had two Mecha hats, no sign of that other guy, and plenty of time to knit more for him. But only one time to be able to hand these two theirs in person.

And with that bit of incentive, the cowl I was working on got finished this afternoon (picture pre-blocking) and the next hat went from an unwound hank of good intentions to 2/3 of the way done.

You never know when you’ve got to be ready for anything.

Wishing a Happy New Year to all.

Good friends, good food
Wednesday December 27th 2023, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life,Recipes

We had a spur of the moment lunch out with old friends, a great time, and a restless toddler at the next table where two couples were doing the same thing we were.

A panda puppet. Happy faces.

On a side note, if you take my favorite blueberry cake recipe, use Forager cashewmilk yogurt because the dairy-allergic kid is gone and it needs to be used up (but real butter because I can again), swap 2/3 c of the flour out for 2/3 c of almond flour, and sprinkle the tops with half the blueberries and then maple sugar and bake for 23 minutes, it makes eighteen blueberry almond maple muffins and they came out very very good.

Monday December 25th 2023, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

(This isn’t the one, it’s just one of the many like it.)

What I wanted to make didn’t seem to matter: the same old same old Malabrigo Mecha in Teal Feather is the skein that jumped into my purse for the outbound flight. Clearly, it was the boss of me.

I was going to make a fancier pattern at least, but on the first row above the ribbing I found I’d goofed the stitch count for that. I didn’t have the patience to risk tinking back the stitches twice: seventy in plain stockinette it was. Again. No openwork for you!

It was a shorter flight than the one to Seattle so this hat wasn’t done when we landed.

We played with grandkids. The five year old challenged me to a game of chess–not that he really knew the rules yet but it was something the big kids did and he wanted to show that he was one, too.

His daddy did a we’ve-got-this, strode on over, and coached him on moving what where when. “Checkmate!” after maybe my fourth move with his youngest grinning at winning.

Back at the airport all too soon. Time to finish that silly hat. The last few stockinette rows, the decreases that always take longer than you’d expect, the bind off, and then–just do it. I wove the ends in, fished in my purse for the folding mini-scissors to snip off the extra length, and stuffed the thing back into my purse and finally, finally started the cowl I’d planned to make this trip.

Thus the hat ended up in the overhead luggage bin, well out of reach. The seatbelt sign never turned off. No one on our row but the two of us this time anyway.

Curbside, Uber gave us a wait time of an hour. Oh joy. Not two minutes later his phone buzzed again: someone had decided to take the fare and he was already doing the turn-around into the terminal. Yay!

A 2007 Prius pulled up to us. The man’s name was Jamal, an older guy. His accent was pretty thick but his command of the language was as good as any native-born’s from what I could hear; he clearly loved a good conversation and meeting new people and he was just a joy all around. From the back seat I watched the brim of his old thin faded baseball cap moving up and down and around giving motion to his words. Had we had a good trip? He asked questions, then listened to hear the answers like we were old friends.

He jumped out of the car to help get our luggage out for us.

I reached into my purse: “Do you like this shade of green?”

Confusion in his face.

“I knitted it for you.” Then to clarify, “I knitted it but I didn’t know who it was for. Now I do. It’s wool, machine washable wool. It’s for you.”

Our loquacious driver was suddenly speechless.

He took it in kind of a slow motion, eyes on it, feeling the thick warmth of the thing against the chilly air in the fading light.

It was as perfect a Christmas Eve scene as that little hat could ever have hoped to be a part of.

We wished the best of the holidays to each other and each other’s families with a wave goodbye, pulled our bags on up the walkway and away.

Cookie cookie cookie
Friday December 22nd 2023, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends

A crazy-busy nonstop runrunrunrunrun kind of a day like probably a lot of other people had today.

The teacher friend who needed homemade cookies for a party and was even crazier-busier than we were and had absolutely no time for it got handed plates filled with warm ones right out of the oven, courtesy of yonder daughter.

I think we’re ready?

Wednesday December 20th 2023, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

There was a long string of kvetching back and forth on today over people parking in front of other people’s houses. It got pretty silly (and I wasn’t about to step into that.) C’mon people.

Back in the day, there was a kid across the street with a jacked-up monster truck. Bright red, huge tires, bumpers at window height (illegal now.) Couldn’t miss it. And for whatever reason he always liked to park it in front of our house and not his.

The fact that they couldn’t make any sense out of that I think is why it bugged my kids. Although I certainly rolled my eyes over it myself. It is safe to say it dominated the view out our front window.

So one day that truck was there and clearly the guy had had a good time because you could hardly tell what the paint color was for the layers of mud. How it got splashed that high I did not know.

One of my kids really felt that particular day that this was an injustice too far.

And then suddenly all the Sunday School lessons about serving rather than finding fault came back to me and I had the answer to that: hey, let’s have a conspiracy! Here, I told them, help me fill the bucket. Soap. Sponges. Do it fast before he comes back out. You with me?

They really got into this. YES!

I helped carry the water; they dashed out there and got right to it and made it their project. They started on the side facing our house where they wouldn’t be seen from his. Was it okay to climb that bumper to wash that window? They decided it was. They were giggling by now and having the time of their lives when Sandy next door, who had really been bugged by the guy’s parking habits herself, opened her door in surprise and asked, What are you doing??

Washing! Truck! was the answer. (With that kid agonizing to me afterwards, I sounded so stupid but I didn’t know what to say fast enough and that’s just what came out!)

Ooookay, and she went back inside.

There were still a few soapy/muddy smears here and there when they decided that that was as much as they were going to be able to get away with without getting caught and came in snort-giggling and smiling and anticipating. There was a lot of hanging around the window by the front door to see. And then, deliciously, the guy (18-20 years old or so) came out to get in his truck just like they’d hoped, and–


He walked around it, completely befuddled. Who? How? What?? Huh. Well, okay, and without saying anything to anybody because there was nobody outside to say it to anyway, got in and drove off.

Memory says he parked it in front of his own house after that; I’ll have to ask my kids.

The white elephants
Sunday December 17th 2023, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Friends

The biggest delay was the crowd of cars at the airport. I’ve never seen anything like. It was nearly 3 a.m. her time when we got home.

And so she ate an early dinner tonight and was ready to crash while we went off to a potluck with a white elephant exchange: each person was to bring one thing.

Pick a folded-up number to find out when your turn is.

A quart of honey made the rounds.

But when it was finally the hostess’s chance, she had seen which ones I’d brought and was the first to pick the small gold wrapping on the table.

She got a Malabrigo hat. Once everybody knew what those were the other got snatched up quick. I had a third tucked in my purse in case someone didn’t like the color they got: which means I quietly handed the host one at the end, too, as a thank you for a fun evening and the couple can decide whose is whose, but the hostess was so pleased with hers that he may have to do some serious cajoling there.

Or not.

I was reminded how much more of this I need to be doing–for my own selfish gratification if nothing else. I like making people that happy!

Having a ball
Saturday December 16th 2023, 10:07 am
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends

My mom called yesterday, blown away.

My best friend from high school lost her mom to cancer while Karen was a freshman in college. Her dad remarried, then passed away himself a few years later, and her stepmom was the only grandmother her daughter ever knew. She died in her 90’s a few years ago.

It’s the Christmas season. And there was a wonderful mother figure still out there from Karen’s point of view, one who was widowed just before the pandemic and after a long, good marriage. Reaching out just felt like the thing to do.

My folks had moved at retirement, so she made sure she got the correct address from me.

And now Mom needed Karen’s address for her very delighted thank you on those Lindt dark chocolate balls that she would never in the world have expected.

Man, I picked good friends when I was a kid.

Look straight at the blue dot
Wednesday December 13th 2023, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life,Lupus

So to celebrate my birthday, the DMV took my picture.

Then they took it again.

Which immediately took me way back to the Maryland DMV that I went to with my newly-married name: that was the time that cured me for life of pushing my slipping glasses back up at the bridge with my forefinger, because what the camera saw was my finger up my nose. The cameraman shook his head and told me, You don’t want to look at that for the next ten years, lady, and insisted on a do-over.

Who knew DMV guys could be nice.

They tested my vision. I passed.

The forms-and-vision guy was bored out of his mind and a little annoyed at having to deal with some old (officially! Today!) person who had a hard time hearing him; he was like, get’em in get’em out next come on next.

Charming he wasn’t.

I’ll show him (glancing down in my purse.) Yeah that’s about the one he deserves. A bright green alligator with yellow spikes. A reptile. Rows of teeth.

(One of my sons on the phone later: you didn’t.)

Me: I did, and the thing is that when I handed the guy that finger puppet and told him Merry Christmas (a slip–I usually say Happy Birthday for universality but the season got to me. So sue me) his face entirely lit up. He was so delighted!

It is fair to say that I was more surprised than he was. He showed me, for sure.

Later, a friend dropped by and not wanting to bother Richard at work and not wanting to be in the sun, we sat in my car laughing and having a great time catching up and feeling like teenagers hanging out while the real teenagers next door came and went and probably wondered what on earth was up over there.

My sister–my oldest sister!–called and told me she’d streaked her hair purple when she turned 65 and I told her I wished she’d told me that sooner or that I’d thought of that and the DMV could have preserved it forever. What a missed opportunity!

It was the best day. I think I should turn 65 next year, too.

All will be right
Tuesday December 05th 2023, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Our friend Jim was back in town (flashback here from when his young son fell 30′ off a ski lift–and lived and recovered) and he was playing the organ in a concert at the creche exhibit.

Two of the pieces were composed by Mary Finlayson, including her All Will Be Right. It is one of my favorite Christmas songs. A children’s chorus performed it. It was perfect.

My parents, who lived in Maryland at the time, went on a trip to Israel when Mom retired and that’s where they met Mary and Norris, who were taking the same tour. Just adding that aside for my mom here.

Mary had been an avid knitter but with aging had felt she just couldn’t manage it anymore, and she asked me once if I’d like her old Barbara Walker stitch treasuries. I of course had my own, but my oldest had started knitting and she would love. We’re a half hour’s drive away and I offered to come pick them up; she instead wanted to bring them to me.

The morning she called to ask if this was a good day to come on by, I… I knew enough about infirmities to think, if you’re having a good enough day to feel up to doing that then this is going to be the day to do that. I didn’t tell her.

But when she arrived, she felt it. And so I explained: we had gotten the call that morning that my mother-in-law in Texas had just died.

(Michelle was with us and the three of us had just

how does one confine the infinite into the smallness of human-created words

we just needed

to Be.

Together. Close. In stillness.)

In the heart of the sacredness of the love we felt surrounded by. Mom Hyde had been through so much with her cancer and now it felt like she wanted us to feel the joy on the other side of all that.

In ringing the startlingly ordinary doorbell and stepping into the room with us, Mary brought her own love and of herself in the effort she had made to bring those books and to help a new generation create more love with their hands and somehow Mary, by her grace and her empathy, made that morning complete in a way I don’t quite know how to explain. But it was good that she had come. I will never forget it.

A dozen years later, she and Norris were sitting behind us tonight as Jim played, and they are going for Rosalynn and Jimmy’s record. Family surrounded them. She was praised and thanked by the various performers coming up and joining Jim, and then at the end when the audience was clapping hard for him, he walked down from the podium to be level with Mary, holding his hand out her way with every step and inviting the audience to turn their clapping to her.

And did we ever. Standing up for it was a bit much for her so we all followed her lead and stayed sitting, too, but applause we could do. Such a good woman who has put so much love into the world, and her husband is right up there with her.

She and Norris were in tears. So were their kids and grandkids (I think there were some great grands in the mix), and man. It felt so good to be able to give back a little.

The Turducken of fruit
Friday December 01st 2023, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends

Andy’s Orchard sent out a note saying their holiday figs stuffed with dried peaches mixed with honey and candied orange peel and nuts were available.

I wait all year every year for those. Coming!!

The woman manning the register was the one I’d seen most often all year. About my age, quiet, and since my cane leaves me one-armed with the groceries she is always quick to help out.

She looked a little tired. She rang up my fresh-picked persimmons and Comice pears and stuffed figs, and it wasn’t till she was done and payment made that I reached into my purse again.

There was a dark dull purple and a much more vibrant purple, and I had more color choices waiting in the car if she’d rather. (Zoom hat knitting for the win!)

Her face lit up in surprise as she went for the lighter brighter one, and then so was she. It was a treat to see.

It’s wool, I told her.

That surprised her all over again: But it’s so soft! she told me. I have a wool hat (as she looked upwards as if to see it and patted her head) but it’s scratchy. Scratchy, she said again. This is soft!

I told her that it was machine washable but would fuzz out if it went through the laundry; her choice. But something not to have to worry about if it does.

She offered to carry my filled box out to the car, didn’t ask to see the other colors, loved the one she got, and I loved getting to see her so happy.

Richard and I each had one of those figs when I got home. Clearly, I need to go buy more before they close down for the winter. They are so good!

And they have more employees I’d love to say thank you to.

In deep teal green
Monday November 27th 2023, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I had yak/silk lace weight in my hands.

But it’s such easy, brainless knitting for travel and makes big enough stitches that you don’t have to worry about seeing them in bad light–so I packed three skeins of Malabrigo Mecha and the needles to match, along with that yak, with the Mecha skein in browns (Piedras) going into my purse to work on first.

Right before we left for the airport the next day, though, something went, no, not that one, and I switched it for a Teal Feather.

I started the first hat in the airport, and given that it was the busiest travel day of the year we got there two hours early. I did the ribbing… And then decided to put a little more effort into this one. Seventy stitches: knit eight, knit two together, yarnover, repeat, then a plain row, then repeat those to make slanted and dotted lines chasing each other all the way up.

Once we got onboard there was a woman at the empty-nest stage next to me and we got to talking–always a little difficult with me especially in such a loud environment, but she was patient and we made it work.

She kept studying my hands carefully. She told me her grandmother had crocheted. She’d never learned either craft. It was clear she wished she had, and she asked me questions about knitting two stitches at once like that and the loop around, and did I go into it like this?

No, like this; otherwise it would twist the strand and close up the hole the yarnover makes and you can do that but that’s not what I want. (With a hat, since I was taking away stretchability with the doubled stitch I wanted to hold onto the stretch the yarnover gives it.)

She lived in San Diego and was flying to visit her son in Tacoma. (For those not familiar with California geography, San Diego sits on the border with Mexico. Tacoma, WA is in commuting distance of Seattle.)

I instantly thought of my friends Mel and Kris‘s description of a guy who called 911 in Oregon after getting stalled out in a snowstorm as he was driving through; they had way too many people to get to, but he explained he lived in San Diego and didn’t *own* any long pants, and he was shivering in his car in shorts. They made a beeline and rescued him.

A warm wool hat. She was so going to need that in Tacoma. It was going to hit the upper 20s. The Teal Feather went beautifully with her jacket and the brown would not have at all and I found myself silently marveling.

I mentioned to her–and my memory was totally wrong, so I’m typing this in hopes that somehow she sees my abashed correction–that how far your thumb and forefinger can stretch equals the length of your foot. It doesn’t. What my friends who love to knit socks (I am not one) actually told me was that across the top of your arch to your big toe equals that measurement of your hand. It’s a way of getting the length of someone’s foot without telling them what you’re up to with those needles of yours.

But back to the scene.

I got to the decreasing at the top at long last and ditched the yarnovers while keeping the knit two togethers at the same place and the every other row thing. My usual is to continue till I have five stitches left in each repeat and then no further plain rows–but we were pretty far along in that flight. At seven or eight left I went straight to decreasing every row from there, knowing that missing those last plain rows would make a flatter, somewhat gathered top and in effect shorten the hat by drawing it in more tightly. That was fine. Worst case would be that the ribbing couldn’t be folded up much at the bottom.

The silent please please let me finish this runrunrunrunrunrunrun became a soft, I did it I did it! under my breath. I worked in the ends as best I could with the knitting needles. I’ve done better. It would do, though, it would definitely do.

I turned to her with, Happy birthday! as I put the hat in her hands, telling her she was going to have to snip the ends off herself.

Her eyes got huge. Then she squeezed them shut tight. I could just feel her grandmother nodding with a smile of joy–yes. Yes. And so knit worthy. You taught her well, Grandmother.

I’m Alison, I told her, what’s your name?

She probably said Lisa but for the life of me I heard Larisa, which is my sister-in-law’s name and a well-loved one.

She told me that her son had planned on taking her shopping after she got there because she needed a warm hat.

I thought about it (I think we were coming in for the landing at this point) and reached back into my ziplock and pulled out the very small ball of remaining yarn I had just put in there, looked at it–you know, just a little bit more warmth, right? –and found myself declaring with a nope out loud, I’m not going to make a pompom.

She exclaimed in delight, *I* can make pompoms! and took the ball of yarn and left us both laughing.

Whoever she is, I think we both felt like we came away with a best friend for life. I hope she had a fabulous Thanksgiving with her son.