Her needles and mine
Sunday October 16th 2011, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit,Life

It started with a blood draw.

My daughter Sam has ITP, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura: the autoimmune version of hemophilia. Catch a cold or even athlete’s foot, crash the platelets as the immune system fires up in scattershot mode. (If you follow that link, she was at 10; normal is 150-400.)

And so when she arrived at the university to begin her PhD program five years ago, she needed a doctor and she needed a blood test, fast.

She got sent to the lab. The phlebotomist chatted as she set her up, and on hearing why she was there, immediately told her exactly which doctor at that clinic she should see and why, in very specific terms that had to do with how his personality would react to her history as well as his particular medical skills. He would take good care of her in a way the others would not.

And so he has. That was the doctor who, when her chart came in, I believe before he’d even met her, declared she was to be his patient, period.

That was the doctor who, this past summer, ignored her protests of that spot on her arm having been biopsied five years earlier and having come up benign; he just didn’t like the looks of it. Her ITP had gotten her sent to him just two weeks previously as well as this time, and though they hadn’t even discussed the spot nor had she thought of it, he had, and he thought it looked different this time; he was going to biopsy it again.

She saw no reason to.

No, it just felt… Now. And so he did.

A particularly aggressive melanoma but caught at the very earliest stage. Early enough that she didn’t even have to go through radiation or chemo–though they did have to take four inches out of her arm and she will have to be screened every three months for recurrences from here on out.

Hey. Beats the alternative.

We were on the phone tonight, the three of us, and Sam rather apologized to me for something she’d done.

Then she gave me the context. She told us about that phlebotomist. She told us she’s been going to that specific one ever since that first time they met, that they’ve become almost like family to each other.

I had made Sam an ethereally fine wedding-ring shawl in the softest merino, and she confessed she’d tested it once just to be sure: yup, it really did go through her ring! It was wide and beautiful and lovely and she got many compliments on every one of the rare occasions when she dared take the fragile-looking cloud of lace out to wear.

The phlebotomist had mentioned to her recently that she was to attend a wedding in the family, and that she was to wear a bright orange dress that was just too much for her; she had been wondering how on earth to tone it down, but had no ideas and no time to shop.

Sam asked: would a wide, slightly offwhite lace shawl help? A rectangle. It was certainly formal enough for a wedding. (She did not remember till I said it on the phone that I had knitted it while we drove 13 hours and back to take her to her freshman year at BYU, finishing it after the trip. Stealth knitting, right in front of her–I’d made it to tuck away for her for someday.)

As she was admitting to me she’d offered up the loan of that shawl, hoping I wouldn’t mind, to whom and why, I exclaimed, “She saved your life!”

Steps into a future that neither knew then, but still.

Sam considered the thought and, a sense of awe in her voice, answered, Yes–yes, she did.

I mentioned someone who had wanted to clean white wool with bleach; Sam shuddered, No, no, you don’t do that!

Right. They hadn’t yet and it was okay, and I taught them in time about how bleach dissolves wool and what to use safely.

Sam: I don’t think this lady would…

Me, affirming: Probably not. But if she does, I will knit you a new one.

And she knew I was saying what she’d felt too, that this woman had earned everything we could give her without reservation and together, then, we freely offered her friend all of the love that is in that shawl.

I went on to offer to knit the woman her own, for that matter.

I could hear Sam’s grateful smile across the thousands of miles.

Show steel-ers
Saturday October 15th 2011, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I was off at a luncheon with some friends (thank you Mary Ellen!) and he was waiting for me to get home.

Okay. Let’s see, the parts are about this much, Costco’s having a sale to just replace the thing altogether for close enough to the same, the work involved is about the same…

And so we played plumber today. A do-it-yourself video was conferred with just to be sure. Richard, on his back under the kitchen sink, glad for that gel mat under him, trying to unscrew going one way while I tried to hold on from the top to keep the faucet parts from moving: his grip vs mine, on and on and endlessly on. It’s a good thing I knit a lot, although more regular piano practice on my part of late would have helped there, too. We tried to trade places at one point, but I simply couldn’t reach high enough. He managed not to break into a chorus of “Short People.”

“Get me an (XYZ) wrench!”

“Which one is an (XYZ) wrench? Where would I find it?” (Digging through his tool stashes. The occasional stifled heavy sigh from the man under there who wouldn’t know a merino yarn from a mink–we do understand each other. )

The assembly was rusted in, but between us we finally got it out of there. It took us all afternoon.

After much resting, pumpkin pie for dinner just because we’d earned it and our mommies weren’t watching, some knitting time for me with some sweet baby alpaca telling my hands, There there, I went over to him on impulse and said, “So between us we’re stronger than steel?”

Took him by surprise. His whole face turned into a not-quite-out-loud laugh, and he shook his head with puckered lips, “No.”

“But it made you laugh!”

We ARE stronger than steel.

The epiphany
Friday October 14th 2011, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,LYS

Thank goodness Purlescence on Tuesday still had a few skeins left of the very lovely but discontinued Epiphany (royal baby alpaca/cashmere/silk) when I needed one in a particular color–from an early mill run, too, before production issues got it shut down. (Look for the 60/20/20.)

Speaking of which… It suddenly hit me as I pulled out of the post office: darn, I was going to snap pictures of that, I was going to count rows and make sure I had what I’d done written down right. I’ve made various iterations of that particular pattern, enjoying them all, trying to improve on it before I put it out for publication, but I’ve never made one quite exactly like that one and I liked it the best of all: the elusive perfection, or about as close as yarn and needles can come, and now it’s on its way to where it needs to be and the recipients will simply forever have a one of a kind.

I like that.

Bird air-obics
Thursday October 13th 2011, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Knit,Wildlife

Bought some very good yarn Tuesday at Purlescence, finished an Ipod hat out of it today. Minimalist. Perfect. And then someone announced a dress-like-Steve-Jobs day in his memory for tomorrow, and St Croix, the Washington Post said, had sold out of his trademark mock turtle in black. Me, though, I’m Thinking Different.

And on the wildlife front.

Towhees jump forward, jump back, scratching back the leaves to look for grubs underneath: they look like they’re skipping an invisible jumprope. It charms me.

After the rain was gone and the sun was shining again a day or two ago, I glanced outside to see a cascade of water spraying sideways off the roof. Just in one spot. Wait–is someone sweeping up there? No, I knew Richard had already left for work, and besides, he would never go up there without a spotter watching the ladder.

It stopped.

There it was again.

It stopped.

There it was again.

I thought, if that’s a towhee scratching that’s one heck of a towhee! That’s a lot of water it’s moving!

I walked outside, seeing a shadow of wings through the translucent awning, and then there was no such cascade to be seen again. Huh.

Today maybe the responsible party showed itself? It came to the porch only for a moment, a California Thrasher.  Sibley: “They are difficult to find except when singing.” Oh well… But I got to see it!

Reading another site, it says they no longer breed on the Monterey Peninsula because of habitat fragmentation. Wow. The whole peninsula? And I got to see one here on our more heavily populated one?

Now I know why I threw some suet cake farther out than I usually do. It stabbed that long curved beak at it as fast as it could, looked at me with a stern that-will-not-do because I’d moved, raised its tail and fled. Had I blinked I’d have missed the whole thing.

I am definitely going to throw some peanut suet out in that spot again.

You can tell THAT one to your Mormon bishop
Wednesday October 12th 2011, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Friends,Lupus

No. Four-hundred-forty-three-tiny-stitch rows would not do: I cast on for a hat, added a second circular needle, joined the ends, knitted halfway across from there: Venn diagram established. Okay, *now* I was ready to go to my lupus group meeting. Mindless ribbing at the brim, bigger stitches I don’t have to look at. Go.

Five middle-aged women–three old-timers, a first-timer needing to find someone else who knew about this disease, and me–and… He tends to go on at great length but he’s totally cool with the knit thing, so hey, speak your piece!

I’ve seen him one other time. He was a strong proponent of medical marijuana, and so he was today, though he says he’s off it now–with a faraway look of a tale he didn’t want to go on about at any length whatsoever. Okay, then.

But when he found out I had GI involvement! It is SO made for that, it’s helped him SO much for that! And he pushed me to try it. And pushed. And pushed.

I tried deflecting him, first with the thought that there’s no way to monitor the dosage. Then I tried the smoke vs protecting the lungs tactic. (The new person was totally with me on that one.) Then I tried, “I’m not going to take up smoking at this point in my life.” One woman who knew me was biting her lip, trying not to crack up…

…I beat her to it when he just had to try one more time. I lost it, laughing: “Not sure what a good little Mormon girl would do with that stuff!”

He still just didn’t get it. Bless his heart. He really did want to help.

Open to the whole world
Tuesday October 11th 2011, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Life

A quick late run to the store, we’re out of milk.

Got my cart, got the milk, that was it, but then I thought, you know, we *are* low on veggies…

Turned thataway. There–I hadn’t thought of that, but you know, an acorn squash seemed just the thing to celebrate a fine October dinner with and they’re small enough for two. (Even if the outside color still doesn’t make it a green veggie.) Eh, I’m done.

I got in the shortest line, wondering what all these people were doing shopping after 9 pm too.

And of course found out in slow motion why it had been the shortest line. I was standing there five, then ten minutes with the same small group being waited on, the manager coming and going, all of them increasingly trying not to be flustered.

The clerk was. I’d never seen her before and she certainly seemed new. She flicked her long hair out of her way in annoyance. Finally one of the people grabbed an item and walked back into the aisles with a huff to put it back away.

More waiting for him to come back. Maybe he was searching for the right aisle.

Meantime, a woman had come up from behind. I tried to figure out how to rescue her from being stuck there too without making the clerk’s evening any worse. We smiled at each other; as the minutes ticked on, we shrugged our shoulders ever so slightly and chuckled together. She chose not to look for another line, although others were opening up. Not to be in a hurry.  She came across as someone you’d want to get to know the moment you met her.

And then to my surprise she finally said something–but not at all about the line but rather, “What is that?”

That was so unexpected that it took me a second as I followed her glance. Oh wait–the acorn squash?

“Yes, what is that? What do you do with that?” And then, “Is it bitter?”

No, it’s not bitter, and I explained cutting it in half, scooping out the little bit of string and seeds and microwaving or baking it; that we liked ours with a little maple syrup on it.

She made an appreciative “Ooh” at the mention of maple syrup.

By her accent and features I would guess she was from India. The items she’d placed on the conveyor belt so far were foods of Mexican origin. I was charmed: here was someone with the courage to move to a very different new place and the curiosity to try, clearly, everything. And with the patience of Job.

Finally my milk and squash were being scanned, and in my delight at my fellow shopper I somehow relayed it in my face to the flustered clerk–who was startled to see herself being smiled at, that was the last thing she expected just then! She rang me up quickly and I thanked her.

And then the person coming up behind was more gracious still. I can only imagine what a relief it was to that person trying to get the hang of her new job.

It is amazing to me how the sudden impulse to go down the produce aisle, and then to pick something other than, say, carrots, made such a difference–and the change in tone in that line all came because the woman behind me assessed the situation and felt that she had all the time and the heart to give in this new world of hers. However long she’d been here.

Preach it, brother
Monday October 10th 2011, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Politics

I have been watching with great interest the Occupy Wall Street protests and their growing offshoots and wishing dearly I could ditch my sun sensitivity and get out there.  I have no doubt that if there isn’t a protest over at Stanford yet, there will be. There should be.

The reactions of Wall Street, the New York police, several DC politicians in particular…

Some here may remember what I said (though I gave few details at the time as to why) after a guy in Stanford Hospital’s billing department stole my name and number and tried to make me give him my credit card information over the phone for a supposed bill collection agency for an amount that, actually, I had overpaid my account by because they were slow to update their system and had re-billed it. So clearly he thought I was an easy target. The man was sufficiently vicious in tone that I considered calling the police.

What I wrote was: “The angrier someone gets over something that is unreasonable, the more you know they know they’re in the wrong.”

The protesters have my admiration for their efforts not to show anger, not to give any justification for the crackdowns that have happened, but simply to demand that the laws favoring the 1% change in order for us to have a more just society that creates hope for our future. My favorites so far:

1. A sign held up saying, “Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who believes in free health care for all. You’re thinking of Jesus.”

2. Here is the long version by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics, professor at Columbia University, writing for Vanity Fair; below is what he said to the protestors in person. He noted that he and they were not allowed to use a bullhorn to address the crowd, not allowed to make themselves heard by any means other than the crowd repeating his phrases loudly to try to pass them towards the back. He wondered to them why this should be so.

But there are video cameras in smartphones and there is YouTube. (Blessings on those at that link who offer a transcription for those of us who need it.)

“Our financial markets have an important role to play. They’re supposed to allocate capital and manage risk, but they’ve misallocated capital and created risk. We are bearing the cost of their misdeeds. There’s a system where we’ve socialized losses and privatized gains. That’s not capitalism! That’s not a market economy. That’s a distorted economy, and if we continue with that, we won’t succeed in growing, and we won’t succeed in creating a just society.”


Purple people-time eater
Sunday October 09th 2011, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Knit

Yesterday’s yarn felt like work. I’ll get to it: but today is our Sabbath and it just didn’t feel right for the day. It needed to rest.

I went looking for whatever in the stash might strike me to make something to make someone happy–the people and the possibilities were endless, I dithered longer than I wanted to and finally decided that the only way to narrow it down was to start with my eyes. Go.

I had no idea what I was looking for, just a familiar sense that when I found it, I would know.

There–beneath several other ziplocs. A long-ignored goodly start to a shawl in some laceweight purple silk on 3.5mm needles (ouch). It wasn’t begun the way I would start it now; still, I’ve never frogged it, not after all the work that’s gone into it. There was a snag that needed to be fixed and there were circular needles that had totally kinked up in that small bag.

It just needed a little love.  I tugged around the snag a moment but shrugged, eh, later, it’ll be fine. I had no idea why, but this was it, this needed to be done, the sooner the better. I knitted a row, transferring it to new needles as I went down the  long row and weighing whether I still felt that way about it.

I did.

After a year in time-out? Why now?

I don’t know. But as I picked up that ziploc this afternoon and opened it to get a good look, all I can tell you is it felt wonderful that I had it in my hands again at last despite any arguments I could make against it. It was entirely a surprise–I have no idea what there is about it. Yet.

I’ve learned to take that feeling when it’s strong like that and just run with it as fast as I humanly can.  It’s humming along nicely.

Yarned if you do
Saturday October 08th 2011, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

Our ladder walked off on its own at some point in the past we know not of. I put out a plea and I do mean plea to our ward chat list; Glenn responded near-instantly. We ran very gratefully off with his ladder and Richard climbed up on our roof, relieved to finally be able to get at that furnace.

It’s working now.

My knitting, not so much. The poor guy spent several hours this evening (and that was only half of it) listening to me muttering under my breath from across the room, “But this makes no *sense*!” I counted, I recounted, I “dear could you SIXTY EIGHT SIXTY NINE SEVENTY oh sorry, dear” knitted, I frogged, I wondered who on earth ever thought I knew how to do this. A designer? Are you kidding me?

I could have fudged that one stitch there. I refuse to fudge. Ripped! I can now tell you that the new Findley yarn from Juniper Moon Farm is not only super soft and deliciously shiny, but it holds up to being frogged and reknitted five times–and it will be again if I have to to get this to come out as perfect as it deserves. I know exactly how I want this pattern to look. A bunch of silly string is not going to defeat me!

I guess we got our heat back…

(Hastening back to the computer to add, he was a total sweetheart about it and I was trying to be. All it needed was for me to stop fussing over it and go do my treadmill time to clear my head. That seems to have done it. Tomorrow I should be able to just sit down, relax totally, and knit.)

Great balls a’fire
Friday October 07th 2011, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Knit,Wildlife

I finished this hat.

I thought of about a hundred more people who would be thrilled to be given a handknit hat. I aim to please.

When there are too many possibilities and too many ideas and my brain can’t settle down and pick one, I start winding balls: something to keep my hands busy and getting something actually done while my mind meanders in the context of handling soft yarn and colors. That usually settles it.

That or dyeing hanks to something new, but it was too chilly to change out of my layers of wool that might get splashed on. Even if stacking balls of yarn like this is as close as we get to building snowmen around here, it was 49F last night and at that rate even my husband might start wearing a hat to bed.

Hopefully when he gets some daylight time and climbs up on that roof tomorrow he’ll be able to figure out why the furnace up there isn’t working. The thing melted its, and I quote, silicon control rectifier (not to mention part of our outside circuit breaker) a few years ago. Crossing our fingers and keeping the darn thing turned off for the moment, glad it’s supposed to warm up for the next few days.

Time to put up our feet and knit
Thursday October 06th 2011, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life,LYS

There was a larger crowd than usual tonight. People turned out; I think we all had an extra need for that sense of community. I got to hold a two-week-old baby wearing the tiniest, finest little handknit socks, to see (among others) a friend who’s been away at grad school, another who’s almost done with her cancer therapy whose presence I have so keenly missed.

She was wearing a pretty handdyed hat knitted by Kelli. Kelli hasn’t been able to knit for I think a year due to severe inflammation in her hands. But. She wanted to do that for her anyway, and so there it was.

Richard explained a little more today about yesterday’s having been weird: there had been reverse-911 robocalls to the Cupertino/Sunnyvale area, so the daycares knew before the school officials had arrived to find out; thus there were a lot of them that simply shut down before the workday started. (Note: the man was found this morning, and he died in a shootout with the police without the loss of any more lives other than his own.)

And so, in the midst of the grief and scare and loss of the day, small children were at the office doing small-child type things: being cute, running around, playing, finding joy in each other’s company and charming everybody while keeping Important Things from getting done, no doubt. New things to explore! New faces to meet! Cool!

And then tonight at Purlescence, surrounded by my friends, I got to hold one of the newest of the new.

I had an obstetrician a goodly while ago who had a poster set prominently in his waiting room, so that it was the first thing you saw when you entered his office suite: “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

Heard at the dinner table
Wednesday October 05th 2011, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

The next vote on funding CIRM again is soon, the ten years are almost up. So much has been done, so much needs more time.


“Wait–so you drove right into that!?”

“Well, not in…”

“That’s in. Mathilda goes to that part of Cupertino. If I’d known that’s where it was, I’d have called you. If I’d known that’s where you were going to be…” He shuddered, blaming himself, which he totally didn’t deserve. With everything else going on, he’d forgotten today was the day and he’d had no idea where the place was.

“I didn’t know till I got home. There was a helicopter right above me, I’ve never seen one that looked like that before.”

“That was it. They were looking.” And not just with one helicopter.


Today was the day the Parkinson’s Research Institute in Sunnyvale held an openhouse re its stem cell work; I got a personal invitation from Chris Stiehl (whom I met at a Lupus Research Institute day),  the man in charge of patient advocacy within the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the taxpayer-funded initiative to entice top researchers to work in California to potentially find cures for many diseases.

And I have a childhood friend with young-onset Parkinson’s.

Many of the attendees were a large group of high school students on a field trip. There were tables, displays, passionate people ready to show and answer and inspire.

The director of the project answered any and all questions, including mine. She told me in an aside of her great hope to spark a desire in these kids to go into research, to foster a love for science so that they could go out and change the world. There was so much that was so close; we so badly needed more scientists. She said she herself had stayed here expressly because of CIRM.

I told her that one of my children had had a high school biology teacher who had inspired her to follow in her footsteps, and thus her doctoral thesis in viral crystallography was recently published in (and she recognized the prestigious journal.)

The woman was very pleased. We talked about how good it was that finally, finally, research is beginning to be made available not just to those who subscribe to the terribly expensive periodicals; she explained to another woman with us, while I nodded yes, that it could cost $30 just to read one article online.

I didn’t wait for the walk through the lab, though I’d have liked to have seen it; I’d been on my feet for awhile and decided I’d gotten what I’d come for and headed for home.

Where there was that large helicopter flying fairly low over the freeway and then off towards the foothills. Didn’t seem to be monitoring road traffic. I had no idea.

Richard, meantime, came to work to find people in the parking lot talking about the man not far from there who’d shot his co-workers early this morning and fled, shooting and carjacking others in his path, as it turned out. Their kids’ schools were on lockdown. What do you do, what do you do. (And no they haven’t caught the guy yet as I type this.)

Then he told me the other reason it was a very very hard and weird day at work, terribly hard for everybody.

That Steve Jobs had passed.

My heart goes out to all those families.

I remember when Steve cold-called my husband and tried to armwrestle him into coming to work for him at NeXT. Richard didn’t take him up on it; a good friend did accept an offer there, though. Silicon Valley is a small place. It is a measure of Steve’s quest for perfection that being asked to work for him was the highest compliment one could offer an engineer.

Rest in peace, Lehigh Plant workers. Rest in peace, Steve. Thank you for being passionate about making things that worked with utter clarity, simplicity, and grace. Every person who has ever touched a computer since the first time you did owes you: you changed the electronic world and demanded to the end that it be made better.

I can only imagine what your kids will accomplish. Maybe someday one of them will be the one to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

If only there had been one already. Let’s get that research funded and let’s get it going.

They long to be, close to you
Tuesday October 04th 2011, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Family,Wildlife

When I got up this morning, there was an upturned finch just outside the sliding glass door. I waited for her to scramble around and get on her way.

I puttered about while every now and then checking on her; mostly, she seemed to sleep, a good response when you need it. Still breathing.

A few hours later I scrounged up a small stick outside the front door, trying not to alarm her, and then returned to the back one, remembering what the peregrine folks taught about birds having a reflex to grab on with their feet; I tentatively held it just above hers, but that was as far as I was going to risk it: first, do no harm.

Nope. Not going to straighten out that way.

The morning gave way to noon when the female Cooper’s decided it was time and swooped in as if to land on the back of the patio chair–whereupon the aggressive gray squirrel stood up high and chased her off his territory! She swooped left, he charged at her (from the ground again, while I was going, As if!), then right again, and then the much-larger hawk went oh forget it and hauled off into the trees, where she disappeared as if becoming one with the branches.

About an hour later I finally made out a large wing as someone preened in there. Different spot. The squirrel was still grazing fallen seed below the chair.

Wait, said Richard later, you got the squirrel to go away by feeding it? Isn’t that, like, broken? I did, though, I threw some nuts out there to make it have too many and want to go hide them, but that was so much something it didn’t expect out of me that it didn’t see but the one that landed right at his nose. So I opened the door again and threw more, and again till he finally got the hint and grabbed the loot and ran.

I was afraid I’d scared the hawk by intruding into its outside space, if only with my arm. It held back.

Finally, the finch woke up and tried hard to roll itself over and finally get away.

That did it. Incoming!

It was the male. Coopernicus landed on the far side of the patio from me and eyed me warily.

I was ten feet from the finch, inside of course. I held very very still.

We proceeded to have a game of Mother May I. He hopped one step sideways. Sideways? Sideways.

Doves copy my blinking patterns, I’ve learned, it seems birds are clearly attuned to eyes: I closed mine just long enough not to be a challenge to his authority (I hoped).  He hopped one step sideways closer.

And, with a gait like a kindergartner learning to skip, raising his wings ever so slightly with each bounce, once more.

The finch saw it and its tail bent over hard, trying: Penelope Pitstop on the train tracks. (My dad’s old Army buddy, whom we met once in Carmel when the folks were here, was a Hanna-Barbara…producer, if I remember right.)

Another sideways hop. Stopped. Eyes steadily on mine. Mother May I?


One or two more like that and suddenly, Got it! His huge wings spread wide right in front of me and he flew with it in his feet to the fence.

Nope, too many squirrels here. Exit: stage right!

Speaking of October
Monday October 03rd 2011, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Family

I was never one of those moms who could come up with great creative Halloween costumes out of random things at hand. Year after year, we winged it. And it was never in the budget to spend $50 times four kids on storebought flimsy plastic ones they could wear for one night to beg for candy and outgrow by the next year and then stomp their feet over and refuse to be what Older Sibling was last year.


So why is it that now, when the pressure is totally gone, I look at the piece of plastic that Costco links juice bottles with, finally wrestle the darn thing off, look at it and go Wait–cool! Harry Potter’s professor’s eyeglasses! (Give me a second, give me a second, what was her name…) Just add pipecleaner temples at the sides and you’re good to go! Or, or, make it gold somehow: Steampunk!

Someone lend me a kid, quick, my grandson’s not big enough yet.

(p.s. Just to clarify: I see this as good for decorating a pumpkin’s face and to get some ideas going.)

Shaped up that they didn’t ship out
Sunday October 02nd 2011, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Knit,Life

Listened to Conference today again; it’s a two-day multi-session thing. (The Sea Silk project got finished.)

Quentin Cook, one of the last speakers, started to tell a story.

Okay, back up: he first made the point that bad things happen to good and bad people alike and those who would judge the ones that bad things happen to, just don’t get it.

But it is amazing how all the personal tributaries that flow into the Mississipi River of the lives of all of us eddy and tumble together. As soon as he started into his tale, I knew exactly who he was talking about: I’d read the biography by the man’s son about his father. Then he named the name. Yup.

There were six young Mormon missionaries nearly 100 years ago whose missions to Great Britain were ending at the same time and they were going to return to the US together. With much hype going on about the world’s greatest ship, the fellow named Alma booked passage for them all on that one.

And then one missionary simply could not make it that day and was going to have to ship out a day later alone. The chance at a trip of a lifetime, gone.

Alma said no way no how are we leaving you doing that long trip by yourself; you’re going with us. We’re just going to have to re-book our tickets and that’s that.

But, but!

No buts, we’re going together.

Which is why they weren’t on the Titanic.

Which is why, nearly 100 years later… I have the best daughter-in-law anybody could ever ask for and an adorable little grandson who has totally stolen our hearts.

Alma, Kim’s great-grandfather, was generous to the one who was disappointed.

Small choices matter.