Uphill, and then done: Dale!
Saturday July 06th 2013, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Friends

(Old pictures of shawls I knitted from my book, with Marguerite’s red a mixing up of two different patterns.)

Dale from my childhood popped in with a comment on the post about our meeting up with her little sister and her husband. Cool!

When I was in  kindergarten, the grades were in checks and minuses. I got all checks–except one: I couldn’t skip. I could run, I could even walk without running (it was hard!) but I couldn’t get the hang of this heel up in the air and slide a little bit with one foot while the other does a little leap with knee held high, then heel up in the air/slide a little with the second foot while the first now does the leapy thing.

I had to go skip down the hallway just now for my muscle memory to re-teach my verbal brain how it’s done.

Darned if I could figure it out back then at all.  Besides, why would you want to constrict a good run like that anyway? But I was in school now, ergo one of the Big Kids (especially since I had two younger siblings) and this was what big kids were supposed to be able to do.

I didn’t like that minus.  And I sure didn’t like not having mastered the thing, especially when pretty much everybody else in my class had and if I didn’t get it down pat soon, who knows, what if my little sister just might before I did.

My Mom tried to teach me. I think even my Dad got in on it at one point–I do remember him cheering me on.

And then my sister Marian and her friend Dale made it their mission to not only teach me, but to make it fun, and so we did a hop skip and a jump together–no, no, okay, like this, here, let’s try it again–from the end of the living room, down the hall, got to the end, turn, okay, let’s try it again, you’re getting there, GO!

And I got it! (Took a few tries.)

The crowd went wild! We even did practice runs together a few times after that, and darn if it didn’t turn out to actually be fun once I could do it.

And then there was the time I was trying to learn to tie my own shoes. My mom tried to teach me. This idea that I was supposed to do the mirror image of her motions as she knelt down in front of my feet was just totally throwing me.

She tried. Marian tried.

Let’s try Dale! Dale was called upon, Dale came over, Dale (who I think is left-handed but I’m not) showed me–and suddenly it made sense. Totally nailed that thing.

See what she started?  Look at the loops-in-loops I can make now!

7 Comments so far
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Pretty fancy loop-de-loops they are, too, and gorgeous.

Dale came out to Seattle once, years and years ago, and we had a couple of hours driving around town and fed her dinner.

We had such patient mothers; we used to find out what was for dinner at our two houses, and then plan who ate over where (though sometimes that was nixed.) And do you remember being invited to share Hannukkah? Just family on the first and last days, but we were often welcomed in on the mid-festival days.

Comment by Marian 07.06.13 @ 11:57 pm

You made me recall a funny memory. There was one boy in our class who couldn’t skip. He kind of galloped. He was also the one who made fun of me for not knowing how to use a paperclip (I finally got the hang of that. I now even delight in owning some fancy “Clipiola” Italian paper clips, which I see on the tin are made for Cavallini & Co, San Francisco so I assume my paperclips have been in your part of the world before heading back over to Europe.)

Comment by LynnM 07.07.13 @ 12:46 am

I especially love the bottom photo, but ahhh… skipping! I remember doing the Wizard of Oz skip with my two best friends, just a few days before we all departed for colleges in 3 different states… Good memories.

Comment by Channon 07.07.13 @ 8:38 am

And if you couldn’t do it, just skip it.
I remember my sister teaching me how to tie my shoe laces, and then many years later Amalie teaching me how to do a one-handed sailor’s half hitch (I think it was called). Now I just wear loafers.

Comment by Donald Meyer 07.07.13 @ 1:31 pm

Go, Don, nothing wrong with ‘skipping’ the issues that don’t really matter. It’s easy to get too wrapped up in complicated solutions when simpler answers might be staring us right in the face. (Like NASA engineering a ballpoint pen that would write in zero gravity, big bucks, mega hours, and found out the Russians’ solution–a simple graphite pencil.)

Comment by Marian 07.07.13 @ 7:37 pm

Isn’t it funny how much some things mattered “back then”? I can skip, but I can’t whistle fer nuthin…guess I’ll just have to skip that one.

Comment by Ruth 07.07.13 @ 10:14 pm

‘Look what she started’ indeed! i think you have far surpassed the tie your shoelaces thing.. In a very pretty way

Comment by Carol 07.08.13 @ 12:33 pm

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