We’re working on it
Monday April 18th 2022, 7:48 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

We got a little extra grandkid time!

They had their brunch with the great grandma and then they’d hoped to take the kids to see the redwoods. Richard-the-younger mentioned that their town near San Diego is beautiful and certainly has lots of trees, but he hadn’t realized just how much greener it is here. He’d wanted to show their kids the best of it.

But looking at the time, in the end, the distance vs the route vs potential traffic and the potential of missing their flight with four kids in tow, they came here to retrieve his camera bag instead.

So I pulled Kat’s polished redwood slab out of the other room and told them about our neighbor’s generosity as Maddy and Hudson promptly sat down to count the rings. I told the kids how the fog condenses on the needles and runs down the trunks and that’s how they get their water.

That got their daddy reminiscing over the immense cross-section of an oldest-growth redwood cut down in the 1800s, preserved at the visitor’s center at Big Basin, how it has these little tags that mark off this is when this happened, this is when the Magna Carta was signed, this… It’s a map of human history, he said, just the most amazing thing.

I hadn’t realized how much of an impression it had made on him when he was young but I definitely understood why he wanted his kids to have that experience, too. But…

…It’s gone, I said.

He went right on saying a little more about it.

It’s gone, I said again. It burned in the fire. The beautiful visitor’s center built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s that it was in front of–it’s all gone.

I saw in his face that sudden moment of staggering loss that we had gone through at the news. It was even worse than that, though I didn’t say so; the CZU Complex fire had burned through 97% of that old-growth park, though some of the oldest trees did survive after all when the biologists hadn’t been at all sure they would. (Park FAQs here.)

And then we moved on from there, a lot gladder now that they hadn’t made that long trip for nothing. It will take some planning and checking next time to see what’s ready for visitors again, but a lot of effort is going into reopening things safely. Alright then.

That space where you know you have to leave soon and you hate to really get into making a Lego robot like the one your grandmother so admired yesterday before the little Hulk! Smash! got to it and you might not have time to finish it anyway? The two middle kids suddenly needed something to do.

So I asked them if they wanted to learn to knit (suddenly very very glad I had two balls of already-wound-up soft, thick Mecha yarn right there.)


And so I pulled out a pair of needles for Hudson and one for Maddy and cast on a few stitches each.

Hudson was sort of getting it, with a couple of long loopinesses where he’d dropped a stitch or two. But he’d done it. He’d knitted all by himself. Maddy wrapped the yarn for me and I popped the other needle over it and showed her what that did.

But what does it make? she wanted to know.

Well, I told her, our neighbor used to have a very fluffy cat and we combed its fur, I spun about 18″ of yarn out of it, and I knitted it into a little square just like this and then glued this thing on the back that made it into a pin for her.

I cast off both their pieces and showed them how pulling the yarn through the last stitch meant it wouldn’t unravel now. Maddy wore hers as a necklace. Hudson was deciding as they left, but they were both quite proud of their first knitting, especially after I made sure they knew how much I was. Suddenly his funky strands were okay after all.

Spencer (whose shoes had been found in the car, and that’s where they were again) danced barefoot down the walkway towards the rental car as they headed for the airport and away and home.

4 Comments so far
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Hooray! Bonus grandkid time with knitting sounds extra special. And so sorry for Big Basin’s loss. We had camped there a few times, some 30 years ago.

Comment by DebbieR 04.19.22 @ 6:44 am

Ahh…squeeze and squeeze to get every precious minute.

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 04.19.22 @ 6:51 am

Ah, more magical moments!

Comment by ccr in MA 04.19.22 @ 7:25 am

We remember that tree cross-section with the date markers that mapped out the centuries! Oh, how sad. We did a day trip through the redwoods during the few months we lived in San Francisco, way way back. (Besides remembering from our childhood/teenhood family trip even longer ago.)

Comment by Marian 04.19.22 @ 10:15 pm

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