Jamal
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.


3 Comments so far
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Such a wonderful present for both of you!

Comment by DebbieR 12.26.23 @ 7:57 am

You spread the most joy of anyone I know!
Blessings on you!

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 12.26.23 @ 8:43 am

You always seem to find the right person at the right time!

Comment by ccr in MA 12.28.23 @ 10:40 am



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