Thursday, July 9, 2015

Travels with Auntie

I am ...well, not happy, but perhaps pleased that my dear old Dad is now living much closer to Sis.  Instead of being at least 2 hours away and all alone in his home, he's about 10 minutes away and surrounded by friendly folks.  He has a microwave in his tiny apartment, so he can make himself a hot beverage or popcorn for TV watching.  Someone else cleans his apt, and the three squares are provided in a dining hall, but he can do his own laundry or pay to have staff take care of it.  And they all seem to really care too.  Everything is clean and well lighted.  The food is delicious!  I had lunch with him there twice, and was pleasantly impressed both times.  So, the place is great -- there's a well-kept walking trail around the property, and Pup uses it daily -- but he still manages to have problems.  He has a shower stall, with a rim of about 3", but he's tried to take a bath in it, flooding his bathroom.  He's a little paranoid about his laundry, and keeps thinking "they" are angry with him about it.  Because he doesn't see well, he was using what he thought were personal wipes to clean up after his walks, only the canister was full of bleaching cleaning cloths for the bathroom.  That caused him to break out in a rash that took days to diagnosis; now Sis hides the cleaning wipes where he won't see the canister.  But for the most part he's pretty happy: he has an older lady friend across the hall, and spends a lot of time visiting with her.  He's always got to have someone to "help" so he walks her to the dining hall and sits with her.  Of course, he thinks he's known her for years, although both of them moved to this facility just a few months ago!
Gosh, I got really touched by Mr. Sis as he was taking me over to lunch with Pup.  Mr. S was really pushing me to get on the phone and change my flight home, so I could stay another week!  But  I couldn't because another coder was going to be out all the next week, and Box-O-Docs can only allow one of us coders at a time to be on extended absence.  It's nice to be needed....but seriously, if I'd stayed another week I might now be working in Austin!  It would have been so hard to tear myself away from the family.  Sis had more gifts for me, some things that she's been buying & squirreling away since my last visit (two years ago!?!), and some things that she found in the process of clearing out Pup's house.  There was a shirt box of Nana's knitting supplies, rather a surprise since I'd been told there weren't any left.  And there were surprises inside!  There are pattern books and booklets.  One in particular just about brought me to tears:

Mom wanted to make afghans for each of her kids.  I flipped through this one, and found notes in her handwriting.

Well, you can just see the handwriting on this one.  It says," In greens Carol".  Carol was my oldest sib, and Nephew is her only child.  Both Mom and Carol have passed, so this was rather poignant to see.  I kept turning pages, and found this one with a note too:
And of course, the reflection on the page is almost on top of the note!
There's my name on this lovely brown & cream colored pattern.  I'm verklempt as I write this, with tears in my eyes.  I miss my Mom so much.  Sis had no idea these notes were in here!  But she was with me as I found them, and saw how much this affected me, and still let me bring home these little bits of Nana's crafting.  Bless her heart.
Another of Nana's pattern books caught my eye; I think I've seen this one before and might even have a copy in my collection:
Men's Classics!  OMG, these all look like Mr. Rogers or Arnie Palmer style sweaters.  But I love the  Choose-O-Matic idea -- some help with modifying for fit.  I should really look for my copy, and destash it on Ravelry.  Sis had some other nice things for me, one being Clara Parkes Knitter's Book of Yarn!  Hardbound, lovely book, something I've thought about buying several times -- it will have a place in my library.  There were also these books: feltFORWARD Modern Designs in Knitted Felt (Maggie Pace, softbound from Interweave -- new!), Fresh Felt Flowers 17 Stunning Flowers to Sew & Display (Lynne Farris, C & T Publishing softbound, also new), Knitting Dictionary 800 Stitches Patterns (Old! published by Mon Tricot, looks like about mid-60's, black & white softcover).  Stitch dictionaries are always welcome.  Sis has a "thing" about felting, I guess she'd like to have some felted knits and since I now have my very own washer & dryer (no more schlepping down to the laundromat) I think I should give it a go.  I have another project for Sis that should take precedence, something very specific she asked for at my last visit: needle felted doggies.  I have the pattern book, and roving and tools that I bought, but have never tried it.  One of those side "avenues" of fiber crafting that I just haven't any great urgency to explore.  But hey, I might like it!  
Yesterday, Disco & I ironed a bunch of the blouses from Sis' closet.  Disco had never ironed before, and really did not want to iron even one blouse.  But after a while, she kinda got into it!  We took turns, one ironing while the other held down the wobbly ironing board & played Mahjong on my phone.  Those tops were just part of the lighter weight ones; today we're to work on the cotton and linen blouses (what Sis' housekeeper calls "rich wrinkles").  So, friends, it's time to get Disco up & dressed, because first we're going to TJ Maxx for more hangers!

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