Wrist warmers on the needles... As I was trying yesterday evening to decide what to do with the luscious blue alpaca, my mind took a side trip back in time about 40 years. But I'll start this saga somewhere else....
Whip Up is one of my favorite blogs and I read it almost every day. This post about the stress of giving at the holidays and that little niggling feeling of guilt at all our "home made" or "hand made" creations really hit home with me this year. I suppose the thoughts this post evoked stayed with me for an 'on again-off again' part of the day, because later in the evening as I cast on the stitches for the wrist warmer my thoughts turned to many years ago in a small living room in the panhandle of Oklahoma when I first learned to cast knit stitches on the needles. It was winter so the wall heater was really warm blowing on me as I sat in the chair beside it... I was really quite excited to be learning how to knit. Abigail had already taught me the basics of crochet, so now it was the basics of knit. She was not a knitter... everything I ever saw her make was crocheted... but she was very gracious in sharing whatever knowledge she had with an eager 17 year old.
Every year, she would spend untold hours quilting a quilt for each of the grandchildren for Christmas... or knitting a sweater on her knitting machine (the only kind of knitting she did)... There were times when the end products did not come out looking professional, but then she always said... "In a hundred years, who will know the difference.. or care!"
I wonder if all her thoughts and care, work and planning were really appreciated.
When I asked her about her home made gifts, she had this to say....
(paraphrased) " I much prefer to get a homemade gift of any kind. When a person spends hours and perhaps days making a homemade gift, he/she is giving those hours and perhaps days of his life with thoughts of the recipient of that gift." I have never forgotten that thought.
So for another year, that little niggling feeling of guilt is once again banished to far away land. It is replaced with the knowledge that the gift of a portion of the time allotted to me for my life is wrapped up in the gifts that I will give my family and friends. This sharing of a portion of my life says "I Love You!" in a way that no other gift can.