Prosper the Work of Our Hands

downsized_0119151140aI just finished the afghan at right, a gift to my son’s future in-laws. It was supposed to be a Christmas present. But I was so waylaid by the flu, so achy, I could hardly work on it. I started it the week before Christmas and finally hobbled to the finish line with it on January 19th. Well, it’s finally done, done well and it’s pretty, I think….but late.

The afghan has a Father Michael connection- that’s why it’s on this blog! Last year I made the same pattern for Father M in an ombre mix of autumn colors-though it was mainly green. It took me three days tops to complete the blanket then.

I was in the habit of getting Father Michael small gifts and even nonsense things to cheer him up as he battled his malady. One day he was going on and on about something really appealing to his ‘feminine side’, saying he needed to pay more attention to ‘her’. I know very little about the anima/animus psychology business. But to hear Father Michael elaborate on it was hysterical….and inspiring! I decided to put together a ‘care package’ for his neglected anima , whom I called ‘Michelle’ (real original, I know). Well Father Michael absolutely loved it. It was mainly grooming items,unisex, but there were a few things like the mini sewing kit, the facial, the mirror and the lace doilies that screamed “I am woman”. I did wonder what Father did with that stuff. Later he told me that the brothers kept a collection of things that they gave as presents to St Pius staff;perhaps that’s where it went. Buuuut,sometime afterward Father Michael did mention the lovely scented candles I’d included and declared “You know I wouldn’t mind some more of those cute little candles, I like to light them for when I have my bath”. Hard to keep a straight face with that holy man sometimes!

Anyway,one day I visited Father Michael at St Pius and saw that he had two or three woven throws in his living area. But there was nothing homemade that I could see. I decided that I wanted to make him a blanket. It was gratifying to buy him the instant tickets, the food and the flowers, but it wasn’t personal. Yet, I knew that Father M just had tons of things in that place-perhaps he had many afghans, but all put away .  I went ahead and crocheted the afghan and enclosed a note with it.  I told Father Michael I wanted to give him something I’d made myself, celebrating our friendship. But I explained he was free to give it away if he wanted. When he responded, Father M said the “blanket is lovely” and that he would treasure it. He told me that he kept it on his bed. So it was a worthwhile effort and I’ll always know Father made use of my gift.

Interestingly, the blue blanket has another connection. I’d used the same beautiful blue yarn to make another small gift. Father had been complaining about how his hands would get cold when he was in bed,  using his ipad. I decided to make him fingerless gloves, hoping they would help. Went to the store, checked out the black and the white yarns and some grey tweed ,too. I thought ‘they must get tired of black and white’. I almost chose red,but settled on the blue. Took me an hour to knit the things, very simple. I brought them to Father that afternoon. He wasn’t exactly thrilled, but insisted on trying them on. Still wasn’t too thrilled. So I said ” Well, I can tell they’re not your cup of tea, but maybe one of ‘the boys’ could use them?  I ‘m sure some of them get cold hands.” Father Michael took off the gloves , folded them and then said vehemently “Nope- they get NOTHING!”  I figured ‘the boys’ must have been misbehaving to elicit that reaction out of Father M. I wonder if he ever used those things??? Such poignant memories.Glad for them.

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On another note, here is a picture of my beautiful Christmas tree. I am embarrassed to say it is still up on January 21. It still smells wonderful; it is a Fraser fir. It’s a bit droopy now, but still holding  most of its needles. I guess one could say we celebrate the 12 PLUS Days of Christmas! I think my flu delayed everything, so I am having the Christmas season now.

It’s always hard to take the Christmas stuff down,but the tree will go out in the yard , where I will still enjoy it and the birds will use it for shelter. And in the spring , my husband will chop it up for mulch for the garden. It will smell good even then. Just couldn’t resist sharing the picture.