The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, September 07, 2007

I Wanted to be Funny

I have been trying now for about 25 minutes to write something funny or witty or clever or even profound. Truth is, though, you all continue to leave me speechless. I am struck dumb by your continued generousity and kindness. You don't know the miners, you've never met me--but you keep knitting and and mailing and offering kind words and I love you all so much I can't stand it. I'm humbled by all of you, seriously. Today's mail brought these from Dianne inVirginia:

Dianne, I love that stipey thing you've got going with the purple and black. The sharp-eyed among you have already spotted the Koigu sitting there above the squares. Dianne kindly donated it as a prize for someone when I start drawing names (likely this weekend). And she sent me some black yarn for edging and some lovely gifts and I am so very pleased and grateful that you thought of me. I keep wanting to see Virginia--if I get there, I will call upon you and give you the hug you have coming in person.

Yesterday's mail brought all of these:

and this from Lynn in Texas:

I'm loving the megasquare like you can't believe. I don't know quite you you did it, but I love it. I'll be doing a lot of edging and sewing this weekend, so I should have some photos of real progress by Sunday. My newest idea is to have the blankets ready for Christmas gifts. It seems to me that the first holiday without your loved one must be painful in a way I can't imagine. And I know that the story is already gone from the news the way these things do, and I would think that would mean a great deal of aloneness at such a family-oriented time. That also gives us all time to knit and me time to edge and join all six blankies. Eight if I get enough squares (so as to include the families of the rescuers).

When I was a little girl, I used to sometimes go with my mom to visit my dad while he worked out of town. He puts up steel buildings for a living, and he does so all over the place so I stayed in a lot of wonderful little towns. One was Kellogg, Idaho which was the home of a huge mining disaster many years ago in the Sunshine Silver Mine. I remember standing there looking at the memorial and asking my parents over and over again if it was really true, if all those men really died and how it could possibly be fair. It wasn't, of course, and it isn't.

Every night now when Mr. K comes home I hold him extra close because I realize more than ever how lucky I am that he CAN come home. I never say good-bye to him in the morning without reminding him to come home safely to me and I always leave with a pang. I can't begin to imagine the pain of losing a beloved someone in that way, and it is this thought that keeps me knitting. And edging. And stitching. And then you guys send me more stuff and I think that there are no better people in the world than you, and I knit and edge and stitch together even harder and faster--so I can be worthy of all the good people working with me and through me.

I wanted to be funny today. Instead, I'm just grateful. Gifted by the friendship of all of you, privileged to be able to call you friends even though we've never officially met. Touched by the extraordinary love you all keep sending along. It's a bottomless well, I think. I'm in awe.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You'll get tired of hearing that before this is all over...but I'll never get tired of saying it.


  • At 7:51 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    I can personally vouch for the Wonderful Women of Virginia..and I refer to Dianne as USD..Ultimate Sweetheart Dianne. She is an exceptional human being.
    I have three finished but I want to keep knitting more....ok?
    (oh yeah, road trip...Virginia!)

  • At 9:11 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Well, I'm obviously going to keep repeating, "Beautiful!" every time you show photos of new squares. But they are, every one of them, and I just have to repeat myself. Both of Dianne's are lovely, but man, I have to agree on the purple and black one... Such a simple design, such a wonderful effect. And all the ones in the next pix; wowsa. Lynn is a genius. The individual squares are, again, beautiful. And you're going to have to figure out where to put up some big photos of the finished blankets, Ms. K, so we can look at everything closely and oooh. (Without aggravating your neck, of course. No climbing ladders to fasten them to the wall for the photo-shoot or anything like that!)

    And - getting long again - but when I started reading your post I was listening to the song Breathe Me, by Sia. Just take a look at the lyrics, even though the first verse doesn't quite fit; but the rest...

    help, i have done it, again
    i, have been here many times before
    hurt myself again today
    and, the worst part is there's no one else to blame

    be my friend
    hold me, wrap me up
    unfold me, i am small and needy
    warm me up and breathe me

    ouch, i have lost myself again
    lost, myself and i am nowhere to be found
    yeah. i think that i might break
    lost myself again and, i feel unsafe

    be my friend,
    hold me, wrap me up
    unfold me, i am small and needy
    warm me up and breathe me

    be my friend,
    hold me, wrap me up
    unfold me, i am small and needy
    warm me up and breathe me

  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    Ooo what lovley squares.

    I though you had enough people knitting squares. If you need more let me know. I would love to help.

    thegraves AT seidata DOT com

  • At 12:56 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    I think we forget how many dangerous jobs there are . I was reminded of how dangerous the fishing industry is this week by a documentary .I eat and enjoy fish but looking at the conditions those men work in was shocking. Mining will always remind me of Aberfan , so sometimes it's not the miners themselves .Then again this week a radio programme was on discussing saving a colliery as a museum piece ...only all around was the most enormous slag heap .As far as I know no school was right underneath it . I'll never forget Aberfan it will always remind me of the greed of the mine owners .It's a terrible job the World over . My mother refused a diamond engagement ring because of the conditions in the mines and so did I. I am knitting for Peru and so I probably won't get to making you a square but I havn't stopped thinking of those men and their families. Who would have thought office workers would have died en masse one awful day and yet a sick and deranged man decides to rub it in again , what a World we live in .

  • At 4:09 AM, Blogger Lynn said…

    What a nice surprise to come home from my second sleep study and see the Megablock with all its new friends.

    As I wrote on the note, my grandfather was a mining engineer in Colorado. My favorite uncle lost part of a finger in a mining accident as a young man, before he decided that crawling around under people's houses as a plumber would be a safer way to make a living.

    Love from TX. [Check your email.]

  • At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Cheryl said…

    I think what you are doing is wonderful. I just finished my first square.It is kind of boring compared to some of the other ones. I also linked you on my blog so if other people see it then they can make some also.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Dianne said…

    oh gosh, I have to apologize to the USPS..I can't believe a package made it to WA. and OK. in 2 takes that long to get mail across town...seriously~
    Happy it arrived and love those from Lynn in Texas!! Totally gorgeous!
    I plan to send it's ok Marianne to keep knitting~
    A road trip to Va..sounds like a 'good thing'..

  • At 4:36 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    A genius? Moi? Ms. Monica, you make me blush! Couldn't figure out how to respond on your blog without joining another system so will just say "thanks" here.

  • At 8:15 PM, Blogger Tola said…

    funny that you should have mentioned Kellogg Idaho. my mom grew up there in the 50s. my grandfather worked in the zinc mine. our work knitting team have 2 squares finished, with 2 more still in progress. they will be sent all at once to save postage. i can send all the spare black yarn if you think it will be used.


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