Katie Learns To Knit

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

It’s Friday and the start of another summer weekend. I hope you’re all well. Harry wants to go fishing tomorrow, so if it’s not raining, we’ll go down to the river. I don’t enjoy fishing much, but he likes me to keep him company. Harry baits my hook for me then we throw in our lines and wait for a fish to bite. We’ll eat lunch while we’re waiting—peanut butter and jelly on white with fresh orange juice. If I catch anything, which is once in a blue moon, he takes it off the hook and tosses it into the pail. He cleans and cooks them, too. I can’t stand the idea of chopping their heads off and gutting them. I’d much rather be home knitting. I’m working on a sweater for my grandson—one of his Christmas presents.

Katie learned to knit when she was in fifth grade—not in the all-girls private school she went to—but from her elderly next door neighbor who befriended Katie one afternoon by waving a lace handkerchief out the second floor window. “What’s your name, little girl? You can call me Aunt Alice. Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?” Katie didn’t see the harm even though she’d been told never to speak to strangers—but she wasn’t really a stranger—Katie had seen her mother talk to her, and so Katie went up the brownstone stairs, and that was the beginning of their friendship.

Aunt Alice taught Katie to embroider, crochet and knit while telling stories of her life in Hungary before the 1956 Revolution—before everything was taken from her including the small palace she and her husband lived in—black and white photos of her dream life not unlike the one Katie imagined for herself. Her mother agreed to let her visit Aunt Alice, and Katie lost herself in Aunt Alice’s world. Knit one, purl one—the #8 needles clinked together with every stitch—and Katie’s scarf grew and grew—she decided to give it to her father for Christmas even though he said he didn’t believe in gifts. He would love this because she made it herself, and it was his favorite blue.  After the lessons there was always tea and Hungarian pastries and then dread crept in at the thought of it ending and going back home.

On Christmas, Katie looked up into her father’s mustached face and placed the wrapped scarf in his hands. “My, my, what’s this?” he said, holding it up to his surgical eye as if he was examining a patient. “It’s a scarf, Daddy. I made it for you.” “Thank you, but I have no use for this. Take it back.” Anger and hurt consumed Katie as she turned and walked away to her room, clutching the scarf wet with her tears.

Thank you, my Priscilla Bennett Friends, for listening and for all your support for my cause. Please visit my website at www.priscillabennett.com and read this blog, make a comment, write your own story and get helpful information. Remember the Priscilla Bennett Pledge to help someone by starting a conversation, giving a kind word in the grocery store or parking lot—a touch on the shoulder or pat on the hand with a nice cup of tea. Remember that we all have SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR.

Take good care of yourselves,

PRISCILLA BENNETT XOXO