It was half past five on Friday when my dad intercommed me at my desk.
“Ready to go?”
“Be right down,” I offered.
I grabbed my things and met him at the back door.
“Here,” I said while holding out his scarf, the nub I had knitted in December.
“What are those strings hanging all over the place?”
“Character. Have mom sew them in. I don’t have a needle.”
“Okay,” he accepted.
We crawled into his car, leaving mine in the lot, and worked our way to my parent’s house. There we retrieved my mother and drove over to New Jersey for dinner with some relatives. Six of us sat down to platefuls of ribs and cornbread and cole slaw. We laughed about this and grew silent over that. When the bill was paid and the table was a mere sea of barbecue stained napkins, everyone said goodbye and headed home. Just after crossing back into Pennsylvania, I asked my mom a favor.
“Hey, can I borrow a needle to finish dad’s scarf?”
“Sure. Come in and get whatever you want. Then I’ll drive you back to your car.”
While my dad did his delayed relocation from car to home, my mom and I dumped all of her knitting paraphernalia out on the bed.
“What’s this?” I curiously asked while holding up a suspicious piece of plastic.
“Um, I’m not sure,” my mom said as she cocked her head.
“This is adorable!” I exclaimed when I happened upon the body of a burgundy sweater for a little tot. “Let me guess, Olivia?”
“Uh huh. But I got bored. Plus, the way those kids grow, this would have fit her for a week,” my mom said as she pulled out the needle and started unraveling the yarn.
“What are you doing?” I asked as I gathered up all of the needles.
“Reusing the yarn. Wait what are you doing?” my mom asked back as she watched me pilfer her entire collection of gear.
“You aren’t using them.”
“Fine, here,” I offered as I handed her one size 8 needle.
“What on earth am I going to do with one needle?”
“Beats me but you have a total of three and I clearly only need two,” I explained as I organized my newfound collection.
“Here’s a size 5,” my mom said as she extended two needles.
“They’re bent. Did you jimmy a lock with those?”
“They knit fine.”
“I’m sure they do. So you keep them and knit on those silly looking things. If I need size 5, I’ll just buy a pair.”
My mom sat down on the bed and grew momentarily quiet, her focus floating off elsewhere before she spoke her thought.
“Gosh, where on earth could that other size 8 be?” she questioned before sinking back into a pensive pause.
“The ferry that shuttles between Hyannis and Nantucket,” I surmised, my mind flipping to summertime memories of windsurfing the waves while my mom remained on the beach knitting through skeins of yarn.
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” she said as she gathered everything up and dropped it back into the crumpled Neiman Marcus bag it had originally been stored in. “Here.”
“Aren’t you keeping anything?” I asked.
“Nah, consider it a passing of the torch.”
“Thanks mom. And if you ever want to borrow anything, including that piece of plastic that neither of us know what to do with, just let me know.”