Darn fine darn­ing job with­out light bulb

Moose Jaw - - News -

It is no se­cret that my life tal­ents do not en­com­pass the vis­ual arts or some of the crafty and do­mes­tic ar­eas – knit­ting, sewing, darn­ing — all of those skills that in my grand­mother’s day were es­sen­tial for any self-re­spect­ing home­maker.

Thank­fully, times have changed and I no longer feel ob­li­gated to pick up a set of knit­ting nee­dles, a cro­chet hook or a paint brush to prove my worth. I know I was a dis­ap­point­ment to my Mother in such mat­ters, but she even­tu­ally re­al­ized I would not fol­low in her skill­ful steps and al­lowed me to pur­sue other in­ter­ests— pump­ing gas, rid­ing along in the gas truck, rid­ing my bike, play­ing games, read­ing, writ­ing sto­ries.

But make no mis­take: I ad­mired all the skills she and ladies of her gen­er­a­tion put to work to help their fam­i­lies cope with eco­nomic re­al­i­ties. They sewed cloth­ing, mended rips and tears and turned old cloth­ing into quilt tops and pil­low cov­ers — you get the idea. Back then, I had ex­cuses for my lapse in do­mes­tic skills: I had no tal­ent and I wasn’t in­ter­ested in those kind of pur­suits.

My ex­cuse to­day is arthritic fin­gers — and the new light bulbs.

I was al­ways fas­ci­nated that a light bulb could be used as a mend­ing de­vice and I did have some abil­ity to poke the bulb into the sock that re­quired re­pairs. Then the par­ent took over, rapidly clos­ing a hole here and one there, never leav­ing knots be­cause she never tied knots in the yarn.

In all the years of our co-habi­ta­tion, I have never, not once, mended a sock, even with a good sup­ply of light bulbs in the cup­board. When go­ing places where he might have to re­move his shoes, House­mate is al­ways care­ful to select a pair of For Moose Jaw Ex­press socks with­out any no­tice­able de­fects that would ex­pose skin and nails. Ditto for my own footwear.

Ex­cept in the case of the much more ex­pen­sive com­pres­sion stock­ings that I have been pre­scribed by my doc­tor. They are ugly but they work, to para­phrase the motto of the Buck­ley’s cough syrup guy.

So, with price con­sid­er­a­tions in mind, imag­ine my dis­may when I no­ticed a small hole in the heel of my health-pro­mot­ing stock­ing. I con­sid­ered us­ing some black hockey tape to cover it over but fig­ured that would only be a tem­po­rary so­lu­tion. I con­sid­ered ask­ing a friend to do the mend­ing but de­cided against that po­ten­tial em­bar­rass­ment.

So, hav­ing a brave spirit, I dug out some thread and a darn­ing nee­dle which I man­aged to thread on the fourth or fifth at­tempt. Then I re­mem­bered that I should have a light bulb to stick into the stock­ing. And that’s when I ran into my new ex­cuse. Light bulbs of to­day might save us money on our elec­tric­ity bills but they are def­i­nitely not de­signed to as­sist with footwear re­pairs.

Light bulbs of to­day, with their spi­ral shapes, would not have been em­braced by grand­moth­erly men­ders. The bulbs are, in fact, use­less for mend­ing pur­poses, and de­spite the claim on the pack­age, I don’t for a minute be­lieve they last for eight years.

So, what to do: I man­aged to poke my­self only a few times as I made clumsy work of re­pair­ing the hole, re­mem­ber­ing not to knot the thread.

The re­sult: de­spite the chal­lenge of a use­less light bulb, it was a darn fine darn. Un­til a new hole ap­peared in the darn. Maybe hockey tape would have lasted for a longer time.

Joyce Wal­ter can be reached at ron­joy@sask­

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