Darn fine darning job without light bulb
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 email@example.com