Thursday, July 17, 2014

Knit, Purl, Purl

Grandma Ruby adjusts her eyeglasses, peering at the knitting needles grasped in her gnarled hands. Squinting, she counts her stitches and scowls. "I dropped another stitch," she grumbles. "This blanket'll be skeedaddled if I don't pay better attention."

Lost in the cushions of the overstuffed chair across the room, Aunt Beatrice shakes her head. She looks up from the pink baby blanket in her own lap and says, "Tsk, tsk. I think it's the heat. And the humidity. This weather turns my brain to mush, I tell you. I can't keep count of my stitches to save my soul." She sits up straighter, her stockinged feet barely brushing the floor. Peeking over her bifocals, she glances at the blanket draped across her sister's lap. "You've chosen such a lovely shade of yellow. The color of sweet churned butter, I'd say."

Grandma Ruby gently shakes the blanket loose; a soft cascade of sunshine spills across her knobby knees and pools on the floor at her feet. "It is lovely and so soft. Perfect for wrapping up a wee babe. 'Course sitting under it today is a bit warm." She gathers the afghan and hangs it over the arm of her chair, dabbing at her brow with her lace handkerchief. "Could you fetch us a glass of that lemonade I made up this morning, dear?" Grandma Ruby asks, turning her gaze towards me. "It's in the icebox, Margaret. Be sure to add plenty of ice."

I smile at my grandmother, unfold myself from the wicker love seat and, placing my Jane Austen novel on the coffee table, shuffle to the kitchen. I can still hear them warbling to one another as I fill the Depression ware glasses with the frosty, sweet drink. After placing the drinks on my grandmother's silver serving tray, I return to the sunroom. Grandma Ruby stops mid-sentence and colors slightly before returning intently to her knitting.

"Grandma, were you talking about me again?" I tease, setting their refreshment on the coffee table alongside the vase of red roses from Grandma's garden. "You know that's not polite." Patting her gently on the shoulder, I peck her on the cheek before settling back into my seat.

My grandmother offers her thanks, but before I have a chance to reach for my book, she adds, "I was just saying that I hoped your little one enjoys this labor of love, that's all." My tattered copy of Pride and Prejudice slips to the floor as I gape at the two little old ladies across the room.

"Grandma! Don't you think you should wait for me to find my own Mr. Right first?"

"As long as you're not waiting for your own Mr. Darcy," Aunt Beatrice titters.

Grandma Ruby returns to her knitting, avoiding my eyes. Over the click of her needles, I hear her mutter, "Well...don't dilly-dally. This blanket is a dozen feet long as it is."

Linking up this week with Writings and Ruminations. 488 words inspired by the pictures above.