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Fit to Knit

There are a few material things that I take for granted. I’m pretty content as long as I have an abundant supply of coffee and paper towels. (We have toilet paper, but we don’t have napkins or tissues, so a paper towel meets all my needs from a fake plate to a stiff handkerchief.)  It’s almost always hot in southern Texas so I can’t imagine being here without air conditioning. And running water is a huge plus. I forget how much I like water until we don’t have any.

Our first winter in Texas was spent in an almost new, but not very well insulated, Class A. Our pipes froze up for a couple of weeks. As many of you know, that led to me planting myself in a variety of flower pots at Walmart,searching for the perfect fit. That flower pot catches rain/air conditioning water now which came in handy this past week when our canister blew up and we needed to pour water in the inside outhouse.

Really, though, we’ve kept that flower pot for 2 1/2 years just in case… It’s hard to find a pot to use as a pot(ty) that’s lightweight and will still hold this much weight!

We were only without water for 6 days this time. The part arrived from Florida yesterday and you would have thought we’d been waterless for a month. We were so excited we just kept grinning and turning the water on and off and on and off. Really.

The washer was surprised by the change and began frenetically blinking F-09 signals at me.

This had never happened before and pushing every button, two at a time even, didn’t calm it down. I read the manual and Heidi unplugged it. After a couple of minutes, she plugged it back in and it calmed right down.

Having a stack-able washer and dryer in this RV has been a blessing but getting to the plug-in place  is complicated. Heidi crawled into the closet and disappeared completely. You know how in Narnia, Lucy hides in the wardrobe and behind the clothes are the coats, and behind the coats there’s snow and a lamppost!?

Well, here, behind the clothes are the coats, and behind the coats you might expect snow because there are piles and plies of scarves. Heidi got pretty caught up in the knitting while trying to unplug.

I’ve covered only a portion of Heidi’s activities over the past few months. I can sum mine up as primarily being a cheery LARGE sofa pillow. I have to shake myself off every hour or two so the caliche doesn’t form a layer on my lap.

The only thing I’ve done since February, other than working my meager 10 hour night-shift and the ritual dusting of everything not breathing, is knit scarves. This is something of an ironic hobby since I live year round in Texas where no one needs scarves. It’s even odder because I don’t particularly like to knit.

I like to eat.

I like to eat when I watch TV and I really like to eat when I read.

I needed something to do with my hands that didn’t involve food. I’m too old and too poor to start smoking so, as some of you know, I sort of taught myself to knit. Just the very basics.

I can prop my Kindle on the arm of the chair and read and knit – as long as I keep it simple. I have friends who knit beautiful caps and hats and sweaters. I knit scarves. A lot of scarves.

I don’t want to count stitches because, well, then I couldn’t read. I can knit and pearl and page-turn pretty seamlessly.

The downside (other than the fact that there is zero demand for scarves in Texas) is that I’m often sitting in the near dark at night (this picture was taken in the daytime for your benefit). I usually only have a couple of pretty, but very dim, lights on.

This is what generally happens. I’ll read and knit. The bell will ring. I go out to the gate. I come back in and pour more coffee and read and knit.

A lot of the time everything is copacetic. Every once in a while I end up with the yarn either stuck to the Velcro on my vest or more often now, on my knee brace, and I drag the whole scarf-in-progress out the door with me. Sometimes it stays intact. Sometimes not so well.

Anyway, I repeat this pattern of knitting and reading and going to the gate and drinking coffee in the semi-dark about a dozen times every night before it occurs to me to turn on more lights and take a look at my project.

Sometimes I’m pleased. But quite often I find I’ve dropped a stitch about 47 rows back which leads to a lot of unraveling. I box the scarves up every few months and send them off to friends or family members in a colder climates to donate to the SA or a soup kitchen –  and who wants to get a scarf with random holes every 40 or 50 rows?

The upside to dropping stitches is that the yarn last longer since I knit it twice, which saves us a little money.

Tomorrow or the next night, I have a story to tell you about my knee and the need to always be prepared but for now I’ll just leave you with this dieting tip that’s worked (sort of) for me: If you find your pants aren’t fitting, it might be time to take up knitting.

12 thoughts on “Fit to Knit

  1. Wow, I know where to go shopping for scarves if we get a cold snap here in Texas! Do you make doggie sweaters??? Our gate is too busy to even think of doing a craft while on duty….but it’s interesting and the people are great, as usual.

    • Dear P&H –
      So nice to hear from you two!
      Sorry, no dog sweaters. That would require real knitting whcih would interfere with my reading. 😀

      We’ve always followed a rig. While the dayscan get hectic, most nights are pretty easy.
      When I read about gg that have 200-300 trucks a day I count my blessing over and over.

      We (well, I) couldn’t do it. My peg leg couldn’t hold up to that much traffic.
      Henry sends you girls his best regards!

  2. Oh gracious one .. .working 10 hr. shifts with a knee injury is no small feat!! You have this wonderful way of writing that makes me smile. I agree with Cj that you are SO beautiful that your picture alone is enough to send me out for yarn and needles! Hopefully not to knit myself bigger britches! Love you!

    • Deb –
      My feet are struggling to maintain the feat of keeping me upright but every night that I can work is a gift!

      I may need to relook at that picture and see if I put someone else in by mistake? You and Cj must be of the love is blind school of thinking. 😀
      I’m very glad I could make you smile!

      Tell Aub that last night I saw a beetle (I think) the size of a mouse (a small mouse, but still, BIG for a beetle)! She would have enjoyed it a lot more that I did!

  3. Oh my goodness. First I have to say how absolutely gorgeous you are, Debbie–really, truly beautiful (like an angel with a knee brace). I continue to be awestruck by all that you gals accomplish and contend with–it seems like Heidi has the healing touch for anything mechanical, a seriously fine skill/gift and blessing–and you exude peaceful calm, no matter the trial, an enviable necessity for life, wherever.

    I remember when I took up counted cross stitch to avoid eating–it was great fun, very productive; but I’m more impressed with your storehouse of scarves–WOW. Like you, I taught myself sufficiently about knitting to make a few baby afghans–straight pieces only–but no way would I be able to even Think About knitting in TX. Y’all are definitely on my list of “here and now” saints–God bless you BIG and Daily/Nightly. Love, sis Cj (hugs to my little mug a ruff, or rug a muff–Henri)

    • Cj –
      You having me laughing tonight for sure. It was the light, believe me.
      You’ll get a better look at me in my next post. I’ve always lived on the edge of Homely – certainly a hundred miles from Gorgeous!

      And nothing says peaceful calm quite like an immobile momma (slang for all women by some of the guys). But you say it so sincerely and sweetly that it encourages my heart! Thank you!

      Your little ruff mug is extra muffy since the water shortage bought him a reprieve from his much needed weekly water torture (bath). 😀

  4. We use to do gate guarding as well. Where r u girls at? Do u come across alot of illegals? We did thats why we quit. Stay safe love your post. Sent via DroidX2 on Verizon Wireless™

    • Hello Grandmad –
      In the almost 3 years we’ve been gate guarding we’ve never encountered any people who were crossing (that I know of at least). We’ve always followed a rig so we bounced back and forth from Tilden to Nixon. That’s it. We’ve never been any closer to the border or any further south. We’re not far from Whitsett right now but set to move this week. 😀
      Thanks for writing and for you kind words!

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