Finally!

In the midst of surely what will be known in American history as a lousy time, Bernie Sanders inadvertently made knitting cool.

When my youngest daughter was a toddler, one winter I cracked open a knitting book my mother had given me from her stash and taught myself to knit two-stranded mittens. In those days of diapers and playdough and winter isolation, I experimented with yarn weight, needle size, and colors. The prettiest mittens I knit had one cuff gnawed by mice when I left the pair overnight in our sugarhouse.

When we moved from one house to another and we jettisoned so many belongings, I considered that particular knitting book before I packed it in a box. At that point, I wasn’t sure I would ever knit another pair of mittens, but I packed the book, more out of sentimental affection than anything else.

This morning, I pulled the book from the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I was looking for a pattern after offering to knit my brother a pair of mittens. In the center of the book, I found pages of one daughter’s artwork. She had a set of Noah’s ark stamps as a little girl, and had carefully stamped and colored a scene.

This daughter went through a period when a hand-me-down paperback Noah’s ark book was her favorite bedtime tale — all those animals and Noah’s family cozied in a handmade boat, first having a party, then enduring through a tediously long journey, with the rewards of the olive branch, the dove, dry land, and the rainbow at the end.

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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