Thursday, October 13, 2011


Having my own, resident fix-it guy is quite a perk. I can count on one hand – with fingers left over - the times that we have had to call any kind of repairman in our married life, and people who know Paul like to outdo each other with stories of him fixing the unfixable. But there is a downside. I sometimes joke that I was really glad when cameras switched to digital so that I didn't have to ask for help in changing the film because, after all, I married a mechanic when I was 19. Likewise, it is wonderful to live in America where we have libraries and bookstores and easy Internet access, because we can always find instructions for doing whatever it is we want to do. The downside is that we always need instructions. My friend Lydie had learned how to knit years before she met me, but she didn't really "have the bug" until she saw me knitting at meetings and coffee breaks during one of my previous trips. Now she knits lots, without access to much in the way of supplies, including patterns. One day I showed her a fairly complicated (for someone who hadn't done it before, I mean) lace pattern I was knitting, and when she admired it I told her to bring her needles and yarn so that I could teach it to her the next time we met. She did – along with several inches of the pattern, which she had gone home and figured out for herself. I felt very stupid and very American, because even after having made this pattern several times, I still need the instructions.

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