My grandmother once knitted a dress out of lavender string.

“String!” my mother said. “and she was a large woman for awhile. She lost weight later. She had one of those circular needles. She just kept knitting around and around. She knitted it for herself. She wore it a lot.

knit crop

“It wasn’t just regular string. It was special string and it came on a big spool.” She gestured with her hands, indicating the size of the spool.

“Oh, I’ve seen those at estate sales,” said Carrie. Or maybe Donna.

“She had two of them,” said my mom. “One of them was lavender and one was white. And I’ll never forget, one time my dad and my Uncle Bob — we had a lot of aunts and uncles we weren’t really related to, because we weren’t allowed to call adults by their first names, but we knew them too well to call them ‘Mr. and Mrs.,’ — one time my dad and my Uncle Bob were flying a kite, and it went really high and they were going to run out of string, and they went and grabbed my mother’s spool of white string. She was so mad when she found out. That kite must have been over Shaler Township. And then they wanted to reel it in, so my dad went into his workshop and he had a motor, and they used that to reel in the string and wind it around. For years, whenever we wanted a piece of string, we went and got it from there.”

So, this isn’t what happened, but this is the picture that formed in my mind when I heard this story:


If you happen to be sharing a meal with people on Thanksgiving Day, there will be conversation. There will be conversation about football and politics and who is in the hospital and recipes. Somewhere in that day of conversation there will be a good story, like the story about my grandmother and her string. Maybe there will be a lot of good stories.  Friday morning, when you’re having you’re coffee, see which ones you remember.

Oh! one more thing: while we are talking about Thanksgiving and relatives and kites, this is an excellent time to read, or re-read, Truman Capote’s wonderful stories The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory.

Happy Thanksgiving!