Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I was at the bank machine the other day when a gentleman came up to me and commented on my nice socks. I smiled at him and told him the story of the socks. I love them. They are colourful and cozy and they always make me happy when I put them on. Wearing cozy socks is one of the gifts of the fall and winter seasons. These particular socks are handmade ( and there is nothing like homemade socks) and I bought them last fall when I was in Orillia at the Farmers Market. I was cruising around buying some fresh produce when I noticed an older man surrounded by a few women and they were all laughing and chit chatting so I went to check out what was going on. The older gentleman was in his 80's and he was sitting at his little booth knitting socks to sell - for $5.00 a pair!!! All of the women (and now I was one of them) were asking him questions and make comments such as "where did you learn to knit", "why don't you charge more for the socks", "how long have you been knitting for?", "I've never a met a man who knits before" etc etc etc. The man happily sat there and answered the questions, sold his socks and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. He did tell us that his late wife had taught him how to knit many years ago, and when she passed away he was wanted to keep knitting socks for his grandchildren (his wife always had made socks for them) so he took up the hobby for himself. When I asked why he knits, he said "I find it really relaxing and I feel connected to my wife - I miss my wife so much." As I stood chatting with him and observing the delightful energy around him, I realized that a gift of his knitting hobby, and selling the socks at the market was that he was getting out on a weekly basis and meeting people and having fun. He knitting was creating a social life for himself. I teased him and said that he was a "chick magnet" and he laughed and did admit that he met lots of women at the market. Some even bring him gifts each week like cookies and homemade pie! He told me that he sells the socks so cheaply because he is just doing for fun and wants to make more so he needs to get rid of them. I loved his generosity. As I reflect on that experience now, I realize that we as adults can learn our entire lives and that we can keep re-inventing ourselves. This older gentleman probably never had a vision for himself when he was 50 years old that someday when he was in his 80's he would be knitting socks and selling them at a market. Every time I put these happy socks on I am reminded of his generous spirit and his great laugh. I hope I'm being creative and learning and meeting new people when I'm in my 80's.