#2 daughter and #1 son were both working yesterday,and may have to work all week. The weather reports are daunting. Delays in #2 daughter’s invitations and passport are threatening. My husband is responding to all talk of my taking the kids on a road trip without him with odd barks like, “Where?!” and “When?!”

It seems entirely possible that our road trip vacation will shrink down to a weekend.

No matter.

Yesterday, I strolled over to the Prayer Shawl Ministry meeting. I am normally at work when these meetings are held, so I did not realize that they go on for four hours. Yep. Four hours of knitting and talking. You can get a lot of both done in that length of time. Birth, school, work, marriage, death, computers — we pretty much got to every subject but politics.

And one of the ladies gave me that old dishcloth pattern with the eyelets which I guess everyone but me already knew. I am looking forward to making a few of those some sweltering summer day when my kitchen needs some retro chic.

Actually, I nearly left before the others arrived. Being a punctual person, I was there at a few minutes before ten, and the rest sauntered in at about ten past, as I was wondering whether they had cancelled the meeting because of spring break. Apparently, they know the real time the thing begins.

I was knitting my prayer shawl, of course, and had also picked up a book to read while waiting. It was The Methodist Primer. This book was, we decided once we had all looked at it, given to new church members in the 1960s, and a copy had been hanging around ever since. The ladies were inclined to laugh at it. I was interested, though. I am always interested in history and philosophy anyway, and in particular, now that I have joined the Methodist church I want to know what it is that distinguishes Methodists from the other mainline Protestants. I told them that I could tell they were a fun and relaxed church, but wanted to be sure there weren’t any surprising doctrines.

“Like naked chanting?” offered one of the ladies.
“Oh, I think I would have noticed naked chanting. I’m in the choir.”
“Only if it took place here in the sanctuary. There could be private naked chanting.”
“Actually, The Methodist Primer here — ” and I held it up “says that ‘it is conduct, not creed’ that distinguishes Methodists from Episcopalians.”

The ladies were silenced by that. They mulled it over a bit. They said they had always heard good things of the Episcopalian church down the road, and I quickly agreed with them.

“I think,” ventured one, “it’s the Catholics who throw you out for naked chanting.”

Then I strolled back home. “Strolled” might suggest something different from the actual experience, which featured piercing winds and lots of mud underfoot.

But, having reached my home, I sat in front of the fire and knitted and read.

Just as “strolling to the church” might put you in mind of some bucolic ramble — and I guess it is that, what with the horses and freshly blooming redbuds and all — but you must mentally add the cold and damp and the wind, the image of sitting by the fire with a book and some knitting might sound peaceful. You must add the backdrop of video games. Basketball, in particular, and that is better than “Vice City” or whatever it’s called, so I am not complaining. Then you also have to add rock music. And frequent calls for food. And, once #1 son got home, rassling.

It was still pleasant. And it is amazing how much knitting you can accomplish when you don’t have to go to work. At this point, however, it is nothing but pink rectangles.

#2 daughter and I pulled out a calculator at one point and figured up the area of the production of the first ball of Luna, and the area of the eventual sweater, and it seems likely that I will run out of yarn. This will add suspense to the otherwise peaceful day I have planned.

At the moment, the major challenge is winkling #2 daughter out of bed to go to the gym before she takes my car to work. Our gym has been closed for a week to install new equipment, and we have not been working out diligently at home, so I don’t want to miss another day.

Perhaps I will go now and tickle her.