Over the years Granny Suzanne had skein after half-used skein of left-over wool. In her younger days she had been a prolific knitter. These days, with rheumatism and fading eyesight, her knitting output wasn’t quite so productive.
Winter was setting in. She knew that her three grandchildren living with their mother “just down the road” would be feeling the cold. She couldn’t afford to pay for their heating, but she could knit, albeit with effort. She would knit warm clothes for her grandchildren and their mother.
Scarves, gloves, socks, and woollen hats were the order of the day! A bit of red, a flash of blue, a stitch or two of green… The job was done, and most of her leftover wool was used.
The grandchildren didn’t tell granny but they hated the items. “It looks like we’re street urchins,” they said to their mother. They threw the woollen items away and went to thank their grandmother. But when they visited their grandmother she was sitting in her armchair, dead.
Leonie was always pleased when husband Ralph helped with the household chores. Except for hanging out the washing. He had this thing about socks. Socks had to be hung on the line at the toe so that the water could drip out the hole at the other end.
“It’s infuriating,” said Leonie. “It makes no difference which way you hang a sock.”
Sometimes, if Leonie had hung the washing before leaving for work, she would come home at the end of the day and all the socks would have been re-hung – by the toe.
Leonie had her method of revenge. Ralph wore Y-front underwear so she would peg the Y-front onto the line and that would mean the fabric dried out of kilter. Ralph was forever sticking his hand down the front of his trousers to rearrange the equipment that insisted on poking its head through the Y-front. He hated it.
“It’s so uncomfortable,” said Ralph. “Can’t you hang them on the line better than that?”
“You hang socks the other way and I’ll fix the underwear,” said Leonie.
They’ve been married now for forty-two years. Nothing’s going to change.