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THE IDLE AMERICAN
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 • Posted August 18, 2010

A Granddaughter in Stitches…

It’s an "old shoe" kind of common for grandparents, their "doting" in overdrive, to be proud of their grandchildren. With the fervor of Super Bowl football combatants, they stretch moments into hours, plunging into overtime with painful details about their "grands." Or at least until the senior center manager declares that it’s time to go.

One granddad spoke about his rough-and-tough quadruplet grandsons as often as he took pills for what ailed him, and much did. A fellow geezer swears that the braggart rattles off the quads’ exploits—minutia and all—at 200 words per minute—with gusts to 250.

"You name the sport, and they excel in it," he wheezes, adding that "any one of them can whip the other three."…

* * * * *

We have no quadruplets, triplets or twins, but my wife and I have a half-dozen grandchildren, ages three to nine, who amuse us often and amaze us occasionally. We’ll pit them, one and all, against Garrison Keillor’s "above average" Lake Wobegon children at whatever time and place seems best.

I realize that columnists run considerable risk when writing about their kin, and that a few of them write of little else. The topic can become repulsive for readers in short order. I write of them rarely, only when their pronouncements are priceless—the kind that would have made Art Linkletter smile and Erma Bombeck erupt into a full-scale cackle.

This is such a time. We have a seven-year-old granddaughter who may be on the cusp of qualifying for Guinness World Records! The cusp seems only a hair short of reality, comparable to a horseshoe teetering against the stake, ready for the slightest breeze to complete the ringer. Or like Tiger Woods’ putts of bygone days when wisps of wind provided impetus for golf balls’ final half-rolls into cups….

* * * * *

Now, back to "me and mine." Our Juliana, having brought first grade "to its knees," is ready to take on second grade. On top of that, she is well behaved in Sunday school. Further, she’s got a bulletin board festooned with ribbons signifying her considerable grace at the gymnastics place.

Why should we be surprised to learn that this Tyler lass—even as summer days dwindle—wants to develop still another talent?

"I want to learn to crochet, Mom," she announced to Jana, our daughter. Trouble is, Jana knows nothing about crocheting. But, Mom offered to provide instruction for the "simple" chain stitch—after she "Googled" to learn how….

* * * * *

Resigned to reading, or otherwise staying quiet in her room while little brother Kedren naps in the afternoon, Juliana was gung-ho about her new hobby.

While Mom and Kedren snoozed, our budding prodigy quietly chain-stitched, her crochet hook fairly flying on the "straight and narrow" task. And she didn’t cut any corners, either.

When Jana awakened, she resumed household chores. Eventually, she decided to check on Juliana, who’d been quiet for most of the afternoon….

* * * * *

Mom was taken aback. Her zealous daughter’s chain-stitched creation stretched to 21 feet—straight, with no corners.

Managing to keep a straight face, she questioned, "Juliana, what have you crocheted?" Juliana replied, "Mom, I’ve made an afghan for a really long earthworm!"

Now I ask you, isn’t it a near certainty that her creation will make it to Guinness for the longest afghan ever crocheted for a really long earthworm?...

* * * * *

It is likely to fall my lot to find a really long earthworm. Worst case scenario, I may have to settle for a 10-footer, then persuade Juliana that the afghan can easily be doubled. Thankfully, I won’t need to look for snakes—at least, not now. I’m not fond of them, having always sided with the guy who gushed about participation in the annual Sweetwater, Texas, rattlesnake round-up. Surprise was widespread upon revelation that he had not found a single snake. "When you’re looking for rattlesnakes," he explained, "None is plenty!"

Meanwhile, if Juliana’s interest in crocheting heightens, I’d better prepare to find an octopus for her next crochet creation—one that will capture Guinness’ recognition, too..

Hey, a phone call ends all this. It is probably from an editor proposing a full-blown feature story about our young.artisan. No doubt there’ll be a request for a photo op, too….

* * * * *

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Website: www.speakerdoc.com.

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