Wednesday, June 15, 2011

sonny's sock mystery

Cameron and I visit Sonny. The toddler is hungry and  I'm scrounging  in the back of his freezer for ice cream and my father says, "I want to show you something."

"I think this is really incredible," he says, his voice quiet and awed. I expect something big, alien abduction, an angel sighting, Einstein's relativity theory proved wrong.   He places a black sock on the table.

"Your mother used to darn socks."  I remember, our big house on the cottonwood shady street, Marie sitting in her chair after supper, housecoat and slippers, her shapely legs crossed.  She held an old light bulb with a sock stretched over and she would make a patch of crisscrossed threads over the hole.  Special thread, five strands woven into one, stretched over cardboard balls, colors in her basket.  Night after night after night our socks got darned, darn it.

When I married I moved a hundred miles away and then I saw it, a hole, in my husband's dark work sock.  Call to mom, you need to teach me to darn socks.  Pssht, she, psshted, annoyed at my request.  Just go buy a pair, they're only 39 cents, hello 1973.  I realized that she darned because she needed to keep her fingers busy.  Even when it was time to relax she needed to be productive, oh, Marie.
"When we moved to this townhouse thirty some years ago," my father says, "she said she was not going to darn socks anymore."

So yesterday my father is putting his socks on and he feels a small darned patch.
"I never noticed this before and I rotate my socks like I do all my clothes."  Translation: Sonny lines up his socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc; and he wears the front socks and when they are laundered they go to the back of the line.
"How could have I missed this sock?  Could it have been there all this time?" Sonny wonders.
Anyone who knows my father knows that yes, he would have thirty-year old socks in his drawer.  He shops frequently at second-hand stores and wears his corduroy pants until the bottoms are shiny to the chagrin of my mother and me.
"I know she didn't come back to darn my sock but do you think that was a signal from her?  That she is here and thinking of me?"
Oh, yes, I'm going to say yes to that one, Sonny.