Ready for the day, Mom sits in her bedroom rocking chair working on her latest needlepoint, waiting for Dad to get up, then listening to him talk and talk when he does get up. His concerns about the family. His memories of his childhood, his ministry, his career as an international corporate lawyer. His worries about each member of the family. She listens and works the needle and listens. Her needle carries the yarn up through the square and diagonally down into the next square, a hundred thousand times. Mom’s completed needlepoints hang framed on many walls in the house, and include large florals, aboriginal geometric designs, fall leaves, rustic Brazilian skylines, and, my favorite, Noah’s ark and the world’s animals gathering two by two. Mom taught me to needlepoint when our family lived in Brazil—I was nine years old. My first (and only) needlepoint stitched a red cat on a yellow background. Two colors. Nothing like the complicated color patterns of a pair of Mallard ducks on a pond, or a sunset over Salvador, or women carrying pots on their heads. Mom needlepoints as she watches NCIS and PBS and Netflix, and as she waits for Dad to wake up from his night reading to tell her everything he has on his mind. Three needlepoints lay finished on the dining room table, and I drove Mom to a rundown wood-paneled dry cleaners to have the needlepoints stretched straight and blocked, ready for framing. “How do you think that young woman learned the skill of stretching and blocking needlepoint?” I asked Mom. She had no idea, but was glad to have found her. In two weeks, we’ll pick them up and deliver them to be framed. I hope she never stops doing needlepoint.
Enjoy these other needlepoints by my mother.
And three more finished, ready to be stretched, straightened, blocked, and framed.