I unraveled the sweater I had nearly completed, only one and a half sleeve left. I decided I didn’t like the product and was probably never going to wear it. This is as incomprehensible to Axel as folding up the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and putting it back in the box. But the pleasure of these activities is in the making, not the product itself.

Yesterday we went to see 102 year old uncle Charles who still lives by himself in a trailer park in back of a shopping center. It doesn’t sound very good but he is happy there and has a good support system, and he can walk to McDonalds for a cup of coffee if no one brings one to him.

His trailer is sparsely but sufficiently furnished. There is no clutter. There is just enough of everything for him and for a guest if one were to show up. We returned with the bag of Christmas gifts (a jar of mustard, a bar of chocolate and some tangerines) because such a bag is clutter and not needed. We can re-use it, he could not.

We drove to each of Wareham’s beaches and sat in the car looking at the afternoon sun and the changing colors of impending dusk while Charles was telling us stories – me knitting on the back seat (the knitting undone today).

The Wareham and Onset beaches are stunningly beautiful. We ended our tour with tea and coffee at Dunkin Donuts (we should have gone to McD) and a chocolate donut for Charles. He doesn’t have to worry about gaining weight or cholesterol.

On the way in we drove via New Bedford. We had a plan to go to the Whaling Museum but we left the house too late. All we had time for was lunch. On the way back, too late to come home and prepare dinner, we stopped at Ikea and had a very inexpensive dinner before dragging ourselves through the entire upstairs showroom looking for an elusive cabinet that Axel had set his eyes on.

The last time we were there was a few months after our accident and the image of dragging ourselves on our injured limbs stayed. Once again my limbs are painful and once again I felt unable to complete the circuit, much to Axel’s dismay. I told him he can go as often as he wants by himself when I am travelling – there will be many opportunities in the next few months.

The news from Afghanistan continues to be dismal. On the heels of orphan abuses, reported in the NYT, and today’s deadly explosions in Kandahar came the Sahar Gul story reported by Jon Boone in the Guardian UK. The wicked mother and sister in law have been arrested. It is an archetypal story worthy of the Grimm brothers – though I am not sure there will be a Cinderella ending to this one. And I know that for this and other similar headline grabbing stories countless untold ones remain in dark basements.

The unraveling of the sweater felt a little cathartic.

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January 2012
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