Friday, July 31, 2015

Little Moments

My sister-in-law was visiting recently. I had been tweeting about her willingness to walk with Susan; no ordinary feat - and, truthfully, no ordinary feet can keep up with our fitbit beast! During her visit, Susan's sister happily walked crazy distances in the middle of our stifling heat wave! I guess that's what sisterhood is all about.

At one point during her visit, and I'm not really sure how it came up, Lana admitted being very good at untangling knots. Susan promptly produced two pieces of jewellery that had knotted chains. One of the chains, Susan complained, had one knot in it and the other, had three. Bravely, her sister installed herself on the couch and began to tackle the problem.

In the end, Lana wasn't able to untangle the chains. She's gone back home now but the two chains were laying conspicuously on the kitchen table this morning. Casually, Susan expressed disappointment the tangles remained.

Not thinking rationally, perhaps driven by blind love for this wonderful woman with whom I just celebrated a 21st wedding anniversary, I hastily dug out a magnifying glass, two pins and as much patience as I could humanly ring from my mostly impatient personality.

Absolutely planless - that's without plan, strategy, or technique - I began to poke randomly with the two pins at the single knot chain. After a few minutes, I was able to loosen the strand and untangle the knot. I contemplated ending the quest there, to reign as the quasi-conquering pseudo-hero. Did I? No. I decided to persist and attacked the triple knot chain.


Susan left and went for a walk. I moved the operation to a surface lit by sunshine and, again, still planless, began poking randomly. After several minutes, I untangled one of the three knots. I contemplated ending the quest there, to appear as quasi-conquering pseudo-hero. Did I? No. I decided to persist. What fun would it be to boast, when Susan returned, that I'd succeeded in untangling one of the three remaining knots? Not very.

It would give me far greater pleasure to be able to announce, when Susan returned, her jewellery was completely knot-free, thanks to me.


I attacked the second of the three knots, planless, but foolishly encouraged that, so far, my success had not required a plan, or planning of any kind.

There was no one to hold the magnifying glass at the perfect height, so I had laid it across the rim of two tea cups.

I stabbed, poked, prodded and pierced and, after several minutes, I loosened the second of the three knots and, then, finally untangled it. What a boss!

Only the third knot, right beside the end clasp, remains.
I needed a break before tackling the final of the three knots! I went out and ran errands. My neck was sore from stooping, my fingertips tender from pressing the pins and my vision was blurring from staring so intently for so long at such small objects.

A couple of hours later, I returned to tackle the last of the three knots in this second chain. This knot was right up against the clasp at the end of the chain. Undaunted and planless, I hacked away for several minutes and finally got the chain to loosen. The final knot was gone. Boom!

It was not fun, although quite satisfying when I untangled the last of the four knots. I am the reigning quasi-conquering pseudo-hero, vanquisher of jewellery chain tangles and bearer of a very valuable lesson. Untangling jewellery knots is like assembling Ikea furniture; yes I can do it, but I never want to do it again. 

Susan came home and when I announced her two chains were knot-free, she was quite grateful. Little moments I live for.

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