I have lived in many homes, cities and states in my life. As a child, the place I had the most memories in is this humble home in Hammond, IN, that my parents rented from the time I was 8 until I was 13. That was by far a record as I can recall having lived in 9 different places up to that point. That record was not broken until I bought my first home at the age of 21.
This is the place where my love of socks was born. Clearly, this home was important for many reasons. I know I've mentioned we were poor, but occasionally during these years, when I would go to the grocery store with my mom, she would let me choose a new pair of socks from the rack of dollar socks that was near the registers. I would labor over this decision. I would be nearly giddy with the choices. I would take home this prize and I would wear them pretty much nonstop all weekend. You cannot imagine the joy a simple pair of socks gave me.
As a result, I grew up to have a bit of a sock obsession. It was a well documented joke in my family. When I was in my early 20's and had to have surgery on my toes, my mom made me a bouquet of socks in a vase and brought them to me at the hospital. Of course I loved it! My girls have been gifting me with socks for as long as they have been buying me gifts. I still get that little thrill with a fresh pair.
When I think of where my deep gratitude comes from, I am often led back to those moments, standing in front of that spinning rack of socks. It may sound silly, but imagine a little girl with so little, that a pair of dollar socks made her deeply happy. I know most people could not imagine that. I know my own girls could not. And while often my heart breaks for that little girl, I also can't help but be thankful because I can't imagine that I would be the person I am today without those experiences. Bitterness cannot grow where gratitude lives.
It seems it was a natural transition for me to become a sock knitter. When we look back on our lives, it's easy to see how all the moments before, bring us to where we are now. And I love where I am now, so I have to love what brought me here.
For the past several months knitting socks has been a special kind of therapy for me, shifting my focus to something positive, giving me something I could control, healing my spirit. Hand knitted socks, aren't just socks to me. They are love filled hugs for your feet and when I give a pair to someone, I am giving them a bit of myself knit into every imperfect stitch.