off to the hardware store yesterday. He "escaped" while I was doing essential chores in other places.
I was home by the time he returned. He had, as he always does, left a note on the kitchen table telling me where he had gone. He is very good about that. He worries that I might worry - and I would now given his advanced years.
But...but... I looked at him when he arrived home. He was wearing his oldest pair of work trousers...the pair with the frayed hems and the "air-conditioning" in one knee, the pair decorated with glue and paint stains. He has two new pairs, bought by me and taken up by the lovely neighbour across the road in return for mending a chair for her.
He was also wearing "the jumper" - a striped garment which was once a pullover of some distinction. I think I have spoken about it before. It was made by my mother. I have replaced the cuffs twice and mended it in a number of places. I warned him the last time I tried to wash it that it was time he stopped wearing it. I really cannot patch it, darn it or knit new cuffs again. It is a garment that should never ever be seen outside the shed these days. It was, once again, far from clean. I know why he loves it. I sympathise but there is not much I can do about the state it is in. I sometimes wonder if I would feel the same way about a similar garment if my mother had made one for me. She never did.
I looked at him as he stood there like a small boy caught out doing mischief.
"You didn't go dressed like that?" I asked.
"Yes, why not? It was only the hardware store. You should see the way some of the men are dressed."
"That," I tell him, "Is not the point."
I really doubt that anyone looked quite like he did. I took it from him last night. I have washed it. The first lot of water was dark brown. The Senior Cat would say "good honest dirt brown". Perhaps. It took three lots of rinse water. I wonder that it did not fall to pieces.
I have put it out to dry.
I have also begun collecting odds and ends from the stash and elsewhere. It is time to make another such garment. I know what will happen. The Senior Cat will say it is "too good to use in the shed" - just as he says the old one is "too good to throw out".