I found a long, pointy knit hat in the living room.
Mom sidled over and plucked a library book from her knitting/sewing/odds-and-ends/magazines/junkpile table. She opened to a “Winter Hats for Gnomes” page.
“I knit these for the kids,” she said, showing me the book and two more hats. She’d used thick, gorgeously-saturated Malabrigo yarns from Uruguay, dyed in red, green and blue.
“Cute,” I said.
Petra had already told Mom to stop knitting for her kids (4, 4 and 2), since they had refused to wear her nice but slightly itchy creations.
“Ever been to Jiufen?” I asked Mom.
“You should go! It has a nice view of the sea. It’s supposed to be the city that inspired Spirited Away. And they have the best gweh I’ve ever tasted - your favorite, with taro and the green one with radish or whatever the chewy stuff is.”
She looked skeptical. “How did you get there? You don’t speak the language.”
Two orange tabby brothers followed us home in December. They lived with us for five weeks, snuggling, wrestling, running around like madmen and punching each other in the face, until their owners saw our “found” signs (which had been posted in front of their house for weeks).
Chupa misses them a ton. They shredded furniture, ate my expensive paintbrushes, pawed wet paintings and shoved my brush around whenever I painted, but they were cute and soft fuzzballs.