Sisterhood of the Traveling Mitts

The mitts Andy gave me for Valentines’ Day are quite large, falling off my hands. He suggested that we take them to one of his student’s wife, who was familiar with working with hide, and who could most likely alter them.

I met Andy at the shop, so we could drive to his student’s home together. Children were playing outside. A boy on a miniature skidoo, pulling younger siblings on a little sled, was careening up and down the snow piles around the house.

“Who are you?” A little girl, with rose tinged cheeks asked.

“I am here to see your Dad,” I told her. She looked skeptical.

“What’s his name?” She asked.

When I told her his name, she nodded and pointed towards her house. “That’s OK, then.”

Upon entering I was met by Meredith and her sister, Madelyn. Andy didn’t want to take his boots off, and so he stayed in the hallway.

“What do you do?” Meredith asked.

“Well, right now, nothing much. I left my job in Montreal to come here.”

“What did you do in Montreal?” she demanded. I am slightly taken aback, as I often am when confronted with direct question so quickly, as is custom here. I realize how I have been conditioned to social niceties, which seem so unnecessary here, where conversations and questions are direct and upfront.  Question:  Where are you from?  Answer:  A small town, called Pointe Claire Village, near Montreal.  Next Question:  Where do you COME from?  Answer:  My ancestors were the Viking tribe … well actually, my parents and I came from Germany. Knowing who belongs where and where they come from is of importance here.

“I worked as a documentation specialist and a proofreader before that.”


“Just administration stuff, nothing important,” I added.

Thankfully, Meredith’s son, the one driving the skidoo, arrived at the door, yelling “More Gas!”

I showed my mitts to the women and after careful examination and discussion, they agreed that it would be too much work to render them down to a smaller size. It would be as much work as making an entirely new set of mitts.

“Those are man’s mitts,” Meredith said, handing them back to me. Andy said he would keep the mittens for himself. Marilyn said she was in the process of making a woman’s pair and showed me some of her handiwork. I commission her to prepare the mitts for me so I would have some that fit.

We chatted for a while longer about children, pets, our mothers and sewing, until I notice that Andy was becoming impatient, standing in the hallway, his boots puddling on the floor. I thank both women for their time.

When back in the car, I realized, how much I missed talking to women.


4 thoughts on “Sisterhood of the Traveling Mitts

  1. I’m curious, Chris. When we lived in Fond du Lac, we had some moccasins made for us. When done, Derek’s were by far lovelier than mine, with twice the beadwork a d colours. That’s the way thing were there, with males getting all the ornamentation and plumage. Rather like birds, I thought.

    Until your mitts are made, could you put idiot strings on the larger pair

    We’re currently in Huatulco, south west Mexico with no need for mittens. It’s -28 at home, our sons tell us.

    Shawn’s home, taking his final 3 classes online then he’ll be finished this degree next month. He got accepted into an MBA program at Vancouver Island U in Nanaimo for mid-June. It’s affiliated with Britain’s Hertfordshire U in England so, if he takes the right options he’ll end up with an MBA plus a Masters in International Business from Hertfordshire.

    Devon quit all but one night class to do an internship through his computer science dept. he’s now working for Environment Canada doing IT stuff. He was supposed to work under his boss until June when the guy went off for surgery, the. Dev would take over until the end of Aig. But, the guy’s surgery got moved and Dev had 3 weeks training instead of 4 months before being in charge. While his parents said, “Eeeek” , he seems to be taking it in stride.

    Ever heard of A,anda Hawkins – the young woman in her early 20s who made millions on Amazon? I’m just reading one of her earlier book (Hollowland) and can see why she’s done so well.

    I enjoy reading your posts.

    Stay warm,


    • Yes, I will have an idiot strap on my mitts. I have more single mitts than i have stray socks! My mom, the family knitter of slippers and mitts, often replenishes the lost ones. I googled Fond du Lac and saw that it is on Lake Athabasca, quite up there! Amanda Hawkins? I’ve read a lot of young adult fiction – like Hunger Games – since Jessie would bring advance copies home to read from her job at the village bookstore, so she could advise customers. Zoombies are still in, it seems. We’ll be in Nanaimo round the middle of July … maybe we’ll see Shawn. I saw the new University last year, and it is quite a nice location. Good for Devon! That’s Nat’s dream job, but from the environmental aspect. She’s waiting to hear re: a stage (internship) in Ottawa soon. Jess enjoys her full life of outdoor activities and jobs and schools, but said that once out in the field, in a classroom setting, it’s hard to get back into academics. More news to follow – via e-mail.

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