The War and Socks
I'm among those who feel torn with feeling I have some sort
of responsibility to watch the news about the war and, at
the same time, wanting to feel safe and secure. I live in
a small town in Oregon (danger of terrorist threat here: 0)
and have four sons 17, 18, 19, and 21 but none are in the
military or plan to be and there's no talk about a draft
(yet). Yes, there are young men and women who went to
school from K-12 with my sons, whose parents I know well,
who have enlisted and are now serving in Iraq and Kuwait.
One is a Navy Seal. Those parents don't sleep well and are
worried and who can blame them? I can only give them
hugs and pray for them. My first husband died in Vietnam
30 years ago and I can't look at video or photographs of
military funerals without bawling so I don't.
I heard a press conference with Rumsfeld on the radio just
after they began the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad. A
reporter referred to it as "a show" and the defense
secretary berated him, telling him it wasn't a show; it
was very real. An example, I guess, of viewing the war as
entertainment but it's reality television, to the utmost.
My way of dealing with it is by trying to make my home a
safe haven. I watch the national evening news but I don't
have CNN on all day. I listen to an oldies station on the
radio that has a brief news report at the top of the hour
and sometimes will broadcast an interview or a Presidential
speech but not much of it. That's good enough for me. I
pick and choose what I read in the daily newspaper
carefully. In the meantime I plant flowers, plan my
garden, make chicken noodle soup and fresh bread for
neighbors under the weather, volunteer for Meals on
Wheels and yes, knit socks. I honor those fighting for my
freedom by living my life and enjoying that freedom.
Throughout the day I'll stop and offer up a silent little
prayer of thanks for their sacrifices and that they come
And what does that have to with socks? Socks are ordinary,
they're plain and necessary and homey. I've put away my
quilting for a while and I'm knitting socks. I'm using a
variegated yarn so I get a pretty pattern but it's pretty
mindless knitting so I can pray or think as a I knit. And
that's what I'm doing today.