Saturday 23 March 2024


When I retired oh so long ago, the first six months or so just seemed to be an extended vacation and that I would eventually have to return to work.  I finally realized that I could return to some kind of work if I so chose, but so far I haven’t felt the need. 


I am blessed with the ability to do nothing of any import and be quite content doing so. Often in those early days of retirement my wife would return from work and ask how my day was, which I interpreted as an accusation that I did nothing all day and was a drain on our whole society. She really just wanted to know how my day went and any other interpretation was my problem. My answer was always “ Not too much, how was your day?”  However, deep down I knew that if I couldn’t think of anything that I did, then more than likely I did nothing. 


I started to keep a list. Anything and everything that I did during the day I made a note of. Had breakfast 15 min., drank coffee 1/2 hour, watched shitty movie 1:45, walked dog 45min., etc…etc…etc.


Pretty soon when Louise came home and asked what I did today I could give her a list. Not surprisingly, she wasn’t a big fan of my lists and even though I could see how I spent my time even I wasn’t impressed. I decided that I needed a creative outlet of some sort. Before retiring, I did a fair bit of wood carving, pysanky and other crafty things. I still liked crafty stuff so that would be the way to go for a fulfilling life. What to do? What to do? What to do?


I know, I will make a braided, rag rug.


It is crafty, has a link to my ancestors and could very well help keep my feet toasty during those long, cold winter days. We had an old quilted blanket that had long ago outlived it’s usefulness, so I cut it into two inch strips and started to braid three strips together. My first thought was to make an oval area rug, but very shortly it started curving like a potato chip. Okay, a round rug is even better. I undid the oval and began the round rug until it was about a foot in diameter. This is the point when someone was coming to visit so I cleaned it up by putting it under my desk. Very far under my desk. Out of sight under my desk. Out of mind under my desk.


I came to terms with not having a full and creative retired life and decided that telling people I just puttered around all day was good enough for them. Who are they to judge me? Bastards!


That was the winter of 2007 and I saw it under the desk from time to time but since it didn’t seem to mind being under the desk, I saw no reason to upset the status quo. Well, Until late last summer. I brought it out from under the desk and began working at it while I watched TV down in the basement. I needed to find another blanket and picked a blue flannel one from the second hand store which I cut into strips and braided. It didn’t take too much time, but I can see why braided rag rugs have fallen out of favour. Back in my ancestors time they didn’t have TV or really a life of any kind or central heating so a nice thick rug would be much more appreciated.


I finished the rug in December of 2023. Yes, it took me 16 years to make a three foot diameter rug, but it is very nice to stand on and quite pretty if I do have to say so myself. Unfortunately, we have no place for a three foot rag rug to live. I put it beside the bed in the spare room and stand on it when I look out the window at the neighbours or watch the snow fall. Sometimes I just stare out the window contemplating how I have wasted my life.

I even signed it... at the top between 12:00 and 1:00 o'clock.


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