Clara sat coiled in the corner of the arm chair delicately tying a row of knots in a short piece of yarn. She rolled the sleeve up on her old red nightgown and blew a piece of hair out of her eyes while she concentrated on weaving the fraying bits together into little bundles.

“What are you working on?” I asked.

She finished slowly pulling another knot into place and looked up at me. “I’m making Christmas stockings for everyone.” She held up 2 inches of knotted yard. “What do you think?”

“Oh wow.” I said, in genuine surprise. “I think that’s a wonderful idea. And I love the colors you chose.”

She smiled and reached for a pair of Hello Kitty scissors to trim the loose ends.

“It’s also probably good that you started this project in January, because it might take you a while to finish.”

She smiled and then bent over the edge of the chair to unrolled another strand from her tiny yarn ball.