Life has been almost too much lately–but fun! In late January, I was invited to be interviewed for an AARP television project. The caller was looking for people who had made significant mid-life changes and reinvented themselves
after age 50. And yes, it was true; I had done this 10 years before when I left the 9-to-5 world of healthcare administration and took up my knitting needles full time. You could have knocked me over with a pin, however, when the caller said that the TV project was going to be a Today Show segment hosted by Jane Pauley and sponsored by AARP. I am not one to search out cameras and lights. The thought of it was, to put it mildly, a bit terrifying. Now, however, I’m glad I decided to give it a go because this unexpected life chapter turned out to be a fascinating adventure.
The week began at Java House where the producer and camera crew joined me and my Tuesday knitting community in our favorite sunlit atrium spot. Footage of my husband Terry, our dogs and me in our condo followed in the afternoon, as well as a dog walk in Esther Short Park. The dogs, of course, looked great in their matching pumpkin-colored “Dandy Dog” sweaters. The condo footage included the inside of our closet! It houses lots of handknit socks stacked in rows (albeit neater and more color-coordinated rows now than before the film crew was scheduled to arrive.) And no, the whole stash didn’t line up for a big group shot (after all, this was all being done for a relatively short video segment), but yarn was played with and more photos taken.
Wednesday held more filming and finally the trip to Tacoma, WA, where the annual Madrona FiberArts Festival was about to begin. Friday morning I finally met Jane, was interviewed by her at Yorkshire Yarns in Lakewood, WA, and then walked her through the yarn market at Madrona where she was excited and surprised by the beauty and varied fibers available to knitters today.
You, too, can see this on her new monthly program, “Your Life Calling,” which debuts March 9, on the Today Show. The segment will also be posted on the AARP website with related articles. Jane took on this new project after struggling with what to do next in her life in the years after leaving “Dateline” and becoming an empty nester. The 90 minutes I spent being interviewed by
Jane absolutely flew by. It was like two girls from Indiana talking (I was born there, but grew up in Illinois) about something they felt passionate about. She was down-to-earth, very approachable, warm, and when I put knitting needles in her hands later in the marketplace, they remembered what to do with them! She hadn’t knit since she’d been pregnant with her twins who are something like 27 now! And she left Madrona inspired by all the wonderful yarns and carrying (like the rest of us) a skein of yarn that spoke to her and a new circular needle to use on the plane ride back to NYC.
The experience was a wonderful gift of the sort that comes to us unexpectedly–out of the blue, to use part of the subtitle of Jane’s autobiographical book, “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.” It caused me to reflect upon the experiences I’ve had because of knitting, the wonderful friends I’ve made, what I’d given to others, how I’d spent my last 10 years and what I’ll do during the next.
It occurred to me that any number of other knitters could have been the subject of this film segment, too. That’s one of the things I love about hanging out with knitters and spinners—they’re good people with great stories.