Playing footsie with Connie the Cookie Lady

My friend Connie the Cookie Lady announced her retirement a few months ago.

“I’m not knitting any more Christmas stockings,” she said quite decisively as she sat on her front porch, a spry 94-year old surveying the neighborhood from her lawn chair throne.

“Makes sense to me,” I replied. “You’ve knitted 1,352 more than I have.”

“Well, I’ve knitted my last one,” she said. “I’m retired.”

Two weeks later, she called.

“I knit you a pair of slippers,” she said. “When can you come over and pick them up?”

“I thought you retired!” I said.

“I did,” she said. “I retired from knitting Christmas stockings. I’m still knitting slippers.”

Since then, Connie has given me a lovely pair of cobalt slippers I wear all the time, a powder blue pair for my daughter Molly and a pink pair for my daughter Katherine.

“Well, what else am I going to do with my time?” she said.

In truth, Connie is still a busy lady, mother, grandmother, aunt and fiercely loyal sister, as protective of her little brothers as she was 80 years ago when she was the gorgeous, very social oldest daughter of the Murphy family. She also sends out notes, prayer cards and greeting cards for every occasion.

A fashion maven, Connie dresses with flare in bright, carefully accessorized ensembles that naturally include matching slippers. She often looks like a human flower petal as she flings open her front door and calls out greetings to passerbys.

Yesterday, she wore head-to-to lavendar and an elegant scarf when I stopped by to pick up the pair of slippers she knitted for Molly. She tried to get me to come in for “a wee glass of wine” but I declined. As soon as it’s safe to do so, though, I’m looking forward to taking her up on that offer.

In the meantime, I have the six giant Christmas stockings she gave me many years ago, and a pair of slippers I’ll treasure forever.

If you have been lucky enough to receive one or several of Connie’s Christmas stockings, I invite you to take a picture of them and drop it in her mailbox. I’m sure she’d love to see her handiwork in action and I know she likes to get mail.

Even her front door is stylish. I’d love to look like Connie when I’m 94-years old. I love even more to have her wit.
My view from our living room couch, thanks to playing footsie with Connie the Cookie Lady (and to my grandma, who knit us the smaller stocking hanging from the fireplace screen). It occured to me that Connie might like to see all those stockings she knit for everyone in action this year, so I’m going to print this picture and drop it in her mailbox. I invite you to do the same if you’ve been lucky enough to receive these giant stockings.

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