A Happy Mothers Day IOU

finishing a Pie Are Square shawl

My Mother’s Day knit isn’t done. Its all taking longer than I thought and Mother’s Day came too quick and instead of being done and in a box and shipped off to mom, its sitting in my living room.

I’m a knitter and I’ve given lots of knits to mom and she is not at all surprised when a knitted gift isn’t finished on time. Good thing becasue they never are. Never. So this is my Mother’s Day IOU post. Mom, I officially owe you one Pie Are Square Shawl in two-tone handspun yarn. I would tack on an estimated delivery date but we both know it would turn out to be a lie. I’ll just go with “soon”.

So in lieu of an on-time present, I’m making a mom-centric post. I’ve told a few stories about my mom here and they always seem to embarrass her. I have no idea why. My mom is pretty independent and she is very smart and when her back is up against a metaphorical wall, she will come out swinging every time. She pretty much wins at life. How is that something to be embarrassed about? So today I give you an absolutely true story about my mom that is sure to embarrass her but I think demonstrates that she is tough stuff. 

Years ago my mom was in a bad car accident. It happened in west Texas which is a very empty place. Most people who haven’t driven through the American west have a hard time picturing just how empty that country is. There are places where its 80 miles or more between towns, between gas stations. In between those towns there are no people, no houses. Just empty cattle and sheep country. It was in one of those places where she had her accident.

It happened at night as winter storm rolled in. The interstate was ice-y and there was a pile up of maybe a dozen cars. Mom came up on that pile up in the dark, on ice, and she did manage to stop in time. But the 18-wheeler behind her did not and she was slammed into the pile of wrecked cars.

(Now mom is ok so don’t get anxious for her. I just want to give you a little bit of what she went through so you’ll understand just how amazing my mom is.)

Feline Overlord hides under a Pie Are Square Shawl
Every time I try to get pictures of this project that wicked little cat is all over it.

She hit her head in the impact which resulted in a broken nose and a concussion. Still she got herself out of her truck with her coat and her emergency supplies (which you kind of need when you drive through such empty country) and managed to walk away to put distance between herself and the wreck.

Cars and trucks kept coming down the highway and slamming into the pile up. That went on for three hours because that’s how long it took for the wreck to be reported and for the state highway patrol to fight their way out to this remote place and close the highway. For my mom it was a long nightmare in the freezing cold as she bled from her broken nose and tried to stay focused and out of danger all with a head injury. People all around her were hurt and crying and scared. I’m sure everyone was very scared. The un-injured people were busy trying to keep everyone warm and stable while trying to flag down the on-coming traffic to prevent more wrecks.

When the emergency medical technicians finally arrived my mom waved them off. Yep. She passed on the offers of medical assistance. She told them to treat the other injured people first because she could wait. In fact my mom was the last person that night to be treated. She waited and took the absolute last ambulance headed to the closest town and its hospital. Because my mom is tough.

The aftermath of all that was my mom had a totaled truck and my dad to deal with. (My dad was a difficult man and no picnic in the best of times and I’ll just leave it at that.) She also had a broken nose. A broken nose means of course two black eyes. You can probably imagine how difficult, how socially painfully, it is to be a woman with two black eyes. There were stares and questions and concern and everyone, absolutely everyone, needed to know what had happened if it my mom was okay.

Feline Overlord and her knitting
Wait until she finds out I’m mailing to Mom.

My mom told them all she was fine. She told them she was a professional rodeo clown and had gotten hurt distracting a mad bull from an injured bull-rider. Oh yes. She started telling this lie, this big ol’ Texas-tale size of a lie. Every time someone asked her what had happened to her, she started in on this I’m-a-rodeo-clown story and it got bigger and wilder and more outrageous every time she told it. A week after the wreck, she had it down to a routine that started with “and when that poor sweet cowboy got himself thrown off and was laying unconscious in the dirt like a sack of potatoes, I just knew I had to save him”. In the middle there was something about dancing with the bull and doing the Texas Two-Step around the ring. Then my dad, who is in the story for some reason, distracts my mom with some bad advice and she yells at him to “shut-up”.  That’s when the bull runs her down. And that is how she broke her nose and got two black eyes.

Which is to say that my mom didn’t want to talk about being hurt, disoriented, bleeding, and cold for hours in the dark with a group of very sacred people. It was too painful to talk about that. So she told this long and involved tale that made them laugh instead. She smiled and she made everyone comfortable and she did it all while she was in quite a lot of pain. Because my mom is tough.

(Also my mom is very much a Texan and Texans really enjoy telling big, outrageous lies to each other. Its a thing. Whoever can tell the biggest lie wins and as I said, my mom wins at life.)

Even though all this happened years ago I’m still very grateful that I didn’t lose her that night. I easily could have. So when mom causally mentioned once that she liked the Pie Are Square shawl, that it looked really warm and cozy, I decided to make her one from some of my handspun yarn. I like making my mom warm things because while she is tough stuff, she is a big wimp about the cold. And mom deserves to be warm.

Happy Mother’s Day! For me Mother’s Day is about being grateful for my mom and loving her for the amazing person that she is. Its also about making her a great Mother’s Day present on time but of course that didn’t happen. I better get back to knitting it.

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22 Comments on "A Happy Mothers Day IOU"

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Shirley E.

What a time and place to be wrecked! Humor and positive thoughts can sure do wonders for people. Glad your mom is ok now. And I’m also glad she passed some of her sense of humor on to you, which you share with us all. Thanks so much. If she doesn’t like the shawl, I’m sure there are a few others who would be drooling over it!


That is a fine story! Happy Mothers’ Day to your Mom 🙂


Glad your mom is okay! I’ve driven through that area, at night, and can confirm that in many places there’s more light from the Milky Way than from neighboring towns. You folks also grow the biggest Rangers I’ve ever met…a story for another time 🙃

Amy C

I’m a mom (and a grandma now too) and I can assure you that the love you knit into that shawl will warm her even more than your precious handspun loveliness. Also, as I always say about gifts that come in a tad late – “It just means my birthday/Christmas/ Mother’s Day isn’t over yet.”

Cindi Patton

That’s a wonderful story. Great bravery and selflessness on her part. What are you going to name this pattern and will it be for sale?