Memories of A Bathing Suit

IMG_0889-1 At an engagement party in another town I ran into E., an old friend from camp. We started chatting about Facebook. E., who was more into camp than I was, had used it to find other camp friends.

I tried to explain to E. why I started using Facebook. Staying in touch with old friends is more important when you move to a place where you don’t know anyone. The only person in my town that I knew from before was my husband’s aunt, whom I’d met approximately twice. I’m good at making new friends, but it’s tough when no one knows your history, your family, or your childhood home. You can’t explain all that in a few minutes so people end up with misconceptions about you. As you build close relationships over the years this becomes less important, but it’s still an issue.

Another reason for keeping contact with old friends is that since my mother died 19 years ago, I’m curious about other people’s perspectives on her. My mother was a complex, intensely shy person. I don’t quiz my elementary school friends for their memories, but it’s comforting to have contact with people who knew her.  Of course, the two reasons are related, because I don’t have anyone to report news about old friends. (“You’ll never guess who I ran into the other day. . .”)

Suddenly E. thought of something. “Your mother liked to crochet, right?” I was bewildered. “Yes, how do you know?” E. and I grew up in different cities. E. continued, “The first time I met you at camp, you were wearing a crocheted bathing suit. It was green.” This does ring a bell. My friend continued, “That bathing suit was  the reason I noticed you. It was interesting, and made you stand out from the other girls. I remember thinking how lucky you were to have a mother who would make you such an original, creative outfit.”

Memories flooded back. My mother loved Women’s Day and Family Circle magazines and them for craft ideas. No doubt the bathing suit idea came from there. I still have a crocheted vest, and a stuffed cat made out of an old sock (pictured).

Whenever I speak to E. she reminds me how much my suggestions helped her at a difficult time in her life. E., it’s my turn to thank you.


  1. Beautiful post. I have been knitting & crocheting almost my entire life and I clearly remember those Woman’s Day & Family Circle patterns. I remember not having success with the bathing suits; maybe I used the wrong yarn. It’s so special that your friend’s memories brought back a part of your mother to you.

  2. lovely post about memories, mothers and the importance of connections (and facebook! :)). thank you.

  3. very sweet. I never really considered what that could do for people who have lost close family/friends. definitely will keep it in mind.

  4. Rene Isser says

    I remember your mom sitting with us during Seudah Shelishit and talking to us about life. She always had the cottage cheese on the table. Your mom was a wonderful person, Hannah. This was a beautiful posting. I do not remember her crocheting, but I do remember her bringing you to ballet class with me. I remember her helping us plan out Shabbatonim. I just remember so many things. I really cherished those Shabbat afternoons at your house after Torah Studies in Roselawn. She always made everyone feel wanted and special in your house. We talked about her life in Sacramento and how different it was from Cincy. I understand, for I too seek out people who can remember stories about my Dad. Yom HaShoah is very difficult, for I remember his stories from his home and from the war. Anyway. I am glad that I got a chance to see this posting.

  5. Rene, my mother was so fond of you. I remember she offered to host you for your last year of high school, after your parents moved. You’re bringing back memories.


  1. […] A Mother in Israel shares how one conversation can bring back Memories of a Bathing Suit. […]