My old lizard likes to sit in her room and sew. When she’s not sewing, she’s sitting in her armchair crumbling bread into tiny crumbs so we can feed the pigeons outside. She doesn’t go outside anymore so she has one of us do it – and usually we do it wrong. She watches from the window and has lots of critical input.
The younger aunts, one of which is pretty old herself, sit in a small foyer where they moved their sewing machines. They mend very old fur coats for very old ladies. It’s not extremely lucrative as less and less old ladies exist who have fur coats, but the coats, meticulously made of very tiny pieces, are worn to rags and require serious mending.
I set up my own workshop in what used to be my uncle’s study. I figured the only one of us who doesn’t have a detailed-oriented, meditative task to keep her moderately content is grandma. Grandma lies in her bed and moans constantly about death. If she hears one of us stirring she calls us into her room to regale us with her complains and to make death-specific requests: “Pray for my death! I’m sick of this! Buy me a coffin.” I told her there’s a coffin in the attic. “That one’s too old,” she said, which actually is true.