Boxes in the basement

January 9 – Just came up from the basement where I have been working for several days in the room that has lots and lots of banana boxes filled with pretty and unusual tins, extra bedding, and stuffed animals. Well, many of those boxes are empty now because I sorted through them so we could take a lot of the stored items to church to put in the big box to give to those who are pretty cold these days. It’s hard for me to even imagine having to live in a cardboard box, or under bridges, or wherever there’s room and a little bit of warmth, but so many are homeless these days, and we have so much! Not that we’re related to the Rockefeller clan or anything like that, but we have all we need and more.

Button, button, who's got the button?

Button, button, who’s got the button?

Shoe boxes and tins full of spools of thread of all colors are packed up, and ready to go to some friends who make items for those in need. Patterns of all sorts of things for tablecloths, clothing, quilt blocks, and pillow tops. Buttons by the boxful – white, pink, blue, and some with intricate designs on a beautiful gold background. It’s been fun sorting through all of these things, some of which bring back memories from way back.

Quilt top that never actually made it into a quilt

Quilt top that never actually made it into a quilt

I sorted out material like what I used to make dresses for Biz when she was a child or teen. Believe it or not, I made a shirt or two for David in the old days, but as I remember the right sleeve was sewed to the left shoulder, and of course, that meant the left sleeve had to be hooked on to the right shoulder! Well, I was new at the game!

And embroidery thread! Beautiful greens, reds, oranges, gold, and so many others. How I used to enjoy making pretty dresser scarves, pillow tops, tablecloths, etc. and did that sort of sewing in any spare time I had. Lots more time then, since we had no TV to keep our attention off more important things. (I usually listened to PBS while I worked or embroidered or made clothes.

Afghans made by my mother

Afghans made by my mother

I can see my mom hunched down in front of her old sewing machine, making quilt blocks, or sewing up a rip in a shirt or dress. Then I remember how many hours she spent in between filling the needs of a family with seven kids, plus hours of crocheting and embroidering. As she crocheted, she never used a pattern, but made up the design as she worked. She did the same with the many brightly-colored afghans she made from year to year.

Yes, going through most of the boxes filled with memories of other years was a bit sad, but it also gave me a good feeling to know that Mom was so talented. She always made the best of whatever she had, and her rule was not, “Get all you can for yourself,” but “Share what you have with others!” There are lots more boxes to go through, but not today. Several hours of that sort of activity is more than enough! – CHRIS

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