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Sometimes a great [sewing] notion...

September 5th, 2009 (01:39 am)

current mood: creative

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the dead-of-night hours Thursday/Friday were the worst of being sick. Even though I felt like crap physically and had insomnia, visiting dogs (Sugar, Rex, and Pixie) made for some highly comedic moments in the battle of mattress real estate. Somehow we all eventually got sleep.

Last year, a storm called Ike had whipped itself into hurricane status out in the Atlantic by this time. Here at The Compound, we had no idea whether Ike would impact us, but looking back at my day planner, I see that I was making notes about it, just as I had Gustav. I moved to Houston in 1989, and I don't remember giving much thought to hurricanes and tropical storms even when our city was flooded because of them. Katrina changed that in 2005. Now I pay attention.

But last year, Ike's landfall was still more than a week away. I'd just returned from the Southeast, where my family and I held my mother's memorial service, and I was looking forward to a visit from Mark G. Harris. We'd planned to do lots of sewing, and as Mark reminded me in a note I got from him on Friday, we did just that, sitting at the table in the dining room with this on the floor next to me.

That's my mother's sewing box. It ended up at my house in the spring of 2008, when we moved Mother out of her apartment into a residential care home. I didn't have any plans for it at that time, but it sure came in handy a few months later when Mark, Tim, and I began designing outfits for Runway Monday.

Friday, along with his note, I received a tiny gift from Mark to remind me of those pre- and post-hurricane days when we sewed together.

How adorable is that? You may not realize the scale of adorability, but stay with me.

One of the fun features of creativity is that it can be sparked by a small gesture or item such as this. After a few minutes of examining Mark's gift, I had a setting and a character.

After a day of swimming and hiking around her family's old cabin in the mountains, Rocky showers and puts on a dress (circa 1975) she's found in an upstairs closet. She props up her feet and settles in for an evening of sewing and conversation as everyone gathers for their traditional Labor Day weekend together. She rests her grandmother's sewing box on her lap and keeps a cup of tea close at hand. Her great-grandfather's old gramophone plays scratchy versions of songs by the Ames Brothers and the Andrews Sisters, along with operas, overtures, and waltzes. The phone next to her still has a rotary dial. Rocky relaxes into the feeling that she's gone back in time.

Although it does seem like something's missing. Oh, yeah. That favorite toy she used to drag from the cupboard under the stairs when she was a kid.

Thank you for the tiny sewing box, Mark. I love it. Feel free to get my imagination flowing any time. =)


If you own any of the books in the opposite side bar and would like them signed, mail them to:
P.O. Box 924104
Houston, TX 77292
Please include three dollars for return postage. Thank you.

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