so today . . . i continued working on cleaning out the extra bedroom (formerly known as the scary room and soon to be known as the office.) it is coming along really well. the rest of the house is suffering, but there is always next week to deal with that.
as you know, i have a hard time getting rid of stuff. which is why i am constantly cleaning stuff out. but each time i go through a closet or drawer, i am able to let go of one or two more things. it would be a much more efficient use of my time to just be ruthless the first time, but apparently i am incapable of doing that. so, i have to do it again and again, each time letting go of a little more . . .
when diandra was about five, we used to go out for sunday brunch after church. we typically let her choose what she wanted to eat, and one day she ordered pancakes. she liked pancakes, so it seemed like a good choice. until the pancakes came. the chef had very cleverly fashioned diandra's pancake into the shape of a teddy bear for her. she was delighted, until we tried to get her to eat it. she resisted. she said no. she cried. she did not want to eat that pancake, because it looked like a teddy bear and how could she eat a teddy bear--it's feelings would be hurt and it would cease to exist and it would be all her fault. duh!
i am kind of like that with my stuff. even if i don't use it anymore, there are memories attached. and if i get rid of it, i am afraid that the memories will be gone as well. today, one of my tasks was cleaning out the drawers of the sewing desk--a minefield of memories.
the sewing desk is staying. it was custom made for my mom by a friend and it is a great work space. it has drawers and a large work surface, so it will be perfect for the work diandra and i will be doing in this room. my mom gave me this desk many years ago, and i immediately filled up the drawers with all my sewing stuff. i was in heaven!
i used to sew a lot. in fact, before diandra was born, i made most of my own clothes, and i was pretty good at it. but when we became a family of three, i found i didn't have time for sewing anymore. the last time i started "getting rid of stuff," i finally got rid of the tiny little patterns for ruffly dresses that i bought to sew up for my new baby girl--24 years ago--which never quite got assembled. cut out of darling fabric? yes. stitched into something wearable? not quite . . .
every time i clean stuff out, i get rid of a few more things. this time, i finally let go of the last of my patterns.i know i will never sew anything from these patterns again. but i did once. i can remember shopping for the fabrics i used. i remember how the clothes fit and which ones i liked the best. i am even still kind of attached to the one pattern that i thought would be so cute, even though i never got to use it. and so i have kept these patterns--i guess in case i ever decide to use them again . . .
but i won't, and it is just time to say good-bye.
the last time i cleaned things out, i got rid of most of my fabric. but i have this small pile of christmas fabric that i just can't part with. still. someday when i am old and retired, maybe i will make something out of it. so i tucked it away in the back of the bottom drawer, where it will lay, probably until the next time i clean out the sewing desk.
i let go of probably 50 packages of bias tape (in every color of the rainbow,) and several zippers. i got rid of odds and ends of elastic and a big bag of buttons--ok, i didn't actually get rid of the buttons. i am going to take them to school for the kids to use. but at least they aren't in the sewing desk anymore . . . i finally said goodbye to the brown and white fuzzy fabric scraps that i always thought would be good for something.
and then i opened a small box that used to hold greeting cards--a long, long time ago. before i even opened it, i knew it had belonged to my grandma peabody.grandma peabody was my dad's mother, and she was everyone's favorite grandma. when we went to visit grandma peabody, the world revolved around us. she would have our favorite food to eat. she would play games or watch tv or make stuff with us. and once in a while, we would get to go to payless to get supplies for our projects and maybe a little surprise as well. she didn't spoil us with stuff, but she certainly spoiled us with attention.
grandma peabody could make something out of anything, but her gift was sewing. when i was young, i had the best dressed barbies of anyone. my barbies had flannel nightgowns and fuzzy bathrobes as well as beaded evening gowns and slips! yes, my barbies had undergarments! my barbies wore pants, when all you could buy in the store were skirts. they had cardigan sweaters and blouses. she even made knee-high boots for them! and my skipper and skooter dolls? (barbie's little sister and cousin, in case you didn't know) they had matching wardrobes. if skipper had red and white pajamas, so did skooter--she just made two of everything.
when diandra got her first barbie, it came complete with a brand new wardrobe, custom made by grandma peabody. i still had all the clothes she had made for me, but she wanted to make clothes especially for diandra. and when diandra had cabbage patch kids, grandma made clothes for them too. she even made clothes for the american girls which were just as nice as the ones in the catalog.
today, i found the box with the barbie patterns in it. and as i dug further into the box, i found these . . .these are pattern pieces for some type of doll clothing that grandma made out of her church bulletin. and i have no doubt that when she finished cutting and sewing up these tiny garments, they fit the doll they were intended for perfectly. because grandma and her sewing machine were pretty amazing.
i know i will never make doll clothes from these patterns. i knew this even before i took them out and looked at how small they were. but i also knew that i was keeping them. because even though i will never use them, and diandra probably won't either (although grandma did teach her how to sew and we do have her sewing machine, so she may surprise me,) these tiny pieces of tissue paper connect me to her. i will never forget my grandma, but i also can't let go of this piece of her. at least not now.
the office is starting to look pretty good. the rest of the house is not. i am getting rid of a lot, but not everything. some things, even though they are not useful, are important to keep. and that is what i am figuring out . . .
and then there are these shoes.
i took them out of a box, but didn't quite know what to do with them. i kept tripping over them all day. they probably should have gone in the "getting rid of it" pile, but i kind of like them. so i put them on and they are pretty comfortable . . . maybe i will hang onto them for a little while longer . . .