Sunday, February 28, 2010

There must be stories there

I remember once, a long time ago, when a woman my family knew went to her closet and pulled out six hand-crocheted blankets, courtesy of my grandmother's handiwork--one blanket for each of her children. Each blanket was in a protective plastic bag, the children whom they belonged to long past babyhood. Look, she said, I kept them all.

Similarly, I remember my paternal grandmother showing me her wedding picture--she was smiling, young, no more than 18, I think, and she wore a polka-dotted knee-length dress. She then reached into the depths of her wardrobe and pulled out that same dress, a pale pink background with (I think) black or dark blue dots. At the time, she would have been somewhere near her fiftieth anniversary.

These things--wedding dresses and handmade baby blankets--are heirlooms. Or, ideally, should be. I understand that circumstances happen--marriages crumble, babies don't always make it, and sometimes, you just need to clear out the old to make space for the new.

But it always gives me a twinge of sadness to see abandoned wedding dresses and baby blankets in thrift stores. For each cast-off, I think, there must be a story, and I often wonder about that.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I needed to hear that

Most people who work at yarn and craft supply stores are the worst sorts of enablers. You could cynically argue that they're there to sell products, and yes, they are, but many have a passion for some craft.

"Are you storing your extra yarn in the freezer yet? No? Then you're still doing OK," one clerk told me at a yarn shop when I explained that a closet spilling over with yarn was exactly why I wasn't going to buy any that day.

When I relayed that story to a different clerk at a different store, she got a thoughtful look on her face and said, "Hmm... that's a good idea."

But a cashier at JoAnn's took a different approach. I was purchasing not yarn but a bin, in an attempt to bring better order to the chaos that is my yarn stash. When we were chatting and I explained my rationale for the bin, she said in all seriousness, "You know you're going to die one day, right? You need to use it up."

Taken a bit aback (and delighted by the unexpected bluntness of it), I defended myself: "But... I'm working on it, and I haven't bought any new yarn since December."

She was unimpressed. "That's only, what, a month and a half?"

Touche.


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Now playing: Metallica - The Unforgiven
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Her royal highness

My poor kitty was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and before the expensive and difficult treatment by way of insulin, the vet has recommended a special diet for her. Unfortunately, the presence of visiting PITA-cat makes simply leaving the food out in a dish not feasible; he's a bit of a pig, and it's not like he needs the special diet.

So my already spoiled cat now gets her meals served directly; I'm sure she thinks the clear glass bowl is crystal, for certainly the royal treatment is going to her furry little head.

The other morning, I brought her the dish of food. She barely glanced at it.

I lowered it slightly and tried to get her attention. Her ear barely flicked.

I lowered it further. She wasn't deigning to acknowledge this.

I knelt on the floor to give it to her. She uncurled and stood up to receive my offering.

I now know my place.

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Now playing: Nine Inch Nails - Closer
via FoxyTunes