It’s January. January brings us inside. If you live in a climate with seasons you will totally understand this post. It’s the time of year where you can find yourself hibernating and hibernating causes you to intensely scrutinize your surroundings. Just like the changing of the seasons when you find yourself appreciating a new leaf on a tree, a new shoot coming up from the ground….you will find yourself indoors wondering how you missed that huge cobweb that has been strung like decorative lighting between the bathroom cabinet and the wall.
After you leave the bathroom you may rummage through your closet and start pulling out clothing that you know will never fit again after the cookies and the Thanksgiving turkey.
You will also look at old table runners and quilts, too awful to show anyone, and say to yourself “What was I thinking?” In January we should all be forced to post 1) pictures of our sewing rooms before picking them up, and 2) a “what was I thinking” quilt or table runner project. I am going to post mine.
The sad part about this project is that I was working on this in the presence of my quilting BFF and she didn’t stop me!!! Cathy, why didn’t you stop me?
I remember a hilarious story that a friend of mine told me. She said that one day she came home from school to find her mother attacking the wall in the kitchen behind the sink. She had a chisel in one hand and a hammer in the other and was chipping away at the tiles that were behind the sink. Seems that the hideous tile had reached her pain threshold and she couldn’t stand it anymore.
We all have situations like that. I encourage anyone reading this blog post to comment in the comment area on Facebook and tell of your own “pain threshold” moments.
I have had many of these moments. I have thrown things out to Goodwill in a peak of fit. Most of the time I haven’t missed the item, but sometimes I realize too late that it was a mistake. Is it possible to take your own–one of your very own–(you thought I was going to say children but I’m not)–pieces of artwork and dispose of it?
I had a moment once upon a time. It was in my upstairs bathroom. I had sewn a shower curtain. Over this shower curtain was a valence I had made (my God I must have had a lot of time on my hands). I never really liked it. It was sewn badly and the pleated sections were uneven. Every time I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet I had to face that thing. I had 3 very small children so I was in the bathroom a lot, mostly hiding. One day I decided that I could no longer look at it. It was mounted on a board which was screwed into the wall. This would take some doing if I wanted to take it down. It had been up there for a number of years.
I had recently received a gift from my father. It was for my 40th birthday. It was one of the sweetest, if not the sweetest gifts I had ever received. It was the gift of freedom. Freedom came in the form of a little trailer that I could pull behind my vehicle. We had been out at an estate sale. My father had this uncanny ability to see something and imagine it totally renovated. There was this crummy trailer sitting in the yard of the estate. On it was a sign posted “For Sale. $35”. Now, my memory is not that great, but I remember a lot about that day.
This isn’t the exact trailer but it looks remarkably like it. It looks amazingly like it. It was so junky that he couldn’t even pull it behind his truck. He had to hitch up his trailer and load the little trailer onto it. Which he did. At this point, he didn’t tell me that it was for me.
Now, let me assure you. Every girl needs a trailer, and every girl needs to learn how to back a trailer up. If you don’t know how, you can find yourself in some pretty tight spots, like the time that Cathy, her mom and I were going to a quilt show. Afterward we were going to the cabin to sew. We had our suitcases and you never really knew what you were going to find at a quilt show. We could theoretically find something large enough that necessitated a trailer. I needed to pull it along. But I was still green. I was not yet a trailer aficionado. My dad had been working with me, but had not passed me with a full certificate as of yet. Somehow, I couldn’t resist pulling that trailer along. It was going to be it’s maiden voyage.
I pulled the trailer into a parking lot and found that there was not outlet. I had practiced backing the trailer up, but was in no way ready to do it on my own, especially in a parking lot full of cars that could easily be damaged. I could take them all out collectively with one wrong turn. So, I went in to the cafe and asked “Does anyone here know how to back a trailer up?”
You have to know two things about this event. I had just turned 40 so I was still pretty good looking. That is one thing. The second thing is that it was one of those small town diners where old men sit and coffee klatsch. Several men puffed out their chest, put their thumbs under their suspenders, and declared their in depth knowledge of trailer backage. So an older gentleman came out to the car with me and skillfully backed the trailer from the tight spot.
Anyway, as long as I had a trailer, I could get rid of anything I wanted in the house. I didn’t have to wait for the Polish rummage sale, as we all called it. That’s the day where everyone throws things out on the curb for the garbage men to pick up. There’s only one day and one day only that is designated the dump day. Everyone waited all year for this day because it was the one chance you had to get rid of things that were of significant size and bulk. The garbage men would just come and hoist it into their trucks. But, it never really lasted one day. People anticipated this day. It was talked about and planned for. All year I would see things in the house or in the yard and say that it would go on dump day. People would put things out days in advance for the sole purpose of having someone else pick it up. If it was deemed unsuitable when it reached its new destination, then they would put it on the curb. This would go on and on. What a riot. One could make a significant haul. But, the city council finally put the kabosh on it.
Back to the trailer. My dad had fixed it up so that it was an attractive, well put together trailer with new sides, wheels and tires. Wow. I was stylin’. I could load up yard debris, grass clippings, brush, large items going to Goodwill–anything. It was great. I didn’t have to wait for anything or anyone. Out it would go.
I had finally had it with that bathroom curtain/valence. I could stand it no longer. I pulled out the screwdriver and went at it. Then I carried the thing down the stairs and hoisted it into the trailer. I had other things that needed to go to the dump as well. Many things. I was in that kind of a mood.
So I put the kids into the car, buckled them in and said “Come on. We’re going to the dump”. Little kids have lots of questions when you are throwing things out. They get a weird and sentimental attachment to things. You just have to be stealthy, and you have to distract them so that they don’t see what you’re getting rid of. I figured that the curtain would make the perfect covering for some of the things underneath. I laid it over the top and backed the trailer (expertly I might add) out of the driveway. I was feeling pretty good. Not even the Clampetts had such a trailer.
I would take it very slowly. We lived in town, and the dump was just on the other side of town. Speed limit 15. That’s what I did the whole way there with the children chattering away. They didn’t even notice that a few pieces of ratty furniture from the house and a couple old rugs were in the trailer. If they had, I would have needed to give a long, unsatisfying explanation for why these were being thrown out, after which, they would have spilled their guts to their father upon his return from work. Surely he would think I was crazy.
I got to the dump, gave the voucher to the dump man for one load of undesirables, and stepped out from behind the wheel. My heart stopped. Where was the bathroom curtain? Oh shoot. It was somewhere between my house and the dump. I never even heard it fall off. Well of course I hadn’t. Most mothers have to watch their children at swimming pools for drowning. I have only to notice that they’ve stopped talking to know that they were in trouble. They are the noisiest most talkative children on the face of the planet. Of course I had not heard it fall off.
I dumped the contents into the large green bins. Heave ho. The kids were watching through the back window, crying “Hey, that’s Genevieve’s favorite rug….” (our Golden Retriever). I jumped back into the vehicle and drove down the street. There it was. By now it had started raining pretty hard and the curtain was soaked. I pulled over and jumped out of the car. A car came and rolled over it. Clack a lack. Then another car, seeing that I intended to pick the stupid thing up stopped so that I could run into the road and grab it. I did so.
Back to the dump.
I needed to answer all kinds of questions as to why I had decided to throw away the bathroom curtain. Dear Lord.
A few months passed by and I was at a gathering with my friends. It is so good when you have small children to get out and see your friends. We were all laughing and telling funny stories as friends do. A good friend of mine walked over to me and said “You know you’re going to think I’m crazy”. I said to her “Why would you think that?” She looked at me quizzically and somewhat sheepishly and said “well I think I am seeing things. A couple months ago I thought I saw your bathroom curtain in the middle of Union Street. When I drove back, it was gone.” She went on to say that she thought to herself “why would her bathroom curtain be in the middle of the street? I must be losing my mind”.
“Yeah”, I said. “You did. It was one of those days”…