Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Quiet Afternoon

I sat at my kitchen table in the afternoon sun to do a little hand sewing. The light was good; the house was quiet.

Soon I had a pug on my lap, pushing his face into my work.

He seemed so content, I let him stay.

Even though it meant he was in my way.

In the sunlight, sitting still, I could fully admire the way his cute, teenager-ish fur juts over his polka-dot collar. 

I recaptured my work from under his chin and carried on.

Soon another pug appeared, but my lap was full.

He had to make do with chin scratches.

As I slowly picked my way along a hem with a single thread, stopping occasionally to scratch a furry chin, I realized we were experiencing a moment of extreme peace, of perfect quiet. 

Around me were sewing things that once belonged to my mother, like the clothing tags in the upper-right compartment of my sewing box:

And this bobbin box:

And things that belonged to my Nana, like this Bakelite thread caddy:

The work I was doing, hand-picking a rolled hem, was something my mother--or maybe my Nana--taught me how to do.

It makes a beautiful, tiny hem with almost no visible stitching:

Both ladies would have been glad to know I was still using skills they taught me. Sewing skills, yes. But also the skills of valuing humble objects, sitting quietly, being at peace with the world.  

And doling out butt scratches.

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