When I was a boy, I didn’t know a household that didn’t have a sewing machine, nor did I know anybody’s mother who didn’t sew.
I remember sitting on Grandma’s lap as she tried to teach me how to sew. I’m afraid I never quite caught on, but it was fascinating to watch. I especially liked all the nice sock puppets she made for me and my siblings and my cousins.
What happened to all those sewing machines? Do people still have them? I don’t think my mother kept her sewing machine after she’d moved several times.
It was a nice, cozy sound, though, that humming of the sewing machine. I wish I’d been able to learn how to use one.
Aunt Betty, the eldest of my mother’s five sisters, was a nun. She lived and worked in some exotic place called “Pennsylvania,” and every now and then came up for a visit. As a very young child, I found her old-fashioned black habit… well, it used to scare me.
But Betty was determined to win me over, and that she did. I don’t know where this notion came from, but I believed “Pennsylvania” still had mammoths and that my aunt could somehow get one for me. And she made the mistake of saying she’d see what she could do.
Naturally I expected her to come up with a real, live mammoth all my own. I pestered Grandma about it. And one day Aunt Betty showed up with a mammoth–just for me.
I was disappointed. It was just a little mammoth shape cut from someone’s old fur coat. But what I wouldn’t give to have it now! And once I understood that this little cut-out was the best that she could do, I became very attached to her.
What a mind she had! She knew all the classics, in English and in Latin, and had a gift for talking to you as if you were all grown up already. We grew closer as the years went by. I could listen to her for hours. But she has since gone to her reward, and our next family dinner will be laid out for us in Christ’s Kingdom.
It snowed yesterday, I had to clear my car and make a run for supplies… so I gave myself a reward. I went out of my way to visit Tommy’s Pond, my old sledding spot, just to see if anyone were still enjoying it. A man was there with his three kids and two toboggans. He gave me a big smile and I gave it back. Happy memories galore!
Oh, yeah–break out the old Flexible Flyer and hit the slopes! Or you could skate on the pond. Or both. It sure beat sitting there in school all day.
Note: This post has no business being on a serious nooze site.
I had a most vivid, happy dream the other night. I was hopping down the sidewalk on my old pogo stick, on my way to–well, I couldn’t remember to where, when I woke up. So let me say Camelot. I’d like to visit Camelot.
When I was ten years old or so, I was a grand master of the pogo stick. If my mother ever could’ve seen some of the death-defying tricks I pulled–like hopping up and down the bleachers at the football field, or up and down the stairs, on my pogo stick–she would’ve had conniptions.
Anyway, there I was, boing, boing, boing, and wherever I was going, I couldn’t wait to get there.
Please pardon the silly cartoon. I wanted this carol in German because I grew up hearing it in German–from my mother, my grandma, and my aunts. Oh, it brings them back to me! But Christmas is a time for remembering.
Did I dream of all these places? There’s not a shred of them left. All pulled down, bulldozed, paved over, a perpetual sacrifice to the idol of mere ugliness. No more skating in the woods, because there’s no more woods. And that fabulous wealthy estate that I remember, torn away to make room for another housing development–I may be the only one left who ever knew it had once been there.
Requested by Erlene–and I wish I’d posted it sooner, before getting involved with any nooze–It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, sung by St. Peter’s Choir.
Beautiful! Moves me to tears! Brings me to one of my earliest memories: I’m a little boy sitting on my Uncle Bernie’s lap while this hymn is playing somewhere in my Grammie’s house. I must’ve been all of three years old. I’ve loved this hymn since then.
Look! This kid has a rhino horn! Popular culture has caught up to what my Grandma was doing in 1954.
Throughout my early childhood–right up to kindergarten, in fact–I wanted to be a zebra when I grew up. But for just a little while, I wanted to be a rhino.
I pestered Grandma about it, convinced that she was the wisest person in the world and would surely know how I could go about becoming a rhinoceros.
So she sat down at her sewing machine (every home I knew had one, back then) and made a rhino horn for me. It was made of white cloth and stuffed with lint, and it was soft and saggy–and I loved it! Out of the way, you pipsqueaks–here comes the rhino!
She also taught me that catalpa leaves make pretty good elephant ears.
You can’t buy grandparents, folks. You have to be blessed with them.