Thursday, October 25, 2012

Common Household- Sewing

After reading through my co-bloggers posts, I've had a certain nostalgia come over me. I grew up in a home where both my parents worked, mom rushed from work to pick us up from daycare, raced to the grocery, then home to make dinner.

I don't recall helping make meals, cookies or pies. The rolling pin saw the light of day during the holidays, which happened to be the only times I recall watching my mom cook. So things like the turkey baster and candy thermometers were passing curiosities.

Microwaves and VCRs were things that came to be during my childhood. The only thing I noticed was my parents' excitement. And Top Gun on surround sound vibrating the walls. ;) I believe that movie propelled my dad into purchasing the VCR. 

Our first computer was a Texas Instrument. I remember standing with my dad in the magazine section as he perused the game codes. We'd then go home and spend hours upon hours inputting data, hoping we didn't make a mistake.

But the things I remember the most, things that may or may not be consider 'common household' items were things that were very common in our household.

One of my first memories is of my dad stepping on one of my mom's dropped pins. These tiny, shiny sharp objects have been around for thousands of years in various forms.

A little trivia, according to Wikipedia (Yeah, I know how reliable it is but still, it's fun) the term 'pin money' used back in the Middle Ages came from the fact that pins were expensive to purchase. A husband would give his wife money to by one. How thoughtful. :)

Mom lost a few pins throughout my childhood, and of course, Dad usually found them.

Scissors, an item that dates back to Mesopotamia, were another common item. One piece of advice I can give to all husbands if they wish to keep the peace in their households; DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use your wife's good scissors as tin snips or wire cutters.

Some of my fondest memories are of my mother staying up the night before Christmas finishing all the projects she was working on for us.

I'm sure she thinks I hated having homemade clothes when the rest of the kids had designer, and I'm sure there was a time that I did, but I will never forget the time and love spent over the cutting table, at the sewing machine, or sitting in her chair crocheting a scarf or knitting a sweater.

Writing prompt:

Flames blazed in the fireplace. The rocker creaked a staccato. Tonya's needles tapped . . .


  1. I learned to sew when I was small - 4-H projects. I sewed lots of my clothes in high school, but haven't sewed for years now. I guess I quit when I had 4 boys to take care of. Somehow sewing for little boys didn't excite me much.

  2. I tried sewing, but my perfectionism ruined any fun I might have had with it. My mom sewed our clothes too, she was a whiz...

  3. I remember my mom staying all night on Christmas Eve - sewing clothes for my Barbie! Nice article, Christina, you brought in some things not mentioned.

  4. Connie, I've had the desire to sew quilts lately. One of these days I'll get back to it.

  5. Jennifer, my mom is a brilliant seamstress. Sometimes it's hard to enjoy sewing when you can't match the creative perfectionism.

  6. Thank you, Betty. My mom sewed for Barbie and other dolls, too. She still does One day I'll have to share photos.

  7. Here's another story entry by Diane Dean White. Thanks Diane!

    Flames blazed in the fireplace. The rocker creaked a staccato. Tonya's
    needles tapped . . . she couldn't get the scene she'd witnessed earlier out
    of her mind. Her journey to town had been a short one; she needed more yarn
    for the shawl she was working on. It was a gift for her Aunt Katheryne who
    was coming to spend Christmas with her. She’d readied her favorite mare,
    Mattie, and rode directly to the fabric shop that the spinster Foster owned.
    Upon entry the bell announcing a visitor didn't ring. She scanned the store
    for Ms. Foster but no one was there. Tonya went over to the selection of
    yarn and looked through the bin, and found her color.

    "Hello, Ms. Foster, it's Tonya Covington. Are you here?" No reply.

    Tonya walked quietly to the back of the store to check the small office
    where the spinster often worked on her books. As she peeked in to look about
    voices came from outside the back door.

    “Cecil, you know I can’t just up and leave without making arrangements
    for someone to take over my business. It’s a lot that you’re asking of

    Tonya suppressed a gasp…the spinster Foster was standing in the alley with
    Cecil Rawlings…a card shark and womanizer of the worst kind. How was she
    involved with him? Tonya quickly returned the yarn to the bin and walked
    across to the Mercantile. She didn’t think they had the variety spinster
    Foster had, but she didn’t want to hear any more the spinster was talking
    about to Mr. Rawlings.

    Tonya made her way to the choice of yarn goods. Her shawl was a simple
    green. Like the lush color foliage that covered the earth in the beautiful
    part of Ohio and so breathtaking at the end of summer days. Green, she
    remembered was a favorite color of her aunts.

    As she was paying for her yarn a crowd gathered in the street near the
    spinsters shop. “What’s happening outside, Mrs. Mills?” Tonya inquired
    of the proprietor.

    “I don’t know, Miss. Tonya. Let’s go see. The woman looked around to
    be sure the store was empty of shoppers, opened the door to let Tonya out,
    and closing it proceeded to walk with her to the group that gathered near
    the front of the fabric shop.

    “Someone found spinster Foster slumped against the back of her store.
    She’d been stabbed in the chest, and left for dead. Who could have done
    such a thing?” A lady nearby relayed the story to those around her.

    “Oh, dear, Miss Tonya,” Mrs. Mills was clearly upset. “I can hardly
    believe it. Why would anyone hurt the spinster Foster?”

    “It’s terrible, Mrs. Mills.”

    Tonya learned no more and she’d offered nothing. Watching the fire she
    wanted to toss her shawl, needles and all into the flames. Why had she
    chosen that moment to enter the fabric shop? Come morning she’d make a
    trip into town and speak with the Sheriff.