Heirlooms from Home

IMG_0125Laura was home this weekend.

Not only did we do some wedding planning – but she packed up more of her stuff to move into their new house.

The tool box I kept tripping on in the attic is gone.

The chin up in the basement that was collecting spider webs no longer lives here.

Her sewing machine that was covered with dust will now gather dust somewhere else.

This is all good.

But we also went through my kitchen cupboards and pulled out everything that was hers.

This was not so good.

She had quite a collection of kitchen tools and accessories that I freely used.

I’ll miss the nutmeg grater, micro-planer and cookbooks.

The sil-pat and custard cups.

The grill pan.

Sigh.

But in the search for her things, we were able to find and pass on to her some extras that I had.

Serving bowls.

A Christmas tray.

And that set of pot de creme cups with the divet in the bottom that makes it impossible to get out the last bite of chocolate.

It makes me smile to think of the two of them sticking their tongues in the divet to lick out the good stuff – just like she did growing up.

So amidst all the new and wonderful things in their first home,  there will be some old and familiar ones.

Some heirlooms from home.

And that makes my heart happy.

 

 

 

Spare Room

I had a startling discovery recently – I now have a spare room.

How did this happen?

After years of piling kids on top of each other in bunk beds in cramped rooms – of sharing dressers and space – we now have one room empty.

There’s nobody to claim it.

Matt, Dagmar and Pedro have all moved out. Buddy and Angel Girl each have their own rooms already.That leaves one left over.

A spare room.

At first glance this is a very sad thing – a reminder of the babies who have grown up and left.

But upon further reflection, I have come to the conclusion that not only is this a good thing – it is highly desired.

Think of how highly Anne of Green Gables considered the spare room.

“There’s one more thing, Marilla,” said Anne with the air of producing the last shot in her locker. “Mrs. Barry told Diana that we might sleep in the spare room bed. Think of the honor of your little Anne being put in the spare room bed.”

AOGG1-004“Remember me Anne-Girl when you come to town you’re to visit me and I’ll put you in my sparest spare-room bed to sleep.”

And later – “Marilla and I cleared everything out of the spare bedroom yesterday. Do you know, I hated to do  it? Of course it’s silly – but it does seem like we’re committing sacrilege. The old spare room has always seemed like a shrine to me. “

No – I think a spare room might be a good thing.

I now have a guest room!

Space for more books!

Empty dressers for linens!

I could make a new quilt for the bed!

Maybe I’ll call it the “Anne Suite” or the “Green Gables Room”!

No – I think I shall call it the spare room so that my guests – like Anne Shirley – can have the excitement, thrill and honor, of sleeping in my “sparest spare-room bed”.

The room may sit empty now – but it has a purpose.

It no longer reminds me of what is gone, but is a promise of what’s to come.

 

The Big Picture

My quilt project this year is rather unique.

Normally when I make a quilt block you can see the quilt’s design – Ohio star, log cabin, 9 patch.

But these quilt blocks look odd – almost like a mistake.

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It’s only when you put them together that you see the pattern.

Each individual quilt block becomes a part of the bigger picture.

Stars are formed.

Random squares are joined to make paths and outline.

Each individual block makes sense when it becomes a part of the whole.

IMG_3279So often there are seasons in life that are just like my quilt blocks – on their own they don’t make sense.

They look odd and out of context.

They seem to be a mistake.

We wish we could design them differently – rearrange the situations, change the outcomes, make each one pretty in it’s own way.

But God – the master Designer – saw the big picture.

He knew how the individual parts would come together.

He would make the shadows into stars.

And define them with light.

A perfect plan.

 

Bubble Head

11081379_809259099167815_1237937052_nIt’s always a good idea to use your head while cleaning.

Not that I do. Actually – I spend a great deal of time daydreaming and planning and talking and singing and don’t always pay attention to what I’m doing.

Like on Saturday.

I was almost done cleaning the bathroom when I saw a spot on the mirror. I had a towel in my hand so I just reached over to wipe it off.

And when I reached over to wipe it off, the other end of the towel just happened to brush the top of the sink and knock over my ceramic soap dispenser.

Which just happened to crash to the tile floor and break.

Which spilled hand soap everywhere.

I had just filled it.

Oops.

Did I start thinking then? No. Of course not. I immediately took the large super fluffy bath towel in my hand and started to mop up the soap.

It wasn’t until I put the towel in the sink to rinse it that I realized my mistake. An entire soap dispenser full of soap makes a lot of bubbles.

A LOT of bubbles.

So many bubbles it took me 45 minutes of rinsing and squeezing to finally feel safe enough to put it in the washing machine. (That Brady Bunch episode when Bobby puts all the soap in washing machine and the bubbles flooded the room made a huge impression!)

The funny thing is – this is not the first time I’ve broken a ceramic soap dispenser.  I replaced our plastic ones with ceramic a few years ago thinking the kids were old enough now to not break them.

They are – but I’m not. I’ve broken every single one.

And all while cleaning.

The score stands- kids: 0, mom: 9.

Jan’s comment? “Plastic works well. ”

And so it does. Which is a good thing – because sometimes this momma is a bubble head!

Flotsam and Jetsam

flotsam and jetsomMy project this month is the attic.

Angel Girl got things started for me – sorting through the things that have a designated place and just needed to go back.

But my job is harder. I’ve been working my way through the piles of stuff that don’t have a home.

The flotsam and jetsam of a family that somehow ended up in the attic.

The orphan shoe.

The pretty ribbon saved from a package.

Scraps of wrapping paper.

An old clock radio.

A cassette tape.

The box of curtains I bought – but never quite got hung.

A random toy horse.

The reproduction fife we bought Matt on vacation when he was four that a sibling later squished.

Random bits and pieces of life, overlooked, outgrown and unneeded on a daily basis.

Every piece must be touched and evaluated .

Keep?

Throw?

Donate?

A million tiny decisions.

The garbage pile gets bigger.

The donate pile tips over.

And there – on a small pile – are the treasures.

The few nuggets worth saving in the piles of stuff.

Mission accomplished.