Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pink Camellias

On what should have been an average Monday, the day has wrapped with some lovely moments and some good memories. I think I've mentioned before about how Lacey collects things on our walks. She loves to have something in her hands. Rocks and sticks suffice, but if she can get her hands on a flower she is absolutely giddy. I so hope that she marries a romantic who will send her “pretty flowers” on a regular basis. Last week she got thorns in her fingers from insisting on a rose from her Daddy's rose bushes, and today she spied the lovely, plump, fluffy, pink Camellia blossoms on the Camellia bush. I really didn't want her to pull them off. I explained to her that once they were picked they would start to die and that they would be prettier for much longer if we left them on the bush. Her response, “Well, we can take a picture and then we will have them for a long time.” She is so MY child it is ridiculous. How did I not see this coming? So, we picked three choice blossoms, only three. We found a pretty glass from the kitchen cabinet and arranged them. Lacey went to her room and promptly returned with her camera, an old film camera that I gave her so she wouldn't get any ideas about using mine. We walked the yard and placed the little arrangement in various locations. Each time, she would take a picture, and then I would take one. I was trying to pay attention to the light, trying to find the perfect sun-kissed but covered spot. She had lots of suggestions as well. We ended up with a photo that I love, and a memory that I love even more. I will print this photo and hang it in Lacey's room. One day I will show Lacey's children the photo and will tell them the story of the pink Camellias, about how their mother suggested that a picture would make the pretty flowers last a long time. I guess she was right...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sewing Box

This little sewing box holds a special place in my heart. It's been put away, for safe keeping, but I decided to bring it out and once again and make it a part of my home. Perhaps I remembered it due to the time of year – the coming of Christmas. This box once belonged to my paternal grandmother. She passed away a few years before my birth so I never had the opportunity to meet her. I've been told we a lot alike – same height, same build, and both have a love of sewing. But alas, this post is not about sewing or my sweet grandmother, it's about saving.

This antique box was a part of my bedroom growing up. It was always there, on my shelf, dresser, chest-of-drawers. I moved it around but it was always there. As a child of about 10 or 11 I really loved it. Not because is was antique or a keepsake, but because it had a “secret compartment.” Having two younger brothers, “secrets” were invaluable. The little tomato pin cushion could be lifted to reveal this compartment that I swore nobody knew was there except for me.
One day in the summer I embarked upon a self-imposed challenge. I decided that I wanted to buy everyone a Christmas gift with my own money. No help from the adults. I would start in the summer so I would have enough saved by December. The “secret compartment” would hold the loot and I wouldn't tell a soul what I was planning to do. So, for months and months I squirreled away my nickels and dimes in the sewing box. I would volunteer to help with the laundry in order to collect the change my dad left in his pant pockets. I would clean the kitchen and get a quarter – BIG money for our family at the time. I would regularly move the couch cushions to find more change. I honestly remember walking through parking lots looking at my feet just in case someone had dropped a penny or two! My endeavors were fruitful. My heart, full of pride, announced that I would be buying everyone a gift with my own money. I don't recall what I purchased for everyone. I do remember buying my grandma, my mother's mom, and pair of knee highs because I noticed hers had holes, and a tin of hard candy – her favorite. What has stuck with me is the feeling - the feeling of working hard, accomplishing a goal and getting to show love for my family in a way I had never done before. I have never forgotten what the accomplishment felt like. This lesson has carried over into my adult life. I want something, I work, I save, and it makes me appreciate to have what I've worked so hard for. I think if I could simply go out and buy everything I wanted, the appreciation would be greatly diminished., and the “newness” would wear off way too quickly.
So, I look at this sewing box – complete with the same little calico fabric scraps I placed in them as a child, and it makes me happy. It represents lessons I want to teach my children, and lessons I need to continue to implement in my adulthood. It represents how sometimes having less makes you love more, work harder, and in the end, find that you were never lacking to begin with.