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.