Pink’s Sewing Box


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I recently found out my great-grandmother was the one who got my mom into crafting. My mom is big into crafting. So much so that she has been amassing supplies (old toothbrushes, terrifying dolls, etc.) for many years in the hope that someone (Margot) will come along and need to craft immediately upon entering her house. Margot is still too young, and showing a propensity towards sports so Mom will have to wait a little longer to continue the tradition of crafting she learned to love from my Grandma Pink. By the way, she was called Pink because she loved the color so much. Um, awesome. If I had a nickname it would be Spaghetti or Ranch – pretty lame and/or gross!

I only knew her a little bit because she passed away when I was a teenager and too thoroughly engrossed in my own head to be interested in other people. It’s a shame how out of it we can be even when we feel completely with it. I was so busy thinking and daydreaming about who I wanted to be and what I wanted the future to be like that I missed most of what was actually happening in front of me. I guess that’s what they mean when they say youth is wasted on the young.

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A few years ago my mom gave me Pink’s sewing box because I am into sewing (or at least I am into thinking about projects that would be fun to make) and I was amassing all the little bits and bobs but didn’t have anywhere to store them. I must have mentioned that all the ones for sale were too pricey. My mom and I share an abhorrence for things deemed “too expensive.” Second hand is pretty much my mom’s favorite thing, and free is my favorite thing. My mom recently called to tell me about a sale she had stumbled on at the Goodwill that included a lady at the door handing out leis because it was a Hawaiian themed sale (in the middle of Ohio). “And to think,” she said, “I almost didn’t go in!”

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The sewing box is nothing fancy, just a plastic tackle box looking thing with crazy person handwriting scrawled here and there. Her name, incidentally. Whenever I take it out I wonder why she wrote it on there. Did she take it to craft get togethers? Did they have those? They were probably more useful than now, making blankets or care packages or something. I guess I should ask my mom to see if she knows.

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There were a number of supplies in there too. I saved most of them. A thimble that fits my finger perfectly. A homemade heart shaped sachet that has a lovely scent all these years later. A lovely, if a bit moth eaten, needle book complete with assortment of needles. A couple measuring tapes that advertise various things, including the measurements for different types of bandages.

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These things have lasted a long time. They were probably purchased or made before I was born. It is humbling to think about how the things we surround ourselves with may have a life we could never have imagined for them when we got them. When mom gave me the box, I would never have imagined a life with Brandon and Margot. I barely even knew him, and kids where some sticky future idea that I didn’t really care to consider. Now here I am pulling out the measuring tape for Margot to use to tease the cats. I am planning to use one of the needles to embroider an “Oh, Shit” strap for Brandon’s mustang (another story altogether). Yet, every time I open the box I smell the sachet which is only a slightly muted version of the scent that Grandma Pink smelled every time she opened it so many years ago.

Do we live on through our things? I think we must a little bit. How can we not if it is something we hold dear, or something we put our heart into as we made it or cared for it? I look around the room as I type this and wonder what things will be passed on, what things will come to hold meaning and connection for someone else down the line? It is a gentle reminder to care for the things we have because there is no telling where they will end up.

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