Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Use your imagination....and other advice from my mom

I don't have much in the way of pictures to post.  I do have this picture of the main portion of the quilt I am making.

Ignoring the laundry behind it, use your imagination.  Do you see a pond?  The green is supposed to be a little grassy area or some lily pads.  I am going to embroider some fish and maybe a frog on it.  It is for a 13 year old boy.  How is your imagination working?

My mom used to say to me, "Use your imagination!"  She really shouldn't have....I can imagine a lot of things.  Some of them I told her.  Not my fault!  She said to use my imagination!  One time I climbed a tree because I imagined I was a bird.  Then I couldn't get down.  She had to climb up after me!  Another time I was late for curfew.  I imagined I had been listening to a radio station across the state line (another time zone) and told her I didn't know I was late.  She looked at me and said, "That will work ONE TIME and THIS is it.  Don't use it again."  See....I did use my imagination.

My mom was an interesting woman.  She could sew like a computer but refused to use an iron - NEVER pressed a seam in her life.  I showed up for my sister's wedding and said, "Mom, didn't you press those seams when you made that?"  She says, "Nope!  I don't iron.  If you want it pressed, you do it."  So, I did.  That was a comman theme.  Mom would decide she wasn't doing something and I would end up doing it.

I know I sew because of Mom.  I know I don't have certain skills because of Mom.  A couple of weeks ago I made new pillows.  I put zippers in them.  I am terrible at zippers.  Well, not terrible.  I do have to baste the seam first and then put them in.  My mom never did.  She just sewed them in and they were always right.  If I had something that needed a zipper she just put it in for me.  Now, she couldn't make a buttonhole to save her soul but I can.  Zippers she did.  Buttonholes I did.

Mom would stay up all night making all three of us girls new Easter dresses.  On Easter Sunday we always had new dresses she had made.  Lots of double knit in the 70s!  That is how I learned to change diapers.  I was six when my baby sister was born in January of 1971.  In March Mom was making Easter dresses.  The baby was crying but Mom thought she could wait a few minutes.  I didn't.  I crawled in the crib with her and changed her diaper.  She was happy and so was Mom.  Now I changed diapers.  The baby already preferred me to anyone.  Now I could change her, too!  At six I knew how to diaper, feed, burp, bathe, dress and rock the baby, thanks to Mom just letting me do it.

I learned to cook reading cookbooks and just doing because Mom wasn't.  Now I know she suffered from depression.  She wouldn't cook and would just tell me I could do it when I asked.  By the time I was 9 or 10 I could fix a full meal including making gravy.  I still work off the same formula.  One protein, one starch, two fruits and vegetables.

Mom always told me I could do anything and then was a little surprised at some of what I did.  She told me not to depend upon a man to take care of me.  So, I went to college and got a BS  in Chemistry.  This amazed her because she had been told girls couldn't understand chemistry when she was in high school.

When I was eleven I asked her when I could have my own babies.  She said when I grew up and got married.  So, as soon as I was 18 I got married and started having babies!  29 years later I am still married.  Mom told me that wasn't a surprise because I was so stubborn.

I still miss Mom.  But I have to admit I learned a lot because of her in an unconventional manner.  It never occurred to her I couldn't do most anything because I always had.  She had faith in me and often trusted me with her most prized possessions - my sisters!

She died unexpectedly at 63 three and a half years ago.  If she were still here I am sure she would be working me in such a fashion that I learned something else.   But I do still use my imagination.  How else would I think I could put 24 fabrics together to make a pond???


  1. My daughter's very creative in the imagination department, too. I can hear her using the time zone excuse...very clever, Mary! I'm betting you had the same angelic expression on your face as my daughter uses with me...never mind the fact that she's trying to shovel a load of hooey at me!

  2. Well, of course I did! Mom was about as believing as you. She bought my husband - then boyfriend - a digital watch keychain for Christmas and told us to quit relying on the radio for time. He drove a 1966 Mustang. Those cars didn't have clocks.


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