Monday, August 4, 2008

What Is There in Your Workspace?

Hidy Do, Friends!

I have been looking at and sorting through dusty quilt pieces this morning and have just about sneezed myself out. I am allergic to dust, and am hoping that the sneezing doesn't turn into an asthma attack. These are quilt pieces that had been cut out some time ago by my sister, Margaret, who passed on to her reward a little over seven months ago.

Let me do a little philosphizing (sp?) here. When she passed away, it became the responsibility of my brother, Hugh; his wife, Imazo; and me; to empty out her one-room apartment. My husband, Dub, helped where he could by helping to carry stuff.

Margaret was born in 1925 during the middle of the Depression years and consequently learned the value of thriftiness. Needless to say, she never ever threw anything away that "might be of use later on".

If you have never had the occasion or need to clean out a space vacated by someone's passing, you have really missed a chore.

She had stuff packed back and away in every conceivable space in that tiny room where she lived: under the bed, in drawers, in bookcases, in storage containers, in suitcases, in shelves, in trunks, in footlockers, in boxes, in bags. You get the idea, by now, I am sure.

There were oodlings of quilting stuff, which I went through some while we were there (on one of many trips), and then brought home with me in 8 large under-the-bed boxes, which I later went through at home and winnowed them down to 5 such boxes.

Margaret lived on a small fixed income, and because of needing to scrape and save, she even washed the plastic baggies like food is put into and stored them in a cabinet drawer for reuse. We found food leftovers that she had saved. She had more clothes stored in her closets than she could ever have worn; some looked like they should have been discarded some time past. Some had never been worn; she was probably "saving them" for special occasions. Imazo had worked at Proffits and had bought some of them for Margaret.

All this brings me to observe that when someone comes in to clean and clear away stuff that we have put back, what will they find? Have you ever looked around in the room where you spend most of your time during the day, and tried to see it with the eyes of a visitor? What would they see? I can see all kinds of "unfinished projects" in my workroom. The quilt pieces were part of unfinished projects that Margaret had in mind to do. Little did she realize the morning that she broke her leg, that she would never live to finish them. Six months later, she was gone.

Are there things that you need to do, projects that need to be finished? Are there people you need to visit, or talk to, or send a card, write a letter, call on the phone?

Anyway, I have in mind a project - making a quilt for my grandson, Matthew, using some of the cutout quilt pieces that Margaret so painstakingly cut out. And I do mean, painstaking, because she had arthritis in her hands for the past several years, and I know it was painful for her to use the scissors. I will be thinking of Margaret and also of Matthew as I work to do this quilt. Thank you, Margaret, for your work on these pieces. Pictured here is a sample that I put together to see how the blocks would look. As you can see, it is a flower made of seven pieces and appliqued onto a colored square.

Well, this is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. I just pray that God will allow me to finish the projects I have in mind so that I can leave behind a few items that my family will appreciate having. God bless each of you. Bye for now.


Judy said...

The quilt pieces are very pretty. I have downsized a lot in the past few years. I am trying to get rid of everything but just what I need. My house looks so much better with a lot of clutter and stuff gone and is so easy to clean. My girls are horders! They get it from their grandmother. They keep everything and it drives me crazy sometimes. I am just the opposite. TN said...

Good post Grammy. I have often visualized my children going through our possessions after we are gone. I had to do that after my Mother and Daddy passed away and it was a hard job. You have given me the incentive to see what I can "weed out". My husband and I argue about this all of the time....which one has the most junk. I have ALREADY downsized a lot, but he has yet to start. What do you do?
I love your quilt pieces. I have enough material for 100 quilts, I know. Yarn is my hang up. At one time, I had over 500 skeins. The kind I liked the most was being discontinued and every Wal-mart had it for .33 cents a skein. I visited every Wal-Mart within 200 miles. I'm still using from that stash!