Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Box Speaks of the Past

Summer at the Avery humble abode is all about closet cleaning. Every week of this summer break from work and school we, well mostly me, pick a closet and purge. It feels so good!

This week it was M who tackled a closet--the second closet in her bedroom. Without boring you with stories of all the treasure finds, let me say the trash man's job secured by the number of bags M loaded up. Now second closest holds a mirage of fashion selections that have spread with plenty of room for the fabric fibers to breath. I believe closet one is devoted to pants and shirts while closet two is the keeper of the dresses and skirts.

When you clean a closet it has a tendency to domino. When King Ralph's grandmother passed away M inherited her sewing machine and her sewing box stool. The stool was pretty much a kin to Pandora's box. Filled with a mess of threads of many colors, bias tapes, measuring tapes, needles and pins galore to prick the fingers-- enough to keep Sleeping Beauty resting. Then deep down in the bottom of the stool was a small stack of receipts, the receipts to the sewing machine. It was sort of like finding a love letter. The first receipt was dated December 12, 1970 with a total of $504.95. King Ralph's grandfather it seems purchased the sewing machine as a Christmas gift. It shows he traded in a sewing machine which he received twenty bucks credit for, which he didn't turn over to the Singer Company till December 26...I suppose to keep his secret under wraps. He made a fifty-dollar deposit and promised to make fifteen dollar a month payments. The other receipt is dated December 28, 1970 and says simply, "parts", at a cost of ten dollars. GeeGee, as the great grandchildren affectionately called her, must have bought an accessory for her new machine? When you think about five hundred dollars in 1970 that would be about a thousand dollars today...not a bad Christmas gift I say.

King Ralph then told M all about how he remembered his grandmother and his mother sewing dresses for his sisters on the machine. "They would have that rice paper", "you mean patterns dad?" M said. "Whatever, the paper was just really thin and it would be spread out all over the floor and they would pin and cut." Funny how time replays itself. Although I am not a sewer, M spreads her "rice paper" all over the floor and pins and cuts and creates on the same machine that her GeeGee once lovingly created from.

M kept the receipts, tucked them back into the bottom of the sewing stool. I can only assume as a reminder of where the machine came from...chapter one of a sewer's love story.


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