Tuesday, December 28, 2004


NPR keeps Smartmom connected to the outside world and news of the rising death toll caused by the tsunami. Unthinkable loss -- so sudden, so random, so frightening.

Another day of rain and Smartmom spent it sewing (yes sewing) in the living room. Clever Grandma found batik fabric that she made some thirty years ago - decorations for Hepcat's senior prom. Purple, orange, pink. Stars, moons, zodiac designs.

So very 1973.

Smartmom and OSFO cut and sewed squares of this fabric and made sachets. They went out into the garden and picked lavender, roses, oranges and other good smelling things. Then they dried the plants near the fireplace and filled the sachets, which will be gifts to friends and family back home.

OSFO also wanted to make a t-shirt, a shawl, and a blanket for her Kit doll. Never one to squelch OSFO's ambitions, Smartmom did what she could to make her dreams come true. They even started a small patchwork quilt for that very spoiled doll.

There was a restful rhythm to their day of sewing. Cutting, threading the needle, pinning the fabric, making small, neat stitches across the hem, Smartmom kept thinking of her own grandmother's short graceful fingers as she sewed. She remembered the way she guided each stitch with her thumb. The running stitch is what she called it, a nice way to make a hem.

Sewing felt like the right thing to do this day. Teen Spirit stayed in the warm bedroom with a full-blown cold. Hepcat spent the day dealing with his new (used) camera. It seems the previous owner was a Buddhist monk and renowned photographer of the Himalayas. That said, the camera itself may be a dud and Hepcat is trying to figure out what is wrong with it and whether he should take it back to the store.

So there was a quiet intensity about this rainy, sewing day. Hepcat with his camera, Teen Spirit coughing and sneezing calling for things from the bedroom, Smartmom and OSFO with their needles and thread turning old batik fabric into sachets, purses, blankets for OSFO's Kit doll.

Even after dinner when Smartmom and Clever Grandma played scrabble, Smartmom kept sewing. In one turn, however, she did use all seven of her scrabble squares with the word: ENJOYED. The beauty of it was that the D added to the word AMAZE, which was already on the board, to spell AMAZED. There was a triple word score in there somewhere and 50 bonus points for using all seven squares.

It was a quiet victory, though. Smartmom went back to sewing and didn't gloat at all Not this sewing day.

Now OSFO is asleep on the couch, Clever Grandma is asleep in her chair, the nasty cat, Ginger, is glaring at Smartmom for stealing her chair, and a magically recovered Teen Spirit with Hepcat are at the multiplex to see "The Aviator."

So quiet now. Smartmom isn't sure what she'll do. Sleep beckons. But she may have one more sachet left in her before bedtime. Then again, maybe not.


At 8:20 AM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

sounds like the longer you stay in California, the farther back in time you go - You sound like pioneers enduring a cold winter during the westward movement. It sounds like you are being very productive out there. I guess the $50+ clothing puchased for Kit just don't quite measure up to those that can be handsewn. Interesting. Is Kit from the depression era.? It is nice that Alice is really getting into the spirit of her Kit doll's past.

I am overwhelmed by the death and destruction caused by the tsunami. Susan Sontag died and her book "On Photography" comes to mind - watching tv is totally absurd in the context of the tragedy. Reality shows, Survivor, apprentice, Nip and Tuck - it all seems so trivial and banal in light of all the suffering. I gave $50 to UNICEF ( the cost of an outfit for Kit) and that can go a long way. I decided against the Red Cross because on their website, there was nothing specific about the disaster and I was afraid my money would not go directly to that part of the world - similar to what happened during 9/11. How come their website had not been changed? dunno Happy new year? MIW

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Little Light said...

I'm back and catching up on what I missed. Kit seems like an ideal doll for OSFO - not that I'd know, but it seems to be the case.

Very happy for W&F too! Babies in the family or extended family are always wonderful. You'll have to be Aunt Smartmom after the arrival of MIW's child.

68000 people is probably bigger than the town of Waterloo. I keep trying to think of how big that number actually is. How many people are actually gone and whether or not you'd notice it in a large city.


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