Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midweek reminder: Fix what you can

Every day, problems exist. Most days, that information can sit there behind your left ear, just a quiet whisper. Other days, those problems/issues/concerns feel larger, and the whisper grows to a shout. Why is that? I can go along quite contentedly for some time (yes, say it, head in the sand--this week quite literally as we've put down almost two tons of sand with brick pavers), and then one thing or another will wake me up to the reality of issues that need solving, past actions and their corresponding regret, sadness for my own or others' pain (real and/or imagined)... you know, life.

I have found, more often than not, when that mindset creeps in, the single best thing I can do is get up and get something done. It is best if that something can be for someone else--a note, a prayer, a "helping hand," a smile. But I like practical solutions, and doing something tangible can make me pretty happy.

Last night, Seth was looking around for his Grandma blanket (the one my Grandma Kandt made for him that he uses on nights when his full comforter will be too hot) and it was downstairs. It was late, but mostly we were both too lazy to go down and get it. So we rummaged in the upstairs linen closet for an acceptable substitute.

I found (after getting Seth settled with an old quilt) an old crocheted blanket my mom made me sometime around 1984. I remember having it for sure when I left for boarding school the summer of 1984, but I probably had it at home a couple of years prior to that... And I remember Ma making it too, all the time and energy she put into it, and the border--I remember specifically watching and learning as she made the scallopy border. I loved that blanket and until it mysteriously disappeared during my senior year at boarding school, I always had it on my bed.

The summer of 1986, after I'd graduated high school, my mom and I were standing around at a church campmeeting in Hope, B.C., and we saw the girl's dean of that boarding school, across a common area. Over her arm was draped MY blanket. Oh wow. I don't think my mom hesitated for even one second. She recognized her handiwork! So, she marched over to the lady and said, "Where did you get that blanket?"  According to the dean, when the school year had ended and everyone had gone home, the blanket was found in a room. She didn't say whose room, or how she decided that meant the blanket would now be hers, but she also didn't argue and handed it over without any discussion. I remember meeting my mom's eyes over the dean's head in an agreed "this story sounds suspect," but we just said "Thanks for bringing the blanket back!" and went on our merry way.

The blanket did, however, now have a little hole in it. Not a big one, just enough to annoy me. I didn't use the blanket anymore, so as not to spread the damage, just put it away. And here we are, 25 years later (cough, sputter, that seems an outrageous amount of time), and I woke up this morning with the immediate need to Fix. That. Blanket.

I don't know how, but over the years the hole appears to have grown... I think laundering it after the campmeeting recovery might have contributed to that...
I had some off-white yarn that was very close to the weight and fiber makeup of the original, and luckily, my Ma and I were raised in the same crochet world, and the stitch was easy enough to mimic. I am hopeful that the new yarn will fuzz up softly like the old, and it will look seamless... over time...
See that scallopy bobble edge? I love that.

That felt good! Not every thing can be fixed as easily as that blanket, but it was one little thing that could be done, right now. I'm going to keep that sweet blanket out near our bed now, not tucked into a linen closet, and as a reminder of the little solveable obstacles in my way, each day.


  1. I DO remember it!!! Love the story too (though, you could have omitted the number of years for goodness sake!) ~ Wow, got to watch out for those deans. I thought she was such a straight arrow too :)

    Makes me think about our dorm rooms and all the fun we had on our Spokane excursions shopping for the perfect mack tack paper, etc. back in the day!

  2. Oh... you did a fabulous job of fixing it!

  3. What a great blog post! The Roosevelt quote is a classic... and fit right into your theme of the day. I had long forgot about the blanket, but rememeber just like yesterday your thrill of finding that quilt.

    It feels so good to fix things... it is almost as good as making them in the first place. And your repair came out absolutely wonderful. You have reclaimed an old treasure.

  4. Oh bless your heart...what a good reminder of days gone by. I do remember that night and the thrill of getting it back for you.

    Sherilee, you know as a mother, that the projects or things you do for your children are the very best way to spend your time. As you are stitching you send love into that piece with every fibre of your heart.

    And you did a fine job of cleaning up the tear. Great job...and even if it doesn't fuzz up it will always be a reminder of your insight into life.

    So nice.

  5. Wow- what a story! I'd love to know what secrets that blanket holds from its time away from you. I'm so glad you found it. And I love the reminder to "fix what you can"- I just wrote that down in my journal so I remember it. I 'm sort of in a weird place right now and the idea of just doing small things that can be done makes me feel a lot better!

  6. Thank you for this post. I really needed to hear it today.

    There are things you can't control, but you have to go on with what you've got and make the most of it.

    So much easier said than done, but thanks for the reminder.


Blogger Template By Designer Blogs