I was folding clothes tonight and noticed something odd about one of Noel's new pairs of shorts (purchased recently for his new skinnier waistline). "Did you lose a button on these?" I asked him, while looking at the fastener to see if I was missing anything. He copped to it, and retrieved the button from our room where he had stashed it.
Ordinarily I'd stack the button and the piece of clothing somewhere for a day of repair that would be a very long time coming, if ever. But tonight, for some reason, I was in the mood to mend. I grabbed my sewing kit and brought it into the living room where the Braves game is on; I even picked a pillowcase whose trim has long been separating from its body and added it to the pile.
The button was short work with black thread doubled. The pillowcase took some time, with white thread at single thickness, for a seam that stretched almost halfway around the opening. I pinned the rip together since I needed to tuck the pillowcase body between the two layers of the top trim, and whipstitched without too much regard for evenness. To help me keep it stretched out and to prevent sewing the two sides of the pillowcase together, I put a throw pillow inside. It would have taken a quarter of the time to do on my sewing machine, even counting setting it up and breaking it down, but I don't quite have my machine sewing area set up yet; besides, part of the romance was sitting by Noel's side while the pillowcase was slowly returned to its rightful state, rather than disappearing, making a whirring sound, and returning with something as good as new.
Some mothers do this every day, I'm sure. But taking care of a stack of clothes that need mending is unusual enough for me to give me a pioneer glow. I fantasize about having a basket by my chair where the items will gather and await my needle, of taking them up on evenings while the fire crackles, the kids do their sums, and Pa reads his newspaper by kerosene light.
Noel jokingly asked if I were planning to darn a sock next. Actually, yes. One of my most beautiful handknit socks has a hole going on a year now. I want to learn how to darn to return it to usefulness and adornment. (I will need one of these, which would make a thoughtful gift, hint hint.) I am far from handy, but in the right frame of mind, I can approximate the skills of my more capable forebears.