The downsizing continues. We’ve become accustomed to discarding ancient birthday cards, messages sent to us to our last day at work, and even our school reports from the 1950s and ’60s. We’ve come to expect gales of laughter from friends who don’t share our hoarding instincts and who observe our inner struggles with astonishment (yes, that’s you, Kalba).
So what happened this week? I thought it was time to get rid of my sewing box. I thread a needle maybe twice a year when a button falls off or a hem comes adrift. So why do I need about three dozen reels of cotton in every colour you can think of, miscellaneous hooks and eyes, multi-coloured embroidery thread, a clutch of thimbles, a box of rusting pins and two darning mushrooms, all inherited from my mother?
All the same…. those reels of genuine cotton from the 1950s – no polyester mixes here , those cards of thread in various shades of tan , all the better to darn your stockings with, and even those hooks and eyes are all pieces of history. I thought the friends I keep up with on Facebook might like to see them. I posted these photos:
And within minutes I had an urgent request from that militant non-hoarder, Kalba, that I should give them to her, swiftly followed by a similar request from another friend. Daughter Number 1 weighed in, as I knew she would, swiftly followed by Daughter Number 2. Son has been strangely silent, but daughters have agreed to share custody of the cotton reels. Three more people joined the conversation, and started waxing nostalgic about darning mushrooms. Then someone else pointed out that the factory producing the hooks and eyes had been part of her childhood neighbourhood, but had been closed for decades, and more people joined in to celebrate the almost-forgotten skill of darning. A further request for the contents of my sewing box came from America, and a school friend whom I’ve not been in touch with for years made contact.
One way or another, my battered old sewing box has awakened memories, provoked recollections and conversations, and generally livened things up. Just as well I didn’t dispose of it years ago. There’s no chance of its being discarded now. Apart from anything else, you just look some of these items up on eBay. I’m sitting on a small fortune here.