The Sewing Box

The Sewing Box. I’m thankful for the sewing box.  I brought it with me from my widowhood when I said ‘yes’ to the man’s invitation to be his wife.  What a useful tool kit to open when the man walks the thorn lined path by the river!  The rip in the side of his favorite shirt summons the trusty repair notions: patches, scissors, needle and thread.   

The box was in total disarray from having been ‘taped shut’ and packed away for yet another downsizing move.  I emptied it out and was stunned by the number of memories it still holds inside.  The button jar has holes in the top, revealing its previous life as a container for captured bugs or frogs.  The Sunbonnet Sue felt needle holder, which had belonged to my grandmother, is still usable. T-shirts had once been transformed into night wear for the little girls, and I had kept two of the extra bows.  The box holds assorted colors of patches and thread, multiple sized safety pins and snaps, and even an extra collar stay (left over from the day men’s shirts all had them).  Some items in the box belonged to my mother and my grandmother – my examples of God-fearing older women.  There is a tiny piece of chalk with the imprints of a woman’s fingers, fine crochet hooks, and a collar cut from her fancy blouse because the beading could be reused.  There is even the Army stripe patch that was clipped off and salvaged from a shirt disposed of long ago – very long ago.

A few memories fall out each time the box is opened.  Some are pitched, but some are returned to the box.  There are fewer little packages of thread that were originally kept to mend a sweater that is no longer in my possession, but the buttons will all be kept for the grandchildren to sort out, just like I remember doing as a child.  Perhaps even one day I will find something to do with all those extra safety pins!

I close the lid and return the box to storage until his next accident with a thorn or the next button comes loose.  Then, with thanksgiving, I will relive for a few minutes the days when little girls needed bows and accident prone little boys needed patches, a grandmother crocheted angel wings, a mother marked the hem line of a dress with her chalk, and a proud soldier wore the stripes on his sleeve.

“She sought wool and flax and worked willingly with her hands… She laid her hands to the spindle, and her hands held the distaff… She makes herself tapestries; her clothing is of fine linen and purple… the woman that fears the Lord shall be praised.”  Taken from Proverbs 31, Jubilee Bible

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