Monday, January 07, 2008

Sweet Relief

Today, I lollygag. Don't even try and stop me.

I got my freelance project wrapped up yesterday afternoon/night and heaved one of those long, shuttering sighs of of weak, dizzy relief. Today is the day that kept me going through all the stuff, both expected and unexpected, that happened in mid-December, not to mention (horrors) The Holidays . Back then, (and I know it was three weeks or less ago, but it seems like a lifetime now) I would, each day, continually repeat to myself that one day my project will be finished, my stuff will be moved, and Pinky, FurGirl and I will spend a long leisurely day doing a bunch of nothing at all.

And sure enough, here we are. FurGirl is completely exhausted and in a boneless heap on the rug as close as she can possibly get to me; her body situated so that if I leave the couch I will necessarily have to touch and therefore alert her in order to come to a standing position. In this fashion, she has learned, the dog is sure not to miss out on anything. As if on cue, she just let out a noise somewhere between a sigh and a groan in her sleep.

My sentiments exactly, FurGirl.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon some forgotten treasure while doing more unpacking. I knew it was a time capsule when I opened the box. On top was a black suede crop jacket trimmed in fringe, a gift of some extravagance from an old boyfriend that I had saved. (My love for fringe is similar to my passion for things that glitter. I know it's wrong, but I cannot help it.) Under the jacket, I found a pair of acid washed jeans of no particular significance (though I may have forgotten). Packed into the side were some framed old photos, one old enough to be a family antique, the others photos from some of my travels in my twenties.

Underneath that stuff, I found an unfamiliar sack. Inside was the treasure. Or it was treasure to me, anyway. The first item from the sack was a maternity shirt I hadn't seen in, well, I won't tell you how many years. But, even now, it was familiar to me. It ultimately became the only shirt large enough to cover my ever expanding belly comfortably, and I wore it almost constantly those last months up to and including on the trip to the hospital (in a blizzard, but that's another story):

I'm sort of surprised I saved it knowing how heinous I considered maternity clothes to look in general. I certainly never could bear the look of me in them. Lord. Back then everything was fussy and patterned and way too embellished. Just what a girl needs when she's swelling like a balloon on a tank of helium at a circus party. Puffed sleeves and ruffles. Remember Princess Diana's maternity outfits? Eesh. Women are much smarter now, just buying regular clothes a little larger and not being so afraid to show a contour or two.

For months after Chase was born I would snicker with relief every time I passed by a maternity department, usually with Chase in the stroller, knowing the days of me and the nausea and the foofy shirts were over.

And so I was quite surprised that the sometimes unsentimental and often overly practical twentysomething me had managed to have the forethought to put this particular relic in a safe place.

The other treasure in the sack was an unfinished embroidery project (it's actually crewel embroidery) circa the exact same time as the maternity shirt:

I've mentioned here that I have a rogue crafting gene. This was more in evidence in my younger years. My son was born in January, and I was pretty convinced, rightfully so, that money for Christmas gifts that previous December would be tight. I remember buying this project, a ridiculously large Victorian village, with the intention completing it and giving it as a Christmas gift to my mom.

Many is the night and weekend I spent working on just the small portions of the trees that you see completed. Back in those days we didn't have (brace yourselves) HGTV. I know, it was totally primitive. What we did have was a guy named Bob Villa and a show called This Old House, the PBS precursor to the Tsunami of renovation and remodeling shows that have now taken over the airwaves. I did most of this painstaking work while listening to Bob and incubating my future son. (And wearing that pink shirt!).

Of course, once the baby came? There was no time for crafting. The needle looks to be just where I left it, 22 years ago:

The entire kit including yarn and instructions is still all together in the sack.

It's enough to make me want to pick up where I left off.



Brenda said...

That maternity shirt really brings back memories. I can still see the three of us zigzagging down those snow-packed streets toward the hospital, you as cool as a cucumber, me sliding around in that big back seat, crazy with worry!

Bubble Girl said...

That embroidery project reminds me of the huge box of photos and the many hundreds of dollars I spent on scrapbooking tools back when I intended to scrapbook...Before Kids.

Patience-please said...

Have fun with the crewel. That was a delightful read!

And thank you for your kind words.

ChristaD said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours...well...EVER! Incredibly touching. Great stuff!