Tools of the Trade

My Princess will turn four on Saturday. (What?!?)  I do not even think this is possible.  She’s still two, I firmly believe.  Following her big brother around, driving him nuts by getting into everything he is doing and inevitably breaking it.  Pointing at the things she wants because she hasn’t yet fully mastered her language skills.  Wearing odd combinations of clothing because she dances to her own fashion drummer.  Heck, she dances everywhere she goes.

Never mind.  Most of that is still true.

Except the lack of mastery of the English language.  She’s got that down pat.  And then some.

Must be her father’s kid, I tell you.

Lord willing, this year, we are not going to

A.  Move cities
B.  Move houses.
C.  Move jobs.

I will plant flowers and actually be here to see them grow.  They will not be planted for someone else’s benefit.  We will finish this house (eventually) to our liking, not with a continual eye towards re-sale value.

At any rate, I have decided this year, we will attempt to plan out events and do them well.  Not haphazardly throw together birthdays, anniversaries, or other events because we are busy with other, more pressing matters.

To that end, I have decided to make my girl some of her birthday present.  Oh dear.  What was I thinking.

I theory, this is what it will turn out to be:

A pretty little apron with cupcakes on it.  I decided – what the heck! – I’ll make the cute little play kitchen-sized cupcakes that come with it!  Why not?  How hard can it be.  Yah, right.

To do this, I have enlisted a few trusty companions.

This sewing machine.

This was my mother’s.  She bought it before I was born.  I think she may have even bought it before she married my father.  This makes this little gem almost 40 years old.  I hear the Smithsonian calling now.  Sorry, boys, she’s not for sale!

It’s a simple machine.  But don’t let that fool you.  It has a lot of features.  It will actually double needle stitch.  You can (or at least used to) be able to get a ruffler attachment.  It can be used for embroidery, button holes, you name it.  And clearly, it has stood the test of time.  It was with me through university, one apartment, five homes, and three different cities.  And no, those certainly weren’t all professional movers.

I like to flip through the instruction manual once in a while, just to remember a time before on-line registrations and 500 digit serial numbers.  And before every instruction manual had to be printed in 500 languages to help avoid law suits.

Model 656.  Simple.  Clean.  Easy to remember.

Remember these?  The little cards you cracked out of the instruction manual and mailed off with a 35 cent stamp?  No PO Box here either.  The company wasn’t afraid to be found, because clearly, they made a product they could be proud of.  And they were located on this continent.

No mention of an e-mail address here yours or theirs..  Online registration?  Not even a thought.

Even the part the dealer was supposed to keep was simple.  No DNA testing to prove it was you who bought it.  Heck, the dealer probably knew you by name. Probably knew your mother and grandmother, too.

Simple, simple directions.  Clearly, a useful tool that has not even yet outlived it’s usefulness.

And this?  Clearly not my sewing machine.  Rather, my pretty little rows of thread.  Lined up on the peg board my dad made for my mother several years ago.  Until she outgrew it and passed it on to me.

And let us not forget the vital role this little puppy plays…

And last, but not least, my life line.  For calling home to Ma – seamstress extraordinaire.  For those days when this girl gets in just a little bit over her head.

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