Allen finally came out of the closet -- that is to say, he worked in my sewing room closet for hours and hours putting in shelves all the way around. We (he) re-fitted a different closet and moved all of his things out of my sewing room. Then I had to revamp the linen closet space from two sets of shelves to one to accommodate what his new space dislodged. Finally, now I can reshuffle all of my sewing treasures around in my sewing room to best use the new shelf space in my closet. All in all, we've spent several months on these projects. We've thrown away a good bit, moved more, and sold some (or Shannon did at her garage sale yesterday). I still have some work to do, but we've made a big change overall. We're close.
This afternoon, I spent a good bit of time moving our years and years of photos into new, white photo-storage boxes. Some of the pictures are from my childhood and ancestors. Some are from college and our early marriage. BC. Before Children. There are family birthdays, our girls at Christmas and prom and with first boyfriends. Pets, dinners, vacations. Trips to Colorado, remodeling projects, new cars, new houses, engagements and weddings. Sweet moments.
I got to thinking about how when I work as a quilter, I scrutinize each color selection, each seam, each point, each stitch. I'm not an award winning quilter, but I am pretty detail oriented, and I want it all to be just right. But I like that we use my quilts. I like that they get dirty and used. We spill things on them on the table, we rumple them when we sleep, and Ozzie walks and sheds all over them. As I ate lunch today, I noticed the quilt on the table right now as I wiped a smudge of dressing off of it. When I made it, I agonized over each detail, but you know, I think it looks good, and it doesn't bother me to have a stain here, a spot there, and the sewing details are pretty much forgotten.
It's kind of like our lives. I know I wake at night to worry about money or relationships or school or the kids or health or the house or whatever. I analyze conversations with Allen, and I plan and plan for family events. I hope that each detail of a birthday is just right, and I wonder (agonize) if I'm doing well enough at work or as a wife or mother or friend.
And then today I saw those pictures. Our almost thirty-five married years in those pictures show a rich, happy family. Day to day struggles and irritable moments are just an added layer, but they don't seem to matter in the big picture. When I look at each seam, each stitch, it is easy to see flaws or spots for improvement. But when the quilt is in use, those spots don't matter.