Teresa Roberts: Loving the Strange Things

I saw this post on Facebook the other night and it really cracked me up!  After all, who doesn’t have a whole box/drawer/cubbyhole/(insert your own hiding place here) that has all those wonderful little treasures tucked away - you know, the ones you simply can’t part with!

A few weeks ago, I got to spend some time with my mother.  Now, my Mom and I haven’t always gotten along - after all, we’re very much alike (a/k/a stubborn) - but with the recent changes in my life, I learned a valuable lesson.  I needed to learn to accept my Mom, warts and all - and I’m so very glad I learned that lesson, for she has been my rock through all the ups and downs of the last year!

Anyway, back to the story!  On this particular day, I had asked Mom if she had any crystals because I had an idea for a mixed media painting that was going to be called “Diamond Falls” and I wanted crystals to embed in the waterfall I was going to paint.  We went into her “sewing room”, which is a hoarder's idea of heaven!  Now don’t get me wrong - everything is very clean and somewhat organized in my Mom’s sewing room, but . . . there’s just so MUCH of it!

There’s piles of fabric everywhere in every color of the rainbow and then some.  There’s spool after spool of beautiful colored threads, ribbon and lace, all just waiting to be made into a beautiful doll dress or a little girl’s dress for a friend or a great-niece.  And then there’s the buttons, charms, beads, and various and sundry other miniscule little items that have been bought in the clearance bin, lovingly saved off of a favorite piece of clothing, or are a prized treasure found at the local yard sale. Everywhere I looked in the room, something caught my eye - a beautiful deep cobalt blue piece of fabric that my fingers caressed with envy; a breathtaking piece of heavy lace that had been handmade by someone decades earlier; a dazzling array of buttons, old and new, some elegant and some quite plain but sturdy.

And I had to laugh at all the treasures we found as we were digging through her stashes and piles, looking for the crystals I’d asked about.  Little pieces of fabric brought back memories of all the clothes she’d made for me when I was growing up.  Used jeans buttons reminded me of my first pair of blue jeans - yes, made by my mother, flat felled seams and all!  A short piece of lace reminded me of the beautiful dresses she had made for my daughter - her first grandchild, and a girl no less!  Mom had been in seventh heaven making beautiful little girl dresses covered in lace . . . and later more practical tank tops with gathered on skirts, always in bright, cheerful colors!

And those bits and pieces of scraps, random buttons, snippets of lace . . . they were strange things to hold on to . . . but I’m glad she had, for the memories were too precious and had been tucked away in the back of my mind for so long.  And those strange things filled my heart with love and gratitude for all the care my Mom had taken in creating things of beauty from simple materials - for me, my daughter, and my three nieces - over the years!

I wish now that I had kept a few of those pieces of clothing instead of selling them at a yard sale or giving them away.  What a treasure that would have been for my daughter to use with her child someday!

So take the words in the picture to heart - never be ashamed of loving the strange things - the things that on the surface appear to have no value, that look old and useless, worn by age.   For those things usually are the objects that are filled with love and should be treasured forever!
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