Saturday, October 4, 2008

Things, Stuff and Clutter - Part 2

I am taking this topic of stuff and clutter very seriously.

Today, I cleaned and organized my closet and bureau - - clearly, I would have done this any way in preparation for cooler weather and the need for warmer clothes.

But today, I approached the job with a different mission for the task and looked at the 'stuff' through a different lens. And the result is that I brought two large bags to the Planet Aid box around the corner --- things from last autumn and winter that didn't fit then, don't fit now, and probably won't fit next year either.

But what about the real job of paring down to a reasonable number of other things?

I've been thinking about that question as I've gone about my day today. For example, I have four - yes, four - sewing machines. How many sewing machines does a person really need, any way?

First, I have a Singer Featherweight circa 1951 and frankly the workhouse of all sewing machines. This little beauty was made from 1933 until the late 1950s or maybe early 1960s and in all that time the design was changed very little. Oh, there was some scaling down during the war but nothing that impacted its functionality. It is the kind of machine that has a very simple structure; even I can troubleshoot problems -- and when I can't, Larry can. No, it doesn't sew in reverse. It doesn't do any fancy stitches, either. But it is a classic. A collectible. I have to keep it. I don't use it every day, or even every month but I would be bereft without it. Truly.

Then there is the New Home sewing machine circa late 1930s. Made in Orange, Massachusetts (Larry and I lived in New Salem, Massachusetts for 13 years just up the road from the old New Home factory). Well, I could live without the New Home and if truth be told, I always found the bobbin mechanism difficult to use. I could put it on Craigslist. Yes. Great idea.

I have a Singer sewing machine from the 1960s, I think, that belonged to my husband's great Aunt Mildred. It really needs a LOT of work and I'd like to get rid of it ---- I mean, 'pass it on to someone who would appreciate it!' Frankly, I'd give it away. In fact, one year Larry and I had a big yard sale and I sold it. I was very frank with the woman who bought it saying that it would need servicing before she could run it. She was fine with that and paid, $50, I think for the pleasure of taking it away. Then, some weeks later she called to say that she'd brought it to her friendly sew and vac shop for servicing and was told that, yes, it did need some work but it was worth a lot more than $50. She, being a stalwart Christian, returned the damnable thing, feeling guilty! OMG. OMG. And, I still have it 7 years later!!!!! PLEASE, please, take this sewing machine off my hands!!!!! Craigslist????? Maybe.

And, then there is my Pfaff. About 8 years old and a faithful machine. A gift from Larry who said he would purchase a new machine for me and it took me at least three years to choose between a Pfaff, a Viking and a Bernina. It was the built in walking foot that caught me!! It does lots of things but is not one of those show-ey computerized machines. I love it and wouldn't part with for anything.

So, there.

Two out of four. Not bad.

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