We spent much of last weekend in the basement, sifting through the detritus of the past six years of our life.
Before this house, we had this odd habit of moving to a new place every three years. (I can't explain it.) Pete and I have lived together since 1995 and like clockwork, every three years we moved.
But we've been here since before Lupine was born. And despite my best efforts at simplicity, there are pockets of chaos we've never quite dug to the bottom of.
So this weekend we had at it.
We dumped out boxes of junk that we've had stashed in the back of closets. We said goodbye to games, books, toys, clothes, shoes, coats, and treasures. We simplified. In a big way. In a big heaping pickup truck full sort of way.
And then we paused.
We all caught our breath, and the four of us scattered to different quiet corners of our home.
Pete headed out to the garage and got to work on a hand-hewn hunting bow he's making.
Sage went to the work table and completed a model airplane that he began earlier this year.
Lupine sat beside me in the sewing room cutting and stitching gifts for her friends.
And I started a quilt.
A quilt for Sage.
After all of that letting go each of us gravitated to the work of creating. I think there is safety in the making when you've just let go of so much.
Ironically, before I began the quilt (and after all of that purging) I found myself on-line, shopping.
My fabric stash is not huge and I wanted this quilt to be just right. So I decided to buy yards of white cotton and dye them the loveliest shades of green, brown, grey, and eggplant (for Sage). Then I thought I'd eventually make one for Lupine using the grey as well, but with blue, lavender, and sage green.
I had this vision in my head as I filled an on-line cart with supplies for my projects. I was stoked.
And then I saw the total ($356 before shipping and without batting). I choked, shook my head, and woke up (so to speak). I realized that - of course - I had all that I needed. I'm glad I came to before I brought more stuff into our world.
I think we sometimes paint a picture of perfection that is not only unnecessary but also feeds our desire for more, better, newer. Because - in the spirit of the generations before us - if we just look around and take stock of what we have, we probably have what we were going to buy already. It might not be perfect, but it will serve us. Often better than buying new simply for the economy and ethics of using what we've got.
And quilting of course was created to use of those odd small bits of fabric. The concept of buying new (perfect! matching!) fabric to quilt with is a modern one. So I decided to quilt like my great-grandmother did. With what I had.
I'm using the method outlined in this book and not being fussy with measuring anything. (I'm a wonky girl.) It's off to a solid start and Sage is beside himself about it.
The desire for more or new or better is what gets us buried under these mountains of things anyway. And here I was, recreating that story once more.
P.S. At the risk of growing even wordier, there is one special fabric I'm using for the quilt. See that brown and green and golden fabric on the bottom? Yeah. That's Sage's baby sling. (Seen in the last photo here.) I choked up a little when I included the first piece. Oh, my. We had a good run of years together in that sling. <3