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HumankindNESS-A Stitch In Time

By Jennifer Richardson
I received a wall clock in the mail a few weeks ago, and I will probably always remember the day it was delivered.

Black trim around a twenty inch circular clock face frames the old fashioned second and minute hands. The face itself is a calm eggshell color, and includes additional features like temperature and humidity gauges. After placing the required batteries into the back of the timepiece, it was soon improving the look and usefulness of the wall just above our hall tree.

I like it very much. I am doubly pleased with the clock as I ordered it online and really did not have a chance to see it in person before the purchase price was whisked right out of my checking account. And bonus, it was delivered in a timely manner.

My satisfaction with my new wall clock and my slightly celebratory feeling each time I check it for the time–is really not what I will remember about its arrival.

On the day the clock was delivered, my husband was home for just a few moments over his lunch hour, and he kindly took some of his limited time to hang it. In my haste to get it unwrapped in order to have his immediate assistance, I took very little care with the box or the inner wrapping packed inside to protect the contents. By the time the clock was hung in the dining room there was quite a mess on the table.

Torn cardboard, used tape, bubble wrap, and pieces of styrofoam literally covered my seats-ten-easily-and-often dining room table. I mean most of the packing styrofoam was in cottage cheese sized pebbles everywhere. Those little pebbles that disintegrate into ever smaller pieces when touched, that seem impossible to gather up and clear away because they stick to everything. I was contemplating whether to use wet rags to try to collect the annoying white crumbs from the tabletop and floor, when I heard the voice of my seven-year-old granddaughter, Audrey.

Granny! This is the stuff inside bean bag chairs! Can we make a bean bag chair for my Barbies? She walked toward the messy table and never took her eyes off of the white, lumpy piles of debris.

The wonder in her gaze was irresistible, and I said, you are right lovie, this does look like the stuff inside bean bag chairs. Pick up the little pieces with me and we will give bag-making a try. She quickly tried to help collect the clumps and somehow we hand-shoveled enough to almost fill a gallon ziplock bag.

While she was clearing enough space on the table for us to work, I was quickly looking up easy patterns for home-stuffed bean bags. I found one much larger than our Barbies would need, but I eye-ball scaled it down to accommodate what we needed.

She ran to her room to grab her bag of fabric scraps from her seamstress Aunt Amber, and soon she had picked out two contrasting fabrics she liked. We cut fabric into shapes reasonably close to what the pattern looked like, threaded our mending needle, and got down to business.

I helped her with sewing some stitches, and pinning our fabric pieces together, but mostly she supervised and waited for the big moment when she could stuff the tiny bag. She was back and forth bringing several Barbie dolls to help us check size and shape, finally the moment came and she stuffed that bean bag with most of the styrofoam pieces we had collected.

She tested and retested the diminutive bean bag with various dolls and stuffed in more pebbles until she pronounced the creation just right. I sewed up the remaining seam to lock in the wayward filling. Our creation was complete. Every Barbie she owns was given a turn on the colorful bean bag seat. We took pictures of each doll as they perched. She loved it.

Her next move was finding just the right spot for it in her dollhouse. From the dining room, I could hear her delightful narration of how much her dolls appreciated their new and comfy seating, and how they would need to take turns and share.  

I smiled to myself as I finally cleaned up the remaining un-packing debris. Our creation was a lumpy, unevenly stitched, turquoise and magenta pink, small bag of previously scattered styrofoam pieces. A real seamstress would have chuckled. But she loved that bean bag. And she loved the making of it, and so did I.

I glanced upward at my new, but nearly forgotten wall clock, and was shocked to see that two hours had passed while we collaborated on our spontaneous project. Seeing her excitement, feeling inspired to do a little something I had never done, elbow to elbow and eye to eye with a determined and delightful grandchild, it had been such a precious couple of hours.

That clock. Simple, nothing digital or modern in sight. But each glance at it has reminded me of that day. The clock gave me time. Cherished time and treasured memories.

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