Saturday, July 31, 2010

Something That Lasts

The blanket is an antique. Which sounds weird to say, because normally when I hear the word "antique", I associate it with things that are dusty and breakable. Certainly not a blanket. But at 86 years old, it's certainly not new.

The blanket isn't much, either, relatively speaking. Just two sheets quilted together, with stitching to delineate thirty squares; a simple picture embroidered in red thread on each. And red trimming around the edge. My great aunt made it when she was 17. In her older years, she quilted several blankets--specifically for me--the substance of which far exceeds the simplicity of this antiquity. It is not a cozy-by-the-winter-fireplace kind of blanket. Or even a Sunday-afternoon-nap-on-the-couch kind of blanket. It is a summer blanket. And I love it.

I acquired it ten years ago, and since then, it has come in so handy each summer. It spent four summers (possibly five?) serving as a sunning/napping blanket on my breaks at work. It participates in at least one picnic outing each year. It was once an inner lining for my sleeping bag. Once a back-drop for a photo shoot. Folded up, it has served on occasion as a sit-upon. And just last week, it was a table cloth.

Every time I pull this blanket out of the linen closet, I marvel at it. It is the oldest blanket I own (second in line is my 35-year-old sleeping bag, which deserves a blog post in its own right). I am continually in awe that after 86 years, it hasn't disintegrated. It is certainly not in pristine condition. There are rips and tears around the edge where the fabric has worn. Some of the trim is faded. There are a couple small holes. And a few small (like pea-sized or less) stains. And yet... I feel that, given its age, this blanket is in really good shape! ...The embroidery threads haven't unraveled or broken, meaning that all the pictures are still pictures. And it's still white! (Certainly with no bleach on my part to keep it that way.)

I love how old things last. We live in an age where so much is disposable--and is seemingly made to only last a short time. If the electronics crap out, or a part breaks, or something rips we just up and buy a new one. Is there anything we can hold on to anymore? Along with this blanket, I cherish things such as my dad's Canon SLR (not an antique, but still...), a turntable and handful of records, and my grandma's Hawkeye Brownie and Jiffy Kodak cameras. And all these things still work! I know my own DSLR won't last long enough to pass to my child, let alone a grandchild. And I've already worn out two CD players in the last 12 years. Nuthin' special about passing one of those down. ...Is there anything that will last long enough to carry my personal history forward?

...Possibly a blanket...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dancing in the Dark

Word to the wise: when moving your vacuum cleaner out of the laundry room to access something, don't place it in the entryway to your bedroom. Inevitably, you will forget it's there... until you decide it's time for bed. You will cross from the dark hallway into the dark bedroom, and step into the vacuum the way cartoon characters step on the forked side of a rake. You will all but dance with the vacuum in an effort to keep from falling over before you finally figure out what the heck you are dealing with, and return it upright. You will reach out towards the bedside lamp for some semblance of illumination, and stand but for a brief moment in the soft glow that now encompasses your bedroom space. But instead of silently cursing, as you normally do when you stumble into things, you start laughing uncontrollably on your bed. The cat--who was resting peacefully there before you stumbled in--looks at you like you are an absolute moron before making her exit. You and the vacuum glance at each other one more time. "Sorry." "Hey, no worries. It happens."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My nephew is 2. As such, he is adorable--physically, playfully, and linguistically. Right now his big conversational 'game' happens when I say it's time to get dressed. It goes something like this:

G: "Okay, A, time to get dressed."
A: "Dressed? ...No 'jamas?"
G: (in a 'you're so silly' tone) "No, no pajamas! Pajamas are for night time."
A: "Night time?"
G: "Yeah!"
A: (in the same 'you're so silly' tone) "Oh, yah."

I think my favourite part is how he says 'pajamas'--he just says 'jamas'. It's very cute. But it had me muttering, "jamas... pajamas... PJs... pajamas..." as I drove from my morning Place of Play to my afternoon Place of Play. And then I got to wondering--how did they get to be called pajamas in the first place?

Ah, Wikipedia--how I love thee. A quick search revealed that "The original paijama are loose, lightweight trousers fitted with drawstring waistbands and worn in South and West Asia. ... This word originally derives from the Persian word پايجامه Payjama meaning 'leg garment.'"

Who knew? :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Relationship and Community

For about a year, I've had a real sense of the notion that God calls us to be in relationship and community. In a lot of areas, I have seen the abundant blessing in the relationships I have, and in the communities of which I am a part. Lately, though, I've been in a stuck place.

My relationships are still blessed; and I am still part of communities. But there is some.. flux, I guess. Opportunities to be a part of new communities, form new relationships. And changing relationships, and change in current communities.

Where do I go? Do I stay put? Do I jump into new social connections? Do I step back from connections that aren't strong or fight to strengthen them? Which communities and relationships does God want me to foster for His glory, and which do I think I should foster for my own well-being? And are those always mutually exclusive?

Little Boxes

I don't have a socio-political opinion either way (well, I probably do, I've just never taken the time to think about what that opinion is); I've just heard the song a lot in the last couple weeks (don't ask), and think it's kinda cute...

There are several covers of this little song--and spoofs, even. Of course, Wikipedia (I love Wikipedia) has the details on its satirical origins.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Get Your Canadian On!

...Pick your style of patriotism and enjoy the day; happy birthday, Canada!




And totally fun!

...Yeah, I watched them all in a row, too. :)