Back in New York City, if I needed something, I would find the store that sold it, take the subway there, buy it and take it right home.
Here in Dubois, I often need to be more patient. But when I finally come by the item, it may arrive with much more meaning.
The big scissors came from Sandy, who used to sell jams and jellies as a vendor at the weekly farmers’ market. She was wiry, gruff, and plain-spoken, and she had a ready laugh. When I think of her, I think of courage and good cheer.
One week Sandy asked me if I needed anything. We all knew that Sandy was dying of cancer, and she knew it too. She was downsizing, divesting herself of many things. No point in holding a yard sale: She didn’t have anyone to inherit the cash.
I was making curtains for our house at the time, and my good sewing kit was still back in New York City. The next week Sandy turned up at the farmers’ market with these fine, substantial sewing shears. Every time I cut fabric, of course, Sandy comes to mind and I work with a smile.
A few weeks ago, I needed to replace a zipper. I did have small scissors, but the points weren’t sharp enough to pull thread from a zipper seam. So I called my neighbor Anna, who lent me her own neat little sharp-nosed snips.
Soon after, I ran into Anna at the photography show. “Thought I might see you here,” she said, reached into her bag, and pulled out the small pair of scissors in my picture above. (See how neatly they fold up and collapse so the points can stay needle-sharp in the sewing kit?)
“What do I owe you?” I asked.
“Oh, nothing,” she said. “I found them today in the Op Shop and thought of you. They’re a gift.”
Each time I see them I think of her thoughtfulness. A truly small item has gained extra importance, and the thought will probably smooth those pesky little sewing jobs from now on.
Well worth the wait.
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© Lois Wingerson 2015