What Did You Do With My Mother?

I sat on the rug in the family room, concentrating on the needle in my hand.

Without turning, I could tell that my daughter was standing in the doorway to the kitchen.

“What are you doing, Mum?” she asked.

“I’m darning the rug. It’s got a few holes and I’m trying to mend them.”

“Who are you?” she asked.

Unasked, but loud nonetheless, was her follow-up question: “And what did you do with my mother?”

Some of you know this rug. It’s the one that was on our verandah. We suspect it’s about 100 years old. But how many things do you know that have retained their gorgeous colour (despite the threadbare spots and holes) after 100 years?

blog-photo-verandah-chairs

But I digress.

I’m not a do-it-yourselfer. I have ten thumbs and no talent.

But it was a great day in my world: ย pain no worse than usual; speech clear; best of all, my daughter was here. It was like winning the lottery.

Plus, the lady in the yarn store was sure I could mend the rug.

“I even lost the two sets of yarn I’d bought here”, I confessed.ย 

She smiled and reassured me yet again.

Back at home, I threaded the huge needle and pulled the wool over the hole, criss-cross. It looked awful. My mother’s voice popped into my head: “You need a patch of fabric.”

Of course.

I asked my husband: “Have you a thick old sock? Something I can cut up?”

We found one. Its colour almost perfectly matched that section of the rug. I cut out a chunk, put it under the hole and started mending.

And that’s what I was doing when my daughter spied me.

But when she came closer to inspect, even she was impressed.

If a bit speechless.

**

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60 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Canadian Homes, Canadian life, Family Moments, Family Stories

60 responses to “What Did You Do With My Mother?

  1. It is nice to hear our mothers’ voices. They still tell us what to do.

  2. Doreen

    Loved it Cynthia! Can just see you on the floor, needle in hand.

  3. A darn nice little yarn for a tuesday morning!

  4. Isn’t it amusing how our mother’s words pop into our heads when we least expect it?

  5. Made me laugh out loud…here is to untapped talents! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lovely story. I’m virtually speechless myself: at the simple beauty of three generations present in the story.

  7. So glad to know someone else has a partial stable of domestic talents! ๐Ÿ™‚ And yet gives it a brave try anyway. More than I would do!

    • You can raise your kids or raise a garden, a friend of mine once said. Your hands are full to brimming over. But if the day comes that you are sitting on the floor, darning an old rug, make sure I’m the first to know, okay? (Oh, K?)

      • Deal:). But I know you will not hold your breath waiting for this :-). Sitting on the floor with a glass of wine and a good book? Now that’s a possibility!

  8. Laurie Graves

    Lovely story and what a beautiful rug! I, too, am not handy so I can really relate to what you wrote.

  9. Well done, Cynthia! I’m very impressed, especially since I can’t ever thread the needle.

  10. Cynthia! Next thing you know, you’ll be weaving! And embroidering! And knitting!!!!

  11. Lovely post Cynthia, I can hear both my daughter and mum saying the same things! Good for you too for looking after your beautiful rug, your photos of the verandah would not be the same without it.

  12. I really enjoy stories like this. It is so gratifying to have things turn out that way. I also appreciate the part when you remembered your mother’s words. It tugs at the heart.

  13. Well I am very impressed. My daughter would have the same reaction if she saw me with a needle. Mind you, I did make her a fairy costume for a school play when she was 6. The trouble is I made 2 left wings which looked odd. The sparkly material was only on one side. Nowadays, I can’t even thread a needle. It makes me incredibly bad-tempered. If a shirt needs a button sewn on I throw it away. (Please don’t tell anyone.)

    • Well, Gardener of gardeners who even knows the Latin names of flowers — I’m chuffed that you’re impressed by something I’ve done with my own ten thumbs. And yes, your secret is safe with me. (wink, wink)

  14. “I have ten thumbs and no talent” bahahahaha…I laughed out loud at my desk!!! I always tell people I have “man hands” and can not do anything dainty like thread a needle or braid hair!!

  15. Tackling repairs on a 100 year old area rug is no small feat! Glad your mother’s voice was there to offer a good suggestion. Looking forward to the book!

  16. Cynthia, I love the endearment between your daughter and you that she feels safe to ask such a loaded question. Love your sense of humour too. And I will remember the piece-of-fabric trick the next time I need to mend something. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  17. I never knew a rug could be sewn. It seems obvious now!

    • I don’t know if it should be sewn! I just knew I had to do something, and couldn’t afford to ge those holes professionally mended, so the solution was to sew!

  18. This made me laugh Cynthia! I too, loved the connection between the generations in this story and Hamlin’s contribution of a sock! A beautiful family rug has been given a new lease of life.

  19. I never even heard of darning a rug. You learn something new every day.

  20. Jolie philosophie ! Savoir d’oรน l’on vient, honorer nos parents en respectant ce qu’ils nous ont transmis et le transmettre ร  notre tour…. Belle journรฉe Cynthia

  21. I am truly impressed. My husband’s sweater is now looking at me accusingly, “If Cynthia can darn a carpet, you can darn well fix me.” Sigh!

  22. Oh my Cynthia-I have a few old rugs like that from my grandmother and I can relate. They are heirlooms and so worth saving. I love your rug! Your area to sit in looks just like the kind of place, I want to spend lazy afternoons reading a good book-maybe one of yours:-)

  23. I’m so looking forward to the book … ๐Ÿ˜„

  24. Incredible!
    I started blogging this past month, and it is a pleasure that I came across your blog.
    It has inspired me to start my next article.
    Thank you:)

  25. It’s so wonderful to have our mother’s in our heads so long after they have gone and our daughters to take the story on from us. I really love your rug, it is the kind of colour that warms you just looking at it.

    • You’re so right on both counts, Hilary. It’s such a rich and fresh colour at the same time. We kept saying ‘we should throw it out’, but just couldn’t bring ourselves to do so. So I mend!

  26. Beautiful rug Cynthia and it’s nice to have that passing down of knowledge that helps us to preserve the things that are important to us.

  27. Darning socks may not be something we do anymore but darning a beautiful, 100 year old rug, that is like an extended member of the family is something to be proud to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Well said, Judy! Though I must say this was the first time I darned a rug, whereas I am forever darning socks. Sock-makers really should do a better job of reinforcing the toes and heels of socks because they wear out but the rest of the sock is perfectly good. So I darn!

  28. Wait โ€ฆ and no photo of the mended rug??!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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