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

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?


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:  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. 

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 thoughts on “What Did You Do With My Mother?”

    1. 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?)

      1. 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!

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

      1. Still . . . I think this is the start of something big. 😉 You look so natural and content, sitting there with a needle in your hand . . .

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.)

    1. 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)

  5. “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!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. Jolie philosophie ! Savoir d’où l’on vient, honorer nos parents en respectant ce qu’ils nous ont transmis et le transmettre à notre tour…. Belle journée Cynthia

  10. 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!

  11. 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:-)

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

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