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.”
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.
60 thoughts on “What Did You Do With My Mother?”
It is nice to hear our mothers’ voices. They still tell us what to do.
They really do.
Loved it Cynthia! Can just see you on the floor, needle in hand.
It was an uncommon sight, Doreen!
A darn nice little yarn for a tuesday morning!
Now why didn’t I think of that double meaning? You must be a poet. (smile) Thanks for the laugh, Cynthia!
Nice one, Cynthia
Thank you, Derrick.
Isn’t it amusing how our mother’s words pop into our heads when we least expect it?
They do, they do.
Made me laugh out loud…here is to untapped talents! 🙂
Glad you laughed, Rose! Wishing you a lovely day.
Lovely story. I’m virtually speechless myself: at the simple beauty of three generations present in the story.
And with that observation, I am reminded of why I always look forward to your responses. Thank you for reading my posts.
So glad to know someone else has a partial stable of domestic talents! 🙂 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!
Lovely story and what a beautiful rug! I, too, am not handy so I can really relate to what you wrote.
And with those words: “I am not handy”, you made me smile.
Well done, Cynthia! I’m very impressed, especially since I can’t ever thread the needle.
Okay, I can finally one-up someone about something, Jill! I can thread the needle!
Cynthia! Next thing you know, you’ll be weaving! And embroidering! And knitting!!!!
OK, alright: get a hold of yourself, young lady. You KNOW that what I do is cheer on the truly talented, such as you! One mend does not a weaver make…
Still . . . I think this is the start of something big. 😉 You look so natural and content, sitting there with a needle in your hand . . .
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.
Thanks, Julie. Isn’t that funny how sometimes experiences can be so similar, even though we humans like to think we are unique?
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.
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)
“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!!
Yes, but just think of all the many things you can do with your own two ‘man hands’, young lady!
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!
Thank you, Lavinia, and thanks again. Can hardly wait for you to read the book.
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
Funny the things you forget for years, then suddenly remember, eh?
I’m noticing that, lately, as I write about the past. 🙂
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!
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.
I never even heard of darning a rug. You learn something new every day.
Well, I’d never done it either, so I’m not surprised to hear that. I also darn socks, so maybe that’s why I thought of an old sock….
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
Merci beaucoup, Christiane!
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!
Haha! You tell that darn sweater to wait its turn. (Though sounds like it’s been waitin’…)
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:-)
Hey, please read the second one. You’ll the THE one! (smile) Glad you got old rugs from your grandmother. Worth saving indeed!
I’m so looking forward to the book … 😄
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.
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!
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.
Yes, indeed, Andrea.Though if you had asked me some years ago if I’d ever be caught darning an old rug, I would have said no!
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. 🙂
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!
Wait … and no photo of the mended rug??!! 🙂
Well – I don’t have THAT much courage!!