Tag: moving mother

Straight Lines to the Rescue

the fabric pull Kirk/Curt really likes

To say my life is a little chaotic right now is to become the poster child for understatement.

I haven’t picked up cloth and thread in about a year and seriously wondered if I ever would again. Then in the middle of yet another insomnia-filled night, an idea: I need straight lines. So today, while The Engineer headed to the DIY home improvement store, I browsed the quilt store, and because you’ve never seen how fast The Engineer can move through Lowe’s when I’m at the fabric store, I snatched – and I do mean snatched – bolts off the shelves if they made my heart sing. That was my only criteria. My. heart had to SING, y’all, cause I have no earthly idea what I’m going to make with this fabric, only that I am going to cut it in straight lines, step one.

As he was cutting, Kirk/Curt(?) – a man I’ve never seen before – kept saying “This is my favorite. No, this one if my favorite.” and so on. When everything was cut, he said he’d made a list of the fabrics I selected, then he came around the counter and snapped a couple of photos. “These are beautiful fabrics that are even more beautiful together,” he said, “and I don’t use the word ‘beautiful’ ever.” (For the record, I’ve never been complimented for my fabric pulls or my sense of color.) He took my money, then gave me his card making me promise to either bring in the finished quilt or at least email him a photo, something I promised faithfully I’d do . . . if he still works there 14 years from now when I get it finished.

His kind, encouraging words were so incredibly appreciated today, y’all, which just goes to show that you never know whose day you will brighten and steer back on the path of hope and promise with a few well, chosen, heartfelt words of praise. What say we make a pact to sow a daily kind, uplifting word garden to folks we know and folks we may never see again? Can’t hurt, might help,doesn’t cost a thing, and you just never know the powerful gift your words might deliver to someone at just the right time.

the audio version, read by Jeanne herself



She comes reluctantly when I call. She’s too much enjoying the cool fresh air and the world outside, checking to see who came around last night while she slept. As I tap my food and clap my hands as exclamation points to convey my impatientience to get back inside and make good use of the precious few minutes of alone time when I am free to move unencumbered at my own beck and speed – right then, right that very minute my eyes happen upon this:


Moving Mother: Relationships

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The move is hard for both of us
in different ways
for different reasons.

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I never lived here, so I feel no emotional connection with this house.

But my mother does.

This is the house she lived in when she retired, ending her working career.
It is the house she lived in when Daddy died
the house she lived in when Walter (her second husband) died
the house she lived in when Clyde (her cat) died.

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She’s held many parties here
Sunday school class parties where her friends did the hula in the backyard,
annual high school class reunions
where friends gather to congratulate each other on being here another year,
family holiday dinners,
annual Kentucky Derby parties,
to name a few.

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As I make lists, assign chores, and push to meet deadlines,
eager to get back to my own home, my own bed, my own life,
I remind myself to be patient and kind
because Mother lived her Second Life within these walls and under this roof.

She and this house have a bond.

Moving Mother: Paper Trails


Though she was a career secretary, Mother detests filing, and today she had to sift and sort through myriads of papers in search of That One Important Document That We Need. The pull on her was visible, and she is determined to be finished tomorrow so she can move on to other things that she finds infinitely more fun. Like organizing the bed linens, for example.

I love the papers. I love the feel of paper so old it’s brittle and the signatures of people I’ve known like my daddy and granddaddy. Love to read and see how things fit together. I find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had.

Mother finds nothing about papers nostalgic or interesting, though she does consider the shredder the best $85 she’s ever spent.

Decades ago, I created copies of our God Forbid Book (as in God Forbid you ever need this information, but . . . ) I created years ago, filled with all the information the kids might ever need to know. That’s now been replaced with a scanned version stored in the cloud to which the children have been given directions and access. There are still plenty of papers for them to wade through, though. I’d never deprive them of that. . .

Moving Mother: There are Consumables and There are Consumables . . .


As we go into the store, I tell her “Mother, we’re not bringing in one more thing that we have to dust or pack.” This – this right here – is what she comes out of the store with.


Then we go to another store – an antique store – and as we leisurely stroll through, taking our time because the realtors are showing the house – Mother sidles up next to me and says, “I read this book when I was a little girl.”


Then she opens the front cover, shows me the inscription, and says, “And Miss Mary Lou played the piano when your daddy and I got married.”

I bought the book.

But you knew I would.


On the way home:

Mother: Miss Mary Lou didn’t play the traditional wedding music, and I thought that was terrible.

Me: Mother, you and daddy got married in the jailhouse. What did you expect?

[For the record: My grandadddy/Mother’s daddy was the Sheriff, and back in the day, the Sheriff’s family lived in the jail, so Mother and Daddy got married at home . . . in the living room . . . that just happened to be in the jail. The sheriff’s wife cooked and cleaned for the prisoners. The Sheriff got paid. His wife didn’t.]

[Another note: Miss Mary Lou played Irving Berlin’s “Always” at the wedding. I knew that part before this outing, and it may not be considered traditional wedding music, but it’s still one of my favorite songs of all time.]

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Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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