Out with the old, in with the new…

Mama taught me a lot of things, but one of them is a lesson I’m still learning. Maybe not intentionally, but Mama taught me about letting go.

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When our family migrated from Georgia to Kansas over five decades ago, all we had was stuffed into a Dodge station wagon, and shipped later in two packing barrels.

Being in primary school, I didn’t realize how important some of the things were that Mama had to leave behind because she and Daddy didn’t have the money to move them. One I do remember is the oak dining set that had chairs with red leather seats. 


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Mama mourned the set’s loss for nearly fifteen years until she and Daddy could afford a proper set that seated all of us, plus spouses and grandkids. It was a big deal for all of us to sit together. 

But Mama was so wise, and she knew leaving furniture wasn’t really the big deal when we came to Kansas. Hers and Daddy’s decision for us to stay meant better futures for all of us. She was willing to let go of the old oak dining set (among other things) in exchange for a new and better life for our family.

Deciding to downsize and move to be closer to our kids wasn’t really hard. Figuring out what had to go was sometimes a major challenge… like the china cabinet. 

I won’t lie, Dear Reader, in my brain the cabinet was kind of a status piece. It meant having enough money for matching everyday dishes, plus “fancy” dishes. A bonus was finally being able to show off the dishes Tom’s Grandpa brought his mom from France at the end of World War II. I loved seeing our pretty things on display!

Yes, it’s crazy, but I insisted on bringing it to our new two bedroom apartment. I filled it and it stayed in the second bedroom until I remembered Gracie’s quilt.


 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.
​Mark 2: 21  RSV

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Suddenly, the china cabinet I had loved so much became bulky and an obstacle to moving ahead with a new chapter in life. I needed space for a sewing machine and something had to go.

Tom and I made a quilt for Annalyn’s 5th birthday. (Wow! How could that be nearly eight years ago?) Gracie will be seven in January, so we were definitely behind. 

Being the bright child she is, I thought Gracie could help. I’m envisioning all kinds of chats, and patterns, and memories…who needs a china cabinet after all?

Out went the china cabinet and in came a brand new sewing machine. I hope you’ll stop by during the next few weeks for “Gracie’s Quilt”. It’s already looking like we’re both going to learn a lot.


Join Gracie and me as we sow some special memories while sewing
her new quilt.

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