Have you ever noticed that if you dream of something long enough, it eventually comes true? I guess it can be said that if you dread something long enough, probably the same? I guess that’s a good reason to be aware of your thoughts, right?
I can remember when Mike and I were first married. He was working as a construction worker with a company that was remodeling one of the stores in the Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne. He drove the hour drive without complaint, except in the summer when his allergies acted up and his truck had no air conditioning. I remember that I used to get mad at him for buying Cinnabons. I was very frugal, as we had limited income, and to spend such an extravagant amount of money on those empty (but delicious) calories was unheard of. We laugh about it now!
I was a stay-at-home mom at the time. I had taken a leave of absence from my job at my parents’ store in order to stay home with our new baby. That was twenty-four years ago! How time does fly! Without nostalgia, though, I will say that all the things I did without during my years of staying home with my children – satellite TV, fast food, disposable diapers, box foods, pre-made meals (I made everything from scratch), bakery birthday cakes (I made and decorated some fabulous cakes for my children’s birthdays), new clothes (which would be outdated now anyway), toys for no reason (we only bought new toys for birthdays and Christmas, unless they were from a yard sale) – were worth it. I breast fed and used cloth diapers. I lived green before I even knew what living green was – before it was cool!
Staying at home, while everyone went off to their work places where they formed social lives seemed lonely at times. And I have to say that at times, I felt a lack of purpose. But I knew, after my experiences with babysitters for my first daughter when I was a single mom, that I did not want to go that route again, and I would do whatever I needed to do in order to be the one to take care of my baby. I wanted to be fully present.
Some people say I was lucky to get to spend those first few years with my children at home, but luck didn’t have as much to do with it as determination and sacrifice. These same people give half their paychecks to the sitter, and the other half to the conveniences of not cooking and not planning and having pretty clothes to work in.
One day, when my husband came home, he said, “Don’t look! I brought you a surprise!” He ran back to the blanket closet and covered the surprise, so I could open my eyes and uncover it. It was a new sewing machine. He had gone to Sears on his lunch hour and purchased a basic Kenmore sewing machine for me. Makes me teary-eyed thinking about how sweet it was!
I had owned a sewing machine in my previous marriage, but when I moved out, I didn’t take it with me, and it was never seen again. Now, here Mike had brought me a lifesaving gift. I loved to sew, and I looked forward to naptime, so I could make doll clothes, stuffed animals, and eventually, quilts! It opened my world back up.
Once when we attended a family gathering at Mike’s great uncle’s house, his great aunt showed me her sewing room. She had a couple sewing machines, a Serger, the whole kit and caboodle and a designated room. I was so envious, and I dreamed that someday, I would have that. At the time, though, I put it out of my mind, thinking that it was probably something unattainable. I set my focus on the present, and I made do with sewing at the kitchen table or at a little table in a tiny room off the kitchen that didn’t have much other purpose.
Now, with all three kids grown, and two married and on their own, we now have a guest room for when they come home for a visit. Best of all, though, is that we have turned that other room into my sewing room. Last winter, my husband took up the old carpet to expose the well worn, but beautiful, original oak floors. He and our youngest son, who works for Mike now in his construction company, hung drywall, put up a new ceiling, lights of my choosing, and put shelves in the closet and new doors.
Mike even insisted that we buy new storage containers, so I could organize my fabric and notions in the closet. I set the room all up, and took lots of pictures, and since then, I have made a couple quilts and several other projects. I feel so blessed!
I’ve since made a few adjustments to the layout, and Mike found an school teacher’s old, oak desk for sale on Facebook, which makes a great sewing table, but I don’t have any pictures of it right now. I have given/loaned my Kenmore to my mother, and now am the proud owner of not one, but two Husqvarna Vikings – a Lily 550 and a Sapphire 835. The pictures show the original set up. Mike has since made a rolling cart that raised my cutting table to the right height and made it possible to move to any location in the room. The little thread cabinet was designed and created by my loving father before he passed away in 2012.
Today, as I was writing in my gratitude journal, I listed my sewing room as one of my three things to be grateful for. It was then that I realized that what we dream of WILL eventually come true. It’s been twenty-four years, but it seems more like a blink, and at the same time, like a different life altogether.
My sewing room is just one of my “dreams come true.” I guess if you put it out there, it will come to you if you just trust and believe. I never spent a lot of time dwelling on it, but I guess I just held the hope in my heart!