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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well we are on the other side of Christmas.

One son is here

One son is here - these are not the same place
I am here
My middle son left a few hours ago to go back to NYC where he belongs. 

I am going through my usual and thankfully temporary wrench.  I always have felt that my mothering with kids at home was me doing my best work, but let's face it that's done now. This is the one child who really left home definitely when he was the youngest, at 19, and he immediately went off into the world, traveled, studied, and did just fine for himself. 

Our time since then has been visits shared with so many other people, and I always feel I missed some sort of a stage with him, of adjusting to living along side an adult, as I was able to do with his siblings who lived here in the early adult stage. You get to know each other on new terms when you have the privilege of day-to-day time with them. So when he comes home I sort of look for the kid who last lived here and doesn't anymore, and he sort of sees the mother of a teenager, I'm not that person anymore.

We need more time doing ordinary things now he is in a place where he is likely to stay.

So I will be in New York for a few days the end of January and again if I can organize it in February. 

As I have said before I am a little stressed about making a regular space for myself in New York. I have lived in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Melbourne Australia and traveled many other places. It's not that I don't know big cities. But I am more of a neighbourhood kind of person and I have to figure this out. I know I just have to.

Maybe it's my past and maybe it's that I have lived here in Nova Scotia too long. After all I grew up in a small prairie town. Do you know I was 18 before I had seen the ocean and regularly been on an escalator? 

How about that? 

And this is the kind of place where I know so many people I think I could just lie down anywhere on any sidewalk in this city and yell and someone I know would show up and say "Barbara what are you doing lying down there on that sidewalk?" I am quite sure this would not happen to me in Manhattan but I may be wrong.

Tomorrow my youngest son is leaving home to go to work in Newfoundland for a while at least. Unlike his brother who boarded a plane with his crystal glasses as carry-on and the New Yorker app. on his iPhone, this son is packing up a truck and going to drive 5 hours to a ferry, go over night on the ferry, and then drive 14 hours across the island of Newfoundland in the winter. He is mounting the moose whistles on the truck tonight. This is not a joke. The interior of Newfoundland is crawling with moose, but not people, and they regularly stand on the road and more or less fall over cars. At several tons each this is not a good thing. However if you don't drive at night (and he better not) and if you have a special kind of whistle on your car that they just can't stand, they move out of the way and you live to tell the tale (which he better).

I also suspect they do not need moose whistles in Manhattan, the place where no one would tell me to get up by name if I was on the sidewalk.

And on New Year's Day my husband heads off to Tennessee for the winter, although there will be visits/trips you better believe that.

I wonder how this all happened when it is so cold outside.

I am feeling disoriented. All I know for sure is that I am going to go off now and freeze a bunch of turkey in single portions and then I better get back into my sewing.

Yes I really need to sew.


shams said...

Boy, can I relate. Both of my kids have moved out and it's an adjustment. They were here Christmas Eve/morning and, then they left, and it's time to adjust again.

You definitely need time to sew! I'm glad you have a plan to get to NY! I'm sure a bit of quality fabric shopping will help. ;)

Scenic Route said...

I hear your heart. In so many ways. The last decade saw both my girls married and moved to the other side of the US, the addition of 8 grandchildren AND my husband accepted a position with Caterpillar in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia!!! But all relationships are closer than ever and I have homes on two shores PLUS 2 sewing rooms :D One of 2 pieces of luggage always stuffed with fabric. Remember to Breathe and to Sew.

a little sewing said...

I can relate to feeling trepidation about NYC. I felt that way in the fall of 2009, when I was casually invited to meet up for dinner with other sewing bloggers.
It hit me like a ton of bricks that I should not be nervous about going to NYC- my own young adult daughter had already navigated cities around the world by herself and my 18yo niece was a freshman at NYU.
What had happened to me? I had always thought of myself as adventurous. So I did like you are doing; I made plans and carried them out. I've now visited NYC so many times that it finally feels familiar. I guess we have to push ourselve out of our comfort zones.
As far as all your wildly diverse children, I only know what it's like to raise an only child, so you have my utter admiration. It sounds like they are all doing very well!

Ruthie said...

Hang in there and you will survive. I find it challenging living on my own as I am an extrovert who needs people. I have friends who let me go with them to walk the dog or have coffee.

Branka said...

I love reading your posts, you are hilarious!