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I am a mother, a 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 book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon
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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Flypaper thoughts: the persistence of Christmas edition

  • 2020 has sometimes felt 
  • Like topstitching
  • And finding out that the bobbin thread ran out half way through
  • And this happening over and over again
  • Times like this
  • It's easy to say
  • Now what?
  • And to brace yourself for more bad news
  • That's if you are a pessimist
  • Optimists
  • Are like those poor Japanese soldiers
  • They used to find on Pacific Islands
  • 40 years later
  • Still waiting for word from the Emperor
  • That it was all over
  • Their one thought to hold on tight
  • Until they heard the all clear
  • This is tricky stuff
  • We have been at it long enough to admit that
  • Out loud
  • But this is precisely the moment
  • It seems to me
  • To remember
  • Who makes the rules wins
  • And Christmas gives us the tools
  • It gives us little boys
  • Still running across the field in Santa hats
  • Watching your son and granddaughter bite into
  • The shortbread you have been making for your kid
  • For 35 years
  • So what it's on FaceTime
  • You still saw it
  • And hell would freeze over before that shorbread was not baked
  • Didn't break at all on the long mail trip from this coast to that one
  • It's in the lights in my neighbourhood
  • Up early this year and twice as many
  • It's the man across the street
  • 75 and living alone
  • Who adds more lights every day


  • It's my husband making a snowman to surprise me
  • And ever practical with two noses so it has a face from the house and street view

  • It's these two jogging near my house


  • It's my 93 year-old-mother in Manitoba
  • Who has to be alone in her house this Christmas
  • Cooking a turkey breast and a dinner for herself
  • So the house will still smell like Christmas
  • It's the memories of other Christmases
  • When we had the privilege of all being together
  • Making me happy not sad
  • Because I am lucky enough to have those times to revisit in my head
  • When I want to
  • It's the Temptations Christmas album
  • And mincemeat like my dad used to love
  • Who else puts cheddar cheese on a tart?
  • It's seeing an old lame border collie roll around in the snow
  • With joy
  • It's knowing I am one of a million grandmas who sewed Christmas pyjamas this year
  • That little kids still won't be able to sleep
  • And will get up way too early
  • It's knowing that
  • Christmas comes every year
  • And nothing can stop it
  • Don't even try

14 comments:

Sarah Wale said...

What a heartwarming blog; you brought tears to my eyes - happy tears for the memories and tears of gratitude that we in New Zealand are not having to suffer the separation from families and loved ones that so much of the world is suffering. I send all of you out there my heartfelt good wishes for the best possible Christmas and a happy and above all, healthy New Year.
Love
Sarah
p.s. Your husband is a precious gem, Barbara! Give him a snowman hug from me, please ... what a great idea to give you such a surprise and also let the street enjoy it too.

Kathy Zachry said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Barbara!

Debbie said...

Beautifully said. Merry Christmas from Ontario!

Kansas Sky said...

A tear in my eye, dear cyber friend. You bless my life so richly -- with your words, with your ideas, with your skills. .... Thank you, thank you. May your Christmas be full of merriment and joy.

Nethwen said...

Heartwarming and tear-jerking.

But you know I'm from way south of Canada when my first thought on seeing the photos was,"How on earth are the streets that clear with so much snow!? And how can there be that much snow in December??" I'm laughing at myself now.

I'm also scheming how to put up lights in January and February to light the dark winter without it looking like forgotten Christmas lights.

sewmadd said...

Thank you for the heartwarming blog post...for reminding us of the beauty and love of Christmas time and how it transcends all of the craziness that 2020 has brought...to bring us back to what is most important. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...with the emphasis on New.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful snowman - he must have lots of practice playing in the snow! And what luck that the shortbread made the trip! Crumbs are good too of course.

ceci

SK Daniels said...

“…Dear cyber friend. You bless my life so richly …Thank you, thank you. (thank you, Kansas Sky) “ “…Thank you for reminding us of the beauty and love of Christmas time and how it transcends…and brings us back. (thank you, sewmadd)” To the memories and privileges of other Christmases and to remembering that the rule is that love wins (Thank you, Barbara.) Merry Christmas to all!

Lesliekm said...

Thank you. Just so. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for your sewing help, sewing patterns made into clothes for us to see and with helpful explanations. Also your uplifting, humorous and always interesting blog posts. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas Day celebration together even though you are spread far and wide, I know you will find the way to make it happen Barbara. Best Wishes to you. Dianne.

Moosiemoose said...

You do it to me every time. Another meaningful and poignant post. I will be alone this Christmas though my family is fairly close. Just not going to risk it as the US is out of control.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year. And lets hear it for the New Year!! Jean

Sue said...

Thank you! Your thoughts match my feelings. Merry Christmas!

E said...

As always, you capture my thoughts and continue to inspire me. I particularly liked: "And hell would freeze over before that shorbread was not baked."
All the best in 2021.

Cindy said...

I believe this is the most poignant and touching post you've ever produced. Thank you.