Monday, March 18, 2013

Scintilla#13, Day 4-5

We're running slightly behind schedule here -- a busy weekend for this still-recovering writer. Here is Saturday's prompt;

1. Being trapped in a confined environment can turn an ordinary experience into a powder keg. Write about a thing that happened to you while you were using transportation; anything from your first school bus ride, to a train or plane, to being in the backseat of the car on a family road trip.

It was a quiet trip. Very quiet.  (Even the elephant in the back seat said nothing.)

I'd come to understand, through many counseling sessions and a lot of introspection during that pivotal year, that my husband really liked it when we talked about him, his interests, his work day, his concerns, his pleasure, when I asked him questions about himself or what he was thinking/doing/feeling. He didn't really ask similar questions of me, and when I did volunteer such information, it usually became a conversation about him and his experiences and opinions.

So I decided not to ask and see what happened. If he asked a question, I responded, but I didn't volunteer much. I sat and read. Listened to music. Watched the scenery. Thought a lot.

For two days.

I was pleasant enough, visiting some with the group we were traveling with, and I was pleasant to him. I just didn't ask him his opinion, his thoughts, but waited to see if he would pick up the conversational ball.

He didn't. We didn't acknowledge the elephant that had come along either, the one that had been living in our house for some time. But a few months later he finally said he thought it would be a good idea if we got a divorce. HE said it. And I agreed.

Sunday's prompt:
1. What talent do you have that your usual blog readers don't know about? Talk about a time when you showed it to its best advantage.

I can sew. I learned the basics in my seventh grade home economics class, and some from my mother who was an excellent seamstress, making most of my childhood clothing and some wonderful things for my daughter in addition to draperies, pillows, crafty accessories, and embellishing towels and pillowcases with insets and appliques.

I made clothing. Nothing terribly tailored -- that was never much my style anyway, but I loved choosing fabric to create long, flowing dresses and tops and skirts and pants that suited me and my height -- it was always difficult to find clothing that was long enough in the sleeves or legs, or that fit my broad shoulders, much less in a color that I liked.

So I made them, often trying on styles in department stores and then heading to the fabric store to find similar patterns to customize. Most of my career clothing was my creation, and I could whip up a pair of pants or a top one day to wear them to an event the next. (I still have a long velvet button shirt and skinny pants that I made oh so many years ago for a special banquet!)

When the rage in the late '80s was for knit separates, skirts, pants and tops that could be accessorized with belts and scarves and jewelry, I made them -- easy to do with one marvelous pattern that could be customized for sleeve length, crew or v-neck, and length. And they were all finished with the machine -- nothing by hand -- which made them even easier!

The most intricate dress I made was a prom dress for my daughter, a strapless black brocade with a fitted and boned bodice and a double skirt -- an underskirt of tulle with the black overskirt. It fit her to a tee and she looked marvelous in it -- she had chosen the pattern, the fabric, the length, and was thrilled with it. And so was I. 

I have my mother's Bernina and all her notes from the classes she loved to take at the local sewing shop, but I haven't made anything except a pair of curtains and repaired a few seams here and there in more than a decade. You just never know when you might need it again.

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