Freely Given and Eternally Kept


A female cardinal sits in the branches of my magnolia tree niggling at somethingnext year's flowers or a bit of this year's fruit, suddenly exposed. She turns upside down in order to reach her treasure before fluttering her wings to right herself again.

Small buds adorn the branches, promises neatly bundled and held tight until spring. Like a kid awaiting Christmas, I'm anxious to see the tree in bloom: It will be my first spring in this house.

On Saturday, I went to the fabric store to get some thread and elastic to finish the pajamas I'd promised my children and husband. This promise of pajamas was made in a weak moment, brought on by the feel of soft flannel beneath my fingers and the vision of what it could become. But I am not a seamstress of any note, unless you note the errors that I make.

I'd stepped into the midst of a three-day sale, a nightmare of customers, kitsch, and complaints. The cutting counter announced it was "now serving number thirty-two." An employee pointed a woman to the sewing machines. Women considered rolls of wrapping paper, on sale for ninety-nine cents each.

I grabbed two spools of thread and a package of elastic before joining the line that extended halfway to the back of the store. In order to placate customers, a manager walked along the line, extending a basket of candy canes and mints. "Yes," she reassured a woman. "The sale ends at noon, but we'll keep it going as long as we have people in line." A wide-eyed man stood near the cash register, hands in pockets, waiting for his wife.

The perennial season of consumption had begun.

Grey Cat leaps onto the window ledge and stares in through the window, meowing. The cardinal flies away.

The promises of spring are freely given and eternally kept.

I could sit here for hours, watching. But it's time. I need to get my tush in gear. My sewing machine awaits.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.

"This week we wanted to do something to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and we foolishly thought that would be easy.  There are so many amazing Yiddish words that found their way into the English language, and we thought it would be great to highlight one.  To find one with a third definition, however, was not so easy.  We thought all was lost until we stumbled upon this gem.

tush

1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse's canine

2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach

3. buttocks (slang)

Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends.  Now let's all write our tushes off."



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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Freely Given and Eternally Kept

Monday, December 2, 2013

Freely Given and Eternally Kept


A female cardinal sits in the branches of my magnolia tree niggling at somethingnext year's flowers or a bit of this year's fruit, suddenly exposed. She turns upside down in order to reach her treasure before fluttering her wings to right herself again.

Small buds adorn the branches, promises neatly bundled and held tight until spring. Like a kid awaiting Christmas, I'm anxious to see the tree in bloom: It will be my first spring in this house.

On Saturday, I went to the fabric store to get some thread and elastic to finish the pajamas I'd promised my children and husband. This promise of pajamas was made in a weak moment, brought on by the feel of soft flannel beneath my fingers and the vision of what it could become. But I am not a seamstress of any note, unless you note the errors that I make.

I'd stepped into the midst of a three-day sale, a nightmare of customers, kitsch, and complaints. The cutting counter announced it was "now serving number thirty-two." An employee pointed a woman to the sewing machines. Women considered rolls of wrapping paper, on sale for ninety-nine cents each.

I grabbed two spools of thread and a package of elastic before joining the line that extended halfway to the back of the store. In order to placate customers, a manager walked along the line, extending a basket of candy canes and mints. "Yes," she reassured a woman. "The sale ends at noon, but we'll keep it going as long as we have people in line." A wide-eyed man stood near the cash register, hands in pockets, waiting for his wife.

The perennial season of consumption had begun.

Grey Cat leaps onto the window ledge and stares in through the window, meowing. The cardinal flies away.

The promises of spring are freely given and eternally kept.

I could sit here for hours, watching. But it's time. I need to get my tush in gear. My sewing machine awaits.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.

"This week we wanted to do something to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and we foolishly thought that would be easy.  There are so many amazing Yiddish words that found their way into the English language, and we thought it would be great to highlight one.  To find one with a third definition, however, was not so easy.  We thought all was lost until we stumbled upon this gem.

tush

1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse's canine

2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach

3. buttocks (slang)

Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends.  Now let's all write our tushes off."



Labels: , ,

11 Comments:

At December 2, 2013 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Your use of language and the way you string your stories together is so appealing to me. I can relate to needing to get my tush in gear! We went out a little bit over the weekend, and yes, the season of consumption is in full swing :)

 
At December 2, 2013 at 4:03 PM , Blogger j umbaugh said...

"A wide-eyed man stood near the cash register, hands in pockets, waiting for his wife." This guy would be considered a mensch!.

 
At December 2, 2013 at 11:55 PM , Blogger Trifecta said...

Wonderful write, this. I love how you combine the peaceful view from the window, with the mayhem at the store - all full of promise in their own way. Thanks for linking up!

 
At December 3, 2013 at 4:37 AM , Blogger kymm said...

I am especially enamored of the shift you pulled off in this sentence
But I am not a seamstress of any note, unless you note the errors that I make.
Together with the cardinal/cat and line of women/lone man combos, they make for a lovely dichotomy.

 
At December 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM , Blogger The Bloody Munchkin said...

I love this line "
The promises of spring are freely given and eternally kept. " A beautiful capping of sweet little moment of promise.

 
At December 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

I often find myself needing to get my tush in gear. I can so relate to this. LOL As far as the mile long line at the cutting counter I would have seen that and been out the door and down the road. No way would I wait for that. Too impatient. LOL

 
At December 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM , Anonymous steph said...

Love the image of the bird turning upside down to reach her treasures. And the whole piece they way you crafted the promise of spring with your promise of pajamas. Not to mention visions of our crazy consumption culture. Delicious, as always, Kelly.

 
At December 4, 2013 at 8:35 PM , Blogger Draug said...

I hate this time of the year but you give it a nice spin.

 
At December 4, 2013 at 11:39 PM , OpenID momosapien said...

"The promises of spring are freely given and eternally kept" is my favorite line too. The whole piece is lovely and flows well, but that line really does sum it all up beautifully!

 
At December 5, 2013 at 2:47 AM , Blogger Atreyee said...

This is simply awesome Kelly!Loved the way you wove in and out,swing a beautiful tapestry of life and seasons-what a line in-"Small buds adorn the branches, promises neatly bundled and held tight until spring."And,"The perennial season of consumption had begun." Really I am in love with the seamstress who sewed this pieces with such elan and ease! :-)

 
At December 5, 2013 at 6:05 AM , OpenID stalethoughts said...

Awesome post. Loved every bit of it.

 

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