When I was four years old, you took apart your gray wool winter coat, seam by seam, and then carefully ironed the pieces flat. Using the outline of my previous year’s winter coat, you added an inch or two to each seam and made a “new” coat for me, accented with black buttons and a wide white wool collar. Years later, when I was making my own clothes, you told me that when the coat was finished you grimaced, thinking, “Oh, no, this looks like a bad costume for a Puritan play.”
Still, you cheerfully buttoned me into the coat, ooohing and awing. I marched to the long mirror in the hall and took a look.
You said I solemnly turned from side to side and stepped closer to the mirror. When you asked if I liked it, I said, “I think I look like those people on that boat.”
So much for recycling adult coats for children…and reading aloud picture books about the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving.
As I remember it, Mom, you and I recycled lots of things: clothes, hats, recipes, books, bedspreads, and (very carefully) gifts. If something could be mended, spruced up, combined with something else or passed on to someone who could use it, we gave it a “second chance to be appreciated.”
Recycling is not a new concept for us, is it? But I bet I found an example of a new kind of recycling you never heard of. Elephant poo.
While I was shopping at a natural food store recently, I stopped to look at the gift section, and there they were: charming, thick-paged journals, hand-bound and covered with images of elephants treaveling across a bright background. Different, colorful, kind of cute, I thought, and made of 50% standard paper…and 50% elephant dung.
And if you want to order online, you can also get papers, note pads and journals made with rhino poo and reindeer poo!
It’s times like this, Mom, when I wish we still shopped together. I would love to see your reaction and hear you say, “Well, how about that,” or “I wonder how they did that,” or even, “Well, it has to go somewhere.”
Even though you don’t travel or shop any longer, I’ll watch for interesting things like this. When we’re together I’ll tell you about them–and repeat them over and over, if you need me to–and then we’ll laugh.
Things change, like recycling. Some things stay the same, though, like mothers and daughters sitting together, talking, and laughing.
I love you, Mom. Marylin
A reminder about the February Poetry Contest:
Entries are due by midnight (Mountain time) on Wednesday, Feb. 29.
Winners will be announced and posted in early March.