Thanksgiving and lessons from a junk pile

We visit a lot of thrift stores, flea  markets and junk shops {some too old, dusty and precarious to enter with a baby} in search of records.  These places are filled with various items people once felt they needed to have. These things never disappear they only travel from one place to another, have long lives, share the planet with us. These past two and a half years, my need to consume has decreased. When visiting any sort of second hand mart, I am constantly reminded of the over supply of "stuff" that is being manufactured and sold. Now, I am only too aware of it and make purchases more consciously. 

 I am more mindful of things I buy.  Before purchasing clothing and toys for August, I find myself thinking of where they will end up when she outgrows them. Much of her clothing is second hand because I love vintage clothing but there is also so much of it. I still have many of my own baby clothes and toys around, these are things that now belong to August. I feel better when I can buy from a resale shop or don't have to shop at all, I feel slightly guilty when participating in retail sales. There are some items that I don't like purchasing second hand like board books and stuffed animals so I practice restraint. 

This Thanksgiving, I have to include, among all that I am thankful for, the lessons of the thrift stores, flea markets and junk shops. I hope to pass them on to August as soon as she can understand them.  One she is already learning is to take care of her things so they don't become broken and useless. I am constantly re-learning that don't need as much as we think we do. 

The following are photos from a junk shop. It made me sick to see these piles that won't be going anywhere fast enough. Many will be rushing off to make more purchases tomorrow, perhaps even after or instead of Thanksgiving dinner and adding to the piles. No matter how shiny and pretty everything is when new, it all becomes and contributes to an ugly pile somewhere and just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. Love can fill all voids, nothing else can.

This year the three of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving together. *```````myui-pokhjijmijump kv  jkm c,ihi u0bp]
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*Post hijacked by August

A Sweater for August

I knitted a sweater for August. It began three years ago when I purchased the yarn to knit a sweater for myself. I completed the back of the sweater but never returned to the project. In December 2011, I found the yarn and threw away the knitted portion.  I decided that one day I'd make something for August.

While in a motel in Atoka, OK, waiting out the last four weeks before leaving the state, I picked up the yarn and felt inspired. It was my wish to complete a sweater for August but I often get antsy while knitting or crocheting, stopping projects and ending them much to early. Plans for afghans, throws and tablecloths become doilies, seriously. Solid intentions for sweaters get unraveled and are reborn as hats or scarves. I managed to complete a tiny, cotton sweater for August before she was born but I had much time to spend on it, something I no longer have, except in the wee hours. 

One night, after August fell asleep, I started knitting. I unraveled what I did twice before getting to bed. The next morning, I continued to knit. I held it up against August and was able to see that I didn't have much knitting to do and could cast-off after a few more rows. This gave me the momentum I needed to see the project through. Before leaving Oklahoma, I managed to knit the front and back panels and one sleeve. I looked forward to staying up late, lasting as long as I could, working on the sweater.

I don't read patterns, I have no patience for them. I do look at the shapes of the completed pieces and try to create them in my own way. I wanted the sweater to look very 1930's, the type of sweater one of the Our Gang children would wear, bulky, oversized, simple and rustic, looking well worn... It was in Woodville, one afternoon in September, that I finished the second sleeve. I then washed and blocked all the pieces it and started to put it together. It wasn't until October that I sewed the buttons on. A final wash and dry made it soft and ready for August, just in time for the first truly cold day in November. 

A very different day...

Last Halloween, we all dressed up as a Beatnik family but did no trick-o-treating. This year we got August a plastic pumpkin to introduce her to trick-o-treating. She is only 18 months old and doesn't eat candy but I thought why not try and see what she thinks of it all. So I dressed her in a cowgirl costume that was once mine and we were off.

Because my costume is vintage and not made of the most durable material and didn't seem comfortable in the car seat, I didn't actually dress her until we got to the library for the Halloween party. I wondered what August was thinking when she was placed in my cowgirl skirt and vest in the library lobby. We walked into the library and said, "Trick-o-treat, say trick-o-treat, August." The librarians were extremely generous and gave August a heavy, Ziploc bag full of candies. It was placed in her pumpkin and I couldn't help but notice just how big her eyes were getting taking everything in.

We were then told the party was cancelled due to all the rain and schoolchildren wouldn't be showing up.  Children did show up here and there. We took photos by the Halloween display and August sat on the rug and studied her plastic package of brightly colored, wrapped candies.  I kept wondering how this was all getting sorted in her mind. Only out in the world 18 months, so many things, so new. Showing her things and giving her new experiences really makes me stop and try to view the world through the eyes of a person who hasn't been on earth very long. While I know I couldn't possibly be taking in all that she is computing, I still treasure these experiences I have in my humble position.